Virtual mj vs. Real mj

I am the proud new owner of a Garmin 305 and after only two uses I am SO thrilled with it!  This past weekend I was able to race MYSELF thanks to the gps “Virtual Partner”.  Too cool!

On Friday, before our 4th of July festivities, Travis and I headed out for a road loop.  I attempted to chase him down for about 37 miles.  Not only was it super tough, it was just SOO fun since we havent been to a race in two weeks! (hence, my lack of posting lately)  The rush of chasing him down or trying to keep in his draft was very, very fun.. and exhausting!  I LOVED it!!  I managed to keep a 16.8 average speed, which I was really happy with for such a long and hilly ride.  Then on Sunday I decided to repeat our loop (solo) and compare my performances.  I saved Friday’s road loop as a “course” and was able to repeat the loop and actually “race” my Friday pace.  Not only is it cool to see the little bikes (arrows or circles depending on my preference) duking it out on my gps screen it was super motivating and helpful to stay focused during my ride!  It is just so easy to accidentally scale back on a ride or “think” I am riding strong or giving it my all when I’m not… and now I have proof.  What a superb way to help out my training!  “Pick it up Michelle!  You did this loop faster last week!”  Nice! 

I was also really pleased to have the gps remind me of our route.  I was definitely not paying attention to every turn on Friday with my head down or being totally focused on Travis at times.. probably pulling away from me.  haha. The GPS or Virtual MJ showed me the way since she was leading the entire ride!  The whole gps scene is such a cool option too in case I join a group ride, bike a new route (especially trails!) and would like to do it again some time.  Now I can save any course for future reference.  Sweet!  I knew the gps idea sounded cool, but just didnt realize how superb until I got my own.

So about half way through my Sunday loop I lost my virtual partner off the screen.  Why?  It seems once you fall over a mile behind the gps doesnt zoom out for you and the competitor leaves the screen.  Doh!   That sucks.  Sucks that I dropped myself so bad! HA!  I guess Travis was a better motivator than my gps, but it is still super sweet to have with me from now on.  Besides Friday’s ride lingering in my legs a little bit, and definitely having the drafting advantage with him, it was a lot of tough miles for me in one weekend compared to my typical schedule these days, so I was still happy with my Sunday attempt, but Virtual MJ won in the end.  On my final stretch home the gps started chiming away and I wasnt sure why.  Thought maybe the battery was going, but once I looked down it said something like virtual partner finished… bummer! I just lost… to myself!?  Too funny.

I’m looking forward to using the gps each ride and will try to share more info on my posts when I figure all the ins and outs of using it.   I cant wait for the next race too, which should be this weekend!  Woo Hoo!  I’m very excited to get out there again and hopefully will have a good post race report to share.   Until then, happy trails.. 🙂

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