Progress

It’s not the distance but the pace that kills.

Not waiting around for the 1:30 baloon for this year’s Ballina Half Marathon I decided, to take off on my own steam for the first time ever in a long race. Previously I would have paced off someone , but with Ray Mc on his holiers and Ivan the great injured the only others I knew ahead of me we’re John Byrne, Micheal Canty and Dwayne I’ll be pacing off those lads when we are racing as octogenarians.

The weather never seems to let us down for this race, I have a nice singlet sunburn from yesterday. However that wind was cat. I’d like to think it cost me a minute. Certainly burned me out. My legs felt very heavy 10km in, I don’t know whether this was the pace I took out at or whether my form is not on point. Either way after 10k I was looking forward to the gradient heading south but that coincided with wind so it did not feel like speed as per previous years. The old road back to Beleek was a total drag and I was just willing my head into the woods.

It’s a bit of a false ridge being able to see Keane’s shop and pub from Beleek feeling like you are close but still having 6 k to go. To be honest being there in those woods at the hour mark I thought holy moly you are on for 1:25 ish here. I felt like Mo farah for about 2 minutes until Gary from Leeds just knocked it into cruise control and breezed past me. I was out of gears.

It was a real grind from there on in, I felt like I had something to lose. My pace slowed right down to 4:30 pace sometimes getting back to 4:10 but I had nothing in the tank. At this point I always break it down to the shortest goals.

Get to bachelor’s walk, get to the bridge , get to the quay road. At the quay road I was at about 1:20. Just wanting it all to be over. The reserves are gone and any hopes of a strong finish out the window. I kept saying forget the watch and just focus on what’s left but you still try and calculate your finish time in some sort of game. It does not make any difference as speed will not increase. To decrease means stopping so you just keep that pace maintenance to get to the line.

Creggs road has this insanely slight gradient that sucks the bejaysis out of you. It’s not a hill, just a gradient increase. Coming around the bend I could see the clock just go into the 1:28 minute, and was not interested in some sort of a kamikaze burst of madness so I just coasted to 1:28:20.

The progress is in the fact that I did the Ballina half 7 years ago in 1:50 ish. If you had told me then I would do it in 1:28 I would have laughed. Now here I believe with a stronger finish I’m closer to 1:25. Why? Just belief. Maybe not that course but certainly flatter, cooler and less windy.

The progress is being delivered through my coach who has re mapped my former Gaa components into endurance. That is a blog in itself so I won’t delve further.

But what I can delve on, which is awesome is the likes of Paul Hogan, Frank Reape, young Fox and Colm Reilly.

I can feel those mo fo’s breathing down my neck. And I am fucked if they will beat me in a long distance race. I know we’re all nice nice. And they are sound men. But competition is competition. They are flaking themselves. Their gains do not go unnoticed.

I can’t stress how awesome this is to have locally. It drives me to get up this morning. Dying. It drives me to get more out of myself. Not only to keep the wolves from snapping but also to take a few scalps along the way.

It’s just my opinion. Take it with a pinch of salt. But I think competition is the greatest asset in keeping your mental and physical health. It creates a natural furnace. Heats you when you need it. Focuses you when you are idle. It is not financially or socially motivated. It is just pure.

Singlet, shorts , shoes and watch.

Run MO FO. I’m watching you.

Blow outs

This is the first beer of my holiday. In the airport leaving. Rather than in the airport going. Relax, I’m not going to spout on about how great my health and fitness is. It’s just symbolic in a way. Not for you but for me.

I was not totally alcohol free for the last 5 days of my holiday. After dinner I would have some red wine. It was an all inclusive place, eat and drink as much as you want deal. Some people call this heaven.

The symbolism of this beer on the exit rather than entry is that I really needed a blow out. Not that things are going bad , they are going great. It’s were just, all so flat to the mat these days every day. Everyone is at Mach 3. Including myself.

I don’t want to offend you , I don’t want to pontificate nor demean individuals or individuality. When your head is about to explode I think the worst thing I could have done is go on a bender. Nobody would begrudge me, it’s acceptable. Some may say it’s the best thing I could do.

But thank feck this is my first beer as I leave because I feel great. I feel refreshed. I’m buzzing. 5 days of balls to the wall cycling. Dropping fellas. Making them suffer. Listen to them breathing, watch how they are riding sense if they are up for some hard climbing – is absolutely awesome.

Climbing is addictive , I now understand the levels of torture pro cyclists put themselves through for weeks on end. Arriving home deranged in the head after 100kms of mountains, switch backs and hairpins. After an ice cream you are up for some more.

The desent from Valdemossa south was as close to turning on pornhub as one could get. Black smooth perfectly tarred roads. Belting down, hands fatigued from the brake and release and go, 60-70kmh pretending to be a pro tucking into aero position. I felt like I was 12 again. Dreaming again.

That desent was like snowboarding. It was pure cycling porn.

Being in such close proximity to Magelouf the understanding of how we deal with blow outs in other ways are so in your face it is hard not to think about being one of those guys bananas at 4pm. Again nothing wrong with it. Each to their own. But how good is it for your physical and mental health. There was a noticeable difference in health between Magelouf and Santa Ponsa. Albeit this was only experienced at 5pm. The folks outside the auld triangle looked healthier than those outside the prince William. Maybe I imagined it. Looking at your own , better than others.

The main goal out here was to kick start my season. Get my race weight nailed on now. Not next august. This was achieved and I am stoked with that. I leave with more though , I have the buzz back. The love of endurance, the why. Why I do it. I had lost this why. Glad to have it back and can’t wait to get out on those long bikes now. On my own. Suffering. It’s the best suffering. It benefits you. It adds to you not subtracting. Never subtracting your mind And soul.

An alcohol blow out will blow you out but it won’t bring the parts back together each evening after some vanilla like an activity based holiday will. It will have you pissing yourself laughing. Laughing so hard you can not breathe. I get it. That’s class. But in these times of stress it’s better to wish that O2 mask drop down at the crest of a hill rather than the business end of an afternoon session. Where you know your body does not want this. Your mind is elsewhere dreaming, fantasising of happieness elsewhere. Where you want to be. Talking and laughing and being present in a group does not mean your mind is present in that same group. Your mind could be dreaming about receiving a pass from Aiden O Shea.

Bottom line, if you are still reading this blog. And some of these words have pinged your nerves, get online And get active. Find your mountainous 100km a day blow out.

Whatever that physical blow out is, it does not matter. What matters is that you are mentally connected throughout and chemically married to something that helps you rather than married to a chemical adulterer.

Choose health

Health is wealth.

Blow outs

This is the first beer of my holiday. In the airport leaving. Rather than in the airport going. Relax, I’m not going to spout on about how great my health and fitness is. It’s just symbolic in a way. Not for you but for me.

I was not totally alcohol free for the last 5 days of my holiday. After dinner I would have some red wine. It was an all inclusive place, eat and drink as much as you want deal. Some people call this heaven.

The symbolism of this beer on the exit rather than entry is that I really needed a blow out. Not that things are going bad , they are going great. It’s were just, all so flat to the mat these days every day. Everyone is at Mach 3. Including myself.

I don’t want to offend you , I don’t want to pontificate nor demean individuals or individuality. When your head is about to explode I think the worst thing I could have done is go on a bender. Nobody would begrudge me, it’s acceptable. Some may say it’s the best thing I could do.

But thank feck this is my first beer as I leave because I feel great. I feel refreshed. I’m buzzing. 5 days of balls to the wall cycling. Dropping fellas. Making them suffer. Listen to them breathing, watch how they are riding sense if they are up for some hard climbing – is absolutely awesome.

Climbing is addictive , I now understand the levels of torture pro cyclists put themselves through for weeks on end. Arriving home deranged in the head after 100kms of mountains, switch backs and hairpins. After an ice cream you are up for some more.

The desent from Valdemossa south was as close to turning on pornhub as one could get. Black smooth perfectly tarred roads. Belting down, hands fatigued from the brake and release and go, 60-70kmh pretending to be a pro tucking into aero position. I felt like I was 12 again. Dreaming again.

That desent was like snowboarding. It was pure cycling porn.

Being in such close proximity to Magelouf the understanding of how we deal with blow outs in other ways are so in your face it is hard not to think about being one of those guys bananas at 4pm. Again nothing wrong with it. Each to their own. But how good is it for your physical and mental health. There was a noticeable difference in health between Magelouf and Santa Ponsa. Albeit this was only experienced at 5pm. The folks outside the auld triangle looked healthier than those outside the prince William. Maybe I imagined it. Looking at your own , better than others.

The main goal out here was to kick start my season. Get my race weight nailed on now. Not next august. This was achieved and I am stoked with that. I leave with more though , I have the buzz back. The love of endurance, the why. Why I do it. I had lost this why. Glad to have it back and can’t wait to get out on those long bikes now. On my own. Suffering. It’s the best suffering. It benefits you. It adds to you not subtracting. Never subtracting your mind And soul.

An alcohol blow out will blow you out but it won’t bring the parts back together each evening after some vanilla like an activity based holiday will. It will have you pissing yourself laughing. Laughing so hard you can not breathe. I get it. That’s class. But in these times of stress it’s better to wish that O2 mask drop down at the crest of a hill rather than the business end of an afternoon session. Where you know your body does not want this. Your mind is elsewhere dreaming, fantasising of happieness elsewhere. Where you want to be. Talking and laughing and being present in a group does not mean your mind is present in that same group. Your mind could be dreaming about receiving a pass from Aiden O Shea.

Bottom line, if you are still reading this blog. And some of these words have pinged your nerves, get online And get active. Find your mountainous 100km a day blow out.

Whatever that physical blow out is, it does not matter. What matters is that you are mentally connected throughout and chemically married to something that helps you rather than married to a chemical adulterer.

Choose health

Health is wealth.