Wildflower 70.3 2013 recap

Got up at 4:45am, had my PB&J sandwich and coffee. Drove to the lake, and was racked and ready by 7am. Spent an hour reading the newspaper and watching the fellow racers. After the 3rd wave went off, stretched and jogged around. Then enjoyed the next 10 minutes of piece and quiet in the sun.

Only had about 6 weeks to get back into swimming, so I have decided not to exert myself and just get through the swim saving the energy for the run. I waited for about 30 seconds to get into the water and did not fight for space. Still got kicked around quite a bit but the crowd cleared pretty quickly. The rest of the swim just cruised. If I had more time to train, I shoot for a sub 40 min time, but this time the goal was to save energy for the bike and the run. Swim time - 43:50.

Given that the temps were getting into the low 90s, I have decided to actually wear a cycling jersey on a bike to get a little bit more body covered. Took a little time to put on.

The bike course is a loop around the San Antonio lake. The roads on the side of Monterey county are horrible. But it is a fun course nonetheless. I had a decent amount of time to get into cycling shape. Was shooting for about 3:15, but had to dial the effort down a bit once the temps have gotten above 90 F. I knew that the run will be brutal, so I backed off on the hills and climbed them in the easiest gear possible. But something was wrong with the bike - after about 20 miles my right calf and hammie started to ache. Only after the race I realized that someone must have knocked my bike on the ground - the seat was slightly turned to the right and I am pretty sure that the rear brake was rubbing a bit. Bummer. Bike time - 3h 26m 37s

This race is all about preserving energy for the run. The other things was that I chose to stop twice and actually refill my aero bottle since warm Gatorade/water was turning to HOT Gatorade/water in no time.I suspect that a lot of racers who later walked the hills on the run course chose to save 2 minutes of stoppage time but then lost good 20 minutes having clear dehydration (and maybe even GI) issues.

Again, changed into my Asics running jersey that helps with cooling a bit. Boy did it pay off! Spent another 20 seconds or so re-applying sun screen.

Was worried about the right calf/hammie as they were bugging me on the bike. But they were not a problem, again pointing to the seat being the root cause. So... the last year I walked a good 1/3 of the course. This year my goal was to walk no more, except for a couple of really steep parts where walking just as fast as running, and actually race the run leg. The course is made of brutal hills, rolling trails, dust, little to no shade and then the last 4 miles on the smoldering pavement! Fun course. I also made every effort to pour water on my head and torso every chance I got, and take in as much drink as possible. Still after scaling the summit at mile 5, I was hot and starting to feel slightly dizzy. But then I got into the camping grounds and the kind people along the run path hosed me down a few times. I was rejuvenated. Picked up the pace and got in and out of the pit quickly. Had a little bit of an issue with the left foot but nothing too bad. Finished strong - 1h 54m 59s. The run went exactly as planned.

Was not too tired, just hot. Got my medal, collected some snacks and walked out to pick up the bike and my gear.  A lack of swim training and a relative lack of time in the saddle limited my ability to perform faster - spent all winter training for the LA marathon.

Overall - a great race. It's an experience. Highly recommended, despite the brutal conditions - hot, windy and no shade.

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