A mixed bag

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Sitting out in the garden, drinking tea this week, and the birds are very active as they build nests, lay eggs and feed chicks. This female blackbird is so busy she hasn’t time to be bothering with the likes of me, and practically hops under my legs in a search for food.

It’s been a mixed bag of a week so far.

Saoirse and I were sitting out in the garden, drinking tea, what with it being sunny and all, and she asked how the training was going. She’s just signed up for her own triathlon in July. You can read about it here. If you don’t know much about A Lust for Life, or Ironmind, then you could do worse than check out this site.

The idea for the event followed on naturally from Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin’s own struggle with mental health, and how he used exercise as part of his rehab regime. That’s quite a simplistic, very potted version of things, but you can read more about his story online. Last year, he made a great documentary about four people who trained for a half-ironman; their journeys were ones of self-discovery, and it’s easy to toss around words like ‘inspirational’ these days, but it was a powerful piece of work.

It was obviously going to be interesting enough for me to see four people, none of whom were particularly fit, get into shape to do the event. That alone was an interesting documentary. That each suffered with their own mental health made it into an absorbing couple of hours viewing.

So, this is the triathlon Saoirse will do in July; it’s a sprint event, more or less, and we will get some open water training in that very lake this summer before the race itself.

As I was pondering on my reply to the question of how training was progressing, S very kindly reminded me that it was exactly four months to go to the Hardman ironman race. Cheers babes. Way to go to freak me out!

I guess the honest answer is that it’s a mixed bag so far.

I have been running a fair bit, though most of these runs are between 5 and 7kms. Not long enough. Every week I try and sneak in a longer one, but again, usually not more than an hour or so.

The swimming has been going well, though the bar is not set that high.

The bike is the area that needs the most work, and things will ramp up here significantly in the next few weeks.

To recap:

Last Sunday: a 7k with Mark. This was the day after the 48k cycle so the legs were heavy.

Monday: gym session, but I was feeling run over and dead flat by the evening, and had to duck out of going to a gig in town that I was looking forward to.

Tuesday: no training – we had some early calls again with the brigade, plus I had a school visit. These are fire safety gigs presented to 3rd class students in Primary. Always good fun but you need to have your wits about you, and be in good form.

Wednesday: great day, weather-wise, and an impromptu run with Mark for about 7k; feeling in better form. Saw a Jay in the woods. Just thought I’d throw that in there…

Thursday: a short swim of 750k, and then no other training later, mainly due to work commitments, and drill in the station, and yet another call-out. On the plus side, I picked up a second-hand exercise bike on Adverts.ie, so we can have our very own bike here.

Friday: reached another milestone in the pool (‘hey! who left that milestone in the pool!’ which works well if you think of it like this…) when I managed a 4k swim. Mind you, it took me from 7.15am to 9.00am to do it, but psychologically, it was good to do more than the 3.85k that will be required for the ironman. I think it might have been the new togs I bought this week, with go-faster stripes…

And so that’s where we are to date. Not a million miles away from where we need to be. Tomorrow, I hope to get out for a decent run. Might do the parkrun, or maybe do a slower, longer run locally. See how things pan out with the weather, and other events. As someone once said, if you want to make God smile, just tell him what you’re doing tomorrow.

I have a long cycle planned for Sunday morning. If all goes well, it will be a decent effort of around 90k, but we’ll see. Many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.

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‘What was that? A long cycle, you say? Yeah, good luck with that…’
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