Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Bradley, California
United States
Tri-California Events, Inc.
82F / 28C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = DNF/
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

On Sunday I rode 100 miles. On Monday I started coming down with a cold. I took Tues-Thurs completely off from working out, and spent Wed laying on the couch with a mild fever. By Friday I was feeling better. My sister came up and we drove up to Lake San Antonio, met up with other CCTCers and set up camp. Given my illness, I figured I would do the race as a long training day, at a really relaxed pace. No bike computer, no watch. Doing the race at all would prove to be not the greatest idea ever.
Event warmup:

Had some coffee and oatmeal, gathered up my stuff, rode down Lynch hill, set up my transition area, and hung out with Tracy for a bit before heading off to the boat ramp to wait for my wave to start. I started to feel a little bit of excitement, and enjoyed my zen moment in the seconds before the start.
  • 42m 7s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

I started off in the middle of the pack, and went with the flow. I felt very relaxed, more so than usual, probably because I was putting zero pressure on myself to perform. I had forgotten my goggles, so I was wearing Tracy's. They were great until they started to fog up, at which point I could barely see anything. Instead of trying to see where I was going, I just followed the people around me. I felt ok, and didn't push the pace at all.
What would you do differently?:

Not forget my goggles.
Transition 1
  • 04m 57s

In keeping with my relaxed approach to this race, I took my time in transition.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, given the circumstances.
  • 4h 04m 31s
  • 56 miles
  • 13.74 mile/hr

Immediately I felt sluggish, and I knew I needed to stick with my plan. I was really glad I had taken my bike computer off to avoid obsessing over my speed. I took it easy up Beach hill, and on all of the rolling hills on Interlake. On Jolon I just settled into a nice easy rhythm. I could tell I was going slow, because way more people than usual were passing me. I could really tell on Nasty grade - last year I passed tons of people, this year only a few. I really wasn't feeling good by the time I got back into the park, and was relieved to be done with the bike. I briefly considered throwing in the towel at that point, but I wasn't feeling truly awful yet (and I'm really stubborn) so I decided to continue.
What would you do differently?:

Know when I'm pushing myself too far.
Transition 2
  • 06m 8s

The fact that I didn't have enough energy to run with my bike in transition should have served as a big red flag warning me not to continue. However, after a leisurely transition, I went out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Turn in my timing chip and go drink some water.
  • 3h 00m
  • 11.5 miles
  • 15m 39s  min/mile

Given my illness and the heat, I knew I would struggle on the run. I just didn't realize how bad it would get.

I started off jogging very lightly, at a pace I thought I could maintain indefinitely. I felt a little better after a pit stop, and I made sure to down both water and gatorade at the first few aid stations. I walked most of the uphills, but felt ok running the downhills and relatively level stretches. As planned, I walked up the hill at mile 4. Last year I had taken pride in running every step, but knew that wasn't possible this time, so I had to settle for just moving forward.

By mile 6, I was suffering big time. I could no longer run for stretches longer than a few hundred feet, even on the downhills, and my pace was getting slower. (I did manage to high five the naked guy!) At mile 9 I shuffled down the pit, which seemed even more endless than I remembered, and at the turnaround I immediately started walking. At the top I had planned to start running, but after a short attempt I found myself walking again.

I had thought I was keeping up well on hydration. I got sprayed with water and took a cup each of gatorade and water at most aid stations, and never felt like the heat was getting to me. However, after about 11.5 miles, I found myself walking slowly on an endless stretch of shadeless road. Soon I realized that even the slowest walking pace was unmanageable. I started to feel lightheaded, and I sat down on the side of the road, I put my head between my knees, thinking I was going to throw up. A few people came by and asked if I was ok, and I said "not really". A couple people offered me water and gatorade, and one woman had me lay back while she held my feet in the air. Obviously this created quite a spectacle, and an official truck pulled up. In the truck was a doctor. He quickly concluded that I was dehydrated, and advised that I call it a day. At that point I knew he was right. There wasn't a chance in hell I was going to be capable of walking the remaining mile and a half. I took a ride with a ranger to the med tent.
What would you do differently?:

Not put myself in the potentially dangerous situation of being severely dehydrated.
Post race
Warm down:

It was busy in the med tent and I was looking ok compared to a lot of the people in there, so they didn't order me onto a cot or anything (not that there was a free one). At that point I felt ok enough to walk around a little, and I found Tracy, who had been worried. I went back to the med tent and sat around for a bit, drinking fluids. Then Tracy and I went and got more fluids (free coconut water!) and some food. In the hour following my "finish" I drank a bottle of gatorade, a bottle of water, 3 boxes of coconut water, and some more water. After that I was able to make it up the hill and back to camp.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being sick. I really should have just enjoyed a weekend of camping and spectating.

Event comments:

I still had a lot of fun camping with my crew, cheering them on, and watching my sister finish her 4th Wildflower olympic. And after 5 years I finally saw the naked mile. Oh my!!

I can't say enough nice things about the people who helped me on the side of the road - the competitors, volunteers, doctor, and ranger. They were just awesome.

Having finished this course twice before (and especially having had a decent race last year) really made my DNF easier to deal with. It still sucks, but I guess if you do a lot of races, it's bound to happen at some point. I really brought it upon myself by deciding to race while sick. Lesson learned! Now I'm looking forward, planning (after a short rest) to dive back into training for my ultimate goal - IMCdA in 7 weeks.

Last updated: 2012-02-10 12:00 AM
00:42:07 | 2112 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: XTerra Vortex 3 Full
Course: L-shaped course in Lake San Antonio, starting and ending at the boat ramp.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:57
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
04:04:31 | 56 miles | 13.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Clockwise loop around Lake San Antonio. After the initial climb up Beach Hill, the ride consists of 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: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:08
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:00:00 | 11.5 miles | 15m 39s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Hills, dust, more hills, and heat.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
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