St. Anthony's Triathlon, St. Petersburg, FL 04/26/15
We raced our 6th St. Anthonys triathlon in St. Pete FL today.
Here is the Cliff Notes recap for those who don't care bout the detail: Hot and very humid. Non-wetsuit legal swim. Chop was moderate..it has been worse in Tampa Bay. 35:18 for 1.5k. I could tell early that it was gone to be hard to generate enough power on the bike to push the #?s I thought possible. Went through 3 bottles of fluid. Battled 17mph wind. 1:18 for 40k. I was hoping for a miracle on the run w/ a GU and a Salt Stick in T2, but that didn't happen. Battled a few cramps, but bottom line was the heat/humidity zapped my strength. The splits were pathetic all the way through...but it was all I had in the tank. 1:04 10k to finish in 3:01. No qualifier for me this yr, and I really knew it even b4 the run started.
Now more detail for the tri friends interested: It was already 80 degrees at 4 am when we woke up. Humidity had to be in the 90s. Water temp 81.5 and we knew even b4 we got to FL that this wasn't going to be a wetsuit legal swim.
I battled a lot of traffic early on...took a foot to the goggles...but did my best to stay on the buoy line. The chop picked up on the 2nd half of the swim as we leave protected water. However I was able to negative split the swim, which I guess was an accomplishment. Upon getting to the bike rack I was surprised at how many bikes were still there. Tough start for many I guess.
The headwind hit us almost immediately on the bike, then after a short turn we head up one of the few modest hills on the course. I was already struggling to push big power #s and sweating a lot. I knew if I had any chance on this day, I wasn't going to be able to push what I did in Oceanside. Tried to keep the cadence high. I polished off my first bottle before 20 mins, and was conscious to take GU and Salt Stick every ~40 mins. Once we come down that hill, we went right back into the head wind. I tried to hold it together as best I could hoping to make up time once the wind was at our back by ~18mi, but even then I was lucky to clip off miles at 21-22mph clip...not nearly enough to make up the deficit w/ only 6+mi to go.
I was totally gassed when I got back to T2. Brought a water bottle w/ me for the run in an attempt to keep my core temp down, but 9:30-10min pace was all I had basically from the start. I checked the HR a few times and it was the same as when Andrew and I were doing our 10k training runs at a 7:35 pace...so I was giving it all that was there. Tough to deal with knowing that any shot at qualifying for USAT NC was going out the window, but as is the case in endurance sports...when the body says no, sometimes there is no remedy. The run course goes through an affluent neighborhood of waterfront homes where that wind we had on the bike isn't felt. Couple that w/ almost full sun, there was little relief even in the shaded spots. I was happy to see the finish line after the slowest 10k I've ever had. It would've been easy to say forget it after the bike, which apparently many people did as there were only ~1400 finishers.
Congrats to Andrea and Drew on punching their ticket. Even those two proved mortal today but got the job done. I look fwd to cheering u 2 on in Aug. For those who haven't attended this race, I think it is one of the best in the Midwest ex IMWI....and it prob moves on to a new city after this yr.