St. Croix 70.3 - Pre race

May 3rd

Around 5:45am I was out of bed and started the coffee. The forecast called for a slightly higher change of rain today (from the normal 30% to 50%) so I wasn’t sure if we would stay dry for our race warm-up ride but all worked out and it didn’t rain until late morning (a light shower with the sun still shinning).
After a pre-warm-up snack of banana w/ cinnamon, nut butter and raisins/granola and glass of water we were on our bikes around 7:15am.

My legs were itching to be on my bike so I really welcomed this ride. We rode the last 18-miles of the bike course (which goes by our cottage) in the same direction of the course and it was nice to get familiar with a few turns and key sections on the road that should be avoided. As I mentioned before, the roads are super bumpy so that adds to some of the difficulty of this beautiful course. The more I can ride/see a course to recognize where I need to shift gears (again – thank goodness for Di2!), where I do not have to squeeze on my breaks on a downhill (even though I can’t see where I am going) and where I should conserve energy because of the terrain or the wind (there’s a lot of wind on this course) is really helpful for me so this ride was really welcomed.

Karel turned around for me a  few times since he rode faster than me so it was nice to have him by me (or in front of me) a few times on the bike. I don’t know if I am going to see Karel on the course because he starts before me and because of the layout of the run course  so that makes me a little sad for he always gives me a boost of energy when I see him.

After we finished our ride we biked to the Buccaneer to check out the run course since that was the only part of the course we have not seen. We rode ½ of the bike course and drove the other half and we know the first/last two miles of the run course because it is on the same road that we bike on out of transition but the 2 mile loop in the Buccaneer was the unknown for us. We did not review the entire run course because we were on our bikes but we did check out where we start our 2 mile loop and part of the loop on the golf course.

After our warm-up I went for a 10 minute run (with a 30 sec walk after the first mile) and carried my flask with me with leftover sport drink from my ride. Karel didn’t run off the bike.
After I cleaned up it was time to make a yummy filling carb-rich breakfast of pancakes!

After we ate we lounged around with our feet up for a little bit and watched some TV and then after a light meal (or snack) we headed to the athlete meeting at 1pm at the harbor. It was neat to see the transition area being set up (with only 600 or less athletes, it isn’t a big transition area) and to realize that it is almost GO time!

I always encourage athletes to attend the athlete meeting before a race to ensure that all questions are answered and there are no uncertainties for race day. To arrive to race day with less nerves, get all your questions answered before the race, review the course and all rules and focus only on the controllables – nutrition, pacing, attitude and clothing.

After the meeting we headed back to our cottage w/ a quick stop at the market for a few more jugs of water and Perrier water (to help settle our nervous tummies before a race).
We had a good lunch and then did a little more resting/emails, etc.

We are really excited for this race although there are certainly some nerves in our body. We have trained smart and plan to race smart. 

This will be our hardest 70.3 course that we are sharing together and that makes the “unknown” a bit more overwhelming when it comes to racing. This course will take us a bit longer to cover than any other course that we have completed (well – Branson 70.3 was a little less tough than this course) so postponing fatigue is the most important thing on this course. In order to do that we must stay on top of fueling/hydration and pacing. 

If you like challenging courses, this course has it all. 
Ocean swim (although clear and beautiful water to swim in!)
Heat, hills, humidity and wind and a bike course that comes with a lot of sections that require good skills and pacing.
 The run will not be easy for it will be hot and hilly w/ a few steep climbs but hey, who wants easy when it comes to challenging your limits?

We are not injured and we are healthy. We have a lot to be grateful for and we will celebrate our good health by racing for 70.3 miles on the island of St. Croix.
The tough competition is here on the island with us and we welcome the competition to push us to a higher limit.

Wishing all the athletes a strong, smart and SAFE race. See you at the finish line….and the post-race party!
Thanks again for your support and for following us along. 

Karel Bib number 232
Karel Bib number 517

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Morning walk around our cottages

Forecast for race day - gotta love weather in the Caribbean - feels like vs. actual temperature. 

Overlooking our run course

My awesome hubby, rocking our pink Trimarni kit

This is part of our run course with the grassy field in the center. We run 2 miles out to this area and then 2 miles in the golf course by the Buccaneer. 

Every IM I buy a fun 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner for post race (and before) because it's just too much work to shampoo and condition my hair post race. :)
This has been a tradition of mine for several IM's so I decided to bring the same shampoo that I used in Kona in October 2013. Purely Awesome is the name. 

YUM! Pancakes w/ chia seeds and cinnamon, scrambled eggs and oranges for breakfast!

To-do's for the day before race day. I don't show Karel this list because it would overwhelm him but it is helpful for me so I do not feel overwhelmed. 

Transition area

Bike out (right) and run out (left)

Chillin before the athlete meeting

Looking at the swim start in the far distance from our transition area. 

Athlete meeting

Transition area

Representing from flat Jacksonville FL. We are ready to climb and descend! 

Looking forward to seeing Karel waiting for me at the finish line!