Wildflower HIM Relay - Swim - TriathlonLong Course

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Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, California
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 178/1755
Age Group = Relays
Age Group Rank = 8/41
Pre-race routine:

There's nothing routine about wildflower

Since it was a swim only for me, just some oatmeal and a Clif Bar, not much different than a usual Sunday morning. I felt jealous of everyone else and their jangly nerves :)
Event warmup:

just a few strokes in the water. Wave didn't go off until 9:30 a.m., so had plenty of time to watch the pros go out.... and come in.... and all the other waves before us. We were the last long course wave to go out.
  • 30m 39s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 27s / 100 yards

Weeeelllll, my goal going into this swim was 26:30 (and my secrect goal was 25:30)....Needless to say, seeing my Polar 520 running 30:15 as I exited the water was a great disappointment. How the hell did I get back here?

The swim start at Wildflower is a crowded little 1/2 section of the boat ramp. Maybe 25-30 feet wide. Probably about 45 swimmers in the relay wave. I lined up in the front, but sort of squeezed between big dude on the left and medium sized chick on the right. We're in about knee deep water, sloping down, so the horn goes off and it's basically a dive.

Man, sandwiched in between big dude and medium sized chick, we was bouncing off each other like NASCAR. All I wanted to do was get to clear water. The plan was hammer to buoy #1, then settle in and try to negative split. I was slightly quicker than my swimmates on either side of me, but it took a while to get clear. It was actually pretty brutal, I think a lot of swimmers do a relay, so these people could swim. I am usually teh first second or third at the buoys in my waves, not so this time, and in fact I think we may have caught earlier waves. No firggin clue whee I was.

Rounded buoy one and the fun begins. I never found that easy pace, it all felt hard. There were a lot of swimmers, and the guy or guys right on my tail were pissing me off. A few swipes of a drafting hand is fine, but every stroke? And then coming down and actually feeling like you are grabbing onto my ankle... that deserved a few stronger kicks.

First few buoys went fine. We caught a LOT of earlier waves. Green, Pink, Blue, White caps. Hard to tell where I was in teh wave. Had to swim somewhat of an outside line. But then.... well, somewhere, I decided to go right instead of straight. the course is marked by a number of round buoys, out to a large triangle buoy, turn right to another triangle buoy, turn right to head in along round buoys.

Hmmm, one triangle buoy looks just like any other triangle buoy, I tell ya, so when I no longer had anyone swimming around me, and a boat right in front of me, I didn't say "whoa, I'm off course" I said "where the hell is everyone and why is that boat in my way?" Cuz you're aiming for the wrong triangle buoy jackwad. Crap. Head back left and, oh, there you all are.

I think I probably added 2-300 yards, maybe less, maybe more, hard to tell. Anyway, back on course, hit the turn around buoy, and ended up with another swimmer from my wave, about my speed, grabbed onto his feet, so not sure how much time I lost, since this guy would have been way ahead had I lost much.

Wildflower is decpetive the way the return buoys are set up. On the way back, it's just one big lane with buoys on the right and the shore on the left. Well, you want to finish on shore, so it's best to angle in toward shore rather than follow the buoys. Which is what this other guy and I did. It was fun seeing all the folks swimming along the buoys, we were passing tons of people. The key is to aim for the last dock, and brush right by it on the left, then turn and aim for the start balloon.

Exited the water, ran up the short transition and found my cycling teammate and transferred the chip.

I was immediately disappointed in my time, and walked around with that cloud over my head for the rest of the day. When my buddy (who is a fast swimmer and said last week my split should beat his b/c he was doing the full race) learned of my time, he said "what the hell happened?" Ugh, then watching everyone else finish, and feeling like I wanted to be out there, like I should be out there, the swim wasn't enough, like unfinished business (that's just the way my head works.....) Stupid me, I had announced my goal time before the race and then totally missed it.

It's a constant stuggle with me to congratulate myself on a job well done. This one was going to be tough. It wasn't until I got home the next day to look at the splits. My real goal time would have put me in the top 20 OVERALL (out of 1755), I am a good swimmer, but not that good. (of course, the head says "well, they were also doing a HIM, you were just doing the swim, so it's not apples to apples.... sigh). as it was, I was pretty near top 10%, which is about right for me.
What would you do differently?:

Ummmmm, not swim toward the wrong buoy? That would certainly help.
Transition 1
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 0 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr
Transition 2
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 0 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Event comments:

Overall time for the relay was 6:42. Bike was 4:00, run was 2:02. I picked the shortest leg, the coolest leg, and the only leg where drafting is allowed :)

We watched our runner come down the chute. After they hung a finisher's medal around her neck, she went back and asked for two more for her teammates. Very sweet. She gave them to us, and I wore it for a while sitting in the stands, but didn't feel right wearing it walking around. Next time I'll earn a real one.......

I have to say, though, the naked co-ed volunteer run Saturday night was quite enjoyable, although they need to work on the male to female ratio a bit. Gotta love college girls :)

Last updated: 2006-03-18 12:00 AM
00:30:39 | 2112 yards | 01m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/41
Overall: 178/1755
Performance: Below average
Ave HR 169, max 174. Since I was going all out I didn't really care. For a full HIM I hope it wouldn't be this high! Although a buddy said that was about right......
Suit: Xterra
Course: Large open "L", all buoys to the right
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:00:00 | 00 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 0/1755
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 00 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 0/1755
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5