The weather up at Lake San Antonio can make or break your day on the wildflower course. Most years it is hot and sometimes windy, and usually very very dry. The weather reports this year leading up to the race were showing no exception to this trend. Forecasts were in the high 80's and low 90's for the weekend. We told our team to hydrate, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
After reports like that, and the fact that every time I had been to Wildflower before (training, or racing) I had spent the weekend in my car or in a tent, I was even more delighted that this year I had decided to join some other friends and teammates in renting an RV. Best. Decision. Ever. Our RV turned out to be an enormous palace on wheels with AC, refrigerator, freezer, satellite TV, and washer/dryer. Not to mention beds that were not yoga mats on top of rocks. Definitely a great idea.
I arrived late late Thursday night so I'd time to acclimate and get logistics figured out all day Friday before the races on Saturday and Sunday. I spent Friday checking in my participants at the campsite, answering questions and trying to acclimate to the hot and dry weather (and drinking about a gallon of diluted Gatorade in the process to keep myself hydrated). I had decided to run the 13.1 mile long course run course as part of a relay with Sara D, and Kevin- my current and former teammates. Our team name was "Turn Around Bright Eyes/Total Eclipse of the Heart", and for some reason it was my big idea to do the relay and for me to do the run- which had certainly done a number on me last year.
|Team "Turn Around Bright Eyes"|
It only took until mile 3 for me to start to feel some signs of heat exhaustion. I've gotten pretty good now at recognizing the early warning signs. so I definitely felt it coming. When I got my first "chill" I knew it was time to slow it down. Through frequent walk breaks, and bottles of water dumped on my head, I was able to regulate my temperature and stay cool enough to get it done.
|On the run, high-fiving away the heat stroke|
|Olympic Swim Start- Purple TNT wave!|
|Captain Monica cheering in her (somewhat creepy) sock monkey costume|
From Lynch Hill I was able to see everyone come back in from the bike and await our runners for their last mile of the race. Although the run course is a challenging 6.2 miles, mostly on trails, all our people were in great shape and smiling ear to ear when they got to the top of Lynch for the last time- possibly because they knew they only had one mile to go- all downhill- to victory at the finish line! I was still bundled up in my parka with my backpack and radio when Maya came through with Marjorie and I started running with them to the finish line. Lucky for me, Maya stuck to her intervals all the way down the hill and they finished the race strong and looking great!
Everyone on our team had a great day despite the crazy weather and everyone finished the race with time to spare!
Two other friends of mine also did the Olympic race that day- Becca and Mike. Becca had been talking about doing Wildflower for years, so I know it was a big deal for her. They both had great race and a great day- which was made even more incredible when Mike proposed at the finish line!
|Becca and Mike at the finish line- she said Yes!|