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Wildflower - TriathlonOlympic


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Jolon, CA
United States
Tri-California
100F / 38C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 14m 18s
Overall Rank = 2399/2621
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Hmm. Not good. Day before my race, I was out watching the pros (and two friends) do the long course. Was approxiamently 8 hours out in the HOT sun. So sapped, I could barely move. No shade to speak of, so I just got wiped out!! Worked hard to remain hydrated, but... only minimal success. Camping as well, so sleep was subpar at best.

Woke up, ready to go and excited at 6am. Headed down to the transition area, set up, and went to a lakeside morning church service which was great, refreshing and probably saved my bacon!! Unfortunately, the race is humongous and does not start until 9am. Their are about 26 waves, 5 minutes apart--so it takes over 2 hours to get everyone out on the course. My wave began at 10:30 and the temperature had already risen dangerously. They had anticipated that it would be high 80s, but it was already 86 before I went into the water.
Event warmup:

Did a short swim. Normally I do nothing. I felt very bold in that I was doing a little swim warm-up. Normally, I'm afraid to exert any energy at all! Felt very seasoned!! (o:
Swim
  • 39m 31s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 38s / 100 meters
Comments:

When you look at the numbers, it doesn't look all that good, BUT this is the best swim that I've ever had. It was also the most brutal--kicked and pummeled more than usual, probably because I didn't try to hang out at the back or to the side this time. Felt (for me) very aggressive and strong. Was very pleased with the swim, and felt great coming out of the swim to the transition. The first 200 were difficult, had a hard time catching my rhythm and breath, both because of nerves and pummeling. Also had it in my mind that this one bouy was the turn around. Sadly I was wrong, and was more than a little confused when I was sighting and saw that everyone was still going! Damn!! Did my best to run up the kinda steep run to the transition area, but had not yet discarded my sea legs, so subpar at best.
What would you do differently?:

It's clear that my swim stroke is not fully balanced, would love to work on that. I can feel that I won't really get any faster until my efficiency is dealt with.
Transition 1
  • 05m 6s
Comments:

Unfortunately, I'm one of those women 'blessed' with the need for a second jogbra. Always hard to get on wet. I should just swim with them both, but... I don't know. I just haven't. Do you have any idea, how hard it is to get it on wet??? Perhaps it's no worse then putting on a wetsuit... I wouldn't know. But it rolls and bunches in places that I certainly can't reach!! Also had a hard time getting on shoes and socks. Felt particularly clumsy.
What would you do differently?:

Get over self-consciousness of wearing the two jogbras in the swim. It looks super dorky. Hydrate more.
Bike
  • 2h 28m
  • 40 kms
  • 16.22 km/hr
Comments:

Painful, painful, painful. I was muddled in my thinking and couldn't figure out how long it had taken me on the bike. Definitely didn't have a negative split!! Actually thought I was taking close to three hours!! So did better than I thought... I was amazed that I survived frankly!
What would you do differently?:

hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! did i mention hydrate. Also I will never sit out in the sun for 8 hours in the high 80s before a race!! Stupid, stupid, stupid!!
Transition 2
  • 04m 33s
Comments:

This transition is normally very speedy for me. Less than a minute and a half, as I don't change shoes (no clipless), but I just sat and drank half a bottle of gatorade as fast as I could. And contemplated the next 6.2 miles. Then I got up again.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The best thing I did was get up off my ass and keep going. Way to go Dana.
Run
  • 1h 57m 8s
  • 10 kms
  • 11m 42s  min/km
Comments:

I was on a dead heat with a DNF. I was pretty sure that I was going to need medical attention. My goal at that point was to finish without needing a medical IV. High aspirations!! (o:

I had to sit on the course with my head between my knees several times. I basically walked the whole thing, but that felt like a major accomplishment. Truly torturous. The most astounding thing was that I finished. I did it. I took me nearly an hour longer than last year. But I did it. I kept my feet moving despite distress. Truly, if I had to rate my performance, I gave it the best I ever gave anything. Notes of interest: this is a well volunteered race. I think every campus group (including the greek system) comes out to volunteer from CalPoly San Luis Obispo. They party hard and volunteer hard too. The second to last aid station on the run is pretty remote and it's called the Naked Aid Station, as it is populated by topless women and men in g-strings. Of course the g-strings are made from balloon animals, so not that concealing. For some this can be a serious modivator!! (o:
What would you do differently?:

Other than what I mentioned with my bike comments, nothing else. Indeed I think that I did all that I could. I had not run a continuous 6 miles for awhile--but I was quite comfortable with my run w/walk breaks routine. It would have been better if I had trained in high heat and had more time to cement my run base, but hey! What can you do??
Post race
Warm down:

Really not much. I needed shade and fluids more than I needed to stretch. Besides, at the Wildflower, every participant has to get their bike back up Lynch Grade and to their campsite, so it eases the soreness to have that bit of exertion later on.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training in simulated conditions. Poor hydration. I believe that I easily would have met my time from last year (4:10) and possibly improved upon it, if I had been able to maintain proper nutrition/hydration.

Event comments:

Great race. Really!! It's a very hard course, but I love the challenge--love the hills. I love the aspect that everyone camps together--their is such camaraderie amongst the athletes!! Also you get to see the pros do their thing--and they run clinics for their sponsors (Peter Reid did a swim clinic, Chris Lieto did a bike clinic, etc.)

Pro men's winner: Chris McCormick (sp?)
Pro women's winner: Natasha Badmann

I'd recommend for anyone to go--the only caveat is... it's tough, very tough. And you have to sign up within hours of win they open registration as it fills up within 12 hours--and that would be approx. 7000 participants!!




Last updated: 2004-05-03 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:39:31 | 1500 meters | 02m 38s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2621
Performance: Good
Suit: no wetsuit
Course: Lake San Antonio, which--last year was freezing. Toasty warm this time. Course heads out away from the shore for a bit and then at the halfway point turns back toward the shore and back into the boat launch. The water current was pretty tame except for a large chunk near the boat launch which must have had higher exposure to some of the waves and wakes of the boats in the water.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 05:06
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
Biking
02:28:00 | 40 kms | 16.22 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 2355/2621
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: This bike course is considered one of the most difficult Olympics in the nation. And though I've had little comparison. I certainly wouldn't disagree!! Painfully difficult. The first kilometer (and a bit) is a 15% grade. (15 feet every 100 feet, is that right??). From there on out, there is no flat. It is a nearly unending series of ascents and descents. In any case, I had my best ascent on that nasty grade that I'd ever had. I felt strong, I felt good, I was passing folks!! Some of the male age groupers where coming down the same grade. Saw a horrible crash (it's veerrryy steep!) The man had to be medivac'ed out, and his bike was broken into two pieces. Somewhere around mile 10 I could feel my diminishing steam and that my hydration levels were in serious jeopardy. Unfortunately I have a hard time eating or drinking on hills. I usually depend on those flats for the various maintenance stuff. Did the best I could under the circumstances. The temperature was peaking. Many people were walking their bikes up the hill. Though I was going slower than molasses, I managed to make it up each of those torturous ascents. I did it! I was really proud of myself despite the miserable course time I had. During one of the difficult ascents, a sharp incline after a long slow ascent, I was mashing slowly up that hill, when a woman passed me on my left. She said "go, girl, keep going until you fall down." She passed me before I could respond. But I liked that. I thought I'd make some adjustments though. First I'd say: "Keep going until you fall down. Then get back up and get going again." Upon further reflection, I thought another ammendment would make it perfect: "Keep going until you fall down. Then get back up and again UNLESS you require serious medical attention. Then stay down!" I felt satisfied with that conclusion.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 04:33
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
01:57:08 | 10 kms | 11m 42s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 2355/2621
Performance: Bad
Course: Begins on trail, constant slight uphill in the relentless sun for about 3k. Course goes onto the road to a long ascent that lasts for about 2+k. Then it has rolling hills until 7k. Then a sharp incline for 1.5k (on trail). Turns onto that nasty grade that I biked up (and down). You take that down to the finish shute.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2004-05-03 2:36 PM

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Master
1902
1000500100100100100
Berkeley, CA
Subject: Wildflower


2004-05-03 4:45 PM
in reply to: #22620

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Champion
13323
5000500020001000100100100
Subject: RE: Wildflower
tough race...i am feeling the heat and dryness in my throat now...
2004-05-03 5:10 PM
in reply to: #22620

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2004-05-03 6:02 PM
in reply to: #22620

Master
1945
100050010010010010025
Subject: RE: Wildflower
you're scaring me ! Good for you for hanging in there-
AS someone near and dear to me (frequently) said- Consider it a LEARNING EXPERIENCE (!!!!)
2004-05-03 10:07 PM
in reply to: #22620

Master
1494
1000100100100100252525
Kingston Ontario
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Wow!! I am totally impressed. What a tough course that was....you will have to give us tips on how to mentally focus and keep going when the going gets tough. That is something I am interested in learning more about.
Glad you enjoyed yourself. What an awesome experience to be in such a big race.
Jen
2004-05-03 10:28 PM
in reply to: #22620

Member
27
25
Jefferson City, TN
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Wow, now that's a race! What an inspiration.


2004-05-04 11:37 AM
in reply to: #22620

Member
531
50025
New Hampshire
Subject: RE: Wildflower
AWESOME!!

As a matter of interest how many DNF’ers that day?
2004-05-04 12:35 PM
in reply to: #22620

Master
1275
1000100100252525
Sonoma County, CA
Subject: RE: Wildflower
GREAT JOB DANA!!!!
I had a couple friends do it and my friend and they said it was 100+ out there and got their a**es kicked on the run.

Congratulations!!!

nt
2004-05-04 1:46 PM
in reply to: #22794

Master
1902
1000500100100100100
Berkeley, CA
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Hmm--I'm not sure how many DNF'd, they aren't numbered--

but it looks like somewhere around 250-300.

(o:

D

Thanks all for the encouragement. It's weird to say that your worst race ever was also your best. Sort of a human spirit thingy!!
2004-05-04 7:29 PM
in reply to: #22620

Champion
6285
50001000100100252525
Beautiful Sonoma County
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Congrats on finishing!! It was a hard race!

I was there as a spectator for both days and it was H-O-T! Several folks I know who did the Long Course on Sat had to take DNFs, and they're strong triathletes! My friend who did the long course came in just under 8 hours this year, when last year he was 6 hours +!!

My BF did the Olympic Course on Sun and it was even HOTTER, if that's possible!! He said he felt strong in the swim and bike, but the run killed him. Waiting for him at the finish line I saw a whole lotta people who looked like they were seriously hurting! I've done that run a couple of times this spring in slightly cooler weather, and it's HARD!

We didn't camp. We rented an RV, which was an expense, but worth it considering we had A/C and a toilet and a bed. In the past, he's shared the cost with other racers.

I've never done a Tri before, but I've gone to several of my BF's races over the last year or so, and this race was the deciding factor in my beginning a triathlon training plan. Everyone, even the folks who were really hurting, looking so happy to be there. Plus, seeing the special needs athletes (2 blind folks, and an awesome woman who was missing a leg), I know I have absolutely no excuse not to at least try one!

A tip for next year: take an umbrella and carry it around with you when spectating... it's like your own shade! I saw a couple doing this and thought, why didn't I think of that!
2004-05-04 8:04 PM
in reply to: #22620

, Alabama
Subject: RE: Wildflower
That's some great perseverance Dana! WAY TO GO!Sharon


2004-05-04 8:32 PM
in reply to: #22620

Resident Matriarch
N 43° 32.927 W 071° 24.431
Subject: RE: Wildflower
wow, Dana, sounds like a brutal weekend all around! Great job gutting it out!

oh, BTW, RRS has some great sports bras even for us well-endowed tri babes. Just wear it under your suit and be done with it. Everyone is so into their own heads no one will notice or care if they do, so just be comfortable and don't worry about how it looks.
2004-05-05 12:18 PM
in reply to: #22911

Master
1902
1000500100100100100
Berkeley, CA
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Is RRS, Road Runner Sports by chance, Ellen?? (Sorry about the Red Sox--I commisserate but at least your team is over .500)

Dana
2004-05-06 11:04 PM
in reply to: #22620

Master
1275
1000100100252525
Sonoma County, CA
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Dana,

Talked with a couple people who did the long course Saturday...every single person I've talked to for both days has said it was the hardest course they've ever done in their LIFE.

Kudos once again to you....Vineman should be a breeze!

nt
2004-05-07 9:01 AM
in reply to: #22620

Expert
644
50010025
Evansville, IN
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Way to go Dana! So much for tri courses being flat and fast. Sounds like you pushed through a really tough race.
2004-05-07 9:34 AM
in reply to: #22620

Expert
1164
10001002525
New Port Richey
Subject: RE: Wildflower
AWSOME JOB.  I am glad to hear that you stuck it out on what appears to be a very difficult and demanding course.


2004-05-07 9:39 AM
in reply to: #22620

Subject: RE: Wildflower

WOW Dana -- what tenacity, what courage, what an inspiration! My hat is DEFINITELY off to you. And nice report also -- I felt like I was there cheering you on -- "come on Dana, a few more steps and you're there; hey Dana you are lookin' good; you go girl -- you are kickin' butt here". You know -- the cheers we alway like to hear -- I was with you! And how exciting.

Best of all -- you finished and had FUN. Be proud -- celebrate!!!!

2004-12-29 9:42 PM
in reply to: #22620

New user
5

San Rafael/Tiburon, California
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Thanks for the great course description. You should be on the Wildflower website. Really puts it in perspective for us non-elites. Thanks
2005-01-03 9:21 AM
in reply to: #22620

Master
1790
1000500100100252525
Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Wildflower
Great job Dana. Congrats on fighting off fatigue for the finish. You had a very Seinfeldish bike description - I was laughing as I read it. I would have enjoyed checking out that final aid station as well. LOL!

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