Race. Beer. Repeat. The theme of my Dublin Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend.
I was lucky enough to run my first Rock ‘n’ Roll remix challenge in another country! It was one of my favorite race weekends to date and I thought I’d share a little bit about why.
Rock ‘n’ Roll races are always a lot of fun. I’ve done a few different ones now, but never in another country. I originally signed up for the half marathon, but as the trip got closer I figured why not run the 5K the day before too? I’m always up for extra bling.
The expo on Friday was low key and easy to get through. I actually paid for the 5K when I went to pick up my packet. Couldn’t make it out without purchasing an extra shirt, but hey I was in vacation mode.
I didn’t have any time expectations for either race. I wasn’t planning on any personal records with the way I had been fueling throughout the trip, but I wanted to at least have a little bit of speed.
Saturday, August 12th – 5K
11 AM start. 55 degrees. No rain. I toed the start line and felt ready to give it a go. The 5K is a tough distance for me because I feel like “wow this is uncomfortable” the entire time. I much prefer the marathon so I can ease into the discomfort, but at least the 5K goes by really quickly. I felt great my first mile. A 7:05. My second mile I started having some pretty bad stomach cramps. I wasn’t nauseous, but I wasn’t feeling great. I slowed down a bit as I hoped it would pass. 7:20. By mile 3 I knew I just had to get to the finish line. The sun was shining and I was warm. I started thinking about how badly I wanted some water and decided to just pick up my pace a little bit. Mile 3 ended up being my fastest at 6:50. I crossed the line and felt proud of my effort. Was it a PR or all I was capable of? No. Was it a great effort? Yes. 21:55. I’m so glad I decided to add this race in!
The energy walking over to the half marathon start line was incredible. Everyone had a smile on their face. The corrals were pretty crowded, but I was able to slide into mine about 10 minutes before race start. Music was blasting. People were excited. I didn’t have headphones in. I actually haven’t run with music in a very long time. I feel better racing without it so I can really pay attention to how I’m feeling and take in the atmosphere.
I crossed the start line and settled into a comfortable pace. I wasn’t going to run at my fastest speed, but I wanted to hold a strong pace. My first few miles were all 7:25 and I wanted to ease off a bit. It was such a beautiful place to run and I was seeing parts of the city I’d never seen. We ran from new Dublin, through old Dublin, to Phoenix Park. I slowed to about a 7:40 average and held it.
The weather was in the 50s and we had overcast so it was just about ideal running conditions. I did have one complaint for the day though: the water. Instead of paper cups at the water stops they had plastic water bottles – rows and rows of plastic bottles. I’d guess they were 10 oz. bottles and most people would take two sips and then throw them. Not only did this bother me because of the waste of plastic and lack of recycling, but also because they were so easy to roll your feet on. They were crowding the streets and rolling all over. It seemed like such a hazard to me. I’ve never ran a race with so many plastic bottles before. Not sure how common this is abroad? But at least I was able to have water.
The energy was high the entire race. Everyone around me seemed to be having a good time. The bands along the course were great. Live music really adds something to a race course.
I was suffering some digestive discomfort. I tried to eat a couple Clif Bloks but could only stomach one. I was going to peel off the course to find a bathroom, but I realized I only had a few more miles to go so I should just tough it out. This happens. I’m sure no runner is a stranger to it – but it’s not fun!
I chose to ignore it and focus on the finish line. The end of the course was pretty and had a lot of enthusiastic spectators. I picked up my pace a bit as I cruised through the end of the race.
With the finish line in sight I booked it. Threw my hands up. Smiled. I live for that finish line feeling. I crossed in 1:40:40. A strong time all things considered.
I didn’t just get one medal – I got THREE! My half marathon medal, my remix challenge medal, and a world rocker medal for completely two Rock ‘n’ Roll races in 2017 in different countries. It’s fun to earn so many medals in one weekend.
Kyle finished his 10K just a little before I finished the half due to a little bit of a late start on his end and a lot of weaving for starting so far back, but he had a great time. This was the farthest he’d ever run and he looked happy after. I was pretty proud.
Destination races are always fun, but I love knowing I can count on how well run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race will be. This race weekend just made me want to run all the other races they have! It’ll take me awhile, but it’s a goal I’d love to complete. And I’m always trying to add states to my 50 state goal, so knowing these races are all over will help.
Highly recommend this race weekend!