I’m a busy person online, between this blog, Facebook and Twitter. Up until now, I have only ever posted about animals: I’m a vet, and my main interest in life is to spread good quality information about animals.
I do, however, have a second passion: triathlons. To add a little variety to my animal posts, I’ve decided to post occasional triathlon-related entries to this blog. I don’t want to bore anyone with tedious minutiae but I do plan occasional brief posts like this.
A career as a companion animal vet can be surprisingly sedentary: over the years, I’ve learned that to stay sane, I need to get outside, exercising. The combination of thinking time, natural endorphins and physical exertion works well for me.
I used to just run – doing a marathon way back in the 1980’s – but when I developed a painful back in the 1990’s due to repetitive stress on my spine from running, I started to swim too. I’ve always enjoyed cycling, so when I came across the triathlon, it seemed like a natural sport to take up.
I’ve been plugging away at triathlons for seven years now, and it’s a love-hate relationship. It hurts when you are battling through the water, pedalling furiously on the bike and struggling to finish the run. But there’s a wonderful sense of euphoria when you finally cross that finishing line.
Triathlon training happens all year round: for me, the key motivating factor is my excellent coach, Eamonn Tilley, who makes sure that I don’t slack too much. The racing season starts from around now, through to September: I’m planning half a dozen races this summer.
For those living near Dublin, there’s an excellent simple series of events every summer: the Bray Aquathons, organised by Wicklow Triathlon Club. These involve a 750m sea swim followed by a 5km run along the promenade in Bray. Everyone is welcome, from beginners to potential race winners. See the image below for more details.