Dublin Marathon: Time Up

Countdown clock

The bank holiday October weekend has arrived and I am ridiculously excited! Only 1 full day (and a bit of this one…) is all that remains between 15,000 runners and the start line of the 2015 Dublin Marathon. Training is over, the bag is packed, carb levels are rapidly rising… the time has come.

Last year, I could not run for over 2 weeks before the Dublin Marathon due to foot and knee borderline injuries. I had been training pretty hard and was very focused on the notion of finishing in under 4 hours. Reflecting on it now, I realise I was pretty stressed and anxious about the race. In the days leading up to the race, I was very nervous. Not today!! I am positively buzzing with excitement and both today and yesterday, I’ve had to MAKE myself stop cleaning and running around doing loads of jobs about the house, at the shops… wherever I can think of! As I write this, I am sitting down, feet up and doing what the marathon experts tell me I should be doing, resting, elevating and conserving as much energy as possible.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here...
Abandon all hope ye who enter here…just kidding!

After milling about the house this morning hoovering, dusting, putting on a wash and preparing carbohydrate-choco dinners for tonight and tomorrow, I made my way up to Dublin for the marathon expo at the RDS for race registration. Some people hate the inconvenience of having to do this but I secretly love it. As you walk into the RDS and see all of the stalls and all of the other runners, there’s the sudden realisation that this is real, that you’re not on your own anymore and that this is GOING to happen. It’s exciting and you can just feel the electricity in the air. What can I say? Marathon expos do good air.

Birdseye view of the expo. Feelin high!
Birdseye view of the expo. Feelin high!

I picked up my race number and goody bag from the very friendly and helpful staff in incredibly quick time, with barely having to queue at all. Huge credit to the organisers and staff here for perfect organisation, it makes such a difference in terms of your overall experience of a race, leaving you with a good impression (and wanting to return again…) and especially for marathon runners, who don’t want to be spending excess time on their feet in the days before the race.

I did a quick lap of the expo, picking up some Clif Shots from the nice Clif Bar people and a pace band from the Asics folks, which I’d pre-registered for online beforehand. But I didn’t hang around for long and after signing the support wall and looking through the Dublin Marathon history wall (obligatory for pre-race inspiration), I hot-footed it out the door. I deliberately only bought a parking ticket for 35 minutes so I wouldn’t be attempted to stay any longer 🙂

Race bib

Tomorrow morning, I’ll go for a short run to shake out my legs and do a bit of stretching and foam-rolling. Rest for the remainder of the day and eating according to a strict schedule 😉

Just need to find my shirt. Can't be running shirtless ;)
Just need to find my shirt. Can’t be running shirtless 😉

I am going to enjoy Monday. I know it because I can’t stop smiling. Running a marathon is a privilege and is something that some people will never get to do. I’ll read over lots of running mantras and quotes between now and Monday morning but the most important one that always sticks with me when I’m finding it tough going, is that I GET to do this. There are so many people who, through illness, disability or otherwise, cannot run, have never run or will never be able to run, let alone be a part of a day as special as a marathon race. I will think of these people when I am running down mile 25, because I know that I am an incredibly lucky person, as are the 15,000 other people in Dublin Marathon race bibs.

Good luck to everyone running on Monday and see ye at the finish line (please God – as my Grandad would say 😉 !) Go n-eiri an t-ath leat.

For your eyes only: Running or not on Monday, have a look at this funny video. If you’ve ever run a marathon, you’ll love it.

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