Wild Flower Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
Tri California
Total Time = 5h 57m 16s
Overall Rank = 583/1741
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 86/174
Pre-race routine:

Woke up grabbed ate a little cereal and headed down to the race start. Didn't really do too much.
Event warmup:

No warm-up. I don't think I really need one for this sort of race. I don't feel like warming up really helps my swim at all, it just tires me out, and any other warm-up is fairly irrelevant since I won't be starting the bike until 45 minutes later after the swim is done. I did ride my bike about 1.5 miles to the start though, so I guess that is something.
  • 41m 16s
  • 2133 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Very happy with my swim. Felt like I paced myself well. Also improved my navigation since SuperSeal where I was all over the place. Still have some improvements to make but it was better. All in all I am very happy with my swim.
What would you do differently?:

Could have still improved my navigation a little bit. Need to work on staying in my rythem while sighting, it tends to throw off my stroke right now. Also need to get better at drafting. Mostly just need to get better at swimming in general though.
Transition 1
  • 04m

Transition was ok, could have been faster in general but nothing really stood out too much. Had a little trouble with the wetsuit which is rare for me, but even that wasn't too bad.
What would you do differently?:

Just speed everything up a little.
  • 3h 19m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.83 mile/hr

Overall pretty happy with the ride. I think this is where I could have pushed a little harder but I didn't want to blow myself out for the run so I think it was smart for me to go at the pace I did. One problem I did have though was that I had to stop in the bathroom for just over 2 minutes do to eating WAY too much food the night before. That definitely cost me also as it was giving me some pretty good GI distress. Definitely should not heave eaten so much.
What would you do differently?:

Eat better the night before, that was a big one. Aside from that I think I was pretty good, maybe could have pushed a bit harder for next time but considering the situation I think I was smart to ride at the pace I did.
Transition 2
  • 02m 22s

This one went decent. Could have racked the bike a little faster. Also as I was coming in a guy rode past the dismount line then stopped right in front of me and blocked me in so I had to wait for him to get off and move, cost me about 20 seconds.
What would you do differently?:

Rack the bike faster, not much else to change.
  • 1h 50m 4s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 24s  min/mile

Up until about mile 3 it wasn't too bad, some decent hills but nothing terrible, lots of winding around though. Mile 3-6 had huge hills with several spots where I had to walk, this section was a total butt kicker! Miles 6-10 where pretty flat, this is where I really cranked up the pace and basically put it all out there. After the turn around at mile 10 there was a 2+ mile uphill that destroyed me, this is where I ran out of gas. I kept running but it was very slow at this point, I was fighting with everything I could to keep moving. The last mile was going down Lynch hill which is a super steep downhill. My legs and energy reserves were compeltely shot at this point I was just trying to let gravity take me down that hill as fast as my legs could keep up.

Lost another 2 minutes in the bathroom at the very start of the run also, stupid dinner the night before!!! Why did it have to be so delicious?

Looking at the results though, there was only one person who had a better run time than me who I beat in the overall race (and if it weren't for my bathroom stop I would have beat him also). Running is definitely my strongest area.
What would you do differently?:

Again, needed to eat better the night before. Aside from that I think I did the run pretty well. I suppose I could have eased up a little in mile 6-10 so I would have had a little more gas for 10-12, but honestly I don't think it would have made a huge difference coming up that hill so I think I was better off saving the time by going harder in the flats.
Post race
Warm down:

Ate everything in sight when I finished! Walked around the festical a bit then headed back up the hill for a couple beers!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Biggest problem was my dinner the night before (or dinners I should say since I had 2 of them). Basically I ate so much that I went to bed with a stomach ache. There was so much food in my stomach on race day that I got some pretty bad GI distress and spent just over 4 minutes in the bathroom because of it. Overall I think it probably cost me about 7 or 8 minutes. As for training. I think I needed to spend more time on the bike, I think I have the most time to be saved in that spot.

Event comments:

Best race ever! Pretty much everything about this trip was great. Even the weather was about as perfect as you could ask for. Quick warning, this race report is pretty long!

So my Wildflower story starts with a sleepless Tuesday night. I had been training all out for over 6 months and it was finally time to head up for the race. I packed my stuff up Wednesday morning and took off around noon. Made a quick pit stop in Vista to have lunch with the Director of Product for Zoot sports to discuss a few things and then I was on the road again up to San Luis Obispo. I met up with my friend Dan who I had grown up with and now lives in SLO. Spent the night at Dan’s house then Thursday morning we made a quick food run, packed our stuff up and continued on to Lake San Antonio. There were still very few people up there on Thursday so we were able to get a great camp site. We tried to find a spot with my tri club but we couldn’t find them as they hadn’t put up their sign yet and there weren’t many people up there yet. After setting our tents up we went down and did our race check in, practice riding up Lynch Hill (a ¾ mile long super steep hill that you have to go up/down to get in and out of the transition and festival area. After we got up the hill I went out and rode the first 15 miles or so of the long course to see what it was all about. It was much harder than I expected! The roads are not paved very well so they are kind of bumpy and slow. I was very concerned, at this point I thought there was no possible way I was going to break my 6:00:00 time goal.

After I got back I saw a couple friends from my tri club doing a light jog through a pathway that ran just behind our camp site, they had just arrived. We invited them over and we had a couple beers and played some board games. After that we got bored and decided we needed and adventure. There were still very few people around so we figured we would go wander around and see if we could find some other people who were interested in making a camp fire. We didn’t really think through our plan very much so we just gathered what was necessary, a large bottle of lighter fluid, a cooler full of beer, and a flashlight and we were off. We couldn’t find anyone who looked like they wanted to have fun so we decided to walk out to the ranger station place at the park entrance and see if any of the people at the front gate wanted to have a few beers with us. This walk turned out to be much further than expected! We finally arrived around 11:00 at night and we walked up to one of the toll booth things and started chatting with the two girls working the night shift. I suspect we probably looked a bit odd, 4 guys walking around in the middle of the night with nothing but beer and lighter fluid. I think they enjoyed the company though. The other reason we were out there was because two of Dan’s friends (Chris and Kristen) were supposed to be arriving that night, but we had no phone reception so they had no way of finding us. This place was huge, it was pitch black and there were tents everywhere (no people in them yet though, clubs would just come up with everyone’s tents and set them up ahead of time to save spots). We thought there was no way they would ever find us if we didn’t wait for them at the front gate. We waited for a while but eventually gave up and figured they had decided to come up the next day. We went back to camp and sat around chatting for a while. Dan told me to keep my ears open because Chris had an old jeep that made a very unique sound. Sure enough a little while later we hear a strange sounding vehicle driving somewhere off in the distance. We start running after the noise yelling and screaming trying to flag them down and sure enough it’s them! I still can’t believe we actually found them out there in the middle of the night like that.

Friday morning we woke up and made some great breakfast. Chris is an expert camper and brought up a couple Dutch ovens to use for cooking. Those things are awesome! We went out and played a little waffle ball with my tri-club buddies (Brendan and Jason). After that we grabbed a quick lunch and went down to the festival are again with everyone and checked out all the cool expos and such. The festival was really cool, tons of great vendors, fantastic atmosphere, lots of free samples, and good entertainment. We spent most of the day here checking stuff out. I stopped by the Zoot RV also and chatted with some of their people. After getting back I went over to the Tri Club camp site where they had made a great pre-race dinner and discussed the course and such with some of my fellow club members. After eating my fill I came back to my campsite where 4 more friends had arrived. We had a pretty decent sized camp site now. They also cooked up an amazing dinner in the Dutch ovens and even though I had already eaten I couldn’t resist. I ended up just stuffing myself on this dinner it was so good. Unfortunately this was not good for the race tomorrow. I went to bed with a stomach ache I was so full.

I got a decent nights sleep though despite being very nervous and woke up ready to go. I grabbed all my stuff and biked down to the transition area alone (I was the only one at my camp site doing the long course so they were all still asleep). I was concerned about my stomach though, I could still feel all that food in my stomach, I could tell it was going to cause me problems during the race. Oh well, nothing I could do about it now, it was race time. I suited up, said a few quick hellos to some other people I knew doing the long course and headed down to the swim start. Heading down the boat ramp my heart was pounding, what the hell had I gotten myself in to!!! Could I really do this thing? As I watched the first 2 waves go out I was soooo nervous. The 3rd wave took off and it was my wave was up next. I walked down and poked a toe in the water. Suddenly all my nervousness went away and I became completely calm. It was game time and my head locked into the swim. I stopped thinking about anything but the swim. I went over in my head the key technique points I needed to focus on and started loosening up my shoulders. I got myself a starting spot near the back of the wave knowing I am a slow swimmer and then the gun fired.

We were off! I quickly waded into the water and started out nice, calm and smooth. I tried to stay in the pack as long as I could to use the draft but eventually they pulled away from me. I did stick with the pack much longer than I expected though, things were going well. I stayed calm throughout the swim. It was very long but I think I kept a pretty good rhythm going. I still need to work on my sighting and navigation but overall I felt really good. When I came out of the water in 41:16 I was ecstatic, I beat my 42:00 swim goal!

Woo-hoo, things were going well! I was starting to feel my food in my stomach though, I knew I would need to hit the bathroom soon. I decided to see how far I could get first though so I jumped on my bike and took off. The first 12 miles or so were all hills, nothing flat at all, very tough riding. After that it flattened out and I was able to turn the speed up a bit. I was getting some major GI distress at this point though from the dinner and it was making me very uncomfortable. I had been looking for a bathroom since the start of the bike but hadn’t seen one yet. The first one was about 10 miles in but there was a long line waiting at it so I decided to skip it and hold out for the next one. The next one didn’t come until mile 22! I got lucky though and there was no line for this one so I jumped off my bike and made my pit stop. I checked my timer and I lost about 2:20 from when I pulled my bike off the street to when I was back riding again. In that time about 6 other people had gotten in line for the bathroom also, they really need more bathrooms out there. I felt quite a bit better though and I took off with renewed energy on the bike and started making up time. I still had some GI distress but it wasn’t so bad anymore. It stayed mostly flat with some rollers until about mile 41 when we hit nasty grade, a huge 3 mile steep uphill climb. I threw it in low gear and just kept it easy at a nice comfortable pace. It actually ended up not being so bad, I think I probably could have pushed it a little harder. Coming back down the other side sure was fun though, I topped my speed out at 50 mph, by far the fastest I have ever gone on my bike. The last 10 miles or so was all hills also but compared to nasty grade they were pretty tame. I was also still getting some decent GI distress, it wasn’t so bad on the bike but I knew I would have lots of trouble trying to run with it. I pulled in to the transition after a 3:19:42 bike time and threw on my running shoes and headed out.

I jumped in the first bathroom I saw which was about 10 feet after leaving transition (I wish they would have been in the transition area so the lost time wouldn’t have counted towards my run time, but oh well). After that I felt a million times better, my GI distress was finally gone and it was time to hit my best leg of the triathlon, it was time to run! I love running, this is where I get to start flying by people. I started out fairly conservative, I wanted to see how my legs would take running after that long of a ride. The first 3 miles were through some windy trails that were mostly flat with a couple steep up-hills but nothing too long. A little after mile 3 there was a huge uphill though that was a killer, it was so steep everyone was walking most of it. As steep as it was I still felt pretty good though and by the time we finished this massive uphill around mile 7 I was ready to burn it up on the flats. It stayed relatively flat until around mile 10 and during this time I turned on the jets, I was probably running sub 7 miles for this stretch (I knew I had to after being slowed down and even walking for stretches earlier on). There was a turn around at mile 10 where I had to go back up a long 2 mile uphill though where I finally ran out of gas. My body just about gave up at this point. I even broke down and started walking for about 10 feet. I started thinking about how much hard work and sweat I had put into this training though and sucked it up and started jogging again, I was going to hit my 6:00:00 goal even if it killed me. I was moving very slow, but I was moving. Finally made it to the end of the long uphill and the last mile we just had to bomb down Lynch hill and through the finish shoot. My legs were on fire but I just let gravity do the work and tried to keep my legs moving as fast as possible. As I came down the shoot I looked at clock and saw that I was going to break 6:00:00 and I was just about ready to break out crying. I probably would have but I was too tired and disoriented. Final run time was 1:50:04 (if you don’t count the bathroom break at the very beginning it was more like 1:48:04). Final time was 5:57:16

After crossing the finish line I was completely disoriented, I hardly even knew where I was, I was stumbling around grabbing everything edible I could get my hands on. I was definitely in a very emotional state, I was so happy to have broken 6 hours. I thought there was no way I could do it after my test ride on Thursday. After crashing in the shade for a while I went back up to camp and jumped in the shower (my first shower since Thursday morning before leaving SLO). That night was fantastic! I was horribly sore but I felt fantastic! I drank lots of beer and went around discussing the day’s events with all my friends and tri-club members, it was fantastic! Didn’t get too crazy though as most of the other people in our camp site were doing the Olympic course tomorrow.

The next morning I got up early to help Dan get ready for his race (I always get up early, can’t help it). I watched most of the race with a few other people while drinking beers and margaritas. It was a perfect relaxing day. When we finally made it back up to our campsite the entire place had been evacuated, almost everyone around us had packed up and headed home. We weren’t going back until Monday though, tonight it was time for a party! One of our neighbors who hadn’t left yet came over and had a few beers with us and gave us some delicious pancakes. My two tri-club buddies from earlier came over also, they decided to stay the night as well. We decided we wanted to have a fire, and since everyone had left there was lots of leftover fire wood sitting around so we jumped in Chris’ Jeep and just started driving around grabbing leftover firewood. By the time we were done we had enough for a massive bonfire. That was a fun fun night… the details of this night will not be discussed in a public forum though ;) it was a good time...

We headed back to SLO Monday morning then I drove back to San Diego Tuesday evening. What a weekend. Everything was perfect. The weather was perfect, the people were awesome, the atmosphere was fantastic, the race went great, the food was incredible, basically, everything was amazing. I even left out a bunch of stuff and many of the fantastic side stories because otherwise this already long Race Report would turn into a novel. From the beginning of training back in November through the end of this race weekend, this has been one of the greatest and most satisfying adventures of my entire life.

Last updated: 2007-11-09 12:00 AM
00:41:16 | 2133 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 147/174
Overall: 0/1741
Performance: Good
Suit: Zoot 2 Wetsuit
Course: 1.2 mile swim in Lake San Antonio. Water was green but it actually felt very clean. Water was perfectly calm and great tempurature, couldn't have asked for better conditions.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:19:42 | 56 miles | 16.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 121/174
Overall: 0/1741
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Lots of hills in the beginning, then it falttened out and then hit Nasty grade and the other big hills at the end. They were tough but all doable. The other thing that slowed me down a fiar amount was the poor road quality. The streets were not very smooth at all, pretty old and bumpy pavement.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:50:04 | 13.1 miles | 08m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 45/174
Overall: 0/1741
Performance: Good
Course: HILLS!!!! Everyone talks about how hilly the ride is but they forget to mention the run is a million times worse! This has to be the hardest run course I have ever done. Huge hills all over, several places got so steap I had to walk (along with everyone else). Absolutely brutal.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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