With the racing season now underway it seems I am the only one not doing the racing!!.. well- I have got a couple of races in.. The race times and when they come up just dont suit me in terms of work and family life.. I think the word I am looking for is ‘Balance’.. I think I have it ok.. With all my training I get my fix every few weeks with a hard saddle between my thighs…
As many of you who know me I took the decision to just bike this year.. This started out good and I have seen great improvements but the want of a triathlon is just too much.. I had a hard week or 2 at the end of February mentally.. Just biking was beginning to become a chore..everything was starting to get on top of me. I train on my own so the buddie aspect isnt there for me.. So one of the saturdays I had a 2 hour bike planned and just didnt fancy it… I dusted off the Gutties and went running.. My last run was on the 28th december.. It felt weird at first but that wore off inside the first Km when my lungs and legs took over & were about to buckle… If someone were to ask my advice on what should they do if they hadnt run in 2.5 months with regard…How long should i do? Intensity??.. I would say.. short and slow.. ease into it.. dont try and be a hero.. !! But I didnt have anyone advise me and before I knew it I was on the way to a 9 miler @ 6:50 mile pace.. because i started at that I thought I better keep it that way.. I dont have to tell you how long it took me to recover from it… Lets just say I have taken my own advice since!
The duathlon series I organise was on the 20th March and I said feck it, lets give it a go… I wanted more than anything to try out my new trek speed concept…So after sorting out the marshals( thanks again those who turned up!!!) I stripped down to my onesy.. Under starters orders we were away…”holy shit balls, it seemed like everyone apart from me was running fast” I just had no speed… keeping the head I settled into a rhythm and gradually picked it up… My heart rate was reading zone 2 but my legs were screaming threshold!!
I ran into transition in 15th spot. It had been raining and when i put my helmet on a pool of water went streaming down my face.. A few chuckles from the home crowd and ”silly daddy” remark from Rían McCrystal I was good to go..
I just hammered it as hard as I could down the drag.. got into Threshold pace straight away and held it.. I caught the lead guys early which isnt always good but I just kept it lit and tried to get as big a gap as I could.. This worked and I was soon off the bike with 1 minute to spare.. I held on and got a suprising win from Paul Carroll. A good athlete that only did his first duathlon last year at the Sportsmans. With only a year racing he is now Irish duathlon champion. He came out on top of a good field in burnfoot donegal on Sunday!..congrats to him.
Coming to the line i spotted the wee man and the two of us ran over the line.. hes still talking about it..”I bet Daddy”..”I bet Daddy”…
Back to normal..
With the goal posts slightly shifted for the year i was in two minds as what to do training wise.. I have mainly kept the bulk of the riding up with a few runs and swims( we will talk about the swimming again… if i thought my running was poor…)
I don’t know what to do as yet.. Maybe long, maybe short… Who knows.. I’ll keep doing as many bike races as I can.. But all eggs in one basket ain’t for me for the minute.
So another race on the calender.. TRADERS CUP
Local race with a new circuit that I am only to familar with.. I rode it a few times before the race.. It is a tough honest course with ample amount of oppurtunities to get away in a break.. I didnt have a race tactic as such but i didnt want to be a mug.. I wanted to do my fair share of work a watch a bit more.. I like to pace to be fast but I couldnt see a break getting away too early.. but thats what happened and i was in it.. The A3’s were 5 minutes up the rode so the break started workin and eatin into that time.. We caught the a3’s with 2.5 laps to go… We caught them at the wrong time. the cat and mouse games started.. there were too many fresh & strong riders in the group for anyone to get away so i settled in with everyone else in the bunch for a while.. I wonder was the race tactic for the a3’s “we will all stay together but if anyone even try’s to shift down the gears we will be on them”.. 2 guys went up the road and got a cap and I had a dig after them at the start of the drags.. I got up and wanted the guys to work but looking over my shoulder I saw the bunch driving for us.. it was no good.. instead of wasting energy i sat up and rejoined to bunch.. More breaks were trying to get away and with one lap to go there was one up the road that looked promising.. I jumped on a wheel after it and soon we were up to the leaders with a gap on the rest..
The finish was a long drag.. Hard and honest! I planned to be at the head going into it and decided with no guts comes no glory.. All plans came to a hault when in the distance we could see a crash from the early ‘b’ race..with bodies all over the road we slowed right down.. The bunch then came together but we were told to ride on.. We had to go 2k down the road the then come back through the crash again for the finish.. The same scenerio happened again but we were told to ride on once more.. this was frustrating as i had twice got a gap and it was pulled back.. still.. it wasn’t nice to see the cuchulainn lads on the road.. ‘ one of our riders commented he couldnt stomach going past them ‘ and pulled out.. I just think you have to ride until your told to stop… we only saw split seconds of the crash where the organisers and commissaire assessed the situation and felt that the race needed to be finished!..
So I lead the race towards the line and got another gap with 3k to go..now I’m thinking “don’t be a mug!! Don’t lose this!!..” I think there were 6 riders in my draft.. Not wanting to be a ‘mug’ I killed the pace hoping someone would take the mantle.. NEGATIVE!!! all shy at this point… so with 1.5k to go and knowing where the finish was I nailed it… NO guts no glory… I got a gap instantly with one trying to come across.. he was strong and at my wheel.. I thought I throw a cheeky elbow for him to come round but he didnt…( i wouldnt blame him, i wouldnt of either).. so with 200 to go he jumped round & I tried to go with him.. he got 2 bike lengths on me and i was clawing him back… Not enough.. I had to settle for 2nd.. I was dissappointed, I wanted the win.. Maybe the title would be tainted because of the crash so in some ways Im glad I didnt get it..