I am surprised with my ability to hold in that, "If I don't race, I'm gonna die", feeling all winter long! Had it been last winter, I would have been over-whelmed with that 'feeling', to the point where days passed by like months. This winter, however, days passed by like minutes, and all of the sudden one morning I woke up and realized that my first race was in two weeks! OK, since I am technically still doing my winter training, I can't say that I held that 'feeling' in all winter long, because since two weeks ago, I JUST COULD NOT WAIT TO RACE! Believe me, those two weeks have passed by slowly.
I think the reason why this winter passed by so quickly, was because I took my competitive edge to the classroom. So instead of it lingering around me, wishing to be set loose, it was busy trying to get the best grade in Geometry Class. Last semester I got straight A's. I also found the inner math genius in me. Surprising because I barely understood math, then it clicked, and now I am getting A's and tutoring!
My training was more structured around heart rate. I had never had a heart rate monitor until a few months ago. I believe I learned a lot about what raises my heart rate and stresses me, along with what positions on the bike and mind set, relaxes me. It was quite amusing, actually. I would be riding along relaxed, at a consistent heart rate when a squirrel almost runs into my wheel!!! Startled, I would jump and slam on my brakes; then curse under my breath when the squirrel decides that continuing straight ahead might be a suicide mission (duh), so it turns around and scampers off to where it came from (laughing at me, I assume). My heart rate spiked 30 bpm higher then it should have been. I would say, squirrels are a definite stressor for me, every time I see one, my heart rate begins to rise...
I have sagged the local race/ride in Chico called Paskenta, for years before I was even racing. Paskenta is a pretty long, and brutal century with five miles of gravel, and most of the time, horrible wind. The scenery is beautiful though, and it is fun to watch the race, since several Pro riders come out. In 2011, I raced at the Cherry Pie Criterium, and Cherry Pie is the same day as Paskenta, Superbowl Sunday. Last year I rode the 75 mile loop, so did not get to sag. This year though, I wanted to sag. So, I rode the course a week before, so I could sag on race day! After sagging for many years, I was so surprised, and happy to see so many women finish the race in the lead group, and many were Pro women from Now and Novartis.
And I am happy to say, after an awesome winter of training and the inspiration of Paskenta, I finally get to race today, down in Folsom. So Excited! I am also happy to get to see so many great friends that I have not seen for a few months!
I will keep you all posted :D