Dublin Simon Fun Run: Happiness is an unexpected PB!

Today I ran my 3rd 5 mile race, the Dublin Simon Fun Run, and I surprised myself by running a PB!

Given that I was so unprepared and seriously down in training time, I had hoped I’d beat my previous 5 mile time but wasn’t aiming for it. I just wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and the race!

And you know what? I did all of the above!

I was up quite early for this one because I had a 40 min walk to get to the race, and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get in and rest up before the start time. It was a bright, clear, crisp morning so I didn’t mind the walk, especially as it was mostly through the beautiful Phoenix Park.

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I got there with an hour to spare so I found a quiet spot and just sat, enjoying the fresh air and tweeting a bit to pass the time. Before I knew it, it was time to line up at the start!

The starting line was a bit chaotic, and I think most people ignored the ‘wave’ starts that were set up. Runners, Joggers, Walkers all mingled at the start.  I waited at the back of the ‘Runners’ wave and couldn’t hear anything the guy with the megaphone was saying up at the starting line.  I presumed it was the usual safety talk but couldn’t be sure. I don’t think many people even noticed there was a guy on a megaphone! Anyway, after that we stood around for a bit, then in fits and starts we all surged towards the start gate.

The first mile was really congested, lots of walkers, joggers, runners, buggy pushers and even roller bladers were making their way through the course.  I didn’t mind that so much because it meant I kept to the slow pace I wanted at the start. And the energy from the younger runners was pretty intense; wish I had some of that!

I managed to run a full 3 miles and a bit before having to stop,  which is what I had planned because the water station was just after the third mile marker. Boy that water was good!

The next section of the race was hard, really tough going! Lots of hills and inclines and slopes so I ran the down parts and walked the up parts. This is when I had to start giving myself some verbal encouragement, I’d made it over halfway afterall and it wasn’t that far to the finish line!

That last mile though, wow! I really felt the lack of training here, but kept pushing onwards and upwards until I could hear the cheering at the finish line.  I ran the last 500 meters or so and crossed the line in good cheer!

I enjoyed this race a lot.  It seemed well organized with a lot of activity on afterwards, I’m sorry I had to rush off! The marshals were all really brilliant on the course, very encouraging with their cheers and clapping, so thank you! The fruit they were giving out was very much appreciated and it’s nice to have another medal to add to my collection.

When I race, I wear a sign with my twitter name on the back of my t-shirt, so it was really cool to have a runner pass me and say ‘I follow you on twitter’! I’m sorry I didn’t ask your name, but if you’re reading this, thanks! That made my day! I got a few other encouraging smiles and comments from people as they passed me (or as I passed them!) and I’m really grateful for that! It keeps me going and reminds me of why I’m out there…to RUN!

All in all it was a really enjoyable race for me. I delighted to have PB’d and finished in 1:11:14, beating my previous 5 mile race time. I looked up my splits too and they’re pretty even across the board.  This makes me a very happy runner indeed!

My next race is mid-November, so I have plenty of time to get my running back up to my usual times/distances to prepare. I’m looking forward to the month ahead, I’ve got a good feeling about this!

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