Following on from my last post I was looking forward to the National 25tt and Road Championships being held in Emyvale. The 25 was more of a focus. But the funny thing was I hadn’t been doing many TT’s for prep but I had plenty of turbo time done so I wasnt worried..
National 25 Time Trial 2011.
I’ve been knocking on the door for a couple of years now with regard to chasing a
medal. I thought I had a chance to bridge the gap but the start sheet was good. Best apparently for years. All I could do is roll around for 25 mile and see where it got me. 52:27 later it was good enough for 8th. No worse or better than last year but I was happy. Conditions were tough. Wind, Rain and a bad wheel choice maybe cost me some seconds but all in all a good day. Oh and I had to move my saddle back 20cm due to Uci rules but I’m not even going to go there!!!.. I can’t complain about that issue because it was the same for everyone and the rules have been around longer than me. I actually held the watts I was looking for.
I had taken a couple of scalps that I was happy with. I’ve bridged the gap a little more but still a way off the pace. I’ll get a medal some year(hopefully if the big guns don’t show!!)
National Road champs
2 days later the Road championships were on. I lined up with the big guns. A new experience for me I didn’t know what to expect. Actually, I did. 30 mph for the first 10 mile & with more attacks than you’ll see on a desert in Afghanistan were to follow. T
o cut a long race short(108 mile) I had nothing in the legs. My power wasnt there and with that I got my ass kicked. Men against boys. The attacks were killing me. Again, no complaints. I havent raced or trained for that so I was just happy to cross the line with a good workout. There were a few raised eyebrows from the roadies when I returned to the van and put my runners on and went for a 20 minute run!!. A good experience and good to see how it should be done..
I entered this at the last minute. Myself and rob had a chat and we put this race in
the calender. I needed to get a race or 2 into me just to get some sharpness. A little ‘match practice’ for the big months of august and september coming up!.
I worked hard all week, and in doing that I was shitting it come race day. The field was strong and I was on the line. But nobody wants to hear how much training you’ve done and its only a ‘C’ race. When your toe is on the line, thats it. Luckily I found out 20 mins before the race the big guns were in the sprint race. I however, was doing the Olympic. Pressure off I was in a better place.
Wife and kids decided to come down to watch. It was great to have some support on the sidelines!! That meant I needed pat to come with the van. Dads are great and he was only too happy to be my skivvy!!..;-) Race was at 3 and registration was closing at 2. We landed in Athlone at 1. Cutting things tight Pat decided to go the scenic route and was a little late!!.. Angry face on me when he arrived but I couldn’t give out to him, after all he did chauffeur my bike 200km for me.
I cycled quickly down to transition got registered (by skipping the queue) and BANG.. front tire blew up.. Luckily at the last minute I took a spare. Cue Pat and he was down to transition with a spare front wheel!!.. Wheel in.. Brake pads rubbing.. Nothing I could do, no tools I just had to roll with it.. I figured it would wear the pads after a few km.
With my Sailfish G Range wetsuit on I was feeling fast even before I got the toes wet..
These suits are class, a second skin & guaranteed to make you swim much faster than you’re capable of. It did exactly that, and I exited the water happy with the first discipline .
Usual fast transition I was on the bike and aired on the side of caution for the opening 5 minutes. This is the best bike course on the circuit. Number 1 it’s closed and number 2 its wide!.. A nasty head wind on the way out makes you work hard but on the way back its a hammering session home in the 54/11. I was in the lead early enough and just worked to my numbers. Everything was going to plan when I noticed a few bikes with 5 km to go. It was the lead guys in the sprint race( they were off in wave 3). I passed a few out and we were in T2 together.
Right!! this is where I needed to ask a couple of questions about my running legs. So I decided to take to the pace the sprint distance lads set off at. It was fast but I wasnt or felt in danger. I just said hold this as long as possible and see. I did that and more, even giving myself a Pb for 10k(garmin).. just to clarify, the bike was 2.8 mile short and the run was .80km long. I crossed the line with a million others(sprint race). Knowing nobody passed me I was confident I won my wave but you never know who might pop up in the wave behind you. So celebrating is a no no until it is on paper. turned out I won and I was delighted my family was there to see it. My dad especially as my Nana passed away during the week. Funny as it may sound she was in my head all day and I put that win and performance down to her. A truely inspirational woman that our family will sorely miss.
I was happy to get my first win for the TBUK primera team and get the Irish flag flying
Next is the beast of the east at the end of the month. Another race with little expectations but you know me I will want to win and tame the beast. After that is Estonia 111, then Galway 70.3, then Lanzorote 70.3 in october.. An action packed few months ahead!!!
Congrats to my pal Owen Martin in what can only be described as a phenomenal performance in Ironman Austria. He broke the 9 hour barrier. In doing that he broke the previous Irish record but It was also broke by another man that day. So he is one of two men in Ireland that have gone sub 9.. Unbelievable.. You can read his report here It is performances like that that have given me the goal to complete an Ironman. Next season I signed up for Ironman Lanzorote. Come May 19th around tea time I hope to be an Ironman.