Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 23m 21s
Overall Rank = 204/1966
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 32/278
Pre-race routine:

I woke up early - it was cold and I was unorganized. I was pretty stressed because I didn't finish preparing my bike the day before. I wanted to spin, adjust the gears, etc but after inflating my tire, I heard the tire lose air. FLAT! I spent the day locating a new tubular tire. By the time I finished gluing my new tire on, it was too dark to do a spin and any needed bike maintenance. I went to bed early and sort of slept.

I didn't really have breakfast... I had a Hershey's chocolate bar and some Gatorade then Lilia and I took the ferry to the transition area and set up. I've never been in such a large transition area.

Shivered in the cool morning air. Listened to a motivational speech by the race director - although I could have done without the "God speak". With such a large international crowd, it sounded out of place and awkward.

I chatted with the folks in my area. Every time I tried to get to the swim start, I remembered something that I forgot and went back... I made it to the swim start with about 4 or 5 minutes before the start of the race.

Event warmup:

Swam about 100 meters then found a spot near the start, adjusted my goggles and shifted my feet back and forth.
  • 43m 15s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 14s / 100 meters

OK, I don't get my lame time here... Either the course was long or the current and chop played more of a factor than I realized while swimming. I know I'm not a fast swimmer, but I'm not this slow either... Last year at 5430, I swam considerably faster with way less training and confidence.

Anyway, I actually enjoyed the swim... a first during a tri for me. I went out in the middle of my wave and made my way to the first buoy at which point you go right until the turn around. My age-group was huge so we had two waves and I was in the first. I felt strong and my strokes felt smooth and effortless. I thought I was going fast and I was able to stay with a large group of same colored swim caps. I was even able to pass people in earlier waves... I felt like I was on my way to a personal best swim for sure!!! I could feel the waves but they didn't bother me at all. At the turn around my confidence grew further and I felt like I was surging to the finish. When I got to the last buoy I couldn't believe it! It didn't feel like I was tired or like I was out there very long. I raced to the finish and as I got out of the water I hit my watch for the split and when I saw 42:32 (official time was more because of run to transition), my heart sank for a second. But then I saw JuliaPurr yelling at me to get my ass moving and I did!

What would you do differently?:

I don't know... I do need to train more. I was happy with my training leading up to this race, and I'm faster than last year. I KNOW that! I think I swam well. My time sucked rotten eggs, but I was fresh leaving the water.
Transition 1
  • 01m 51s

Transition was fine. I did struggle for a few seconds getting my heels out of the suit, but not enough to bother me much. I think my time was as good as most of the fast guys here.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Perhaps, body glide the inside of my suit near ankles.
  • 2h 51m 25s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.60 mile/hr

OK, first off. My time was a little better here: I crashed at mile 3 and wasted a little more than 5 minutes getting going again. Actual ride time was about 2:45 and my actual avg mph was about 20.3 which was as good as the winner of my age group.

With that said, this was a tough, tough ride. I got out of transition and within the first mile the climbing begins! The first climb is very steep and fairly longish. I was into it! I easily passed people and I was in my element here. As I approached the top of this hill, I went from my little ring to the big ring I threw my chain! I tried to peddle it back on and with my head down I ran into a fence that was across part of the road (it should not have been there!). I went down hard. I destroyed my new aero helmet, mashed my rear derailleur, gouged my carbon aero bars and less I forget, scraped up my knees, elbow, shoulders and back. Dripping blood, I got up and started trying to untangle my chain... I watched people I passed going up, fly past me. I was freaking out! Finally I stopped. Ate a Goo, drank some Gatorade and calmed down. I looked at my chain and realized that it was inverted and if I took my time I could get it on and I could get going again.

I did and descended this hill and began another long climb. I heard something fall on the road... I thought it was just my Gatorade on my seat but it was also my Pit Stop flat repair and my new tubular spare tire! Uh oh!

At mile 8 the first big climb was over and the rolling hills begin... I start pounding hard and I'm feeling good now... I'm passing folks and really enjoying the ride. I start to fuel up for the big climb known as NASTY GRADE... Unfortunately, I couldn't go as fast as I wanted to... the winds were swirling... 20 mile an hour winds with gusts of 30... It was demoralizing but everyone was dealing with the same thing. I knew on the ride that I wasn't going to reach my goal of a sub-five hour half-ironman... oh well... I continued riding hard and continued to feel strong. At around mile 38 you turn into the big hills that become Nasty Grade. The climbing was hard but I was in a rhythm and I caught the only person to actually pass me on the ride. Somewhere on the climb I heard a hiss... I look at my front tire and I see a metal shard in my tire... Luckily when I glued my tire on the day before, I also put some TUFO tire sealant in there and it was working! I lost some tire pressure, but the hissing stopped. the pressure of the tire pushed the shard out far enough that when I wiped the tire it came out along with a little white Tufo sealant. I never even had to get off my bike. I could feel a bump in my tire for some reason though. I just hoped the tire would make another 15 miles or so.
The day before the race, Lilia and I drove the course so I knew that there was a false summit to Nasty Grade. I got to the first "summit" and poured it on hard to the top. I was surprised when I got to the top because I thought there was more climbing to go, but I recognized where I was and began a smoking fast descent. I thought it would be really fast to the finish but it wasn't. MORE WIND! Soon enough though, I was at mile 55 and into the fast descent to transition.

All in all a very strong ride on a very difficult course with unfavorable winds.

I was an ANIMAL on this ride!!!

What would you do differently?:

Not crash.

This was a preparation crash. If I had adjusted my gears as intended the day before I wouldn't have crashed...

It bums me out too... This was an expensive crash!
Transition 2
  • 02m 13s

Too slow. I should have been about 45 seconds faster.
What would you do differently?:

Run without socks. I put my socks on and changed shirts... this took too much time.
  • 1h 40m 37s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 41s  min/mile

I ran very well. Not all out but strong and comfortable. I didn't really feel bad until around mile 11/12. I could have ran harder for sure and my HR kind of shows it. I didn't have the usual cardiac drift, but had the opposite instead... my heart rate got slower towards the end.

I did have knee pain that that got bad from mile 7 on (as a result of my bike crash) and my elbow hurt too.
What would you do differently?:

Push harder especially the second half.
Still I was happy with my run.
Post race
Warm down:

Went to the aid station to have all of my wounds attended to. Hung out with SGT VIK, had a beer and waited for Lilia to finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The course.
Oh and the naked aid station! I couldn't get the image of all those big boobs and little peckers out of my head!

Event comments:

This was an awesome race. A beautiful setting. VERY well run and organized. I enjoyed it immensely.

5300 feet of climbing between the bike and run. HUGE

With that said, the finishers medal might have well been a plastic laminate! It is tiny and weighs about an ounce. Pretty pathetic actually. Also, why races continue to give cotton t-shirts out, I'll never know! Every race should give a tech shirt. People train in tech shirts and that's a great way to promote the event. I on the other hand, will be cleaning my bike with the complimentary t-shirt!

Wildflower is a tough race. It is a must do race for sure.

Last updated: 2007-05-07 12:00 AM
00:43:15 | 1931 meters | 02m 14s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/278
Overall: 1353/1966
Performance: Good
AVG Heart rate: 142 Max 147
Suit: Full Suit
Course: Loop course
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:51
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:51:25 | 56 miles | 19.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/278
Overall: 146/1966
Performance: Good
Course: Lots of climbing... A loop route.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:13
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:40:37 | 13.1 miles | 07m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/278
Overall: 130/1966
Performance: Good
Mile 1&2: 14:56 AVG HR 152 MAX 159 Mile 3: 6:09 AVG HR 152 MAX 159 Mile 4: 7:42 AVG HR 153 MAX 158 Mile 5: 9:09 AVG HR 155 MAX 160 Mile 6&7: 15:31 AVG HR 154 MAX 159 Mile 8: 6:55 AVG HR 152 MAX 156 Mile 9&10: 16:03 AVG HR 148 MAX 154 Mile 11: 6:44 AVG HR 148 MAX 152 Mile 12: 9:15 AVG HR 144 MAX 147 Mile 13 (plus .1 mile): 9:15 AVG HR 144 MAX 147
Course: Super hill! This was like a very HARD trail half marathon... a couple thousand feet of climbing
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4