Wildflower Long Course 2013 Race Report

It was about time I had a really crappy race. Big picture, this wasn’t even that bad. I just have certain expectations for myself – and those expectations were not met out there on May 4.

So. expectations. I had expected that my swim would be about the same as it always is, my bike might be a touch slower (since some of my early weekends this year were definitely spent on my snowboard instead of my bike!), and that my run would be a little better than the past, since I’ve been doing 10+ miles for a while now with a lot of hills/trail. Which, overall would mean a time similar to 2010 and 2011, about 6h15min, or thereabouts.


Tough to say if it was lack of training or other things (um, heat) that I couldn’t control. Likely a bit of both.


Good –
  • The fast swimmers in the wave behind me didn’t catch me until I was halfway through!
  • Very little freak-out, breathing was much improved over my Olympic in April
  • Since it was fast approaching 90-100deg F and had been all week, the water was not cold at all
Bad –
  • Rumor is that the swim was a wee bit long
  • Poor sighting/judgement on the second half – seemed like the crowd was swimming closer to the shore, I was trying to follow them, but also stay along the buoy line. Should have just picked one and stuck to it.
  • Crowded finish with the mountain bike sprint fast swimmers coming in around the same time
Time: 42:25
Pace: 2:11/100
About normal for me, but I’d be stoked if distance was actually a little longer than 1.2 miles


T1: Wish I had just stopped for sunscreen. My time looks like I stopped for sunscreen. No idea what happened there.


Good –
  • Felt great up to about mile 30. Average speed was good, enough to carry me through Nasty Grade and still maintain a pretty decent overall average. That’s until mile 30.
  • Nasty Grade, Heart Rate hill. Not bad at all. I had done Mt Diablo x2 the weekend before, also in the heat. Definitely made these shorter climbs seem like nothing.
  • They repaved the descent off Nasty Grade. So. Much. Better. (Even though I didn’t know this until I was already on it and taking it way easy.)
Bad –
  • The mountain bike sprint started 15 minutes after my wave. So in addition to finishing up the swim with these guys, I had to start the bike with them. The first couple miles are all together, which was seriously not fun. Men doing a mountain bike sprint + 35+ y/o women on road bikes + bike relay folks = a major cluster fuck on some roads that are pretty twisty.
  • First bottle exchange (mile 25?) I did sucked. Got a bottle of Gatorade. Put it in my bottle cage. Leg is getting wet. Huh? Oh yeah, the cap was off and Gatorade was sloshing all over. Tossed the bottle. Sticky leg, lost hydration + electrolytes. Le suck.
  • Later, when I tried to get a bottle of water, I ended up with a Gatorade squirty bottle that was too small for my bottle cage. Had to take a gulp and toss it. Also not ideal.
  • Crushing headwind that started at mile 30, and sucked away my hard-earned mph
  • HOT. Headwind was like a furnace

I found out later that they ran out of water at the top of Nasty Grade. Total BS. I really feel bad for those riders, mostly women, who were there after me. Shame on Tri California. They’ve put on this event for over 30 years. They should be able to handle this heat better. Other stories of half-filled bottles (because some riders “just squirt it over their heads anyway” – um, as a way to cool down…) also made my blood boil. Made my unscrewed lid bottle seem like nothing.

Time: 3:30:06
Speed: 15.9mph


Oh crap. Hot.
Time 3:39


Good – 
  • I seemed to be faring better than a lot of the other people out there… tough to say if was a good thing.
  • Love for the crowd support, help from aid stations, all of the people who did their best to try to cool us down by spraying water on us. I did manage to run through the tri club cheer area, which is always a blast. Props to Steve for chasing me down and spraying me with more water.
  • The “Jiffy Lube” aid station at mile 8. COKE. OMG. COKEILOVEYOUCOKE. And Vaseline for my hella chapped and dry lips.
Bad –
  • Furnace temp winds were still in effect through some sections, almost lost my visor a few times.
  • Usually I run everything but the super steep section of the hill at mile 4. There was a LOT of walking.
  • I wish I had brought salt tabs. My hamstrings were on the verge of cramping for about 75% of the run. I have never had this problem before in training or racing. Yowza!
  • They ran out of cups at mile 6. Weren’t sure if there were cups at future aid stations, so I ran with a used cup in my pocket for the next couple of miles. Gross.
  • Never wanted to DNF so badly in any other race. Miserable. Absolutely not fun.
Time: 2:10:32
Pace: 9:57 min/mile


Here are stats from 2010 and 2011. Also,  my 2011 WF LC RR. Basically, I have been getting slower over time. Awesome. So much for the mid-30s endurance performance peak. F*ck.
2010 – 40:33, 2:05/100, 1017 overall
2011 – 41:28, 2:08/100, 1126 overall
2013 – 42:25, 2:11/100, 1301 overall
2010 – 4:55
2011 – 4:35
2012 – 5:06
2010 – 3:21:53, 16.6mph, 847 overall
2011 – 3:26:20, 16.2mph, 843 overall
2013 – 3:30:06, 15.9mph, 1082 overall
2010 – 3:05
2011 – 2:15
2013 – 3:39
2010 – 2:02:14, 9:19 min/mile, 475 overall
2011 – 2:07:07, 9:23 min/mile, 582 overall
2013 – 2:10:32, 9:57 min/mile, 558 overall <- interesting that this is just 3 minutes off from 2011 when it felt like it took an hour longer. Huh.
2010 – 6:12:29, 19/122 in W30-34, 82 woman overall, 634/1860 overall
2011 – 6:16:45, 27/115 in W30-34, 112 woman overall, 680/1813 overall
2013 – 6:31:48, 22/98 in W35-39, 105 woman overall, 789/2089 overall