‘A man’s got to know his limitations’

Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight
I got the feeling that something ain’t right
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

‘Stuck in the Middle With You’
Stealers Wheel

There is no particular rhyme nor reason to the choice of quotes. The first one is from the great Harry Callahan, AKA Clint Eastwood, as Dirty Harry. Or I suppose to be more accurate (and even more pedantic), whoever wrote the script.

dirty Harry uk quad 30 x 40.jpg

It came to mind the other day as I clambered out of the pool again after another 66 lengths in 45 minutes. Now considering a couple of years ago I was struggling to do a few lengths, then this is not too bad. But I seem to have come to something of a standstill with the swimming. I will tip away at it, of course. The plan is at least two sessions a week, and try and get one of those in early in the day when the lanes are set up for an hour, rather than the 45 minute session during the day when there might be only own or two lanes set up. Or to put it another way, quantity, not quality, is what we are aiming for right now.

It’s not a crisis. I mean, let’s be honest, the Middle East Refugee situation is a crisis. Global Warming is a crisis. Me swimming up and down a heated, chlorinated pool does not represent a crisis.

The second quote is from a great song which I would have played a few times on stage. In this instance, I reckon I am all of the various protagonists… clown and joker, and whoever we are stuck in the middle with. That’s more of a reflection on the overall plan for the ironman, or in my case, the vacuum that is the absence of a plan.

Despite having numerous books on the bedside locker, formulating a plan has proven tricky. It’s quite likely Ireland will have a new government before I have a decent training plan, and that’s really saying something.

So, the week so far: Monday was gym and Pilates again. Another mile in the pool on Tuesday, with a slow, steady run on Wednesday morning with Jarlath and two others. This left me a tad banjoed the following day, and as it happened, we were called out at the station, and then had two hours of station drill (which is every Thursday) and I was filling in on guitar for a friend at a local gig, so it was just as well I didn’t have anything planned as regards running, cycling or swimming. I was supposed to give blood as well, but on balance I reckoned it might not be wise. I try and give blood when I can (hell, I’m B Positive, so how can you not be cheerful and generous with that blood group), but I was feeling a little run down so gave it a miss.

On Friday evening, I managed yet another one of those miles in 45 minutes. The Friday evening session is not my preferred time slot, but things conspired against me on the roster, so that was my lot. There are kids classes before and after, so you are delayed getting in, and there are dozens of shivering youngsters poolside all waiting for you to finish so they can get going; they seem to line up halfway through the 45 minute session – not sure why the parents would put them through that. They look positively miserable by the time I clamber out. Mind you, they probably think the same thing about me…


Saturday today, and a nice run with Mark in the Park. We did the Boundary Run, which is essentially what I call the ‘turn left’ course. From my house, you head up the Avenue and keep going left every time you hit a junction. It brings you around the edges of the Park, and you pass all of the entrances and cover most of the pathways. It’s just shy of 11kms and we tipped away at a nice pace of 9.7km/h. Well, now that I say that, there is an odd discrepancy between my SmartRunner app on the phone, and the uploaded version of that route on the website. Can’t for the life of me see why they should be any different, but sure who cares. I’m not a Garmin-owner, and try not to get too tied up with times and pace.

I quite like a few surprises in life!

We retired afterwards for hot chocolate and brownies, so whatever random calorific burn we achieved in the park was quite likely replenished in full thanks to Insomnia.

Anyway, let’s not get bent out of shape over a hot chocolate. As regards training, the event is in August. There will be a lot of miles before that, and time enough to tweak the schedules. Ironman is an endurance event, so it’s a lot to do with getting the miles under your belt (and your Speedos). That will happen. I just need to be smart about it, as I have a rather odd job which is not sympathetic to outside commitments.

As long as I can get away from the gym bike in the station, I’ll be happy. Sweat is supposed to dry on your face as you whizz down country lanes. It’s not supposed to pool at your feet…

I’ll leave you with Holly who has found, so far, the best use for the suspension training device bought last week.



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