I get a real kick out of using races as training days....my own personal aid stations -- cheering spectators, and friends racing/training alongside you. :) :)
Last year the Calgary 70.3 was a tough training day -- I had missed three weeks of training due to The Cold From Hell, and Coach Sara used the race as a great fitness booster.
This year, the race was serving a similar purpose -- only this time I have not been ill but have an Ironman under my belt and a sold training camp too!
As in any race, I am racing against myself, and a training day or not, I always harbour the secret goal of earning a new PB. I knew I was going to have a really, really good chance at it, since last year I literally did nothing for the three weeks prior to the race except cough, sleep, and spit up mucous.
This year, I also decided to use the race as an Ironman tune-up race prep. Nutrition was bang on. YAY! Electrolytes, bang on. Another yay! Another goal I had for myself for this race was to not let drafting packs suck me in and annoy me. For the first time (ever!) when a pack wold go by and then slow down or get congested, I would slow down and keep my distance. I would either soft pedal or if I was in aero, I would sit up and let the wind resistance slow me down.
And it worked!!! I didn't get stressed at all about drafters this race. Another yay! When I would feel the familiar tickle of annoyance, I would sit up and pee or drink or eat or whatever, and then say the words "Fluffy Bunnies." Immediately, I would relax. :) :)
When I owned the dollar store, I used to sell these Easter gift bags that had the cutest picture of fluffy baby bunnies on them. Thinking of how cute they are just relaxes me instantly. I also think of the time I went to the Calgary pet fair and held a little bunny. :) :) :)
So, all in all, I took off 21 minutes from last year's time -- more importantly, Coach Sara was pleased with where my fitness is at - that she wasn't expecting me to finish that soon! YAY!!
The race has kick started my final big block of training for Ironman Canada. :) :) :) I'm right back into training today and have a solid week ahead of me and I feel stronger and stronger! I am soooo excited for IMC this year!!!! :) :) :)
Wednesday is a hilly ride....Highwood Pass anyone? ;)