Some of the best living is spent behind bars. Solo, misty, morning rides. Coffee, cake, country roads. Rolling hills, flats or full on climbs.
The silence of the countryside only broken by the sound of the chain on the cassette, the wind in my ears and the tyres on the road.
Since I’ve stopped proper, structured training I’m enjoying doing things I haven’t done in a long time. Saturday morning coffee rides and Sunday morning group runs are just two.
On both there’s some playing around. It’s the sort of stuff that I don’t tend to do when I’m training hard. I tend to do what I’m told, although Ais might beg to differ on this point. When I’m training seriously sessions are done (mostly) as prescribed as opposed to just going out and racing up hills and stopping for coffee with Durnin every 45 minutes or so.
Imagine waking up one morning and discovering that you had a Ferrari engine stuck up your arse.
Ok so that’s not exactly right.
I used to be (in my mind anyway) a cool city boy. I matched my kicks to my t-shirt, my jeans were clean, I drove a Porsche.
Now I live in the country, I drive a ride on lawnmower, match my work boots to my dirty old skinny jeans, have a sunburnt neck and have taken to eyeing up farm machinery on my bike rides.
You’ll note they’re no longer called training rides. Anyone who has as many coffee and cake stops as me isn’t training (are you listening Durnin?)
Ironman Cork. From the outside it should have been the years biggest disaster, a cancelled swim, dumping rain for twenty hours, cold, wind, some of the hardest roads in the country.
On the morning all the talk was of the swim cancellation and the cold, relentless rain from both the pros and age groupers. I felt sorry for any first timer who was going to do the longest brick session of their lives and still not be able to say that they had done an Ironman. You’d think that there’s always going to be an asterisk beside that result.
Sure you didn’t even swim.
That’s not an Ironman.
This race is dead in the water I heard again and again. The first first edition of a race with no swim and horrible weather and shit roads? Who is ever going to come back to Cork?
Despite all of what should have killed it, I think instead it made it into what was the most exciting and epic race day I’ve ever experienced.
There’s an anticipation of the Saturday morning ride. I’ve been looking forward to it for days. I’ve had a couple of chances to ride during the week but have mostly managed to find reasons not to.
It was raining…
It was cold…
There was wind…
I couldn’t find shoes that matched my helmet…
I’m a soft lazy shit…
You know, just the usual stuff.
Your life needs to be uncomplicated for triathlon.
Maybe that’s not quite accurate. Your life needs to be uncomplicated for Ironman. I think you can only have so many draws and pulls on your time and attention before you start to drop things.
Or start to lose focus. Or maybe just shift focus.
“Jaysus Rob you’ve got the silhouette of an athlete” John said half way through Sunday mornings run.
“A friend of ours used to say he had a thirty minute arse” Aisling answered. “As in a thirty minute 10k…” she added just in case further explanation was needed.
“The only problem is that the thirty minute arse is attached to a pair of forty minute legs. Neither of which are being helped by the current rate of chocolate and cake consumption…” I said.
And on that note let’s get on with the weeks training… Read More
Ok so it’s actually only 39.5 hours but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Anyway let’s move on.
It was to be a nine day training camp. I wasn’t exactly sure how fit I was when I arrived at Lanzarote so the plan was quite loose and flexible. I had been training reasonably consistently for a couple of months but not in all three sports. I had plenty of pool time racked up but both my biking and running had been somewhat light in November and December.
I hoped I’d manage a big week. I thought somewhere in the region of thirty hours might be on the cards if I didn’t blow myself to pieces in the first couple of days.
January is done. I’m counting the weeks that are left of winter and in Ireland it could be anything from six to sixteen. I’ve ridden in March in short sleeves in the past and had snowy rides in May.
The optimistic side of me is thinking that there’s maybe only six weeks left before things get nicer for riding outdoors, but the realist knows that even if we get some mild weather in March that April is usually a wet month.
And absolutely anything can happen in May.
I’m regularly distracted by the thoughts that maybe I could swing a week cycling somewhere warm before winter ends.
Maybe. Read More