The race started well and the warm waters of the Gulf were more than inviting on a bitingly cold morning in Florida. I wore socks down to the beach against the cold sand and paving, socks which are now the property of the Gulf, but they did little to help.
I had a good swim for the most part, but lost the feet of the main group at the start of the second lap and spent the rest of the way dodging age-groupers on my own, but I didn’t lose too much time. As I ran through T1 to the change tent, which was thankfully a long run so it gave me opportunity to see my competitors ahead, I was thinking that the cold wasn’t too bad and won’t be an issue. But as I ran to my bike, I lost all feeling in my feet and felt as if I was running on a rough sheet of ice! It would be about two hours before I could feel my feet again!
The first 10miles of the bike I pushed hard and caught the main group. I decided this was where the race was and if I needed to get ahead of these guys, this was not the time to do it. I settled in for the coming 100miles and focused on not focusing on the how bloody cold I was… But I was freezing and had long since lost feeling and dexterity in my fingers, toes and lips. Thankfully you really don’t need any of those to ride your bike…
In the second half of the bike, and feeling human again now that it was (relatively) warm I started to think about how the race was going to be won.
Read the rest here.