Tuesday, December 23

Today i have mostly...



Been cycling and dreaming of Xterra goodness......and I've ordered one of these!

Xt the whole way through, add in some SLX gear I have kicking about, Fox RL's up the front and I'll stick my Oro's on to get the braking nice and tight... can't wait for this to arrive!!!

Going too wait for a month or two more, then i will order me some nice race wheels!!

Thursday, December 18

ABBA, Down Jackets and no heating

Thats pretty much describing my day at the moment.

In the Uk at the mo. Going to do some shopping, hang out with Pauline over here, go to a big dress up ball, and if my thumb is up for it (probably if its not) get in a cross race in Wales on the way home.

Sitting in Paulines house working on the club website and freezing my bits off. So cold over here. Heating is busto, so i have my down jacket on and am for some reason listining to ABBA.... its all good.

The coffee just ran out too....

Does your mother know?

Best race ever.....apparently

Well we had the club cross race at the weekend. It went well. That's saying a little, it went very very well.

Had a bit of a hard day before the race cleaning the course and getting all the last bits and pieces set out. Finally got it sorted and could relax the evening before the race.

Morning of the race was a little more relaxed than i thought it would be. Marked out the course eventually and got all the marshals sorted with the help of the crew who were helping out. Big thanks to all who helped, you know who you are!

By the time the race came about i was wrecked, no other way to put it. I could have walked away and just watched the race and have been happy. But fear not! I raced ;) Had to be done, no way in hell i was going to miss this race.

The feild loved it, it was fast, flowy and led to some serious racing. So many people gave us great feedback on the race. Thanks to the people who raced aswell!

Photos are located at : http://endadoran.com/dcuccCX/index.html

Thanks to Enda for the fantastic shots.

Thursday, December 11

I am jesus...apparently

Well it would appear that i can walk on water.


At least that's what the GPS thinks. Not quite sure what happened but i think it got confused when i stopped to do some running drills! I've borrowed Sparky's Garmin 305 for a bit to see if it suits me. I want to see what the pickup is like over different terain and sport types and mostly in wooded areas.

I'm a sucker for gadgets at the best of times, but the fact that i can hook it up too my Powertap at the same time makes me interested. I also suck at pacing while im running so anything that can help me there is good! Plus it'll be handy for looking at where i am actually running and cycling when im off road!

With sterling so cheap, i may get one when im in the UK.....maybe

Tuesday, December 9

Race day nearly here...

So the club CX race is nearly here. Been working our asses off to get this a good one and hope it works out well. Been kinda sick on and off the last few weeks, random little coughs and sore throats so have been taking it easy as such.

So much work going into the race its been eating me up inside, trying to think of things we have forgoten and what may or may not happen. Going to take it easy during the week as my sleep has been suffering. Just need too ease off and try to have some form of kick for the race!

Supposed to be heading for a CX session in Firhouse, but going to head home and get some training in at the course, then a bit of practice on mounts and dismounts, and a quick run with the bike on the steeper sections of the course.

Man i hope this race goes well...

Thursday, December 4

The Judderman has arrived

By this i mean it is dark, cold, frosty and generally a little scary going outside.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1TUOPeNJCK8

Not that i am being tempted to do evil things by some dude with spiky hair. Although i suppose i am being told to go outside and run by a man with a monkey on his chest....

Speaking of which Rich Brady, aka Tri-Monkey; aka Coach, was over on Monday giving me some pointers and helping me figure out what the aims are for next season. Had some good chats (with much coffee) about where i am at and where i am going with all this training.

Long story short Xterra UK and France are the targets. Haven't talked about much on the domestic scene yet as the calendar ain't out yet, but i think ill be looking at the regular; Fingal,Beast of the East, Dublin City anyway. Going to look at Kinsale and a few other Olys as well. Not tied down to too many races yet, but have too considder the XC season, and a few hill runs as well.

I need to sit with my new 2009 diary, the interweb, some coffee and bank balance to figure out what i can afford to do. I can race a bit more at home this year too as i now have a car! Go me, and thanks Dad for your old motor!

Wednesday, November 26

Tuesday nights are full of.....pain

Training last night was interesting. Wet, dark, windy and cold. My most hated combination. But still i persevered. Loads at the session, maybe 16 close to 20 i reckon, and it was a good tough session.

Started off with the usual modified mini me warm up course on some pretty soggy ground. Then had a nice little 10 lapper on it. Felt good during the race and wasn't far off the main bunch finishing, nowhere even close to being lapped which is a good change. Did some more alternative line work on the same course, then out came the running.

Same course but with a 50m dismount/run/mount section thrown in to mix it up. Did a few laps on this and then another mini-me race. Managed to hold on for 5th which for me is great! The running deffo helped and i felt strong and fast for it.

Did a bit more racing and then came the real running. Up to the big hill and a new course was set. Nice hard climb on the bike, slippy turn at the goals, then a savage run and off camber descent onto the tarmac, another quick slippy corner then back on the hill. Felt ok for the first few warm up laps, then the race came. 2 laps in stepped up a gear, and come the final gap i still had a gear to go. First time this has happened in training and i felt great! Finished with the bunch albeit a little back as i snotted myself on the last remount :(

Getting better on the cross bike, looking forward to transferring these skills onto the MTB this Spring/Summer and kicking some ass!

Monday, November 24

Tymon Park South Cross Race

I had a nice 3hr session to do on the bike on Sunday. So i rode out to the track and meet Will and the kids to go for a spin.... to a cross race. I know i was supposed to be doing an endurance session. I just can't resist the MUD!!!

Freekin cold does not even describe Sunday. So so cold, and the wind just made it worse. But the kids didn't turn up so Will decided to drive out to the race. If we hadn't had the car it would have been a quick spin back home and no racing.


The race itself was evil, pure sweet evil hell. I both loved and hated every minute of it. Great course with some excellent sections that you had too run cause the mud was so deep you had no other option. Sure as hell couldn't ride it!


Did ok, finished +1 but felt much better than last time. Average HR was 173 and maxed out at 186. Felt like i could push for a change and could keep the power on for longer than last few times. Was good, still need to work on getting it going for longer.
Rode home after the race, what should have been a 45 min spin took nearly 1:30. Simply put i was wasted. Took it easy for the rest of the day, ate, drank and lived in my compression gear. Feeling much better today and went out for a nice 50min run to stretch the legs....how random is that!

New Season; New Goals; Recap

So i decided its about time too think and talk about last season.

Did i achieve my goals?
Well frankly no. I was aiming for top 5 at the track nationals, i made 8. Sure i was sick, but to be honest i didn't do enough in the gym last winter and it showed on my top end power. I failed to go sub 5 in the HIM, and i didn't get a new PB for 200m, cause i didn't spend any time on the track. However, i got a new sprint distance PB, i raced some unreal endurance races, and i now know i am capable of racing for 7 days straight.

Am i happy with my training last year?
Well yes and no. I had a look at my time in each area from last year and i broke it down (season was 2/Nov/07 - 31/Oct/08)
  • Road/Tri bike 156.8 hours - less than the year before, but still good considering it was final year. Not sure how much of this is track time
  • MTB 89.8 hours - Happy enough, should have been more but college and all that, does include the Transwales
  • Running 22.5 hours - piss poor. No other way to put it. I've probably done half of this already this season
  • Swimming 7.2 hours - ??? no fucking way this is right. I could go through a years data, but i am not arsed. In the end i did not spend enough time in the pool and it showed.
  • Race time 30 hours - WOW, add in a week for the Transwales and we have about 95 hrs of racing, that's allot.
Did my power output change much?
Yes dear god yes. Average power for the season last year was about 175W. Now that includes allot of training for endurance. Average wattage during races was about 200-220W which was grand but i need to be putting out higher wattage on the TT bike. Peak power was up about 1,296W. Little down on last year, maybe 100W, but not by much which is good. Still have the ability to power up when i need too.

So now a new season has started, 24 days in and how am i feeling?
Well i've done a few cross races, doing allot more running, and gunning it on the bike. So i feel good. Allot of changes needed to happen for me this year. I'm sub 80kg and that's the borderline. I will not get heavier, i want to race at sub 75kg this summer to do this i need to balance the muscle gain in the new year with the fat loss that is going on. I feel Strong and confident, even though i've had a few lapses in my training i reckon i am capable of racing strong next summer. Not setting down concrete goals until i meet with Rich next Monday, but i have some ideas.

In short?
Bring it.

Tuesday, November 18

Cross racing, velodromes, and beers

Its been a good two weeks. Cross season has finally arrived and in the spirit of all things Belgian i have also been indulging in a spot of beverage. Not too many, but way more than normal.

First cross race of the season was in Corkagh Park for me. unfortunalty i was out until quite late the night before and was wrecked come race day. Went through the motions of warming up, but it was plainly obvious that i was not on form. Raced anyway and finished in the points but still +1lap. Still was good to get the legs going even if the mud was making my bike try to kill itself.

Last week was a bit of a sham as i had loads to catch up on after the conference and that pretty much messed up everything. Luckly it was an easy week on the training front and it didnt afect me as much as the week before.

Went over too manchester on Thursday with Peter and met Pauline and Carys over there for a nice trip to the Velodrome to watch some serious *cough* track racing. Great night and the nice cheap beers made it even better. Wandered back to Fallowfield after where the rest of the Irish group who were over joined us for a few more cheap beers...and at 3am we were kicked out of the pub. Went to an IceHocky match on Sunday. Slept alot after.

Back to training this week. Lets hope its better than the last two weeks!

Roller racing at the Velodrome

video

Mike (Red) vs Junior (Blue)

Junior aka Enda Doranoran apparently....

Tuesday, November 11

Gregory May Bsc.

Graduated yesterday. Turned out to be a little more than i thought it would be as i was expecting a bit of an anti climax. Long day with lots of photos and so on, but then some food and a few drinks made it worthwhile with friends and family so good day all-round.

Friday, November 7

St Annes Cyclocross Race course

video

Did a quick ride about the CX race course in the park the other day on the way to college.


Give you all an idea what we have planned!

No the best idea trying to hammer around a course when you have a full bag on your back with your laptop in it. Makes re mounting harder by far!

Monday, November 3

Jesus the Snowman

video

When it snows, you have to make snowmen.

Waggers decided to make a snow effigy.

We called him Jesus.

And yes... Waggers is wearing a swimming cap.

SNEG SNEG SNEG...

Sneg = Snow in Russian.

Man its been great, so cold and so little wind for a change. Friday was spent in town buying a new suit for my graduation next week, but on the way in i noticed the snow on the local mountains. A quick suggestion to Wagger's about hitting the trails in Wicklow and it was arranged. Snow biking on Saturday!


Hopped in the van nice and early and spun out to Wicklow. Decided to do a nice loop from Glendhalough up over Mullacor and back too the van for soup in Lynhams Pub in Laragh. Freekin cold on the way out and only passed 2 or 3 walkers. In the shade for the first 30 mins until we broke above the tree line and finally got some sun. First 10km nice climbing with a bit of downhill in some slop. But pretty much climbing to the top of the hill. Great views over too Lug and the south of Wicklow. Snow every where.


Quite exposed up on the ridge so we didn't spend much time, took a few quick snaps and made a snowman then dropped off the steep side of the mountain. So funny coming back down towards hill walkers at full tilt dropping off stepdowns into snow with no idea what was in it, how deep it was, or if there was a hole or not. Just as we hit the bottom of the mountain and were heading back for the second ridge, Waggers derailleur was shunted into his rear wheel and 3 spokes decided to part company. Ironic as we were only chatting about how he had never had to re-true the wheels in 3 years.... Unfortunately this meant the end of the spin, so we freewheeled back down the fire road to the van and picked up some soup.


Best part of the day : Trails to yourself cause the hill walkers are scared of a little snow

Worst part of the day : Descending on fire roads, frozen hands and brakes that work too well in snow

Luckiest part of the day: My front wheel quick release coming un-done as i was riding a set of 20 steps at full tilt, beside a groups of tourists, on the bank of a 20 foot drop into a waterfall... yeah....I'd rather not think about the consequences.

Cold wet and windy

Winter has arrived and its here with a kick in the head. It's cold, very cold and in a way its kinda nice. I don't mind cold on the bike, or running, and it tends to be warm indoors in the pool! But when it gets windy i just die. I hate being on the bike in the wind and i cant stand how much i have to drop off running when its windy. Add in the dark nights coming in earlier and earlier and it gets hard to train and motivation becomes a much more valuable commodity.

However the last couple of weeks have been going well. Training volume has slowly been creeping back up and harder sessions have been making their way back into my training. Bike volume is nice and long but the intensity is slow and steady...unless i want to push it a bit :) Still getting out on nice 3 hr spins but not at any mad pace. Mixing it up between on and off road work at the moment, but spending allot of time on the cyclocross bike even going as far as doing road sessions for 3 hrs on the bike with my cross tires. May as well train on what i race i say.

Running is going much better than ever for this time of the year. Getting out for 2 runs every week between 45 and 1:30 mins. Actually finding that my pace is not going up but i am able to stay out for longer at the same pace. Did a nice 18km run the weekend before last with 10km on rad and 8km on local trails. Felt great and kept the pace up on the trails that i had on the road. Getting easier too run for longer now, feels great to be out in the mud too!

Swimming...well i always find it hard to get into a pool, way too much of my childhood was spent in one and i still don't have the best relationship with one so the less said the better. I'm still in 2 times a week, but i should be in 3 times, i just never seem to make that 3rd session.....

Tuesday, October 14

Tis the season to plan

I love the off season, i can take it easy, look at my training, and generally relax. Makes a nice change to the past few months.

Sent a link to mapmyrun.com by a mate a while back, finally got around to playing with it. Its a nice app to alow you to look at your run and get some gradient profiles out of it. Seing as i dont yet have a GPS i think its a good tool, lets me look at my local runs!

Here is my normal mid week trail run up in Howth. Nothing savage hard, but with the rain today it may make for a good slippy run tomorrow!

http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/ie/howth/325685923900


With a bit of playing you can get some decent info, i like the gradient!

Saturday, October 11

3 Peaks randomness

Will Byrne Summing up the event in one simple photo:


Which resulted in my heart rate doing this for the day:


Little down turn in the HR before the first peak is the fence i got stuck at with about 200 other ppl.

Thursday, October 9

Back in training

Its been a nice week and a half, well mostly.

Got a bit of a cold after the 3 peaks and was due some time off training anyway so just took it easy and recovered. Few light sessions on the bike, but no running or pool sessions.

Snot is all gone and the brain felt good so went out for the light run that the doctor (Rich, aka Coach) prescribed. Felt good and just took it nice and easy to start then pushed it towards the end getting the HR up over 180. Been a while since I've done that and haven't felt shit after.

Just goes to show time off helps!

Wednesday, October 1

3 Peaks Cyclocross Race

One week on and time to put the race into some sort of perspective.

Wow. Simply put the hardest race i have partaken in. This puts any track, triathlon, swimming or cycling race i have ever done to shame.


Trip over to the UK was as fun as ever on the ferry just waiting to get there. But the weather was just cracking. No rain, no wind, sun and warmth. Pity its getting dark at 7pm now :(

Yorkshire wasn't that far a drive up from Manchester. However the actual driving around the area was just unreal. Spent most of Saturday on the motorbike just lapping up the roads.... at mostly reasonable speeds. Met the lads in Settle that night and went back to the digs to get some sleep and talk through the plans for the race day.

Race morning was early, too early but allowed me to get some food in before the butterfly's woke up. Nice short drive from the accommodation out too the race start and only took 10 mins or so to sign in so not much hassle there. I was quite lucky to have Liam and John Walker doing support for me as i jumped on the team Murphy Surveyors / Killcullen team car to get my gear sorted. Was nice to know that if i got a puncture, or broke the bike, i would at least have the back up of some spare wheels or bikes! Thanks lads.

450 people gathered by the start line in order of there expected finish time. I was hoping to go 4 - 4.5 hrs so slotted into my gap. Tense and nervous waiting lead up too the 30 second call and frantic clipping in from every one. Last 5 second countdown and we were off. The first 5.5km were 'controlled' behind a van. This meant nothing with a hell for leather start like a crit race. Short period later and we were at the bottom of Ingleborough the first climb.


Ingleborough starts off easy as you ride through a farmers field up the back towards the daunting site of a 45 degree slope. eventually you just have to shoulder the bike to get passed the line of people who don't even try to ride the trail (this was to become an all to regular occurrence). 45 mins later and we made it to the lunar plateau that is the top of the climb. Switch to descend mode and lets see what these hills are made of. Grand 15 mins descending but would have been faster if the freekin roadies learnt to ride off-road!! Picked up a water bottle off the lads and hit the road section to Whernside. Steepest climb over!!

Shorter climb up Whernside with it mostly being on a paved and stepped climb. Hell on the calves and the rising temperature did little to help. Eventually topped out on the plateau and started to ride again. This was the decent i was warned about. intermittent drainage cuts go across the trail with rock on either side. every time you bunny hop one you are just waiting to hear the hiss of a snakebite on your wheel. Add in head size rocks trying to take you out of it at every chance and you have a change to either cream yourself or make up a chink of time. No issues on the way down and grabbed another bottle from the lads.


On the last road section i lost my big ring and had to spin like a monkey to try and keep up on the road. Never got passed but i could have been much faster. But a mechanical was inevitable at some point. Last climb started off terrible as i could barely ride the trail up and was starting to get worried about the decent. Long long climb on an easy gradient but sapped all the will to race from me. I lost my sub 4.5hrs finish on this climb. Once i got to the top of Pen-Y-Ghent i decided to just open up. Who cares what happens its time to go fast. Let the brakes go and just hit the trail. Super fast decent and the only one where i was faster than all the other lads on the team!

I rolled back in 4:45:03. A respectable time for my first one, but way below my potential. If nothing else i have learned the trail a bit from the race, and i have an idea for what I am in for next year....oh yes i will return!

Tuesday, September 16

Training Mojo is back

Finally starting to feel good again.

I've been on a bit of a downer since Wales. Taken me quite a while to get back into a training swing and to get motivated again. it has been a long summer with allot of racing and training. Think the body is just starting to give up.

Had a nice 40 min run today, nothing hard just a steady pace but felt good pretty much the whole time. Had a good sessions yesterday up in Howth on the CX bike, bit more techinical riding and working on the setup a bit more. Think its dialed, may need to tweek the seat height a bit.

2 more weeks then the season is over. Just need to hold out a little more! CX season starts in October and i will use some of the races as target sessions. Rich is talking about taking it handy bar one or two mini events up to the nationals. i'm up for that! It'll be nice to get back into the gym and pool for the winter and wind the road miles back for a month.

Oh college starts for deffo on the 30th.

Monday, September 15

Random training week

No idea why but the last week i have just been feeling off.

We had friends over from Russia for a week and i was drinking a little more than normal so i'm just going to blame this :) Just haven't felt _on_ all week its been odd.

Had some fun with the Russians. Felt odd being a tourist in Ireland but was kinda fun!

Had the house to myself all week as my Dad is away in Lanza (baxtard) so have been slobbing about and generally just tranining and faffing. Its good but i think im looking forward to getting back to college!

Got some stuff to do today then a nice 2 hr spin on the bike. Heading up to carlingford this weekend to race in a Marathon event. Not an actual race persay, no actual points on offer so it should be good!

http://www.irishxcmtb.com/default.htm#da_cooley_thriller

Trans Wales MTB Challange 2008 : Part 2

TBF

Tuesday, September 2

Trans Wales MTB Challange 2008

What can i say that has not been said in many other blogs about the world.

Its tough as nails

It tried to break me

It failed
Day 0:
Ferry and drive via Scorchies in North Wales, pretty univentfull, but as became a theme for the week. It pissed it down when we got to Bullith Wells and the start venue for the race. Pitched up, wandered about and registered. Went to the race briefing and pasta party, which had shit food and worried about the fact that this may be what we were going to eat for a week :/ Early to bed and slept quite well, which was surprising.

Day 1: 73km link stage , 8km night special stage
First of the long days, didnt quite know what it was going to be like so just trundled along for most of the day! Hit a few trail centres and did allot of road and firebreak climbing. Little were we to know that this would be the mainstay of the week. Lots of up for some short quick downs. 5 mins out the gate and it started to rain. Spirits we still high but 7 hrs late when we arrived abck and it was still raining was starting to take the piss.

Night special stage was fantastic. Loud music, packed start finish area and the promise of a 3.5km climb to 4.5km decent got the racing nerves pumping. Was still not sure how hard i could go at night so just took my time. half way down the decent i started to open up and hammer the trail as hard as i could. Great race!

Day 2: 68km link and 10km special stage
Hell. very wet hell. It lashed all day, some exposed climbing and some exposed traverses had us getting raped by the weather. If it were not for the trails i would have gone mad. We made the mistake of rolling out late and hence the trails were cut up by the time we got to them. Never again. The campsite was simply a dive. 30 degree slope and it still managed to flood even at the top! If i had a get out of special stage offer when i rolled in i would have taken it.

Special stage it turned out was class! 10km XC trail and fast as hell. Decided that i would go out as hard as possible as tmrw we only had a link stage so opened up for the whole trail and put 4.5mins into Waggers and caught at least 5 people ahead of me. All at 20second gaps. Felt good. Oh it stopped raining for my run! It pissed for the rest of the evening though....

Day 3: 70km link stage
Lovely day...trail wise. Some fantasic climbing, some great descents and some moorland crossings. First propper river crossings and i no longer care about getting wet :) Felt good all day, strong and hungry for more. Day had to be shortend cause of weather and some trail that was apparetly quite tough to ride.... long story short we missed out on 5km of trail. Not happy, but so be it. Waggers developed a serious case of the squirts today. Pretty much spent the entire evening on the potty and he knew this ment no riding the day after. Solo for me!

August

This month i have managed to do no posting what ever. No idea why cause...i've not been working!

Yes the joys of end of contract and just being able to flake out and train hit for a whole month, and have now moved into September as well. However the month of August did have its high points, with some racing and some good training!

Posts to follow on the good bits....well namely the Trans Wales.

Training has been going well and Rich has given me some good sessions. Weight has been steadily been dropping off and im down to a nice lean 78kg before i went away to Wales.

Lots of running sessions and the introduction of hill running into my training again has split up the boring road miles and im actually starting to feel a difference when i get out to run. Allot of time this month was taper work as i was getting ready for the week of pain. But it was good to get one or two longer run sessions in , 1:15mins, to see how my endurance was coming on.

Bring it on!

Thursday, July 31

Buffy-tastic...and getting buff

Great day training yesterday.

Woke up and the legs were still tired from the hour run the night before. Hopped on the bike and had a nice high cadence spin into work.

Spin home was part commute and part training session. Started off nice and easy, as warm ups do. Then 3x10 mins in a HUGE gear with slow cadence into a headwind. Pain pain pain. 5mins off between sets were heaven on earth. What followed just made it worse, 15 second full on sprints with 45 seconds off between in the same gear. UUGHGGHHG pain.

Legs hurt like hell but it was a good session. came home and made a curry that tried to kill me. Madras does not need chili's in it. So so tasty but such evil pain.

Rest of the night was spent on the couch watching Buffy season 1. 5 episodes down, 7 to go. Nice to just chill in a half slumber on the couch while my legs and tongue burn.

Tuesday, July 29

Cyclocross in the dry? Odd

Fantastic weather over the last few days. Cycled into work yesterday nice and easy and sat inside looking at the outside world wondering when this office hell will end.

4 O'clock out the door, spun it home nice and easy and enjoyed the feeling of warmth on my arms. Changed the wheels on the bike and straight back out the door again to the loop in the park.

Strangest sensation, dry trails and not a bit of grip in the corners due to the layer of leaves! So dusty and fast. Came home layered in sweat and dust. Harder to shift than normal mud! But clean bike!! Fantastic.

Tired today even though i only spent an hour on the CX bike. All the efforts were full on for the 3 training laps. Off the bike today, but have a 45 min run later. Nice steady state effort. Hope the weather holds!

Monday, July 28

Final Working week and nationals

Oh what a good feeling it is to be in my final week of work. August is due to be a hard month physically but it will be good to get some time to get hard training and racing in again.

I know i need to work to survive, and i have enjoyed my time here, but i need to get back into the research groove and the training motion.

Was quite tired all last week, didn't quite recover fully from the Beast of the East Triathlon. Too many commuting miles at to high a pace left me wasted by Friday. Thankfully i had the day off work to do some drug testing and just crashed in front of the telly and watched the tour. First proper night working as a DCO and wanted to be on form/not asleep for it!

Woke up on Saturday and was just shattered. Decided the better option was sleep rather than the track and went back to bed for a while. Hopped out on the MTB's with Wags for 2hrs up in the Wicklow hills and covered just over 22km in the time. Nice high average speed and what we are looking to try and hold for the whole race in Wales. Came back the evening, ate and just relaxed. Early to bed after getting my kit sorted for the next day.

Woke up on Sunday and felt good. Ate, drank and left to go to the track. Nice easy 15km spin out just ticking the legs over. Had a bit to wait until my slot in the Kilo so just chilled out after my warm-up and went through the normal pre-race prep.

Felt good for the first 200m of the kilo then realised i had put too big a gear on. Managed a decent time with 1:18.9 (8th overall) but felt the pain over the last 200 when i just couldn't hold any sort of form or even spin the gear. Usual horrible cramps and near vomiting after the kilo. I hate that bit. Freekin lactate!!

Rest of the day was spent marshaling and just enjoying the sun and the racing. Nice to be at the track, but my finals definitely did not help me this year :/ Always next year. Had a few beers when i got home and watched the tour. Focus for the next few weeks is long MTB miles and base run miles for the Trans Wales and the 3 Peaks.

Bring it on Rich!

Tuesday, July 22

Beast of the east, and other such fun.

So first full week of training with Rich. Mostly just sessions to get me ready to race again and to not stress the system too much. Nice to have some structure after practically a month off tri training.

Saturday saw the first even Beast of the East Triathlon in Lough Dan Adventure centre. It was designed by Wicklow Tri club to be a challenger to the Hell of the West in Kilkee. By god did it succeed. Great great event. One of the hardest days i have ever had in the Wicklow hills. Bloody fantastic.

Swim was good; 700m into a headwind and a current pulling you back all the time. Hit the turn and a little side ways fighting then down river and down wind all the way. Out of the water and a quick run to T1. Came in 87th from the water out of the whole race , but was within the top 50 out of the water.

Bike was tough; normally by far my strongest part of the race it simply did not suit me. Was nice and rolly but i should probably have rode my road bike rather than my TT bike. Might have been faster with it. Still came in 20th off the bike overall with a very good time, but still not good enough by my own standards. Was a hard course and very rolly, but in such a way that you just could not get going. Kept the power nice and high and averaged 219W for the 40km with a few sections of freewheeling.

Run was evil; 2km of practically vertical climbing started the run. Followed by another kilometer of ok ascending and a little respite on some flat for 2km, then an evil decent that started the ruination of my quads, followed by a sharp kilometer of up and then 2km back down a near vertical slope. Pure agonising pain in my legs but the shock was when i saw i was only 95th fastest. Dude i suck on hills. Not even funny.

The food and sunshine after were much welcomed as was the lift home :) Got home ate more food than was reasonable then went for a snooze. Followed by a trip to Craigs for a BBQ and a few brews. Was wrecked when we left at about 11:30 and second my head hit the pillow i was out like a light.

Nationals week this week at the track so taking it easy ans just psyching up. Few sessions with Rich, but the real training starts on Monday week.

Wednesday, July 16

Nearly finished work! Back in training....

Its alll good.

Back in the game now and back to training. have my first two weeks training sorted with Rich, and a nice Olympic distance race this weekend to get me started :)

Had the International race at the track last weekend. Felt slow in the scratch and endurance races but thats mostly just due to the fact i haven't been training for the track since the winter. felt good in the sprint races but could feel my power dropping off in the final 300m of the kilo distance races. Came 7th overall in the omnium and was happy with that considdering i was beaten by two Olympians and 2 national champs.

Got my new cyclocross bike at the weekend too....dear god it is sweet. Need to get it out for some propper practice over the next few days, but feel that i will have to work a bit over the next few weeks on the old MTB so it may just have to be happy with some quick blasts in the evenings. Had it out in St Annes on the course, then took it out to Howth for a spin on the quarry trails. Felt great, so much better response than the old flanders under speed, and feels great when climbing.

Looking forward to the next few weeks. Hard training, hard racing, and some good down time after!

Friday, July 4

Busy busy busy

Its been an odd week

Was suppposed to start back to some erious training this week, but a monir twinge in my leg, followed by a more serious finger incident (thanks Connie) has lead to just pushing back a few days. It's given me some time to think but has also allowed me some time to think about things.

New coach, new life style and end of a college era has left me pondering, and finding ways to hide from it too.

On the plus side; i do have a coach! I managed to get an entry for the 3 peaks Cyclocross race; and i also managed to get on the entry list for Ireman! A second middle distance this year. Happy about this now and looking forward to it allot.

Need to get my training mojo back now, time to move on up and out into the world.

On another note, looks like i;m starting a PHD in September :)

Sunday, June 22

Graph from the race in Switzerland

Figure i may as well put up the graph of my heart rate and the altitude from the race!


You can plainly see the 3 climbs on the race for each lap. First Little climb on the bike is Witches Hill, then the big long one, then the last quick one before you head back onto the straight away to the turn. You can also see the little blip on the run that was the Stairway to Heaven!


Power graph above gives a decent view on my speed and power output on the climbs. Average power was definitely down on the climbs on the second lap but average power for the first lap wias a nice easy 204W and a 196W for the second lap so pretty consistent for the whole thing. Happy enough with that! Nothing amazing but i stayed damn close to the aim of 200W for both laps

Friday, June 20

Last week of rest and recovery

Bit of a disaster this week in many ways but in other ways not so bad.

Shoulder was wrecked after the crash in the NPS. Great race, but stupid injury. Cycled into work on Monday and could barley hold my arm straight when i got to work. Forgot about it until i went to cycle home from work then about half way home i just had to slow down and cycle with one arm, my left shoulder was in bits!

Tuesday i took off totally, decided not to play tag, and went to do some work instead. Work went well and i hit the bed early. Wed morning i was still in bits, very tired and grumpy as frick. Nearly turned for home half way into work but decided against it. Felt terrible all day so tired and just depressed as hell. Rain didn't help and i had the worst cycle home ever. Decided not to go racing in Bray, or train with Belpark, or do anything. I curled up in a ball in front of the telly and played Mass Effect for a few hours and thought about not going into work the next day. Hit the bed early again and slept like a Greg shaped log.

Felt allot better on Thurs, still stayed off the legs and drove in. Then the shit hit the fan in work. Mixture of rain and refs being made of sugar meant that we had to cancell some games in venues. Ahh well, it happens but it meant that i was here until 6:45 and not at home eating. Rushed home, ate and was out the door again to meet the lads from my class for a few drinks and a bit of banter. Good night, and spent it drinking Erdinger non alcoholic. My new drink of choice, and the sponsor of the race in Switzerland! Marketing works kids!

In the office today, ppl are all pannicked cause of the beach tag festival today. Me i'm just chilling out and enjoying the interweb :)

Wicklow 200 Part 2

Well after some much needed food we rolled on from Donard towards Sliemh Mann. For some reason at this point i thought we were over half way. Oh how wrong i was.

Now i have to say the climb at Sliehm Mann ain't quite all its hyped up to be. On an average day, straight out of the box it ain't worth shit. With 150+km behind you it's still a big hill but its only actually hard for the first kilometer. The hill that comes before it is actually worse! Meandered up the climb, passing out bodies strewn on either side of the road beside bikes and people clip clopping there way up the road on foot. PUNY MORTALS!!! But still i can see why it takes it out of people, it is a long 6km climb, but not that bad.

Rested at the top for 30 min's and chatted to Louis and a few other randomers. Got told off for trying to take water rather than the crappy Power Bar drink. Worst orginised food stops mid race, i was not impressed at that at all!! But sure its Ireland, not that its an excuse.

Eventually got going again and the legs took a while to get back into gear, pretty much into auto pilot for the rest of the way too Rathdrum. Chatting away not actually worrying about working just getting there. A nice rest stop again and some non liquid/bar shaped food was very well accepted. Rode off after another 30 min's now fully aware Peter made the right decision to go finish the 100 instead of the 200. Was getting tired at this stage. Spent the rest of the day chatting to randoms and just enjoying the final leg over Ballinstoe and Djouce before we hit UCD again. 8 and a bit hours of riding later, and 10 hours overall we rolled back to the start at UCD. Picked up more Nazi gold, and some nice little certs and ate our free chippy food (bleugh). However i would have ate shit on a stick if they offered it too me. So so tired. The cycle home literally was a hour long epic of trying not to fall asleep at the wheel of my bike.

Home, Rego, Compression tights, sleeeeeeeeep.

I will do it next year, i don't think i could be bothered training to do it though its not that hard to be honest. Just long!!

On another note, i decided not to go for a short run after the 240km like i had planned, that would have been a major brick session, and yes i know perfect IM training, but simply put i was borked with tiredness. Now that i will train for!

Wicklow 200 Part 1

Simply put, a very very long day in the saddle.

Sign on and roll out was set for 7am out in UCD, a nice easy 20km away from my house, so we decided to turn it into the Wicklow 240 and a bit. Left the house at 6am and picked up the lads on the coast road (Waggers and Peter). Noticed at this point that i hadn't pee'd that morning and realised i was probably dehydrated. D'oh! Drinky drinky time.

Rolled into UCD at about 6.30 and joined the short que to regiester. Argued with some stupid old man about my race card and finally rolled under the start finish line at 7:02 am. Roll on out and start the long climb to the Sally Gap. Nice bit of banter with the lads until the gradient started to jack up again. 20km later and the top of the Sally Gap. Felt quite good, was drinking away and eating. What a nice little social ride. However about this point Peter decided the 200 was not for him and he would turn to finish the 100 at Laragh. At this point i was still trying to persuade peter he would be able to finish....at this point we were about 55km in.

Nice rolly decent that saw me get airborne at one stage, then into Laragh for some nice coke and nutrigrain break. Then parted company and started up the Wicklow gap. This was a little longer than i remembered and i burned out just before the end of the last climb. Finished grand but just couldn't power along like i had been on the Sally Gap. Long decent clocking over 70kph, and just rolling along, recover recover recover. Bit more rolly roads and then finally drop into Hollywood. It was about here we met Sean Kelly and his entourage. God i hate when roadies get cocky because someone better than them are around them. Got away from the bunch as soon as we could and rode on our own. About this time i started to get very very tired. But low and behold the first pit stop for tea coffee and sambos!

Sunday, June 15

Recovery week and a bit....of sorts

So normally when people talk of recovery weeks they dont do too much.... Well i get angst when i don't do much. But i decided that no structured training, and just keeping active is the way forward for the next two weeks. But what have i done in the weeks to recover? Well....

Tueday, rugby time:
First game of our new Tag rugby team. This will be a factor for all tuesdays for the next 8 weeks. Nice sprint sessioins and a bit of brain action!

Protein and Compression tights:
Every night for 4 nights i slept in my tights until my legs felt good to run on again, during the day i feasted on protein in all its forms. Made sure i took a shake every day just to help my muscles recover. Worked quite well! By Friday i was back on the bike cycling in to work again trying out my legs.

Saturday:
Coaching at the track. Good session, did some sprint work with the under-agers and some evil sessions with the older ones! Was quite happy at the session, was quite nice to have people happy with a session! Great weather too. Popped out to Wheelworx and picked up a new wetsuit off Rob. I had decided after the big race that the suit i have just plain don't fit. So i was going to pick up a nice one for about €300, but ended up going up a model to the €425 one. Rob did it for €370 so that helped a bit!

Sunday:
Wicklow 200..... I reckon this deserves a separate post

Monday - Friday:
Stopped the compression tights, and backed off on the protein intake. Felt good all week, legs were tired but not sore. Played on Tues night and unfortunately we lost 11-7. Damn girl try our downfall, mine and Mikes fault. Ahh well.

Aquathon - Wed Night:
It rained, oh dear god did it rain, arrived to the race soaking, thankfully Pauline had brought me some hot drinks and a hoodie to keep me warm. What she hadn't brought was her shoes....so as she got ready i cycled back to her house (getting wet again) and got them for her. USELESS!!! :)

Race went well, felt great in the swim. Took out the new suit for its first run out and buy god is it different. Much much easier to swim in. Takes longer to get into it but its deffo faster. Less on the arms, much more on the chest and back of the legs. It feels very different in the water balance wise, but it works! Stayed up with the big boys for the swim until i got a clatter in the head from LOUIS and had to drop back a bit. Lost about 20 secs on him and out of the water for 750m in 9:22. Got confused in transition due to the new suit, but i wasn't there to race as such, more to just get out! Run felt good. HR was ok, legs felt good, but man am i slow compared to other people at the moment. I've done no speed work so no speed. Took about 4km until i could actually get it into top gear. Saying that i still went under 20mins for the 5km run so happy!

Work work work:
I owe moneys for events....so i must work. Needs to be done, no matter if it takes away from my time. Saying that, because there is no training i can do it! Its good to get money :) Even though Visa get it all at the moment!

Sunday, MTB XC NPS:
Woo racing! Wasn't pushed on going racing but when we got there i was in the mood! Pre rode the course and was shocked. I thought the K-Capital course was hard....wow i was wrong. XC racing has gone to a different level that what i used to race. Great trail though, fully ride-able, but race-able....i don't know. I had two HUGE crashes, the first one knocked me for 7 and i had to stand back for 1min and just assess myself and if i'd broken anything. Thought i had done my wrist, and my thumb was borked for the rest of the race. Long story short, i was taking a racing line to quick while trying to overtake and i fluffed it. Massive highspeed crash into a tree, and flung like a ragdol down the trail. Not nice. Lost all the back brake and bent the shit out of my lever. Had to bash it back into shape with a large rock :)

Second crash was cause i fluffed up my line cause i had been gunning it to try and make up time and then lost all concentration on a drop-in and just froze. Slid on my ass for a while and although i didn't shred my pants i have cuts on my ass. Nice.

Next Week:
No idea! Aquathon on Wed, might race that, not sure. See what happens! Still not back too full time training yet.

Saturday, June 7

6 Days on, i've been avoiding the breakdown

Ok so its nearly a week since the race. I haven't really thought about the race much to be honest. Anyone who i've been talking too knows that im a little unhappy about my performance on some levels, but on others quite happy. I may as well rabbit on for a bit.

So the race prep went great, evening before we went to the race briefing and the athletes pasta party enjoyed the food and the dancing courtesy of the Rose of Rapperswil and her Krew.(snigger) Got a bit of a shock when they mentioned the gearing they recommended, 30 ring at the back...i had a 24. Fuck it not much i could do then. Ate my food, then went back and got my bike sorted to go into transition. All the prep worked, got my stuff in then went for a walk before bed just to get out of the Hotel for a bit. May have had some ice cream. Got to bed nice and early and got ready for the not so early start at 6am.

6am alarm call, insert food, insert water, insert coffee. Music on, mental prep go now. All good. Last race check and down for more food at 7am. Don't eat too much, get some more coffee in. More water. More trips to bathroom than you need to know about. Off to the race venue at 7.30 and drop the last of the bottles and so on into transition. Last bit of time on my own to listen to my pre-race music, last toilet break and then time to don the wetsuit for the swim.

Swim:
Got in the water and the nerves that i had managed to keep under control hit, HR up to 150 and all i was doing was threading water waiting for the start! Look at the mountains, breath, just relax. HR came back down to a reasonable 110 before the start. Minute to go call and i moved into my slot in the middle of the pack. GO!! Not so hectic start, but about 100m in where it narrowed from 30m too 10m the fighting started. Held my nerve and kept my water. However i managed to miss the faster feet and ended up on my own for the first 700m of the swim. No biggie, just chill and keep a steady pace. 800m or so in it hit me. I was doing the race! I started lauging and felt so good in my head, hit the turn around and caught some nice fast swimmers and dragged off them for the next 500m. Left them for dead 200m from the end and started to up my legs and arms to get the blood moving for the transition run.

T1:
Out of the water, up the stairs, grab some water, insert water, strip and run. Got to my bike without even thinking it, socks on for my first time ever in a triathlon! Lid, shades, eat a gel, water in mouth again, run out. Mount the bike and start to settle in.

Bike:
First 10km had to resists the urge to push. Power less than 200W and nice and easy, just chill and ignore the urge to push. HR nice and low, maintain a nice little tuck. Started to enjoy the bike just as we hit the first hill of the day. 1km Witches Hill 18% average gradient. No problem. Add the music and crowds and there is no way you can't gun it to the top. Felt great the first time, just knew that i had to hold form and i'd be ok. All worries of the 30 rear went out the window and i perked up a bit more! The next 90km passed like a dream. All the hills and the sweet descents. 74km/hr on your tri-bars while eating on a corner with one hand makes me smile even typing this. I love descending. Nearly as much as i love eating :) Second lap felt stronger than the first even though i mentally had to hold back so much in the last 10km. my brain wanted to race but my legs knew that they needed to be able to run!!

T2:
Cyclo-cross dismount. Quick in, ditch the bike, change into runners, out. Simple as.

Run:
Wow, my legs worked out of T2. What a feeling not going fast but still going. Scoffed a gel at about 1km in and started to try and push a bit. Legs said no. Simple as, ok keep the pace up. Ohh need to pee, find a tree, piss, hmm that's quite orange. Grab water at the next station and keep it up for every station. Starting to notice that the heat is actually quite intense. 4km in, WTF cramps! Arrgh pain pain pain, walk a bit. So begins the next 19km of hell. Couldn't push, knee on the right leg kept at me when my quads started to cramp, then my left calf starts to cramp. Bugger it, could run at a decent pace for 600m or so but then had to walk for 100m. Fuck it. Simply put i was loosing time and my race was FUBARed. I got more and more angry until about 10 km when i came back into the main gantry, i've loved to have gone straight and finished now. But no no, i had 11.5km to go. However i did get a major mental boost and pushed for about 2km before i had to start walking again. Lashed out at Wags with about 4km to go when he cheered me on going to other way, was pissed off for about 500m then instantly felt bad about it. Had to apologise to him the second i crossed the line. When i knew i had 3km to go i started to pick it up again, i knew i was not going to finish under 5:30 but i had sworn that if i didn't finish under 6hrs i was giving up this damn sport. Last km was the easiest one of the race. I felt like i was a god, run run run Greg!! Hit the chute again, and went straight instead of turning left.

Finish:
Last .5km are the best feeling. Ran into the finishing gantry and i felt like crying, i have no idea why, i felt fantastic yet so depressed. Then boom, noise, cheering, slap hands with the event organiser. Cross the line and nearly broke down. Big cheer from the lads and the best feeling in the world. I'd done it. I'd actually done a Half Ironman. The start to the goal. Got my medal, saw the girls, quaffed some water and Red bull, and went to get my race shirt. Still hadn't fully set in until about two days later but i'd done it!! WOO me. Shower and a massage, oh yes massage, i actually want to marry the large Swiss man who gave me a massage! i don't care, he is a god.

Aftermath:
Went to the race after party, ate my food, drank my free Erdinger and looked at all the happy fuckers with their blue shirts. Yeah i had one but i didn't feel like i deserved it. I know i'd just achieved something i had never thought i would do, but i still felt disappointed with it. Over the next few hours my mood uplifted and i started to feel happier...this may have been to due with the beer and food :) Next day pains weren't as bad as i reckoned, actually felt pretty good. Not too tired, but hungry, very hungry. Ate for most of the day, and sat a lot, then walked, then ate, then sat, then walked, then drank a little more coffee.

Ohh, compression tights are the best thing on the planet. I love them. Pretty much lived in them for the 3 days after the race! Oh at some point we flew home.

Friday, May 30

Switzerland and its Nazi Gold

Well i'm here. All the training is for this for this year. Not much i can do now.

We arrived yesterday and did some getting to know the place. Wandered about, found food, put the bikes together and generally just got used to the weather. Its warm. Not bad warm but warm.

Having to watch my water intake to try and balance between being too much and too little. Doing ok so far. Massive thunderstorm last night but not so bad today although it was threatening it all day.

Went for a quick spin last night and got back just before the sky opened up for about 2 hours. We got a bit lost but sure it was fine!

Today we got out on the bikes after breakfast. Did a nice 31km on the bike course, although we missed the biggest climb. We did get the evil one in which is supposed to be quite steep. It is. Happy enough with the course, nice and fast and not a huge amount of climbing on it.

After lunch we went and got registered. Quick and painless. Lots of free stuffs! When i say free we paid for them months ago so they feel free :)

Went for a quick swim tonight before dinner, water is cold, warmer than home, but the visibility is fantastic! 10m no problem. Quite looking forward to the swim now! Run course looks peachy too!

Pauline and Louise arrive tomorrow. Pretty much going to spend the day off my feet and just chill out. Get water and food in, and early to bed. Need to do a few bits and pieces, but other than that. Just need to rest :) Full day off is going to be sweet. Although i am vaugly thinking of a 10 minute run in the morning....

I feel good.

Wednesday, May 28

Bags, bike and Greg Packed

Not much left too do but just sit about and wait!

Flight tomorrow at 11:15, arrive in Zurich for 2:30pm. Not much planned for the day bar sitting and trying to find where we are in the place!

GOing to go for a light run tomorrow too i reckon!

When i find out more things i'll let you know!

Sunday, May 25

On a final Note for today

6 days : 16 hours

Fingal Triathlon - a day of suckage

3 years ago this was my first race. Did it as a relay, and we won! I love this race, nice bike nice run. Just a nice day all in all.

However last weekend wasn't. Didn't have a great week coming into the race, work was tiring me out, as any first week in a new job will, and other stuff going on in my head was just not putting me in a racetastic mood. However i was in the mood to try things out for the last time. Normal race breakfast, normal prep, normal music. Actualy had a great race morning. May have been a bit anti-social but thats just the way.

Got in the pool and found out most of my lane were aiming for 16/18 mins. I reckoned on a 15. So took the front. Went out hard for the first 1oom felt good, nice and strong. About 200m in started to cramp in my legs a little so backed off. 400m in pain both physical and mental. I need to stop thinking when i swim and just switch off!! Next 250m were hell on earth, got passed twice (pulled one back) and just felt like shite. FOr the last 100m i just sucked it up and went for it, hard and fast, push out you idiot!! Screw the plan. Got the place back but my time was well down. 15:56, not happy. Should have been 15, or sub 15.

Bike was good, nice T1, quick but not superquick. Good bike section, slightly windy, so took it easy, not to fast. 35min split put me in the top 50 and i wasn't actually going out as hard as i can. So one plus to the day! Then the run, had a great T2, fast serious fast like. Hammered out onto the run felt great, best i have off a bike. Was looking at a 22 or 21 mins run the way i was feeling. Then about 2 km in it hit, my left leg started to tingle and then the front of my leg just cramped. All i can describe it is pain like i have never experienced, had to stop, couldn't move for nearly 2 mins. Such pain. God it hurt. Started to walk and it wouldnt go away. COuldnt push off my leg at all. So ended up running off my right fore foot and left heel. Not nice, and not fast. Finished the run, only cause i would have killed myself if i got a DNF. 26:39 for the run. 5mins extra no problem, and about 2 mins extra between T1 and the Swim. yeah i did a better time than last year :1:20:19 (4.5 mins faster infact) but i should have been sub 1:15. ANGRY.

I've put it behind me, use the anger, use it this day week. I'll need it on the run.

Races

Well in the last few weeks my two training races came up before the big race.

First race was over in Manchester , my first international triathlon! Flew over on the thursday without my final year project fully finished. THis was not a good thing. i had hoped to have had it done and dusted and handed in but things changed. Not my fault, just the project took on a life of its own.

Spent most of the Friday working on the project except for a break to go to dinner in the Gurka Grill. Pauline was away in college so it worked out! Mike had arrived over, and Odile and Maura went too so it was nice to head out with the 5 of us for dinner. All day Friday the sun was splitting the sky. Such a bad day to be inside but nothing i could do. I have pretty much the entire thing done bar a few corrections and a last proof read. So i was happy to say the least.

Saturday morning up early, finish the damn thing, then into town to watch the Para-Olympic wheelchair basket ball finals. It was hot seriously hot, made sure i kept drinking, but man i did not expect it too be this warm. It was measuring over 26C and no wind. Started getting to me later on the day, usual stomach cramps. Going to need to watch my salt intake during the race me thinks. Saturday was early to bed after a simple simple dinner. Just how it should be.

Sunday, 6am. Wake up. UUGh, should have been waking up earlier the weeks before. Damn it, change that for next race. Just made my wave start, wouldn't have made it if it wasn't delayed. Stupid stupid mistake. Beginners mistake. Warm does not even start to describe the pool, it was 32C in the water, i felt so uncomfortable, it was like swimming in a bath. Uughh couldnt cool down, my HR was going mad when i got out of the pool. However i did get out of the pool 1st in my wave! Time of 7:21 for 400m, felt good and cold have held it for longer. Bike, so so warm, such a nice fast course. Little longer than usual 25km, but felt good for the whole thing, nice and strong, kept to IM pace and held back for the whole thing, needed to keep it steady. last 10 mins pounded out on the way too T2 and hit transition running. Super fast CX dismount and sprinted in, felt great out onto the run, had to hold back, mental pressure to keep the pace down!!! About 3km into the run my legs opened out and i could push again. Kept an even pace all the way nice and fast but one i can hold indefinitely. Felt good. Finished in 1:22:37. For a longer bike and run i was well happy.

Was good after the race, not tired not sore, happy with that. Tweeked my ankle a bit.... more on that later. Spent the rest of the day working on my project, until 6 when it was finished, sent away to get printed, and then i could relax. Had a pretty easy night in after dinner, but didn't get up to much, Off to bed, up the next morning and off to the airporto with Mike.

Back into college on the Tuesday for a presentation for special populations, then a second interview for the same projcet. COuldnt ahve cared less about it cause at that stage it was the least of my worries! My ankle was in bits , no idea why but i reckon i tweeked it doing the CX dismount barefoot :/

Oh i started my new Job that Wed too :) out in Dun Laoighre.

Friday, May 23

OK ok its been ages.

21 days. Wow. I think i broke my record.

Yeah so i havent written in a while. I've been busy so shoot me.

Many many things have happend in my life, most memorable being i now have finsihed my undergraduate degree. About bloody time in my opinion.

So what do i feel now that i am finished ....well confused. I have no idea what im doing, just working away in the office and doing my job. Things will work out.

SO back to training and racing.

Friday, May 2

Man i love my TT bike

Went out for a spin this evening for an hour after sitting at the computer all day doing my dissertation.

Man i love my bike, was a windy day and the wind was coming at all angles on the way out and in my face on the way back. Only got 30km done in the hour but with the wind i was pretty happy with that as an average speed. Felt good to get teh bike in some windy conditions to remember what it feels like when its trying to jump all over the place.

Need to do some fiddling to get it set up in the right position for the race. Need to tilt the bars up a wee bit (read a paper that this is actually faster with s-bends!) and i need to cut the extensions down by about 3cm i think.

Going to change the shifters that i'm using and stick some bar tape on the extensions, hands were slipping a bit too much. Pretty much just going to ride the TT bike from now until the race.

Coaching session in the morning for local tri club, then working in the afternoon. Going to take tmrw off college work totally and just relax a bit. May even have a beer or two!

Wednesday, April 30

College life nearly at an end

Its been a bloody hectic few weeks

I have a load of HUGE projects due, one last week which went in fine, one last friday which went in...no idea how good it is....and my big one due on the 15th. Still havent fully shifted this cold but at least i can train again.

Had another weeekend in Manchester. Got some training done in the National Aquatic Centre over in the city. Nice pool, little too warm maybe, but not to bad, kick ass facility. Cheap as chips too! Got a nice run in one evening and ate much curry over the weekend. Was Pauline's birthday and Ide and Una were over so ended up doing a good bit of touristy stuff too!

Had a bit of a flap at my project on monday. Got a bit worried and decided not to do the session i had planned. Pool session and a run yesterday made up for it. Neither were too long or demanding, i just need to get back into said groove after the cold. Planning a quick session tonight before dinner, just get out on the bike for an hour, then back to the book's/laptop for the evening.

Bit of work coming up over the next few days too, damn i'm broke!

Monday, April 21

Cough, sneeze , splutter!

Bleugh, that's all i can say.

It's still not gone! I've been up to my ears in Vit C and water, but it still wont go away!

I reckon the combo of college and training have finally got to me. I've had to back right off the training. I need to shift this, only 40 days to go and I've had this a week so far.

Went to work on Saturday on the side of a cold windy rugby pitch, to watch a terrible game!

Sunday i was up at stupid o'clock to get to the park with Grainne for 8:30. Doing another beginners in triathlon coaching days. I was running a clinic on cadence and pedalling tech. Generally ranted on about efficiency and how its important! Then we had a mock race/duathlon.

Only a 2/10/2 km circuit but still fun. Took it easy on the run and the first lap on the bike. Chest opened up ok which i was surprised at, came home first off the bike, 3rd in the end. Could feel the lungs giving up at the end, green phlegm all over the side of the road. Was happy out, i reckon i did the slowest transition i have ever done for T1! Not even funny, i even stopped to have a quick banter with Jag :) Ok i said like 3 sentences to him!

Cycle home was hell on earth, in the rain, into the wind and it was fucking freezing. Came home so cold, got into the shower and stayed there until it was so warm it hurt. Nice. Had a snooze for an hour to get better, felt so good.

Monday; lots of college work and ppl getting panicked all over the shop.Just got my work done then went off on my own, i don't do other peoples panic. Helped Jane sort some stuff out that was about it.

Was going to go for a quick run, but i'm starting to feel better so i figure, push it back another day and i should be ok for a 5km to see how the legs are.

40 days

Friday, April 18

Stupid cold

Still sick

Wanted to go training last night, but forced myself to stay in!!! Arrrhhg its bright until nearly 9 and i can't go training!!

It's nearly gone, i had no green phlegm this morning so i know its going, just have this annoying cough now.

Soon it will be gone and all will be good.

I think i shall have some Lemsip. The laughing lemon will make me better!

Wednesday, April 16

Its been a random few weeks


Well the few days after the race i recouped. Just took things easy and let the legs recover. Pauline was over for a few days so nice to just chill out from college and de tune for a while. Thursday saw the annual Clubs and Soc's awards in college. We had 3 tickets for the club, but ended up having about 6 people there! Combined with getting the Juggle soc on our side we had loads of cheers.

Long story short, we had a free night of booze and food. Such a good meal even though it was being hosted on campus by the regular catering people. Well we won Best Sporting Event for the Cycling Intervarsities. I was so happy and so proud, so much work went in and it was great to get some gratitude in return. Suppose that's what putting events on is all about.

The beer and wine kept flowing, and even though we cycled out to the event i managed to stay just about sober enough to cycle home. Next morning I was so tired, very little sleep the night before :) Had college work to do on friday, didn't get a huge amount done to be honest :(


Saturday was another random day, work with my new job in the Irish Tag Rugby Association. We had a training day out in Malahide RFC with more free Volvic than i could ever wish for, and so much coffee. I was peeing like a horse all day. Then we played tag rugby after the training for a bit. I hadn't played in ages, made me feel great to be going nuts on a pitch again. However i did miss the not being able to cream people :)

Then the drinking started after the work. We got all done up in our glad rags, had a beer in the bar, and got onto this random bus with blacked out windows, a guy with a guitar, and a FREE BAR! An hour of the bus with free booze and no toilet. Dear god my bladder nearly burst by the end. We ended up in Enniskerry in Wicklow where the bus unloaded 40 or so very very drunk people onto a poor poor restaurant. Free food, more booze, and more free food. 2 hrs later and back on the bus of doom, made sure i pee'd this time!! 11pm i got dropped in town, i was quite well on my way, more so than Thursday night!

Sunday morning was not the best. I was not in the best of form, not hungover, but my legs were in bits from not stretching!!! This continued for the next 2 days. Only by Tuesday was the pain dropping off, i have not had such bad DOMS ever. Such unreal pain. Add to this a bloody cold. I have honestly never had such a bad weekend of training and sickness in over a year. It sucked!

So its Wed and i have just about shifted the D.O.M.S and the cold is dissipating. Got out on the bike for the first time in ages today, felt good this morning on the way to college. The i was involved in some filming for EuroNews. They are doing a story on the sensor vest that NCSR are developing and they needed someone to replicate Top Gun. I got to cycle along racing planes. Mad what these freeking artsy people want. However i had to do about 10 full on efforts for about 500m into a savage head wind, felt like puking during the last 2 efforts. Then i got a puncture. I forgot to bring my gear to fix it too. 30 min's later in the freekin cold i got picked back up. So so cold. can't wait to see myself on the telly!

Sunday, April 6

Race, snow and suckage


Well the race was interesting yesterday. Woke up, turned on the radio and heard them talking about snow....got scared. Looked out window. Dry...hmm. Went outside. Fuck it's cold! Brrr, re packed bag with warm clothes.

Spun the bike out to Wag's to meet him and Peter, and noticed that the mountains had a nice dusting of snow. Uh oh me thinks... Packed van and drove to the race. Arrived to find many many more people than the day before at the pre-ride. Somewhat confused but not worried. Went warmed up and went to the start finish area. 70 people lined up in our class! Unreal so many people and the first lap was going to be hell! Oh the commissar decided we were doing 3 laps not the 2 laps. Git.



Charging the first section, hell everywhere, people crashing and overtaking in stupid placed, but sure its all in the nature of the race :) Took it easy on the first lap, didn't want to crash wanted to suss the course out. Slower on the second lap as i got held up by some twat on Gran Canaria and the third lap was decent pace considering that it was the last lap. Made up a load of places there. Snowed allot during the race, and massive hail burst all the time, made for some odd racing in shorts and a jersey! Was still freeked by that section i fell on Saturday so lost time there every lap, i reckon i was loosing a minute a lap on it. But just goes to show all this time on the TT bike has affected my mountain biking, that and my brakes were on backwards.....and my bars spun half way through a section. But i the end, it wasn't a technical, i just didn't have the balls. But in a good way, cause i haven't crashed and mangled myself :)

Came 34th out of the 70, with 27 people on either (+1) lap or more i was just happy to finish! Great race, could have done a few more laps, wasn't actually tired, but was deffo feeling fit.

Friday, April 4

Mud glorious mud

Went for a spin after college today. Myself and Macker from the club. Up to Howth straight onto the trails on the nice little light weight XC bikes! On the way out Macker broke his chain accelerating away from some lights, then again as we started up the first big hill of the day! Got it fixed, then headed off too the trails at full speed!

Macker had only the front brake, which decided to fail half way through the day. Which made for some fun when we hit the harder parts of the trails, the tight corners didn't quite suit him, or the trying to brake on the shale with only the front brake! Slidey slidey! Mud all over the place some nice little puddles to catch you out :)

Going to do the pre-ride and race entry tomorrow at the K-Capital race out in Djouce. Hope it dries up a bit, starting to rain, and Djouce is known for roots. I hate roots. I hate them more when they are wet.