Your Event Report?

Would you like to send me a short report of your recent running event?

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 address below.

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.

Actually, looking back above: it need not be SHORT. It need not be RECENT.

If it’s an event that I’ve posted about here, I’ll link your’s and mine.

I can think of at least three potential guest reporters! If you are not keen on the idea, but you know someone who might be, just twist his / her arm sufficiently.

Contact me:

Twitter @deburcapadraig

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deburcapadraig

Email: runbikespringforward@gmail.com

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Black And White Cows

Tour of Ulster Day 2 Derry to Enniskillen. Tuesday, August 12th
A second tough day with heavy rain and a fresh headwind for almost 60 miles. But suddenly, after lunch in Ballyshannon, the sun came out, the wind was to our back, and we scorched the tarmac home. This was our just reward for hard graft and minding one another all morning.
Coming through heavy rain and strong wind I thought to myself that the Irish proverb “May the wind be always at your back…” definitely did not originate in the North West.
Highlights:

  • the fantastic hard shoulder road from Lifford to Ballyshannon
  • the race to Enniskillen
  • mighty craic on the road
  • and a great friendly hotel in the town.

On a personal level, as I was hurting along several sections of the journey, I remembered my brother-in-law Jim Shine. I am grateful to be alive and able to cycle. I am grateful for buddies to pull me through the dark spots along life’s road. Just for the present moment, I am grateful that I can combine my love of the rothar with the stunning landscape by Lough Erne in Fermanagh.

wpid-20140812_195747.jpg

Happy birthday, Mick

Unconnected with cycling and the Endurance Challenge 2068 event, please read this final bit under strict advisement…(That worked, I’d say…now you are curious!)
I did also have a further strange thought. Be assured it is only because I have come to understand that my audience appreciate honesty and integrity that I even dare to put it in writing. This blog has developed from merely recording the factual, to seeking out my slant on life’s little treasures. You see, each one of us has a little strange thought or two from time to time, and these strange thoughts must be acknowledged. They must be loved by their owner! Here it is: I wondered if black and white cows might like to compare birthmarks! Along tbe lines of Dairy Tinder.

Harking back to last night’s quote from Robin we are given a little dose of madness and must not let it go to waste. Surely, though, someone has had such a similar thought… but may have not shared it.

I’d say two pints might go down well! But, first…a recovery drink-shake and some vitamin C. Now there’s another….

Five Men Fix a Puncture

National Bike Week took place last month, but it passed me by as my focus was very much on my first triathlon. As soon as my wetsuit was hung up (temporarily) I longed to start my long endurance cycling training. In fact, whereas I probably should have taken an easy week to recover, I did the opposite, in fact, as I biked approx 270km over four spins (37, 26, 96 and 114kms). I was aware that this was not really a very bright idea! As luck would have it, I spent the following week in Galway and Athlone and I was happy to leave the bike (and the runners) at home. One full week of rest… my first and only week of complete rest since before Christmas!

I noticed this week that I was really raring to go, and as the weather once again obliged, the miles began to clock up! Sunday almost 140k; Tuesday: 60k; Wednesday: 33k; Thursday: 130k; Saturday: 35k and today Sunday 106k brought the total to just above 500km in eight days. The shorter distance days were at a very very easy pace, recovery pace.

Today (Sunday) was another very warm morning on the rothar, as a good solid group of twelve DCC riders headed for Cappoquin and the Vee. We kept the pace steady, and as agreed, we kept the group together on the way up to the Tipperary border. Without stopping, we pounced down to Clogheen and waited at the junction for Newcastle five who assisted with a puncture on the way down. It’s actually easier for one person to fix a puncture, but men tend to think that 10 hands are better than two!

The journey east to Newcastle proved to be very enjoyable with a gentle tailwind, plenty stories and only one mechanical. (By the way, for a good read about what MEN talk about for three or hour hours cycling, have a read of TheCyclingBlog…highly recommended!). The stories started to take on a more serious tone as we approached the village, and after the right turn for Melleray, many horror-stories and fantasy were only too forthcoming. The experienced among us opted for the sensible (experienced) version: the silent movie! Onwards and upwards, very hot sun did not help us at all, and our group of twelve were scattered to the four winds simply because there WAS no wind. Not even a little cooling breeze. The climb is quite difficult, at almost exactly 1000 feet in  3.5 miles. The average gradient is 6%, but there are three steeper sections at 15, 18 and 19.7 per cent. It’s no wonder that we tackle this monster so rarely. Take a look at the profile below. The first is the Vee, the second is Newcastle (officially Knockboy), both approximately the same height, but Newcastle is much shorter and steeper.

Capture2 hills

The Vee and Knockboy. Everywhere else is flat.

Having heard the horror stories at the base, we listened to the advertisments atop! Rightly so too, I suppose. I had decided early on in the spin to take it gently on this climb, because my mileage this week was more than double my recent weeks. I kept my HR in zone 3 most of the way, and only crossed into zone 4 for only three minutes, and arrived at the summit with tired legs but fresh lungs. Our spin home via Cappoquin once again was very enjoyable if uneventful, and as the distance was just a little short of 100km I went for a short ramble on my own.

8 days…500+ kilometres. Three weeks to goal date. A lot done, more to do!

Details of my spins can bee seen on Strava. Here are some sneak previews of the efforts this week:

Capture  elevation

Lots of climbing

Capture miles january to july

Miles per month so far. I’m still in old-fashioned miles.

Capture miles

Lots of distance. Probably best to schedule an easy week again.

Capture

The same effort, same enjoyment, in kilometres this time.

I realise that it would be a good idea to take some photographs along the way. Nothing speaks like a photo!

Finally, it’s clear to me now that I’m well on my way to being ready for my planned long events in three weeks time. Bring it on!

Páraig

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Have you a favourite hard hill? Please tell how HARD it is…

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

Image

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…

June Bank Holiday

So, although I am retired, and Bank Holidays are not quite as necessary to me now, I was very surprised today. You see, while cycling early morning and jogging in the mid-afternoon, I noticed something very interesting. Everyone it seemed was  out and active. Solo runners and bikers, couples, families, teenagers in small and large groups, pets and motorists. All were out in reasonably warm sunshine, enjoying leisure time. I’m sure that it’s been the same for most fine Bank Holidays, but it struck me in a particular way today. I suppose I am now detached from the world of work and the pressures of time, so the focus for me over the past nine months has been towards leisure and enjoying this valuable time. It was especially lovely to be able to see others make good use of limited leisure-time.  Many are working hard and finding decent leisure time is difficult…but so important!

I had a very busy day. Up at 7.30am for spin with my friend Declan at 8.30am. We pushed into a breezy headwind to Affane Cross,  after which we enjoyed a cyclist’s dream return to Dungarvan. Turning off along the Military Road to Ballinroad and Garranbane, we  decided to tackle a new route back to Stradbally. We nicknamed it Zoncolan de Garranbane, for good reason. The climb was just less than 2km long and very steep. In fact, the elevation from 10 metres to 130 metres in such a short distance speaks for itself! We measured some sections at 15%. Not that we needed clock-verification, because our legs were telling us that this was HARD. After coffee in Stradbally, I was very happy to see that the wind had changed SE, and I had a tailwind home.

Zoncolan de Garranband

Zoncolan de Garranbane

Lunch with Marion, and some time to sit in the garden to enjoy the sun was  followed by me second session of the day: an easy 50 minute jog, with one-minute hill-intervals x6 (again at Garranbane!) in very warm conditions. So, now it’s time to sit back and relax watching some TV and updating this blog.

Below is s screen-grab of the hill-interval effect:

Garranbane x6

Garranbane x6

The cycling link on Strava is here, and the severe section is clearly obvious from the spin profile. Sure, if you have a Strava account, you might want to follow my workouts. And of course, if you don’t well…that’s ok too!

For your information: The Zoncolan is a famous mountain-climb in Northern Italy, used sparingly as a stage finish during the Giro d’Italia. I have included a link to last Saturday’s epic events on this sacred ascent. Also, some historical information about the massive climb.

 

Question: How do you like to spend your Bank holiday? Replies & comments most welcome…