One good turn

IN WHICH WE FINALLY ENJOY A BREAK IN THE WEATHER, AND FEEL THE GOOD KARMA OF HELPING OUT WITH A LOCAL FUNDRAISER


The cool weather has finally been banished.

It has nothing to do with the newly-elected government, I might add. It’s what we call a coincidence. Anyway, enough of that politics stuff. We’ve been beaten over the head with it here for the last few months. Frankly, I’d rather lick dogshit from a camel’s asshole than hear any more about Irish politics for, oh, the rest of my life…

Saturday: A planned parkrun didn’t pan out. Rain stopped play. The idea was positive. Get up early, cycle down to my old parkrun in Lucan, and give it a lash there and see where I’m at, time-wise. It seems to be a faster circuit than Castletown in Celbridge, though the latter wins hands-down in terms of the surroundings. Apologies Lucanites, but you know it’s true! The rain blew over later, and I managed a 70 minutes run in the local park. Nothing outrageous, but the main thing is to keep an eye on the knees (metaphorically, of course, not actually staring at your knees while you’re running… that would be daft…)

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Here’s what I missed at Griffeen parkrun. Apologies for robbing this pic off your site. Check out the official page here. Griffeen is still a popular spot; on average about 140 runners partake every Saturday.

Sunday: The weather improved again, and it was a fine morning. A fundraiser had been organised for a local guy who’s having a harrowing time with cancer. The night before was the official shindig in a local hotel to raise much-needed money for the family, and some local runners had decided to add on a short 5k the next morning. It ended up a wee bit longer, as we detoured into the woods and by the river, but overall it was a positive way to start the day. Met some old friends and had a yarn.

S and I headed out to Russborough House after the run. I have done some signage work out there, and I enjoy the location, and the drive out, some of which I did on the bike a couple of weeks ago. See here for more info. They were hosting a plant fair, and ever the suckers for a new addition to the garden, we tipped around the stalls and picked up a few bits; a geum of some description, a ragged robin, an orchid, some bog cotton. As each pot went into the bag, I could hear my mother’s voice saying ‘you don’t need any more plants… you haven’t got room for any more plants…’

This is true, Ma’, but then I don’t need any more guitars either. Or sports gear. Or bikes. When did that ever make a difference?

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A Barn Owl out at Russborough House where a new bird of prey visitor centre has just opened.

Around five, with the weather holding, it just seemed criminal not to get out on the bike. I was off-call, so threw the basics on board and headed out into the park with no particular place to go (okay, so I couldn’t resist this…)

I turned out on to the Clonee Road and found myself in Dunboyne in no time. Left here would see me back in familiar territory and heading homewards, so I struck out towards Summerhill. The road here is in reasonable shape, and fairly flat, though interestingly enough, looking back at the interactive map on SmartRunner online, I can see it rises gently but steadily at a point around Moynalvey (sort of halfway), then drops back down towards Summerhill, with a couple of bumps along the way back. But it’s a nice steady fall home. Overall, a nice route if you are planning on big gears and a decent work-out.

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I stopped in Summerhill and had a gel and a swig of the bottle. The weather was still glorious.

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Muggins doing a selfie in Summerhill. Scarlet for your Ma’ for havin’ ya…

A quick glance at the map and I decided to head out towards Enfield and turn for home.  As I headed west out of the village, the sultry weather began to look a little ominous. I hadn’t really prepared for this cycle, and it was an object lesson in how not to do it. I had shunned the backback I normally take for a spin which has a few things in it, including a pump and room for a rain jacket. Plus I hadn’t really fueled well. Somewhere around Ferrans Lock, the clouds coalesced and the heavens opened. It only lasted about two minutes, but it was a deluge and I was forced to stop under a tree to take cover. I was soaked through.

I took another gel as I was starting to get the tingly, gnarly feeling in your belly; the one that says ‘where’s dinner?’. All I needed now was a puncture. Thankfully, the rain held off and the tyres held up, and I made it back just as the rain came down again, this time with thunder and lightning to boot. The most pleasing aspect was the average speed of 27.5 km/h over the 60 or so kilometres. That’s more like it. Although we lose marks for poor preparation!

Monday morning, and 3k in the pool. Tiring enough weekend, so hit the hay early. It looks like the weather has turned a little cooler again, but that’s what you get in Ireland. It’s a lucky dip, or a box of chocolates, but with most of the nice ones taken out and replaced with coffee…

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