All in the legs, all in the mind…

Yeah, this is the sort of crap you come up with when you’re trawling up and down the pool. Last week was not as productive as I would have liked, and it was on my mind.

Monday was shaping up to continue the trend, as it was a busy week at work; the desk job, that is, as a graphic designer. But the fire service has been busy too. Mustn’t grumble though, as it pays the bills. But I was off on the roster, so took the opportunity to get out on the bike.

As I trundled down the road towards Celbridge with no particular place to go, I figured I’d just have an easy cycle to clear the head. The evening was pleasant, with a hint of rain in the air, but plenty of sun too. The mood took me across towards Ardclough and a left onto the Grand Canal and on towards the Straffan to Kill road, where I decided to have a look at a road I have passed many times but have never been down. It’s called the Barberstown Road but I only learn that now as I check it out on Google Maps. It crosses the Painestown River which finds its way, via the Morell, to the Liffey. The road takes a straighter route, and passes the Killeen Golf Club before crossing the Sherlockstown Road at Bodenstown. Here at the cemetery, Wolfe Tone and his neighbours get little peace as various groups commemorate his heroic deeds each year by marching up and down and making great speeches. And also as I progress, I note that various rain showers have soaked the roads, but like a mystery character I am following in my own small drama, our paths don’t seem to cross.

I kept moving and came out on the Sallins to Clane road, crossing over and taking the Millicent Road towards Robertstown direction. It’s a beautiful part of the country, with some fine houses. Once I hit the main Clane to Prosperous Road, it was decision time. Left, perhaps, to extend the spin? Straight on? No idea where that goes. Right, so. Into Clane, and then the Kilcock Road. As I passed Clongowes, the rain began spitting down. Nothing dramatic, but that bank of heavy cloud I had been heading towards was finally showing its colours, so discretion and all that saw me take a right and head for Maynooth. A hop, skip and a jump from home. Back in 2 hours flat, for a total of 53.5km. Happy with that. Average speed was just over 27kph and for a chance spin to clear the head, it was well worth it.

Tuesday, and a quick run in the park. Clocked at 4.68k in 23.34 minutes. So what? Indeed. It’s a run I have done dozens and dozens of times. Various GPS readings have given me various distances for this loop, and I’ve always considered it to be my local 5k. I guess I’ve been a little generous all this time. ‘Ran just after dinner, and there were some serious complaints from the stomach department about this rash decision. It could only be a quick run as I had a date with some music up at our local; it’s a singer-songwriter night, and I have played it a few times since it kicked off a few months ago. Tonight, we were promised some special guests, and it turned out to be BellX1. These are all local guys, and the band has gone on to great success. Some crackin’ tunes, though of course my alerter went off before they took to the stage, so I missed half their set. Caught the end though, and it was a fine end to a great evening’s entertainment. If their latest single ‘Upswing’ isn’t a hit, I’ll my hats, and I have many hats…

BellX1 at the Salmon Leap Inn, Leixlip, 14th June, 2016.

Wednesday, and again, although the week was busy, and I had every reason not to, I hauled myself out for another run. As I said to S heading out the door, I’m not always sure what to be doing, training-wise, most of the time. When I can’t get time off to swim or bike, my default setting is to put the runners on and head out the door. I had made sure to repeat yesterday’s mistake of having dinner before the run, and once again, there were complaints. But I kept running, and the rumblings were ignored. Did a nice, slow run of about 15.5kms in about 1.40, which equates to a very modest 6.29 pace. But then as my running buddy would tell me, and does, regularly, the 80/20 rule works, and why on earth would you be flogging yourself with too many higher intensity runs… anyway, that’s a fairly large subject, so read more about it here.

Thursday morning, and a swim. Just did the hour, and 2kms, but that was fine by me. I felt fairly flat getting into the pool, and had to have a few quiet words with myself about staying in. It was about this time that I had to concede that things were okay, really. I don’t mean in the general sense: as I’ve said before, doing a triathlon is luxury pursuit. No, I mean that a couple of years ago, shortly after I did my first sprint triathlons, the thought of doing a 2k swim would have given me the wobblies. Now it’s just a training session. So that represents progress of a sort. And that’s when I came up with the slogan:

“Once it’s all in the legs, it’s all in the mind” (©®™ *)

Later that morning, S and I headed into Dublin to check out the current Da Vinci exhibition.


The National Gallery is going through some extensive renovations to bring the old block into the 21st century. The new wing  (above) is superb, and has plenty to see, including the traditional favourites, such as Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rembrandt, et al. ‘Still a sucker for William Leech.


Wonderful to see Da Vinci’s work in the flesh. My favourite piece was this page of sketches which look as fresh as the day they were drawn. Get in if you can.

* “Once it’s all in the legs, it’s all in the mind” is not actually trade-marked or protected by copyright. Feel free to put it on a T shirt, sell it for millions, and perhaps send me a few quid. I have mouths to feed, ya know, and bike tubes to buy…

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