This week I am house-sitting / cat-sitting for my aunt and uncle while the lucky suckers are away on a well-deserved break to sunnier pastures. I always love staying at their pod because they live so near the Phoenix Park, and the city, so there are lots of different running routes to have a bit of fun with while I’m here. Often, we get so used to running the same routes all the time so it’s quite exciting to have a chance to break out and explore in my running shoes.
Yesterday I headed into the city and then turned into the Phoenix Park for my morning 10 mile. Cat couldn’t come with me but I told her all about it when I got back so she didn’t feel like she was missing out.
In all my excitement, I also brought my bike with me. I’m still buzzing off the Tour de France last week and feel totally inspired to head out on some two wheel adventures and to top this off, IRONMAN 70.3 is coming to Ireland for the first time ever in just over 1 week. Unfortunately, by the time I had plucked up the courage to take on the beast that is the 70.3, it was sold out. In fact, it was sold out within minutes. As a consolation, I’m signed up to an olympic distance triathlon on the same day so I can still have a little adventure, albeit on a smaller scale 👍 As luck would have it, the Dublin IRONMAN bike route goes through the Phoenix Park, on its outgoing leg, and wraps back around in a loop to finish back in the park so I am in prime location to try out the course. It would be triathlon-criminal not to.
I couldn’t wait to have a go at the cycle so first thing this morning, I headed off on my bike to get a taste of the action, albeit on my own and without the swim or cycle. It was a near perfect day for cycling with dry, cool weather conditions but there was a strong wind at times, which I gratefully accepted given the miserable, wet weather that seems to have taken over the Irish summer so far.
The route is great and I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty flat the whole way, apart from just a handful of hills, and once you get out of the city, it’s pretty, tree-lined, green country roads the whole way. There are lots of turns along the way, which keeps it really interesting but for practising folks, I can only offer you my (now) sage advice to study the route properly and bring a map/ directions because although I did both, I still ended up taking a wrong turn and doing an extra 15 km. The good news is that the road surface is generally good for most of the route and the roads will be closed on the day, which will be AMAZING. I’m even more uber jealous of everyone doing Dublin IRONMAN now than I was before. This really will be an INCREDIBLE IRONMAN day (See how I’m capitalizing in the spirit of IRONMAN?!)
On my ride today, I tried out a new help-me-out-with-bonus-energy food. I recently picked out a selection of new energy foods to try and the SMRT seaweed cocoa and orange bar was one of them. These guys look small in the packet but I broke it into three parts as I was cycling along and had a piece every 10km after 50km. It was far more substantial than I thought it would be from looking at it, but not too much chewing/ work involved in eating it and it tasted really good. To round off the good praise, these bars are also gluten, dairy and wheat free and can boast only 5 ingredients – all natural, of course – dates, nuts, raisins, unsweetened cocoa, orange essence and … seaweed. As if you weren’t sufficiently self-congratulatory already for choosing such this as your energy snack. 9/10 for me and I’ll be getting me some more of that seaweed goodness. (In case you’re wondering, I took a mark off for the slightly steep price 😦 )
I got home just before the rain started, and after my left bike shoe got stuck in the cleat (still haven’t managed to detach), I whipped up a wholegrain cheese and avocado toastie, which I devoured while watching an episode of The Great British Bake Off and drowning myself in coffee. Done.