Tarpon Springs Triathlon and the Autumn Rock n’ Run 5k – I Survived the Summer Blues

September 30th, 2013

Heather and I at the finish of the Autumn Rock n' Run 5k

Wow! This summer has been a hot one, especially since I have been training in central Florida.  I have heard how hot it can be, but I always thought “no problem, I do really well in the heat.” Ha! I guess I didn’t realize how much of a toll the heat and humidity can take after four unrelenting months.

Saturday night crit during The Georgia Cycling Gran Prix

What I continued to learned from this summer is that I am growing more susceptible to heat and humidity and must continue to be smart when I am practicing outdoors for long periods of times.  I just can’t go out and run or ride in the hottest times of the day. I need to schedule my training early or later in the day if I want to make sure I have quality workouts.

Cycling on a Gran Prix racing track during the Georgia Cycling Gran Prix

I tried my luck several times this summer, running or riding in the heat of the day, only to find myself fatigued and lethargic, both during and after.  Because of the persistent lethargy and the stresses of training, I found myself with a major case of the Summer Blues. I felt down and unmotivated throughout most of the summer.  The summer blues even carried over into some of my races, including The New York City Triathlon (11th overall)  and The Georgia Cycling Gran Prix (12th).  Although they were solid results, I didn’t feel like I was performing at my best. But I think I’m finally feeling better and my training and current race results validate it.


Case in point: my last race at the Tarpon Springs Triathlon. My good friend Nicholas Chase invited me to a do a sprint triathlon in his neck of the woods in West Coast Florida.  I wasn’t sure of how I’d feel, but it is always good to train through a race to assess where your fitness stands.

The three Nick's at the Tarpon Springs Triathlon

The swim was a calm gulf swim, it was shallow enough to walk but not shallow enough to dolphin dive the whole way.  It was a deep water start and from the sound of the gun, I was out front, where I stayed for the remainder of the race.  Around the last swim buoy,  I had some trouble with the sun’s glare which caused me to go a little off course . That only last for a short period, since I had my Sable goggles with polarized and mirrored lenses which allowed me to see my error and fix my drift. In the end it was helpful to go a little off course, since everyone else was sighting off me and had to swim a little more too.

Fueled by Amrita Energy bars

Out of the water, I charged to my bike and set off.  Thanks to the adrenaline, I felt powerful and strong the whole time on the bike.  I was trying my best not to get caught by Nick, who is a horse of a rider, whatever that means.  I was certain he was going to catch me, but I kept my pace fast enough, not to be over taken.  Once on the run course, I just did my thing and came home to take overall title.  Nick wasn’t too far behind in 3rd, while another Nick took 2nd.  Go figure today was won by Nick cubed.

Case #2: I headed to Orlando a few weeks later to compete in the Autumn Rock n’ Run 5k, part of the Track Shack running series.  With a very consistent 5:05 per mile, I placed 3rd overall with a personal best 5k of 15:47. I think this a step in the right direction.

Petting the wild life at Bush Gardens

Of course I want to thank those who support me in my endeavors, even when I get a case of the blues. Thanks to the Tarpon Springs Triathlon coordinators and volunteers for putting on a great race and Amrita energy bars for fueling me for the race.  Nick for inviting me and allowing us to crash at his place. Also to Heather for taking the trip with me and the extra trip to Busch Gardens the following day to enjoy roller coasters and “wild” animals.

Bush Gardens was a lot of fun!