Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wildflower.... a bit like giving birth




This was my 3rd Wildflower Long Course (70.3) and my 2nd WF2 (Long Course on Saturday and Olympic on Sunday)

WF is the "woodstock of triathlon"  5000 people camping and racing and having fun.  Camping is so fun in theory but I learned that an RV is the way to go.  We scored the lottery this year in an RV at Lynch which is at the bottom of the BIG ASS hill.  Year 1 I camped in Redondo Vista , year 2 I RV'd in Redondo Vista and year 3 I RV'd in Lynch which is pretty much like the Four Seasons vs Camping in Redondo Vista which is the Motel 6.   So IF,okay lets be honest, WHEN, I  go back I need an RV at Lynch with a butler.    If you have not been to WF this makes no sense....but lets just say when you UP the hill you are slogging up a dirty dusty 1 mile hill 2x a day and it sucks.    So thank you Dana and 303 Triathlon for the sweet camping spot. 

My roomies- Alison (who I coach) , Dana and Khem are "media"  were racing and  covering the race for 303 Triathlon so they scored the sweet spot.   I paid for my share and had a tiny bunk bed that was 5'9" long  and had a ladder and a mattress the was thinner than our dog beds but I am not complaining. Okay a little I am but I took melatonin + sleep aid and sort of slept after falling asleep hot and waking up freezing and hitting my my head when I tired to sit up but hit the roof and then slid down the ladder to the bathroom to pee and was back in bed and realized I forgot to get more clothes bc it was now 47 degrees but I was too drugged to get them and I was cold but too lazy and maybe drugged  to get up again.   Next year I am bringing a catheter.

We had hot coffee in the AM!  I was happy!   Saturday was Long Course and I was wave #11.  Remember my last rant about wanting AG waves? well I got them- but why not put the old ladies in the front...we melt in the heat after all. Right what classic triathlete- always bitching!  I was happy about the wave start so I could actually race.

Lake swim- while not clear it tasted clean and I swam.  I was in 4th gear and could not get to 5th gear and my swim time showed it- Also HELLO WF..... why was the GIANT balloon arch at the swim start and NOT the swim finish-- you know when you are .5 miles away sighting  and you swim towards the giant arch only to be tapped on the head and told to go around the dock to the swim exit - OH I see the tiny tear drop banner now that I am 10 feet away.  Seriously?   Up the long and steep ramp and up again....

On my bike to a legit bike course with 3483 ft of climbing on shit roads.   It was not super hot yet and I was happy but my legs felt like ass  were not responding. Not a good sign- I pushed the power to hit the number but it was not rainbows and butterflies it was F Bombs and worries about the run.  I nailed my nutrition again!   3x Gatorade endurance +  4 packs Gatorade carb chews all good! the 40 oz of water was a a challenge as they handed out reusable white plastic bottles with 4oz of tepid water at the aid stations vs ice cold 20 oz bottles but the volunteers were really nice and enthusiastic.  But maybe fill up the bottle next year.... and while it was envornmentally great we did not waste aero bottle.  So I went for the Gatorade and maybe they were really busy  filling the water bottles 1/2 way and did not have time to take the seal off the Gatorade so that was fun too to take the lid off and remove the seal, drop the lid and try and pour the Gatorade into my aero bottle while riding on chip n seal roads and having 90% splash all over .     Hey it was Woodstock and all.... I started with 3 bottles on my bike so made the most of it and it was not crazy hot yet.   
water, the nice bottles dont squeeze so its hard to pour into a front

Off the bike and onto the run which is just fucking hard.   So yes it was only 12.8 miles but it was 1327 feet of climbing  in trails that were rocky, sandy and now it was hot, it was Africa hot.  They decided to keep the water tepid and not too cold because.. who the F knows.   I was mildly cranky here as the sun was blazing it was over 90 and it it was just hard.   I may have not had a lot of fun on the run and had no idea where my competition was so I just kept pushing it- one mile at a time, one Fbomb at a time and then there was a 10 mile trail run going on and so many of them were walking- I let them have it "hello all you have to do is run this GD course and not even 13 miles- get running"  the many college aged kids rolled their eyes at me and kept walking.  I was hurting and quitting the sport and than at mile 9 you hit the pavement and it is glorious until you realize you are running straight down hill a mile ONLY to turn around and run back up.  Satan created this course... soon the final . 8 miles down a step ass hill and I just ran all out to  make this torture end  reach the glorious finish line.  I was a sub 6:30 mile for me....

Iced wet towels and cups of cold strawberries!  Golden.... Hung out and was happy to see Jen and Alsion come in.  I was a bit dismayed that  neither them thanked me for encouraging them to do this amazing race.  In  reality  they probably fired me a few times on that course.

Sat night was fun.... awards- always happy to be on top of the podium with a Rocky Balboa sized medal and a special bottle of wine!  The goal was recovery so we ate and ate from food trucks and drank wine -   I slept in compression tights/socks and prayed for recovery and hoped that my nighttime activity would keep the blood flowing, down the ladder, to the bathroom, up the ladder, down the ladder....

Sunday's fun did not start until 9:50-  time enough for a gallon of coffee, more rice and maybe a Tylenol for my mild hangover from the wine I did not drink.  Olympic race on deck! Swim was enjoyable, bike was tolerable and around mile 18  I was passed  bu a female in my AG. I tried to go with her but my legs had another idea.  My goal was the same power as Saturday 80% vs a normal Oly race at 90% - I held 80% but it was not easy.  I started the run with many more F Bombs and wondering whose GD idea was this and then I remembered it was mine.  I did not look at my watch as I did not want be depressed.....  2nd girl in my AG passed me mile 2 and I tried to with her and failed but as we hit the next giant ass hill she was walking- AHA  I nearly caught her but as she crested the hill she took off like a gazelle but I then caught sight of the one who caught me on the bike. Race was on.!!!  I live for this .  I steadily gained on her at at the 8K mark  I ran by here all out and just hoped she did not come with me.  Again my last mile was fast.... sub 6:30 which for me is MIND BLOWING even if it was downhill.  I was dying.... but she did NOT catch me!   Success!

2nd place... but I won the WF2  :)  More giant Rocky Balboa Medals and  another bottle of wine !

The weekend was just plain awesome..... the race is a MUST do! Yes its hard as F, yes its hot, yes they have some things to work on but DO IT !  Just do it-  It's  not dumbed down Ironman,  its wave start, straight up racing, it hard and real!     The amphitheater is where everyone hangs out, shaded grassy field, food truck, beer, wine, kids, dogs and fun.    Great bands and fun times.   Hanging and racing with my athletes is just the $$ for me...I live for it!  So thank you Alison and Jen for coming along.    Polly my Nyro team mate was there and another teammate works for WF and she was all over and crushing it - WTG Christy.  And do many other familiar faces from San Diego, Bay Area and Colorado.   It was just plain fun with a lot of hurt. 

Dare I say it but I am in for 2019 WF2!      Sooner than later....I am going to register, book the RV and start planning.