Staying In One Place

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We arrived in Dublin 10 days ago and stayed at the same hotel the whole time. I know many come to Ireland and travel, hopping from medieval town to the next, a couple of nights here and there. I love that idea, I really do. But I also really loved coming back to the same place every night on this trip.

Here’s a list of things I learned about staying in one place in Ireland:

1. I really got to know the place (hotel) you are staying. You get to know the staff, who works when, when they will knock on your door, who gives the towels at the gym, who runs the elevator to the rooftop lounge. I got to try basically all the food at the hotel, which I have none to complain about.

2. I really got to know the neighborhood. The Marker Hotel is new to the Dock area and the Dock area is the newest neighborhood in Dublin. It houses many internet and financial companies, new condos, cafes and hotels. It’s pretty accessible to downtown but really has what you need in the area.

3. I learned to feel content. In July I began to put this into practice when I was in San Diego and continued that content-ness here. Feeling present and content in each experience by doing what locals do – having a morning routine, running routine, activity time and quiet time.

4. I learned that it’s okay not to do everything. Yes we were out everyday exploring, but it wasn’t this sense of crazy rushing around. Okay, so we didn’t make to the Cliffs of Moher because of a poorly planned Saturday, but I’m not sweating it. We went to Galway, Kilkenny and Dundalk, so it’s not like we didn’t see the countryside, cows, sheep, stone walls, rolling hills. Again, this is something I am continuing to learn, and for those of us who are always on the go – this is hard! Learning to be present is hard and takes time to get used to! Planning ahead is inevitable but it’s also nice to not plan sometimes too, letting events happen organically.

5. I learned that I really don’t like eating all the time. I didn’t eat a lot each day, but my body really just wants my veggie and hummus dinner back.

I value my time away, and when you are away, make sure you really enjoy what you are doing – even if it means doing less.




Bronx, You Hilly Beast

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This morning was the NYRR’s Bronx 10 mile race, one of the 5-boro race series. I’ve never done a 10-mile race, but I’m proud to say I kept my pace under the 10-minute mile I try to keep on a longer run (notice the title… and you’ll understand more when you read about the course :/).

Getting there: Had to take the 4 train up to Yankee Stadium, then walk a few minutes to the start on the other side of Joyce Kilmer Park. No big deal, the train was packed but expected that.

Walking to the start was easy. Lots of bathrooms near the start area. Great spot for bag check and easy to line up.

The Course: The race began at 164 Street on the Grand Concourse. The first three miles were a little boring because it was along the Grand Concourse heading north. Nothing special there…. minus the constant change of incline! Lots of rolling in the road, wow! The up and down was almost constant – long gradual inclines and declines – tough nonetheless! Really had to monitor my breathing.

Between miles four to six we made a turn and headed around Lehman College. More decline and incline! Despite that, it was nice because of park-like landscape. The road was a little torn up so it was important to watch our step at this point. After running through some treelined and park-like areas, I enjoyed listening to the music the DJ played as we came around the loop between miles six and seven to head back down the concourse.

The final three miles were great – this was what I was looking forward to. From miles and miles away, the Empire State Building makes its unmistakable appearance. And a little farther in the distance, the Freedom Tower. That was a cool moment. Made me feel really small and reflective, because clearly none of us realize how small we are when we stand beside such mammoth skyscrapers ahahaha, not to mention the history! The sight from such a distance was really inspiring.

So as I approached mile eight, I grabbed my one Gu pack and savored it, to fill the hunger I was starting to feel. I was looking forward to that bagel at the end. I only had another 18 minutes to run! Once I passed the mile nine sign, I pushed myself again – despite a slight incline – knowing that I had made good time.

The End: Glad NYRR kept the finish line area clear, setting the water, Gatorade, apples and bagels down the way. I do have to say, that it was a bit of bummer not receiving a medal for this run. Ten miles is no piece of cake. But…. what do you do? It’s still another bib, T-shirt and an online finisher’s “badge” to add to my collection of running memories.