I should probably recap the St Croix race.
I was feeling a little flat going into the race. Since this was my first 1/2 iron we could chalk this up to nerves, but it was a bit bothersome. I was used to feeling much more energized and ready to go.As it was, I was there to explore the distance. To be honest, I was there to pace and not to race. I wanted to come away with a complete understanding of the distance. I did not want to DNF by racing too hard too early.
I liked the swim because it was technical and warm. The swim start was calm compared to ITU starts and this set me up for a decent swim. I have not spent a lot of time developing swim speed this year so I ended feeling steady, but not speedy. I came out of the water in 5th. I would like to improve this in the next races.
My plan was to output a tempo effort on my Trek until I was past the Beast. And then I planned to gradually increase the pace. I stuck to my plan, closely watching my power and HR. It was REALLY frustrating to watch girls go by me in packs and not even try to latch on(yes, packs! I was told AFTER the race that “no one has ever been dq’d or been given a penalty at this Island race. hmm). I cruised along, hydrating and ‘geling’ until the Beast. Made it up the Beast – I had to work hard, but it was totally manageable. My home stay dad had completely freaked me out about the hill and asked me after the race if I had had to walk it. I am sure he was convinced that I was going to fall off my bike.
My back had started to hurt (I had been fighting a tweaked psoas) a little before the Beast and it continued to be uncomfortable through the rest of the ride. This was a bit of distraction, but I still managed to stick to my plan. The rough roads on the island didn’t make it any easier on the back. I found once I was passed the Beast I started to get a bit bored. I think there were two reasons for this: First, I am soo used to have people around me in the draft legal racing and second, IT IS 90 KMS OF BIKING (just joking, the second reason is because I wasn’t really RACING the race). Hopefully I will be more engaged during the next race!Out on the run I felt great, but again I held back. I saw a bunch of people ahead of me that I could pass, but as my new run coach (Nicole Stevenson) told me, patience, patience, patience. I stuck to a tempo effort and the girls that were going to come back to me did. I had fun on the run – except for the blisters (see post below) – and I managed to squeak into the top 10.I was racing in the newest technical suit from Sugoi that I got from Swim and Sport and it was super comfortable. I was worried about chaffing, but the material was super comfortable in all the right places ;). After talking to some more experienced racers I was also worried about the fact that it was a one piece uniform. Lisa Bentley and others say they race in two pieces to make pit stops a little quicker. As it stood, I didn’t have any potty issues. Thanks to Kevin Jardine and some great nutrition advice! Phew.
All in all it was a great experience. Made better by a wonderful homestay, great weather and my sponsors. Special thanks to SpiderTech for their help with the costs of my trip.And btw – the blind man was wearing headphones. Does this seem weird to anyone?