2018, What lies ahead

I am not quite sure how to top 2017 or where 2018 will take me in terms of this blog. It is a great way for me to follow my own training and racing as well as life in general. I also hope some of my followers are gaining something, if only small, from my posts. It was a nice end to 2017 or start to 2018 really to receive a nice reward from Highpoint Ireland. This link shows the accomplishments of the people that entered their stats into the High Point of the year competition. I used these results more to see the results of the stats that Kieron Gribbon put together and realise what was achieved in 2017. Nearly 21000 metres of ascent in Ireland in 2017 will no doubt be hard to top in 2018, but where there is a challenge there are always possibilities.

I think it is very important to mention that without running mates and family it would be near impossible to ever achieve these goals. Shaun Stewart, if I can mention him again, had an amazing year in 2017. He finished a great year with the birth of his son Joey (future Irish ultrarunning champion no doubt!). He gave me the push to go for the CCC trail race in 2018. Without the likes of Shaun and all the other people connected to my racing there is no way I would keep up the effort. We all need good friends like this to encourage and give us the confidence to challenge ourselves even more. I was so lucky in the draw for CCC and realise that so many more hadn’t the same kind of luck. Because of this I will give the race all I can and surround my other racing around this race for the year.

Check out Highpoint Ireland on Twitter and Facebook for more links to Kieron Gribbons growing site.

I recovered from some form of a flu after Christmas and have launched back into training nicely in the last two weeks. We managed a double hit on Moylussa, the highest point in Co. Clare and some running in Portumna Forest Park last weekend on a two night road trip in the new camper. My camper will be referred to as, The Mueller, from now on. A very fitting name after our little cat Ferris Mueller who passed away during 2017. He was a full on adventurer and that is what I want this van to be.

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‘The Mueller’ at Moylussa, overlooking Lough Derg.

Midweek training has been made up of plenty watt biking, some interval running with the club, a few long runs and plenty gym time. I have averaged around 10 hours a week the last two weeks and hope to ramp that up a little for the next two weeks. First up is the Donadea 50km trail run in Kildare on the 10th of February, followed far too closely by Gaelforce Dublin on the 17th.

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There I am on the boardwalk near the top of Moylussa. Happy out!

The real question is What Lies Ahead in 2018? Well here is a taster for what I know for now and I may add to this a little as the year rolls on. Surrounding these events I hope to do some multisport races and a few more long runs.

As you can see there is a decent gap after Transvulcania and that will be partly due to the fact that I am moving to the UK in May. Then I want to train hard for the summer leading up to the CCC. Snowdonia will be a nice warm up marathon to see where I am mid summer.

A few more photos, thanks to Emma, from last weekend.

The list above really gives a clear idea of my goals, but all in all I want to stay fit and healthy, injury free and enjoy the move to the UK in 2018. It is a new challenge and one that I can’t wait to begin. No doubt we will return to Ireland but from May onwards my blog will start to venture around the UK. For the time being you will have to put up with lots more West of Ireland adventures.

India

So who has been to India? If you haven’t it is a place to go and I will go again as this trip was only a taster. I spent the last three weeks there, hence the lack of blogging, and over the next week I hope to give you all a good account of my trip. This will involve 8 posts of each day of our 8 day trek in the Mountains of Kashmir. I hope to give you a good idea of India from my experience and the excitement along the way. I’m just in from my first cycle in three weeks now, therefore I think rest is most important tonight. I will knock out the India story over the coming days and try to keep my posts as short and sweet as I can with some photos to back up my stories. It really is a different world over there, a spectacular one, a dangerous one, a different one, not to mention both crazy busy at times while sometimes totally tranquil. The people are what makes India really amazing and as our Kashmiri Gujjar guide said, “the best thing about the world is all the different types of people”.

Last week BC        

  

  Kayaking Saltspring Island 

  Views Saltspring Island of Vancouver Island .

  North shore mountains , Vancouver 

  North shore , top of Goat Mountain.

 A plug for Salomon on top of mount Maxwell.  
Here are a few shots from the last week in British Columbia. I beat my time on the Grouse Grind to bring my Pb to 34.02. I climbed Goat mountain and ran trails all around the Grouse mountain area. This left me a little beaten the day after especially as my ankle was acting up. Holidays being holidays I didn’t feel there was time to waste and the rest of the week was very active. We hiked and ran trails on Saltspring Island, kayaked off the Island and fitted in some early morning runs just in case things weren’t active enough. Yes, most of you will say it is relaxing I should try and accomplish while on holidays but for me this is relaxation and it clears the mind in a better way. There was of course some really good food and beers thrown in the mix. After all I am on holidays ! A massive thanks to my friends here for making the trip an amazing one. 

Oh and I threw in a bit of fishing too! 

  

A little reading.

I have read a few interesting bits and pieces of late.

http://gearjunkie.com/survive-in-mountains-tips-for-beginners

This is a very simple but accurate guide to what to pack when hitting the hills. I intend on getting a few long hikes and trail runs in this winter and these are some essential ideas.

http://itrainthereforeieat.com/2014/11/03/should-you-train-when-injured/

This link shares alot of my experiences. I am addicted to fitness and training and when I get injured I will find any way possible to try and train. If I have an ankle injury I will be on the bike. If I cant do that I will try some weights. This article gives us an idea of the limits we should push to when injured. A recent Runner Academy podcast relates to injury also.

http://runneracademy.com/ra041-greg-lehman/

This one talks about how we need to find a pain threshold that we can tolerate. If there is inflamation or pain after training or the next day, then it is time to rest more and think about some rehab. The no pain no gain theory is starting to fade a little but at the same time it is possible to train through a little pain. This podcast is a little crazy at times as Dr. Lehman pretty much advises us that there is no need for warm ups, stretches etc. I am not sure yet if I agree with it fully.

Mountains, Bike and Heat

A real West of Ireland training session today, apart from the weather. 25 degrees and sunshine! I decided to make the most of my day off and get a good bit of training in. I set off for the Twelve Ben mountains, 40 miles from Galway and threw the bike on the car to make sure I managed a bit on the bike today too. I arrived around 1pm, in some crazy heat but hit off with a plan to do 3 peaks and then a 30km  spin on bike from car to Clifden and back. I took a few videos as I went along and the session can be seen on Garmin link once more. The total for the hike, run and bog run finish was 9km, but man did it feel like alot more!

An evening of football is planned now, with Brazil v Mexico awaiting. First of all a dip in Galway Bay to cool down the muscles.

Enjoy the weather !!

http://youtu.be/mkwCR_Wcf04

http://youtu.be/0sm0BRjQGms

http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard

 

 

Barna Loop

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/459795844

Just a quick spin on the bike today followed by some core and stretching. This cycle is a nice short route to work on speed with a few little uphill drags thrown in. My plan for the week is to take it relatively easy and fully recover from the flu of last week. Next week, all going well, will include longer and tougher training.. I may get a hill session over the weekend.

Plan is for 7 weeks of training in the lead up for Wicklow Adventure Race. A 72km course with 2 mountains and a tasty amount of hills on bike !! Fun times ahead !