Race day was absolutely perfect. It wasn’t too windy or hot which historically can make St. Anthony’s a challenging day. I had a great start and got out in the lead for the first few hundred meters, but Jen surged to the lead. I started away from the key swimmers which there were a lot of at this race! Once we turned out to sea, the conditions became much more challenging. We were in a leading group of five but little did I know Meredith was nose to nose with a manatee (after warning her as we were walking into warm up that I had once seen one in the race!) and was split from our group. I ended up wrapping myself around one of the buoys and lost a body length which turned into 10 seconds by the end of the swim.
I ran as hard as I could to my bike in T1, trying to close the small gap out of the water. On the bike I felt just okay for the first 5min, but things unraveled very quickly. My legs felt completely loaded with lactic acid and they simply wouldn’t flush; they just kept hurting more and more. I rarely experience this type of sensation even in training, I felt out of control of my own body. I was bleeding time to the leaders (Sarah and Linsey) but I was putting time on the rest of the field. I came off the bike in 3rd place, and tried to mentally reset myself before starting the run.
I felt much better running than I did biking. I was moving well, but there was no way I was going to catch either Sarah or Linsey unless they completely fell apart. I knew I also had a good gap on 4th and 5th place behind me so I just focused on running my own race. Jarrod caught me on the run, and we went back and forth since his calf tightened up. Just before the finish he caught me again and we got to cross the line together which was a lot of fun.
I was meant to race Gulf Coast 70.3 this weekend, but I had some family stuff come up and had to head back up to Canada. Wishing everyone lots of luck racing this weekend!