Monthly Archives: July 2012

Exercise Isn’t for ‘Sporty’ People…

Well I’m absolutely thrilled.  I completed my first triathlon in Kilkenny at the weekend and it was a personal ‘Eureka’.  Ok, my transition times were awful, I wasn’t very fast, but I completed the course – and I was suprised at a few of my own times.  I learned a lot too, and I discovered I want to do another event like this, so that I can improve.

I wanted to do the ‘Choose to Try’ triathlon, because it was good training for the ‘Tri-Adventure’ I’ll be doing in Uganda for Concern this November.   But I also wanted to do it, because the new ‘Choose to Try’ charity that set it up, simply wants us to realise the important role that exercise plays in preventing and fighting cancer.  This is fact, this is reality.  Exercise can help keep you healthy, and can help save your life.  It’s not an option folks, it’s something that we all have to do; and somehow we’ve got to get the message out there to our young people, and all those people that we love and want to live a long and happy life.   Exercise is not a choice, it’s a part of what we are and what we need to be.

Here’s the revolution speaking.  Exercise isn’t for ‘sporty’ people.  It’s for you and me.   I was 23 stone and on Saturday I swam and cycled and ran my way around Kilkenny Castle – and I loved it.  If I can do that, we all can.   x

Time to Try a Tri…

Well it’s finally arrived. Today I leave Dublin with my bike for my first competitive triathlon in Kilkenny on Saturday. I’ve been living in the gym for the past week, but I’ve eased up on running and cycling, to give my legs a chance to recover in time for the big event.

I’m excited, but not really nervous. I’ve never done a ‘transition’ before – changing from my wetsuit to cycling gear ‘on the trot’, but I’m not concerned about times, this time out. I’ve done the groundwork and while I know I won’t be fast, I’m confident that barring the unexpected, like injury or mechanical problems, I will finish the course.

It’s a ‘super-sprint’ course (short to you and me), because this is a ‘Choose to Tri’ event, aimed at getting beginners up and out there. ChooseToTri is a Super Sprint Distance event focused on raising awareness that exercise helps prevent breast and bowel cancer and their reoccurrence. It’s designed as a goal to help kick-start everyday people (like me) to exercise regularly.

I’ll have my ‘ChooseToTri’ cap on tomorrow; but I’ll also be running in my Concern colours. Because training and participating in the event this weekend, is part of my training for the Concern Uganda Tri-Adventure challenge that I’ll be heading off to Africa for in November.

Wish me luck! 🙂

Having the Quack…

I’m running out of dry clothes, but I’m still running….

15k on the bike into work today, the bike that was held together with cable-ties and WD40 (or whatever you call that stuff in the blue can)…. anyhow, it bust at the last bend, so it’s now with the bike doctor, where it should have been since last week, if I’d had my priorities right!   Anyhow, I had wet cycling shorts and top and jacket from cycling in,  the waterproof bike panier failed it’s shop-bought promises and delivered up damp clothes for wearing in the office, and pretty soggy gym clothes for later.  Never mind, they all steamed up nicely once I started lifting weights.  Hadn’t been in the gym for a week because of pulling  a ligament in my thumb – and isn’t it amazing how loathesome the gym is, when you’ve had a break away from it?

I walked home from the gym (because the bike is at the bike doctor) got wet, changed again, had dinner, then jogged to a meeting in the local village.  It was dry when I started, but coming back was a different matter.  I will in future know what I’m talking about when I read on the news about ‘surface water on the road’.  It means there’s a 4-foot pond on either side that you need to wade across when crossing the road.  It also means there’s a sunami heading your way, whenever the lights change and the city-slicker 4-wheel drives hit 1st gear…   ah well.  I’m warm and dry now, and satisfied after eating a salad and resisting the urge for a dirty big curry that would have made me feel better, but ruined all the work I put into training today.   Polish the halo and tune into the weather forecast.  Quack, Quack, Quack….


Mellow Yellow Day on the Liffey


L:Saffron, R:Vera

What a stunningly special day.

Started with a bang – a 15k cycle into work, and planned 15k home.   A 30k round-trip, but much needed as I’ve got my first triathlon on Saturday in Kilkenny and I don’t think I’ve prepared well enough.

The best fun was after work, when I cycled down to ATI City Kayaks near the IFSC for my Monday paddle.  I had two special treats.  I was joined by my Concern/Uganda buddy Vera Baker – and I got to try out my new kayak.  A loan from the fantastic marathon swimmer, Fergal Sommerville, who heads off to swim the North Channel on Thursday.  Best of luck Fergal.

My new kayak is yellow, and I’ve decided to call my mellow yellow craft ‘Saffron’.  she ripped through the water like a shark (well, maybe a goldfish)…. and I love her already.

Good friends, good equipment, good weather and good waves…. what more could a girl need to start the week?



Yawlmighty Weekend…

I spent the weekend swimming in the sea, at the beautiful Youghal Bay, in East Cork, but I hope it wasn’t too little too late.

I’ve been concentrating on weight-lifting and kayaking lately, mostly kayaking…. because I was training to get my level 2 kayak Cert.  Well I got it last Thursday and that’s great.  But the problem I’m facing now, is that I’ve got my first triathlon on Saturday and I suddenly feel very unprepared.

There’s no way I can train effectively for a triathlon in one week, so I’ll just have to hope that my existing fitness levels get me through.  It’s a ‘baby-tri’ though, so hopefully I’ll get away with it, although it’s not the ideal way to prepare!

I’ve got to start with a 250 metre swim in the River Nore in Kilkenny, followed by 14k on the bike and ending with a 3.5k run.

The whole idea of the  ‘Choose to Tri’ triathlon in Kilkenny next weekend, is to help raise awareness of the importance of exercise in fighting cancer.  There’s a full triathlon taking place at the same time, but there’s a ‘beginners’ level race over shorter distances, for people like me who just want to ‘have a go’…  It’s organised by a new charity which is trying to get the message across that exercise can help prevent and fight cancer.  You can find out more here:


Certified Mad about Kayaking

I spent six weeks and about 20 hours slogging away to get this, and drank a sizeable amount of the Liffey along the way…. but it was totally worth it.  I’m now a certified ‘Level 2’ kayaker – and one step closer to kayaking the Nile for the Concern Tri Adventure challenge in November.

This is only the start though; it means I’ve reached an acceptable level of competancy and I’m able to rescue myself and others, if things go wrong on the river.  But now the real work begins.  I’ll have to build core strength, work on my balance, and move to that place where things happen naturally, without having to think and react all the time.

There are hours and hours of capsize drills ahead, hours of paddling, hours of getting dressed in the rain on a river bank or beach….

….and I just can’t wait to get started.  🙂

To Trifle with Vroom Vroom


I’m back to the gym tomorrow, but training took a hiccup over the weekend.  Dodgey knees kicked in, the sprained wrist persisted, and the tummy bug lingered.  I ended up taking 2 rest days which has spread into 3.    Kept ticking over by chucking a few weights around at home, doing some Yoga every morning and eating sensibly.  (Apart from the accident with the trifle yesterday!).

Sadly though, I’m losing a friend.  ‘Little Red’ my 21-year old car and my partner through all my adventures, is slowly dying and I can’t afford to fix her. I can’t bring myself to crush her or sell her though, I’ll have to retire her to my yard, until I have time and money to find her a new engine.     Long live my little Roadster.  Three cheers for a hearty little car, who I hope will Vroom Vroom again in the future….

Cape Fear on the Weir …

OK folks.  Kayaking White Water is not going to come easy to me. I actually cried on the river tonight, with sheer terror and annoyance at myself, and frustration at my fear.  My sprained wrist hurt, but it was only an excuse… I actually wanted to chuck it all in, and climb up the bank, and walk away…..

Luckily I stayed – and I finally made it down a weir without falling in!  Chuffed, but still terrified.

This isn’t coming naturally, and I’m going to have to work REALLY hard to get better.   But I reckon if I made it down once without falling in,  I can do it again… and again… and again.  Practice huh?

To Train – Removes the Question

Gym Guru Dave Dunne

To Train or Not to Train?   I suppose that’s the question that leads to damnation?  and I suppose the only way to get back on the horse is just do it!

The combination of a sprained wrist, a tummy bug and a broken bike saw me slack off training for the last couple of days.  Monday I was just too sick and my wrist couldn’t hold weight, Tuesday wasn’t much better, so the body demanded – and got – a couple of ‘rest’ days, with cancelled gym sessions, cancelled kayaking and cancelled biking in and out to work.   BUT… the rot continued yesterday, when visiting friends and sheer laziness combined to see me cancelling rock-climbing and yoga.

ENOUGH.  The sun is out, and I hate going to the gym when it’s bright and shiny outside – but gym it is, and then I’m back on the river for kayaking lesson number 5 tonight with the gang from Wild Water Kayak Club.   I’m refusing to let myself think of all the reasons why I don’t want to go to the gym… and I’ll let you know how I feel afterwards, when I know I’ll be thrilled that I went.

Onwards and upwards, one foot in front of the other….  etc.

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