After completing my second 70.3 race I am reflecting and comparing the two (and how last Sunday went). To date, Santa Cruz 70.3 has been my easiest and most enjoyable race. That’s right EASIER than a half marathon! Just think about that for a moment. The longest race I have done, covering 70.3 miles with a combination of swimming, cycling, and running, is also the easiest race I have ever done. It all comes down to training. If you are consistent, determined, and put in your training hours, then race day is easy. In 2014 I did not miss a single training session. Ok maybe a few, but I was on fire and had a goal every single day and it payed off when the big day came.
In 2014 Santa Cruz 70.3 was my ‘A’ race, but this year it was a ‘B’ race so I didn’t have the same focus as the last year. Other races on the schedule this year included Tahoe Century and our local marathon. This year was tougher to finish mentally and physically. Not just because Ironman added a 1 mile 5% hill to the bike course when they purchased the race this year, because out of the three disciplines this was the easiest and I crushed that hill! But because I didn’t do as many bricks as before, I did not come with the same fire to every training session. So running was miserable and a lot slower.
This is why we have A, B, and C races. You can’t be “on” all of the time. A good training program will have cycles of intensity and recovery. You need to focus your training on the most important goal and bring your “A”-game there. In January 2016 it is time to light that fire again. For me 2015 has been a building year for an Ironman in 2016 and I’m excited to see where this journey leads.
I believe anyone, yes even YOU, can do a half Ironman if you do the work. These lessons apply to any race distance or competition. The true test is not race day, but if you had the will power and determination to prepare and show up to the start line.