I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back to Dublin running! Well, for now. Until it rains, and gets miserable, then I’ll complain constantly. But for now, it’s perfect! I can run at any time of the day (it’s almost never over 64 in the fall) and only run hills if I want to, otherwise it’s smooth and flat for miles. The last time I ran in Dublin I was just weeks into learning, logging three slow miles each run max. Now, with some solid baseline training behind me, I finally get to explore what Dublin has to offer runners. We haven’t been back a week and I’ve been able to log nearly 30 miles and complete my first 100-mile month, aiming for 150 for October. It’s such a different experience, being able to run for miles without struggling or gasping for air or getting side cramps, I’m finally able to enjoy my runs.
I’ve signed up for a Run in the Dark10k in early November (Alex is running a 5k) and a Half-Marathon a few weeks later. And then…this morning registration for the Rotterdam Full opened and I signed up! So April 10th I’ll be running my first marathon (provided I stay injury free until then), and Alex will be running the 10k. Plus, we’ll get to visit the Netherlands again, one of my closest friends lives in Amsterdam, so we’ll stay there and take the train down for the very European civilized start time of 10:00 am. Which also means, starting January, my life will be mostly dedicated to Marathon training (and I think half-training takes up a lot of time). I can’t wait!
It’s hard to fathom going from slowly slogging through my first slow 2-miles to running a full 10.5 months later, but I’m confident I can do it. I remember thinking there was no way I could ever run ten miles, and then surely enough, with a few months training, 10 miles doesn’t seem so bad anymore. I’m not particularly fast yet (my best 10k is 57min), so I’m not aiming for anything too ambitious marathon-wise, I mostly just want to finish strong (though a sub 4 would be incredible, of course). 500,000 Americans ran Marathons last year, so I’m in good company, and if that many people can do it, why couldn’t I? The Rotterdam Marathon attracts around 30,000 runners and 1 million spectators, I can’t wait to experience the kind of energy pulsing through the city with that many people, it’s going to be an incredible experience!
And more, I’m just loving running so much. I never thought I would be a runner. But on the Camino, Liz (who is currently training for an Ultra, and is a general bad ass lady) had more faith than I did, and encouraged me to just give it a try. And I’m so thankful she did, it’s been such a welcome addition to my life, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. But for now, I’m just enjoying my training, and slowly working up my milage and speed. I’ve got another 18 miles this weekend (split over two days, 6/12) to explore the coastline of Dublin. And just like the camino, this is going to be just another one foot in front of the other (over, and over, and over again) sort of journey, Ultreia!