It has been quite a while since the last update in the beginning of the year. Since then I went back to university for the second semester of my masters and changed jobs. This meant commuting quite a bit for one month while finishing assignments and projects but now I am back in Co. Dublin for work and I have finally the time for training I wish I had all spring.
In the beginning of the months a friend was over for a weekend and we went over to the west. I was so happy to see her again. It was way too long since we had seen each other.
On the Friday we started after I finished work and we drove over to County Clare. We started the next day early since we wanted to walk a loop in the Burren. It was quite good that we took a shorter one as it started to rain. We probably walked 10 of the 14K through the rain. That is, if you trust the weather forecast in Ireland. Afterwards we drove to the Burren Chocolatier for cake and coffee, and from there to the Burren Perfumery.
On the Sunday we drove first to Doolin, from there to the Cliffs of Moher and back to Doolin to take a boat to see the cliffs also from the water side. The sea was so clear and I wished I could have gone for a swim. The sunny weather was just inviting for that. In Lahinch we stopped for a walk on the beach and ice-cream before heading home to Dublin.
With the Wicklow Mountains more or less at the doorstep, we had to go there as well and so went there on Monday evening to see the Glenmacnass waterfall, the Guinness Lake and of course we had to stop at the bridge which was in the P.S. I love you movie (the only good thing about the movie is the nature of the Wicklow Mountains btw. – it is so beautiful up there).
Last Sunday was my first race of the season. I was probably less prepared than I had wished when I signed up for the race earlier but it was a good test to see where I stand. Plus, I can only improve in the next races.
The river was colder than the sea where I was swimming a few times during the last two weeks. After the start it was quite hard to breathe since it did not matter to which side I turned my head, there was always waves from the other athletes that ended up in my face. After the turnaround it got a little bit better and the current helped carrying us down. I probably could have gone faster but with the little training I had, I did not want to risk anything. Or I was just lazy…
Of course, using my Garmin 920XT for the first time in a race, I just learned that it had not started running over to the transition area. Oh well, I still have a few races before the 70.3 for practising. Otherwise, the transition went well.
The bike course was an out and back course. The less enjoying part was the ascent until the turning point. This meant that least that the second half would be fast and descending all the way into transition. I knew before the race that it would be tougher on the way out but still hoped for the route to be somewhat gentle but of course it was not. If only I could have gone to all the hill sessions this spring…
Last year I cycled to Carlow to cheer so I had no experience with all the potholes and circles around them but now I got to experience them as well and descend I was wondering from time to time, if I was on the Paris – Roubaix route.
Despite having checked my spot in relation to the Bike In, I still managed to pass my spot so that I needed to run a few metres back.
The run was an out and back course as well, only the first and last kilometre were different. For the most part the run was along the river Barrow. I knew that this would not be the best part of the race but I made it without walking and can only improve from there.
The next race is in a little bit over two weeks in Westport. I am already really looking forward to that, and the whole weekend.