Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 6h 25m 28s
Overall Rank = 1020/1883
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 148/273
Pre-race routine:

Got into camp about 10 am Friday, weather was gorgeous! Within 2 hours... the rain came. Got a quick ride in before it got wet, but no swim and no run. Just hunkering down, staying dry, and hoping the forecast calling for partly cloudy skies was right.
Event warmup:

Got up and..... it was (mostly) clear, and not too cold. Sunrise was coming up over the lake. Warmup was riding down to the lake, getting a few minutes of run in behind transition and a quick swim before our wave.
  • 30m 47s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 28s / 100 yards

Water was nice and cool, not cold. They lined us up for the start, and it was weird, usually there's some jockeying for front line position, but not today. Like people weren't eager to get in. I lined up front row far right, right along the dock. This is what I did two years ago and it worked well.

The horn went off, two high steps, a dive and I was off. I went pretty hard for the first couple hundred yards, then tried to dial it in a bit. Honestly, if you told me I was in a wave start of a race, I wouldn't have believed you. I did not touch a single person for the first 300 yards to the buoy. And for the rest of the race, think I touched maybe 4 or 5 guys. It was weird, very weird. It's not a brutal swim in my experience but not this clean....

I breathe right, so all I saw was the dock. Didn't think I was THAT far out in front, and I was right, couple guys pulled eventually pulled in front of me from the left. No idea where I was in the wave (there were two M40-44 waves, i was the second), but at the first buoy there were maybe 6 or 7 guys in front.

Tried catching a draft, but they were off the buoys, so I went along the buoys and basically stayed alone. Couldn't quite catch the guy in front of me, so no draft.

I had counted the buoys, knew there were 6 out after the turn, and three in to the dock for the left turn. Pretty uneventful swim, just tried to swim within my fitness. Not sure I accomplished that, I was feeling a little tired.

Coming back, swimmers are all over the place. A lot stay along the buoy line which makes no sense, since you have to make a left turn towards the swim exit. I always try to swim right along the last fuel dock, so after the last buoy and lifeguard, I started moving left. About 5 minutes to the finish.. that's when the leaders form the next wave caught me. These guys were smoking!

After the race, my masters coach, who was in that wave and swam a :25, said "yeah, I saw you as I passed you." I was surprised he could tell it was me, he said "I'm your coach, I know your stroke."

Lake water was low this year so it was a loooooong run up the boat ramp. Looked at my watch, :30 and change, that's OK, but I'd like to figure out how to break :30 on an HIM swim. There were more people around my racks than I expected. But I felt pretty good and ready to ride. No idea what my HR was, since my coach said I should race without it.

2007 - 33
2009 - 30
What would you do differently?:

Get faster
Transition 1
  • 03m 36s

Transitions this year were much better than '07, by about 2 minutes total. I was racked about five rows up, right in the middle, so I didn't have to run too far either barefoot or in bike shoes. That asphalt is PAINFUL.....

helmet on, wetsuit off, not much to report....
What would you do differently?:

move quicker.
  • 3h 15m 49s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.16 mile/hr

Wildflower is just an epic course. After Pumpkinman I thought WF was easier, today I think WF is harder... Right off the bat, gotta climb Beach Road. I thought it was maybe two curves.... I was wrong. It's longer than I remember. I have a 27 but as a Clyde I need every tooth on that thing. Just stayed seated and worked my way up.

But the sun came out right as the bike started. :) Overall, I "spun" up the hills as best I could, and moderated the rest of the ride. Other than Beach and Nasty, I never felt like I was working hard on the course at all.

After Beach, there's a couple small climbs to get out of the park, then a right turn on Lake San Antonio Drive. This is where the fun starts and the course gets much easier. There's a few rollers but it's pretty fast and flat all the way to the right turn at Jolon Road. Jolon Road is just a long, mostly flat ride for about 20 miles. My legs really came alive back here and I felt great.

The road was very rough in a lot of spots, it would get smooth for 1/2 mile, then rough again. No mechanicals, but I had to stop once because my bag was coming off, stuck it in my jersey. Then, when I removed my waterbottle from the rear cage, there was a bunch of rattling. I thought the screws were coming loose, and I just hoped it didn't fall off. It didn't rattle when I had a bottle in there, so I emptied the bottle, and used the other side. Ultimately, when I went to pick up my bike post race, the entire cage and bottle were gone. The screws were still in, as was a part of the cage. Whole thing just broke off in two pieces and fell away from me. I envision it being like when the booster rocket falls away from the space shuttle. I was going that fast No idea when or where it fell off....

Saw PGoldberger back there, going by me uphill at about mile 30. He looked strong.

Crossed the bridge and got mentally ready for Nasty. It wasn't that bad, but I was whooped at the top, or almost the top. Speedo guy with blow up doll and the Energizer Bunny were on Nasty, as usual.

Coming down the big hill, I went about as fast as I ever have on the bike. No idea without a computer, but i was scared shitless. It looked like someone had crashed, but I was too afraid to look anywhere but the road in front of me.....

After the descent, it's still 10 miles, but I was thinking about the run, and it looked like a lot of people were just dialing it back as well. There's still a couple climbs as well. This course just keeps kicking your ass......

Last time, I got off the bike wondering how the hell I'd run 13 miles.... Today I felt pretty ready to run, that's a new feeling

2007 - 3:39
2009 - 3:15
What would you do differently?:

Pretty happy with the bike
Transition 2
  • 02m 58s

Did OK, had to put some socks on so that took a bit of time.
What would you do differently?:

Need to get better at transitions anyway
  • 2h 32m 16s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 37s  min/mile

Perfect running weather, low 70s, but it did start to get hot out there. I had started taking a couple salt tabs on the bike. Took them on the run about every other aid station.

Started out and felt really good. I had tweaked my hamstring about 5 weeks before, took two weeks off running totally, and hadn't run over :50 in a looong time. I was a bit worried, but it started well. Plan was to walk the big hills and aid stations. I was running a lot more of the hills that I walked last time.

The first 2 mile markers were short. No way I was running 8:30 miles, but they made up for it by the third. I just tried to maintain a steady pace. Eventually made it to the mile 4 hill, and man that is long, and steep at the top. I actually ran a bit of it, unlike 2007. Also, unlike 2007, the volunteers at the top were fully clothed :(. But that's when it really started to hurt, and I was walking more than I wanted. I hit the bottom of the hill at mile 4 about :42. Was almost :50 by the time I reached the top.

Big downhill, then another fairly long but mellow uphill. It was hard to get a rhythm going since I was walking the hills. At the top, I would have to tell myself, just get your legs under you again. I also found myself reverting to an "IM" mentality, that it was OK to walk if I felt tired, even if it wasn't a hill. I had to put a stop to that and force myself to run.

About mile we entered the park and then the campground. It's a great section, running through the campers, lots of support, and it's on pavement- and downhill :). Then another short trail section before the Pit.

The Pit is just nasty. Almost a mile downhill, then turn around and come back up, at mile 10 of a hard HIM. And running down, you can't see the turn cuz of the turns, so it just keeps going and going.... I had a little bit of cramping before this, but running downhill everything started firing a bit. Nothing took hold, but it just felt like little bolts of electricity shooting through my calves. Saw PGoldberger again, he was going up, I was going down. FInally hit the turn, 2 miles left. I walked all of the uphill last time, this time ran from sign to tree, then walked, then ran tree to tree, whatever it took to keep me going.

At the top I knew there was one more little hill before the last little flat part and Lynch. I really REALLY wanted to walk before the hill, and did a little bit, but told myself "bullshit, run to the hill." Forced it.

Saw the right turn to Lynch, and was stoked. Coming down Lynch, just wanted to reach the bottom, but the cramps started coming back. But I was way too close to stop and do anything about. Coming down the chute I was worried my legs would totally seize up. Everything was firing off, quads, hammies, calves. But not in the chute, I wasn't stopping, I just ran through them and dared them to stop me :)

I knew during the run I wasn't going to hit my goal, so it was hard to stay motivated, but I worked through it, and the run actually seemed to go by pretty fast. Wasn't the time I wanted, but I doubt even with running in the last five weeks I could have taken much more time off. That's just going to take more experience.

People talk about the WF bike. They don't talk enough about the run. The bike is not that bad. The run is.

2007 - 2:42
2009 - 2:27
What would you do differently?:

More years of run training
Post race
Warm down:

Limp to the boat ramp and soak in the lake

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Limited run training, weight

Event comments:

Saw PGoldberger at the finish.. again!! is he stalking me?? :) Hung out for a bit post race to recover, then gathered my stuff and hiked up the huge dirt trail. F*** that was hard...... Beer and carne asada post race tasted great.

Although I didn't hit my sub 6 goal, that was aggressive to start with. Had I ran to my potential, I could get close. Turns out, this race was only 12 seconds off my best HIM swim, 4 minutes off my best HIM bike, and 21 minutes :( off my best HIM run. So maybe the next one will be a flat course :)

Wildflower is an incredibly well run and freaking HARD race. Much harder than I remembered. Which is good, since I won't remember how hard it was come December when it's time to sign up for 2010 :)

Last updated: 2008-11-30 12:00 AM
00:30:47 | 2112 yards | 01m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 30/273
Overall: 204/1883
Performance: Good
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:36
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:15:49 | 56 miles | 17.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 119/273
Overall: 788/1883
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Loop around Lake San Antonio
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:58
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:32:16 | 13.1 miles | 11m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 152/273
Overall: 1100/1883
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]