After last weekends madness of doing a triathlon and a 10k back to back, surely this weekend was going to be a quite one... Right?
Friday was normal. I had decided to be booze free for 6 weeks prior to the marathon, but on my drive home I had already started to doubt the sense of this and by the time that I arrived home four weeks booze free seemed like enough for sure. So we had family junk food night and a few pleasant glasses of wine.
Saturday I hung out with Zane and we had a great day.
Sunday is when I topped the madness of last weekend.
I started off by doing my first ever 20 mile run. I set out at about 11am without really properly planning it. I hadnt really eaten enough to be running over lunchtime. Plus, it was very hot (for Belfast). The run was tough. Really... tough. I ran from home, into the centre of Belfast, right through the centre of a major shopping area, where my wife was working (she was quite surprised my my hello/kiss/cant talk or stop or legs will sieze up passing), then back home. It was long and difficult but it was good.
In total I actually ran 20.75 miles in a total time of 3 hours, 6 minutes and 12 seconds for an average pace of 8:58. Target pace was about 9:15, so Im happy with that. Funnily enough, my last three miles were, unintentionally the fastest.
Anyone interested can check the route out on Garmin Connect
I got home, had a quick ice bath then shower then headed off to do the thing that topped last weekends madness. I was due to abseil from the top of the Europa hotel Belfast. The Europa holds the dubious honour of being the most bombed hotel in Europe and I was jumping off its roof along with my wife and my sister-in-law.
As with last week, the break time between the two events was minimal, probably about 90 minutes. I can strongly advise anyone who ever considers doing this to not do it in the order I did it.
See, my original plan was to do the abseil first, then run later. But then at 11am on the Sunday morning, I realised.. abseil at 4. Hmm.. by the time we do the briefing, abseil, get home, its going to be dinner time.. and I do not want to do my first ever 20 miler at 8 o clock at night. So off I went out the door to run.
This led to me arriving at the Europe on sore, shaky and somewhat crampy legs. We did the briefing and headed to the roof and as you can see from this pic, I was feeling pretty darn good and totally fearless.
I have to be honest though. The fearlesssness didnt last. Once I got about 10 feet down, the shakiness in my legs, combined with the weird moonwalky feeling of little weight on my legs, combined with the fact that I was hanging from the roof of a hotel by a rope combined with LOOKING DOWN suddenly struck me down with fear.
I was, for a few moments, terrified. The girl at the top who was there as my safety person and general psychological support for the moment shouted down to ask me if I was OK. I think I squeaked out a "Yeah, Great!" but who knows. The photo below was taken around about the time of my slight mental metltdown. On the leftis my wonderful wife coming down on the left beside me...
I recovered from that moment, and downgraded my overall mental status from terrified to REALLY SCARED. Which was a massive improvement.
Just to put it into perspective. Here is a longer shot of the hotel. Im the little green spec.
And finally, one more shot of me as I got further down. At this point the fear was pretty much gone and I was just speeding down as fast as I could. Partially to get the hell onto the ground and partially because at this point it was verging on fun.
Overall, it was a scary, but exhilarating experience. I did the whole thing for a local charity called Enable NI. If you feel inclined, please visit my just giving page and donate some money. Its all for a very good cause.
Seriously.... Click here -> http://www.justgiving.com/austintanney/
How will I top this next week? To be honest.. I wont!