Monday, June 29, 2009

Another week

Slow 6 mile run on Saturday (it wasn't really supposed to be that slow)

Monday a.m. gym... back session
For the past few sessions I have been doing sets of 10 for a change. I'll see how that works out.

Tuesday a.m.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record (need to find a new expression, nobody younger that me knows what a record is - it's like a CD but bigger) anyway, should have done 400's today but just can't seem to find the motivation to do them on the treadmill.
Messed around with a few intervals but got a bit pissed off when I realised that the fast part (1 minute intervals) that I was struggling with was actually slower then my 5 mile pace from the last race. How fucked up is that?
I really need to run these outdoors with somebody to pace me....

Spending a few days in Rush.
It really pissed rain last night and for most of this morning. Apparently Dublin has been hit with bad flooding.
Waited for the rain to clear and headed out for a 40min/5 mile tempo run.
I put on a rain jacket but had to take it off at the turn around point, the heat was killing me. I struggled a bit at the faster pace but I was 20 seconds ahead of planned pace for the first run, that would have put me on my fastest race pace. Although I only lasted 8.5 minutes instead of 10.
I also slowed a good bit towards the end of the second fast section.
Hopefully I'll feel better about the pacing as I get more used to it.

Ran 6 miles at 7.56 pace and was struggling a bit. I know that at this point I couldn't keep this pace up for 26.2 miles.

Thought that it would be a good idea to do a few miles barefoot on the beach. The sand was hard for the first couple of hundred yards and I was thinking to myself that this is not going to be too bad. Then I hit the soft stuff and spent the next 2.5 miles sinking ankle deep on every step. I was fairly tired when I got back to the car.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Thursday 25th June
I ran 5 miles last Thursday and have not done a thing since, except for a slow 10 mile cycle home from work yesterday.
I'm really starting to feel guilty.
Just over 3 weeks to the Addidas 5 miler.
Get the finger out you lazy sod...................

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week commencing 15th June

Monday a.m. bit on the rower, bit on the spin bike.. That'll do... Oh! nearly forgot, cycled home from work.

Tuesday a.m. Should have done 8 x 400m, actually did 4 x 400m (slowly) and 10 minutes intervals at level 10....... Sat in the bubbles.....happy days ... cycled to gym and onto work...

Wednesday...p.m..... Same hilly 5 mile run as last week.. Felt alot better this time... nearly 30 seconds per mile faster, although in all fairness it's still very slow. I'll actually have to run the marathon 30 seconds per mile faster if I hope to hit my (at the moment) target.........

Thursday p.m. .... Running 40 minutes tempo, total of 5 miles

Monday, June 15, 2009

Week ending 14th June

This was a funny week.
Monday was a rest day after the exertions of a 200k cycle on Sunday.

I started a 10k training plan this week, well, I started 4 weeks into an 8 week training plan.

PM Tuesday I went to the gym with the intention of doing (as per the plan) 8 x 400m on the treadmill. What I actually managed was 4 x 400 and that hurt. The spin class was starting just as I finished so I had a go at that for 35/40 minutes and followed with 15 minutes on the treadmill for a warmdown.

On Wednesday I went for a hilly five mile run by Ballinavorta. It was the longest most painful run I've ever done. I thought that I would never get home. To make matters worst the pace was horribly slow. (am. Shoulders/traps)

Thursday was my first attempt at a tempo run. 10mins steady, 10 mins just below race pace, 5 mins steady and another 10 mins at just below race pace, finishing with 10 mins steady. Overall not too bad. (am. back)

Friday was a running rest day..... (am. triceps)

I cheated on Saturday. I threw some gear into a backpack and headed off to the gym by the long route. I set out for a slowish 6 miles and I hate to admit this but at about 3.5 miles I stopped and walked, I felt totally bolloxed, worse still I stopped my watch. Thats a first, both the stopping/walking thing and stopping the watch. It doesn't feel good !!
Chest/biceps at gym.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wicklow 200

This is Allen Mc and Chris Cassidy at the end of the Wicklow 200 cycle.

We look far too fresh........

The last 8 weeks of training, the hill climbs, the sore arse, the cold wet miles were all for today.

The number starts with a 3 when the alarm goes off. Ahhh Jaysus, why didn't I go to bed earlier. On the road for 4.30am, didn't see another car for the first hour until I hit the N11. Enjoyable drive, I really like driving on the quiet country roads.

The carpark and grounds of UCD are festival like with all the brightly coloured gear and gleaming bikes. I bumped into Orla and Gilly at the check in. It took only a few minutes to check in and then back to the car to have a cup of coffee and sort the bike and clothes for the day.

Clothes, clothes, bloody Irish weather, what to wear? The forecast is for heavy showers but no rain so far although the roads are still wet from last nights rain. Base layer? (is it cold enough) rain jacket?(will it be that rainy) Shorts or tights? Overshoes? Decision made, short sleeved jersey under long sleeved jersey (no base layer) shorts, 2 pairs of socks and overshoes (what a mix). Load up the pockets with bars, gels and jelly babies and off to the start.

We headed off with a group at a comfortable pace, it was a real mixed bag of all sorts. Racers, a few mountain bikes and one or two rotund people (guessed the large ones were doing the 100) The group stayed together until Enniskerry, well, until the hill after Enniskerry. It was going to be a day of groups forming and breaking up and other groups forming. There is a sharp downhill to Powerscourt and we passed a car stopped on the opposite side of the road with its wing hanging off. I'm not sure yet but I think that the damage was caused by a collision with a cyclist.
A short, sharp, lung bursting, leg hurting hill followed, was this a sign of things to come?

We headed towards Glencree and turned up to the Sally Gap. This is a long, steady climb with no real lung bursting bits, The scenery was amazing and it gave me a real buzz to see the line of cyclists snaking along the road to the top of the Gap, I even risked a few looks behind me as I neared the top, to enjoy the sight of hundreds of brightly dressed bikers cutting a ribbon like line through the greenery of the mountains.

The descent, well now, the descent that was a totally different kettle of fish. As I've said before, I'm not too fond of fast downhills, especially on unfamiliar roads, so I was going to take it easy all the way down. There were nutters whizzing past at high speed, I really expected to find the odd rider upside down in the ditch. Then, surprise, surprise we caught up with 2 other guys, they were actually going slower then me and Al, we stopped for a quick pee break and then, yes, you've guessed it we caught the same two guys again, I can tell you this made me feel much better.

The route went through Manor Kilbride towards Lacken, now something odd happened along this stretch of road, I don't know if it was the weather, the power bars or something else but I strongly suspect that it was secret formula "jungle juice". Allen, who is normally content to sit at the back of a group, decided he was going to pick off every rider in sight. At one point he shot past a group of about 8 riders, I got delayed for a few seconds and had to jump out of the saddle and sprint at full gallop to catch him (I want some of that juice). As we went along we were picking up riders and we ended up at the front of about 20 riders. Allen drove the train for a good few miles and we dropped the others on the undulating roads through Ballyknockan, Hollywood and on to Donard. Somewhere along this stretch Allen's back popped, I'm not sure but it may have been when he did another Superman to avoid a van on a fast downhill.

At 55 miles Donard was the first food stop, we really fancied a cuppa and food. It was an absolute pain in the arse, there was a queue of 30/40 minutes to get 1 poxy sandwich. We won't make the same mistake next year. There was also a 10 minute queue for water. I was lucky enough to find out about another tap on the other side of the yard and that saved us the queue. We also bumped into a few of the Boards lads, TinyExplosions had to retire at Donard as he popped his knee.

Just a few miles outside Donard we spotted a guy taking a pee stop up a side road, Allen decided that this would be a good place for him to go too. I stopped at the junction to wait, a line of car came along the road and two or three of them turned up the side road. The first car had a few women in it. I nearly wet myself laughing when I looked up the road to see Allen with his pride and joy in one hand and his bike in the other caught in mid flow.He couldn't have picked a more public spot to pee even if he wanted to.

Lazy Bastards is the best way to describe the group that tucked in behind us on the way to Aughavannagh. Not one of the fuckers was prepared to do any work. At one point I sat up, turned completly around in the saddle and said "feel free to come through any time you like" only to be met with blank stares. What really annoyed me about these lazy bastards was that most of them were wearing club jerseys so the knew the score. Enough ranting (for now !!) The long hill before aughavannagh broke up the group.

Down the hill, across the bridge and here we go !!!!!!!!!
The start of the two biggest climbs of the day, I suppose that this is what the day is all about. I never had any doubt that I could cycle 200 kms on the flat, the doubts were about the mountains.
I glanced at the computer, 74 point something miles.
Low gear, steady away and just keep grinding. The incline is steep for the first half but eases off (slightly) towards the top. For the second half of the climb I have a clear view of the road ahead as it sweeps off to the left, the strung out line of cyclists highlights the ever raising ground, but it's not as bad as it looks. Eventually hit the top, there is a drink stop with power bar drinks, so stopped there for a few minutes.
The descent into Glenmalure was ok, it gets a bit technical near the end with a few tight bends.

The climb from Glenmalure to the top of the Shay Elliott starts very sharply, Allen had a gear problem near the start and had to stop, I had slowed down to near stalling point when Allen called that he was going down to get re-started, no, no don't do that, I was determined that we would complete this climb together and if he didn't get started right away I was going to have to stop too. Luckily he got started, clipped in and we headed on up the big one.
It took a while, its a hard slog but we got there and here's the picture to prove it.

At the start of the descent to Laragh I had forgotten to put my glasses back on, so Al went ahead while I tried to take the glasses off my helmet with one hand while trying to gently pull the brakes with the other and all the while trying not to shit myself as the bike got faster and faster. Allen hopped onto a wheel and disappeared at high speed (he's getting far too brave, I'll have to watch him). I didn't catch up until half way to Rathdrum.

I think that picture on the right of Chris Cassidy was taken on the downhill to Laragh.........>>>>>>>

The food stop at Rathdrum was a lot more civilised, no queue for the grub and warm enough to sit outside on the grass.

<<<<<< This is Allen with his eyes CLOSED !!!

The last 40 miles were tough, plenty of hill and a horrible head wind. Ahh, enough shitting out of me.

It was great to see Eddie and his missus at UCD

Had to stop for a quick snooze on the drive home..........

Monday, June 1, 2009

Carlow 150

What a morning, 7am and the sunshine is glorious. I've made the mistake before of not wearing enough gear but today is definitely one for summer clothes.

I signed up for the 150k but I was still undecided whether I would just do the 100k or include the extra distance.

Myself and Allen set off together, a few groups had gone off ahead of us and we started to pick off the stragglers after a few miles.

Jaysus, this is a fantastic day, temperature is heading for the twenties. Ahh, vanity is a terrible thing, I won't wear my sunglasses because I know this is a tanning day and I don't want "panda eyes", no mitts either, to hell with comfort I'll tan the back of my hands.....

We picked up a small group on the Tullow to Castledermot road, and we all worked together until we picked up a few more riders.
The pace suddenly picked up. I must say that a this point I was really enjoying the dynamics in the group and I was more than happy to fill the gaps and hit the front. Three of us at the front lost the rest on an uphill and there was no sign of anyone catching up on the long downhill. It turned out that most of them had taken a short cut....fuckers.....

We were (by our standards) fairly shifting it through Kilteagan and on to Hacketstown.
The other rider that joined us was an interesting guy, he had ridden the Ras four times in the sixties and was still able to give it a lash at 68 years old. He stayed with us until the food stop at Hacketstown.

While shoving brown bread sandwiches into my face I decided that I was only going to do the 100k today, a choice I was very glad I made.

Rolling countryside and warm sunshine brought us through Tinahealy and Sheillelagh.
This is cycling at its best.
I noticed at one point that my shadow was well ahead of me, so I could now put on my glasses and give my poor sore eyes some protection from the flies and bits of flying trees.
We picked up another rider on the way into Tullow who stayed with us until the finish at Carlow.

We had a quick cuppa at the finish and then off home for the dinner.

I really wish that all spins could be as enjoyable as this one, lovely weather, gorgeous scenery and good company.