This is my third time to the race yet only second time racing. That first evening as the sun was setting I went for a swim. Last year when I was injured, exhausted, broke and not able to race, I wondered how it was I could carry on “living the dream”. It was there while screaming to the fish in the deep water that I found courage to believe in myself, that there was so much more ahead for me in the sport and that I was not done. Learning about the tragic death of the Tri-California race director Terry Davis' son made the privilege of racing and being so fully alive all that more appreciated. I was not alone this past weekend to feel this way.
I was very relaxed in the non-wetsuit swim and actually spend 99% of it sitting on Kristin Peterson's feet. She deserves credit for pacing and working the long swim (1.32 miles/2.1km according to my trusted Garmin 910xt). I was sneaky and in the final 50m pulled just slightly ahead and took the swim prime.
The day was very hot. I knew that for me staying hydrated and pacing myself was critical. Starting out onto the bike Kristin and Laurel Wassner took off. The first 4 miles are pretty much straight up and I was not prepared to put myself in a hole that early in the race. For wheels I used my Zipp 404 front and 808 rear. I only had them at 115 PSI because of the VERY bumpy county roads and the heat. Because of this the bike went smoothly for the most part and while I was entirely on my own for the whole 90km I pushed a pretty steady wattage. On a course like Wildflower I can not say enough about having smooth gearing that can enable steady cadence as you demand your body to go up and down hills efficiently (Thank-you SRAM for making stellar components!). Hydration was good and I was so thankful for the integrated hydration system in the Shiv. One straw to increase drinking is good but two is even better! It was overall a really slow day though. Perhaps the wind, the heat, not sure but I was slower than two years ago and pushed about 10 watts more. I eventually passed Laurel and Kristin again but had been passed by Kat Baker and Heather Jackson who took first and second.
Wildflower is not just another long distance triathlon. It is the essence of what is good in the sport of triathlon. It is the community of pros, recreational athletes, volunteers, sponsors and incredible race organizers coming together to have an incredible experience of athletic excellence, inspiration and fun. The race was for Nick, Terry's son, who lost his life but whose spirit was present for all of us. Each day we have is precious and cannot be taken for granted. I gave the race everything I had. I executed it to the absolute best I could and so I am happy.
The Nitty Gritty:
Scody Kit: 2-piece suit
Swim: Nineteen Swim Skin
Bike: S-Works Shiv TT, SRAM Red Components, Zipp 404 & 808 -Tires @ 115 PSI, SRM powermeter
Other: Rudy Project Noyz Sunglasses, Garmin 810 Edge, Garmin 910xt
Nutrition: GU! Went with an assortment of 5 caffeine free and 2xcaffeine gels on the bike, 3 on the run and GU Brew. Never cramped despite it being 30+C – yahoo!
Recovery: Compressport Socks and a few beer!
Race Results: http://raceresults.eternaltiming.com/index.cfm/20130504_Wildflower_Triathlons.htm?Fuseaction=Results&+Elite~Professional+Female