Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 8h 20m 53s
Overall Rank = 1740/1782
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 259/261
Pre-race routine:

This was my first time at Wildflower. I carpooled down with a fellow member of the local tri club. We arrived on Friday afternoon, found a site and set up. Shortly after we got there, it started raining lightly. I eventually pulled out the big tarp to cover my tent that is not really made for rain. We covered our bikes on the car top rack with the remaining tarp (good thing I bought an extra one). Spent the rest of the daylight setting up camp and prepping for the morning's race (filling water bottles, etc.).

I slept well on my aerobed. The whole camping area got fairly noisy by 6am, so I got up and decided that instead of waiting in line for the 1 toilet in the camping area, I'd get everything together and go down toward the race area to use the restroom. This was a good strategy because it also gave me some extra time down the hill.
Event warmup:

I set up my T-area, talked to a first-timer (!) who gave me a great tip (explained later), then jogged up and down along the outside of the t-area for about 15-20 minutes to get the heart started. The tip was that on the lake side of the t-area toward the bike out, there is a sign that says "Swim Here". If you go down the trail, there is a dock where you can get in the water to warm up. Apparently not many people knew about it because the whole time I was there, a total of 4 other people were there. But this was a great chance to start getting acclimated to the water temperature and get a decent swim warmup.
  • 48m 58s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

Coming from my swim warmup (noted above), I almost missed my start time. I was stuck on the wrong side of the exit chutes and had to beg the crossing guard to let me across because my wave started in 3 minutes. I was able to dart across and wade through the crowd to get up to my wave prior to the gun.

Swim is my weakest sport. I haven't swam this long in probably a couple years, and have only been in open water once recently. So considering that, I'm pretty pleased with my performance. I had a hard time breathing for the first 500 yards or so, but then I could kind of get into a groove. My navigation is really good, so I didn't waste time going off course. Had a couple moments of leg cramps in my hamstrings, but I just relaxed and it went away. I took it easy at the beginning until the crowd broke up. Swam until my hands were touching the ground, then stood up and walked/jogged it in. Didn't feel too bad after getting vertical.
What would you do differently?:

First, I need to learn how to swim. Then I need to learn how to swim in open water, that's cold, with a wetsuit. I'm planning on getting a good amount of open water swim experience this year.
Transition 1
  • 07m 11s

This transition went pretty smoothly so I'm a little surprised that it took this long. But I was in no hurry, knowing I had a long day ahead of me.
What would you do differently?:

Sense of urgency
  • 3h 57m 45s
  • 56 miles
  • 14.13 mile/hr

I started falling apart about mile 35. My stomach was hurting and my legs were cooked. Unfortunately, the long and steep Nasty Grade starts about mile 41. I took a little break at one of the aid stations, which helped. Didn't have any mechanical problems. The scenery was great.
What would you do differently?:

I need to figure out my nutrition. I thought I knew what I was doing, but it didn't work out.
Transition 2
  • 08m 5s

I was feeling pretty bad at this point. I was seriously considering dropping out after the bike, but I figured I could drop out later if I really had to (they'd probably have to pull me off the course, though). I shed my bike shorts and was left with my tri shorts underneath. Just the usual T2, except slower.
  • 3h 18m 53s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 15m 11s  min/mile

This was more of a walk than a run. It's hard to believe I made it given how I felt on the bike. But I just did the best I could, kept both Cytomax and water with me along with a variety of nutrition so I could take whatever I felt like in the moment. I was wearing my BT jersey and a few members said "Hi", which was very cool. I chatted with a couple of people while running, but they all eventually went on without me.

Like the bike course, the run course was pretty yet brutal.
What would you do differently?:

Given how I felt, I think I held together pretty well. Extreme mental effort to not give up.
Post race
Warm down:

Took 15 minutes or so to recover with some gatorade and powerbars. Then since I didn't have any money (mistake), I packed up my stuff and took the shuttle back to the campgrounds.

Event comments:

This is a world-class event. They do an incredible job considering the amount of athletes and spectators on site both during the race and othewise. The finish chute was like being at the Olympics.

My only complaints was that they should have had some more port-o-potties in the camping areas, and have some more food choices at the aid stations.

Last updated: 2009-01-30 12:00 AM
00:48:58 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 226/261
Overall: 1534/1782
Performance: Average
Suit: Orca S1
Course: Kind of a big "L", clockwise out and back.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:57:45 | 56 miles | 14.13 mile/hr
Age Group: 234/261
Overall: 1518/1782
Performance: Bad
Wind: Little
Course: Basically a loop around the lake
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 08:05
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:18:53 | 13.1 miles | 15m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 191/261
Overall: 1413/1782
Performance: Bad
Course: Through some camping areas, on roads and trails throughout the park. Only one out-and-back section called "the pit".
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4