21 September 2011

Getting a Race in

It's about time some races started coming up for me.  I signed up for the Loughrea10km taking place next Sunday.  Last year, this was my first event. I completed the 10km in 57:48. Was proud on that achievement and was looking forward to taking a load off it this year. However, I got ill for a good few months and was back to less then square one.

I did capitalize on my recovery and worked hard and completed a half marathon. I expected my running to get quicker but endurance does not equal speed.  So for this 10km, i will struggle to beat my previous time but will give it a go.

Castledaly: Just up near the Windmills

I really only took up the cycling this year and I currently enjoy being out on spins. At most, i max our 50kms. Last week was my first hill spin which I climbed the mountain behind me in Castledaly.. According to MapmyRide.. it has two Cat5 climbs in the 9km upward journey.. Had to say i felt every bit of it but thorough enjoyment when up there.   One major problem I was having is my tyres. I though i had my tyre pressure up hard but Aldi quality pumps and hand pumps just not good enough. So I have being riding around with my tyres only at 40psi. Will pay for a quality pump next time.

Getting some pain after 20km of riding in the calves. I have changed my cleats to go back fully. Will give them a try after my Loughrea race. Read up online that cleat positioning is important and it be a trial and error judgement on this basis.  

So before the nasty weather sets in, I have registered for a Duathlon in Mullingar on the first Saturday in October.  Its said to be 5km/20km/2.5km.  will give it ago anyway.. just have fun..

23 August 2011

Just a little update

Yes, being awhile since my last post.  There has being punctures. lots of close calls and lots of calories burnt.  I have being knocking up some 10kms in the running front. Still slow and way off my 57:46min that i knocked up in last years race.  Current fastest 10km around the lake was 1:06. I did this with a friend and i think i will shed another min or two when doing it on my own.  Roadworks was going on last week so maybe sometime this week i will give it ago. 

The cycling then has being going steady. Not knocking up any serious milage per cycle but putting in some 33kms.  Will need to go out on cycles over 2 hours but prefer to use the time on long runs. 

So the Loughrea Grey lake 10km is on next month. i want to beat my previous time. Maybe if i didn't get sick i would be flying it now but i could also say if i didn't drink every weekend aswell. Anyways 57:46min is the time to beat. I don't know how i pulled that time off last year. think the atmosphere and my first race made me run a bit harder then usual. 

The week after the Loughrea 10km, there is a duathlon in Mullingar on the first of the 1st october. A nice 5km/20km/2.5km. I think its only 20euro going to Barnardos. Can't register online and its a sponsership card job. Hopefully my friends Paul and Stephen be around to take part. It could be another battle between myself and Paul while Steve would be ahead taking pictures. Speaking of pictures. Being trying to get the previous duathlon pictures we took part in months ago from Paul.  He had finially got them onto his computer now. Fast mover i tell ya.  Probably next year he will send them onto me.

Well thats the craic, other key areas i should be looking into is core streatching. Must start doing some. Hope all your training is going well. Think i will head in to watch the Galway Ironman. Going to be epic.

15 July 2011

5 in a row

It has being a tough week as I put some session together. I usually take a day off after two or three day session.  I had a good Sunday alcohol session so Monday was a cycling day.  I had cut down on the cycling to zero when i was preparing for the Achill half.  I took the bike out for a few rides since then but Monday was my furthest. I embarked on a 40km journey. I planned the journey in advance so when i rode out, I took it handy and didn't push too hard as i didn't do that distance in months. I brought along an energy gel and took it around the 25Km mark. My cycling computer gave me a pace of 24.7km/Hour and I was very impressed with that.

The following day I wanted to get out and do a 9km run. I wasn't feeling the best and legs were tired but I got out. The heat was blasting down and I guess the previous day cycle really caught up with me. I was planning to pass my house as the route was in a figure eight so when i finished the first loop, i was too tired to continue on and called it a day. 5Km in total, maybe not a good idea to pass by your house on a run. I planned to do a 10km the following day.

The next day I was expecting to be refreshed as it was a short run the day before but the legs still felt heavy and the heat was beaming down on top of me. I didn't manage that 10km but hit a 7km.  I was thinking that cycle had a big affect on me but I didn't want to take a rest day after only completing a12km run in total. i did manage that Wednesday to have a puck around for an hour. More sweating to be done.

Thursday came and I was up early. Following a good stretch of weather, I decided to hit out on the bike and take a new route. Down by Craughwell and hit another back road to Ardrahan and back to Castledaly.  Distance was up to 30km and hit a pace of 25.3km/hour. I like looking at Dailymile.com and it notes i completed 82km completed for the week but still only 12km in a run so for the 3rd time this week i set out to do a 10km.

The legs even more tired from previous days but this time i had a plan. I was going to do the route around the Loughrea lake. There is no shortcuts. When i get half way then there is no turning back, might as well continue on since the back half is more flat.  I parked the car up at the Lake car park and took off towards the town, nice few flat Kms and let my legs settle into it. I could feel the legs straight away but i wasn't stopping. A fellow took off from the lake infront of me and i thought he might be going around the lake as well. He turned off another way in town. Running in town was grand, so many things grab your attention and i didn't notice that km pass. It was just after 3km when the fun begins. Straight after the turn was a hill and basically 4 to 5 hills over the next 4km with two nice downhill stretches.  Once I seen the church i knew the hills are finished. I finished the 11km lake in a time 1:14:10. 

There is a shower facility at the lake and even had hot water so i was glad off that. I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to get around the 10km Grey lake race in 57:49 last September.  I know i have being out for months at the start of the year but hopefully i can beat that time next time around. Right no, I'm going to enjoy a rest day tomorrow. Wouldn't mind doing a cycle of up to 50km next week. Here is for hoping. All in all its being a tough 5 days but worth it.
05 July 2011

Achill Half Marathon 2011

The weekend was planned in advance, run a half marathon and celebrate with a good 2 day session. Friday came around and we were ready to leave the beautiful Galway and head to Achill island in Mayo. There was 4 in the car for the spin up. Myself, Paul,Stephen and Sarah. The car boot was well loaded with luggage. We got to Castlebar over an hour and a bit and stocked the car up more. This time it was full of 98 bottles of alcohol. The bumpy road to Achill was well going to be felt in the sporty suspension Golf. Hitting them 'droichead'. We got up there just past 10pm. We arrived at our weekend accommodation in which was Paul's girlfriend's Grannies house. She was great letting us have the house for the weekend and also then stock up the fridge for us. Hospitality at its best. We offloaded the drink and luggage in the car and hit down to register before it closed.  We got our numbers and also other treats in a bag and hit back to the house. On the way back we said we got our t-shirt and mug now, we could go back to Galway now. Emmet arrived up from Clare and also stayed in the house.  Got a cuppa coffee and a sandwich into me and headed off to bed in order to be fresh for the race. 

It took me awhile to nod of, excitement and nerves were kicking in. I did wake 3 times during the night but once 8am arrived I was feeling refreshed. Chatted with Sarah for a half an hour and then got up and got some porridge with banana for breakfast.  Paul's brother Brendan drove up that day and we were all chatting away and having the crack.  I then began to get into my running apparel.  Put the magic Vaseline on to stop the chaffing and also the weather was getting hotter so i threw on some sunscreen. Steve nearly put on the whole bottle on, he looked like Casper. I had everything and was ready and we hit off down to Keel, Stretches was performed, last minute nerves to the toilet was released and we lined up behind the Achill pipe band. 

Emmet,Brendan, Paul F, Paul Mc, Stephen

 I had predicted a time of 2.35 for myself. i was going to say 2.30 but after recent talks on the hills in Achill and how some people rate it the hardest road half marathon in Ireland. I forgot to take a few puffs of the inhaler at the start so that was on my mind. Was starting to panic a bit and then Bang were off.  I told myself i will take it slower and just have a natural warm up. I quickly got into a rhythm and settled in with the 1200 other participants. I brought along 3 energy gels and water stops were every 3 miles.  After the first mile or two, i found myself breathing hard and had a pain in my left lung. I wasn't too impressed and was questioning my ability to do this. Mile 2,3 and 4 was a steady climb. I came across the first water stop at 26mins thought that was mile 3. I said i have done that too fast only to realise mile 3 was another few hundred yards up the road. It was around 30mins when i crossed the 3mile. Still a bit too fast for me as it was uphill. After mile 4 then it was downhill for a good stretch. I really enjoyed the stretch and downed my first energy gel at 43mins.  I just kept my head down and plodded along. When i did hit 6.5mile, I was thinking 'O God im just half way' but just put one leg in front of the other. Knocked back another energy Gel around 1.20 mark.

It was pretty much new territory after the 1h 30min mark. The hills were coming hard and heavy and i knew it was a nasty one for the last one.  I found myself to be walking up them. I wasn't losing to much ground and was getting my heart rate down to a normal rhythm. I then try and pick it up on the flat or down slopes. My head at that stage was only thinking of the finish. Then I began to hear the announcer talking on the mic, it began to get louder and louder. I came back running into Keel and was looking for the finish line.  Still a few more turns left but with people clapping kept me ticking over and then there was my new friend called 'Finish'. I looked at my watch and it gave a time of 2h 35mins. I was bang on my prediction.  Brendan was at the finish line waiting for Paul to come in. I went over to him for a second, Grabbed a water and then went back a few meters before the line to meet Sarah. Paul's girlfriend Danielle came out of the first aid tent and asked me to call her when Paul was coming in. 10mins later  Paul and Emmet were coming in together. I went over to get Danielle but them guys were having a race between themselves. Usain Bolt be pretty impressed with there final 100 meter sprint. Emmet got to the line first and we all got around to have a chat about the course even  though it was more  lying down on the ground and not talking.  Energy was sucked well out of me.  We got a group photo at the finish line. Will probably be expensive but if it is a good photo then will pick it up.  

Pos Bib Name Finish
59 1480 Brendan Fahy 01:33:26
82 Stephen Broderick 01:36:50
1018 495 Paul McDonagh 02:36:21
1065 605 Emmet OHalloran 02:46:24
1066 237 Paul Fahy 02:46:25

We stretched and rested on the beach for a half an hour then went to the food bus for our free burger. It was a long queue but the burger didn't last that long in my hand.  Then it was back to the house to start the drinking session.  It is amazing the things that go through your head when running. One thing that came through mine and Paul's head is why didn't we put a few bottles of beer in the fridge so it be nice and cold for when we got back. Brendan headed back to Galway and Emmet back to Clare. Dave Boyle came up to join us for the night.  There was a BBQ going on in Danielle's house and we were invited. Sure we headed down there around 5 just expecting a burger in a bun. There was a massive spread layed out. Chicken on a stick, Lamb on a stick. Burgers and salad of all kinds.  I got myself a good feed and had a couple of beers in the sun then went in to watch TV as Galway beat Clare in a hurling match.  It was hard to build up energy that night. Even the Haye versus Klitschko match lacked any atmosphere but that was on there part. We headed to the Achill head which we could barely walk in the pub then onto the nightclub which was also packed. I still managed to head out on the dance floor.  Dave dropped us back to house where a good sleep was needed. 

Sarah and I took off ourselves the following day after a good fry up. We took a walk along the beach in Keel. Nice feeling of the soft sand and cool water on my feet. It was a nice relaxing day at the beach. We didn't have a car with us so some nice chilled pints were needed by 3pm. Headed into the Minaun pub and watched the GAA match. It was another good session of drinking that night. Felt more fresh and energy was strong so I was on a good buzz throughout the whole night. Paul was shaking the floorboards on the dance floor.  

There was no hangover effect the following day despite the 12hour drinking session.  No one was in a rush to get home so we head to two beaches. We didn't bring any swimming gear to the first one so we headed back to the house and grabbed our togs and then hit some waves. We couldn't resist not getting into the gorgeous beach in Achill. Then myself and Stephen hit out for a 5k easy run on the beach followed by another jump into the sea.  The stomach was roaring to be fed and to finish of the trip, we hit to .Mastersons bar where the quality and quantity of food was unreal followed by a delicious desert. We then set off back to Galway and I doubt any of us will forget the great time we had in Achill. Thanks to organisers for holding a great event and to Danielle's family for there hospitality.  

A few photos are down below and also a YouTube video of the start where ya can see us around the 19 second mark.Click Here for more photos

23 June 2011

A run in Clare (23rd June)

Stomach bug and a sore throat has hit me since the start of the week. I couldn't afford not to go out running today so I was on my way out and my friend Paul rang me and said do ya fancy a run down in Clare.  I knew the run be slow but after so many days off, a nice run and a chat would go down great.

So we took off down to Clare to run with Emmet. Emmet has signed up for the Achill half but did leave it on the back burner so he has only managed up to 6 kilometers. We picked him up at Spancil Hill. Big horse fair on their today and we just passed through the tail end of it. Got to Emmets house before 6, changed and did a few stretches and took off in the middle of in a fine summers day in Clare.

I brought along my water belt as the sun was scorching us out there. I also brought an energy gel but did not intend to use it. I wanted to see where the best place was to carry the gel. I put it inside my compression shorts. The place worked perfect. I didn't notice it there and that should be the storage place for the half marathon.

The run itself was grand. Nice quite country roads. Pretty much flat. We chatted among the run and I took the scenery in. The Emergency helicopter flew by, we joked it was called out for us. We finished the 5.9mile route in 1.08. 
Back in Emmets house, his mother dished out some grub. Home buns went down a treat. We had a chat and took back to the road of Galway. We will all meet up again for the Achill half.  Should be a great day.

17 June 2011

Its all on now

With a good few runs this week and a nice rest day, I was ready for my next long run.  I picked up some energy gels and planned to test them out on the run.  An hour previous to the run, i downed a delicious orange,grapes, and strawberries covered in yogurt. It went down a treat.

I took off at a nice steady pace, legs felt heavy again but i knew that would go away just like the last time. It was a very uneventful run this time round. I took my first energy gel around 45mins into the run. When i usually take them high sugared isotonic drinks, my stomach never really settles to them and I usually throw up a few mouthfuls. I was expecting the same taste from the energy Gel but it was nice and delicious.

I took the kinetic orange flavour. In the shop, the store assistant said the cola flavour was the most popular and i guess that's why they were sold out. I will have to get my hands on a few more as today I just officially signed up for the Achill half marathon. It is a tough course with a category climb at the end.  I hope to get around the course in a time of 2hr 30mins. Main thing for this one is to finish it.  Only 7 weeks ago i could only run 3.6km. 

I will go on a recovery run now tomorrow. Legs very stiff at the moment. Hopefully a good night sleep tomorrow will ease the pain.  Only two weeks now. Scary thought. Below is a short video of the last years Achill half

15 June 2011

My favourite place: Hospital

Today,  i took a visit to the hospital.  My appointment was to see to see the specialist who focuses on the lungs.  it was a nice 9.30 am appointment so i made it in around 9.45.  I did run about 2km to get in for that time but sure there was a good few people already ahead of me and it wouldn't have mattered being late. So for all my hard work getting there, I was waiting for another hour before i met a doctor. I was quite happy just to be waiting for only that time. Doctor performed some physical tests, and lots and lots of questions. In there for a half an hour before the specialist came in and perform more tests. He is the one that makes the decisions.

He pointed out that since the x-ray performed over a month ago did show up some nodules on the lungs, he does expect it to be Sarcoidosis. So what they are going to do now is more blood tests, TB test, lung tests and a few more tests. i will return to the specialist in 10 weeks or so to analyse the results and take it from there. So plenty of more visits to the hospital to come.

The main thing i can take from this is there is no more pain. I want to keep it that way. I would hate to think of being in pain so much and having to wait.

I returned home and managed to put in a 9km.. During the run, i did think how this condition could have being worse and there be no way Id be back out running. I thank my lucky stars for that and will make the most of what I got.
10 June 2011

Getting further and further (10th June)

I knew today i was going to have to push it if I ever had a chance in completing a half marathon.  So i looked out the window and seen it was a perfect day.  So taking my own advice from my previous post, I began to perform some stretches and filled my water bottles with some diluted orange and put them on my belt.  I don't have or never tried any energy gels and i didn't have any Fig Rolls either so i found some Walnuts and put them on my belt.

I took off in my tank top. it was the second time only wearing the fuel belt. Even though i had it nice and tight, it still managed some slack and was moving up and down. it was only minor movement and i soon ignored it.
Around the 2km into the run, the legs were feeling heavy. I was wondering was that from the 10km run on Tuesday and my tempo 7km on Wednesday.  I was trying to figure out should i continue on and run in an unfamiliar area or just take a small route and leave my long run to another day.  I said it wasn't pain, there were just heavy so I motored on slow and steady. 

i began to start drinking around the 3.5km. Only small amounts.  At 5km, there was a woman walking at a fairly high pace. i was nearly wondering was i going to catch up to her. As i did manage to catch up to her, she got a fright. i said 'Sorry' and continued on. i was never down this part of the road and was taking it all in. The Sun was beaming hard and it was a brilliant day.  Took another turn on the route and i began to eat the Walnuts i brought on the run. First time eating on a run and by god it was hard.  I had them chewed down to a tiny grain and then washed them down with water.

I then took a turn on the road and was up a real country lane. Really nice. i was wondering am i on the right route but I gave myself a certain time and if I'm not out then I would turn back.  Along the route, i heard a vehicle approach. Since it was a tiny route, i stood in but the briars was making that difficult.  There was still plenty of space to get around me but even tough he was already going slow, he needed to slow down more and move out. He didn't and his wing mirror was coming straight for my face, I quickly put up my hand and slam his wing mirror in and shouted out a few words.  He didn't dare get out of his big jeep and I continued on my run.  

I got back to a familiar area and said i will continue on for another 20 minutes.  My left knee was beginning to tighten up. Tried giving them a bit of a stretch and continued on. heard some dogs barking up a hill. it was around the 5th dog gone barking mad at me.  But these two come running from behind me.  i quickly turned around and let out a Yelp and had my fist squeezed ready in case thy came any closer.  One of the feckin sheepdogs came close and had was growling with his teeth showing.  He went off and i continued on.  I stopped around 500 meters from the house and walked home. Just to warm down.  Got home and completed my stretches, showered and got a bit to eat.  Still wondering how am I going to manage a 21km in a few weeks but will tackle that when the time comes.
09 June 2011

Topic Thursday: Stretching

One thing lately i was leaving out on my runs was my pre-run and post run stretches.  With more runs coming my way and more frequent I have decided that I'm going to make it an important part of my routine. I have plenty of time usually for running, it shouldn't be that hard to find 5 Min's before and after a workout.

So the obviously reason for stretching is to prevent injuries from occurring.  Stretching improves our circulation. Helps to relax the muscles and gives them more flexibility which in turn leads to better posture. 

You should be careful about how you stretch. If not done properly, stretching can actually cause injury rather than prevent it. 

Below is a good video that demonstrates a series of important stretches and the correct technique in doing them.

08 June 2011

All good on the running front

It was always on my mind to do the Achill half marathon.  it has being there for awhile, well before i became sick. I have told myself on many occasions that time has got the better of me and i can't be expecting to do that distance with a short time of training. 

The Achill half takes place in 4 weeks time. My max distance so far is only 10km.  i have looked up online and most comments suggest that undertaking that distance with little amounts of training could lead to injury. I am going to have to accept that risk and just say I  have already had enough bad luck for one year.  

I still haven't officially put pen to paper in taking part in the race but if I get some good session in would be great. I would like to get up to around 16km and might walk the rest of it.  I completed a 10km yesterday.  I felt I had some energy to put in an extra km or two but i decided to leave a long run till the weekend. I am  aiming for a 14km over the weekend. 

Today, I was looking to increase the pace and take on my usual 7km route in order to beat my previous time of 42.12.  I suppose the 7kms were usually my long distance runs but want that distance now to be my Tempo runs.  Run a bit faster was the plan and get home quicker.  By the first km, i could already feel the lungs were working harder then usual. I said I will slow down around half way.  

Along the route, I had checked the time previously and hit it around 19.3mins This time around i hit it at 16mins and that was the first time I looked at the watch and it gave me a boost to keep motoring. I was plodding along and got a stitch but I kept motoring to beat that 40min mark and even shouted out 'Come on Paul'. only the cows heard me I think. the course I took as pretty much flat and little downhills but the final part makes up for one big uphill. Not to sure on the length of it, maybe 200meters. i got to around 150meters of it but I just said I have to walk for a minute, let the heart-rate drop a bit and get back to my 40min target. 

Rest lasted for 45second, took some deep breaths and got them legs going again. Was still annoyed my stitch did not go away. I said I was running home no matter what. I continued through it for the last 1.5km and got home in a time of 38.05mins. Was very impressed with that result and hopefully there will be many more results i will be pleased with.

Must look into doing some strength training especially for the core area. Since I will be doing more running, I must get into the habit of doing my pre and post stretches. Try and remain injury free.
02 June 2011

Topic Thursday: Half Marathon Hydration.

Instead of three things Thursday, I decided to change it to Topic Thursday as i can look in more detail on one particular subject.

Last week, I managed to knock up my first 10km in a long time. Speaking of a long time, it took me nearly 70minutes to complete it. I'm not worried about the time for the moment, focusing on getting back and working on endurance.

 What to bring on Half marathon distance running

Runners can survive just on water for the half marathon distance however RunnersWorld advises drinking carb-drinks, consuming gels, chews or other snack foods like Fig Newtons.  Another great point from that article is to ensure when taking energy foods, they should be taking in small amounts. The purpose behind this is  to avoid spikes in blood sugar and GI upset. If you are using a energy food then its recommended to wash it down with water and not an energy drink.  I will try the above products ahead and see how I manage in the coming weeks.

Active.com just posted an article on nutrition during a race. The article looked at the other end of the scale called hyponatremia. This is where athletes are taking on to much fluids during a race and even stated an athlete lost her life during the Boston marathon due to hyponatremia.  A key line from the article is

"Hyponatremia occurs when your fluid intake exceeds your rate of fluid loss from sweating, which results in low blood-sodium levels. Symptoms—nausea, disorientation, muscle weakness—can be similar to dehydration" 

So where a beginner athlete taking on fluids and still think he/she is dehydrated will look to take on more and could end up hyponatremia.  The key notes from this active article based on research carried out is that you should avoid to drink unless you are actually thirsty unlike the previous recommendations stating you should keep drinking to avoid being thirsty. The other main note is to monitor yourself, you are the subject of your own study. As George Sheehan famously wrote, "Each of us is an experiment of one."  Perform such tests as the Sweat Test and urine test. Your urine colour should be pale yellow (lemonade), if it is clear like water you could be over hydrated and if it is dark (apple juice) you may be dehydrated.

According to Ottawa Marathon website,  when you are sweating during a race, you are not just losing water but also lose electrolytes. This is the reason why water is not enough for long distances. Actually drinking water alone will increase the risk of hyponatrmia as the sodium level remains low. Sports drinks contains a mixture of electrolytes and glucose. Intake of too much sports drinks (i.e. drinking way more fluids then you are losing through sweat) can also lead to hyponatremia. This really does sound like a balancing act, don't under nor over drink on sport drinks. Remember though hyponatrema is rare so along with all the beginner runners, i don't want to scare myself into not running.

Electrolytes are analogous to the motor oil in your car - they don’t make the engine run, but they’re absolutely necessary to keep everything running smoothly. Proper functioning of the digestive, nervous, cardiac, and muscular systems depends on adequate electrolyte levels.

Great article written about replenishing electrolytes by Steve Born. . Please comment below if you wish you express you own personal opinion or share an experience you have. Hopefully i will find the a good balance in the future and I will investigate the different brands in energy sport drinks at a later date.

01 June 2011

Month Review: May

About this time last month, I wondered was I going to have the same as the previous months. It did start out that way when i took to the bike and my chest was in bits. Any little hill was like a category climb

Things began to look up when the pain all over my body just seemed to disappear. It didn't take me long to say thank you and began to get back outside.  I got back on the saddle first and back to the saddle pains. Didn't focus on long distances, just nice simple strides. I then took to running 3.5km. I remember the heart was pounding and lungs could really feel the air.

I haven't increased my cycling but just getting out more. Staying around the 33km mark. usual route. Being very windy over the last few weeks. I did a 40km just recently. I am also keeping the same distance in running with a few 7km runs. I did complete a 10km run.   

Even though my times being slow, they are improving each time.  Main thing is i am enjoying being out. Even when its raining i will hit out for a run.   

I got my results today. . The x-ray has shown some lumps in my lungs. They believe it is sarcoidosis and i will have to see a specialist.  Lets just hope it was a one off and wont return. It has taken too much out of me already.

Best thing i seen on my outdoor workout this month goes to the other people. Other people out running and cycling and you give them a salute and say hi. It just gives you that little bit extra of a push when others are at it.
Worse thing was the car crash, just seen the end results of the car but its annoying when ya hear it was a motorbike that smashed into it. 

Lets hope for even better for the month of June :)

25 May 2011

Three Things Thursday

Alot of bloggers out there have there Three Things Thursday posts every week. I am going to start one with a bit of difference. I am going to blog about 3 things in the area of sport that have caught my attention over the week.The first on my Thursday list is cycling helmets.

1. Cycling Helmets. Should we wear one?

The law in Ireland does not require us to wear a helmet. there has being much discussion on this subject. James Cracknell was taking part in a documentary for Discovery when a  wing mirror from a lorry smacked into the back of his head. He had a helmet on but his skull was broken in two places.
The big question here was the helmet ineffective or did it save James's life.  Well, we are not going to find out unless we get James to redo his accident without a helmet. Maybe get mythbusters to run an experiment.

But no matter what side of the argument your on. Bicycle safety goes way beyond wearing a helmet or not.  Educating cyclists especially the young in the best way to stay protected on the road.  Here is a good article on How to ride safe, it is an American version so cars and cyclists are on the other side of the road, but good information is provided and not to be ignored.  Last note on this subject. I wear a helmet.

2. Bicycle Locks

I haven't got a bicycle lock yet. As I live in the country, I only use my bike for exercise. On a cycling forum site, you get many people joining and telling their story about their bike being stolen. I remember going back as a kid, Id get that loop lock for about £10.  that lock could be cut in a few seconds and id be left in a rutt.

If you have a good quality bike, you need to look at the value of individual pieces on the bike. For example many would tie the lock around the frame to the back tire. So whats left, Front tyre which are usually a quick release, saddle with a simple allen key and also could come in a quick release. So that could knock you back 200euros and a shameful walk home. I heard many good things on the Kryptonite locks but everyone has there own opinions. Check out other opinions here
I definitely recommend you check out this video on locks below.


3. Changing a Tyre

This one caught me out last week as you can see from my earlier post. After making sure this does not happen to me again, I researched some information online and checked out some YouTube's videos in changing a tyre. I would like to consider myself a fast tyre changer now and is sure not to be embarrassed again.
For a text version on changing a tyre. CLICK HERE
For a YouTube video version of changing a tyre. CLICK HERE

Don't throw out the tube, patch it up and re-use. it is said you should only patch a tube three times. Check out demostration. CLICK HERE.

On a final note. Saddle bag, main items to have.
Tubes * 2
Puncture Repair kit (3 Tyre leavers)
Phone (Never know when you run into more trouble then a puncture)
Money (Around a Tenner)
Multi-tool (Had my seat post slip on me and no allen key to get it back up)

I carry the pump just by my drink holder. Some people go for them CO2 canisters. Other People recommendations (CLICK HERE)

If you got any information you would like to add to the above topics, please post in the comment below. All comments welcome.
20 May 2011

Shame on you Paul, Shame on you

Where to start, where to start.  It is rule number one to make sure you know how to change a tyre before going out on spins. Bringing out spare tubes, tyre leavers is all good but making sure you can change it properly is the friggen main thing ya need.
Just half hour into my cycle, i decided to give it hell for leather down hill. Keeping a good watch out for cars going around a bend at 50mph, I ended up flying over a stone, i was like thank god i didn't flip off but then came that dragging sound of a puncture.
On my old bike tyres, I was alright in changing them, they were wider. I did practice changing the new ones but it took me ages and I knew I was going to have trouble changing this one. Not being in a hurry, i relaxed, took a sip of water and began taking of the tyre. That took less then 30 seconds, putting in the tube,  whatever way i ended up trying to put in the tube, it would have being better if a four year old had a go.  But running around the bend was a few guys from the predator / seven springs club. The lads asked if I wanted a hand, and i was like thank god, feeling a little bit embarrassed i couldn't change a tube but I wanted to get back on the road. one of the lads had a go and after a few minutes, the little piece of air swished out of the tube. A second one gone. 

I thanked the lads for their help, well we joked about it. His advice was, if someone offers ya help the next time, just say your alright and wave them on. Good thing about chatting to the lads as i was thinking of joining the Seven springs cycling club. Will do a few more sessions on the bike and Plenty,Plenty, Plenty of practice in changing tubes. 

In hindsight, Bring two tubes and more practice in changing tyres,
12 May 2011

Back Running

Well i went to the hospital yesterday. They took bloods and chest x-ray. Won't get results until two weeks time.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about. Will discuss the results when I get them.

So its being on my mind to get out running.  I was still a bit nervous to get out there. At the end of February, I was knocking up 7km and was comfortable. Then this incident happened and I tried a run in the middle of March and the pain in the chest was so hard. I nearly thought it was going to pop out and look at me and say 'what the hell are ya thinking?'. Well I walked 2k of that 5k run that day. I was afraid the same thing was going to happen today

So I took of very slowly, I wasn't interest in time, Not interest in much only putting one foot in front of the other. I could feel pains around the chest and heart area. They weren't so severe so I kept tinkering on. I just put it down to out of shape and hopefully after a few runs it will go away. Now that's wish full thinking.

After around 2.5km, I said i couldn't keep on going, now that's motivational talk for ya. I stopped and walked for about 30seconds and said feck this, its only a another km to home. I began to run again at snails pace but I got home.  The run reminded me of my first time I ran outside in Loughrea.  I ran up the Lake and back and it was so tough.  That's the level I'm starting at again, lets hope i can build up some decent distance this time.
09 May 2011

Could it possible be

I have being off the tablets now for nearly two weeks now. in the latter stage of the first week, the pains in my hand returned with some hard chest/Heart pains. I was on the verge of ringing the Doc and heading back to the hospital. I decided against going in. Since then, the pain has eased off and I have being feeling great. At the moment I just feel a little bit tight around the chest/heart area but nothing to serious.

I am still going to return to hospital for my appointment on Wednesday. Might as well get the tests done and an x-ray to make sure there is nothing there.  Right now I'm feeling great and have being on the bike twice.

I was all happy out today until i watched the news and heard about the disaster in the Giro d'italia. My deepest condolences goes out to Wouter Weylandt and all his family and friends.
27 April 2011

Hospital: First round over

Doc called me up to head into the hospital yesterday. Looking forward to getting to the bottom of this.  Drove into the Regional hospital in Galway.  No fixed appointment time so i was lucky on that scenario as parking was a nightmare. The car park was full and when one car left then one was entered. Took up to 40 minutes before i got to enter the car park.

Great having volunteers on the premises and Mary the volunteer brought be straight to the medical checkup unit. Took a seat around and gave out my basic details. Then i was brought down to a bed where the nurse did some tests. Tests would return in a few hours and that's how long i would have to wait. In the mean time the doctor would come over and ask a few more questions and do some more tests. Had a book to keep myself occupied.

Well who would know the results would come back normal. Apparently being on steroids is just hiding the situation so therefore will have to do it all over again. So got to stay off the tablets and head back on the 11th where I should be in pain rather then feeling 100 %.  Did another test for Haemochromatosis. It runs as a carrier in the family so getting it tested anyway. Apparently they don't do the tests in Ireland and it gets sent to England. It costs up to a few hundred euros so I told them to put them to put in on the card.

Didn't do a chest x-ray which is what i thought i was going in for. She said around 6 that there is only one person doing x-rays that night and i be there for another 4-5 hours. She said since I'm coming back again that the chest x-ray will be done on that day.

Well so 2 weeks before i go back. Going to go off all tablets so the pain will return. its going to be tough. Really annoying feeling great at the moment but steroids can do that.

23 April 2011

Health Update 2: More triggers leading to Erythema Nodosum

The weather out there is screaming for me to go out for a cycle. Doctors orders says do not do any exercise and rest up. Very tough watching cyclists pass by, wants me to knock them down and finish there cycle for them.

So what has changed since my last health update. Well i came down with a bacterial infection in my throat last week. Got some antibiotics for it. Then my bones again started to get inflamed, mainly in my arms and hands. Couldn't even open the milk top. I said another visit was needed for the doctor before it closes for Easter.  I got the last appointment available to my regular doctor. I also got pains in my chest and began to feel very tight. On Thursday morning then, i looked down at my legs and noticed 5 lumps had appeared.

So the doctor said based on the signals from the chest, lumps on the leg and the inflammation that it is not reactive arthritis but now believes its Erythema Nodosm.  i could go into much detail on this subject here but there is a great article located on the the Patient site (Click here for more information on Erythema Nodosm)

I will say I'm glad the doctor thinks its not reactive arthritis. But Erythema Nodosm is a serious rare condition and that is frightening in itself.  The pains in my lungs  maybe Sarcoidosis and a chest x-ray will be carried out next week. The Easter holidays has affected me from carrying this out now.  My mother told me she got sarcoidosis just after having me and unfortunately it does run in the family.  (Click here for more information on Sarcoidosis)

So until i get the tests done. Doctor has ordered me not to do any exercise, In fact, I am to put my feet up over the Easter holidays and the less walking i do the better. Just waiting now for a call from the doctor to when I go in for that x-ray and take it from there. 

Well I will curl to a movie each night to see me through the Easter. Got myself Invictus, Warrior King and Remember the Titans. Good film on the Manchester united team that went down in the Munich disaster. Think it focuses mainly on the aftermath and already causing a bit of an uproar with the Busby family. BBC Sunday night 9pm I will soon be allowed chocolate.. added bonus.  lent nearly over
08 April 2011

Health Update: More fighting needs to be done

Well over the past few months I was fairly sick and didn't manage to get out and about much. It all started back in February and i shoved it off for a week saying it would pass. It did not so  I went to the doctor and it looked and felt like the flu so basic tablets were provided. They kicked in for a little while and i managed to do my duathlon race. I was feeling good at that time but 3 days later and i was back to square one.  I returned to the doctors and he provided me with stronger antibiotics ans steroids and they kicked in straight away and i though nothing more of my little upset. Well a week after taking the medicine, he came right back and even worse this time.  I returned to my favourite friend 'the doctor' and this time we went to get blood tests done.

I did not take any medicine while waiting for the results to come back. it was a tough week let me tell ya that. An eighty year would out walk me and a kid would lift more then me. All but one section returned normal in the tests.  The one part was showing a high level of inflammation. He said there is a possibility that i have reactive Arthritis. Just hearing that word 'arthritis' was putting shivers down my spine, well that could be arthritis putting the shivers down there.   He said reactive arthritis can last in the body for 6 weeks and may not reoccur.. Also stated in this medical article

I was recently just prescribed Prednisolone ((6 * 5mg daily) * 7 days). This steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. After taking it by one hour yesterday i noticed the pain easing off and I was getting back to myself.  It felt great. The road does not end here,   Like the previous tablets before, they can just last the course and the pain will gradually return. I really hope it does this time and we will have no more to say on this subject.

In reading up on reactive arthritis last night, i found cases where people could not move at all and remained bed ridden for up to 3 months, I only ever had one night where i couldn't move and needed help.

There is not much medical history done in the case of preventing reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis occurs when there is conflict between your immune system and the infection often results in ‘debris’such as chemicals and bits of dead germs which are the fallout from this. Some of this debris may spread into the bloodstream where it travels to other areas of the body. If this debris accesses a joint such as the knee joint then it causes inflammation in that joint.

I only started looking up articles last night but none have came up with ways of preventing with it but only to use anti-inflammatories to deal with it.

On a final note, the doctor said if the pain still persists after I finish my prescribed medicine I should return where more blood tests will be carried out. Then from there it probably be to hospital to see a specialist who works in that area. 

As you guessed I am not to upbeat at the moment, To much is hanging in the balance. All i even wanted was to build up a bit of distance in running and cycling.  Any attempts i have made so far i have being knocked right back to square one. Time is only thing that can tell.

Articles on Reactive Arthritis
Online Forum Discussions

If you got any other sites that provides information on this topic, please send them in through the comment box.

On a final note, how weird this pain is, I walk in to the doctors the last day and the pain was in my right leg so I was fairly limping on the way in, it took awhile to be called and on the way out, I was now limping on the left leg, The change in pain happened so quick i didn't even realise it.  God give me strength. 
22 March 2011

New Bike: Giant Defy 4

If you were reading my last posts, you see how my metal frame bike just wasn't cutting the mustard. Even though it was a great bike, I said it was time for an upgrade.

I went onto boards.ie and stuck up a wanted notice for a Giant Defy. I got a good few responses and just over a week later I had my new bike.   I was still sick with the flu but with the stronger medicine the doctor provided  has helped me this week and I took the bike off for a spin.

The first day I knocked up 33km on it. It felt great, I was way faster. I also purchased new dhb clipless shoes from wiggle. They are taking a bit of getting used to.    The only thing sore from the first day was the pain the saddle gave me.  I didn't want to overdo it on the second ride out but I put in 55km.  I remember going downhill and looking at the speedometer saying 48kph but also  when faced with tough headwinds the clock was reading 15kph.  

After around 40km in my journey, I totally forgot I was on clipless pedals and being a bit disillusioned at that time, I went to take my foot of the pedal in the normal way only to fall flat to the ground. All I could do was laugh but fairly had some cuts and bruises down my right hand side.  I had ripped my new cycling shorts that I just got but still the worse pain was my behind.   Its just normal saddle pain and will get immune to it with a few more rides. 

I practised in changing a tire tube the last day. It was a job and a half. First time doing it so that was expected. Better to learn now then to be totally tired in the middle of nowhere and having a go.  In taking off the back wheel, it was expected to be a small bit more complicated but putting it back on was another job and a half even though once i get the knack to it, it will take less then a few seconds. 

Looking forward to entering it into the next race. The cycling distance is only 14km  but should be fun. need to get out and run as well.. Too much to do... so little time.
16 March 2011

Still not out of the woods yet

By God this is the longest i have ever being down with the flu. Went to the doctor again yesterday and this time he gave me stronger medicine and it looks like it has done the trick. Will finish the week course of them and get back to training then. 

My doctor is sound, Also takes parts in duathlons and runs. Another doctor in the same clinic also runs.. Sure them boys know what they are at. They are going to run the Craughwell 10 mile on 20th March. My friend Stephen Brodrick is doing it also and I wish them all the best. Sounds like a good day to be out.

I am looking on the good side of things. i got my new Giant Defy bike. Dying to take it out. I purchased dhb (wiggle own brand) road shoes at a valuable price and also got some more stuff through the Lidl cycling special day. i hope to go a few kph faster in it.

Weather is screaming to get out but will wait till Paddys day is over first. Since i haven't done anything in the past weeks might as well have a cracker of a paddys day and start fresh after. Lets hope i can go a few months before an injury or another flu attacks me.  Even though i aways have my five a day, i think some vitamins will be needed. 

If things go to plan, i will look to head to do the ennis duathlon on April 3rd on my new bike. I sat on my new bike only for a few minutes on the turbo trainer, It is fair to say that i will need good padding in my manhood regions.  Will take it out for a good spin next week and access that situation further. 

For now though. Happy St. Patricks Day 

10 March 2011

Round Two Flu v Me

In my precious post I stated the flu won't knock me down, but by God its doing a good job in trying. It has hit the bone with pains all over causing me not to do any exercise at all.  I thought I was getting better last Saturday and I got myself out for a 5k and hit the town that night for a few scoops..

Sunday came around and by that night I couldn't move a muscle. I promised not to do anything for the week and expected to be feeling much better by now. Still wake up this morning with aches and pains. I plan to get out and about on Monday.  I say  Craughwell 10 mile is well off by this stage. So gutted as I was well up for it but now I hate thinking about it. All i can say is plenty of more races down the line but come on, give me a streak where I can build up something, always something getting in the way.
03 March 2011

Flu won't knock me down

Over the past few weeks,  I came down with the flu. All my training was done inside in the gym.  I thought I got rid of it and felt great doing the duathlon last Sunday. Went for a cycle on Monday and a run on Tuesday. By Tuesday evening I felt something was not right, it was back. It had me knocked out on Wednesday and had some hot whiskeys to sweat it out. Went to the doctor this evening and he gave me some antibiotics.

As the friendly guy I am, I got chatting to the doctor and sure enough he does some races as well. He asked me did i sign up for the Craughwell 10mile. I said no.  then he gave the look which basically said go on and sign up, you will be grand.

I was thinking of it on the way back home, I never ran over 10km and the race is on in a couple of weeks and I'm still sick.  You would think by that sort of thinking I would decline in entering the race but no, I feel lately that I'm not pushing hard. If I was pushing enough I would already have done over 10k I feel.

OK maybe with the rough weather over the last few months and some accidents played a part in stopping me but the main thing is now I feel I have to up my game. "20th March is D-Day and the game is just beginning. I will mainly concentrate on the running for the two weeks and get back to cycling after it. i nearly have struck a new deal for a bike so will be like a little kid when I get my hands on it.

If i can't run the total distance, I will walk to the finish line.  Well walk near to the finish line and run the last part. :) Main thing is to finish it. 

Also, my membership is nearly up in the gym. I am grateful for the service it has provided me. i lost a good bit of weight but nowadays, i seem to opt for the gym instead of running outside so I am not renewing my membership. I don't want to have it as a back-up option.  I will see how I develop over the coming months and look back at re-joining in the winter.
28 February 2011

Duathlon Race Report: An Cheathrú Rua 27/02/2011

My first race of the new year came at the end of February. i had being eyeing it up since January and only registered for it a week before the race. My racing preparations lets just say were not up to a high quality standard. Even when i registered,  i was still down with the flu but was so determined just to do it, nothing was going to stop me from participating.

I didn't get out much to train for it, the flu really had a hold on me so instead i went to the gym and put some sessions in there.  The final week, my mate Paul came down and we went for a cycle.   He left his hybrid bike at home and came up with his friends Trek.  Looking the part i have to say, with new clip-on shoes and sunglasses that can have three different shades.

We took off that day and i noticed i was peddling harder but didn't have the ability to catch up to him. I realised he was going to be my opponent on race day.  My '94 metal frame bike could not compete with this but I was the faster runner.

I decided to check online, see if they had any Giant Defy's going second hand.  I heard there were a good entry level aluminium bikes.  It wasn't the fact of competing against Paul on race day but after seeing how easy it looked for him on the bike, I want that and that's what i was looking for.  But no bike was available, I'm currently in talks with a fellow  who is looking to upgrade and sell off his Giant Defy.

Few days before the race, I went on a run. First time outside in a month I guess, Not good, I relied to heavily on that treadmill. The air was playing up my asthma so I hit for another run the next day in trying to adapt. Thinking of giving up my gym membership now so I wont have any backup options and will run in all conditions. Saying that and doing that is of course another thing.

I got up early enough on race day. Didn't have a good sleep the night before, the excitement and thinking of things that could go wrong usually hits the head.  Instead of counting sheep in trying to fall asleep, I started  counting bicycles as they past.  Porridge with a sliced banana was the breakfast and took of to Carraroe. Landed there early enough and just relaxed till Paul came 15mins later.  This was our first official duathlon race. We registered in and took a seat and began chatting. It helped settled any of our nerves.  I started to get a bit jumpy then, the last race involved in my bike, involved me changing a tyre at the very start so we went outside.  The first thing i did is take out my bike and looked it all over. Glad to see things looking up. i got changed and began warming up and we put the bikes in the transition area. Paul's friend took some photos, will look to grab them and put them on my blogs Facebook link in a few days.  We were still having the laugh while some people had the most serious look on the faces. I shouted out ' Any other amateurs here?" and sure two people in front of us started laughing and said they were and that's why they were standing far back.

The giggles were leaving me and race briefing was going on, I seem to doze off in these times but tried to give it my full attention.  Paul listens to everything so i just asked him if i wasn't sure of anything.   We all lined up and I knocked Paul over.. ah no i didn't,  them ideas must stop running through my head.  3.2.1 and off we went in the first 3.5km run. Good to get going, set into a nice stride then all of a sudden, nearly the whole 48 participants looked like they were in a 100m sprint. I looked at Paul in amazement as to say 'What the F**K did we get ourselves into?' I got the same stare back from him.  I wasn't going out the blocks fast so I settled into a nice stride. I read on the race briefing there was Cat5 hill climb. I didn't know what this was but i know it must be bad enough if they give it a name even though it was the easiest of categories I found out later.  When I turned to go up it, looking up nearly knocked me over. I just kept my head down and follow the ones legs in front of me.  After reaching the top,I wanted the running to be over and get on the bike but it was also hitting me that  I would have to repeat that again later in the stage.

After the Cat5, it was a nice decent back into the village. my first transition was upon me and all I was thinking  was the lines where I can get on the bike, put helmet on before bike, try and get in and out as fast as I could. I was wondering did I have much of a lead on Paul. When I was leaving the transition, I spotted Paul from a distance of 70meters so i hopped on my bike knowing he was going to catch up to me. The cycle was a two loop course (21.5km) and I was hoping to be still in front of him by the first loop. it was a nice cycle, Around 6km i seen Paul behind me by around 50 meters. I gave him the thumbs up, wait, it was more like my middle finger. Then i wondered since it was only a quick look, i was hoping it was Paul and not some other person. I was like thank god  when he pulled up along side me, I knew he wouldn't stay there for long as I be hunting him down on the final run.  I tried to tail him for a good while and was only a few meters behind when we had finished the first loop.  The second loop, I looked as it as if i was chasing a deer, but this deer kept getting further and further away. I should have put more speed into my downward cycles but was looking to relax whenever i could.  As I was entering into transition area, Paul was about 100meters ahead in the run, I knew  my work was cut out for me and off i set with my wobbly legs. I just put one foot in front of the other hoping i would catch him.

Paul Fahy tackling the Cat5 climb

I got around to that hill again, I seen Paul nearly at the top walking it, I though to myself I have a good chance to catch him now, but when I was running it, I realised I can't even manage to run up it, I walked for 10 seconds, tried again, only lasted another minute. God i knew Paul had me now.  Two guys passed me out, it turns out they took the wrong turn, poor lads.. big red markings on the road and already ran the loop in the first time. Its a wonder how they missed the turn. So it came to the downhill. Paul still ahead but I found something else in the tank, I began to increase my pace and realised my legs were doing good. I had a good chance of closing in but Paul found some other memento and dug deep to hold on beet me by 58seconds. I came in at. 1:40:17


Name RunTransitionCycleTransition 2Run Total
Paul Fahy 21:30.9 1:00.3 52:25.1 1:03.9 23:19.4 1:39:19.7
Paul Mc Donagh 20:01.3 0:34.8 56:55.4 0:29.1 22:16.5 1:40:17.3

Thanks to all the people still clapping us in, they could have long gone home. Gave Paul a big high five and we tried to catch our breath and did a few stretches. It was nearing 3 o' clock and the Ireland rugby match was about to start. I was thinking of this match throughout the race, and a beer.. That is what my motivation was working on. We got changed quickly and headed to the pub to where the afters of the race were held.  There was tea, biscuits, scones and cakes on offer. We seen the cake early that morning and was eyeing it up. When I arrieved at the table area with the food spread out, the cake wasn't in sight. It was handed out but nothing was going to stop me. I went to a table where it was handed out and grabbed a few slices for myself and Paul. went up on the bar stool, downed a pint of bulmers with ice and cheered on Ireland to beating Scotland.

It was a good day overall and hopefully there be many more. There is a smaller duathlon on in Ennis next month.I like getting souvenirs at the races.. have them as memories. The Ennis one is first 50 entries gets a t-shirt.  At this duathlon we got a snood, I believe that's what they are called. Will be giving it a try out, stop the cold air from getting in, all good for asthmatics i believe.  Also forgot to mention. The weather on race day looked like it was going to rain but the sun broke out for the whole time during the race. :)

Big thanks to all the people at Trisport, organisers and stewards. caters and mainly to the people coming out and showing there support. Hope ye all had a good day too.

Seán Ó Mainnín has a great selection of photos online here under Carraroe duathlon.

Official Results can be found online here

Thanks everyone for taking time out in  reading my post. It was a long one. Two cups of coffee to write it.
20 January 2011

A bit of a cycling rant

As a newbie to cycling, I decided to follow the sport in more detail. I was going to watch the Santos Tour Down under but couldn't find it on TV or even free streaming online. Not to worry, there are more races to follow and the big one the Tour De France.  Actually, one tour i watched last year was the Vuelta De Espana where I got great enjoyment watching fellow Irish man Nicolas Roche put in a good performance. It's way easier to get more enthusiastic about the sport if you are rooting for someone.

I'm not a book reader, in fact the current number of books  I completed to this day could be counted on one hand with one finger (Famous Five), but new year, new me. My first book for 2011 is Lance Armstrong's 'Every Seconds Count'. I selected this book for many reasons. Nearly everyone knows him.. Battle with Cancer.. 7 time winner of Tour De France and allegations with doping allegations. I have nearly a 100 pages read so far and deeply finding it a great read, then i come online to find more allegations against Lance Armstrong made by Sports Illustrated. Latest claim about an unidentified drug that worked better than EPO. Yes, 12 years since his first tour and they come up with this. Why now? sure the drug was created by and abolished by Baxter in 1998. Test were done on this experimental drug 'HemAssist' and showed no improvement for any cyclist but when your Lance Armstrong and 7 time world champion. You must be a cheat.

There has being a major crackdown on drugs in the cycling sport and it is brilliant to get rid of the cheats. I suppose it is becoming one of the cleanest professional sports and can hold its head up high. When it comes to solving accusations it can dip that head again. Latest major case has to be the latest Tour De France winner, Contador.  Traces of clenbuterol found in system.  Used for asthma's suffers to help them to breathe. For the amount that was found in him, lets just say if i get an asthma attack and that's all that is left in the inhaler, PLEASE CALL A DOCTOR.

The fact of the matter is not that he was 400 times under a dosage that would give him any benefit but further investigation is going on forever which could result in him missing the next tour De France.  Next month there is meant to be a decision but that might not be a final decision. Sure why not drag it over till the 2012 tour

I guess when people asks rider what does it mean to be a Tour De France winner? they will reply: 'accused cheater'. Unless he is French.   


12 January 2011

Exercise-Induced Asthma

The doctor told me after a 15min workout that my lung age went from a 20 year old to a 74 year old.    I knew I always had breathing problems when I was exercising but I used to take my mothers inhaler before I began a workout

But this in not going to stop me from exercising.  A study found that 1 out of every 6 athletes had asthma in the 1996 Olympic games.The doctor prescribed me an inhaler to take before a session. It is recommended to take 15-20 minutes before a workout.

Exercise Induced asthma is caused by the tube in the airways are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and react by narrowing the airway. Air is usually warmed and humidified by the nose, but during demanding activity people breathe more through their mouths. This allows cold, dry air to reach your lower airways and your lungs without passing through your nose, triggering asthma symptoms.

In addition to taking medications, warming up prior to exercising and cooling down after exercise can help in asthma prevention 

Exercise-Induced Asthma Links




10 January 2011


Woke up with a phone call, the courier was looking for directions to my house. Still wonder why Ireland has not introduced postcodes yet. 

So excitement was rushing through me and the turbo trainer had arrived. It all came pre-packaged with only a small bit of work needed.  The bicycle hooked up nicely and off I went

It was raining outside when I got it and I realised I will be using this alot.  There is one downside to this model is to change the resistance, i need to get off my bike to do it.  I put in a good 50mins today to ease myself back into cycling. My friend just told me about 50k cycle being held near me on January 30th. It is only 20 days away so not sure would i be able to manage it.  I will have to get a few more cycles in before I decide.

There is many events i am thinking about in the early part of the year but i haven't signed up for any of them yet. Even though i have no race goals at the moment, I am still determined and self motivated to keep working hard. In fact, I think I am more motivated now then any time last year.

Now i need some good movies to watch while on the turbo trainer.

Here is my to turbo trainer movie list so far I wish to watch

Breaking Away
American Flyers
Saint Ralph
chariots of fire
The replacements
Any given sunday
without limits
The Spirit of the Marathon
Running brave
The Flying Scotsman

As you can see they are nearly all running/cycling movies and the rest involves other sports.  Should give me some inspiration.  If you know any links to these movies online. Post them in the comment box below..