by Pro Triathlete Tami
St. Croix wasn't much of a race for me. There were torrential downpours in the evening and all through the night before. This left gravel all over the road. Not just a little gravel, I mean 10-foot long stretches of thick, rough gravel every few miles. Many people were either fixing flats or had to drop out from flats or other mechanical problems. I did not get a flat, but had other issues. The biggest one was probably rocks. A blister started to form on the back of my heel about the middle of the ride. It ended up causing me to run (well, hobble really) with my shoe half on. I just wasn't going to go all the way down to the island to not finish the race.
The water is crystal clear and beautiful. During the swim, I saw fish, turtles, and a small stingray. St. Croix is my favorite swim course.
The bike course is hilly. Hilly the entire 56 miles. It rained on us. Some of the roads weren't in the best condition to begin with. Add in the damage from the night before, plus some new downpours during the race, and it became a crazy bike course. Also, I think I personally really struggle coming from the trainer to outside. I need an adjustment period, especially if there are hills involved. I just did not get any outside biking time in prior to the race, here in the lovely Iowa never-ending winter. In the two weeks I've been back from St. Croix and riding outside, I already feel tremendously strong and more confident on my bike.
The run was hot. As I said, I had a blister so by this time it was no longer a race for me. Just time to enjoy being happy, healthy, and on a beautiful island.
We stayed a few days after the race to do vacationy type things and had a blast—it was hard to come back.
Still working on finalizing my race schedule for the rest of the year, will have it figured out very soon!