Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
76F / 24C
Total Time = 7h 43m 32s
Overall Rank = 1471/
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 60/82
Pre-race routine:

I felt good about my training going into this race. Got back on the bike a little late after the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon, but I got a few months of decent training in. However, 11 days before the race, I came down with a bad cold. When I should have been peaking, I took 4 days completely off. By race day, I was feeling pretty good, but still coughing up green stuff and not quite back to 100%. Still, there was no question in my mind that I was ready, and I was looking forward to the race.
Event warmup:

My sister, husband and I came up on Friday and set up camp. We had a nice relaxing afternoon, took the shuttle everywhere, no hiking. Race morning was the usual Wildflower experience - woke up when the sun came up, had some coffee and oatmeal with bananas, finished packing my stuff. My dad showed up, and I rode my bike down to transition. Set up my stuff, hung out for awhile, put on the wetsuit, took some pictures, waited for my wave to start.
  • 40m 47s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

This was an average performance and a rather uneventful swim. For the amount of swim training I do (not a lot) I was perfectly satisfied. I kept a good pace, sighted reasonably well, stayed relaxed, and didn't waste too much energy.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, except more training, as usual.
Transition 1
  • 03m 49s

I have my transition routine down pretty well. I keep it simple. Wetsuit halfway off and cap/goggles in hand by the time I get to my bike. Wetsuit off, shoes on, helmet and glasses on, bike off the rack and I'm off. I did take a few extra seconds to apply chapstick.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 47m 4s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.80 mile/hr

My goal for this ride was to finish with something left in the tank. I kept my effort consistent and comfortable, took it easy on hills, and didn't worry about people passing me or me passing people or anything except my own race. I was so glad I had previewed the bike course 4 weeks earlier - that experience was essential to my success. I knew Nasty Grade was coming and I made sure to take it easy, keep calm, keep my heart rate down, and not worry about my speed going up the hill. I could tell a lot of people were spent after the hills, and I wasn't. My throat was sore and I was having a bit of trouble clearing all the fluid from my lungs (thanks, lingering cold virus and lagging immune system) but overall I was feeling good. I passed a lot of people in the last 10 miles without any special effort. At the end I knew my bike split was going to be right where I wanted it, and I started to get excited, but avoided hammering the last few miles. I wanted to get off the bike feeling good, and I did.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It was a great ride, executed as well as I could have wanted or expected.
Transition 2
  • 02m 19s

Again, simple. Bike stuff off, socks, shoes, race belt, visor, glasses on. That's it, it doesn't take long.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 09m 33s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 14m 28s  min/mile

I don't even know what to say about this. I just didn't know how hard it would be. I knew the long course run was supposed to be hard, but I figured it would be a longer version of the Olympic run. I felt awesome coming off the bike, but started to fade pretty quickly. I felt like I had some spring in my legs, but the heat was getting to me and I kept coughing and spewing green stuff out of my nose. I did ok for the first few miles, not great, but ok. Then we went off-road, down to the lakeshore, along the edge of a windless, sunny, stagnant cove where there was little shade and a lot of hills. Still, I was doing ok. Then I saw the mile 4 hill. I had heard of the pit at mile 10, but not this one. It sucked out all remaining motivation. I may not be fast, but I am a tough person and extremely stubborn. I don't give up. I dig deep, and find a way to push through. But this time, I went to the dark place, and never came out. For the rest of the run, I walked. A lot. First it was just the hills, but near the end, as my time goals began to slip away and I became more despondent, I just couldn't find the will to run, except occasionally. I did run down Lynch hill and through the finish chute.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't know the course and I wasn't ready for it. I needed to be better trained for such a hilly run, especially given the fact that it was sunny. It was hot in the sun and I'm just not used to that, since I train mostly in the evenings and it's extremely mild here. I guess I could have given myself an extra few minutes on the bike, but I just don't think it would have made much of a difference. I don't think this was a result of overdoing it on the bike. I've done that before, I know what it feels like, and this was not it.
Post race
Warm down:

Met up with my family, who had been waiting for me at the finish for the better part of an hour. Ate ice cream and pasta, drank beer, relayed the harrowing tale of my "run". We camped another night, and Tracy did the Olympic. I spectated, chowed down on festival food, and drank beer. It was quite relaxing, although I could have done without the climb up the hill after the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think this is something I need to spend some time figuring out. I know being sick was a big factor, but I know that wasn't all of it.

Event comments:

I think I'm going to put off my plans of doing an IM next spring. Wildflower and I have unfinished business. Meanwhile, I'm going to rest for a little bit, then get back into half marathon training and maybe find an Oly to do this summer. This fall, it's year #3 for the Silverman half - which is easier than Wildflower, by the way.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-01 12:00 AM
00:40:47 | 2112 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/82
Overall: 1044/
Performance: Average
Suit: Full
Course: Running start from the boat ramp, L-shaped out and back course in Lake San Antonio.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:49
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:47:04 | 56 miles | 14.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/82
Overall: 1379/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Clockwise loop around Lake San Antonio. After the initial climb out of the canyon, rolling hills and relative flatness until around mile 40, when the climbs start. Nasty Grade, Polar heart rate hill, and a fast descent followed by more rolling hills on the way back to the lake, then down Lynch hill to finish things up.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:19
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:09:33 | 13.1 miles | 14m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/82
Overall: 1671/
Performance: Bad
Course: Hills, hills, trails, dust, hills, and more fucking hills. And just when you think it can't get worse, you round the corner and find yourself face to face with another spirit-killing, neverending steep ass hill.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5