Good week, bad week…

IN WHICH THE MIGHTY VIKINGS* FINALLY BOW OUT OF THE EUROS, WE GEAR UP FOR SAOIRSE’S TRIATHLON NEXT WEEK, AND ROUND OFF THINGS WITH A DECENT, IF SOMEWHAT BRUISING SESSION…


I have no doubt most Icelandic folk have a pain their holes with the world’s (largely) lazy media descending on their country (if not actually physically descending, then at least crashing their wiki page). By now, most of us probably know the population of Iceland off by heart, and have heard that other story of how their manager is a part-time dentist.

Well, no. Not really. Their official manager is Swede Lars Lagerback. His right-hand man is Heimir Hallgrimsson and he is a former dentist. But sure what are facts other than things to be ignored in favour of a bit of click-bait? Heimir takes over soon when Lars retires. Will there be drills at his training sessions? Oh yes, indeed!

Anyway, that’s football talk. Iceland came a cropper against a bullish French team last night, and we heard the thunderclap for the last time in this competition. Credit to the Icelandic team who soldiered away and still scored twice. Compare that with Portugal (or Bore-tugal) who haven’t won a game yet in 90 minutes.

* And apologies for the Viking tag… no more, now 😉

This week’s training started off with a rest day. But then it was off the back of a tough Sunday. Tuesday was a pool session, and I managed 2.5k in the hour, which counts as an improvement on other previous sessions when I normally finish up with 2k. So, to add 25% isn’t bad, by my reckoning.

Wednesday, and a run with Mark in the park. Not our usual weekend run, but a decent 15k in about 1.25 which is a 5:50 pace for all you crazy pacers out there. Note to self: don’t wear that grey cycling top for anything other than cycling or doing the washing up. The nipples were not happy…

Thursday, and another 8am swim, and this time managed 2.25k, so slightly down on the Tuesday swim, though I felt tired getting in, so wasn’t surprised that I didn’t hit the same dizzy heights as before. Just dizzy…

Friday, and a run with Ciaran from the fire crew who was trying to find a few new routes. We did about 10k in the park in the hour, and I showed him a few of the trails in the woods and along by the river.

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Mmm! Marshmallows! We adjourned to Insomnia after the parkrun. I mean, it would be wrong not to, right?

Saturday was a decent day, starting with a parkrun in Griffeen with Saoirse and Mark. It was Mark’s second time out on a parkrun and he demolished his PB by about a minute, so I reckon there’s still a bit of value in there yet. Saoirse did well too, and I finished up with 21.45; about 14 seconds outside by own best time. With time off restricted, I couldn’t do a spin, so hit the gym in the afternoon, and did 2 hours on the bike (or about 57k), and then not long after, S and I hit the pool and I did an easy 1k. A sort of triathlon, I guess, albeit in reverse order with exceptionally long transition times!

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Later that day I whacked my toe off the door frame, as you do, though there’s not much you can do about these things, and in any case, my cycling shoes still fit, so that’s the end of that discussion. Also did some scrawling on a leather scratch plate for one of my electrics; the Fender Squier Telecaster. I never liked the plain white plastic guard, so made up a leather one. It seemed a little plain too, so I put a few designs on it whilst sitting in front of the tele. Tele, get it? No? Okay, never mind.

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A sort of Celtic/Viking-inspired theme of boar hunting, with a nod towards Jim FitzPatrick.

Sunday was not quite a day of rest, but S and I did head out on the bikes and did an easy 20k and it turned out to be a valuable day in the end as I got my first puncture on the road on my new bike, and it gave me a chance to go through a few things, both for myself and for S, who hasn’t changed tubes yet on a road bike. It can be a tricky little manoeuvre, let’s be fair. The pros will whip off a wheel and change a tube in about a minute. That ain’t me, babe, to quote the Great Zim. As it was a slow flat, I was able to pump it up and get us back to base, which made bike maintenance a shed-load easier.

Back home, I managed to do a reasonable service on both the Orbea and the old Mercian. I decided to take the Mercian off the turbo and put the decent tyres back on. I wasn’t using it; if I need to flog myself on a stationary bike, I use the gym. So Bessie rides again.

The offending hole was located, but in true modern-day style, not repaired. In my defence, I won’t risk the whole Iron Man caper on a patched tube, so I treated the bike to a new one. Also swapped out the saddles, again. And adjusted the seat post and saddle position. That should do the trick, though the next long ride will be the clincher.

So a reasonable week’s training. There’s only really time for one more big push on the training, so this month will see a steady rise in effort, with some long rides and decent runs in the order of 3 hours, and then we’ll aim to peak at the end of July, then drop a wee bit as we head into August. The running will taper in length, though we’ll keep the cycles long and steady. That’s the plan anyway. Always good to have a plan.

“The break’s at eight… the break’s at eight…”

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“So I reckon if I sit here, he’ll absolutely HAVE to bring me swimming next time…”
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