Friday, May 29

From Fingal to Seattle

Over a week now since the Fingal Triathlon out in the national aquatic centre. Haven't written about it beacause well, i didn't take it to seriously. Strange to even say that but it was a race that we used to probe and prod and see how i am going. Funnily enough quite well.... Came 36th overall with a new PB to boot a 1:13:38 or something. Carp swim, but a good solid bike and run kept me in place. Went out to hold a wattage on the bike and it worked well, held a 248W normalised power, then ran a nice 22min 5km. Felt good on the run, tired from the wind on the bike but ran good. Head kicked in a bit at the same point i cramped last year but i managed to kick my own ass and ignored it. Happy with the day, new 404's were out in force, good time, and 9th in the Intervarsities's...but i have to say i cared not in the end.

Over in Seattle at a conference now, weather is cracking, food is plentiful (to much so) and i've been relaxing a bit on my alcohol consumption, ive actually been out twice since i got here on Sunday and it's been good to relax. Saying that i've logged some miles on my feet, good long hilly miles, but i'll write about that later. Just back from a fasted 10km and getting hungry. Time to ignore mr Jack Daniels (not the whisky) and get the glycogen back in.

Monday, May 11


Well it was bound to come sooner or later, i would actually have to step up to all this training and actually race. Boo-urns to that i say!

First off a big thanks to Andrew Cahil who gave me a lift down to the race. Made for a good day out he got some photos which i'll stick up when i get the chance.

Race was the usual triathlon affair with a bit of a tweak, all off road and with the emphasis on overall fitness rather than the brute speed that tri normally has at these distances. Shorter races are not normally my thing, but as it was early in the season i decided to give it a bash. That and Rich told me to :) This race was a prep for Xterra France, simple as, however i will be back if they do another one. Read on

Swim: 20:20 (44th)
Pissed off here, now in saying that, my swim training has been sporadic at best. First 100m were tough affair as normal, few punches (nose is sore today) but took me about 400m to settle. in At that point i'd lost the lead group and had no one to draft on. Settled in and tried to hold back for the bike. Mid pack out of the water, and got a few places in T1 as i'd worked on my transition, had it laid out and knew what was going on. 1:20 for T1 and out on the bike.

Bike: 47:43 (13th)
This is my strong point...until i burped my rear tire. Do'h. Gas or not gas...just about had enough to ride and it was shlompy so left it, half way through the lap realised i needed to gas it as it was still leaking. Gas in, back on the pedals. Course was a mixture of techyish roots, sand (uugh memories of Moab), and un-rideable obstacles. Most of it was fine but the sand started to eat my drive train and i was getting serious chain suck for most of the second lap, so bad i could not ride the bike for certain sections. I reckon i lost 4mins between this and the burp....and the fact i got sent the wrong way at one point...not going to bitch about it as most of the top 20 got sent the wrong way. Kept it steady and just rode my tits off. Didn't hold back as i knew i could make some time here that i'd lost in the water. Came off the bike in about 26th position and hit T2. 52seconds later out running.

Run: 23:58 (23rd)
Of recent years i have been let down by my running. No other way to put it than its been shite. Only had one or two brick sessions in my legs so was interested in how i would feel doing it 'for real' come race day. Out of T2 with a quick think of 'body forward, light on the feet, fast short strides' and bang straight onto the forefoot running style Rich has had me working on. Felt good, real good, strong and ready to push. Spotted two guys 200m ahead of me and started to chase. Picked them both off about 500m later and hammered past them....uphill. Wow. Was getting eager to see what i could do. half way into the course still no sign of the far ahead are they went through my far ahead am i needed to replace that. 3.5km in and i see a runner coming towards me 'Holy crap...i'm close to the front'. Look behind, 2 guys giving chase, upped the pace. Counting the runners coming towards me, Art in 3rd place...ok he looks tired....Micheal in 7th....10th place runner coming in from my left WTF??...hang on....catch a guy...blast past runner...hey you're only 2 places up on me....there's the turn. Hit the turn. Running back marshal shouts '1km to go!' Counted that i was in 18th place. With someone on my heals and its all uphill from here.

Over the river, up to the cross...750m to go of which 500m is a long steady climb, footsteps behind me...have maybe 10m on this ahead...go for it. Stepped up and 'body forward, light on the feet, fast short strides' mantra in my head, drown out the pains in my feet and shoulders 'body forward, light on the feet, fast short strides'. Quick look over the shoulder.. no-one... getting flat step up again...flat out over the bridge into the finishing area. Finish..still no sign of chaser...5seconds....10seconds there he is...over the line.

Aftermath: 1:43:33 (17th place, 7th in AG)
With a burped tire, mis-direction on the bike, and the worst chain suck i have ever experienced i think maybe 4 mins could come off this time for just plain unluckiness. But racing is racing and these things happen. If i'd not had this, i would have made my top 10 aim and i'd have been 3rd in my age group.

I felt i did well, run was strong, not the fastest but its early days yet. Need to get my swim sorted, combination of being a lazy ass and first open water of the season meant that it was slow. I want to be out of the water in Auron in the top 20 in my AG if i can. Simple as. If i want to go to Maui i need to step my game up.

Still...happy out ;)

Friday, May 8

Couple of photos from last weekend

What i thought of what i was forced to climb up....
Which was this.....

Fixing punctures...well Wags was....i've gone tubeless now :)

Powerscourt Waterfall, near the end of the ride

This and that

Well its been one of those weeks. Leading up to a race i normally pull in the reigns on training, eat well, get some sleep in and generally just chill.

This week was a bit odd, still down with training intensity and up with sleep, but trying to moderate my food intake. I really do think for the last few seasons i have been eating to much and just trucking along. Going to try and rein it in a bit, but more importantly eat well and in moderation. Crazy i know.

Light sessions this week were nice, easy bikes, easy pool, and easy runs. Last one or two bits this week and then race day on Sunday. Nervous about this one as its the first time in a triathlon that i've actually wanted to perform well. Kinda strange.

MTB is good to go now, just need to think about the little things. Going with my MTB race shoes as it looks like there will be some running on the course, i also think im going to throw socks on, but this will depend on the weather. If its bad, for deffinite, if not perhaps.

Tires are running tubeless now so the P word should be ok, but still going to run with a pouch behind the seatpost with tube, gas and levers. Had thought of camelback, but if im going to be running sections (we've been told we will have to as there are 1ft drops *sigh*) i want to be able to go light.

Trail runners need some sproing in them, so i'll head into town tomorrow at some stage to get some bungie, other than that need a C02 canister or two and im sorted.

Lets see how this goes shall we!

Happy Birthday Africa

I've been waiting for this to happen for a while. I dont spend as much time with my motorbike anymore, no where near what she deserves. Sunday evening, after Eireman-X i will go for a drive, a long drive, and just enjoy it.


Happy Birthday bike, keep me vertical.

Tuesday, May 5

Shit its race season

Think it only hit home yesterday. It is now race season...first race is this Sunday...cock. I have no idea if i am prepared or not to be honest, think i should be ok, but i dont know. I spent most of the last week coughing up phlegm and lets just say training was sporadic at most.

Got out for a nice long MTB session with Andy from WORC on Thursday up on the local trails, then work caught up and friday was a write off. Saturday i was helping at a presentation for the Race Arround Ireland all day, then that evening for some reason i deacided it would be a good idea to start converting my wheels over toe tubeless. I offically have a love/hate relationship with latex at the moment. I love the ride quality of my new wheels, but i wanted to kill them for about 48 hours when the rear wheel would just not seal up. Sorted now.

Did a long long ride in the rain yesterday, well mostly riding, we ended up going mountainiering for a while...more on that later when i get home. Feeling better toda, but nervous, very nervous about this weekend.

This will be the first test of my training...