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Showing posts from May 4, 2014

St. Croix 70.3 RR - 56 mile bike

After exiting the water  and making it through T1, I got on my bike, clipped in my cycling shoes, started my Garmin 500 on my bike, hit lap on my Garmin 910XT and I was off to explore the island on my bike
My Garmin 500 file
Some would say this bike course is like a mini Kona (Ironman World Championship) because of the wind, the heat, the humidity, a beautiful ocean in the distance and the hills. However, after competing in Kona in 2007, 2011 and 2013, St. Croix provides a lot of stress on the body in a relatively short amount of time compared to Kona. Although the ocean swim in Kona is a bit more exhausting than in St. Croix, the Kona bike course offers 112 miles of challenges with the majority happening close to the climb to Hawi and then constant winds on the rolling terrain back to town. Although there are some fast section in St. Croix, unlike Kona, St. Croix packs them all into a 56-mile bike course. In my opinion, this was the most challenging bike course I have ever raced on (…

St. Croix 70.3 - bike tips

There’s no better feeling than finishing a race with a strong effort. Perhaps you invision leaving it all out on the course in the last mile or maybe you remember your last race, sprinting to the finish with your hands in the air. It’s not easy to finish a race strong, especially in an endurance race but with the right pacing strategy with a well-fueled and hydrated body, every athlete has it in him/her to experience how amazing it feels to give a full-throttle effort to the finish line.
But no athlete likes to remember the end of a race as being a horrible finish or perhaps, not having any gas left in the tank the last few miles. Feeling empty, depleted and dwelling on not being able to race strong to the finish line is not something you plan for and even with the best intentions to pace your own race, you never know what the body will do throughout an endurance race. 
It’s far too common that athletes will talk about the end of the race either with positive and motivating thoughts …

St. Croix 70.3 RR - pre race + 1.2 mile swim

You never know what the body will do on race day. The body can play games on you – tummy upset, feeling aches/twinges  you have never felt before, nerves out the wazoo and legs that feel like jello one minute and lead the next, as if they wouldn’t respond to any type of movement (even walking to the transition area). But no matter how you feel on race day morning, you have to trust that your body will know exactly what to do when the race starts. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Perhaps at some races you will feel amazing before the race and you will be itching to get your party with your body started but this doesn’t mean that you still do not have that unknown of what the body will do as you swim, bike and run for x-miles. Even if you are 100% prepared and ready to go, you may even find yourself completely stressed and overwhelmed by things that you cannot control which also adds to the emotions of racing. Considering that age group triathletes balance a lot while training…

St. Croix 70.3 - FINISHERS!

In 2012, Karel and I searched for a challenging half ironman for us to share the experience together. We chose Branson 70.3.
You see, Karel made the jump into triathlons in 2012 and he wanted a course that challenged him for his first 70.3 distance. I was on board for this course because not only would we get to travel somewhere new (and if you know me well, you know I love to race to travel and travel to race) but this course had a lot of climbing and that was exactly what I love in a bike course. 
Perhaps this seems a bit crazy to choose a course that has been ranked as one of the hardest bike courses (although, after riding both Branson 70.3 and St Croix 70.3 I may need to disagree on this) for Karel’s first half IM but we enjoy a challenge when it comes to racing. We certainly do not take for granted that 70.3 or 140.6 miles is a long way for the human body to go but we thrive off challenges, especially when it comes to swimming, biking and then running on difficult courses. 

I h…