Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Bradley, California
United States
Tri-California Events, Inc.
90F / 32C
Total Time = 5h 10m 15s
Overall Rank = 74/2000
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 14/230
Pre-race routine:

Such a great race and venue, what can I say that hasn't been said before? Although I've only done this race one time before, 2011, I feel like I'm a veteran because of all the camps and times I've been to the park swimming, riding and running the course. Hell, I was just there with Karin a couple weeks ago giving her a preview of the course. This was a no brainer to put on the schedule for 2013. However, with a goal this year of trying to qualify for Vegas and this race not being a qualifier, I came in off a LOT of training and very little rest. Not every race can be an "A" race. That will be in June at Boise with, what I feel, is my best shot at a Vegas slot.

Having said that, this was my first race I've done in a couple years where my run training has been at an acceptable level. Granted only 4 weeks worth but I'm REALLY happy to be running solid frequency and volume pain free. I hope I can continue this trend for a couple years to get my run to an acceptable/competitive level. Real props to my coach Brian Stover and my body mechanic Blair Ferguson for getting me and keeping me healthy.

Now, on to the race weekend....This was an Official Wattie Ink team race so there were tons of Watties running around all over the place. Most camping in our immediate area. We did all get together for a photo shoot at the top of Lynch on Friday afternoon which was great fun. Heather Jackson and Wattie were camped next to Karin and I along with Massi (Chris Masilon), Mo (Jeff Mo), Flabby (Bob Flanigan), Tina and Peter Leavitt, Aaron Edwards, Reynolds Guys Steve Driscoll and Rob Aguero, Sierra Nevada folks and I'm sure I'm forgetting tons more, were right in the immediate campsite. Tyler, Maruoka and Brent showed up Friday to share our trailer.

Friday consisted of a light swim with Karin and then a really short bike and run to make sure everything was operational. It was fairly warm Friday so just did my best to stay out of the heat and relax.
Event warmup:

Our campsite was literally a stone throw away from transition and that made race morning really easy. Flanny and I just rode our bikes down and dropped them off and then headed back to the trailers for another 40 minutes of waiting around. Got my usual Pop Tart breakfast and packed up and headed back down. Everything was on time and it was the usual Wildflower warm up of swimming out after the wave in front of you and then back to the start. Not much going on there except for the giant PEE I took in my brand new Wattie Ink branded blueseventy helix. Gotta break that puppy in right.

Headed back to the line and lined up front and center and was ready to go.
  • 28m 55s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 22s / 100 yards

First of all, the water was HOT. It was like 71-72 Degs and the pros were not wetsuit legal. (Which I've never understood. Why do the pros have a different temp cutoff than age groupers? They are not super people with a higher temp tolerance than the rest of us....dumb.) So I was literally boiling in my wetsuit from the intense sun and warm water...but, can't give up the time advantage a wetsuit gives just for a little comfort.

Swim started off at a rapid pace. Nothing new from any other swim...lol. It's always a mad dash to the first buoy. One guy was just gone. There's always one dude who just takes off. I knew that was not going to be realistic, so just let him go. Besides Michael Phelps, there were about 4-5 of us in the main lead group. I hung in there till about halfway when I started to get a bit fatigued. You know how sometimes you settle in and everything feels fine and sometimes you just start getting tired and/or something starts to fatigue. Well, I was the latter. Energy started to go and my arms started to get real tired. Pace wasn't really all that hard so I was a bit bummed at the time but had to make the best decision I could and that was to back off just a bit. So I let them go. No sense in screwing up your whole race over a minute or so out of the water.

From there on just cruised it in...got a little negative as I always do in the swim and started asking myself way I do this dumb stuff. But that passed fairly quickly. Swim times were long across the board and from my Garmin, the swim was about 150 yards long. Can't feel too bad about my time as I was 8th out of the water but I was a little disappointing with how I felt during it.

Anyway, out of the water and on to the bike.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing...figured that the brand new wetsuit might have contributed to a little arm fatigue. Maybe soak or swim in my suit before using it...although there was no opportunity to do that here.
Transition 1
  • 02m 38s

Not a bad transition but not a great one. I don't really hustle in Half's in T1 and T2 like I do in Oly's and Sprints. I'd rather make sure everything is right. Still one of the fastest times.
  • 2h 50m 16s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.73 mile/hr

The bike was kind of a worry. I've been getting some pain in my upper right leg during interval sessions and it just popped up so I haven't had much time to address it. Just going to have to roll the dice and see what happens.

Obviously had my power goals and really focused on staying within them. Which means I'm going to be getting passed all over the place during the climbs...especially Beach Hill right off the bat. The one good thing about Beach Hill was the naked girl half way up. Really seems to take your mind off things when you see college boobs in the public domain. Bless her little heart and not so little boobs for their contribution to putting a smile on my face for the first time since the gun went off. As expected, got passed by quit a few people during that first climb.

Headed out of the park and picked off most of those people that passed me on Beach while descending the downhills. From there on out it was the "Power Shuffle" as I call it for the rest of the ride. For those of you that don't know what the power shuffle is, it's the act of passing people on the downhills and getting repassed by them on the uphills...those who ride with power (ie smooth power) will tend to take the hills far more conservative (not spiking their power) and those that don't tend to hammer the hills. Conversely, those that ride with power will not let it drop (ie rest) on the downhills and will usually repass the person that just blew their wad blasting up the hill. The hillier the course, the more this takes place. The first part of Interlake road is a PRIME power shuffle spot.

As we neared the end of Interlake Rd, making our way to Jolon, I knew the conditions were going to be slow. The reason? No head wind heading out to Jolon. When there is no head wind to Jolon, that means no side/tail wind down Jolon where tons of time can be made up. Sure as shit, hit Jolon and a little baby head wind down Jolon. Not good for fast times. Not that I care, I just sit and look at my power meter and the time is somewhat irrelevant at the moment.

Made the turn onto Jolon and my leg was really starting to hurt. The good news was that it only hurt in aero and not sitting and climbing. That meant that when I popped up to climb, I got some relief. The bad news is, some of the aero sections were just too long and I had to pop up at not so great times to get some relief. Obviously losing a little bit of time whenever I came out of aero. Jolon also had a ton of huge Army trucks which always make things interesting when they blast you with wind as they pass.

Made sure I was getting my nutrition down. It wasn't very hot yet but I knew I would probably want to stay well hydrated as the run may be a little warm. The strange wind direction did have one great benefit and that was a nice head wind up Nasty Grade. Usually that climb sucks as there is a baby tail wind that makes the air feel super stagnant on that climb. Not today...nice breeze kept things cool. Flanny finally made up his 2 minute swim deficit and came around me at mile 42 on Nasty. Encouragement was shared and he was off to an eventual 6th place. After Nasty was that awesome downhill, with NO WIND this year...Garmin clocked 57.3 MPH...so rad ;)

Rest of the ride was whatever. Power was there but I was super uncomfortable with my leg hurting. Although, I know it doesn't affect my running so I wasn't too worried about that. Just tried to keep my head in the game and do the best I could back to the park.
What would you do differently?:

Get my leg straightened out....working on that intensely at the moment.
Transition 2
  • 01m 15s

Again...nothing too quick. Just smooth through the motions and came away with a great T2 time. Actually stopped to walk for a second and got some water in the transition area aid station.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 47m 11s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

Took off out of T2 and KNEW I had to take it easy. Running has been really coming along nicely but I could still feel that I kind of over cooked the bike a tiny bit. So I set a pace I knew I could hold. Wasn't fast but it was running....and not walking. That's what I didn't want to do. I immediately got behind a guy in my age group and just stuck right to him. The pace was nice and easy and I used him kind of like a human limiter. I felt I might be able to run faster but it's the first mile, just relax. Made it to the first aid station and stopped for 32 seconds (I looked at my watch and timed it) to pee. It actually felt really good to get a mile in and then rest for a second. Got back out on course and started to feel pretty ok.

I still decided to keep the pace light and easy and guess what? People started dropping like flies around me. Now, where I'm at in the race, top 15-20, I'm not going to run anyone down with my lame run...so the best I can do is not blow up myself and capture all those folks that do in fact blow up. The key to that is to just keep moving forward at a solid pace but not pushing the pace at all until later in the run. Mile 2-5 are just brutal and all uphill. The heat was not bad at all. As long as you got some water on your head and jersey, you stayed very cool till the next aid station 8-9 minutes away. I just kept plodding along and I picked off a ton of people and was not really being passed much at all. It was just a shuffle fest till the big downhill where you can see the entrance road.

Once down the hill, I started to feel really good. I think this was because I was running sooo easy for the first 5 miles. I was able, now that the course wasn't nearly as hilly, to really pick up the pace and start actually running and not shuffling. This is when my WHOLE mental outlook on this race started to change. I was late in the run of a very difficult half and I FUCKING FELT GOOD. I felt like I could race to the finish and not just survive to the finish. This really brought my whole mental state into a much better place. After a slow, tired swim...slow and painful ride...and 5 miles of uphill shuffling...things started to click.

There's an aid station right before you head back into the park. Up until that point, I had done a great job of keeping the water on my head and in my jersey and NOT in my shoes. Well, at this aid station, this kid asked me "do you want a splash?" while he was holding a cup of water..."sure" I said....and the kid just absolutely blasts me in the face..lol. Dumbass...but before I could be like "wtf?", the other kid next to him was like, "Dude! What was that? Relax on the "splash"...I just laughed but it did SOAK my shoes and now I was running in wet socks, which I hate.

Really started to feel great when we got into the crowds. Picked up the pace and was excited to finish strong. Made the turn onto the pavement to start down into the pit and was greeted by Eurostar...he ran with me a bunch and sort of interviewed me a long the way. Finally started down into the pit and was feeling swell....then, BAMMO, side stitch stopped me dead in my tracks. Literally had to stop and bend over it hurt so bad. I was SO frustrated. Walked for a second, let it subside and started shuffling down the hill...lost a lot of time here. Made the turn and it felt much better to run uphill. I shuffled my way to the top of the pit and was still feeling good.

Then there was a weird detour on the course. There were cones and arrows going into the dirt, the Olympic run course, and it seemed quit obvious that is where they wanted us to go. But usually you just stay on the pavement...whatever...follow the markers I guess. Started running on the dirt path and it was soooo silty. Then, a couple hundred yards into this BS, I saw people running on the road, WTF? Then I saw the aid station on the road...so I cut across down to the road and out of that silt crap.

Headed down Lynch and was sooo happy to be finishing. I picked up the pace nicely and then BAMMO! Stupid side stitch AGAIN...stopped me dead AGAIN. Whatever at that point...I walked it off and it went away before the bottom and I ran it home.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really...this was the best I could do.
Post race
Warm down:

I don't warm down...;)

Event comments:

So there you have it...exact same time as 2011 race but in far slower conditions. I'll take it. After the race it was just party time. We had such a great time all weekend and I just love this race. Special thanks to Sean Wattie Watkins who really took care of us and the whole team all weekend. Congrats to Heather Jackson on her second win there. She is so inspiring. Thanks to Tyler Olson of TJO Photography and Steve Driscoll from LiFT Creative Studios for the great photos and Tina Leavitt for her organizational skills. All of my sponsors...Wattie Ink, blueseventy, KSwiss, Reynolds Wheels, Scott Bikes, ISM Saddles, Power Bar, Kask Helmets, FuelBelt, 454 Tattoo and Speedfil. Corporate Sponsors 101 Pipe & Casing, Kurt Orban Partners, and Wins Wheels.

My coach, Brian Stover, from Accelerate 3..who, incidentally, crashed his brains out on a mountain bike recently. Get well soon coach and you don't have to worry about me...doing my work as usual. Thanks for everything

My body mechanic, Blair Ferguson, from Ventura Training and Athletics. Thanks for all you do to keep me in the game.

My girlfriend, Karin....love you. Thanks for putting up with me getting up at 530 every morning while you are on the mend. I can't wait till you're back in action.

Thanks to TriCalifornia for putting on such a great race and being so hospitable all weekend. Great group of people.

Next up, as I mentioned, is Boise 70.3 and that coveted Vegas slot. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Last updated: 2012-12-20 12:00 AM
00:28:55 | 2112 yards | 01m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 8/230
Overall: 68/2000
Performance: Average
Suit: blueseventy Wattie Ink helix
Course: Typical Wildflower out and back, rectangular course.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:38
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:50:16 | 56 miles | 19.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/230
Overall: 153/2000
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Wildflower Long Course..I don't need to explain it.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:15
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:47:11 | 13.1 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/230
Overall: 121/2000
Performance: Good
Course: Up, up, up, up, down, up, up, up....down...lol...stupid Wildflower
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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