Wildflower Triathlon - Long Course - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lake San Antonio, California
United States
Total Time = 5h 59m 19s
Overall Rank = 699/1886
Age Group = 35-40
Age Group Rank = 148/217
Pre-race routine:

This is my first time doing Wildflower (WF) and my second half ironman distance race. WF was the start of year 3 in my triathlon journey. I was supposed to race last year but got injured and was really happy to arrive on Thursday afternoon ready to experience the "Woodstock" of Triathlon. The drive took 3.5 hours from the East Bay which was not all that bad. I was able to get caught up on all my EN Podcasts. I did not pre-ride or run the course, but had plenty of insight from others on how challenging it was - especially the run.

Pre-race consisted of 1) getting my camping area set up on Thursday (giant tent for 5 for just me, sweet cot, thick Thermarest pad, and warm sleeping bag), 2) hooking up with Coach Rich and some of his peeps including Scott (salexedan652), and 3) enjoying the good WF vibe until Saturday AM.

Day of the Race
-Woke up at 6:00 am; made PB&Honey&Banana Sandwich for breakfast with 8 oz of Rock Star - had this about 6:45 AM.
-Set up transition, watched the pros go off, and did some light stretching before my wave at 8:40. I was able to get a few minutes in the water prior to the start.
  • 35m 2s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 40s / 100 yards

The swim was uneventful. I was a row behind the guys in the front staged on the left side and was able to make it to clear water fairly quickly. There was little contact once we got away from the boat ramp area (100 yards). Everything felt fine on the swim however my sighting was not great and my goggles fogged up a little. I found myself not swimming straight especially on the return back - this probably tacked on a little time, but nothing too significant. Once out of the water, the hard part was climbing back up the boat ramp to transition. I swear this race has no flat areas! I was happy with my swim effort.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe push a little harder; sight better and swim straighter.
Transition 1
  • 02m 47s

Trislide + Body Glide rulez! The wetsuit came off really fast. Not sure why T1 took so long however I did not really run in my bike shoes to the mount line - it was more of a trot. Also, my bike was on the way other end of the Swim exit. My heart rate was also fairly high from running up the boat ramp. I just wanted to bring it down prior to jumping on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Get the rocks off my feet before putting on my bike shoes. Little sandlike pebbles over 56 miles does not feel good! Lesson learned.
  • 3h 01m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.49 mile/hr

I felt really good on the bike and was very cautious on the the climbs as not to go too much over my threshold watts. Based on the power data, I think this was a well executed ride with an IF at .82 and NP at 220. I monitored the climbs and hammered the flats and downhills.

There are two things that I felt were limiters during the ride: my lower back and nutrition. I have structural issues with my lower back and it is something that I am accustomed to dealing with although it does create some discomfort while riding. Some days more than others. I do all the necessary stretching, icing, TP therapy, etc but have yet to get rid of 100% the discomfort. Need to do more core work!

From a nutrition standpoint, I had my aero bottle filled with water, and two other bottles filled with a Cytomax/Carbo Pro solution - about 400 calories per bottle. I sweat alot and typically get hungry on the bike. I ended up going through two or three (can't remember - need to pay more attention) aero bottles full of water and one 20 oz bottle of the Cyto/Carbo Pro mix. I made the concentration (taste) too strong and didn't even touch the other bottle of Cyto/Carbo Pro. I also consumed one packet of Gel Shots at the beginning of the ride. To supplement my sodium, I took one to two Endurolytes per hour (again, I was not diligent enough to really pay attention to the timing and quantity).

At the end of the ride around mile 48, just after Nasty Grade and the Polar Heart Rate Hill, I felt my legs cramping up a little (quads and hamstrings, and hip flexors). This became more evident in transition when I tried putting on my running shoes. My cardiovascular system was fine, but my muscles were pissed!
What would you do differently?:

1) Leave my bike shoes on versus a bare foot dismount. The road was really rough and hurt the balls of my feet.

2) Dial in my nutrition and pay more attention to my calorie/salt intake
Transition 2
  • 02m 58s

Legs started cramping; re-applied chamois butt'r
  • 2h 16m 48s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile

By the time I got to the run, I knew I was in for a tough day. My legs were cramping up and I hadn't even gotten out of T2. Right out of T2 you have to climb several steep stairs to get to the run course followed by a few rollers before the trail head picks up. As the run progressed the cramps in the quads got worse, then the hamstrings, then the calves. I would make it to the end of each aid station and take a water and a Gatorade. I also went through 6 Endurolyes during the run as well as 2 Roctane Gels and a Raspberry Hammer gel. I ended up walking most of the hills and various parts of the course to give my cramping muscles a break.

The run course not only challenged me physically but mentally. I was hurting as was most others on the course, but knew I needed to keep going. Stay in the box when you hit the line, why are you here, the one thing, put the pain aside, ask God for strength - these thoughts were going through my head minute by minute just trying to get over the next hill or to the next tree. Each passing landmark was a move in the right direction. Other athletes on the course were so supportive and encouraging - that is one of the reasons I love this sport.

The final stretch was a long descent down Lynch Hill. I did my best to put all the pain aside and cruise through the finish line with a big smile on my face.
What would you do differently?:

Nutrition on the bike to prepare for the run; Run Hills
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mostly my nutrition

Event comments:

Tri Cal put on a great event and Festival - WF is all about the experience not just the race!

Last updated: 2009-03-13 12:00 AM
00:35:02 | 2112 yards | 01m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 104/217
Overall: 566/1886
Performance: Average
Suit: Full Wetsuit
Course: Rectangle
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:47
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
03:01:42 | 56 miles | 18.49 mile/hr
Age Group: 99/217
Overall: 421/1886
Performance: Good
POWER DATA: Entire workout (204 watts): Duration: 3:01:41 Work: 2195 kJ TSS: 201.9 (intensity factor 0.822) Norm Power: 220 VI: 1.08 Distance: 55.013 mi Min Max Avg Power: 0 462 204 watts Cadence: 1 126 81 rpm Speed: 0 60.1 18.2 mph Pace 0:60 0:00 3:18 min/mi
Wind: Little
Course: Single Loop; lots of rollers and several hard climbs at mile 1 and towards the end of the race (mile 45 - Nasty Grade) as well as a few longer climbs as you go back into the park. There were certain parts of the course on Jolon Road on the opposite side of the lake where the road got rough.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks:
Time: 02:58
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
02:16:48 | 13.1 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 176/217
Overall: 867/1886
Performance: Bad
Course: 60%+ Trail, 40% Road; Looped course with a decent down into a pit that you have to climb out of. This was the hardest run course I have ever seen. There are a lot of rollers and several steep grades that may require walking. There is really only one section of the course (the Meadow) that will really allow to "run" at a consistent pace versus all the up and down from the hills.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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