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Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lubbock, Texas
United States
Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
85F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 15m 3s
Overall Rank = 194/935
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 10/69
Pre-race routine:

Thursday - Saturday
Started a carbo loading protocol. 10 grams carbs/kilo body weight. This basically came out to ~3200 cal / day with 70-75% carbs. Most of the additional carbs were liquid, i.e. GE, fruit juice, etc. But, I did eat lots of solid carbs. In the future, I'll stick to all additional carbs as liquid. It's hard to eat that much solid food.

Up at 4 am. Everything was packed the night before.
Breakfast - OJ, Ensure, Cliff bar, coffee ~600 cal. Had a bottle of GE I sipped on until ~1 hour before start. At 15' before start had 1 GU + water.
Event warmup:

After setting up transition, I headed out on a run. Ran about 5' out with a few pickups then 5' back. Did this again about 20' later. At about 6:30 I got in the water and swam from the shore to the exit of the cove. Kept going back and forth until my wave was called. Tried to work my HR up to the 140s. Then did one more out and back. I was the last to cross the timing mat. I always have a better swim start when I have a good warm up.
  • 37m 37s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 57s / 100 meters

I swam to the beach for the start with about 2' to go. Saw Kristen, Shawn, David and some other Triple Threat people standing at the timing mat. High fived them and crossed the mat to the swim start.

Positioned myself in front and toward the middle. Not really the best position to hang with the pointy end of the field. But I thought it was good enough. I can't hang with them anyway. Mike Riley said "Go!" and off we went. I ran, did two dolphin dives then started swimming. This was an easy start. No real physical contact. Headed out of the cove and could see the pointy end of the field forming ahead. Those guys are too fast for me.

This swim was unremarkable except for these points:
1. I should know this course after having been there 4 times. Just out of the cove you need to sight and find the YELLOW turn bouy and swim toward it. I swam toward the orange bouy instead. That cost me some time.
2. I had fast guys from the waves behind me pass me. For some unknown reason I didn't try to draft off them. I should have even if it was for a short time.
3. This swim felt easy. Maybe too easy. Need to learn to swim harder and suck it up more.
What would you do differently?:

Do more mental prep and plan what to sight for at the start. Try to draft even if it's for a short time. Swim harder.
Transition 1
  • 02m 11s

Hit the timing mat at 37'. I was disappointed when I saw that time. Oh, well nothing to do but continue on. Ran to the last stripper and got my wetsuit off. This transition area is not conducive to a flying bike mount, so I put my bike shoes on in the transition area. Still had the 9th fastest T1 in my AG. The fastest T1 was 1:44 so we are only talking 30" or so.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Good T1.
  • 2h 43m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.59 mile/hr

The weather was overcast and relatively cool. There as a strong wind blowing. After having trianed in N Tx wind I knew the wind on this course wouldn't be that big of a wasn't. In trainsition before the race, a camera man interviewed about the weather and the wind. I told him I live in N Tx and that a strong wind was probably an advatange for me.

The bike was unremarkable. I stayed at a steady pace, increased speed with the tailwind (30 mph!), spun into the headwind and stayed seated on all the climbs. Kept my HR in z2.

I was constantly passing other athletes, especially on the hills. In training I spent a lot of time on hill repeats and also did two 100 mile rides in the hills at Forestburg. These training rides definitely improved my hill climbing fitness.

About 2/3 through the bike the clouds opened up and the rain came down hard. Just kept on riding. The road on the Spiral Staircase was wet so had to slow down for the switch backs. With about 10 miles to go, I had to pee bad. So pulled onto the shoulder of the road and let it go. Figured the down pour of rain would wash things off.

Rolled into the park and made it to the final climb before the descent into T2. As usual this climb looked like a death march. Athletes were walking bikes upt he hill and walking bikes down the hill. I guess the roads were wet and they didn't want to chance a crash on the descent into T2.

Nutrition: 1 3-hour bottle of Infinit + a bottle of plain water. Didn't finish all of the Infinit.
What would you do differently?:

Pee more before the swim start. That cost me some time.
Transition 2
  • 02m 7s

Didn't do the flying dismount. Too tight of a transition area and the down hill approach. Ran to my rack. Looked around and didn't see any bikes on my rack. Turns out I was 6th in my AG off the bike. They give out numbers by AG and most in my AG had 800's. Except for a couple of the really fast guys and podium placers in my AG that singed up at the last minute; they had 1000's.

Sat on the ground, changed shoes, hat on, grabbed GU and was on my way.

What would you do differently?:

Good T2.
  • 1h 49m 53s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 23s  min/mile

I saw Kristin on the way out of T2. She said Bret was a few minutes ahead and to go catch him. Never did. Then I saw Aaron. Gave in a high-5, I think. I wasn't feeling too good. I hadn't peed completely while on the bike. Within the first mile I was passed by 2 in my AG. There was no way I was staying on their heels; they were moving too fast. At mile 2 I stopped at a port-o-let. Felt much better after that and got into a good rhythm. In mile 3 I was passed by another in my AG. That's 3 now.

Saw the pros coming back in from the run...but I was at mile 3. This is the fourth time I've done BSLT. Each time I've seen the pros coming back in further down course.

After the first hill, I saw Tribendis coming back in. He was flying and looked to be racing strong. Also saw Jeff Bennett at mile 4. He was coming in and heading for a Kona slot.

Somewhere along the way I passed someone in my AG. At mile 5 I was passed by another in my AG. I tried to stay on his heels as he wasn't passing fast. Stayed with him for about half a mile but couldn't hang with him any longer.

Hit the half way U-turn. Tried to find another gear and pick up the pace. No luck. The pace I had been running was as fast as I could run. It was wierd. I couldn't seem to push my HR up any higher.

The run back in was mostly uneventful. Tried to pick up the pace for the last 3 miles after descending the last hill, but still no extra gear.

At about half a mile to go, I saw my wife on top of a hill yelling, screaming and taking pictures. Awesome.

What would you do differently?:

Maybe went too hard on the bike. Hard to say. This was actually a pretty good run. But I think I could do better with a taper and peak.
Post race
Warm down:

Not much. Walked around talking to various athletes and spectators.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

No taper. This was a 'B' race. I had one week of recovery during my IM training.

Event comments:

BSLT puts on a great awards banquet. The banquet in the evening after the race. Every year I've done BSLT there has been a band, great food, and of course the awards. This year was BSLT's 20th anniversary, so they had Mike Riley, the voice of Ironman, come in to call the race and the awards banquet.

I wasn't planning on getting close to a Clearwater slot at this race. This course is tough and I really didn't plan to place as high as I did. When I saw I was 10th, I told Michele to bring her check book. Of course the one Kona slot went to the guy in first place. Then there were 3 Clearwater slots. I think the guy in third on the podium took one slot. Then Mike Riley started calling other names. No one was there. When Mike called Thomas Smith I whispered to Michele "I'm next". I'm going to Clearwater.

Last updated: 2009-04-21 12:00 AM
00:37:37 | 1931 meters | 01m 57s / 100meters
Age Group: 12/69
Overall: 296/935
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 147
Suit: Zoot Synergy - Full
Course: Counter clockwise rectangular course.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:11
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:43:13 | 56 miles | 20.59 mile/hr
Age Group: 8/69
Overall: 169/935
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 141
Wind: Strong
Course: Modified out and back with 8 hills.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:49:53 | 13.1 miles | 08m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 14/69
Overall: 242/935
Performance: Good
mile, pace, avg HR 1, 8:44, 144; 2, 8:34, 145; 3, 7:51, 149; 4, 8:32, 151; 5, 8:47, 153; 6, 8:14, 151; 7, 8:28, 153; 8, 8:14, 151; 9, 7:59, 151; 10, 8:35, 153; 11, 8:26, 152; 12, 8:26, 152; 13.1, 9:09, 159.
Course: Out and back with 3 hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-07-05 9:49 PM

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3

2009-07-06 7:27 AM
in reply to: #2263518

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
Good job on your race and finishing strong.

It pays off to hang around as those slots roll down.

Well done.
2009-07-06 8:40 AM
in reply to: #2263518

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Plano, Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3

YAY!!! Congratulations, Tommy.

2009-07-06 8:48 AM
in reply to: #2264052

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
it was just as cool reading about it as it was hearing it in person last thursday  

great race,,  I agree that hill training is paying off big time,,,

and last but certainly not least..... congrats on clearwater 
2009-07-06 6:12 PM
in reply to: #2263518

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Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3

Great race Tommy!

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