A swift stream of excitement comes over me upon my arrival into Dublin. I was a bit weary looking ahead to this trip. As I’m currently flying solo, there’s a lot to keep track of, while also allowing me to move at my own pace.

Pack all the essentials, purchase a few Euro to have on hand, double check your luggage to make sure you have shoes, socks, undies, spikes, toothbrush/paste, passport; the list goes on and on. Get to the airport and arrive at your layover with 45 min to your next gate and realize you forgot a power adapter. Purchase a third power adapter. Even though you have two at home, they do you no good in the comfort of your own home with your native electrical sockets. Make your flight, get situated and wait for the in-flight meal as you were unable to grab a to-go snack, as you power walked your way to the gate in time to utilize the upgraded SKY zone on your boarding pass that you paid extra for. Top off your meal with some wine to help put you down for a few hours as you cross international waters, hoping to arrive as fresh as a daisy. Or at least as fresh as a daisy that’s running on little sleep, travelled 7,000 miles in the last few days, and adjusting ever so slightly to a completely skewed circadian rhythm. Which brings me to the present.

Excitement flows over me as I again realize what an amazing opportunity and experience this will be. I’ll be getting into some solid races as well as getting a bit more culturally diverse in my knowledge of the world. But first, breakfast. It could be the idea of Ireland and what it may hold for me that’s got me feeling surprisingly upbeat as I go through customs. Or it could simply be the realization that I made it in time for breakfast. And not just any breakfast: Irish Breakfast. Yum! It was nothing particularly fancy seeing as I was on the receiving end of a heat lamp and what appeared to be some sort of gelatinous egg substitute. But fear not, they were still “eggs” and they were served right along side with some pretty mean sausage links and bacon. I even opted to try out the pudding. Because honestly, how can you have any meat, if you don’t eat your pudding? Doing my best to ignore the fact that Tabasco hasn’t seem to have made its debut here, I finish my breakfast with a grin on my face and the mixed feeling of calm excitement. So long as my body is well nourished and well rested, I have the utmost confidence that I’ll compete at my best. But for now, I have one more 3-½ hour leg of travel, via bus, to get into Cork, Ireland. Luckily Ireland has plenty of plush greenery to enjoy on the way.

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