Go eat the pies and the cake!

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Well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…most notably the spare tyre I’m developing around my middle!!! I would panic but it was a long and hard enough season I put down so a little bit of overindulgence isn’t going to kill me, besides just wait until I tell you what I’ve in store for next year, you’ll forgive me for becoming a pudding from pudding!!

I’d love to say I finished up last season on a high but in all honesty my last triathlon was dreadful. It was the Moby Dick down in Yougal and I was frozen from start to finish, worst sea swim I’ve encountered to date…there were waves, which is something I hadn’t really encountered before, it was disgusting. Luckily my swimming instructor Corinna was tackling Ironman Barcelona at exactly the same time so to relax my breathing in the sea I kept saying, Corinna…is doing…an Ironman, instead of my usual, bubble…bubble…bubble, (trick Corinna taught me to get me to breath the air out under the water before coming up for an intake every third stroke, if you do happen to be struggling I can assure you this works, try it!). The rest of the event went not too badly with my run being the fastest tri run to date. This only materialised because one of my fellow club mates, Pete Wedderburn, told me if I didn’t vomit after the line I didn’t go hard enough. Now, I don’t think he actually wanted me to throw up but I have noticed that I recover rather quickly when I stop so I said I’d put in a bit more effort this time!! Pete was of course shouting me in, on the run in, so I gave it socks…I’m glad to report no puking was done!!!

Well it’s been pretty quiet on the training front since that event, I’ve just been tipping away, not really taking a break but hardly killing my self either hence the expanding waistline. I’ve had a groin strain which has been wrecking my buzz a little lately. Every time I think its better it flairs up again. Embarrassingly I think I did it in yoga but if anyone else asks let’s say I was thrown from an over enthusiastic horse or something!!

I joined my local tri club, Wicklow Tri. Made sense really, I was training with and had become friends with a few of the members over the summer and well, they are just a lovely bunch. They even gave me an award at the awards dinner in November.

I really am very blessed to have joined a great club with so many experienced triathletes (who will hopefully bare in mind I said nice things about them) for me to wreck the heads off over the next year!!

But I will say, if you haven’t a club locally, can’t afford the fees or the commitment then you can certainly do all this without a club. There are so many people out there that will help you out and give advice without joining the club, look at the help I got all year and I never once intended joining a club or becoming a triathlete, I was just going to rock up and do Dublin 70.3!

So the whole point of the blog and challenge is to obviously push myself to my limits (yeah, I think we pretty much covered that in parts this year!!) and to encourage others to get a bit more active, if I can do it with this crappy old broken body of mine then so can you!

The top nuggets of knowledge I have learnt or was given (so far) are:

Find yourself someone who is good at swimming (I had Corinna) cycling (I had Mark) and running (I had George) to get a good grounding in each discipline, it’s rare to find a triathlete who is brilliant at them all (as we’ve established I now suck equally at them all! But it’s equal so I don’t mind!)

You don’t need fancy equipment to get you around the course (my bike was €500 in Halfords and luckily most other things were bought for me or lent to me)

Everyone hates how they look in a tri suit, don’t stress about it!

There is really no occasion where it is acceptable to wear underpants on the bike…even if you really think you should! Don’t do it!!

If you didn’t heed the above warning Riding Cream (yes it’s really called that) will solve the issues you have given yourself!

If an experienced triathlete tells you to eat, then eat! If they ask, you did you bring nutrition?…that is not really a question but a demand!

The cycle pedal and cleat combo was definitely forged in hell, but once you have mastered the art of it (I’m still not at that stage) well…apparently it gives you more power on the bike (personally I think it just induces my fear and limits the amount of days in the year that I can actually wear anything above the knee!)

Most importantly HAVE FUN. Even through the really, really crappy parts of this year I had fun, I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. Remember at the very beginning I said I wanted to remain craic, well I really meant it and I know that it’s due to having the most amazing friends that I kept the fun in what I was doing!

Well that is it for this year except for to tell you what my next challenge is. It was always going to be the full IM so on 4th August 2018 I will taking part in Ironman Tallinn. The challenge is to complete the race and somehow (probably with assistance at that stage) recreate this photo from my last trip there, only this time as an Ironman with my finishers medal around my neck…and maybe not the yellow shoes!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I’ve a feeling the next blog will be about fat busting…so go eat the pies and the cake, we’ll deal with the fat in January!

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