Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I am full of Quasi New Years resolutions at the moment, like I am every year.

This is an important one to me though, I am going to shut down this blog. It's not a weight around my neck or anything, but having it here not updating it disappoints me in some way. I know that I am not going to start posting soon.

Gerry points to Facebook as the reason, he's probably right. I don't update that either, so I can't rightly blame it. As the swim showed (and there is a new years resolution not to use the word swim in 2010) I think it is more lightly is that I need some reason to blog, I enjoyed blogging on the IASC site. It was easy and it provided focus.

So, I am making a unilateral decision to take this blog down in a week. It'll still be here, just turned off and invisible. So in 20 years time, if google hasn't gone bust and I'm not dead, I can turn it on and have a good laugh at myself.

Bye bye.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Channel Swimming

Hi everyone,

As all of you are aware (because it's all I talk about), I'm off to swim the channel next week. Hopefully winds and tides will work within the week timeslot our team has and we get to go (otherwise you can find me in the bottom of a bottle for the next six months). Current estimate for the off is the 3am on Sunday the 26th. I am in a team of six, so I'll be swimming in darkness for the first hour, then hopefully daylight by the time I have to get back in.

I'll be swimming a minimum of 9 kilometers on the day, maybe 12.

It's all in aid of the Irish cancer society. Irish Life has footed the bill for all our costs, so everything raised goes to them. To date we have raised €83,000 out a target of €100,000.

If you want to make a donation, you can @ (link to, registration required). If you don't, that's cool too. The site is kept updated with progress of the teams, and on swim day you'll be able to interactively monitor our progress across the channel. Technology eh?

I can bore you with some stats if you like:

Weight lost: 42lbs
Weight gained: 14lbs
Carb drink of choice: Maximuscle Viper
Hours swum in training: 119
Kilometers swum: 243
Wife: Patient
Night swims: 2
Jellyfish stings: 0
Boredom: Total

I'll be in the Lucan Gazette tomorrow (Thursday), which I'll scan and blog for your pleasure. I'd appreciate if you forward this to others who know me, hence the breach in netiquette by putting you all in the 'To:' line. I am woefully short on email addresses.

If you'd like to know anything about the project, or would just like to meet for lunch, give me a call.

Love to all,

Monday, March 02, 2009

New Arrival

I forgot to post my news 2 months ago to announce the new arrival in my house.

Daniel was born on Dec 30th 2008.

He'll be 9 weeks old tomorrow

I got 6.5hrs sleep last night woot

Monday, February 23, 2009

Phelps and Me

Hey - I have kind of committed to blogging for the new channel swim site where I am going to update weekly on Mondays. I am going to X-post here, unless anybody gets there knickers in a twist. Please check out the other site and have a sniff around. It smells professional.

Here is the post:

Tonight I walked into the bedroom with a measuring tape. "Honey, will you measure me?" My long suffering wife has a permanently raised eyebrow and this request gave the other one cause to twitch. Michael Phelps (Olympic athlete and bong-smoker extraordinaire) has a freakishly disproportionate height to reach ratio. He is 6' 4" tall and has a reach of 6' 7". He also has size 14 feet. It is safe to say if he hadn't become a swimmer he would have had a stellar career as a clown. The ability to pick a custard pie of the ground without bending his knees would definitely get him the glad-eye from the bearded lady.

Mrs M, took the tape off me and gave me a good old measuring. I am 6' 0" tall with a reach of 5' 10". I wear size 8 shoes and don't have double jointed ankles. If I joined the circus I would probably be relegated to cleaning out the elephant's cage. My hands are stumpy and shovel-shaped. I don't know what Phelps hands are like, but I imagine they are like perfectly shaped seals paws.

As if you couldn't figure this out for yourself, comparing me to Phelps is a futile exercise. Apart from our ability to eat 8 – 10 thousand calories a day we don't have much in common. He grew up swimming every day, I swam on Wednesdays. He won medals, I learned how not to drown. He qualified for the Olympics at 15, I played a good bit of all-Ireland schools bridge.

As you can see there are quite a few parallels. Truth is, I am not that obsessed by Phelps. As a spectator, I just can't get that involved in individual sports. I don't know why, what Track and field athletes do is undeniably impressive, just a little sterile, a little boring. I realise that this all sounds mealy-mouthed. He has won 16 Olympic medals (age:23), and I am sitting on the couch in my pyjamas (age:33). I prefer team sports, I have clearer view on the whys and wherefores, what makes them tick.


The level of physicality, and psychological nature of my training has caught me a little by surprise and I am beginning to understand and respect individual sports, and thus sportsmen, more. I am spending hours in the pool each week and the amount of boredom is staggering. The amount of mental toughness required to do this 8 hours a day, everyday, is and will remain an alien concept to me. I don't foresee a week that I will be in the pool for 30 hours, unless there is a guy with a gun keeping me there. That these guys can keep their head together is amazing, more amazing than how they train their bodies in my opinion. The level of mental acuity and toughness is beyond my reach. In all fairness, the physical aspect is too. In my defence (because I feel I am giving myself a bit of a hard time) there are days I really don't want to get into the pool and I do anyway. Besides, I am just jumping in the sea of a couple of hours. Perspective, I think, is required.

No wonder Phelps took recreational drugs, I would be a little suspicious if he didn't. I suggest to him that he should fill his pool with bong water. If an Olympic swimming pool is 50m x 20m x 2m, that means he’d need approximately 2,500,000 litres to fill his pool. Luckily that is the same amount that six stoners generate during a game of Risk, so getting the water shouldn’t be an issue.

Overall, I think I will stop comparing myself to Phelps. Yes, Spitz is the man for me. You just have to look at his moustache.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More spend

Gonna make these weekly:

€1.14 on a tea, bread and cheese
€20.00 on my staff restaurant card

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fitness schedule

What do you think? I'd be happy if I hit 80% on a weekly basis...

5k cycle
2.2k Swim

6k run

5k cycle

5k cycle
2.2k swim

25m abs
25m upper body weights

5k cycle

5k cycle
10k run

5k cycle

Power Thursday
5k cycle
3k run
1k row
1k swim

25m abs

1hr circuit training
1k swim
5k cycle

5k cycle

35m upper body weights

5k cycle

Saturday or Sunday

20k/30k cycle or 10/15k run

Everything I buy

Happy new year.

A friend of a friend asked me to keep a log of everything I buy this year. Okey-Dokey, I think, I can do that. It's for science.

Starting today:

One single train ticket: €2.30
One cup of coffee, two slices of brown bread, two philedelphia (subsidized): €1.34
Remainder of above to hospice charity: €0.16
One pair of craft thin gloves: €15.00
One top base layer top (craft performance apparel!): €15.00
One pair of (indecent) leggings to match : €22.00
One Quiznos sub (sweet chilli chicken): €2.99
One La Phare white coffee: €1.85
One Tip for the above: €0.15

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Party Last Night

Here is a quick picture summary.
Oh, Ouch, ouchy, ouch

Monday, December 01, 2008



Thanks to all who donated. We raised TEAM TOTAL EUR €6,610.01, which puts our team 2nd in Ireland. Doubled (for those who studied French) is €13220.02

No small potatoes. Site stays open till the 8th. My personal tally puts me 55th in Ireland which is still pretty sweet.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spitz and Me

All of you probably know that I swimming the channel. You may or may not know that I am also (and more impressively) sporting a moustache for the month of November. It's for charity.

You can donate here:

In the meantime here is a brief list of the differences between myself and Mark Spitz

Won 9 olympic gold medals
Has been (as yet) overlooked for selection
7 olympic gold medals won in a single games
Has been (cruelly) overlooked for selection
Named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972
Not in contention for 2008. Fuckin’ Phelps.
Swam at Waikiki Beach every day. "You should have seen that little boy dash into the ocean. He'd run like he was trying to commit suicide
I also swim like I am trying to commit suicide
By the early age of 10, held 17 national age-group and one world record
I have some 1st place rosettes from pony camp
Was nicknamed "Mark the Shark" by his teammates.
Teammates don’t tell him his nickname to his face.
Retired at 22
Will be lucky to retire at 65
Had a moustache because they were the times
Times have changed, can you sponsor me please?

Spitz looks like this:
Olympic Hero Mark Spitz

I look like this:
Champion Tool