The swim went great. I kept checking to see if I was off course because there was never anyone around me. No pushing, poking, bumping, etc. Just a perfect open water swim. My swim was 7:37 minutes faster than last year. I was very happy about that!!
The bike ride kicked my butt. The hills were tough but the wind was tougher. The wind started to kick up with 10-20 mph wind gusts. I actually saw white caps on the small Clermont lake. I went up Buckhill hill with the wind in my face. It was really tough. I had nothing left in the tank for the last 15 mile of the ride. Just as a comparison I normally average around 19-20 mph on the bike. This race I averaged 16.4 mph. All in all I was 3:21 seconds faster than last year.
The run was hot and lonely. This race only draws around 125-200 participates of varying levels of skill. My skill level is normally middle of the pack and most others doing this race are "well above average." There is also next to no crowd cheering you on. So the run is a very lonely place.
Being lonely on a 70.3 is a dangerous endeavor (especially when you are doing a race with very fast participates). You start to thinking very negative thoughts. Many times during the bike and run I thought to myself how bad I was doing and that I should really rethink this whole triathlon thing. I know I am not the best athlete (I never have been). Being pasted by people twice your age and/or weight starts you in a downward spiral. Being a very tough race does not help matters. I had to fight those demons in my mind.
My run this year was 18:41 minutes faster than last year. Keep in mind last year the race temperatures were feels like 100-110F. My friend's van read the outside temperature was 102F last year.
Below are my race numbers from 2011 and 2012. Normally my 70.3 race finish times are around 5:50 -6:10 but this race is tough!! Also my transition times suck. My German/Dutch/Polish heritage requires me to slather on a ton of suntan lotion or I will end up a well done lobster. I would rather finish slower than to finish in pain! I just accept it.