Wild Flower Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
Tri California
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 36m 30s
Overall Rank = 442/
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 10/96
Pre-race routine:

4 of us (my friends Rebecca, Daniel, Rob and myself) drove down to Lake San Antonio, CA from Seattle, WA. The drive took about 16 hours, we broke it up over 2 days. We got to the camp site Friday around 4pm, set up camp and headed over to the expo where we picked up our packets and enjoyed some pasta dinner.

It was raining the whole day Friday and we were really worried that it would rain on race day. None of us brought any rain gear. We were convinced it doesn't rain in California, especially on race day :-)

After I packed my race bag, I got out for one final spin on my bike around the camp site to make sure everything felt just right and I saw a little boxer puppy on my way. His name was Kona and he was only 5 months old. He looked just like Ramone did at his age - beautiful fawn with white socks. I had to stop and meet him of course and exchange a few kisses. That meant the race was going to be just fine the next day :-)
Event warmup:

We all woke up at 6am. I had a bagel with cream cheese, a banana, chilled starbucks coffee and some OJ, then rode my bike to the start with Rebecca. The boys were already there since their race started earlier.

The usual routine to set up transition, then put on sun screen and body glide, go to the bathroom one last time and get suited up. I drank 1.5 x 20 oz bottles of gatorade through the course of the morning and consumed a Gu about 15 minutes before the start. At that point I was pretty full and was worried that I over-ate again like I did at Lake Stevens... But oh well, the wave before us started their swim and we were allowed to do a little warmup in the water.
  • 36m 59s
  • 2133 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

Best swim ever in a half ironman! All the drills and working on technique paid off :-)

I started out a bit nervous. I haven't done an OWS since January and for some reason I felt a tiny bit of fear that I used to feel on a much larger scale when I first started doing open water swims. I just tried to stay calm and take it easy. Eventually, I got into the groove and found my rythm. For the rest of the swim I tried to focus on my form and keeping consistent pace. My sighting was pretty good for most of the swim. The fact that I am comfortable with bilateral breathing now definitely helped. I only screwed up at the very end when I headed for the starting gate instead of the finishing, which was a bit smaller and less noticeable from the water. I corrected my course after I finally saw the actual swim finish, but I think this mistake cost me at least a minute of my swim time.
What would you do differently?:

Pay attention to what swim finish looks like before starting the swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 7s

Pretty good transition.
  • 3h 12m 27s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.46 mile/hr

I started out really well and passed a lot of folks on the first big uphill. Then there were some rolling hills, another uphill (where I managed to drop my chain) and a long descent (where I managed to almost loose my saddle bag, so I had to stop to reattache the velcrow). I stayed strong on the uphills and stayed in aero on the rolling hills/pseudo-flats. I wasn't really good at steep descents. I am too much of a chicken - not only were my hands on the breaks but I also used them... A lot people who I passed on the uphill passed me right back on the descent. That's bad news especially given that I am supposed to be a roadie now and posess some bike handling skills.

I hit 28 miles at about 1:33. If I could have hit the same split on the second half I would have broken 5:30 for my total time.

Then came the Nasty Grade hill at mile 42. And it was nasty indeed. The kind of nasty when you want to stand up on your bike periodically. (And it takes a steep grade for me to stand up - normally I prefer to maintain my pedaling rythm by sitting in the saddle the whole way up the hill). Unfortunately, my tri bike is not ideal for standing up. My knees hit the elbow pads if I try to do that, so I just had to mash it all the way up. Then there was another steep downhill and some more smaller hills to the finish. I was happy when this ride was over!
What would you do differently?:

Not drop my chain, get a better saddle bag - that would have saved me a couple minutes.
Also - not be such a chicken on the descents.
Transition 2
  • 02m 2s

Good transition
  • 1h 42m 30s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 49s  min/mile

I felt very strong off the bike. Perhaps, if I rode any harder than I did, I would not have been able to put in such a run performance... I just ran as fast as I could and passed tons of people thoughout the whole run. I was great on the uphills, but even better on the downhills (my usual strength). I only got passed by one guy. I slowed down just a bit in the last 2 miles (once we hit the pavement again), but I didn't totally fade and was able to finish really strong.
Post race
Warm down:

I stretched for a long time and asked for some ice from the medical tent for my calfs since the right one was injured last week. I don't think it was necessary but it felt good. I ate a bunch of oranges and bananas and drank lots of water while I waited for the rest of our group to finish.

Event comments:

Wild Flower is certainly my favorite of all the triathlons I've done so far! It's the one and only - so hard and so much fun!

Last updated: 2009-05-04 12:00 AM
00:36:59 | 2133 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Full
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:07
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:12:27 | 56 miles | 17.46 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Very hilly!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:02
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:42:30 | 13.1 miles | 07m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/96
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Very hilly, 60% trail
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5