Dublin Irish Festival Four Miler

Hi guys!  Yesterday was a first for me in so many ways I don’t even know if I’ll be able to convey it all!  It was my first race since the half in May. To quickly recap, I got injured during the half and was off running completely for a while.  I’ve only been back to running since mid-late June.  I had to start at 2 miles slowly.  And then start working my way back up.  That’s where I’m currently at, working my way back up and adding miles.  It’s very frustrating process for me right now and it’s leaving me with no motivation for increasing miles and working hard to get back to 13.  I decided I needed some motivation.  One thing I thought would help would be signing up for a race!  I found the Dublin Irish Festival Four Miler and knew that would be perfect.  I could do four miles and it wouldn’t take me long to be able to work up to four miles.  And I was right, it didn’t take me long to handle four miles.  However, my pace is crazy slow and I’m clocking in at 12-12:30min/mile.  I am not a fast runner.  During my peak 1/2 training, I ran a 10:30min/mile and I was happy with that.  I ran an 11min/mile on long runs and I was happy with that.

I am not happy with a 12+min/mile pace.  That is too slow.  Way too slow.  It is almost more frustrating than having to slowly increase my miles and starting over at square one.

Okay with all that said, let’s talk race!

Running shoes and race bib Out with the old and in with the new.  I was a little bummed to have to remove my chip from the half but it was for a good reason!  Plus since I’m number 1, it’ll provide a nice reminder about what I’m striving to achieve.

Yogurt and granola Pre-race eats, 2% Fage, granola, and frozen raspberries.  The thing about this race is that it’s an evening race.  Race time is 7:00pm.  This was my first evening race.  In fact this was my first ever run past noon. :o  I know!  But I’m a morning gal!  Bust out the run first thing and have the rest of the day for whatever.  I have the most energy in the mornings as well.

The fact that this was an evening run added to my nervousness.  How would I do?  Would I be able to handle it?  Would I get too hot?  You know how self-doubt goes.

I have to say that getting ready for an evening race is very bizarre! You get up and go about your day like you would any other regular day.  Except by dinner time, you aren’t getting ready for dinner, you’re getting ready to run a race.  It’s almost a little surreal like you are floating through the day with all this normal stuff going on yet in the back of your mind you’re like, “Wait? Isn’t something happening tonight? Why am I’m eating salad like this is just any other day?” :p

Finally it was time to leave for the race!  Thankfully we live very close to downtown Dublin.  Traffic was a little crazy getting into Dublin.  We lucked out and found a great parking space close to the start/finish.  When we got there I had to pee like a mofo and started searching out bathrooms first thing!

Race potties Ahhhh much better!  Notice all the green?  That’s the Irish Festival for ya! :D

MeMe! In all my Rainbow Sherbet Sunday running outfit glory!  Who’s number 1?  Who’s number 1?!

It was crazy the number of people who came up to me or stopped me and asked me how I got that number.  “Um, that’s just the number they gave me.”  “Oh.”  I don’t know what they were hoping to hear.  “I bribed them.”

“I know a guy who knows a guy who slept with a girl who knows a guy that slept with a guy and I just asked him.”

I was pacing around and a nervous wreck.  It was ridiculous.  Then they told us to line up.  Eeep!

Runners waiting There were a ton of us!  Registration capped at 2000 and I think they might have totaled that.  For a small 4 mile race that’s a great turnout!

Me waiting I found the 11min/mile pace group and put myself in that category.  I absolutely refused to run a 12+min/mile pace.


So I jumped pace groups and inserted myself into another one.  I know there are some runners who get super frustrated when people don’t line up right or put themselves in the wrong pace group.  And to that I say, PFFFFFTTTTTT on you.  A race is meant to be fun and a competition with yourself.  If you stress and bitch about people in the wrong pace group then you need to reevaluate the situation and readjust your focus.  And that’s all I’m saying about that.

Singing The national anthem was sung and that meant the start was super close!!  And this guy seems really annoyed.  Perhaps he thought her socks were too flashy for such a serious occasion as a run that promotes being able to snag beer afterwards?

Me runningAnd off we go!!

This race kicked my ass.  It was such a beast and I was totally unprepared for that because I didn’t expect it!

We ran down the road for a bit and then made a right turn.

Onto the biggest motherlovin’ hill I had ever seen.

I don’t train hills.  My town is hill free, I’ve got no hills.  This wasn’t some easy slow grade hill.  This was a Where-The-Hell-Is-My-Walking-Stick kind of hill.  Shit!

Yeah, it was at this point that I fell behind the 11min pace group.  I actually can handle hills really well but I wasn’t going to fly up this hill.  First it was right at the beginning, before I had even hit 5 min of running.  Not long enough warmup for me to tackle such a thing.  So I just took it easy, realized I wasn’t going to keep up with the 11min pace group and called it fine.

Instead, I told myself that I was going to run under 12min pace.  As long as I was under 12min I would be happy.

Well, content. ;)

Honestly this race was long!  It was super humid out and I was very thankful for my WonderWoman wrist band I wore to mop up sweat.  Especially since I couldn’t use my shirt to wipe my face because of the race bib.

We hit mile marker one and I was happy.  However, I was totally clueless the rest of the race because I didn’t see any more markers. :o

There was another hill and lots of downhill action.

I wish I had some halfway point pics for you, but there wasn’t a spot for Scott to swing by and take some.  He patiently waited at the finish for me.

The race had lots of turn arounds, so we would run down a road and at the end, turn around and head back.  Honestly, this didn’t appeal to me too much.  I don’t like passing runners on their way to the finish.  It kills confidence and makes me feel punk-ass slow.  And I sort of get the hamster running on a wheel feeling because you’re doing the same thing only now going a different way.

This race was really challenging for me in a lot of ways.  It was very humid for running and I was sweating like crazy.  I felt slow but due to nerves my HR was so high!  As much as I hate to admit it, I negative talked the entire time to myself.  UGH!  I tried to break that but it didn’t work.  That was the worst I have ever been during a run in regards to self-motivation.  I was annoyed with myself.

The last stretch was awesome!  We just did another end of the road loop and were headed back.  It was a straight shot back to the finish.  The 12min pace group caught up to me and I was bumming about that.  I slowed down for just a bit, caught my breath, and then increased my pace.  They were behind me and I could still hear them talking but I was ahead of them so it was all good.

Someone who had a Garmin yelled out that we were at 3.6 miles.

Thank jeebus!  Then the finish shoots came into view and I was a happy camper.

Me running Almost done!

Me running I spotted Scott!!

Crossing the finish Crossing the finish!!

I was ahead of the 12min pace group and I clocked in at 47 minutes.  That puts me at roughly a 11:45min/mile pace which is under 12min and way under 12:30min.


Me and medal We got medals for finishing the race which was really nice and a definite bonus!

Running an evening race was really hard for me.  My energy level was not there.  This race was more challenging to me than the 1/2 I did in May.  I know, can you believe that?!  The 1/2 was first thing in the morning and I was totally relaxed during the race.  I just ran because my goal was to finish.  I didn’t care about time or pace or anything, I just wanted to run.

This four miler I was filled with anxiety and negative talk.  It killed this race for me and it was my fault.  I shouldn’t have been that way.  I’m not a group runner or into partner/group runs.  Running is my own thing and I like doing it by myself.  I don’t really want to chit chat and run.  That said, I would have loved to have a partner with me yesterday.  Someone who would have been able to push me a little faster and both of us could have encouraged each other up the hills and during the boring loop-backs.

When I told Scott about the hills and my negative talk he said, “You shouldn’t be that way.  You should have said, Yeah F*’in hill let’s go!  Bring it you MotherF*’in hill, I WILL OWN YOU.”

I was rolling because he never says stuff like this!  Scott’s idea of motivation is, “Hey, good job.”  I am totally making him run with me!

I’m not sure if I would do this race again.  But I’m glad that I did it and had this experience.  It showed me where I’m at and what I need to do for the half in October.  And provided some much needed motivation to get my butt out the door and start training already!

I misunderstood the statement about after race food.  The website says, “post race food will be provided by Bridge Street Pizza!” and I took that to mean there would be pizza. To my credit, that statement is a little misleading.  If someone told you a pizza place was going to provide food, wouldn’t you think that means pizza?

That was not the case.  They provided breadsticks, and Panera provided bagels.  For just a four mile race I do not need that kind of carb recovery.  Plus if I was going to have carbs then I’m going to have pizza gosh darn it!

It was at this point I was cursing myself for not prepping pizza stuff and making a dough for “just in case” purposes.  It had occurred to me in the afternoon but I didn’t listen.

Instead we ran to Whole Foods and picked up a take-and-bake cheese pizza.  And you know I totally wore my medal walking around Whole Foods.

While the pizza was baking, I had some cheese crackers (Back to Nature) because my belly was getting angry and my blood-sugar was dropping too much for my liking.

Cheese crackers

I added some of our favorite toppings to the pizza:


  • A bit more sauce and cheese
  • Red onions
  • Green peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Chopped artichoke
  • Mushrooms (Scott’s side)
  • Garlic chili sauce (my side)
  • Hot sauce + buffalo sauce (Scott’s side)



I started off with three slices and ate all three slices!  Wooo!!


Then a little bit later I had this stuff:

Wine and chocolate

A small glass of red and some maltballs.  Hooray!  Everything was pushed back so we didn’t eat until close to 10pm.  And I didn’t get to bed until 12:30am.  :o  I was wiped out and crashed hard once I craweled into bed!

Race Observations:

My very favorite thing about races is seeing all the runners!  Races consist of every shape, size, sex, and color.  I love it!  I love seeing the diversity of everyone who comes out.  And it reminds me that anyone can run and love it!  I think sometimes people have this impression that runners are super skinny and wear nothing but skimpy running clothes for runs.  And if you’re not super skinny then you obviously can’t be a runner.

Not true!  Totally not true!  If you don’t believe me, head over to a local race just to check out the scene.  You will see all kinds of people waiting to start running.  It’s awesome!  Anyone can be a runner because everyone can run!  You don’t have to look a certain way or be a certain weight or have X amount of experience to run.  All you have to do is have the courage to try. :D

Rocky Yeah, what she said!

12 thoughts on “Dublin Irish Festival Four Miler

  1. HUGE HUGE MAJOR congrats A!!! That is so awesome- and I so appreciate your honesty about how hard it was for you to get through! That is such a huge accomplishment, and interesting how the timing of the race kind of threw you off. You kicked the race’s ass- and can now happily stick to AM races :D Way to challenge yourself!

  2. Great job! I know what you mean about liking to run alone, but wishing someone was there to race with you. I met up with someone for my half that I met on the runners world web site and it was really nice until I had to stop and wait in line for the potty and told her to go on. Anyway, it really does help! For some reason I always need a ton of support to race. Great time too, BTW! You’re super speedy compared to me :-)

  3. Great Job Andi!! I am a “slow as christmas” runner and I spend the whole race beating myself up that is why I quit running. I am so proud of you and Rocky is too.

  4. Heather says:

    Woo hoo! Good job. I hear ya about loopbacks. Ugh those suck. I don’t even like out and backs. Yuck.

    Just a point about the hills – you are supposed to go up them slowly – hills are hard and they sap your energy. So the slower and steadier you go up them the more energy you’ll have afterwards. A lot of people walk up them (well not in a 4 mile race obviously). :)

  5. Great job on the race! I’m considering doing an evening race in a few weeks, and it’ll be my first night race, too. That’s awesome you were #1 :D

  6. Congrats on the run! That sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    Shame that they didn’t provide pizza! But that looks like a very tasty night you had all the same.

    COMPLETELY AGREE with your race observations. You said it all.

  7. Congrats on your run! I’m the complete opposite on time of day. I love running in the evenings. I used to be a morning exerciser, but lost that motivation at some point and now my morning workouts are awful. There is a race in Lex called the Midsummer Nights Run & it begins at 8pm or so in August. It is always so much fun to be out in downtown at night running. Looks like a fun event. Glad you did so well.

  8. Congrats on your time for the run — I think it’s great that you just keep going and trying new things! That’s pretty cool that you were #1 :) Seems like after a race, they should be giving you protein, right?

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