Once again, I’m so excited to have another guest blog from one of our recent marathoners!!
Dublin Marathon – by Stephanie Molz
In 2012 we decided that we wanted to do the 2013 Dublin marathon. We’ve started to turn a lot of our races into excuses to travel. When you travel for a run it always makes things a little more difficult because you want to make sure you have all the things that make your run as comfortable as possible so running a race outside of the country was even more nerve-wracking.
Ireland is known for being cold, rainy and windy this time of year and all the weather services leading up to it indicated that this was going to be the case. I wasn’t happy about this at all so I prepared accordingly! I bought a running rain jacket which is very lightweight, and I packed capris, leggings, a tank top and a long sleeved shirt. I usually heat up pretty quickly on the top so I knew that even if it was cold a long sleeve top and jacket would be plenty. We were also concerned about fueling because we use GU and we weren’t sure if they would even sell it over there so we stocked up!!
I was also nervous about this race because I wanted it to be my “PR” race and I have to be honest, I had missed several long runs so I thought that it was going to be impossible to hit it. Before we went to packet pickup I was dreading this race for so many reasons, the weather was going to be awful, I was disappointed in myself and I was afraid that I was literally going to be the last person finishing. Everything changed when we got to packet pickup, thank goodness! There were going to be 18,000 people in this race so I knew that there was going to be lots of people to run with and there was going to be a big crowd to cheer us on!! The atmosphere was so great too, it got me really excited which is what I needed! Also, this is the first race that you only received your t-shirt if you finished so I was totally inspired that even if I didn’t get my goal I was going to finish the damn thing. We allowed ourselves enough time to recover from the travel so by race morning I actually had better sleep than I do for most races. Steve got up before me and I was still afraid to look outside to see what was going on with the weather. He came in the room and I said, “well?”. He said, “it’s going to be 50’s and beautiful, there is no rain predicted at all!” I couldn’t believe it, things were looking ever better for my goal! I bought a new pair of capris at the expo that I had been eyeing for a while. They worked out except for one things that I will get to later.
Star always emphasizes that you shouldn’t do anything out of the norm for a race so this is one thing that I might have done differently. I had a lot of problems with blisters during training so I made sure that I lubed up my feet A LOT! I didn’t want blisters to ruin my race. I also decided to not use my water belt so I made some last minute changes with GU’s and my chapstick. This did end up being a good thing, so I’m glad that I made this decision.
We got to the starting line and it was really crowded. The weather was a little chilly but totally manageable, I was excited and a little nervous. The race started on time and we were off soon after. Steve was pacing me so he said that if we could at least keep 5 miles into an hour we should be fine.
The crowds were great and the weather was so nice that I took my jacket off within the first mile or 2. Miles 5, 10, 15 clicked off and we were right on target from what I could tell. I didn’t really want to know where I was to my goal yet because I was in really good spirits. Mile 18 has been troublesome for me before but I was still feeling good, no blisters the only thing that was starting to hurt was my shins. I was afraid that I was getting shin splints, it turns out that it was my new capris that I bought. They were squeezing my shins so tightly that it was really starting to hurt. Mile 20 came around I just told myself to hold it together. The thing that was surprising was how hilly this course was, we had been told the complete opposite so that kind of messed with me. Mile 21 was a pretty big hill but they had “the wall” with music and lots of people so that was fun. Up until mile 24 Steve and I had been chatting and I was smiling and feeling pretty good. We decided to skip our last 2 walk breaks, I knew that my goal was within reach but we HAD to keep focused. The way that I did this was to just keep quiet and focus on each step. I was starting to hurt in my things and knees by now. Steve tried to move up a little in my pace and I just told him that I wouldn’t go any slower but I couldn’t go any faster- this was all I had! The crowds were amazing, they were 2 people deep going into the finish, it was awesome! My goal was 5:05 and going into the last mile Steve said something about hitting 5:10. I was confused, I thought he got mixed up about my goal was. I was watching the clocks and I knew we had stayed in each hour going into mile 20 so I wasn’t sure what was going on but I was just happy to be finished. When we crossed the finish line the clock said 5:09, I knew I had made it! Steve turned to me and hugged me and congratulated me, he was so proud of me! I was so thankful to him for sacrificing his race so that he could get me to my goal. It was an amazing day and thanks to him, Star, Keith and my fellow runners, I made it!
You were all there with me! 🙂
Great job racing, Steph, and great job pacing, Steve!! It’s tough to race a marathon and I can only imagine how tough it is to pace someone to their goal for 26.2 miles. Sounds like such a fun race!