Last weekend was the ETU Champs and the Age Group Champs in Athlone. Pauline was racing, some of the AG people from Manchester Tri Club, as well as loads of other Irish racers that i've known for a few years now. After last year in Athlone i pretty much did not want to race on the course again. I'd also assumed that Ireland would actually want a quality field in Athlone...which it turns out they didn't. There were some people who should not have been racing, but i digress.
So in my own way i decided i wanted to do a big weekend training ride. Easy plan, ride to Athlone. Sure its only 140km, not to far, and its summer, it'll be grand. WRONG. Headwind the whole way which i could deal with. However popping the sidewall on my front tire, having to ride back to Dublin to buy a new one as i was 30km into my ride, and bringing the total length of the ride up to 200km was not part of the plan.
On the plus side it did allow me to do a proper long IM distance pace, unlike the M3 cycle where i just binned myself into the wind, then tootled home. Felt terrible during the ride as i'd not brought enough food so had to swing over to get some food in Kildare. I dislike Kildare. But needs may and i had to stop. 5hrs 45mins total time, 5:08:49 ride time for the 140km from Dublin (the second time) to Athlone. Held 235W normalised power for the ride, and average HR of 134 bpm. So pretty good IM pace with a nice low HR.
Actually quite happy with the ride when i look back on it. Sure it wasn't going to get me a 5:30IM split (would have done a 6:30 IM bike if this was the course) as my average speed was 27.5kmph. But i was into a head wind the whole way, had an extra 60km of crap at the the start, and TBH i mentally blew up about 100km into the ride and nearly sat down for a cry. But it can't get much worse than this can it?
So got to Athlone, got very little sleep due to some noisy bastards outside, and up again early to wander to transition. Pissing rain at 6:30am and pretty much kept it up until the last lap of the run. I have allot of respect for the people who raced in this. Hard conditions, but still some excellent times posted. Great race to watch and then the elite race even better (they even got the sun!).
A good evening in Seans pub saw a few to many beers drank before dinner, followed by a huge dinner which stopped me drinking much more (always good). Stomach had been squiffy all day long, probably from eating the contents of my pockets on the ride up when i got to Moate, and the next morning i felt rotten. Nothing to do with getthing to bet at 1am and getting woken 70million times. No not at all.