Ireland, Day One (Dublin)

A few weeks before our trip, I got an email from the airline notifying me that they’d changed our Austin to Dulles domestic flight to one that left Austin 30 minutes later, which in turn cut our connection time at IAD to just 53 minutes. To add another degree of difficulty, we couldn’t check in online because we were flying two different airlines. So we had to physically scan our passports both when leaving Austin and again at the Dulles gate in order to collect a boarding pass for the international flight. 

The airline agent in Austin assured me that since we’d checked in, the second airline would know we were coming. And the flight arrived about ten minutes early, most of which was negated by some questionable advice we got–to race from Terminal D to C, then catch the train to B. We were told it’d be faster than waiting for the military transport people mover to load up and deliver us from D to B. 

So that’s how we found ourselves sprinting through Dulles, sweaty and out of breath, arriving at gate B7484858 (seriously, how many gates do they have??) as the last group of passengers was boarding. We made it, but I seriously was not confident until I buckled my seat belt. 

So that was Wednesday’s workout. 

We arrived in Dublin at 5:00 A.M., by now Thursday morning. As predicted, I didn’t really sleep–running through the airport then sitting for eight hours wreaked havoc on my quads, and I couldn’t really get comfortable. 

But the jet lag would make that sprint feel like a walk in the park. 

Customs and baggage claim (and coffee-acquisition for me) went quickly, and we’d been deposited in front of our hotel by 6:45. Our first order of business was to find breakfast, a surprisingly difficult task at that hour. Then we wandered around trying to find the castle, stumbled upon St. Stephen’s Green and walked its perimeter, and located one of those hop-on, hop-off buses. We rode around more than we hopped on or off, and two of the three of us (not naming names, but it totally wasn’t me) fell asleep at least once. 

After I located sparkling lime water at Tesco, we headed back to the hotel.  I told them continued napping would wreak havoc on their jet lag, but they both fell asleep again. So I got out my running stuff and took off. 

Dublin is a busy city on a Thursday afternoon; road construction combined with crowded sidewalks made my first mile awfully slow, even in 59*. I didn’t see any other runners, even in St. Stephen’s Green. I felt like people were giving me the side-eye. And once it started raining, I know they were giving me the side-eye from under their umbrellas. 

I ran two loops of the park, then took a detour through Trinity College. Again with the side-eye. I don’t know–I went to the University of Texas, where students and community members frequently run through and around campus. I know I’ve done it a time or two–what’s not to love? It’s gorgeous, shaded, and pedestrian-friendly. Maybe it was the time of day, maybe it was the rain. But I saw a distinct lack of runners, and it made me wonder if I was committing some kind of cultural faux pas. 

I zig-zagged my way back to the hotel, avoiding an international incident.  

I’m not sure whether I’ll run again this week, or just wait until (gulp) Sunday’s race. But did I mention that our room is on the top floor of the BnB? The manager gave us the key and said, “Go up. And up and up and up.” And I managed 29,605 steps for the day. But first, sleeeeeeeep. 


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