It will definitely be a weekend and a race to remember forever. With each race I complete, I get more inspired and motivated to get better at the sport of triathlon. Wildflower 2010 was one of those epic race weekends as it called for a grueling 1/2 Ironman course and close to 3000 competitors on that specific course. First off, I want to say how amazing it is to me that the pros complete this course close to the 4 hour mark. I guess that is why they are pros. But what really inspires me are the competitors that take 7+ hours to complete the course. They push through the hills and push through the mind games and finish the course.
Saturday morning came with a burst of sunshine to our campground. I ate my pre-race meal of 2 whole grain eggo waffles topped with peanut butter, a banana, and my gatorade. My whole goal for the race was to execute my nutrition and race plan. I wanted to "feel good" throughout the event. I did not want to race out of my element, blow up my legs and deplete my body of fuel. So I focused on getting in consistent nutrition throughout.
I left camp to the transition area at 7:30 am, just in time to do a little jog warm-up, put on my wetsuit, set-up my transition area and head to the swim start. My swim plan was to start on the outside, stay away from the heavy traffic, find some legs to draft off of when I could and stay within myself. I did all of that. The swim was not hard at all. The first 1/4 mile was fast and then I managed to find some feet for about 600 yards. Then I settled into my pace and found another set up feet for another 400 yards. Before you knew it we turned the corner and the boat ramp was in sight. I started to think about getting on my bike and have a smooth transition.
I exited the water feeling fresh and ready to go. I mounted my bike and took off. I didn't know there was going to be a hill at the beginning of the ride. So I kept my heart rate steady and trudged up the hill. My legs were definitely woken up at this point. As we exited the park there were rolling hills the first 12 miles followed by 10 miles of flat land. I was waiting for "nasty grade". This is a 1 mile ascent with about 10% of incline. It was definitely a tough climb. I was pushing my bike 5-6mph during this climb. But the bike was not over. The next 10 miles were full of steep descents, which were very technical and some steady climbs that pushed the legs. I entered the campground feeling good still. I started telling myself, "I just have a 13 mile run left. Here we go.!
As I dismounted my bike, I drank some quick gatorade at my area and took off. Like I said, I wanted to race within myself. So I didn't go out too hard to deplete my energy. The first mile went by quick as I was chatting with a fellow competitor. Miles 2-4 were tough climbs. Once we hit the mile 5 mark we were on the far outskirts of the campground. And there were some steep dirt trails to get through. I even had to walk up a couple of them but it was actually good recovery. I wanted to get to mile 7 because I knew my wife stephanie and my good friends Ira and Jaime were there waiting. When I saw them, I was feeling good and I knew it was almost over.
Miles 8-10 went by quick. Once I hit the turnaround, there were only 3 miles to go. But 2 of those miles were a steady incline. I took advantage of the last aide station so I could finish strong. Once I saw the infamous Lynch hill, I knew the race finish would be in site. I was feeling strong. I crossed the finish line and was ready to eat! I downed a chicken, rice and bean burrito with a Bud Light Lime. Probably one of the best beers I have ever drank.
I executed my race. I want to get better. I will get better.
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