Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wildflower Race Report

Wildflower is hands down one of my favorite races. It is also one of the hardest half-distance courses around. Usually mid-race I ask myself why I keep coming back. It's pretty easy when you combine the friends, camping and a great scenic race.

Pre-race hang out at the campsite.

I'm in the center. I was nervous. Usually before races I don't get too nervous, but yesterday I had set the bar fairly high for myself. Everything I've seen in training told me I should have not just a good race, but a great race.

This is the beginning of the swim - when I was actually with a pack...

Other than getting kicked in the face and having to stop to get water out of my goggles, the swim was fairly uneventful. It was my typical lose-the-first-pack-of-girls swim. Only this time I managed not to run head-first into multiple buoys and continued swimming hard. I eeked in just under 30 with a 29:53.

Onto the bike and time to ride hard. Only problem was that the first hour I felt terrible. There was a great head wind (which later turned into an awesome side wind that I was fairly certain several times was just going to take my disc and I down), but I don't think the wind was the problem. My lungs were on fire. I got a cold Monday and figured by race day it would be no big deal. Not really an excuse, it just was what it was. Can't exactly always time these things around races. Thankfully the middle and last section of the bike I felt way better. I came off the bike in 2:49.

Onto the run I had company in some fast age group guys. This ninja samurai guy in front actually ended up pulling me half way up the final hill until I completely fell apart and lost him.

The run was a mix of feeling frustrated and limited by my lungs and feeling like I was running half-way decent.

The final death march hill. I ended up running a 1:31, good enough for 13th and 4:54. I raced as hard as I could on the given day, and really can't ask more of myself. Some days you have it and other days it just isn't there.

I've got some great friends, who continue to bet with me at races (I have been told I have a race-gambling problem...ha!) I lost a lot of bets yesterday! But this is what makes racing so fun! Kevin rocked a 4:40 and I will be taking him for chai lattes each week for a month.

The best bet-loss hands down went to both Phil and Fast Brian. Phil and I had a straight-up run split bet. He beat me by 2 seconds. I owe him drinks. Fast Brian and I had an overall time bet. He beat me by 2 seconds. I owe him dinner. Seriously - TWO SECONDS?!!! To not one - but two guys?! How does that happen?

Thankfully I actually won a few bets somehow in the mix as well. It was a great day of racing & my friends just downright rock. I continue to be grateful to be a part of this crazy sport.

Happy happy birthday to my friend Kiet!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to my sponsors:
Zoot Sports for outfitting me with speedy & comfy shoes, a quick wetsuit, and fun tri gear. Profile Design for my aero bars, grips, hydration, and some super awesome wheels! Quintana Roo for a bike that I love to ride every day, but especially on race day. for not only carrying everything tri-related, but for treating me like family. ZipVit for fueling me along the way. SableWater Optics for allowing me to see while I swim. Extreme Endurance for keeping lactic acid at bay. Rudy Project for my rockin glasses and helmets. SCAPE labs for protecting my skin. MicroscopeWorld for working with my crazy training/racing schedule.  My crazy race schedule would not be possible without the support of these companies.

Next up - getting rid of my cough & cold! Then on to New Orelans 5150 May 15. Thanks for following my journey!!


Aimee said... did awesome considering you have a nasty cold! Having a cold just makes everything so much harder! It sounded like you still managed to have a good time with all of your friends! Woohoo!

Matt and Jessie said...

Sounds like a great race regardless!! Love your race report! Good luck on your next adventure!!

Beth said...

I think you do have a race day gambling problem!! HAHA!! :) So hard to race when you aren't feeling 100% but great job for still getting the job done and not making excuses!! Hope you feel better soon!

Kiet said...

Charisa, I was thinking about you on the drive home. I know it was tough day but in all the time that I've watched you race, you've never had a bad race, somehow, you always seem to squeeze out a decent performance and that type of consistency is amazing.

GoBigGreen said...

Pretty soon you will be on the winning side of those bets. its early. Let them get all confident:)
Great race Charisa!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

That course looks crazy tough! Way to gut it out, cold and all. You're a rock star. Give Kevin a hug for me! I love the photo of you and Kiet - great smiles you two.

Molly said...

Feel better!!! That's a crazy hard course and you did amazing for still being sick!

Steve said...

Easy Michael Jordan. Stop with the betting. You are a professional, keep that up you will be going Pete Rose's route of no Hall of Fame for you. :)

You sound tired in that post, so you can tell you gave it your all with your limited health. That is all anyone can ask right?? That is why I respect people like you so much.

Good Job all things considered, Nothing is as fun when you don't feel 100%

JenniferLeah said...

Congrats -- sounds like you had a lot of fun. Love the pics too :)

just a side note for ya, I'd LOVE to have a 1:30 1/2M time straight up so never mind after swimming 1.2 and biking 56. Way to go-

Teresa said...

Awesome seeing you speedy! Wish we could have hung out more. I think Kiet won his bet too with you! Ha! Way to go!

Running Bums said...

Hahaha love the bets! Great job Charisa! Tough days happen, but champs smile afterwards no matter what :)

Luke said...


martin briars said...

still a sub 5 hour on that course ! well done - though i know how you feel when you know you can do better... next time eh?
all the best

Jill Costantino said...

Way to go out there Lady - cold and all what a fantastic job! Sub 30 min on a swim with a cold = VERY impressive!
Congrats! - LOVE the pics!

Lesley said...

Awesome race! I enjoyed the pic of you on Slowtwitch too :)

Matt said...

congrats on another great race in 2011, seems like its off to a great start! Pretty to that you have such a great group of training buddys to race with and spice it up with some bets!

solarpowered said...

Congratulations on a great race! It's always a little reassuring when someone like a pro mentions nerves before a race. Makes me feel like I'm not entirely insane when I feel nerves :)

And, since I'm catching up around here, congrats to your dad on his 3rd place AG!

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