St. Anthony’s Triathlon 5/1/2011
Having come from Florida and competing in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon over the years since 1998, I can say that St. Anthony’s Triathlon means quite a bit to me. It was one of the first triathlons that I competed in when I was getting into the sport while at school at FSU and I really enjoy going down to St. Petersburg and competing in Philip LaHaye’s race whenever it fits well into my race schedule. Coming into the race I had three weeks since my last race in Miami which gave me a good bit of time to train for the event. My coach and I decided not to rest for St. Anthony’s due to Rev3 Knoxville and other races of importance in May and June on the horizon so I was content training heavily up till I packed my bags up on Thursday and headed out the door on Friday for the race.
With race morning being on Sunday and all of my traveling having gone smoothly, I was able to get in a good sleep in on Saturday and proceed with the bike build, training, pre-race briefing and all of the necessary little things that fill the eve of all big events. With a solid meal of pasta on Saturday night, I headed to bed and was able to get a solid sleep with a 4:30 AM wake up call for race morning. With all of my gear set to go the night before, all I needed to do was eat some breakfast which included a Cappuccino Ultragen shake with banana and milk as well as some oatmeal which has been my pre race routine thus far this year.
Out the door at 5:15 and at the venue at 5:45 AM with a 7 AM start time which gave me some time for a non-rushed and substantial warm up. The news of the swim being modified due to some chop and wind out in the Bay came as I was starting my warm up routine which I was mentally prepared for being that there were notions at the pre-race briefing that this may be the case due to the forecast calling for high winds. Although the more time in the water I can spend in the race suits me well, sometimes you have to roll with the punches and make something happen even though the circumstances may not suit you well. With the swim being 800 meters long with a 1000 meter run to transition I knew that getting out fast from the start of the swim would be crucial to gain as much of an advantage I could going into the bike. Unfortunately, I was not quick enough out of the gates with the start being a beach start and managed to find myself in about 30th rounding the first buoy. As I moved through the field on the outside for the remainder of the swim I managed to get close to the front of the chase pack with Potts and a few other swimmers off in the distance. After popping out of the water down a little but still in good shape with a three minute run to transition in the legs I jumped on the bike.
I rode a hard 57 minute 40K but with the quality of field being super heavy this year at St. Anthony’s, my performance left me down a bit from the leaders. With the past handful of races being in Florida I am really looking forward to getting in some hills soon which should suit me well. With a bottle and a half of the Lemon Lime EFS down on the bike, I was able to pick up the pieces and get in a solid even split 33:40 10K and close well passing three athletes in the last K which was the highlight of the race for me.
I finished the race strong, although it was only for seventeenth place, in which after I went for a thirty minute loosen up jog prior to picking up my bike from transition and going back to the hotel to pack the bike and check out. After checking out I grabbed some lunch prior to heading to the airport. During my flight into Colorado Springs it was exhilarating to hear that that bin Laden was killed by US forces which was voiced by a pilot just prior to landing. The good news came at a great time at the end of a long day which included a hard and moderately frustrating race topped off with a long travel day. In watching the news and passively keeping up with current events throughout the world, I tend to neglect reality while living the life of an athlete. In putting things in perspective, I am forced to realize that having an unfulfilling day of triathlon is a heck of a lot better then dealing with war in the Middle East. Full time triathlon really is a fairy tale life, plain and simple. Bad race, so what. Catch a flight home and hit swim practice the next morning and prepare for the next one. One could even delve further into analyzing life as we know it and compare running around race venues in a swim suit to life over in the Middle East. Sometimes the big picture of life occasionally gets bypassed or neglected due to minor frustrations with trivial things that we deem important. It was big news for the entire world and a great way to end a long day. Thanks for reading and I look forward to Rev3 Knoxville in two weeks.