Kilkee, Kona Kilkee, Killer Kilkee, Hell of the West .....
It rises the waters of the soul. Waves of emotion crash against the hearts call. To complete or chase victory only those who have suffered on the legendary roads around west clare will truly know the greatness of HELL
The swelling waters of kilkee bay, the sun rising over the dive centre, the sounds of the motors being revved to take out the marker buoys. These sounds echo through my mind. The picture clear in my eyes as the memories flash through my video of memories.
A silent house, is awoken by the screeching kettle making the coffee. The endurance athletes usual wake up call. Calm faces emerge from all corners of the soul. Feelings of tightness or nerves make the athlete hold the cup closer. Taking its heat into his heart as he watches the sunrise. The caffeine slowly creeping into his veins as he pulls the runners on for his obligatory flush run.
Music fills his ears but he hears no sounds as the race process is underway, delving deep into pre race rituals now is not the time to listen to the ghosts. Not the time to let the music control the endorphins release. Carefully selected morning music won't be heard until after the jog along the sea front. Calm waters and bronzing red sky, squeals and squaks fill the air. Deep breathing fills his lungs as he memorises the the buoy location.
"Simply break into sections" his coach would scream, "the start & the first buoy! Don't fuck that up. Don't get too excited but race to the first buoy before you settle "
Images of washing machines and wind turbines fill his mind with smiles. That's the bit I love he thinks. Just be calm he says. Nothing I do now can make me any better than the athlete I will be later today....
He saunters off as the cars arrive into dive center car park. Volunteers no doubt. I wonder do they feel the participants joys, the highs the lows ????
Kilkee is now fast approaching. The work is done. Rest is the only secret ingredient now. A few sessions to ease the nerves and provide confidence, for some will be needed for others not.
A lot of athletes kill their race day performance with "cram sessions" or lack the confidence to relax, or lack the coaching coaches trust to let it all unfold on race day. Trust your gut it the little voices.
As Roy would say, "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" It's either been done or it hasn't
Enjoy your journey