Running Review

As the 2014 summer running comes close to a finish, I thought it might be a good idea to create a summary of events. This makes it easier to look back on earlier races, rather than searching back through the posts. It is located as a separate PAGE on the homescreen, and here’s the link to it. The PAGE will be updated as events are completed and a post has been uploaded.

I have organised it along the following lines;

1. The 11 races in the Ger Wyley summer series

2. Other running races

3. Duathlon / triathlon events.

PS. I’ve been thinking recently. It’s something that happens every now and then! I have received very positive feedback on my recent blogging here on Spring Forward. It occurs to me that there are definitely others out there who are interested in recording their thoughts following an event. I would be very happy to create a GUEST space here on my blog. What would you need to do? Well, I’ve got my way of doing a report, but you’ve got your way! Why not surprise me & my readers? You can contact me via twitter / facebook or a message here, or simply email me at runbikespringforward@gmail.com

Not sure that you want to? Well, that’s ok. However, I can be reasonably sure that you’ll be delighted if you do decide to take the plunge..

 

Dungarvan Triathlon

Saturday June 28th, 2014

Another wonderful day on the sunny south east! Saturday June 28th, 2014 will go down as a red-letter day in Dungarvan sporting annals as the local Tried & Tested Triathlon Club held its inaugural Dungarvan Triathlon at the beautiful Clonea beach. The sun shone brightly, and calm sea conditions brought a huge sigh of relief to the organising committee and competitors alike. This was my first triathlon. To be sure, I was not alone as there were 42 club members taking on the challenge for the first time. We had trained well, under the watchful eye of experienced triathletes. We had taken on board all the hundreds of tips and tricks. We had, in short, been tried and tested.

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Beautiful Clonea

I arrived just after 8.30am, to find that the place was buzzing. As we racked our bikes, prepared our gear and double-checked everything, there was plenty time to relax and chat. For me, this was a great way to calm the little floating butterflies. However, as briefing time approached, we turned slightly inward and the banter lessened. I went for a short jog on the beach with Paddy, very short really. I was happy just to walk back at my leisure to get into my wetsuit. Following our safety briefing by Dave, we walked to the far end of Clonea beach and entered the water for a few minutes of acclimatisation. I remembered the advice: use this time wisely. Warm up, swim for 10 / 20 seconds, stand, stretch, relax, repeat. No time for chatting now. This was it! Months of training just for this moment. I had decided to swim on the right edge of the group, as there was a slight tailwind and current in my favour. Overall, my swim went well. We were in the expert hands of 22 kayakers. For the first time I noticed that my breathing was better, and I was able to swim longer sections with my head in the water. I did take my little sculling breaks on my back every now and then, and was pleasantly surprised that when I passed the final buoy at 600 metres I was not as tired as in previous training swims. The final stretch back to the beach was easier, and I was focused entirely on the Powerbar flags at the water edge. Finally, after 27 minutes or so I emerged. The photo shows how much it took out of me, but in fact, I recovered quickly for the bike section.

Section 1; 750 metre swim

Section 1; 750 metre swim

This being my strongest sport, I pushed as hard as possible into a very slight headwind to Stradbally. I eased into it to Ballinroad roundabout, and increased the effort near Garranbane. The climb to Ballyvoile hurt me, and the heat was intense. From there to the quarry after the river Tay I was able to recover a bit, knowing that the part of the course where it’s easiest to lose time is from the Tay bridge to the turning point at Five-Cross-Roads. And therefore, I was thrilled to see that the course was slightly shortened for safety reasons. The return to Clonea was fast, with a lovely tailwind, and I pushed very hard. Unfortunately at the Crooked Bridge near Ballinroad there were two cars in my path. In all fairness, they had nowhere to go as they had cyclists ahead. I eased off through the chicane, and pushed on hard to the roundabout. Here too, the same situation. I was a bit cheesed off, but looking back now, it gave me  just a very short breathing space to prepare myself for an all-out assault on the final flat section to Clonea.

At Ballyvoile

At Ballyvoile

My transition to the run was quick. But the run itself was not! I had very little left, and plodded around slowly. The spectators and marshals along the route kept me going, and as it turned out, only one competitor passed me. My brother Ray was at the 400-to-go point, and as I passed he gave his usual advice. “Don’t have a lame finish! Go HARD”. So I did…and I was glad I did! I raced it. The huge crowd for the last 100 metres was really special, as I heard my name shouted over and over by unknown unseens! I did indulge at about 20 metres to the line as I clapped over my head…and finished with a sprint. Tried & tested. Passed!

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Immediately after, I met up with many many fellow club members and marshals. We shared stories and high-fives. We waited to cheer home other club members. We sipped, munched and chatted. Triathletes all! Joey in Clonea Leisure Centre offered me a bed, but a stint in the jacuzzi followed by a long cold shower brought me back to life, and again as we lingered in the warm sunshine, posing for remembrance photos, I enjoyed Ivor’s delicious ice-cream.

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Couldn’t have managed without my biggest supporter

The presentations took place shortly after, again in blazing sunshine, and as I cycled slowly back home, I was able to take it all in. Later that evening, we enjoyed a great get-together at the Moorings in Dungarvan, as we listened to the playback over and over again, until such time as voices became slightly blurred and the effort of the day seemed to take its toll.
No matter, roll on 2015.

Details on Strava

Details on Strava

Tried & Tested Triathlon Club is in its infancy. Founded in 2012, this was its first hosting event. And what a super show it put on! Serious kudos to all involved, especially Dave, race director for the day.  Actually, that does him a disservice because he has worked tirelessly in this role since last Autumn. I recall cycling with Dave back in early spring, and what struck me was his determination to ensure that this new club would cater equally for the few on the top of the charts, for the many mid-table members and for the back-of-the-pack stars. Chapeau Dave! Your determination and vision brought 42 new members into triathlonland.
I want to thank all the club members who helped out. One competitor mentioned that there were nearly as many marshals as athletes. Their support and encouragement was immense! Finally, I want to say a very big thank you to two wonderful coaches….Ann in Clonea Leisure Centre and Natalie. Ann got me started in mid-December. Three lessons, then she told me to go and practice what she taught me! It took me until mid-January to swim a length of the pool, and I never looked back after that. Natalie taught a weekly lesson right through the spring. She coaxed, encouraged, pushed and guided me and many others. But here’s the thing: I specifically remember one session back in March when I was close to packing it in. Natalie had the insight to just leave me alone and muddle my way through my doubts! By early June, although my swimming stamina was still missing, I KNEW deep down that I would complete my first triathlon.
Tried & Tested. PASSED.

Finally, finally: I thought it was very fitting that Tried & Tested Triathlon club made to make a financial contribution to Dungarvan Bay and Helvick Head RNLI Fundraising Branch.

Our efforts also help others

Our efforts also help others

For a selection of event photos check here. Also theres a complete set of event albums here.

So, what comes next? Lots of cycling in July and August as I prepare for Endurance Challenge 2068. I will be cycling the nine counties of Ulster and the six of Munster over five days in mid-August.

Monday 11th: Armagh Town to Derry City.
Via: Banbridge, Antrim.
Distance: 174km or 7-8 hours
To view a map of this route click here.

Tuesday 12th: Derry City to Enniskillen.
Via: Strabane, Donegal Town, Ballyshannon.
Distance: 139km or 6-7 hours
To view a map of this route click here.

Wednesday 13th: Enniskillen to Armagh.
Via: Cavan, Castleblayney.
Distance: 124km or 6.5-7.5 hours
To view a map of this route click here.

Sunday 17th: Cork City to Limerick City.
Via: Killarney.
Distance: 172km or 8-9 hours
To view a map of this route click here.

Monday 18th: Limerick City to Cork City.
Via: O’Briens Bridge, Cahir, Lismore
Distance: 209km or 8-9 hours
To view a map of this route click here.

Post update coming soon. Watch this space…

Questions:
For triatltetes out there, what are your memories of your first one?
Did you compete at the Dungarvan Triathlon? Want to share your experience?
Why is an important day called a “red-letter-day”?

Dungarvan Triathlon Gallery: June 28th, 2014

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He’s got the Edge: winner, Chris Mintern

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Note: BIG RED SIGN !!!

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Ready, steady, GO

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Dungarvan Triathlon Club

Want to see all the photos? Check it out at Dungarvan Triathlon Flickr Photos

Click here to return to my account of My First Triathlon

Taper, my arse!

If you read my last post, you will have known that I intended doing the Tried & Tested Triathlon Club 20k TT this evening. Furthermore, I had intended doing it sensibly, as the Dungarvan Triathlon is only nine days away and my hard training is finished. But….it did not go to plan.

Ballyvoile

Ballyvoile on a summer evening. Bikers going too fast to be caught on camera! (c. Meabh)

On a beautiful warm summer evening again, I was at the “crooked bridge” and decided to give it 100%. Why? I don’t know really. Maybe some overflowing testosterone (I’m allowed to say that, coz tis my flippin blog!) but mainly because I need to have an indication of where I’m at. I had hoped to do this event for the past few Thursdays, but Thursdays is not a good day for me as my family all meet up for tea and a catch-up. Also, whenever I do the brick workout on Tuesdays, I figure it’s a bridge too far (and not sensible, to boot…) to do two extremely hard workouts within 48 hours.

Garmin metric info

Garmin metric info

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Strava info the old-fashioned way. I usually prefer this.

Anyways, shortly AFTER starting, I gave it welly. Looking back at it on Strava, I had several section PB’s and KOM’s, and was really really thrilled with my pace. And I know I have more in me. What was interesting was that I was not able to get my HR to where it can be maintained for the duration. This tells me, of course, that the oul body is a wee bit tired, and with sensible rest and fresh legs on Saturday week, I’ll know what’s possible. Mind you, there’s a big unknown in the equation. How will I manage the TT after swimming 750 metres? Well, I’ll update you after next week. In the meantime, I’m going to approach it in my most positive frame-of-mind. Even though I’ll find the swim very tough, I have two things in my favour. 1. When I get on the bike, I’ll definitely be well warmed-up and 2. My HR will be high enough to go hard from the start. I do realise this is my FIRST triathlon, so there’s a chance that my best-laid plans might come to an abrupt halt! It’s important though, to visualise the best-case-scenario.

My clock time for the 20k TT was 36:52 That works out at 20.3mph / 32.6kmph.

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Incidentally, looking back through this post, the title may be open to various interpretations! However, Meabh noted that the comma in “Taper, my arse” saved me from further embarrassment.

 

Finally, here’s a good post-TT tip: three Guinness in the Lady Belle, Dungarvan, watching the highlights of England’s unfortunate defeat to Uruguay.

Scoreline England 1 – Luiz Suarez 2.

Report from The Irish Times and another from BBC Sport.

Do you ride bike time-trials? Let’s compare / contrast…

Are you an England fan? Perhaps a Uruguayan fan? Will Chile be the 2014 dark horses? Share your thoughts please…

Triathlon Taper

The training is all done. I’m ready now for the Dungarvan Triathlon on Saturday, June 28th. I have worked hard since early spring, learning to swim, and competing in several bike and running events to get me to where I need to be. My task now is to ease up quite a bit to be fresh  for the big day.

I will participate in tomorrow’s club brick session at Ballyvoile. However, I will go gently. Not completely easy, though. My plan is to push the bike section very hard on the short hill, and ease up for the rest of the lap. on the run section, I intend to go hard uphill, and very easy back down. I’ve got a swim on Wednesday, and bike time-trial on Thursday. Again, I will concentrate on short hard efforts followed by easy-paced recovery. There’s a 5-mile run on Friday night, and this will be my last hard run.

Bring it on!

 

Completed events 2014:

January:

  • Naas Duathlon (run / bike / run)
  • Dungarvan John Treacy 10 (run)

February:

  • Kilmac 5 (run)

March:

  • Cycling week Gran Canaria
  • Ballinroad 5k (run)

April:

  • Butlerstown Duathlon (run / bike / run)
  • Butlerstown 4 (run)
  • Ballyvoile Brick #1 (bike / run / bike / run)

May:

 

June:

 

In addition, I biked (occasionally) with Dungarvan Cycling Club, and with Tried & Tested Triathlon Club. Challenging, training & leisure spins.

 

Footnote: I WILL get around to doing a post on all the above events. Just at the minute, they’re coming at me faster than I can cope with! Winter is a great time for writing. In summer, I gotta take the chance to get out doing them!

 

Endurance Challenge 2068

I’m sitting in the car at Ballyduff Lower soccer club grounds, near Waterford My nephew Gary is training with the Waterford Development Squad and I’ve a bit of time to kill. So its my chance to do an Endurance Challenge 2068 update. The event takes place over 22 days in August and when you read what’s involved it will give you that gasp factor! Here goes: 120km swim of the river Shannon, 4 marathons (one in each province) and 1780km of biking taking in each of the 32 counties. This is truly the triathlon endurance event of the year! A small number will participate in the entire programme. I will be going to the start line in Armagh for the three-day Tour of Ulster section. This comprises over 470km in the saddle as the expected 350 cyclists travel to Derry on day 1, down to Enniskillen on day 2, and returning to Armagh on the final day.
Online sponsorship charity page is up and running (two, in fact): MyCharity.ie and JustGiving, and I want to take this chance to thank those who have sponsored me already. Go raibh míle maith agaibh!
I’ve had several requests to include payment via Paypal. This is a very simple option if you have a PayPal account. simply send a donation of your choice to pmm5pla@gmail.com Some funds have been donated here already. Again, my sincere thanks. I intend updating my charity pages when I get a chance later.
Finally, for now, why not take the opportunity to follow my blogging for this event? Simply insert your email address on the homepage to get instant updates; or check back here whenever you want.
I’m off now to watch the rest of the training session.

Sponsorship card arrived today from head office.