Friday, May 12, 2006

Wildflower 2006

Serena and I at the finish line.Click here for more Wildflower pics.

After the post race celebrations, picking up Stephen's car at Bolinas Ridge (did we really come through here?! seems so far), having dinner and driving back to San Francisco it wasn't until about 10PM till I walked in through my apartment door. Cleaned myself up, repacked one of my bags, got directions and printed maps to Lake San Antonio where Wildflower was being held. By the time I hit my bed it was a quarter past 11PM. I debated whether to take Ibuprofen or not, to regulate my temperature and help with the soreness in my legs. I decided against it since I was only going to be in bed for another 3.5 hours - bad mistake. I got the chills, a clear sign that I pushed hard - made me smile actually. However I was cold and when I piled on the blankets I got too hot, so I had to take them off -on and off, on and off, this was my night. But by 3AM I was ready to go, talk about transitions. I didn't see the weekend as two days, I saw it as one with a nap in the middle of the day. Took another hot shower, got dressed and was out the door by 4AM. Friends quoted a 3.5 hour drive and Mapquest confirmed it. I had to be at Lake San Antonio by 7:30AM, they start closing the road leading to the gates by 8:30AM, it's part of the bike course.

Yes, I think I know what you're thinking. Crazy right. Yes I thought it too but not out of character for me. Look at what I do for fun, but yes even I was questioning "the plan" as I drove away without coffee for the second morning in a row. The pipes in my building backep up on Saturday while I was gone. There was lots of unpleasant water that came out of my sink and into the kitchen. Luckily it didn't go past the kitchen but it was off limits from the point on. A quick note was dropped off to the manager before heading out the door.

The drive down was pleasant. No traffic and I lots of great music. I would have enjoyed it more had I not yawned so much on the way down, "what the hell am I doing here?" Finally at King City it was late enough for the local Mc Donald's to be open, grabbed some coffee and a breakfast special.

$19 bucks to get in! $7 auto fee and a $12 spectator fee. What the? Well whatever it's my first time here so what the hey. Those would be the last of my complaints though; the moment I entered the gate, saw the athletes, the tents, the RV's, I was very excited. How fun is this, it was much more fun knowing I get to watch and not actually do it. I got excited too soon, I was only at the top of the hill, after parking the car I had to walk to the shuttle bus area, catch a shuttle for the trip down to the lake where the transition area was. Down there was where the real excitement was.

Walked aimlessly for about an hour. I was there early, couldn't find Serena or my Golden Gate Peeps. Finally as the race was about to start I ran into some of my Golden Gate folk. Hooked up with them for pretty much the whole day except the end. We went and cheered on the swim, the bike and the run. I saw Serena as she excited the swim and from that point on I was able to figure out where she was in the race. I was able to catch her on the bike and the run as well. In between cheering for our athletes we also got some window shopping done in the booths (all triathlon gear) and some chow. Got a chance to catch up with each other. These folks I was hanging with raced the long course event the day before. Long course is the official name for the Half-Ironman, so named because the distances are exactly half that of a full Ironman event. These guys were studs and we exchanged stories, most of them knew I raced Miwok the day before.

The finish was chaotic. Saw J.P. and Janet and more of our Golden Gate people, cheering and racing. Janet had a good race. Amelia had the big honking camera and had photography duty. Serena finished not long afterwards and we hung out from that point on. She was disappointed with her race but I was just so proud she finished. It was her first official triathlon race. She went big doing it in Wildflower and training with triathlon teams. She had so much support and know how around her that day. We hung out for a bit, walked around the booths, got something to eat and drink. It was warm out there. The morning was cold with the area blanketed in fog but it quickly burned off and it got quite warm.

Eventually we went down to the transition area to collect her bike and other gear. Met some of her teammates and ran into more Golden Gater's going home. It was a good day for our team. Golden Gate took first in the coed team competition for the Olympic distance, 3 gals and 3 dudes. Anyway not wanting me to drive alone (thank you), Serena rode back with me. From the get go we get lost, too busy talking, but after that hiccup we were on our way. The drive home was a lot longer because of the traffic but a nicer when you have someone to talk to. Stopped off at Chevy's on the way home, beer for me and a giant margarita for her and lots of food. I needed the chocolate espresso beans she had stashed in the car on the way home. Got back to the city around 10PM.

Whew it was a big weekend. I'm still recovering myself and it's already Friday. My body is wanting more rest and I'm tired way too early at night. I really pushed at Miwok and I was out in the sun for pretty much the whole day on Sunday at Wildflower, not to mention the lack of sleep. Sa'll good. I went to track Tuesday night and I felt great. Now I'm all fired up about triathlon again. Having accomplished what I did in Miwok this year I don't feel the need to go back. Time to do other races. Next year I would like to do the long course in Wildflower.

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