Wild Flower Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
Tri California
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 53m 26s
Overall Rank = 1205/1740
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 222/285
Pre-race routine:

We drove up on Friday morning from Los Angeles. Its a beautiful drive up the 101. About three hours. One thing is clear. We will not be camping. Peedra won't camp, period. We stayed in a hotel down the hill in Paso Robles as we did last year. Peedra thinks that anything less than four star might as well be camping. My personal opinion, if you go to Wildflower, you should camp. Its part of the experience I think.

On Friday we drove directly to the festival/campground area to register. I'm always taken back by just how many people come to this thing. Campers by the thousands. The festival is fine. The registration, fine. The walk down the hill from the parking area...... more about this later.

We got to the race with plenty of time to spare on race morning. Having picked up my packet the day before, I actually had a little bit of time to dawdle. So dawdle i did. I fussed over my transition area set up, arranging and re-arranging. I apply sunscreen by the jereboam. again and again and again. Just a little nervous energy, nothing bad.

I eventualy setttled on a layout and went to go get bodymarked. Not to take anything away from the volunteers, they truly do a great job here, but I think I managed to get the only dislexic bodymarker at the event. His buddy kept telling him "Dude, that looks like a six..." Finally in a fit of obvious frustration, the kid says, "I'm doing the best I can.... do you have a knife?" I wonder what he wants a knife for? hmmmm. Homicidal dislexic volunteer bodymarker?

I choked down a powerbar and two gels. blech.

I ran into a friend, Kieth, whom I met here last year. This is a guy I seem to keep running into at races. Somehow we always manage to rack within a few slots of each other. We hung out for a bit, lied to each other (or at least I did...) about expected times and then finally got our wetsuits on and went down to the swim start. A note to those who wish to do Wildflower.... The asphalt in the transition area is pretty harsh on the patitas.

We got to the swim start just in time to see the pros exiting the water. Good christ, do those guys move. Speaking of HTFU, running across that asphalt at a dead sprint? None of those transitions could have possibly been over a minute flat.

Event warmup:

No warmup. Nothing really. You are permitted to go in the water for a few minutes after the prior wave leaves and before you start. Its long enough to test the seal on your goggles, check for presence of sea monsters, alligators or pirhana and not much more.
  • 43m 48s
  • 2133 yards
  • 02m 03s / 100 yards

I started a little towards the back this time. Its not that I mind the contact, it was really just a courtesy so that the others wouldn't have to climb over me. Lake swims are so nice when you've been accustomed to ocean swimming. The first huge mouthful of water, and there ALWAYS is one, just goes down so much more smoothly than the same amount of salt water.

My goggles kept slipping up on my face and several times I had to turn over on my back to readjust them. I think I attribute this to the 1/4" thick veneer of sun screen I had slathered on while killing time in the transition area prior to the race start. I also blame the sun screen for the fact that I lost my swim cap about 1600 yards in. I caught it as it fell of and stuffed it in my wetsuit.

I have to give an endorsement to my wetsuit. Its fantastic. Its like having your own private inflatable rowboat. The amount of floatation is really incredible. and it fits so well, it never wants to come off. If I could I would wear it instead of pajamas

What would you do differently?:

I'm destined to be a back of pack swimmer until such time as I get off my a$$ and take some lessons. To that end, short of taking lessons, nothing.
Transition 1
  • 04m 36s

I mentioned that the transition area paving can be tough on the feet right? One benefit of being a slow swimmer is that the transition area is nice and clear by the time I get there. My transition is kinda like the pro's.... except for the fast and graceful and efficient part.... and they don't get their wetsuits stuck on their heels and fall on their asses with quite the same degree of aplomb with which I do. This is only partially because they don't wear wetsuits.

I choke down another gel and loudly proclaim "Egon, your mucus...." Nobody gets it. Why do I bother?

Kieth is there and we exit T1 together
What would you do differently?:

I dunno. I've gotta get over this wetsuit stuck on heels thing. I should also learn how to strap into my shoes on the go. I trained all year with no socks so this has helped my speed somewhat. Overall, I give it a solid "D".
  • 3h 23m 34s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.51 mile/hr

Kieth and I started out together, this lasted for about a mile. I was fortunate enough to swerve around and pass a little wolf pack of slower riders and I guess he got stuck. Right into the first notable hill which is the climb out from roughly the lake level to the surrounding road level. Not too long or too steep, but for me it was still granny gear grade.

If you're not too mired down in a testosterone fog of competitiveness to notice, this is actually a spectacular bike course. The rollers are rollable and the downhills are a blast, some 40 plus mph speeds are achievable in those rollers. That's fun.

I have a love/hate relationship with my Aerodrink hydration system. Oh, sure it keeps me in fluids, but I am now convinced that it is just out to get me. Throughout the ride I was constantly being spritzed with tiny, salty, sticky, orange droplets of Gatorade Endurance Formula. I thought this had something to do with the road conditions but have since decided that no, it does not. The vindictive little bastard....It would start it by plying a sort of provocative light spray. I would, of course, cuss at it. It would then immediately retaliate with a more deliberate and thorough dousing. At one of the last aid stations, I actually grabbed a bottle of water for the sole purpose of bathing myself before coming back into town.

I am using gel today to maintain my calorie budget. I am proud to say that I have a cast iron stomach. Yes I do. I don't suffer from any sort of belly ache at any point in either racing or training so far. I can, however tell you this. Had I attempted to consume even one more of those sickening little mucoid pustule sacks of spoogie sauce, I would have no doubt met my demise, my stomach having jumped up and throttled my pre-fontal cortex for continually subjecting it to such torture.

Nasty grade. It comes right after the steel bridge at about mile 40. Its deceptively gentle at first but its five miles of pretty steady grade. Sure, I heard about the energizer bunny at the top. I thought it was a cute idea. trust me when i tell you, you'll wanna jump off your bike and punch that pink sunuvubitch in the stomach. At that point there is a false summit as you turn right nto Interlake Rd, you are insulted anew by nasty grade as you are subject to another 1/4 mile or so of uphill.

Nasty grade behind you.... ah.... gravity. Lots of free gravity.

All rollers and downhills back in to town.

Towards the end of the ride, i am being overtaken by a talkative guy with a cowbell mounted to his bike. I toss him the trite "More cowbell" line. Then just for good measure "I'll bet you haven't heard that all day...."

"Actually, you know what?, a lot of people have told me that...." Nevermind.... don't hurt yourself. Have a good race.
What would you do differently?:

My goal for this race was to stay comfortable on the bike and not push too hard in an attempt to save something for the run. This strategy was marginal at best (as evidenced by my run time). Abandon this thought next time. I could have gotten after this bike ride much harder than I did and positively affected my time much more than it would have negatively affected my miserable run effort.

Give up on this "save yourself for the run" crap, HTFU and just go for it next time.
Transition 2
  • 05m 12s

Again, executed professionally, except for the style, grace and speed parts. I got my shoes on, looked at a packet of gel, decided I wouldn't wish that stuff on my worst enemy, stood up and then realized that I must have at least a half a cubic foor of loose gravel in my right shoe. I was slowed down somewhat as a result of having to take off my shoe, empty it of large particles of aggregate from the transition area paving, and put it back on.
What would you do differently?:

Train with no socks. Practice my balance while putting on my shoes. I'm sure its entertaining to watch, but I do get tired of ending up on my ass in the transition area. I never saw the pros do that......
  • 2h 36m 13s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 55s  min/mile

Arright. This is what I've waithed for. I'd like to improve on my lacklustre SOMA half mary time of 2:48. I realize, however, that I am not trained up to the point that I could ever hope to run the whole thing. My planned strategy is to run between aid stations, walk each aid station, take in everything it has to offer, wait for my heart rate to drop down to 130 or so and then run to the next.

I stick to the plan until about mile four where the hill forces the complete and total apostacy of my planned running strategy faith. I walked the whole thing, almost a mile. From here in I would nominaly follow my plan, with the excetion of walking the hills.

The volunteers here are fantastic. There are aid stations placed religiously every mile. They are well supplied and staffed. The volunterers are on standby to douse you down should you request. I requested. By mile eight my shoes where squishy.

Walk-run-walk-run-walk-run. I've taken to joking with the volunteers, asking if they've seen the leader, how long ago and whether or not they thought I could still catch him. I wonder how many times per day they hear that? Maybe I should introduce them to the cowbell guy... nevermind.

Before I really know it, I'm at mile ten. A quick 5k and I can make my goal of sub 7:00. This I can do. I found the energy somewhere to run the last 5k and to even pick up the pace coming down Lynch hill. I felt good running down the finish chute.

What would you do differently?:

Train better for the run. I ran the distance only once in training. I think that five or six more runs of that distance would have really helped. Still, beat my time from SOMA on a much tougher run course.
Post race
Warm down:

One of the fantastic things about wildflower.....run through the finish chute, grab your towel, finishers metal, and allow yourself to be stripped of your timing chip whilst maintining your still forward momentum, avoid the urge to stop and stand in line for a foully and berserkely overesized 65,000 fat calorie waffle ice cream cone.... hobble straight down the stairs to the boat launch ramp and into the 65 degree water... ahhhhh!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run training and my "Save yourself for the run" bike strategy. I could have shaved a few minutes off in transition perhaps but those are the big bones things.

Event comments:

Okay T3. Wilflower presents a problem with T3. For me, as a BOPer, I see no reason to stick around after the race. T3, the Run - Beer/home/undies/television/sportcenter transition is an important part of my overall race strategy. Just a forewarning, if you are of the same mind as I am as it relateds to T3, Wildflower will confront you with a seriously divisive choice. You must either wait in snaking long line to take the tram up Lynch hill or commit to walk with gear and bike up a ridiculously steep hill. Either of which is cruel and unusual punishment caused by the local topography, expecially having just finished your race. Maybe the waffle cone after all...... you've..... yes.... you've earned it.

A mighty mighty petty gripe for such a well orchestrated race to be sure. Yeah, its a tough course , but the whole thing is just so well put together and the energy of it is so contagious, how could anyone not recommend this?

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-01-13 12:00 AM
00:43:48 | 2133 yards | 02m 03s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/285
Overall: 0/1740
Performance: Average
Suit: full
Course: Straight out about 100 yards to the first buoy, a right turn, longshore for about 1000 yards, two quick rights, about 1000 yards back and into the ramp as best you can.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:36
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:23:34 | 56 miles | 16.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/285
Overall: 0/1740
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Winding rolling hills with a few notable climbs. Pretty harsh road conditions but the worst hazards are very well marked with bright orange paint circling the actual hazard and preceded by a squiggly tail so you can see it coming. Nasty grade? its, well.... Its nasty.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:12
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:36:13 | 13.1 miles | 11m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/285
Overall: 0/1740
Performance: Average
Course: This is about half a trail run and half a road run. Heads out South along the lake on rolling paved surface which turns to trail at the point where you follow the lake West. At about mile four, it turns abruptly north and your world goes vertical for about a mile. Some ups and downs, a fun run through the campground at Redondo Vista, approximately mile 7, an out and back consisting of a long downhill and subsequent long uphill in return, then a fast run down Lynch Hill to the finish shute.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5