National Novice XC 2017

10 Things I Think About The National Novice XC

1. Instruments of Darkness

I think I should have taken the 11pm peasant wagon back to Glanmire on Friday night like I had planned. But sometimes the instruments of darkness win us with honest trifles like a box of quality street and you end up in Reardens at 230am when all the sensible people have gone home in all the taxis. Ah well at least John didn’t leave the key in the door and lock me out on the coldest night of the year.

2. Rest Day

I don’t like taking rest days, I don’t know what to do with the free time. I decided the Novice was worth one. It’s very strange behaviour really because I know it makes me perform better, it’s like having some EPO in your fridge and not bothering to use it ever, ridiculous. I felt fantastic today, ridiculously good, heart rate hit 187 during the race which is way higher than normal, I must have been well rested and very fresh. Supercompensation.

3. Fish Wife

Because I had a rest day on Saturday I had literally nothing to do on Saturday, thankfully I had been locked out of the house on Friday night at 330am so I slept in until 12. For some reason I decided that I needed a bag of chips from the Fish Wife at 630 on Saturday evening, I don’t know why, intuitive eating I think. I normally have pizza from Novocento before a race. I think the rest day might have confused my body. God it was good though, lots of salt. Salt is excellent for running.

4. Froomebutamol

I think I prepared excellently for the race, I got up at 11 had a tower of power and 5 coffees for breakfast. I took my thyroxine, vitamin D and probiotics all washed down with a yakult. Then I had a Fluimucil in some sparking water as I was a bit congested, great stuff that. Before the race I had 2 puffs of the Froomebutamol that I got in Spain. I had an Irish one too but I reckon the Spanish one has to be better. I was definitely under 1000ng/ml.

5. Warm Up

I think that I would run 200 miles a week if I lived in Waterford, not because there’s absolutely nothing else to do there but because they have that beautiful greenway. I did my warm up with Iain and his GAA short wearing friend. I’m pretty sure that wearing GAA shorts in a cross country race is more illegal than wearing sunglasses. It definitely looks more ridiculous.

6. Posers

I was glad to be back on an Irish start line today. There were no Spanish posers with impeccable hair, the closest thing to a Spaniard was probably Denis Coughlan. I couldn’t wear my sunglasses because my lux meter was reading less than 200 which means that with a pair of category 3 sunglasses you’d technically be blind. Mitch wanted to wear his too, it was very disappointing. I had bought new ones in Spain and all.

7. Doubleplusgood

I think cross country is a lot like 1984, you have to learn to love cross country. At the start line all the lads looked terrified like they were about to be sent to Room 101. I don’t think they love cross country. I on the other hand love Big Brother. I’d turn the pain up more if I could, hurt more, hurt better, turn the pain into power. War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength and all that.

8. Course

I think I hate that little evil hill on that course, if they’d take that out of it I’d probably have won, it’s too steep for my long tanned shaved legs. They don’t like it, they told me every lap, screaming they were like a GAA player in February. The main hill was ok I can run on that gradient, the descent was beautiful, I floated down it like a giant gorilla chasing a smaller gorilla.

9. Conor and Others

I think there is no passion in Conor’s running style, it’s like he has been programmed by an excellent software engineer. He pranced past me on the third lap looking like he was running up Raffeen on a Sunday long run listening to John Meade telling excellent stories. It’s horrendously irritating, I really hated him at the time. Then Brian pranced past too in a similarly detached dispassionate manner. It’s almost like he learned from Conor. Ah well at least it helped the team.

10. My Precious

I think I like winning shiny things, we somehow managed to finish as third club team so I got a nice shiny medal. It’s a pity they didn’t have a podium like they do in Spain, that would have looked excellent on Instagram especially as Gearóid Ó Laoi was taking lots of photos. Some year Athletics Ireland should run the Novice in Spain like the NFL play in London, people would like it and I could wear sunglasses. I’d probably still beat Mark Walsh too.


Bored the Night Before The Berlin Marathon 2017

10 Things I Think About Being Bored The Night Before The Berlin Marathon

1. Full Back

I think I picked the wrong sport. I'm not designed to run marathons, I should have been a GAA player. The doctor who first set eyes on me as a 11 pound baby said "Galtee Gaels have a new full-back" not "the Berlin Marathon has a new winner".

2. For God's Sake Take it Handy at the Start

I think I'll listen to Donie Walsh this time. Normally he doesn't even bother telling me to take it handy at the start of a road race because he knows that it is utterly pointless. Lizzie Lee has also suggested a sensible approach. I might just listen this time.

3. Boxing

I don't think I've ever gotten to the start line of a race in such good shape. There is literally nothing wrong with me, nothing. This isn't some David Haye style boxing nonsense where I'll reveal tomorrow that I actually have three broken toes and a torn ACL, I am actually perfect. I even survived a dramatic ankle roll at the Marina on Tuesday. Perhaps the robust ankles of a full back are exactly what's needed for a marathon.

4. Plague

I'm very happy to have avoided catching any diseases before the marathon. I had the misfortune of sitting beside a very diseased person on the plane but I seem to have avoided contracting whatever plague was going. I was going to ask him to move but I don't think that would have worked.

5. Beige Food

I think the best approach to the day before a marathon in a foreign city is to adopt a beige food policy. If it's beige you can eat it. Bread, croissants, rice cakes, bananas, pizzas and tiramisu are all ok.

6. Veins

I think I regret all those croissants in Font Romeu. I wish I looked like a heroin addict. It's horrible walking around the EXPO and seeing all these people who have veins like the U-Bahn map of Berlin. I wish I had veins.

7. Sleep

I think beer is great for sleep but I'm too afraid to drink one the night before the marathon. I had two on Friday after arriving and slept like a baby. I don't think I'll sleep as well tonight. I'll take some paracetamol instead.

8. The Da Vinci Code

I think there are two restaurants in Berlin called Da Vinci.

9. Rowdy Barber

I think deflation has struck in Berlin. My haircut only cost €44 this time. I think I like it. It's sort of German, it certainly wasn't worth €44.

10. 16071

I think my number has a nice symmetry to it, 1+6=7, 7-1=6. I hope it all adds up to a good time, whatever that is.

Berlin U-Bahn.JPG