Victoria 70.3 is the first race that I will be returning to as the defending champion. All the other races that I have won in the past have either been discontinued the next year. It is always a disappointment to see a race disappear but it happens.
I really enjoy Victoria it is a nice relaxed island. Everything is on island time, people are not really rushing around everywhere, just feels like it is on a slower pace. The area is very suited to bike riding with a lot of bike lanes and less aggressive drivers. But my favourite part about Victoria is the landscape. The old growth forest and mountains just blow me away. I really feel like I am in a different world. It just feels like a Canadian jungle. Doing all my pre race preparation is such a joy taking it all in. During the race I will not have the time to absorb the sites, so I will take it all in before the race.
Last year I came into Victoria 70.3 focused on racing, not the end result. I am trying to keep that same mindset this year. With all the external pressure it will be a test of my will to keep this mindset. Last year I won the race on the bike, riding away from the rest of the field and held on for the run. I will need to remember that this race will not play out the same as last year. Every race is different and can be won in a different way. I will be treating it as if I have never raced here before.
The course this year is a little different, with transition being in a different location. This means that the bike is slightly changed and the run is being done in reverse to last year. This will make the course new and exciting.
But still there is a big home field advantage, knowing the area and having a home country race. I do not feel out of place at all in Victoria. I have lived, trained and raced in the area. In 2012 Simon Whitfield asked Andrew Yorke, John Rasmussen and myself to come live with him in Victoria as he prepared for the 2012 Olympics. A lot of the roads I am riding on I have seen multiple times and I just know the lay of the land.
That being said there is definitely a little more pressure to win going into this race. I expect a lot from myself and know that I have what it takes to win. There is a little more press involved around the event and I have been asked to attend the pro panel on Sat at 1:00pm and the kids run at 2:30. I really do enjoy doing them. I will be using all that I have learned over the year about myself to make sure I stay focused and toon out the noise.
I will make sure that I keep the week before the race very calm and relaxed. I will be staying off my feet as much as I can to allow my body to be ready for the big day on Sunday. It is time to get into my groove. I have race over twenty 70.3 races and know what to do. It is becoming second nature traveling and racing. It is just part of what I do. It is all part of the job. I have found that this kind of approach has given me much better results over the years. I go to a race and just do it. Yes there is a lot of timing involved with making sure that my body has recovered from the training load. It has taken time for me to respect the rest that is required going into a race and to believe that you have done the work. It is so easy to just go out there and hit one more hard workout. When it comes to race week it is all about feeling good. I do just enough that week for me to feel strong and relaxed. Once things start to feel effortless I stop.
Time to get in the zone and rock Victoria 70.3.