Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Adventure Race Training

The two teams got together at the weekend to train for the adventure race on 21st April. From Blessington lake we got onto the open Canadians and realised quite quickly how invaluable this training day was. The boats felt so unmanageable initially and they are higher than plastic boats so they get the wind a lot. We paddled around for about two hours with great instruction from Ciaran. He brought us up to where the race will start and showed us the area we would be paddling. We had paired off into what will probably be our partners on the day (4 on a team, two in a boat) so it was helpful to try out who would steer, who would go in front etc. because I was absolutely useless in the back and just as well we discovered that on Sunday and not on race day.
Sarah took the place of Bronagh who couldn't make it so the group was myself, Tony, Gary, Mikel, Krissy, Liam and Karen.
After lunch (I had made 'lashings' of home made energy bars, recipe here.) It was a short drive to the area where we would be mountain biking. It was lashing rain and the normally eager athletes were now procrastinating in their cars! We got going though and Brian took us to some great little trails, ideal for us lot, right in the area of the race. He gave sound advice which we all took on board and in no time were attempting things we would not have thought possible.
I hope the race day itself goes well and we all enjoy it. I'm hoping no-one takes it too seriously and that we all stick together, as is the rules. Of course an outing in Wicklow wouldn't be complete without me getting lost and that's just what happened when I went about 2 miles plast Zellars pub trying to get back to the car.

UPDATE: This post was so boring and doesn't contain the things I will really remember from the day so I'm updating.
1. Krissy talking about blokes all day and checking out anything with a pulse.
2. The 'cool' guy flashing his arse at us as he changed gear int he back of the van with the mountain bikes.
3. Liam being an absolute 'mentalist' on the downhills.
4. The canoe race we didn't win but stopped Tony from winning and that's the main thing.
5. Discussions on how girls always fancy instructors regardless of their handsomeness, though ours was handsome.
6. Me attempting to bike down a drop that half an hour earlier you wouldn't have paid me large sums of money to attempt. That's the point of good teaching I suppose.
7. Karen saying she was going to hang out later in ortmarnock and I pictured her in the park hanging out with some homeless dude, shooting the breeze.........
8. I wish I had a picture of Tony and his red bobble hat.
9. Krissy saying that we all looked like we had a willy in the wetsuits.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Week

Things that are happening/ have happened this week:

1. Monday: the usual trip to Naas to see my Dad. He's looking very thin, it's still upsetting seeing him in there even though it's a super place. Monday was also spent entering two teams for the adventure race in April. 6 of us are in and we have to find two more.

2. Tuesday: Running with the club in Clonliffe: found my way out to Santry on my own!

3. Wednesday:Running last night in the freezing cold and spitting snow. It was great, there was only 4 of us so the pace was relaxed, good for me cos I'm racing Sunday.

4. Thursday: Gang arrived to do our front garden: they're pavers not landscapers but I'm so looking forward to having it done. Garden has looked like crap for years. Have to go shopping this evening for various birthday/ confirmation presents.

5. Friday: Heading to Wexford after work. Probably meet up with Brendan and Kay to wish her a Happy 40th birthday.

6. Saturday: Intend to relax in Wex. Who knows?

7. Sunday: Racing in the National Masters Cross Country in Santry. Hope it goes well, I'm only back running after France and this week has been tough enough.

I'm back cycling/ running in and out of work which feels great even if it is crap running in a city centre. At least when I get home that's my running done on those days. Eugene mentioned last night the possibility of me running in Jungfrau in the World Long Distance Uphill. Sounds brill! I would love to go. It would probably mean I wouldn't be travelling to Mont Blanc with Tony and the lads but it sounds like a great one to do. Must get in touch with whoever is involved there.

Haven't seen any news lately and if it wasn't for other bloggers I wouldn't have a clue what's going on in the world! Oh and Hope has the chicken pox!
The picture above has very little to do with this blogpost other than it's roughly the area we were running in last night and I find that blogposts often look incomplete without a photo!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mountain Biking

Headed out on the bikes yesterday: myself, Tony, Gary and Liam. What a great day, weatherwise this weekend was terrific. We cycled to Slade via Tallaght and Saggart. Lots of deforestation there. We did a few loops there and then myself and Tony went to Butter Mountain which was a long slow drag uphill with the most spectatcular scenery at the top, I'm raging I didn't have my camera. It's not like me to leave home without it.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The gang got together last night to have a look at Eugene, Gary and Liam's Marathon des Sables DVD. The took part in the 20th running of the event in 2005. Almost 2 years later and we're all still in awe of their achievements. The video was done by a BBC reporter and gives a great sense of the hardship that must have been involved. It really puts across well the physical difficulties that must have been excruciating; the searing, unbearable heat, the feet/ blister problems, the sand dunes that must have been so draining, the mountain climbs, the lack of food, the lack of COLD drinks! I'd imagine the mental challenges that they must have had to overcome far outweighed all of these. I doubt any of us can imagine what that was like unless we actually do it.

We've always provisionally said we would enter for 2009. So what will be the big challenge for 2008?