This time I'm off to do the half Challenge Barcelona next weekend, a half-Ironman distance race in the seaside resort of Calella just outside Barcelona. I raced the full Ironman distance race there last October and was thoroughly impressed with the race organisation and atmosphere so can't wait to go back.
After the European Duathlon Champs I had a little niggle in my left Achilles so made sure I eased off on training, particularly running, for a week to make sure it didn't develop into anything more. I made the most of this by enjoying a week of easy riding and swimming – though I did manage to incorporate my first century ride in a long time to visit my grandparents. I've then had a fortnight of 'training with a purpose' (one of the mottos of the Spinervals turbo DVDs I spent the winter doing!) and have managed to bang out several key sessions set by my coach. On paper some of them look horrendous, but, Cambridge being Cambridge and me being me, I managed to cajole friends to join me for all of them so haven't had to do any on my own – thanks Jared, Ned and Tom! They half joke that they're just my domestiques – but I really do feel lucky to have a bunch of training partners who don't mind working hard and pushing each other and do it with a bit of banter along the way. Even the hard sessions become fun if you do them with friends.
So all in all I feel in pretty good shape going into this race and am excited to have another chance to test myself. It will be the first race outing for my new Vitus time trial bike so I hope my legs and mind let me do it justice.
Hasta la vista to the banger – welcome to Goss racing Vitus!