IN WHICH WE DECIDE TO BEGIN THE LONG WEEKEND WITH A LONG SPIN BY HEADING OUT INTO THE FLAT EXPANSE OF KILDARE, AND MANAGE TO FIND HILLS OUT AMONGST THE BOG…
The week began in sedate enough manner after last week’s exertions. On Monday 30th May, I managed a short 5k (well, of course, it’s a 5k; it’s neither long nor short…) in the woods, and I followed that up with a rest day on the Tuesday.
Wednesday was June 1st and my daughter’s birthday. To celebrate, I did 2.5k in the pool. Well, in fairness, I got that out of the way early in the morning. Then we had a good get-together with family for homemade pizzas and cake.
On Thursday, S and I headed out to Lough Owel. It was another scorcher of a day, and the water was lovely. Didn’t swim a whole lot; perhaps about 800 metres, but it’s more about getting the wetsuit on and getting the head down in the open water. Popped by to see Belevedere House on the way home, as this is the venue for S’s triathlon next month.
Later that day, as we sat out in the glorious sunshine in the garden, the Blackbird who is feeding very hungry mouths next door came by to say hello, and, well, if there was any of that Bakewell Tart going spare, I could use a few mouthfuls… so we threw some on the patio and she came down and hopped around under the table and chairs.
The Robin’s interest was piqued then, and he came by to stake his claim. He actually landed on S’s head. But of course, I didn’t have my camera.
I threw a few crumbs on the table we were sitting at and went and got my camera, and waited. Before long, they both came and helped themselves…
And of course, the epitome of good luck for all triathletes is for a Robin to crap on your wetsuit as it dries out in the sun after a swim…
And the blog post wouldn’t be complete without a last look at the chicks who have grown into gangly teenagers overnight…
Later that evening, and a run into the Park after drill. It was another hot day, and after the heavy fire gear for two hours, I just felt like getting out into the evening. Wasn’t planning on anything specific and started out fairly easy. As I progressed, the legs said “well, okay then!” so we put the foot down. Ended up doing a nippy 7.5k in about 42 minutes at an average pace of 5:40 min/km.
Friday, and yet another run, though the week was catching up on me, and the run was always going to be a long, slow affair. 12k in 1.16, at a slow pace of 6:22. Stayed off the paths as much possible.
A fun run went by the station that evening, and I was drafted in to help the runners cool down. Never miss an opportunity to soak a few joggers!
Saturday. Another hot one and an early start. Well, two early starts really. We had a fire call at about 3am, and we were out for over an hour, and then it takes me ages to get back to sleep again. The warm nights and early sunrises don’t help.
When the alarm went off about 6.40am I seriously considered turning over. I dozed for a few minutes then dragged myself out of the bed and on to the bike. I quite enjoyed last weekend’s spin out by the Royal Canal, so this time, I cycled out and around the Grand instead. Headed out through Celbridge and into Clane, turning right towards Prosperous, then a left to Kilmeage and Milltown. Of course, the Hill of Allen is on this route, so there was a little climbing to do. The view is worth it as you top the hill and see the Curragh below. I picked up a few provisions in the local shop and headed out to one of the best picnic spots in the county; the little patch of grass opposite the Hanged Man’s pub by the Milltown Feeder. There’s so much fascinating history, heritage and wildlife stuff out here, but that’s for another day.
The picnic was an ‘Irish Triathlon Special’. In other words, you need some electrolytes to balance out the loss from sweating… check. Some carbs… check. Some glucose… check. Well, a packet of cheese and onion crisps and a Star Bar are your only man for the job. Plus a banana so we can’t be accused of being total philistines.
Back into the saddle and on towards Kildare town, and then a right towards Rathangan, but of course, there is Dunmurry Hill in the way. For a ‘flat’ spin out into the boglands of Kildare, I had managed to find most of the hills in the county…
We soon found the Bog of Allen which is rapidly vanishing into the fireplaces and gardens of Ireland. And a few posters caught my eye en route; NO WIND TURBINES. Which I thought was a little ironic. Well, certainly more ironic than Alanis Morisette’s song of the same name… Here we are in the middle of a piece of natural heritage that should be left undisturbed, and a viable option that doesn’t require burning anything is being opposed, tooth and nail. I appreciate not everyone is a fan of these things, but I would rather have that outside my door, and a bog.
Overall, about 93k, which is a decent enough spin, and the time was 3.35, at an average pace of 25.9. Not too bad, considering. I do want to up that average to about 27 or more, but I may temper that aim once I start getting into the long spins.
Back home, and up to help out at the local parish burger stall that my folks do each year. Nothing like a few hours in front of a scorching BBQ stand after a hot cycle, and not even a shower! Oh well, it’s for a good cause.