Cork, Ireland

Leg one of my European Adventure! July 6: 8:15am NYC -> London -> Cork (just about midnight local time). Cork City Sports 3k.

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I’m an anxious person.  And a planner.  This trip is a true test in my ability to just go with the flow and trust that it will all work out.  And fortunately, so far it has.  My first day of travel was pretty smooth with no delays or cancelations.  Though I felt like I was going through a maze, I made it through Heathrow Airport and on to Cork with two new stamps in my passport. 

It took me the night and a bit of the next morning to settle in and get my bearings.  Cork is five hours ahead of New Jersey, so I had to force myself to sleep and get up early to try and adjust.  Already learned some lessons for next year, like bring a towel and soap/shampoo because you’re in a dorm room (though later on they did bring these things, my room just wasn’t ready yet, the shower didn’t even turn on the first day).  Speaking of the dorm, I didn’t unmake the bed but I’m pretty sure this is an accurate comparison:

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The next morning I ran in Kyle Merber, NJNY teammate, who introduced me to more Americans, and I wasn’t alone anymore.  We all went to the track for a run and strides together, and then took a short bus ride to Blarney to see the castle and kiss the stone.

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(Another lesson learned, they use euros in Ireland, not pounds.  Probably should have done some research.  I’ll have a whole list of Europe lessons by the end of this)

That night (night before the race) I was actually feeling tired, even though it was mid-afternoon at home.  I thought my plan to force myself to get up early was working.  So I played a movie on my tablet and fell asleep very quickly.  Unfortunately, my body thought it was just an afternoon nap and I woke up two hours later.  Once I fell asleep again, though, I was out for the night and I hopefully I’m okay from now on.

The restaurant downstairs is providing us with meals, which is pretty nice.  Corn Flakes and dinner rolls aren’t my typical race day breakfast, but it’s something to eat and there is coffee so I’m doing just fine.  All of these things (hard-springy bed, broken shower, different meals) sometimes make me nervous, but I feel pretty calm.  I’m enjoying the experience and learning to just go with what I’ve got.  It’s teaching me to let go of the rigid race routine I like to pretend I don’t have.

So on to the race…same old things going through my head (put yourself in it, no gaps, don’t wait too late to move, etc.) but I was also trying to push the fact that I was coming off a much less than ideal USA Champs race out of my mind.  I stayed relaxed and in a good position.  When I fell off the leaders, I found myself alone with some wind for a bit, but I was still okay.  I got caught at the line and bumped off the podium, but I still consider it a solid start.  I ran 9:01, which is not a PR, but it’s far better than what I did a week and a half ago.  It has reassured me that my mind and body are still in race mode and given me confidence for my next two out here.  And the little kids that swarm you at the finish line, asking for autographs and pictures and if they can keep your bib number make you feel like a rock star!

This is what the rest of my time in Europe looks like:
Morton Games Mile in Dublin, July 11
Two days of hanging out in Teddington
Luzern 5k, July 15
July 16 I fly back to the good old USofA

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