Wildflower Triathlon, May 4th 2013


This was my first ½ Ironman. I am surprised at how great I feel. I swam today and don’t have a lot of muscle soreness. I am happy with what I did in WF.

My morning started with my friends Tony DiZinno (who was going to take some pictures) and Tara Wachter who was doing the swim/bike portion of the long course. We woke up around 5:30am. I made my mash (which is a cup of Puffins, ¼ cup of applesauce, 1 Tbsp. almond butter, 1 Tbsp molasses and a teaspoon of jelly all mixed up), my bulletproof coffee and Tony made some eggs. At one point he asked me if I wanted some milk in my eggs because it makes them fluffy and I responded, “I’m not going for fluffy.” My delivery of it made everyone laugh and it pretty much summed up Wildflower!

Just before the race, my coach Matt Dixon asked me how I was doing and gave me a lot of good, solid advice, “don’t go out too fast on the bike and if you have to walk on the run…walk.”  This being my first ½ Ironman distance, I had no expectations (well, I did think I could do it under 7 hours).  The most stressful part of the weekend was done…getting the family up here, preparing food for 7 people for 3 days, getting in some practice swims and a ride, trying to co-ordinate meeting places and organizing my gear and food for the day…all of that was stressful and it was probably good because I wasn’t focused on the “race”.  Not that it ever was or will be a race for me…my goal is always to finish healthy and happy!!

It was a hot day and my wave didn’t start until 9:25 (an hour and twenty five minutes after the pro’s started). I felt good on the swim, my sighting was good, but I still have a lot to work on in this discipline.  At one point during the swim I was just cruising along next to another girl in my wave (age group 45-49) and then we were bombarded and overcome by pink caps (which was the relay team wave).

1.2 Swim time: 43:53

Once out of the water you had to run/walk up this steep hill to the transition area.

Transition time: 4:37

I took my time on the transition and then it was onto the bike. This is a really hilly course and the real work started at mile 40 with  “Nasty Grade” which comes up around mile 40.  I kept it in my lowest gear, put my head down and grinded up the hill. The downhill was steep and so much fun. My Garmin clocked my max speed at 52.1 mph.  As I came to the bottom of the hill there was a sharp left turn and I was glad that I stayed to the middle of the road as there were 3 bikes lying close to the shoulder and an ambulance was coming up the road.  The bike was pretty uneventful.  I kept tension on the pedals and talked to a few people who I was playing leap frog with.  I made sure I was drinking my water and Skratch and at every water stop I would yell out, “water!”. I would take the water, drink some and then pour the rest all over my head, neck, shoulders and arms.  With 8 miles to go I decided to push it hard into T2.

56 mile bike 3:28:15

Transition time 5:05

The run…more like walk/jog….the first 8 miles were horrible.  Most of the course was on dusty, loose rock trails with no shade and lots of hills.  I was thankful to all the volunteers and people who handed out ice, used their hoses and squirt guns to douse me with water, gave me orange slices and although it was tempting the group that were giving out shots of bourbon and bacon were very entertaining! While the swim and bike went by fairly quickly (in my mind), the run felt excruciatingly long! I remember walking up a hill next to a few guys who were checking their watches, so I checked mine and said, “I can’t look at my watch anymore, it’s too depressing”, that got a few chuckles of agreement.  At mile 12 with one mile to go (which was all downhill), I heard my sister shouting, “Go Dawn!”. I see my husband and he comes on the course to run with me (my sister, Gloria did the relay with my husband…he did the swim, my sister did the bike and a friend of hers’ ran the ½ marathon portion).  I was so happy to have my husband running with me, I talked the whole mile down hill, passed about 30 people and ran across the finish line and into my dear friend Tara’s arms.  I was glad it was over, but I had felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment and I wasn’t really sore (which probably means I could have pushed a little harder).  Every day I am learning more about pushing myself physically and mentally and each time I do something like this I gain a little bit more confidence in my abilities. I may not be fast but I can endure.

Total time: 6:51:32

14th in age group 45-49


A few things to remember if your going to do Wildflower —

  1. Change phone carrier to Verizon.  I could not get any cell coverage anywhere around San Antonio Lake, which really is frustrating when you are trying to co-ordinate the lives of 7 people!
  2. Don’t park the RV on a hill.  We tried to level it out but didn’t have lifts high enough so sleeping was a bit awkward and every time someone moved the whole RV would squeak like an old creaky bed!
  3. Knowing someone that has a pass on his or her car (or acquire one such pass) that gets you into the transition area will save you a lot of trudging up and down a mile hill.
  4. Knowing someone that has an RV IN the transition area is a LIFE SAVER. Thanks to Kyle who allowed my family and I to wait in the shade of his RV canopy, use his bathroom and hang with the cutest bulldog pup ever before my wave started was priceless.
  5. Fill up your gas tank as soon as you get off the 101 or the 46 because when you head into the park your chance of finding one is nil. That’s when it’s good to have a friend named Kyle that not only has an RV in the transition area but ALSO has spare gas and a gas container.
  6. When it’s hot you need wings…. DeSoto Cool Wings  http://www.desotosport.com/product/CW

I bought this amazing little garment the day before the race at TriLab. It was the last one they had and it saved me on the bike and the run.

  1. Stick around after the Long Course because you’ll catch the streakers running through the campground or you can join in and run with them.

Thank you for the amazing photos Tony DiZinno!