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Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lubbock, Texas
United States
88F / 31C
Total Time = 5h 34m 14s
Overall Rank = 219/810
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 9/32
Pre-race routine:

Okay, no whining about this thing being long; I mean, how long have you guys known me and when have I ever had little to say? This was my first half ironman and I want to remember the experience...well, most of it anyways. If you're going for the clifnotes version, just look to the right hand column. So here goes, to the best of my memory...

Chapter 1: Pilgrimmage to the Lake
I had stayed in Abilene Friday evening so I woke up way too early on Saturday morning to my mom already buzzing around the house. I wasn't ready for this day to be here yet, I was so nervous. My mom insisted on making eggs and toast, but I'm glad I ate much better than simply a granola bar or something. I tried to remember how long it took to get from Abilene to Lubbock. I was thinking that I was always trying to make it in 2.5 hours but that it required speeding to do that. Once I started driving, I realized that it only took a max of 2.5 hours and that I was always shooting to make it between 2-2:15 hours. So I left Abilene around 8:30. The drive that I had seen so many times and could practically put my car on autopilot and take a nap, was actually really enjoyable...I had remembered it being so boring and it just seemed like each town kept getting further and further away. I was trying to give myself a pep talk along the way and it was going well for awhile, but then I would see a car every once in awhile go by with a bike in it or a USAT sticker on it and I would start to freak out again. So, since I left way too early, I ended up getting to the lake way early. Big Mistake!! I've never seen so many ripped bodies prancing around. My confidence level immediately shot to the floor. I can't do this! I don't belong here! Not to mention that the wind was blowing like crazy..I've become such a wind-weenie since moving to East Texas. East Texans don't even know the meaning of wind. I was sitting on the curb, waiting for 12:00 to roll around to meet the rest of the BT gang. As I'm sitting there I realize that sitting in the sun isn't such a wise move so I find some shade to sit in. As noon approaches I start to wonder around to find the BT gang. I find Jen, Tom, Brett, and Joe, and shortly after, Lane, Jessi, and Christie show up. That helped to calm me down because it was great to be part of a group...I'm usually all alone on these things.

Chapter 2: Course Evaluation
Well, the boys just couldn't wait for us chicas to get there to look at the course and drove it the day before so they went on back to their hotels while us BT girls did a swim and drove the course. For our little swim I just swam in my swimsuit, which by the way I need a new one desperately...starting to have the saggy bottom issues where it has finally worn out. The water was around 77 degrees which was cool when you first got in, but felt sooo good once you started swimming. I knew swimming in a wetsuit would be faster, but I almost wish that it wasn't wetsuit legal because the water just felt so good. Jen and I did a couple of out and backs from the beach to the rope, etc. She's so fast. She could swim out and wait like a half hour for me to get there. We only swam like 200-300 yds and then changed into dry clothes to drive the course. Thanks to Christie for driving all of us around the course! I had seen all of these hills from my college days in Lubbock where we would have training rides and road races out there, but I did not know the exact layout of the course. Driving the course brought back horrible memories of suffering up those hills. I remember giving it everything I had to not walk up the stupid things as the guys would ride to the top and then ride back down to check on me, then repeat. As we were driving the course, I kept trying to tell myself that these hills weren't so bad, but at the same time, I wanted to cry. Driving the run course, Jen just kept saying...look at the heat coming off of the road...ugh, la la la (fingers in ears) I can't hear you! We make it back to the lake and head off to our respective hotels to get cleaned up. In my scatter-brainess, I left my bag in Christies car, luckily they brought it to me at the pre-race meeting.

Chapter 3: Pre-race Activities
I got to the hotel a little before 3 and went straight in to pick up my packet. The girls handed me my packet and shirt and I say, "Is that it?" Yep, you're good to go. Remember bites me in the @ss later. I then went to check in, even though it was still before 3, but they went ahead and let me check in, how nice. I drove around to my room to start unloading the massive amounts of crap I had. I go in the room to check it out and oh my gosh that thing was huge! I could have done gynastics in there...not that I wanted to waste my energy on something like that at a time like this. I walk out the door with car keys in hand and grab the first load and head back to the room. Doh! Left the hotel key inside! Smooth move ex-lax...I'm already on a self-destruction mission. So, go back to the lobby to get another freakin' key, then back to the room to try to get things straight this time. Managed to get everything safely inside. I took a shower and watched TV for a few minutes before heading to the pre-race meeting. I quickly found the BT gang and went and sat down. Mike Greer started the prerace meeting and said he had 53 mimutes of speech. What?! I don't want to sit for that. It was funny because all of us BT people kind of looked like zombies...guess none of us had been sleeping so well the previous few days. Mike Greer was really nice and they really know how to put on a great race, but I realized that the pre-race meeting was pontless to me. Didn't hear anything that I didn't already know. It was funny because Mike was mentioning some of the highlights of Lubbock and he mentioned Texas Tech. It was real quiet for a few seconds and then a guy near me hollered...I wanted to also, maybe get a little Raider Power action going on, but refrained. Oh, and of course we had a review of some West Texas slang. My personal favorite and one you will hear numerously in my report is Sombitch! At the conclusion of the meeting we got our game plan together of where to eat...Johnny Carino's. Jen and Joe are telling everyone how to get there, "It's on Slide, north of the loop." Wait a second...I distinctly remember it being south of the loop, but they had been here more recently than I had and perhaps I was just turned around...with my track record for the day, it was highly likely. I head north on Slide and immediately realize that my thinking had been correct; so turn around and make it to the restaurant first. After a few phone calls, everyone is able t find there way to Carinos. It really wasn't a big deal in the first place since we had to wait a little over a half hour for our table. Brett asks if I want anything from the bar and I say I'll take some water. Lane immediately looks at me and says that I better drink something because I need to calm down. So, I order a beer and then Brett was like, why not a got my order switched to a margarita. I'll admit, the drink was definitely a good idea. Dinner was a blast...we had 15 people once you included family and friends. Everyone is so nice. Oh, and I have to say this, Tom's wife is gorgeous! After pigging out on bread and pasta, we left to go back to our hotels. I got all of my stuff laid out for the next day and painted my toenails. I was in bed a little before 9, which just felt absolutely ridiculous since the sun was still out. I really did need those night goggles Joe was talking about.
Event warmup:

Chapter 4: It's Time to Go!
I actually slept more than I thought I would. I thought I would lay there awake the entire time, but I did sleep some. I still woke up every hour, but when I woke I realized that I had been sleeping so that was exciting. I got up at 3 am, which was way dark...okay the whole going to bed in the light and getting up in the dark is just not cool. I took a shower, put on the uniform and loaded up. I went to check out and some old dude working the counter said that he couldn't print out a receipt for awhile because he was doing an audit. What the heck?! I don't have time to wait on this, screw the I was trusting that they wouldn't over charge me (they didn't). I left for the race sight a little after 4 in the morning and I ate my powerbar on the way out. I arrived at the race sight around 4:25 and got a front row parking spot. I quickly gathered my things out of my car and made the trek down the steep hill to transition.

Chapter 5: Getting Ready
I walked up to transition where they were doing body-marking. Holy cow, they marked both arms, both legs, did my age on the back of my calf and then told me to stick out my hands where they proceeded to put my number on each hand. Geez, wanna tattoo my butt too in case I rip off my shorts in the intense heat in an attempt to cool off and then pass out on the ground? Not to mention that we also had to wear these stupid bracelts throughout the race too. Anyways, I go into transition to find my spot. Walking back, back, keep going back, keep going...gonna hit water soon...oh, here we are, the second to the last row. However, it was right next to bike in/out so that was cool with me. I set my stuff in transition, kind of set it up a little then see Jen and talk to her for a little bit, go back to my spot, set it up a little bit more, then back to Jen (I was way fidgety, just couldn't concentrate on one task at a time). Then I remembered timing chips. They never mentioned where to pick them up, so I ask Jen, "Where are we supposed to get out chips?" What she says, you were supposed to pick it up yesterday at packet pickup. Agh! See, I told you those girls were clueless at packet pickep! Sombitch!! (that's one). I'm starting to hyperventilate and Jen was just like, chill out...I'm sure they brought them here. Sure enough, about that time the announcer mentioned where you could pick up packets and chips. Whew! Why do I always have such issues with my chips (remember Freescale Marathon back in Feb.) After getting my chip I go back to transition and Jen and I start to hunt for others. We find Lane and chat with him for a little bit, it's still dark outside. Finally I make two bathroom stops and finally finish setting up my spot and begin the battle with the wetsuit. I grabbed my bodyglide and as I open it I realize I'm almost out. Dang it! Where's Kristen when I need her?! Not that she would share with me anyways, lol. So, I'm digging the very last of it out with my fingernails and managed to get just enough on. My wetsuit seemed easy to get on this time for some reason, woohoo! I walk down to the water and stick the toes in. My wave would start 25 minutes after the start so I was in no hurry to warm up in the water. Some random guy came up to me and asked me to zip him up, ummm okay, lol. I do a little swimming around just to make sure the wetsuit felt right and then I found Jen and waited for our wave to go off.
  • 37m 41s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

Chapter 6: The Buffalo Springs Mosh Pit
They used a shotgun to start each wave...only in Texas, lol. I was in the 6th wave. When it finally came to us, we had to walk across the timing mat and then line up along the beach, no toes in the water. I line up behind Jen since I knew I was a slow swimmer. We started towards the left so that we would not get rammed into the shore. The seconds are ticking down and I see Jen in a running stance, ready to push start on her watch. When the gun went off, Jen is hauling butt into the water. Holy shiznit, this is serious! Why can't we all just hold hands and casually enter the water together! I start freaking out and just follow Jen's lead and start running right behind her. She dives into the water and I dive right behind her. And that's the last time I see her for awhile, lol. I have never started a swim with that large of a wave...around 150 girls. I've discovered that women are the meanest! Talk about craziness. I got bumped and tossed around, I felt like I was doing a a karate chop in the water. Hi-ya! Who wants a piece of me?! Bring it on, sista! In all honesty though, it wasn't as bad as I expected. I never got smacked in the face which is a good thing. I did have one girl kick me in my right boob so hard. I was just like, ugh, that's gonna leave a mark! (it didn't). Then, I had a girl grab my leg and pull me back. What the heck?? I mean, your hands are not in a "grabbing" position as you pull through the water...I understand accidentally bumping my leg, but to pull me? Yeah, so she got a nce swift kick :) So, the first 300-400 meters were a little rough, but after that things really settled down and I often found myself all alone. Jen was right about not being able to see a darn thing in the first leg to the east, but it didn't matter since there were always people around me. And why is it that I can be swimming all alone, and then when I go around a buoy there's like 50 people trying to get around it? Where are they coming from? Towards the last few hundred meters of the swim my cord came loose from it's strap and started wrapping around my left freakin' annoying. I would toss it over my shoulder again, but it kept coming back for revenge. I also started catching green caps (the wave before us), yippee! Then I started seeing yellow caps and I'm thinking I'm all hoss for catching up to another wave, then realize that this is two waves, behind me! Holy cow, if Lane passes me I'm going to be pissed! But he didn't, neener neener! I rounded the last buoy and on to the home stretch! The swim seemed to go by so fast!
What would you do differently?:

Chapter 7: Why My Swimming Sucks
I forgot to mention that somehow the velcro on my wetsuit got turned around and was rubbing my neck. That kind of sucked, but it didn't hurt too bad...a nice little hickie on my neck though. The main thing with my swim is that it's just going to take time to get better and I've slowly been improving. My secret goal time was around 39-40 min. so I am way excited with my time. I know it's still slow, but that's something for me. I really held a pretty good line on this swim...I didn't get so far off track like I usually do. Everytime I looked up I was heading straight for the next buoy. My rip cord was definitely annoying me towards the end, so I really need to make sure I have it securely placed so that it doesn't come out.
Transition 1
  • 02m 12s

Chapter 8: Get it off of me! (No, it wasn't a snake)
As you approach the boat ramp it is lined with people on either side. This guy yells, "Give me your hand!" So, I hold out my hand and I am yanked out of the water. Hey, no complaints from me on getting a little groping action as I get out of the water. I felt like the part in the movie Labyrinth when Sara is in the oogliet (however it's freakin' spelled) with the "helping hands." Anyways, so as I'm running up the ramp they yank my cord in an attempt to be nice and unzip me. Unfortunately it snagged on my uniform underneath. I'm trying to run and get it unstuck at the same time, but it's not working. So, I stop at the water station and tell one of the girls there that it's stuck. She frantically starts trying to get it unstuck and it felt like an eternity, but in all honesty it was probably only 20 sec. max. But for those brief seconds I was getting really nervous. But don't think I would hesitate to ride my bike and do the run in the stupid thing, this was a "no quit option" race! After that, I for some reason was taking it way easy in real urgency, which is weird for me because usually I'm barreling through transition knocking over anything that gets in my way. I got my wetsuit off easy, got my bike gear on, grabbed my flask and off I went. I have been having trouble with clipping my left foot into my's been really tight lately, but managed to get it in fairly quickly which was a relief. Oh, and the best part...there were still bikes on the rack! Woohoo! I wasn't the last one out of the water!
What would you do differently?:

Chapter 9: The Shortest Chapter
Stop lolligagging around. This IS a race you know.
  • 2h 49m 57s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.77 mile/hr

Chapter 10: The Buffalo Springs Roller Coaster
Yeehaw! I'm on the bike! There seemed to a big group of us heading out of transition and up the first hill. I was easily passing so many people up that first hill. I bombed down the backside and then up the second steep hill, where again I had no problems. I started on the section along the park road and saw Jen (this is the last time I saw any BT people on the course :( ). So, I gave a little shout out to Jen as I went by and headed out for the main road. The wind was out of the south at around 15 mph I guess. So the main road to get to the out and backs was a cross wind, but I was still maintaining between 20-21 mph there. As I'm on this stretch my left knee starts to hurt. Hmmm, that's weird, never had any knee problems, especially not the left knee. Oh well, we're just going to pretend it's not there. I head down the first out and back into the wind, which sucked, but the wind hadn't picked up to full force yet so my speed was still decent. The downhill was awesome, I loved going down that thing. Oh, but as I was looking ahead I see this guy who looks like he's laying in the road. I thought he had crashed or something, but it looked like he was in a hole. That's weird, why isn't anyone helping him? As I got closer I realized it was a hand-cyclist...what a dork I am! I climbed up the hill on the other side and finished the out section. The turn arounds sucked for me because they were pretty tight and of course always turning to the left. Since I was so paranoid about clipping into my left pedal, I didn't clip out with that foot so that I could just flip it around and keep going, so my turn arounds were painfully slow, about a full stop (felt sorry for those behind me). Oh well, I'm a dork. Heading back north was awesome...crusing along around 26-27 mph! Then the sweet downhill. Now why I saw people sitting up and braking as I approached I have no idea. I was just like, get out of my way, I'm going down! I only managed to hit 42.6 though as my top speed. I then climbed up the hill on the opposite side and that's when I really noticed my left knee. When I stood up on the pedals it didn't hurt, which gave me hope for the run, but it was aggrevating because I ended up standing up on most of the hills, even the gradual hills when it probably would have been better to sit and spin up, but it just hurt the knee too much. On the flat sections where I was trying to crank away, my knee would sometimes send a sharp pain to remind me that it wasn't happy...really don't know what it's attitude was all about; so I was almost kind of pedaling one-legged at times until the pain was tolerable. On the second out and back is where you get to climb the gnarly switch-back hills. Going up was great (at this point I looked forward to the hills so that I could stand up), comiing back down I will admit to being a big weenie and riding the brakes. Dying just doesn't sound appealing to me. As I was turning at the second turn around I saw both Steve and Chauncey. So, kind of talked to them briefly, but we only had 15 sec.; couldn't piss off the course marshalls, lol. Steve and I did a little leap frogging for awhile. He eventually beat me to transition by a minute or two, but I started 10 min. after him, so I still beat him, he he. As I was on the third out and back, climbing the staircase I heard a thwump! behind me, but I didn't dare look back. I think someone went down, but I'm not sure. As I was coming back down the hill I saw a guy messing with his bike, like trying to straighten out a wheel or something, perhaps it was him. Coming back in on the inbound was the toughest. We had to ride this road that had several ruts in it that you couldn't see until you were in them already. I would be cruising along, almost zoned out, when Wham! Okay! I'm awake! Sombitch! My knee seemed to feel slightly better for the last 5 miles or so, but still not great. And that last southbound section before turning on to the park road sucked! I was doing like 15-16 mph there. I made it up the final hill just fine before diping back down to the lake and into transition.

Chapter 10: Eat Your Veggies (or gels)
My coach said that I needed to get in around 235 calories per hour on the bike. I had 3 gels diluted in a water bottle and then I had a flask with 5 hammergels in it. I made it through the flask and about half of my diluted gels, which seemed to work great...never felt hungry or lacking energy. And I am super proud about drinking water. I think the dry air helped to remind me to drink. I would say I went through about 2.5 water bottles in addition to my diluted water bottle. I even felt like I had to go to the bathroom a little bit at the end of the ride, which I consider a good sign. I didn't wear a watch or anything so I would just try to take in gels about every 10 miles or so. Oh, and the water bottle handoffs were awesome at this race, didn't have to slow down hardly at all! The majority of the people working the bike aid stations were people from the Lubbock bicycle club so it was nice to see familiar faces.
What would you do differently?:

Chapter 11: Suck it up, Buttercup!
Needless to say, I let my knee kind of take control on the bike. There were times when I just couldn't push through it, but overall I think I did the best that I could do. This race is my largest race by far, so I had to be extra careful to not get a penalty which was aggrevating at times because people would pass me, then slow up. So I would have to drop back and then ramp it up to pass them. However, with the amount of people there were, I think things went smoothly and no penalties, woohoo! My friend Steve from Tyler got one though. That course was crawling with to be expected though, this is a Kona qualifier. Overall, the bike was decent...I passed a ton of people, yet also got passed by a few. The bike leg just went by incredibly fast, felt like I was out there for only a few minutes.
Transition 2
  • 02m 33s

Chapter 12: Dang! Back Here Already?!
Coming back into transition there were all these people yelling, "Get off the bike!!" Geez people, I see the mat and I promise to have both feet on the ground before I get there. You better simmer down or I might "accidentally" lose control of the bike and run into you. Once again I kind of piddled around in transition. Even took the time to go to the bathroom...they were on the way out on the run exit. I was just running alongside the portapotties grabbing handles until one opened. As I came out, I saw Steve so we headed out on the run together. Oh, and the best part...there were hardly any bikes on the rack yet...ha ha, you may be better swimmers than me, but I'll getcha! (Okay so I didn't "get" a lot of people, but I definitely passed lots of chicas).
What would you do differently?:

Chapter 13: See Chapter 9
Get your butt moving! This ain't no parade!
  • 2h 01m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 18s  min/mile

Chapter 14: UUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!
SOMBITCH! That run hurt! From mile one, I wanted to quit. Steve was running beside me briefly and said, "It's gonna be a long run." I thought he was saying that suggesting that I was going too hard because he dropped back, but then I found out his legs were cramping. I guess it's just that I have done that distance so much by itself and you think that a half marathon just isn't that far and that you should be able to go fast, but I just couldn't. I saw so many people walking that I think that played with my head too because I have a no walk policy, but my legs were just like, "It's not fair, everyone else is getting to walk!" Every mile felt like an eternity and I felt like crawling would have been faster for me. I ran the portion around the lake and stayed calm. Drank at each aid station, took a gel at mile 3. I headed up the big hill out of the canyon and came across Chauncy on the park road, walking. I said hi as I went by and he started running beside me. He said that he couldn't get his nutrition right ant that his stomach was tormenting him...that sucks. He then ran up ahead of me so I thought perhaps he was getting a second wind, but then he started walking again. I told him happy birthday as I went by him the second time and he just kind of groaned. So, I keep plodding along it my feeble state. Then I hear this girl coming up behind me talking to some guy. The guy asked how she felt and she was like, "I feel great, this is so awesome" as she goes bee-bopping by me. Almost would have been worth it to pick up the pace to go kick her in the shins to see if she still felt Super! (Okay, I'm kidding, I could never do that, but I hated the fact that the run felt so horrible). I started down the hill at mile 4. It was so steep that going down sucked just as bad because you were pounding away. This one guy comes up beside me and is like touching me he's running so close. Geez dude, we've got the whole freakin' lane! Personal space please! Shortly after the downhill you have to go immediately back uphill. Yep, you guess it, Sombitch! I pep talked myself up that one because I knew I would have a break from the hills for awhile. I made the turn on to the power plant road and you can just see forever. You can see the turnaround and it looks like it shouldn't be that far, but it just didn't seem to be getting any closer. I continued to drink a little water at each aid station, dump the rest on my head, then I had another gel around mile 6. Finally, finally make it to the turn around and say to myself...halfway there, piece of cake. Yeah, whatever. So, start crawling back to the lake. I see Jen as I am about to turn off the power plant road (oh, I guess I lied earlier when I said I never saw anyone again). She looked great! I was freakin' out that she would catch me, she was just cruising and smiling and here I am thinking of ways to injure myself so that I can stop this madness. Heading back north sucked because the wind was now at my back so I didn't feel the nice breeze. I go back down the first hill ate a gel and then headed up the steep hill at mile 9. Oh my goodness that hurt. The wheels were really falling off at this point. Calves, hurt, feet hurt, hamstrings hurt, I was in pain! On the run hills I would say that about 95% of the people I saw were walking, it was amazing. Me with my no-walk policy wasn't exactly running...more of a shuffling hop in an attempt to be bad@ss. I told myself that if I saw someone pass me that was walking, then I could walk, but unfortunately I was somehow still passing people with my gimp run so had to keep going. However, at least this was the last uphill. I came down the hill at mile 10 and told myself, just a 5k left, I can do those in my sleep! (I really have to do lots of pep talks with myself). Those last 3 miles were the longest miles ever. They had an aid station at each mile marker so I'm looking and looking for each aid station simply because I knew it meant that I had completed another mile. But like I didn't already know where they were at from the outbound...guess I was just hoping that the miles would somehow be miraculously shorter on the way back (to my dismay, they weren't). With about 2 miles to go a lady came along me and told me to go with her and just pace off of her. I thought, yes, this is good, the fast I go, the sooner this is over with and she's not going that much faster. However, as soon as I changed my cadence just slightly my calves were like, "Ummm, no, we don't wanna" They were cramping so I had to resume my gimp run to keep them happy. Coming into the finish my legs were really started to cramp up and it was everything I could do just to cross the finish. And yes, a girl in my age group passed me within the last 100 meters, but there was nothing I could do, and to be honest, I didn't care at that point. Seeing the finish line was good enough for me and I prefered to not crawl across it.
What would you do differently?:

Chapter 15: Why the Pain?!
Like I said, I think I just expected it to be easy, but it wasn't. My mind really messed with me. In retrospect though, my previous half marathon PR was at the marathon back in Feb. at 1:50 and before that my stand alone halfs were around 1:57-1:58 and that's without doing all the junk beforehand so I'm really trying to not beat myself up over it. Also, I totally forgot my e-caps this weekend, which I think was a large reason for the cramping in the end. I will try to be smarter next time. I think I did do well with taking my gels, drinking water and keeping cool. Dry heat is way better than humid felt the heat of the sun, but it was extremely tolerable compared to East Texas. Overall I think my mind is my biggest's amazing how easy it is for negative thoughts to enter the mind.
Post race
Warm down:

Chapter 16: Carry Me!
I came across the finish line and the legs officially gave out. Luckily they had tons of people at the finish and a couple people caught me and helped me to the medical tent. As we're going to the medical tent, the guy standing with the medals was standing there and I was like, will someone grab me a medal. The helpers were like don't worry, will get you one and put it on me. I usually don't care about finishers medals for sprints and olympics, but by golly I wanted that medal for this thing! They sat me in a lawn chair in the medical tent and started putting cold wet towels on me. I saw Lane and he looked extremely concerned. I was fine, just needed to sit for a few minutes. Every 5 sec. I had someone coming by asking if I wanted an IV. Hell no! Get away with your needles you freakin' vampires! So, needless to say my medical tent visit was short because I was afraid of what they might do to me. I walked over to Lane, but now my stomach was getting all weird and I was getting light-headed. I decided to sit on the ground, so Lane helped me sit down. Then I felt better so he helped me up. We went and grabbed a finishers t-shirt and I thought I could be a stud and drink a beer...turns out I'm not very studly. I kept having to do the stand up sit down thing as we waited for the others to come in. I must say, everyone did awesome! How exciting to be there with such great athletes and nice people. We took a post race group shot where I did good to stand up long enough to take it. Then everyone decided they wanted showers and hamburgers so we headed to transition to get our stuff. Man, I gotta walk all the way over there?! I would walk a few steps, bend over to keep from getting sick, then repeat. Eventually made it to my bike where Lane so kindly grabbed my transition bucket for me. I then used my bike as a walker to make it to the car. Jen was still gathering up stuff so I decided to go ahead and get a head start on the long walk up the stupid hill. On my way I noticed that they had some results posted. So, managed to drop the bike and inch over to the results. I was 9th out of a total of 19 that they had posted so far. That's all I needed to half baby, ah yeah. Sugar high here I come! I saw Steve and Brady and they could tell I didn't look so good. They offered to bring a car down to get me, but I was determine to not be THAT wussy. Then some lady I don't even know came up to me and said that I didn't look so good and that I was really pale, blah blah. I'm making it up that stupid hill dang it! Once I creeped to the top I was starting to feel better. Lane helped me load my car and then I headed to the hotel to get a shower. So, I have to give major props to Lane for helping my puny self. It probably would have just been simpler to just throw me over his shoulders as much standing/sitting I did. Of course, that probably would have thrown out his back or something, lol.

Chapter 17: Get in my Belly!
Jen very graciously let me crash in her room for the night so that I didn't have to drive back to Abilene. We took showers and then headed to Fuddruckers! Okay, I'm now feeling in tip-top eating shape. Stomach and head are good to go. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and a nice big chocolate milk shake. Didn't really taste the hamburger as I inhaled it. Then, I almost cried when I was pouring the second half of my milk shake into the glass and a lot of it spilled on to the plate. I wanted to go to the bakery there and find more sinful treats, but I was with a bunch of post-race eating weenies, so I didn't do it. They barely made it through there hamburgers! Lane, Jen, and I were the only ones brave enough to go to the bar. However, I will admit, we were quite pathetic...not exactly the party animals we had invisioned. Took us like an hour to make it through one drink. It's definitely a good thing the bar was there to hold us up. Anyways, while we are there I ask if they have desserts. He said that they had rootbeer floats and apple pie. I'm not a huge apple pie fan and I don't drink soda so I started to get depressed, but then he said they had vanilla ice cream. Okay, I'll take that! He came back and asked if I wanted caramel...well of course, anything else sugar you got back there throw it on! He brings out a big bowl and asks if we want 3 spoons. Ha ha, no no no, it's ALL mine, get back! I ate all of it. We then left the bar, said goodbye to Lane and headed to the hotel where we were lazy for a few hours. We went to Denny's around 9:30 and had eggs, hashbrowns, and toast...and of course, it was dessert time again. I got the Reese's pie, talk about heaven! Jen got a lemon pie but didn't even make it half way through. Slide that bad boy on over! So, finished that off as well. After that we went back to the hotel and crashed.

Chapter 18: Did I say ONE day of Sweets?
Yeah, so having a messed up body after the race and hanging out with eating pansies I amended my own rules (hey, I can do that!) and decided to have a second day of sweets, just didn't get to pack in enough. Plus, I'm pretty freakin' excited about my performance. So, left Lubbock around 7ish to make the trek back to Longview. I had powdered donuts and a pecan danish for breakfast. I picked up my dog in Abilene. As I was there I called my secretary. They got too impatient and looked up the results already. She was like...I didn't realize what a big deal this race was (Umm, yeah, been telling you that for months now). She was like, you did really well and was giving me the breakdown of how I compared to everyone else. So, that was neat that they were so excited. I loaded up the mutt and headed out and realized I couldn't find my phone so turned around and went back to the house. There was my phone laying in the gravel drive. Glad I didn't run over it. I noticed that I had missed a call from Dwight...he wanted to know how I did. I didn't want to bother him at work so I was just going to call him later. I stopped in Weatherford for lunch and had Subway (that's the only healthy thing you're going to see for the day!). I was about to get the meal with the usual chips when I was like, wait a second...I can get cookies instead. Mmm, good! Shortly back on the road and Dwight called...he too got impatient and looked up the roads and was like super ecstatic, which was cool. I didn't realize so many people cared how I did (or pretended to care). My friend Steve (different Steve from the race) called as I was around Canton so I told him all about it...he thinks I'm like super hoss...he's just a weenie on the bike though, perhaps if he would train, I wouldn't be so hoss to him anymore, lol. I finally arrived in Longview around 3:30. My coach had a swim on the schedule so I headed to the pool around 4:30. The water actually felt good, but needless to say I didn't care about my speed. Even Eric seemed to be happy about my results. He told me good job...he never tells me that. He thinks I suck. I decided to throw a little celebration in my honor and Dwight wanted in on it. So, ate pizza, drank beer, ate cookies, and chocolate frosting. It was great!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Chapter 19: I'm a Survivor!
Well, I could nit-pick my race all day long, but the truth is, I'm happy about it...ya' here that. I'm HAPPY with my results. My secret time goal was 6 hours with an optimistic time of 5:45. When I came into the finish and saw 5:59 on the clock I was super excited and then I thought, hey, I get to subtract 25 minutes from that! I made the top half and even though I didn't beat Libby, she was only 6 min. ahead of me and I beat her on the bike by over 5 minutes so that makes me happy that I at least beat her there because I consider the bike MY thing. Plus, I think Libby is one of those that gets to train nearly full time. I think the main thing is that I have to get electrolytes in to avoid the cramping problems. Second, just got to get a tough mind set. If I want to do ultradistance, I've got to get my mind in shape more than anything. My body was able to go the distance easy.

Event comments:

Chapter 20: That was Fun, can we do it Again?! (I can say that now that it's over)
I loved this race. I loved the energy around it, I loved the people involved with it, I loved the challenging course, it was all just awesome. The Greers put on a great event. There were complaints about poor packets, medals, etc., which didn't seem to bother me. Evidentally post race food was lacking too, but since my body was revolting against me at the time, that didn't bother me either. It would definitely be fun to do this race again, but I think I have other plans in the works for next year. Being able to hang with the BT crowd definitely made this race enjoyable...they are all such great people!

There, I'm done...I'm sure I missed some stuff (I always think of stuff later), so I might have to add things, but there's the gist of it all. Woohoo! Half-Ironman down, Ironman here I come!

Last updated: 2005-06-28 12:00 AM
00:37:41 | 2112 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 19/32
Overall: 341/810
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless Ironman Stealth
Course: We started at the beach area which was in a cove. We had to swim out and make a right hand turn to the east. The opening was kind of narrow for the number of people, but wasn't too bad. We then swam kind of in an oval in a counter clockwise direction back to the boat ramp.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:12
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
02:49:57 | 56 miles | 19.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/32
Overall: 192/810
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: As I'm sure you have all heard by now, Lubbock is windy and believe it or not, there are freakin' hills out there in the canyons. You come out of transition and immediately climb up a steep hill, down the other side, then up another steep hill, then it's a little ripply as you wind around the park road and then it's flat as a pancake to the start of the first out and back. You do two hills on that out and back section, then you ride over to another out and back section (which has a little out and back section on it...I know it's kind of confusing...look at the map if you need more details). More hills there, then back in where you catch the same hills going back into transition.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:33
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:01:49 | 13.1 miles | 09m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 16/32
Overall: 261/810
Performance: Average
Course: You make your way out of transition and around the southwest side of the lake for about 5k before heading up the first big hill to the top of the canyon. Then, you come down a long steep hill and then up another long steep hill. Then it's flat for awhile as you turn on the road to "Energy Lab II" Talk about flat and bunch of freakin' nothing. Turn around at the halfway point and come back the same way, but this time you only have one uphill. Shaded in areas down around the lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2005-06-28 11:27 PM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman

2005-06-29 1:34 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman

Holy cow a 5:34 half!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Thats FLYING!

That must be one competitive race!  I think that kinda time around here would net ya some hardware. 

I went to school in Abilene and Lubbock (last century), so interesting to read your report.

Again congratulations on a great race!

2005-06-29 2:59 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman

1 - Stay away from my bodyglide witchy woman!
2 - The wetsuit went on easy cause YOU'RE SO DAMN TINY
3 - You did all of that with you knee twinging like mad on the bike and your calves trying to cramp up on the run?
4 - You are a HOSS STUD!  What an awesome race!!

AND you are happy with your results.  That makes ME very happy!  You rock chick-a-dee.  You ROCK!
2005-06-29 8:22 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman


You had an awesome race!  You were flying through that course!  In the first few miles of the bike I was passed by lots of people.  Obviously, one of them was you.

It was great to meet you.  Oh, and thanks for the compliment about my lovely wife.

Congrats on a great race,


2005-06-29 9:28 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
That's a great race time!  You should be happpy about it!  Glad you had fun on your first 1/2!
2005-06-29 10:19 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Extreme Veteran
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman

So here's my schedule when I read one of Gina's race reports:

1. Quickly scan report

2. Grab purse and walk across the street to Starbucks and order a latte.

3. Come back to my desk, drink latte, and read report.

4. Finish drinking latte and reading report at same time.

Awesome race, Gina. I'm happy that YOU'RE happy with your results. You are usually way too hard on yourself. I love reading your post-race feeding stories - you're a woman after my own heart! I know how it feels to be able to eat everyone under the table and feel self-conscious about it!! We need to do a race together then see who can out-eat each other! Hee hee!

2005-06-29 10:29 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Gina you had an awesome race!  Just amazing....
2005-06-29 11:31 AM
in reply to: #186029

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Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
" but I was with a bunch of post-race eating weenies, so I didn't do it. They barely made it through there hamburgers! Lane, Jen, and I were the only ones brave enough to go to the bar."

Oh, now I'm a post-race eating weenie!?   (I couldn't finish my hamburger!)  I felt much better that evening - too bad I didn't go with you to Denny's!

Just like you - I'm ready to do this race again.  If you'll go, I'll go!   You had a fantastic race this year.  Excellent RR!

Edited by Alpine87 2005-06-29 11:32 AM
2005-06-29 2:51 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Terrific race report and congrats on the 1/2 IM!  I like to write long, detailed race reports too so it's nice to see others that put the time in to type it all up.  I loved the part where you kicked the girl that pulled on you during the swim! 
2005-06-29 3:34 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
If that's some sort of extraordinary amount of food for you, I'm so gonna whoop your ass in the eating contest. However, you will always whoop my ass in tris. Woman, you are FAST!!!! Incredible time, incredible perseverance. Way to go, Gina! I can't wait to read your IM RR! (Although, you might want to just go ahead and publish that in hardback.)
2005-06-29 3:48 PM
in reply to: #186495

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Extreme Veteran
St. Albert
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Wow! Awesome time!!! Great race report - I enjoyed reading every little detail.

2005-06-29 4:19 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Texarkana, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Great race, Gina. Ain't it awesome to overcome obstacles, even if they are of our own making?

A couple of words of advice, if I may be so bold.

1) There is nothing wrong with walking in a Half or Full Ironman. You might have found that you were actually faster if you had walked 30-45 sec at each aid station.
2) There's also nothing wrong with getting an IV after a race when you lay it all on the line. You'll feel just peachy that much quicker. The best bag of chips I ever ate were the doritos in the medical tent after my IV at IMAZ this year!
3) Love your race reports. I like to write long-ish ones as well, so it's fun to read others with the same affliction.
4) Get a full wetsuit for IMAZ. They're faster.

Keep after it.
2005-06-29 8:38 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Extreme Veteran
las vegas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
amazing race gina!!!  you inspire me to be half the triathlete you are!  as usual, great race report! 
2005-06-29 8:46 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
I love reading your race reports, especially when I'm at work! Great job! I'm planning on Buffalo Springs next year, so I can say I know exactly what to expect. Thanks!
2005-06-29 9:20 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman

As usual, don't disappoint!  Awesome RACE.  And awesome RR!

You did SOOOOOOOO well.  And I now believe exactly how much you can eat.  I will never doubt again!

Awesome to meet you and we will definitely have to do this again sometime!!!!

2005-07-01 12:00 PM
in reply to: #186820

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Texas! & Ann Arbor, MI!
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Good Gosh 5hr 34min?!! for your first 1/2? Way to go Gina!! You're amazing! Nice meeting you!

2005-07-01 1:15 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Thanks for all of the wonderful comments guys! It's people like y'all that keep me motivated for this sport when I feel like giving up.
2005-07-01 2:08 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Awesome race report and terriffic job. I need to learn a few things from you on the bike. Thanks for the tips while we were riding the course. I have to say though I think because of it I didn't sleep very well that night. I was expecting hills, but not the ones I saw in the car. Maybe I should have followed you guys' lead and had a drink the night before just to help me sleep.

I love reading race reports that make me laugh. Again GREAT JOB!!!
2005-07-01 2:20 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Issaquah, WA,
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Great race! 
2005-07-02 3:22 PM
in reply to: #186029

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman
Awesome race! Sounds like you faired a little better than I did. Or most people for that matter. Congratulations.
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