I made it through the swim in what was close to ideal conditions, clean lake and non-salt water, there was a bit of a bun fight up to the first bouy, but after that things spaced out. The two lap swim took me longer than I expected, mostly becuase I hadn't swum for a month, and only twice in the last 3-months, I was in about 11th in my age group when I came out in 38:46, It was a long run up into the transition area or tarmac path and road and out of tranistion in 3:24.
Out on the bike things went well for the first 20-or-so miles, constantly picking off other riders, mostly women but at least a couple of guys from my age group, then we turned into the wind for the first time. It was only a two mile stretch but it was hard work. It seemed to be that way for the rest of the 55-miles, 20-miles fast, 2-3 miles into the wind, except most of the last 10-miles which seemed to be all into the wind. After the bike, dismount and run out of transition, I was just under 3-hours 2:58:00 for the bike and 3:38 for T2. which apparently put me 4th in my group.
If "the elements are your enemy" wasn't a line from Lermans song it should have been, Besides some pain in my right instep, and being tired from battling into the wind, I just didn't feel like I had it. I shuffled through the first 1.5 miles and then walked through the first aid station... and then kept walking. After a while I broke in to a shuffle, and did my best for the next 1/2 mile or so, but was soon on the walk-100, jog-100, walk-100 - I did this through 3-miles and then simply couldn't be bothered. I walked about a mile and then after we left the Miami Metro zoo for the last time on lap-1, I looked at my watch and decided that was it for me. The first 6-miles were likely to take me 90-minutes and what was the point of going out for the second lap ?
If nothing else was up, my right knee was feeling really weird, kinda hollow, like every step was just bone on bone... sufice to say Lerman did say "Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone." As I came into the finishing straight, I reached down and removed my timing chip, walked across the finish line, declined the finishers medal and handed in my chip.
It was only when I got back to the car, a little dejected but cool with my decision to quit, I looked into the mirror in the car and yes, although I knew I hadn't put any sunscreen on, I hadn't realised how badly I had burned! I had definately got a "farm tan" as they say here. My shoulders, my neck and even between the vents on my helmet were red raw. No wonder I'd lost focus and really didn't feel like finishing. So, my friends "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it."