St Anthony’s came and went. There’s not much to say other than I DNF’d for the first time ever. I swam hard (maybe a bit too hard) and came out of the water in 3rd. I had a quick transition and hopped on my bike. I started pedaling and I immediately felt my left quad completely lock up. I’ve had cramps before but never quite like this. I tried to push through it for a little, but it hurt bad. I also lost my only bottle on the cobblestone section, which I later learned would have given me a 2 min penalty. I tried throwing it in the small chain ring to spin easy and see if my quad would loosen up but there was nothing I could do. It hurt just to pedal at 50 watts. I coasted/spun easy to the first intersection while everyone was passing me (frustrating experience) and I hopped off the bike. I tried to stretch but I couldn’t bend my knee past 90 degrees. I already knew the race was over when everyone was passing me but I had hoped I could at least finish the bike and have a decent run. I stood on the side of the road and I could barely walk. Not wanting to do any more damage, I circled back to transition and called it a day. It was a tough pill to swallow but it absolutely was the right decision.
What happened? Honestly, I don’t know. I had plenty of electrolytes and salt the day before the race and morning of. I had some lingering calf and shin issues for a few weeks prior that may had some kind of effect. I did feel like I kicked more than usual during the swim. The swim was pretty fast and it was wetsuit legal. My shoulders had started feeling it pretty early on so I think I tried to compensate with kicking more than usual. So maybe it was the swim or maybe it was one of those “stuff happens”.
I was pretty disappointed with the outcome as I felt I had a chance for the overall amateur win. I also wanted to get in a race before Raleigh 70.3 to test my fitness. My bike had been stronger than ever and my run speed was finally coming around. There wasn’t much I could do after the race other than forget about it, and get back down to business for Raleigh.