Nervous yet?

He’s got this dream about buying some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one-night stands
And then he’ll settle down
In some quiet little town
And forget about everything.

‘Baker Street’
Gerry Rafferty

It’s the end of Week 10 (bar tomorrow), so that means the Big Day is drawing near. That’s a pretty unscrupulous use of capitals to ‘big’ things up, but sure there ya go!

The week was reasonably productive on all fronts; fire service, graphic design and training, but seeing as this is a blog about triathlons and training for same, we’ll skip over the first of those two items.

The week seems to have flown by in something of a blur, but there was definitely a swim in there somewhere, and I managed a mile in about 40 minutes. For a decent swimmer this would be a poor time indeed, but I was happy with it. I don’t think the spectators were too impressed though. Our 45 minutes slot was nearly up and everyone else had left. There was just me, mooching up and down the pool. The next class was obviously a kids lesson as there was a clatter of chiselers sitting on the seats waiting to jump in. Except this guy was still ploughing up and down (in my head, sleek and fast like Ian Thorpe). At each end they must have thought, ‘surely now he’s finished’ and then I would turn around for another length. I was counting to 64, which as the clever reader will know, is not quite a mile. But I had tortured the kids enough so I did my own special mile and left it at that. Still, the 45 minutes wasn’t quite up, so no harm done.

There were a couple of runs in there too. Yesterday’s run was a good 75 minute slog in the woods. We had been promised biblical rain, and in fairness, the south was fairly soaked, but for us, it was just steady drizzle. I put it off for as long as I could and then realised that with meetings and dinners and everything else, the run would have to fit in around five or it wouldn’t happen at all. I fell short of the 90 minutes as laid out in the programme. But I simply hadn’t enough time to fit it in.

Today was either a swim or a bike and rather than run the risk of missing out on the bike tomorrow, I chose to head out for a spin. Seeing as we had short-changed the programme a little on the run, I figured we could expand the cycle route a bit from the norm. I also wanted to get in a decent long cycle before the Big Day (there’s those caps again!).

So I headed out through the Park and out on to the Clonee Road and aimed for Dunboyne. Once here, I pointed Didi for Maynooth. All the while we were pretty much into a headwind, and a brief shower of rain on the back road threatened to add to the meteorological woes. It passed over, the sun came out again, and we hit Maynooth and then pushed on for Rathcoffey. I am aware we are jumping from ‘we’ to ‘I’ and no doubt this is very bad form, somewhere, in a land where these things matter. Suffice to say, there was just me and Didi, wheeling along some pretty poxy-surfaced roads out towards Clane.

Star Bar. the choice of champions. And also a great compliment/monicker for a good mate. Such as "thanks for lending me your bike; you're a real star bar!"
Star Bar. the choice of champions. And also a great compliment/monicker for a good mate. Such as “thanks for lending me your bike; you’re a real star bar!”

From Clane, Sallins is a short hop, and there we had a brief pit-stop for a bar of chocolate.

This pepped me up a bit, as we were a good 45 kms into the ride at this stage.

On past Bodenstown on the back road to Straffan, along the Sherlockstown Road. Not far from here is buried Theobald Wolfe Tone and if Irish history isn’t your thing, you could do worse than check out this link for more information on the great Irish revolutionary. Not that the poor soul has any peace. Every year, a multitude of politicians and republicans tramp around the cemetery and make great speeches. Alas, no rest for these heroes, and things will only get noisier as we approach the 1916 commemorations next year. Watch this space. Or indeed any space. There’ll be something going on…

Lyons Hill.
Lyons Hill.

At Straffan, it was a right turn, and on into Ardclough. My twin nemeses, Boston Hill and Lyons Hill, lay in wait. Not that they particularly gave a damn about the small flea climbing their backs. I whizzed down in between Lyons and Athgoe towards and Newcastle, and even though I had forgotten to put my clear sunglasses (thank you , Lidl) back on after taking these pics, we clocked a good, eye-watering 66.6 km/h.

Home, and a hot bath. The route details on the phone showed a 2 hour 42 minute spin for 68.9 kms with an average of 25.5 km/h. Getting the average up over 25 was positive. Obviously, closer to 30 would be better but happy enough for a long spin without too much pressure.

Down, down, down. The top of the downhill stretch towards Newcastle.
Down, down, down. The top of the downhill stretch towards Newcastle.

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