Its been a while since i last wrote a blog and considering i’ve turned up a day early for my flight to Mallorca what better way to kill some time in my travel tavern than to give you an update of what's been going on recently.
My last event was the Dublin Marathon on the 31st of October last year. I decided to do it as i had a years full of running under my belt which consisted of: 32 half iron distance triathlons and one triple iron so i knew i had a good base there plus my fiancé Ciara lives in Dublin so it made good sense to kill two birds with one stone. I’d done the Dublin marathon 3 years ago and i remember it being a good rolling course with plenty of support throughout the race! I'll never forget my previous Dublin marathon experience, as about 5 miles from the finish it tipped it down with rain and to top it off it was freezing cold and i wasn’t appropriately dressed for the occasion and then got lost and couldn't find Ciara so ended up a shivering shaking mess close to tears and on the verge of hyperthermia.
This time i made sure i checked the weather and it was looking like a good day so i was more than looking forward to running. I entered the race with no game plan really apart from just going for a nice jog and taking it all in. I wasn’t planning on any PB’s, i just wanted to go for a run and enjoy the day and then go out for a few beers with Ciara and head home with a smile on my face.
We woke up early and headed into town to look for the starting point. I cant remember what colour group i was in but in the Dublin marathon there are many starting areas all with different colour starts depending on pace until you all meet up on the same path and head out for your run. Being a very punctual human being i’m always far to early but i find its alway best to be too early rather than to late for obvious reasons. After all i’m about to run a marathon so why stress yourself out panicking before you've even started as its all a waste of valuable energy.
The gun went and the usual pushing and shoving assumed until the hoards of people started fizzling out and opening up to allow a decent pace of running. Like i said earlier i only wanted to take it easy and after about 3 miles i was feeling pretty good and continued to go at the same pace in the lovely Irish sunshine. I can remember running and thinking that Ciara was going to be by herself for the whole time i was running and there’s only a certain number of coffee’s you can have until you get piss bored so i upped my pace a bit. I entered phoenix park and i remembered the last time i was here was a few months before for Ironman Dublin 70.3, its where the half marathon and the finish was held. I kept running and i looked up only to see a pacer with the 3 hour 40 min pace marker. My marathon PB was in Amsterdam with a time of 3.50, so to see the 3.40 pacer and i was feeling good at mile 6 i thought i might as well stick with him and see how i go so i did. Mile 7, 8 and then 9 i thought “sod it” I'm gonna pick up the pace and if i blow out later down the line then so be it.
I kept running and i knew at around the 21 mile mark i normally start to feel it and today wasn’t any different, i started to really feel it in my legs but i didn't want to see that pacer run past me and i never looked back once and just kept rocking with my chest out, head up and not to loose form due to tiredness.
2 miles to go and still no sign of the pacer and i knew i was heading for a good PB but didn't have a watch to tell me what it actually was so tuned on the burners and picked up the pace for the last push. As i came to the final straight the street to my left and right was packed with spectators shouting and screaming and i literally had goosebumps all over my body and i was buzzing. You don't feel any pain when your that high and i was loving it, then i saw my time and new PB of 3.36.46 which i was really happy about. I picked up my medal and went to find Ciara, still dressed with a running top that resembled a boob tube (i’d forgotten my running top so borrowed one of her brothers tops which i think he last used in school haha) and go for a well earnt beer.
Last event of a very busy year done and i was then looking at what to do next year and had a few ideas one of which will be a first so we started to get the ball rolling and started having some meetings to see if it was all possible.
As i was thinking into the new year i started training again after my rest from the Dublin marathon to get back on track. But i was struggling with my running as my foot was in a bit of pain. I tried to ignore it at first but i knew i was only kidding myself so i mentioned it to Whittle and he told me to lay off it for the time being and i then went to see Dai at Agile Therapy to see what he had to say about it. I take Whittle & Dai’s word as gospel, they really do know what their talking about and after checking my foot out he more or less said i had to rest it and ice bath it so there was no running for a while plus it also affected my cycling for a bit. To cut a long story short i concentrated on swimming, wattbike and strength work and then xmas came so training went by the wayside a bit. I went to Mallorca for 4 days over the xmas period and got a bit of cycling done and an open water swim session in the sea but i still wasn’t running and i knew that i needed to be putting far more training in for what i had planned for 2017 so started stressing a little.
January 1st came and i knew it was time to get my head down and start putting some hours in if i was going to be in a decent shape for my oncoming challenges. I had a 2 and a half mile run after having 2 months off and all was good which i was happy about. I went for a Wattbike session at Whittle’s house followed by a meeting of what I'm going to be doing this year and seeing if we can fit it all in and more importantly is my body up to it.
I decided to book my annual winter training in Mallorca for January 11th so i could put in some serious millage swimming, cycling and running for 3 weeks and if my body held up then i’ll have the confidence to announce my challenges. I’m meeting my mate Leigh Hutchings out there and we’re going to spend some time training up in Alcudia for 2 weeks then he’s off home and i’ll then spend some time in Santa Ponca before heading home hopefully fitter and charged up ready to rock 2017.
January 11th and i wake at 3.30am after an hours sleep mainly due to the fact i was exited about my trip. Due to past experiences regarding my forgetful mind and leaving trainers at home, running tops, along with many other things i spent the previous day checking off all my packing not just once but twice and making sure everything was packed as tidy as possible. I was pretty stoked with my packing and this time i knew i’d nailed it.
My longtime suffering mate/tour manager/shop manager Adrian Rooke picked me up and we headed for Bristol airport loaded with baggage as i had a bag full of nutrition along with a bag full of swim, bike and run stuff and my cabin bag. I walked to Easyjet check in and the lady asked “where are you going?” i said “Mallorca” and gave her my boarding pass for her to tell me “Your a day early, the flights tomorrow morning sir”. Everyone at check in just looked at me with a giggle and laughed even more when i had to call Adrian to come and pick me up again (laughter), fair play it was pretty funny and better to be early than late so i told them all I’ll see you tomorrow and got Adrian to drop me off at the Holiday inn. I checked if they had any rooms and the lady behind reception was very helpful and rather charge me for a day room and night room just charged me for the night and gave me a free breakfast token. I think she felt sorry for me but nevertheless it was very kind of her. Not all lost i suppose as i got to sit down and write this and pretend to be Alan Partridge for the day.
I started my £100,000 challenge last year starting off with my 30 half ironman distance triathlons in 30 days and carried on with various other events and spin bike days over the year and I'm proud to say with the help and generosity of all that donated we’ve reached £30,000. We still have a long way to go to reach the target of £100,000 but I'm confident with what we have planned for 2017 we can reach the goal.
Thanks to everyone so far for their help and generosity.
Anyone interested in sponsoring any of my challenges please contact us via this site. thank you