Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wildflower......What a Race!

1 May 2010- Lake San Antonio CA-

For those of you that have not been able to enjoy the Wildflower experience, I highly recommend it. Even if you are not an athlete or tri person just going and hanging out is quite an experience. This is not a typical race, it is a week long festival, AKA "The Woodstock" of Triathlon. Last year was a great time and we camped but only stayed for a few days. This year my parents decided to get an RV and we decided to go from Wednesday-Sunday, which was a very wise decision. With us staying so long and having an RV I sent out a mass invite to everyone I know that races. I had 2 takers on the deal and my buddy Gary from Wisconsin flew out for the race. We had met at IM 70.3 Germany and then both raced Clearwater. His wife and my mom spent race day together in FL cheering us on and they really enjoyed each others company. Amy who we camped with last year also decided to come out but wasn't to into the camping thing so she stayed at a hotel Friday night about 45mins from the race, forgot to mention WF is in the middle of nowhere. This will be a little more than a race report and more of a Wildflower Report.

Wednesday morning we left and headed out for WF about 530am in hopes of getting a full hook up RV spot. The GPS that we were using decided to take us a "short" way and we ended up taking a twisty back road, which would of been fine in a car, but not in the RV. The best part was this is right when I had took over to start driving. No longer than 20 minutes later down the road Madyson (my little sis) decided that I was a horrible driver and decided to throw up. We pulled of to the side of the road and let her get it all out. Since it was all my fault and not the twisty roads fault Mom took back over driving and I caught a much needed nap. We ended up arriving around 10 and found a full hook up spot right on the run course of the Half IM course. We were very close to our campsite that we had last year so it was nice to already know the area.

Once we set up camp I headed out for a 5 mile run on the run course which was from miles 7-12. It was a nice run and I was able to enjoy the scenery and see some wildlife, Deer, dead rattle snake, turkey, squirrels and some quail. I came back and told Gary that it was going to be a brutal run on Saturday, little did I know how brutal it would be.

Thursday morning I got in a nice morning swim and biked mid day with some new friends. Our next door neighbors at the camp ended up being a group from Canada. They had 2 RV's and 8 people total and were some cool people. I hung out with them quite a bit after our run and we hung around a camp fire and had a few beers and even some Margaritas, blended ones at that. Just so happened that some of the other neighbors had packed a blender for the trip, like I have said WF is one of a kind. "Team Trevor" was the camp that had brought the blender and in exchange for margaritas we had promised to go down and sign up for the bone marrow registry. It was a simple process and I stopped in and did this post race on Saturday.

Friday was the normal pre race day routine that I always go through. Get a good short morning swim in, try and bike around the same time I would be on the course and get a good short 10-15min run in. Once all of that in it was time to relax and stay hydrated. They always say to stay out of the sun, but I had to work on the tan a little bit so I just made sure to have a bottle of water around at all times. Mom made a good meal and I made sure to eat enough to make sure I could take care of the morning ritual on race morning.

Race morning came as usual other than waking up in an RV at 0500 and trying not to wake everyone else up was a little rough. I made it over to the showers and it seemed everyone else was still asleep and I was able to get a good wake up by the low 40 temps and a decently warm shower. Once back to the RV I was able to get my 2 instant oatmeal packets ready with the touch of a button on the microwave and 2 minutes later breakfast was served along with a banana. Breakfast went down as usual and I even had the race morning cup of coffee. The lucky morning routine streak is still on a roll and I have been lucky enough to go 4 for 4 over the past 4 HIM's with taking care of business (knock on wood).

The nice thing about Wildflower is that you do not have to pre check in race bags or your bike. However you do get to ride down lynch hill which tends to be really chilly in the morning AM. Once everything was all settled at camp I headed down to transition area to get setup as well as watch the pros head out. I was lucky enough to be the 3rd wave that started so we were going off at 8:10, as where Gary and Amy were starting over an hour behind. Mom, Steve, and Maddy all met me down there and it was nice to see them before the swim start. Steve was down there getting ready as well as his first Tri, the Mountain Bike Sprint Tri started after all the Long Course athletes went off. I think his start was just before 10.


I was hoping to have a good swim after having a great swim 2 weeks ago at UVAS Reservoir. I felt good in the water and with it being a good size wave start of around 100-150 athletes it was a little rough for the first 200M and I couldn't find clear water or get into a good draft until about 400M. That is where I got in what I thought was a good grove but did not turn out so well. The swim course is a little difficult with the first half of the swim being into the sun. I just stayed on the guys feet in front of me and well he was spotting off the opposite buoys on the course. We ended up in the middle of the course and had to navigate back on course which had cost me some time. Once we mad it past the half way point it was a easy swim and I just found some feet that were swimming straight and hung on till the end of the swim. By far not a great swim but I was able to save some energy by staying on some feet most of the time.


Went really smooth and I was able to get in and right out. The boat ramp just makes for a long run to transition but other than that it was fine.


Coming into this race I knew I would need to be conservative on the bike since it was so hilly. I made sure to pace myself wisely and make sure I was taking in enough calories and liquid. For the bike I went with one bottle on the down tube that had 2X Hammer Perpetum Servings w/ 4 Servings of Hammer vanilla gel mixed in; it was quite concentrated. For my upper bottle on the aero bars I just used on course Gatorade and opted for the orange flavor, since the perpetum is orange vanilla. That made it a little easier to wash down than with lime. I had a few problems on the bike mechanically; one being on a decent at about 45mph I hit a hole in the road and a loud sound came from the front wheel. This was my second time racing on this wheels so I am still no comfortable on them at high speeds, so I stopped to check and everything was fine. Then at mile 45 after nasty grade I dropped my chain going from the small ring to big ring, luckily it was right at an aid station so I got off fixed the chain and grabbed a water bottle. With those 2 mechanical problems I fell behind the group that I had been riding with and had to ride solo for a majority of the ride catching a rider here and there and then being caught by some of the "older" fast guys. Overall I was happy with my bike split and felt that I had conserved some more energy for the run course which was going to be brutal.


Went really smooth and I was in and out with no problems.


Felt really good right off the bat and the legs felt decent for just riding 56 miles. I made sure to put down some salt pills as I had started to get some small cramps in my quads. I knew with the big hills and down hills the quads were going to take a beating so I took more salt in than normal, and I was sweating pretty bad as well. The first 3 miles went by and I was feeling really good by that point but then came mile 4 and 5 which included a lot of walking. The hills were more like climbs and were better suited for hiking than trying to run up. Well what goes up must come down so at the end of mile 5 it was straight down to what I was hoping would be the motivational water stop. It is known that at Wildflower the college kids get a little crazy out at this so called water stop and are normally topless, offering beer/liquor to hydrate with and even offering to make out with the athletes. Well to everyone's disappointment the water stop was out of order for the third year in a row :( On with the run I went and at mile 6 one of the female pro's I had caught on the bike caught me on the run, so that was some motivation to run a little faster. The next water stop we came across a somewhat crazy water stop. I was attempting to intake gel and salt pills at the same time as drinking water, which was a task that was hard. Then to make matters worse, well actually better one of the college girls say's "Free motorboat, guaranteed to take a minute off your time". The pro girls was still in the vicinity and started laughing and told me "well you better do it and take a minute of your time", so sure enough it happened and I believe that was what made my run time a little bit faster. Back onto the run with a little motivation I started talking to the pro chick and was pacing with her as we got to talking she was talking about how it was a rough day and how she was in last and what not. I reminded her that she was not in last and that other people had quit or had mechanical problems and that just finishing was an accomplishment, she was still not happy with being "last". Well not even 200M down the trail I see another female ahead and I look over and tell her "Looks like you aren't going to be last for long". She took off and ran down that girl and sure enough ended up not being the last girl. I felt strong towards the end of the run thanks to a 39 year old guy telling me to run with him and well he got me going really strong and I was able to run down a guy ahead of me. Thanks to that guy I was able to pick up that one spot and hold off the guy till the finish. Going down lynch hill was painful on the quads and I was hoping the guy behind me wasn't going to want to sprint it out because I wasn't sure how much I had left in me, luckily he was out of energy as well and finished 5 seconds back. Making it to the podium can be decided by mere seconds, which I learned the hard way in my first tri missing top 3 by 1 second (it was a wave start and that guy that finished 3rd wasn't in my wave), but I ran hard in hopes of that podium spot (WF podiums Top 5 since it is a big race).

Swim-34:46 (1:48/100M)- 417th OA- 29th AG
T1-2:15 6th AG
Bike-2:51:41 (19.5mph Avg)- 165th OA- 8th AG
T2-1:33 11th AG
Run-1:41:47 (7:44/mil Avg)- 104th OA- 7th AG
Overall Time-5:12:02-113th OA/1860 Athletes- 5th AG/54 AG Athletes

Overall I was very happy with my race. I was proud to have family their cheering me on and also to have met some incredible people over the weekend. Thanks to Gary from coming out from California and being able to experience WF! The whole Canadian clan was an awesome group of people both prerace and especially with the after party (*disclaimer* bad idea to party with Canadians, you end up hungover for at a minimum 2 days). Jay from ST for settling into the campsite and enjoying the WF atmosphere for the first time. Great weekend and great trip, hopefully I can find a way to make it back next year for WF!

SPECIAL THANKS: MOM/STEVE/MADDY for coming the whole week and getting the RV. Mom did a great job cooking and taking care of us athletes for the days leading up to the race. Aunt Chrissy/Uncle Jr/Mayson/Mikalyn/Oscar for making the long trip out just to see me run by a few times.

Someone told me a couple weeks ago that I was "to into my hobby", which I find quite funny. My response was simple and the honest truth "Triathlon is not my hobby it is a lifestyle". I think that sums up most tri people, it is more than a hobby to us it is a lifestyle we choose to live. So I think it is quite clear where my focus is right now and I am perfectly happy with that, I work, I eat, I sleep, I train, and I continue to take college classes, I would say that is enough to keep me busy............
Myself and Gary on the way up from packet pickup.
Rasmus Henning and myself, he won IM China the year I raced there.
The 4 racers on race morning.

Maddy and myself right before the swim.
Coming out of the water from my half crap swim.
During the beginning of the bike.
Coming down the finishing chute feeling strong.
Amy and myself both were top 5 in the 20-24 Age Group
The family came and supported me :)
Top 5!
The other guys in camp lost a bet at beer pong so I joined in the non sense, and then redeemed ourselves by beating the girls!
The great thing about triathlon is the 74 year old lady still racing and having fun!

After a long weekend a much needed nap, we had just packed up and were headed out so that is where the bike went for the trip home.

1 comment:

Dad and Brenda said...

nice photos! Glad the weather was good and that everything turned out well! Love you. Maybe next time Dad & I can go.