Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wildflower Tri (13.1) Race Recap + I'm not 29 yet!

Hola!  Clearly this is a great day for the U S of A so woo hoo!  

But since this isn't a political blog, I'm going hop, skip, and jump to what I did this weekend:  Complete the run portion of the Wildflower Half Ironman Triathlon as part of a relay.  If you are looking for a tale of glory and victory, well folks, you came to the wrong place.  I ran a PW by several minutes, but worse still, my heart wasn't in it at all.  I knew I wasn't close to 100% but I am surprised at how unready to race I really was.  

To give a quick bit of context, Wildflower is one of the largest triathlons in the world and is located in a park in Central California.  Most people actually camp in the park along with doing the race - and that, along with the party atmosphere makes it known as the Woodstock of Triathlons!  

This is actually my third year of doing the run portion of this race.   The course is helllaaaa hilly and majority trails and you run in the mid afternoon whenever your biker comes in, so it's def a whole different animal!  It is a crazy well organized race with really great volunteers (some wearing sombreros!) so there is DEF a party atmosphere.  

Near Paso Robles
I drove up Friday with my friend Madeline, who was also doing the run relay.  Because she is awesome and her parents live in a nearby town, we stayed at their place.  I don't know if you guys are familiar with the Paso Robles / San Luis Obispo area, but it is BEAUTIFUL California Wine Country!  Just being in the area was a treat.  

Super Cute Running Friends! (Who are much taller than me)
We drove out to Lake San Antonio early the next day and took some pre race pics!  Because you know...that's the most important part!  

Total Random Yoga Class Going on At Expo!
I think the best and worst part of Wildflower is the festival that's going on during the races.  This is the best expo of food, gear, and random stuff for miles around but since we were running later, you can't partake in a lot of it!  For example, there was a yoga class going on (right pic).  

Before it was time for me to run, I basically waited in the bike area when I expected the biker on my team to come finish.  He arrived, gave me his chip, that I put around my ankle, and off I went.  

The funny thing about running a relay when many others are doing the whole triathlon at the same time, is that I feel kind of...lame.  On the run, I was passing people who had just swam 1.2 miles and biked a really difficult 56 course.  They were cheering me on, and I would sheepishly say "uh...I'm relay...".  And they'd laugh...knowing that I was totally un-legit!  

I was planning to run this race as a bit of a "tempo" because my legs are still kinda shot.  But honestly, if I could have gone fast I totally would have.  But...I just couldn't go!  The first few miles are all trail and definitely the toughest.  Hot...dusty...but beautiful...

About at the half-way point, I was somewhere about at a 1:55 pace.  I passed a tent of people that I knew and decided I'd just stop and go to the bathroom.  I have never stopped to use the bathroom in a race before!   But this was how apathetic I felt.  The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was on a relay team and that any performance was better than a DNF!  I couldn't shake the feeling that I was letting them down...

Around mile 10, I passed a guy with one leg who was doing the entire half ironman.  FREAKING AMAZING.  

Gelato...the post race solution to all problemz
The race ends with a crazy 400 foot drop in the last 600 meters or so...the course opens up to a beautiful view of the lake.  I finished...somewhere in the 1:55 range.  A good 8 minutes slower than I've ever run this course and about 16 minutes off my best.  

As I finished, the announcer read my name and then... "29 years old from California!"


Folks.  I'm 28! But born in 1982.  The event rounds up your age, but I don't know if I'm ready to get an extra year announced!!  

The next day, we headed back to Southern California, tired and semi-sunburned.  

Despite my negativity about the race, it was all just me and my body that were the problems.  Wildflower is AWESOME and if you're looking for a unique race experience, I totally recommend it!  

Annnddd...I even found a way to counter feeling old!  


(Hey man....thirty is coming up quicker than I thought, I gotta buy while I still can!).  

So if you made it this far and want to comment (please do I LOVE to hear from you), tell me this....
1) How do you deal when your body refuses to perform?  
2)  Do you own any age-inappropriate clothes like these booty huggers to the right?  



  1. What a cool sounding race!
    I've had those days and I think you did the best thing you could--just finish! I have long runs where I Just. Don't. Want. To. Run.
    On those days, I don't care if I hit the right pace, and I won't hate myself if I walk for a minute of two to drink some water. Just get the miles in!
    Come on, you're in your 20s (and gorgeous!) Nothing is age-innapropriate yet!

  2. That sounds like an awesome race!! Be proud that you finished!!

    I think it's great to wear clothes like that. I figure, if you still got it, wear it!

  3. Did you seriously buy those shorts? haha, reminds me of another inappropriately dressed friend I know ;) (they look good, though, you dont look a day over 25)

  4. What a fun race!

    Sometimes my 4th graders wear cute clothes that I wish I could wear but would look ridiculous if I did so (not to mention more like they're friend than their teacher)! Your shorts are cute though!

  5. What a fabulous race AND the pics look gorgeous! I appreciate your encouraging comments on my latest post!!

    YOU can SO rock booty shorts--great legs and bah-deh! Smokin! If I were you I'd wear as long as I could!

    I work on a college campus and feel younger than my age--then something happens where I am reminded how much older I am than the students!!!