Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Bradley, California
United States
Tri-California Events, Inc.
80F / 27C
Total Time = 8h 01m 14s
Overall Rank = 1490/1815
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 53/65
Pre-race routine:

Got to the park on Thursday afternoon to stake out a campsite for our Squareone peeps. Found a nice place at the end of Redondo Vista near the college kids and mile 8 of the run. Chilled Thursday, cooked a pasta dinner for our team on Friday and went to bed around 10:30-ish. Because I didn't start until 9:25, I didnt leave to go down to transition until close to 7:45. Flew down Lynch Hill :) and set my stuff up. Realized I forgot my visor in the campsite. Didn't have my phone w me and borrowed someone's to call Jeff asking him to bring it. Left him a msg which I hoped he got.
Event warmup:

The usual wandering...Talked to Mark for a bit. We discussed flattering vs unflattering tri tops and his stop sign shaped nip guards. Matt, Rad, Jen and Aaron were around too. Then I saw Mark's visor on his transition area and panicked that I didn't have mine, left to call Jeff and then got on a long potty line. Then wandered some more, got to the swim start and finally found Jeff. Saw some other peeps as well and we decided I'd grab the visor from him upon exiting the swim. Got in the water for a couple strokes before our start and that was it.
  • 41m 11s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards

I went in with the goal of going harder and cutting about 3 min off my time from 2009. Instead, I ADDED 3 minutes to my time. I pushed really hard the entire time, my sighting was SPOT ON (which it never is) and I was right next to each buoy and spotted the gas pumps to come in for the finish, feeling good. If I know how hard I am pushing and what my limits are in any of the 3 sports of tri, swimming is it. I was giving it my all and unfortunately mother nature had other plans in the form of wind. The chop in the water from the moment we entered was sucky. It was really bad for the return. I didn't have issues breathing or going off course, it was just hard to swim against feeling like you are being pushed backwards, so... I did my best.

In terms of the swim in general outside of the conditions, I didn't start up front, I was probably in the 3rd row of women - the wave was women 40-49. I stayed to the right knowing how the water was going to push my right anyway, and I often swim left and that worked out well. Got into a few 'mixups' and tried to swim in between two people that would suddenly (unintentionally i'm sure) swim over me. Swam over my share of people as well. Drafted a few times which doesn't often happen.
What would you do differently?:

Do an anti-wind dance and make sure the wind gods calm down next time. I gave my swim a below average ranking purely because I did a 41 instead of a 35 and I really worked hard to go faster...
Transition 1
  • 05m 12s

When I got out of the water, Jeff was on the side cheering me on although he could see my annoyed face after looking at my watch. Oh well. Moving on...grabbed my visor and jogged over to T1. Sprayed myself w sunblock and went out for a long bike ride.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 20m 18s
  • 56 miles
  • 12.91 mile/hr

Ah yes, this bike course. I did the course the first weekend of April for our training weekend - good weather, not too hot not too windy that day. Oh so different on race day! My approach was to keep myself in a good mental place which is always hard for me cos I am so slow and all I ever hear is "On your left." Ok well so that's the way it's going to be for me in most races and I am learning to move on.

Got out of T1 and realized I've gotta put my bike in a smaller gear (oops), so i started riding and did that pretty quickly no problems there. Did the ride, felt good, a few mtn bikers were confused as to where they needed to go, were clogging up the course a bit and I was doing my best to avoid them and not crash. Then we start the turn to ascend Beach Hill. I told myself since I retired my granny gear quite some time ago that I would avoid using it until Nasty Grade, just like on training weekend. Haha, yeah not so much. I then told myself that it was ok to use it because I just finished swimming and I was barley 2 miles into this ride, don't kill yourself, just do what you need to do to get up this hill. Clinkety clink granny here I come, but just for this until I get to Nasty Grade - fine, no problem.

Saw Paul at some point on Beach Hill ride past me asking "Why do we do this to ourselves?" with a big smile on his face and I said "I have no idea." Then I saw a woman I was talking to on the bathroom line ride past me as she said "Hey, I was talking to you earlier at the bathroom!" and I wished her a good race. We were talking specifically about just that - that I get out of the water before most in my age group (today notwithstanding) and then hear a chorus of "On your left" throughout the day as everyone passes me on the bike.

The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful I suppose. Save for that damn headwind and cross wind for the first 20-30 miles of the day. I was in a good place mentally and told myself that I was going to go as hard as I could possibly go the entire day, especially on the bike and if I have to walk the run, so be it. I just wanted to make sure I could make the 2:45pm cut off. I also would have liked to done the 56 miles in 4:15 or better. But the wind would have none of that. I rode aero a lot and stopped to use the loo at 11:15 (I looked at my watch and I remember this for some reason). I felt SO much better. I had my nutrition dialed in throughout the day as well and took endurolytes every hour more for my back than anything else. And wanted to make sure my legs were feeling good too. Since I am not drinking carbo pro or other electrolyte-laden drinks, I used those as my supplement and it's been working in training and worked on race day too. Miles 7-20 or so I remember from training wkend were nice but they were a bit more challenging due to the wind. Turning onto Jolon Rd the headwinds became cross winds and someone rode up next to me asking "this is flat, right?" yea, didn't feel like it.

Kept my pace and just kept plugging away. Whereas in 2009 I hated seeing the mile markers along the rode, this time I kind of enjoyed them. I ALSO passed people and didn't have too much leap frogging going on as I have had in the past. I literally was passing other cyclists and they didn't come back to catch me. Which immediately made me think "am i getting faster/stronger or are there just that many people slower than me doing this race now?" I think I know the answer and it doesn't involve me getting faster. I remember at some point I think on Jolon road a girl (maybe from the golden gate tri club?) riding in front of me, getting passed by some people but not holding back to allow for the 3 bike lengths. The officials on the motorcycle were riding next to me and I was so paranoid of getting a penalty. I think she did because they pointed to her and there were like 2 people right in front of her, so she never gave way to them passing. That's always a concern of mine making sure I give enough distance so as not to be penalized.

OK so mile 41 comes along and we make the turn to head up Nasty Grade. Just stay the course I told myself. Shift down and welcome granny back to the bike and just go. One foot in front of the other, it's only 2 miles and Latigo is 10. Just keep going. I passed people. I saw Arkady as Pikachu on the side of the road and said Hi. No energizer bunny at this point for us slow pokes. Bummer. What about the dude in the red speedo? was he there? i never saw him either... Anyway, I made it to the top, made the right turn for a little more hill and stood part of the way for that and enjoyed the descent. Again, I was passing people. ME? Passing people on the BIKE? Imagine! Wow. I was surprised. Pleasantly so.

More rollers and an amazing downhill which I flew down, although I didn't hit 40mph which I was bummed about. Oh well. I have to do whatever I can to make up time anywhere possible. Rode into the park, saw Cecy with about 4 or 5 miles to go. She asked me if I knew how much time she had to make the cut off and I told her "30 minutes" and she said "you have no idea how happy you just made me!" YAY CECY!

Flew down Lynch Hill and saw Jeff cheering me on and really happy that I made the cutoff with plenty of time to spare.

And when I got off the bike, my right lower back was killing me. I did try stretching a bit while on the bike as best I could.
What would you do differently?:

Once again, ask the wind gods to chill the fuck out. Maybe focus on some core work to reduce the back pain.
Transition 2
  • 04m 7s

Got to my transition area, of course I'm one of the last bikes in, someone's bike is over my stuff and when I moved it, it fell off the rack so I had to futz with racking 2 bikes. Ugh. Reapplied sunscreen, found my lip balm - my face felt like it was burning (It was not). Got my water bottle and had it filled on the way out.
What would you do differently?:

Because my sneakers were newer I didn't put speedlaces in so that ate up some time having to tie my shoes.
  • 2h 50m 26s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 01s  min/mile

My back was really hurting when I started this run. Jeff walked up the steps w me, which I don't even remember. He started to jog w me for a bit but I was concerned about his injury and didn't want him to overdue it. he told me he had a really funny story to tell me and do I want to hear it now or look forward to hearing it at mile 8? I said mile 8.

I jogged slowly asking my back to stop hurting. I walked up all the little hills at the start, stopped to stretch a few times and stopped once to get a pebble out of my shoe. I was wearing my Brooklyn Tri Club top and someone asked me if I was from NY. We talked a little and I told her originally yes, but I left right after I started this club and moved out here, so I like to represent. :)

First 2 miles were sucky w the back pain. I kept willing it away and walked up every hill. Eventually it did go away. I stopped at every aid station and got fresh, colder water for my bottle, dumped more on my head and occasionally had some gatorade. I sucked down a gel about an hour in and had a few orange wedges when they were offered - SOOO good. Best oranges ever!

Thanked the volunteers along the way. Stopped to pee twice I think, too. I kept dousing my arms, legs, head, neck with water as I approached each aid station and got a refill. It seemed to work out alright.

Walked up all the hills, tried to do a fast walk/hike as much as possible and jog/trot any of the smaller hills/inclines and ran on every flat/downhill.

From about mile 5 on I ran most of the way as the hills were short, so I fast walked up those. Ran into the Redondo Vista campground at about mile 7ish or so, and was feeling good, looking forward to seeing Jeff at mile 8. Ran through the entire campsite, saw a bunch of kids sitting near where I expected to see Jeff and was contemplating calling over to our campsite "JEFF! WHERE ARE YOU?" or asking the kids "hey, if you see a guy drinking a miller high life looking for me, his name is jeff and tell him sharon already went by." But I didnt' need to cos he was just on the other side of their little group sitting on the ground cheering me on. Right before I got to him, I heard one girl say "wow, she is booking!" and i thought "Who? ME? booking?? As in running fast? ME? pshaw!" Later on when I told Jeff he said I looked really good and was running at a decent clip. Everyone else he saw at that point was walking. Yay me!! I felt really good! My plan was working!

Continued along this path, saw more people in the next campsite partying. Smiled as I passed Buzz Lightyear and thru my hands in the air to that song from Slumdog Millionaire. The best music I heard all day from anyone was on my left right before heading into the pit someone was playing the Basement Jaxx! Where's Your Head At? Woohoo! I was so happy to hear a good song! But the people weren't around for me to woohoo to them. Oh well. Next up there was a guy on my right pouring himself champagne. I told him that was not fair.

So now I'm heading into the pit at mile 9. I walked up the hill and ran down the downhill as fast as I could. At this point, I was doing my math and realized that I miscalculated and needed to get back before 5:25 to go sub-8 whereas I kept thinking if I got in at 5:30 I'd be sub-8. Raceday stupidity brain in full effect. Oops. So now I want to just go as fast as I can to try to get in just under the wire. I turn around at the bottom and walk as fast as I can up the next mile and out of the pit. Once I hit the top, I ran the rest of the way until my next little hill and then just ran as fast and as hard as I could down Lynch Hill. I past a lot of people walking too, and if my feet hurt I told myself it didn't matter cos I was DONE. Pain shmain just RUN FAST!

As I got to the finish chute I just sprinted as best as I could, pushed myself, heard people cheering, heard them say my name as I came in and crossed the finish line having just missed my sub-8 goal. Got big hugs from the Ironteam and saw Jeff right there with Matt. He filmed my finish. :)
What would you do differently?:

Jog up some hills if I'm not going to run them. Or walk a bit faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a little. Sat a little. Chilled w Jeff for a bit, then got my stuff from transition and enjoyed a burrito!

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

For the first time in nearly 10 years of doing triathlon, I can say that I had a really good race. I've pushed myself to my limit in both a sprint and Oly distance but this being my 3rd HIM, I've never pushed myself for a long course. My first WF 2 years ago was a learning experience so I decided going in this year, while i felt indifferent overall, I wanted to just really test myself. My nutrition was good and I think I was working really hard all day. I wouldn't listen to any voices to stop, and frankly there weren't too many or too often compared to so many other races in the past.

Considering the windy conditions I had to deal w on the swim and the bike, having my overall time be just slightly slower than 2 years ago, I have to be pretty satisfied with this. I took 5 minutes off of my run too and I'm happy about that. I know you always have to look at the conditions for the bigger picture and all things considered, I'm happy with my race.

Would I do it again? Yes.

Last updated: 2011-05-03 12:00 AM
00:41:11 | 2112 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
Age Group: 35/65
Overall: 1100/1815
Performance: Below average
Suit: Fit2Race TNT Wetsuit
Course: rectangle in a lake
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:12
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
04:20:18 | 56 miles | 12.91 mile/hr
Age Group: 57/65
Overall: 1652/1815
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Rolling, Hilly, Smooth, Rough, fast and fun downhills - everything you could possibly ask for. Pretty tough overall.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:07
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:50:26 | 13.1 miles | 13m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 52/65
Overall: 1530/1815
Performance: Good
Course: Trails, hills and some road.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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