Day 1 – 22/22 PTSD Depression & Awareness Challenge

First up, nomination time.

This guy is someone I know roughly 6 years but a shared love for life and childish sense of humour is what brought us together. This guy has similar life experiences to me and some of that, I think, is telepathically recognised when people meet and it is this understanding and knowledge that means I would trust this guy with my feelings and emotions if I ever had to.

Step forward Noel McCarthy.

Continue reading Day 1 – 22/22 PTSD Depression & Awareness Challenge

22/22 PTSD Depression & Suicide Awareness Challenge

So I was nominated by my old pal Patrick Mclean on Facebook today to take on this PTSD Depression & Suicide Awareness Challenge which has been doing the rounds.

Continue reading 22/22 PTSD Depression & Suicide Awareness Challenge

The Final Countdown

We’re into the last couple of weeks before ITERA 2016 which takes place with race HQ in Killarney.

Been a bit of upset the past few weeks which is not the most conducive to focused training; team captain Mike took a spill off the MTB resulting in broken bones, I’m wrapping up on a business rebranding and seeking new opportunities, family time is hectic… but we’ll get there, on the start line on 16th August.

I’ve been busy working with team sponsors, trying to secure new support into the future as the team becomes a club and a deeper squad forms.

All go!

I’m going to ITERA!!

Finally things have started to come together a bit for me in work and I’m able to get back together with my #TriHarderAR teamies to race in ITERA 2016 starting in August.

I’ve been tipping away with training but with the realisation that racing was a possibility I started ramping up about a month ago. It’s all going well and my body weight is heading in the right direction.

We’ve a team session under our belt and I have had a few spins out with Mike on the kayak and trekking so all is good.


[Race Report] – Causeway Coast Adventure Race Round 2 Boyle

A few notes on Saturday’s event – real report on the #TriHarderAR website shortly.

Saturday 20 February

Event: Causeway Coast Adventure Race

Photo Credit : Mark Kelly

Road Run race (1 – Foot Orienteering) 25:45 4.43 km (5:49 / km) +75m 5:22 / km map/data
ahr:155 max:169 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

A quick blast around a football pitch and we were handed a foot orienteering map with 7 CP’s to collect around the town of Boyle.

Having spotted that we were coming back to the same TA and CP’s could be hit “in any sequence” my suggestion to run reverse course was decided when we saw a queue forming at CP 1

We ran around the course quite snappily getting in and out of the points without any hassle and back into TA1 high up the rankings.


Trail / Mountain Bike race (2 – Bike Section) 1:10:54 22.76 km (19.3 kph) +306m map/data
ahr:154 max:170 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

Passed the map to Mike and I took the control card, slotting them into our Nordenmark map holders we were off out the gate.

This was completely different to the normal map study and route planning, all has to be done on the fly, orienteering style. As a result we went wrong at the first turn and ended up doing an out and back for a couple of km before getting stuck behind a tractor on narrow streets.

Feeling good we chain ganged out to the first bike CP: Wynnes Viewpoint and caught Team ARSE there (turns out they were having sickness issues). Super fast dibbing and back with flying mounts onto the next CP at Kesh Caves. We caught another team on the way with a clever jump off the main road saving backtracking.

Trail Run race (3 – Caves & Asstoboggan) 14:18 1.0 km (14:17 / km) +72m 10:30 / km map/data
ahr:158 max:170 shoes: Saucony Guide 9

A steep hike up to the Caves where we had to crawl through caves and back out to dib and retrace steps to the bikes.

Looking at Mike and Mike looking at me and us looking down the hill. The words “It’s not worth it guys!!” from the marshal convinced us …. and off we went ass-toboganning down the steep grassy slope… WHEEEEE!!!!!! and through a thorny gorse thicket. We reckon we saved 10 mins on this leg alone and had an absolute blast!! 😀

Back on the bikes.

Trail / Mountain Bike (4 – Bike leg) 32:28 4.88 km (9.0 kph) +241m map/data
ahr:152 max:168 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

High on exhilaration from our cross country slide we tore away from the caves having gained a place on the descent too.

We stopped at the next junction and opted for a route which was almost hidden on the map. A bare trail looped around the contours of the hill we were aiming for and brought us parallel to the main route but higher up. We lost less height so would have less climbing 😉

Plenty of ups and downs though and with the legs burning after the hill climb we churned this out.

Slight over shoot of the entrance to the next CP as we made better time than expected but 100m turnabout and we caught another team as we came into the Special Task

Trail Run race (5 – To the cliffs) 33:41 3.14 km (10:44 / km) +190m 8:15 / km map/data
ahr:153 max:170 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

Special task was to decipher a code written in ogham style text but the clues were sideways to the writing. Bit of spatial awareness required.

Quick smart “CCAR The Best Racers” got us underway and onto the trek.

Grabbing the control at the style and passing a team we dropped down to the base of the cliffs where we got the next. And opting to skip the bonus (worth 150 points but 20/30 mins trek) we scrambled back up the cliff and barrelled down the trail to the bikes.

I took my first Agave gel at this point more from a psychological thing than anything as we ran to the bikes, more map swapping, back on and away we went, catching and passing another team out of transition.

Trail / Mountain Bike race (6 – to the water) 1:12:23 17.64 km (14.6 kph) +319m map/data
ahr:144 max:164 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

We hit max speed on the way to the next couple of controls unfortunately though we over shot the turn we wanted – covered the ground quicker than expected again and had to back track as it was a mandatory CP we’d missed.

Not too back, got it, raced down hill, held our position but passed another team who had ventured onto a forbidden stretch of road.

We found our way to the kayaks and Mike’s face lit up as he was handed a chocolate biscuit.

Paddling race (7 – on the water briefly) 23:45 2.3 km (5.8 kph) +18m map/data
ahr:143 max:162 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

Special Task though – we had to put it on our foreheads and eat it without touching. Quick as a flash I put his biscuit on my head and knelt in front of him he ate his and vice versa. Job done and in fits of giggles we got PFD’s on and into the water.

Super section hit +7kph as we settled quickly, down to CP, nabbed and turned back to go fetch the bonus. Only 21 mins on the water but a few minutes getting off and out as the cold was hitting and hips were tightening.

Keep moving as we ‘undressed’ each others bibs and PFD’s onto the bike and go!

Trail / Mountain Bike race (8 – dash to the finish) 22:25 7.09 km (19.0 kph) +87m map/data
ahr:141 max:157 shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

A smart nav call had us paralleling the main road and crossing at the right place, no rules being tweaked by us! But we knew we’d be tight for time. Having to get to TA4 as it was mandatory meant not heading right to finish. Energy was well sapped and it took great efforts to haul ass to the TA, dib in and out avoiding the temptation to take a punt on the Orienteering course.

We were already accepting that we would be late, it’s the trade off on penalty vs points available. SO back to finish just under 6 minutes late and 30 point penalty.

Over all we finished well, both extremely happy with the days efforts going from 3/4th to last back to complete in 6th after result adjustment.

Hindsight shows 10-15 mins on the foot o course at the end would have gained us 100/150 points and we’d lose an extra 70 so ‘may’ have been worth it to net of the penalties which would have brought us to 4th place.

All a great day out, tons of fun and smiles, plenty of laughter with a great team-mate.

[Race Report] – Maree 8k Road Race – well feck ya’ Gerry!!!

Hindsight is great, looking back last night I realised it’s been 5 years since I ran the Maree 8k road race. Back then I was younger (obviously!!) and ran the course in 39 mins (with change) and was chuffed with a sub 40min 8k.

Today was different.. Continue reading [Race Report] – Maree 8k Road Race – well feck ya’ Gerry!!!

Spinning Plates

Becoming a bit of a trend Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday all go to plan, Thursday hang on by the fingernails and Friday & Saturday go out the window.

Certain amount of accumulated load from training but also work as the tail of the week is longer hours in work and more about others with my run group on Saturday mornings taking prevalence.

This week Thursday we had a talk after work with a local nutritionist aimed at the #Zero25k group, we did follow up with a 30 min trot around the village – their homework. By the time I got home I was not fit for the turbo.

Poor sleep Thursday meant no swim Friday (late up and kids for school etc) and my planned run home was binned as I loaned my van to a pal and left gear in it or at home or somewhere other than where I intended having it..

Saturday alarm went off at 5am for a 2 hour run before breakfast, commute & meeting the group at 8am for their run…

Candles burning at both ends at the moment and stuff is not working for me.

Time to sort out these plates…

[Training Diary] Week 2 & 3 January to date

Need to be finding consistency with this training.

Continue reading [Training Diary] Week 2 & 3 January to date

[Training Diary] Week 1 & 2 January 2016

Friday 15 Jan


Swimming (Nothing Special) 22:45 [2] 1.0 km (22:45 / km)

Just reviewing the training file and my stroke rate is very low.

I was mixing it a bit and find when I stroke long and slow I get a full extension and drive at the finish of the stroke +/- 40 spm or I can raise this to 57/58 spm and I feel my stroke becomes very short and choppy with no drive extension at the back of the stroke.

Speed is the same for 100m so assumption is the long slow is more efficient energy wise.

I’m quite happy at 1:50 – 2:00 / 100m as all I want is swim fit for the IM distance so bike and run not affected.

Thursday 14 Jan


Turbo Trainer / Bike 50:13 [2] 21.0 km (25.1 kph)
ahr:124 max:154

Wednesday 13 Jan


Swimming (Straight swim) 25:05 [1] 1.24 km (20:14 / km)

Gonna request the pool to post a lane etiquette board cos it’s not funny anymore :(

Trail Run 50:00 [2] ** 9.0 km (5:33 / km)
shoes: Saucony Xodus GTX

A frustrating electronics day :(

No charger still for my Fenix3 – have a new one ordered as a spare til I get to collect the other one.
Update Polar V800 to latest firmware (includes wrist based cadence) – first time ever update wiped sport profiles so left with ‘Swimming’ as an option to track run
Dug out phone for Strava – battery low so switches off before complete.

Anyway I don’t run to the HR, I track with these things so no loss.

A beautiful night out, crystal clear, sub-zero temps (barely) and icy underfoot so trails were the right option. Thankful of the Goretex in the shoes as my feet lovely and toasty despite the icy cold puddles and long grass 😀

Tuesday 12 Jan


Swimming (Mish mash splash) 35:00 [2] 1.2 km (29:10 / km)

Just a splash with a few 100’s.

Caught Breaststroker just as she joined the lane. Made a point of stopping and ‘suggested’ we split the lane until someone else joins us – finally she understood land ettiquette.

Just as I was deciding to wrap up the Dolphinkicker ploughed down the middle of the lane. There may be accidental contact one of the days until he learns to stick to the sides. He also has a ferocious habit of stopping in the middle of the wall leaving a tight target for kicking off from.

Week started.


Turbo Trainer / Bike (Easy session) 45:05 [2] 20.66 km (27.5 kph) map/data

My little girl was sick this evening so once she had settled and was in bed I followed Mrs C into the cave for the regular Tuesday double turbo session.

Hers was a toughie so as always the ‘easy’ session is the one that is interrupted if the kids are up. Sure enough 3 mins in and I was back upstairs cuddling little Miss.

Back on and 45 mins done. I played a little as simply spinning bores me to tears.

Monday 11 Jan


Rest day.

Had thought about a S&C session but Coach said: “No, No, No!” leaving me in no doubt he meant “No!”

Ended up watching the Golden Globes with my wife & brother in law who stayed with us as he is attending the funeral tomorrow of legendary golfer Christy O’Connor Jnr.

Back in the pool tomorrow and a recovery week ahead.

Sunday 10 Jan


Trail / Mountain Bike 2:41:21 [2] * 34.0 km (12.6 kph) +520m map/data
slept:6.0 weight:89kg shoes: LG MTB shoes

Breathtaking spin in the woods around Kylebrack.

Nothing technical but a great workout as loose gravel and plenty of rolling hilly bits.…

[Training Diary] – It all changes

After a decent week where I hit all the goals we started into December with the #SanityClause runstreak again.

I didn’t mean to commit but I did.  A lot of work structuring and organising the spreadsheet and sorting everyone out with how to use it and so on. I’d a decent start to the month.

I was hitting the training targets that were set by Coach. I was getting the time out to run for myself. I prefer running to going for a walk or meditating. Running is my thinking time so combines both things.

A lot on my mind lately with us coming to the end of our franchise agreement, roadworks affecting business, and a host of personal stresses.

Unfortunately my granny passed away last Thursday so it meant a weekend of driving and dedicated family time. I was first born grandchild and I have so many memories of my childhood and youth that feature granny and grandad (he died when I was 16) they have had a profound influence on me growing up.


I will continue to miss both dearly and carry those memories in my heart.

From a #SanityClause perspective I did run on Saturday with my cousin Brian which did both of us the power of good, but there was no way I was running on Sunday as we’d an early start to get to Portlaoise, to Greystones and back to Galway in that order.

The stress of the past while is now telling on me as despite eating well and looking after myself I am developing a chest issue with a rattle beginning. Thankfully I am into a recovery week so will take it easier.

I’ll continue the timeout element of the #SanityClause but no longer be logging as part of the group.

I need the headspace.