Sybil and I participated in the St. Anthony's triathlon a couple of weekends ago in St. Pete. This is a really large event and known as the kickoff to tri season. There were literally 1000's of participants which required us to do things a little differently for this event. For starters, we had to check our bikes in the day before. I have never seen so many bikes in one place! A tad intimidating too, the pic below doesn't do it any justice.
We had to be out of transition by 6:45 am but our wave didn't start until 9 am. That left us with a lot of time to stress out over the swim. It was a really windy morning and while I had trained for the distance it's easy to sike yourself out, especially when there are white caps on the water! I would say the swim portion of the race is 80% mental. After all the stressing out we did they ended up changing the course for our swim prior to our start time. In all my previous races the swim starts on the beach and you run out when the gun goes off. For this race we started out in the water, treading until the gun goes off. I liked this a lot better! I wasn't out of breath before things got going. The swim portion ended up being one of my best yet; I was comfortable, got into a rhythm quickly and was proud of my time.
The bike portion was tough! The wind was super strong and while I averaged 19 mph there were times when I was struggling to get above 13 mph. I was a little worried about the run with my recent knee pain but it also went better than expected. It wasn't my fastest time as I ran slower to accommodate my knee but at least I didn't have to walk...and I finished :)
After the race Sybil and I were down by the water and saw a manatee and a dolphin swim by. I know they are both 'nice' mammals and nothing to be afraid of but thank goodness I didn't see that before the race!! I overheard one girl say she hit a manatee during her swim. No thank you. I would never swim another race again :p