After a great night of sleep and waking up without an alarm at 5:45am (the sun comes up early here!) we both enjoyed a cup of coffee on our patio while watching the ocean. Funny how watching the ocean is so relaxing and calming.
It’s important to wake up the body and to keep the body from getting lazy/sluggish on race week so the timing and duration of workouts is key. The day before the race is a warm-up day whereas three days out we will still do a slightly longer brick or three workouts w/ a swim included (maybe 2 hours or 2.5 hours with no more than 30 min run off the bike). If we are racing on a flatter course, we will typically do 2-3 x 90sec – 2 min faster efforts w/ double or triple the time recovery. If we are doing a hilly course, we will typically do a few short climbs to wake up the legs. After the 1 hour ride or so we will do a short 10-15 min run w/ a few short pick ups to get a good cadence with the legs off the bike.
I typically reserve the morning two days before a race as an off or super EZ day (30-45 min of activity at most) with no pressure to do anything. I like to bottle up my energy for as long as possible and typically two days before the race I am just itching to workout and push my body. It's always a good sign to feel hungry to race. Perhaps you may be nervous but you have to trust your training and all that you did without a taper and that on race day the only pressure you have is the pressure you put on yourself to put it all that training together and pace your own race. The day before the race is our warm-up day for we never take this day off. Compression is also a daily, all-day occurrence for us the week of the race so even on an island, we are still dressed in our compression and will be wearing calf sleeves for the race.
Karel went for a short 45 min spin and a short 10 min jog on Friday and I did nothing except write on my blog and catch up on some emails at the reception office (internet access there). I had a small snack in the morning when I woke up with my coffee and glass of water of banana + nut butter, cinnamon and granola w/ raisins and then around 9am I had breakfast of eggs mixed with veggies and rice and topped with a little cheese, French bread w/ jam and an orange. Karel had a snack before his ride as well. We never workout without a pre workout snack.
Around 9:30am Karel and I drove to downtown to pick up our packets. It was so neat to turn on the radio to 104.9MhZ and hear the pros being interviewed. This island really supports the triathlon which is great. The roads will be closed for our race on race day which is also a huge plus (although they can't control everyone so we still have to be safe) since we have a lot of sharp/hidden turns and climbs/descends on bumpy roads.
After we parked we walked to Kings Alley and stood in a short line (our race has around 600 athletes total including sprint and relay distances so small compared to other popular races) while waiting for our awesome swag bag.
Now this is something new– two 750-ml bottles of Captain Morgan in our race bag. For any triathletes who are Captain Morgan fans, be sure to pick a triathlon that is sponsored by an alcoholic beverage company for some great swag!
After getting our bib numbers, chip, carbo-feast/jump-up party and awards party tickets and t-shirt and some other swag, we headed over to the room w/ the t-shirts and we each picked out a vintage-looking shirt (super comfy), both on sale.
Around 10:45am we headed to the harbor for our last 1.2 mile swim before race day on Sunday. The water was not as choppy this morning as yesterday which was welcomed. It was still a bit choppy in certain sections (especially on the way out to the first turn buoy). It is really good to be able to be on the course of races before a race (safety first) as a way to build confidence before race day so if you ever get a chance to swim or bike parts (both being non weight bearing and not as damaging to the body) before a race on certain parts of the race course, I highly recommend it.
Yesterday I choose not to wear my speedsuit so I could swim with a little drag of my two piece but today I put on my new TYR Torque Pro to wear for our swim. Karel had his Zoot swimskin.
Although my speedsuit was super tight to put on over my legs/hips, it felt SO good once I put it on. It was not restricting and felt really comfortable around my neck and arms. I choose my tinted Speedo vanquisher mirrored goggles for this race (I brought two pairs, one tinted and one not) and the water is still crystal clear.
Karel and I swam together just like yesterday starting from the first buoys of the race start. Although it was my intention to swim easy again like yesterday so Karel could continue to practice drafting off my feet w/o spotting, I kept looking at my Garmin 910xt and couldn’t believe how fast I was swimming. My speedsuit is super fast, I kept thinking to myself!! We still got some chop but with a lot more swimmers in the water, this swim got me super excited for race day to come! I had 1 scoop INFINIT in a water bottle that I sipped on before and after the swim.
I would make sure to look behind me a few times to make sure Karel was on my feet and a few times he wasn’t so I slowed down for him. These swims are great for me to get out there and just swim because I love it but I really wanted this swim to help Karel for as a non-swimmer, if he goes into the race feeling confident for the swim, I know mentally that will set him up for a better race day experience. The more good workouts you can bank in your memory for race (even on race week for tune-up workouts) the better you will feel on race day. But if you don’t feel sharp on race week, don’t worry! You can always surprise yourself on race day so just let your body work it’s magic when it counts. And like I always say, save your best performance for race day so do not waste it on a tune-up workout on race week!
I spotted much better today for the swim and we ended up swimming the course 2 minutes faster than on Thursday (thanks TYR!!!) which made Karel super happy. He was a bit tired but I knew this would give him a lot of confidence that he can swim fast. Our 31:57 min swim ended up being a PR swim for Karel without a wetsuit and in the ocean – great job babe!!
After our swim we met up with one of our Jacksonville friends and enjoyed spotting some of the pros that are at this race. We then walked to the Luncheria restaurant for a tri-club party w/ some appetizers (nachos) where we socialized and received some course tips.
Around 1:30pm we left downtown and drove the 4 miles back to our cottage for lunch. (Karel had a burrito at the Luncheria and I waited to eat until we got back to our place).
The afternoon was great – resting was on the to-do list although it also included more computer work.
Karel did a little last minute mechanical work on my bike (moving my frame water bottle cage to the front tube instead of the downtube) and we both snacked on fruit (oranges/bananas), lots of water w/ FIZZ or OMSO hydration and granola. Karel also worked on another bike from a friend of ours who just arrived.
With the jump-up/carbo feast event in downtown this evening (free for all triathletes), Karel and I opted to eat dinner in our own environment before the party and then enjoy the party with a satisfied belly.
My typical pre-race meal is pizza and Karel has pasta, two nights before an endurance race. We keep the night before a lot lighter in the belly, even though this meal does not leave us stuffed or uncomfortable. On the day before the race, our breakfast meal is our biggest meal of the day. We are planning fruit, eggs and pancakes.
I made a delicious creation of pizza bread w/ local bread, cheese, marinara sauce and topped with grilled tempeh (leftover – I made two packages all at once so I wouldn’t have to cook it again during our stay) and a salad and Karel made a pasta dish topped with cheese, deli meat and veggies and a side of lettuce topped with greek yogurt.
After dinner we drove to the Jump Up festival where there was a lot of entertainment as well as shops open late (6-10pm). Karel and I supported a local business that had some doggy gifts and the proceeds go to a animal shelter which is great. We walked around and by 8pm (although it felt much later) we headed back to our cottage.
Around 9:45pm we were out although not the best night of sleep for me (my bites were itching me!) it was still nice to wake up without an alarm to the ocean breeze and sun light at 5:45am.
Is it race day yet? One more sleep until race day and then it’s time to get this party started…or at least suffer for 5.5 hours and then party with all the athletes at the post-race BBQ and beach party/awards banquet.
110% Play Harder gear - love this brand!! I can have a (mobile) ice bath whenever I want!
Streets of downtown - we get to bike through the downtown after our first loop and finish the run in downtown.
Overlooking our course - northside/northshort in the far distance. This heads to the beast.
No caption needed.
Someone is starting early....
A little cuteness at our swim start
Getting ready for our swim - thanks Gloria for my awesome DAM FAST cap!
Too much energy
Ready for our swim! So proud of Karel and all of his progress in the pool (and now to open water in the ocean!)
Campy check-in! He's doing great at his "Resort of grandparents!"
My delicious pizza bread creation!
Karel's pasta creation
Downtown Christiansted for the Jump Up festival.
Meeting the furry locals.