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Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lubbock, Texas
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
95F / 35C
Total Time = 7h 56m 16s
Overall Rank = 802/
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 37/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 0400. Took a shower and ate a banana while I got ready. I originally wanted to leave about 0430, but I had to take an extra trip to the car with all my stuff so I left around 0440. While driving I ate my espresso chip bonk breaker bar. When I got to the site there was already a line of cars waiting to park. I think if I'd left on time I wouldn't have had to wait in the line of cars. But it really didn't hamper me at all. I waited a few minutes to park, nothing huge.

I got my bag and bike out and used my floor pump to pump up my tires. I only pumped them to 110 since max was 120 and I knew the temp out at 0500 was a LOT less than it would be by 0900 or so. I walked my bike and bag down the big hill to transition. I kinda had to use the bathroom by now and it was distracting. So instead of setting up my stuff right away I hit the porta potties first. Good thing I did. By 45' prior to race start more than half were out of TP and it was quite chaotic over there.

After taking care of business I went back to my transition spot and prepped all my stuff. I had a lot of extra time so I stood around a bit chatting with some of the girls near my spot. Then I did the walk of the transition area to help me find my spot both at swim in and bike in. Once I had the lay of the land I decided to pee again...just in case. I also drank my bottle of UCAN at 0600 for my final pre-race nutrition. Then I checked over my gear one last time and took my goggles, suit, and cap down to the beach. With 10-15 minutes to race start I started working my way into the wetsuit. Catwoman's hubby had to help me get it over my shoulders. Not sure if it was the bulkier bike jersey or just that it's a bit small for me right now, but it was a struggle.
Event warmup:

I didn't really warm up. I got into the water to wet my hair to put my swim cap on and also to pee one last time, but right about when I would have started doing some short swimming they kicked everyone out of the water. The water was pretty warm. They were calling it 75.9 so it was wetsuit legal but I'm calling bullshit on that. :D
  • 34m 36s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 47s / 100 meters

Ran into the water with my wave. Lots of contact early on, but after the first buoy I took the wide course so I wouldn't be too in the thick of it. I was somewhat happily swimming along on the fringes until I realized I wasn't able to see the turn buoy we were sighting to. That made me feel like I was maybe too far off the course. I didn't pick the best goggles for this swim. I picked an older pair and they are scratched up. We were swimming into the sun but I don't think that was the sole problem. I have some much clearer goggles I could have worn. I think if I'd worn the not scratched up goggles I would have been able to see better. I think tinted goggles might have been overkill. I digress. So I decided to sneak back into the fold to have lemmings to follow. :D They led me to the turn buoy! Success!

The rest of the buoys were easier to see. I think the downfall was the COMBO of the crappy goggles and the sun. Once the sun factor was taken out the buoys were still hard to see but I could see them reasonably soon. Somewhere on the back half the fasties from the wave behind me caught up. Many of them were being overly aggressive IMHO. As a fastie myself I take great care to swim AROUND the slow swimmers, not over them. And it really pissed me off that these fasties were being a-holes and plowing into people (including me!). News flash...if you run into someone maybe you should take a second to look around and re-vector. Almost everyone that hit me just kept on swimming as if they never hit me. It annoyed me.

I tried to keep to myself as much as possible. The back side felt very long to me. I tried to pee a couple of times but failed. I almost got thwacked at the last turn buoy. Stupid people that think they have to cut across four lanes of swimmers and cross RIGHT AT THE BUOY. News flash...if you're on the outside, suck it up and go wide around the turn buoy....don't cut across all the other swimmers, please! :D

The last leg was quite short and I tried again to pee but failed. I hate not being able to pee near the swim exit! I even tried standing up early (whereas I would normally swim as long as I could). But even THAT failed. The exit was quit sketchy...lots of big rocks and a huge step up onto a concrete boat ramp. Thank goodness for volunteers in water up to their shoulders pulling you along and lifting you up!
What would you do differently?:

Newer goggles with less scratches.
Transition 1
  • 02m 48s

I had my goggles and cap off almost before I was out of the water. As I passed by the wetsuit strippers I glanced at my watch and saw 34:xx which pleased me. I don't like wetsuit strippers though so I skipped them. Thankfully one of them did manage to grab my wetsuit strap and unzip me which was quite helpful because I was having a hard time getting the zipper going.

I knew I had a long run to my bike so I worked on getting the suit down to my waist the whole way there. Once I got to my spot I pulled the suit off the rest of the way, it was easy. I kind of took my time because I knew I was in for a long day and figured that being completely ready was going to benefit me more than the 30" I might save in transition.

I put on my bike shoes and helmet, stuffed nutrition and a spare tube in my jersey, put on my race belt and sunglasses and headed towards the exit. There was a big backup to exit so I just walked in line with everyone else. I ran past the mount line to some open space and got on my bike. Hit start on the Garmin and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Just practice. I probably didn't do this the most efficient way possible.
  • 3h 43m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.02 mile/hr

Average power = 116W, NP = 138W. Those are both easily 40W over what I had been doing on long rides. :D

Anyway, right out the gate is the first hill. The hills near transition were the ones I was worried about. They were all 6-9% grade and I am not sure if any of the hills I've been doing are that steep. But I didn't even have to stand up! I was quite excited. I didn't want to go crazy on these first two hills with so much biking ahead of me. So I just cranked up both in my easiest gear. Once I got to the top of the second one I allowed myself to settle down. I was supposed to go Z3 all day and "do whatever it takes to get up the hills". :D Well, despite RPE being in Z2/3, my HR was in Z4/5 most of the day. I spent 2/3 of the day in Z4/5! But RPE was telling me I wasn't in that zone, so...I went with it.

Once I recovered from the hills the pace was feeling easy so I rolled with it. I ate my first half a bonk breaker bar at 15'. Then settled into the ride. We either had very light wind or a tailwind and I was hauling butt. The roads were chipseal but MUCH smoother than what I'm used to riding on. I was able to hang in aero and just cruise. I was still getting passed, but the pace was fabulous.

We turned southbound and hit the first minor headwind of the day. Not bad, but a headwind. The large flag I saw on the side of the road was about 3/4 out. Hit the next hill set...down first then right back up. These are about 4-5% grade. Just spun up in my easiest gear again. More southbound and then we made a turn to the east. Tailwind here. The wind was out of the Southwest. Then there was a left hand turn for a short distance to a turnaround. After the turnaround it was headwind again until back at the main road. I just tried to stay aero and get through it.

Once back at the main road it was a nice tailwind for awhile. I tried to take advantage of it and go a bit easier. I was still moving pretty fast! We made a right turn onto another county road eastbound, still a tailwind. This road was a bit rougher. The chipseal was fine, but it had a lot of surprise ruts...just sunken spots that you couldn't see coming. I hit a bunch of them. I'm lucky I didn't flat!

Next up was another right turn and we were headed southbound. I was pretty sure the wind had picked up at this point. I knew this southbound segment wasn't as bad as the previous segment so I just hunkered down and tried to get through it. I'd been doing pace checks every 10 miles when we passed the 10 mile markers. I knew my pace was pretty darn good at this point.

I was glad that this southbound leg included a downhill because that gave me a break from the wind. I just coasted down it. We turned east again eventually and ran into the next big uphill...the windy and twisty one. I was able to climb it seated. Definitely the hardest one of the day yet. But, I got up to the top and not that long after that was the turnaround. Once I turned around it was back into the headwind for a bit. Down the windy and twisty hill (I took my time!). Finally got to turn back to the north. I knew this was going to be my last tailwind of the day. I passed the 40 mile mark right at 2:30. I really thought it was conceivably possible to hit a 3:30 bike split...I mean, all I had to do was do 16 miles in an hour, right? I had been beating that pace most of the day. I cruised in the tailwind until I hit the hill. This was a long slow grinder (only about 2.9%). At this point (well, really since about 2:30) my right lower back started to hurt. Right in the SI joint area. Pretty sure I need to see the chiro! :D I'll admit that even cruising in the tail I was starting to hurt...bad. I had a hard time staying in any position other than sitting straight up.

Finally we had to turn westbound. And I hit the wall of wind. It was a LOT stronger than the 7-11 knots that had been predicted. A lot. I tried to grind into it in aero but my lower back was really bother me. I had to keep sitting up...which was not helping my wind situation. Any and all time goals went out the window and I just wanted to be done. We turned south for a very short segment which was even worse of a headwind than westbound! Another turn westbound for a pretty decently long stretch. Then one more short jog south.

Then FINALLY we turn back into the lake entrance and it's eastbound. I really did take it a bit easy and let the tail work for me. I knew there was still one hill out there! Down a hill, then...the beast. The 9% hill....the one I'd been worried about all day! I stood up once or twice on this one but I'm not sure I HAD to or just WANTED to to get it over with. :D got to the top, went a short ways on the flat...then got to ride the last downhill (on my brakes!) into transition. So glad to be done.

I know I lapsed in talking about nutrition there, but at some point I realized I remembered my nutrition by time, not where I was on the course. So I'm going to write a short nutrition summary here.
I started with a bottle of UCAN and a half bottle of water (no need to take too much water weight up those hills).
As previously mentioned, I had the half bonk breaker at 15'.
It wasn't too hot yet so I didn't need much in the water department. I skipped the 10 mile aid station, I still had plenty.
At 1:15 I started drinking half my bottle of UCAN. I drank that over the next 45'. I picked up a bottle of water at the 20 mile aid station. I was feeling a bit hungry. But I made myself wait until 2:15 to eat the half package of sharkies I had with me. Between the UCAN, sharkies, and water the hunger went away.
At 2:30 I started drinking the other half bottle of UCAN. That took me about 30-45 minutes.
When I hit the 46 mile aid station I swapped out an empty water bottle for another full one, which I had about half of in the remaining trip back.
At 3:30 I ate the other half of the bonk breaker.

Roughly speaking, that's about 400 calories.
What would you do differently?:

I can't decide if I went out too hard, or if this is just where my bike fitness is right now. My back has been hurting a bit on my other long rides, but not quite as badly as this one. All in all though, this is a full 3mph faster than I've been riding. Can't ask for better than that!
Transition 2
  • 05m 8s

Dismounted and headed into transition. I went to turn down my row and discovered that the bunch of jackasses in that part of transition couldn't be bothered to re-rack their bikes by the saddle....lazy pieces of shit racked them by handlebars...which meant that there almost wasn't room down the center of the racks to fit my bike! I was not pleased. Seriously, can't people take an extra 5" to spin their bike around and rack it properly? Really?????

I finally navigated the obstacle course and got to my spot. Racked the bike then made the switchover to running. I took my time assuming I was probably in this for the long haul. I even used vaseline on my feet to ward off blisters. On the way out of transition I stopped at the porta potties. I'd had to pee for awhile! And I hoped that peeing now would mean no stops on the run!

I jogged most of the way through transition and out the exit...never saw the mats so I may or may not have hit my Garmin at the right time. I hit it as I came parallel to the finish was an out and back after all!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Again, didn't want to hurry and end up suffering for it on my really long run!
  • 3h 30m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 16m 02s  min/mile

Here we goooooooo!
So, the plan was 1'run/1'walk, walk the three big hills.
I ran leaving transition...when I exited transition I hit both the Garmin and the interval timer on my watch. It was set for exactly a minute. Every time the watch beeped I knew to switch from running to walking or walking to running...without having to stare at my watch.

This went well for quite awhile. I had a throw away bottle of UCAN (that was REALLY hot at this point) to sip on for the first 60-90 minutes. It lasted about 75'...I finally used it up at the 5 mile aid station. I was sipping on that and taking water at every aid station. The first hill was just past the three mile aid station. I was really glad we'd decided to let me walk up these. That hill was huge. And my legs were more tired than I thought they'd be. My run segments all felt very heavy. They were a lot slower than I thought I'd be running.

Crested the hill and resumed the 1'run/1'walk. There was an almost immediate downhill and I "ran" the whole downhill. Then resumed the 1'run/1'walk.

Short flat section (where the 4 mile aid station was) and then I headed up the second my nice steady walk. At the top of this hill I hit the Energy Lab. It's this county road with absolutely NO's brutally hot. I saw Catwoman at the entrance...she was just finishing it and I was headed outbound.

The 5 mile aid station was about a half mile into the energy lab. That's where I finished my UCAN and ditched the bottle. I had as much water as possible there. And then kept heading out. 1'run/1'walk. The runs were getting slower. :D

Hit the 6 mile aid station and knew the turnaround couldn't be that much farther. There was thankfully another aid station at the turnaround so I got to get some more water there. They were doing a great job keeping the fluids cold. I have no idea how much ice we went through, but it had to be a lot! Somewhere around here I started to get inklings of cramps in my calves. I started to worry that maybe I was running low on electrolytes, so I decided to start eating my package of sharkies at the 7 mile aid station and start taking in some perform. It took me four aid stations to get through my sharkies. I was holding off the cramps at this point by keeping my feet flexed as much as possible (hello, heel to toe walking and running! long time no see!j). I was still managing my 1'run/1'walk but it was getting harder. More perform and water and sharkies at Mile 8. Somewhere around 8.5 the cramps were bad enough that I couldn't even get through 30" of running without a cramp. But I kept trying. I made it down the big hill at the end of the energy lab running the whole way. The 9 mile aid station was at the bottom and I figured that walking that aid station plus the big hill immediately after it might give me enough of a "break" to stop the cramping.

It was a nice thought, but it didn't help. I tried a 1' segment at the top of that hill and about 30" into it I had to pull to a stop with a cramp. I was right near some spectators who gave me that knowing sympathetic look as I started walking again. *sigh* That was pretty well the moment where I decided I was going to have to walk it in. Over the next mile and a half I did give running a few more chances, but it just wasn't working. I shotgunned as much perform as I could at each aid station, but I am beginning to think it wasn't electrolytes (or the perform and such should have helped).

I downed TONS of water too. The problem with walking is that even aid stations a mile apart take FOREVER to reach because you're going so slow! I started to get a bit down because I kept getting passed by other walkers. I wasn't walking slowly, I was walking full speed...for me. My full speed walking is about 18 minutes per mile...even fully rested. And I wasn't much slower than that. But everyone else just walks faster than me.

I was trying to keep perspective...I came to the race today with ONE goal and one goal only and I could do math and I realized I was easily going to make the cutoff. But it just stinks to feel so helpless. Anyway, as I was feeling pretty down I got passed by a handcycle athlete. Pretty sure she would have traded her legs for mine in a, as uncooperative as my legs were being, I was pretty thankful for them at that point. Really puts it in perspective.

So I resumed my cheerful walking in the oven. I just walked as fast as I could...drank perform and water at the last two aid stations, and was over the moon excited to see the finish line. I walked across it.
What would you do differently?:

Let's face it. My longest run was about 2 miles before this. What did I expect? All things considered my legs performed admirably. I have run a grand total of less than 90 miles since IMFL in 2010. This is downright incredible. I thought I'd make it farther than I did, but oh well. I'd basically like to have trained more but that wasn't in the cards.
Post race
Warm down:

I have to admit I was pretty darn disappointed when I crossed the finish line. They were out of women's extra large shirts (all they had was smalls) and generally speaking I was somewhat ignored. I had a hard time even tracking down some sports drink to start recovering with. The third volunteer I asked was finally able to go into a truck and get some. It was unsat IMHO. I finally got a bottle of perform and drank about half of it while I walked over to my transition area. I packed up my bag and walked towards the big hill. I left my bike and bag up on the road and walked the short distance down to the lake. I pretty much walked right in wearing my race clothes. Not really an ice bath with the water at almost 76 degrees, but it felt good and it got the crud off me.

I got out of the lake and started walking my bike up the big hill. About halfway up Jasha rescued me and gave me a lift to my car. I did the truck change in the parking lot into clean dry clothes and drove off to get some FOOD.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I was not trained for this distance. I've done plenty of swimming and feel like I've even done a bunch of decent long rides, but my run training has been next to nil because of various injuries since IMFL. So, lack of training for sure...and that isn't anybody's fault.

Event comments:

As previously mentioned, I had ONE goal for today...finish under the cutoff to validate my Kona lottery slot. Mission Accomplished.

Other things I learned/observed/realized.

I tested out a new nutrition plan. Y'all know from reading most of my race reports that porta potties and I have a history. I'd been suspecting for years that I was just plain trying to eat too much. I've been working with a new nutritionist lately who agreed with that assessment and has had me training on about a third of the calories I used to try to consume. Well, it's hard to claim success with a test set of ONE, but I thought today was massively successful. I didn't have one iota of GI distress. And I still had plenty of energy. Still a few kinks to iron out and I'd still like to make it simpler (it required a bunch of memorizing), but I think maybe this has the potential to be a game changer for me. I had more calories on the run than intended, but I had no other way to get electrolytes into me than to drink the perform. I planned about half that amount of perform. I had enough nutrition on me to get to about 3 hours. The plan was to just live off the course for however much time was left after that. I started in on the perform at about 2:00 or so when I started to cramp.

I haven't raced a tri since IMFL 2010. Definitely a motivator to want to get back into shape when you are faced head on with just how out of shape you are. This tri was my very very first tri EVER back in 2004. Here it is 8 years later and I was almost an hour slower. That is truly sad. I am in lousy shape. Aerobically I'm fine, I'm just overweight. Get the weight off and I'm sure I'll improve rapidly.

My hip and nerve made it through the day just fine. This bodes well. I don't want to go crazy on the run build, but today gave me a lot of hope that building the run back up won't be impossible. And hopefully increasing the running will increase the weightloss.

I guess that's it. Like I said, I was rather disappointed by the lack of finish line help/ammenities/organization. I realize I came in at 8 hours, but seriously...just because people are slow doesn't mean they won't need help/food/etc. when they finish. I was also pretty mad that they had asked us exactly what size finisher shirt we wanted and then didn't make people stick to the size they ordered. I specifically asked for an XL but because they were running small all the small people took the bigger sizes before I could finish. This actually upset me a LOT. I ended up with a men's shirt because I doubt there will ever be a time in my life, even at an ideal weight, where I'd fit the women's small. But it would have fit a whole bunch of those tiny women I saw racing out there today. I am sad. RD's need to protect the late finishers. There should be food and drink and appropriately sized shirts left when they get there!

Oh, and the race did start late. And information was lacking (for example, it was 0615 in the morning before any mention of transition closing at 0630 was ever made...that info wasn't on the website or said any earlier than that. Seriously? And let's not forget the lack of TP in the porta potties with more than 30 minutes to go to the race start. And I don't mean just ONE porta potty...more than half the porta potties on my side of transition were out of TP. The devil is in the details, people!

That is all!

Last updated: 2012-04-17 12:00 AM
00:34:36 | 1931 meters | 01m 47s / 100meters
Age Group: 13/
Overall: 387/
Performance: Average
Suit: Synergy Full
Course: Single loop in the lake.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:48
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:43:42 | 56 miles | 15.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 35/
Overall: 771/
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 73
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:08
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:30:02 | 13.1 miles | 16m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 38/
Overall: 802/
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2012-06-25 10:34 PM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake

2012-06-25 11:18 PM
in reply to: #4280281

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San Antone, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake

Hey great job finishing a very tough race knowing that you didn't quite have the fitness going in!  I've been wanting to do BSLT for a few years now, I may just have to suck it up and do it next year.

Congrats!  I can't wait to hear how Kona goes for you.

2012-06-26 9:01 AM
in reply to: #4280281

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Awesome swesome job out there Jen.  You are amazing.  Congrats on validating!! You really executed fantastic esp with the lack of run training. SO happy that the nutrition worked out better this time too!! YAY for PROGRESS!!!  You ROCK
2012-06-26 12:21 PM
in reply to: #4280281

New user

Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Congrats on the comeback race!  Dont sweat the time.  I was 12 minutes slower on this one compared to Austin 70.3 in October, and I ran that with a stress fracture in my foot.  The elements played heavily in this race.  I also was a bit torqued with the unnecessary contact on the swim.  For me, I had  lot of people actually grabbing and pulling my legs and ankles.  WTF?  Just bump and change course, people!
2012-06-26 2:34 PM
in reply to: #4280281

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake

Lots  of positives in your race Jen!

First race since 11/2010
No GI issues!
Nutrition plan worked
You Validated your Kona spot
You covered 13.1 miles despite running 90miles in last 18 months
Great power numbers compared to your training!

You my friend rocked it.....look forward to what you have in front of you....Kona what a great goal race!!!

2012-06-26 3:24 PM
in reply to: #4281494

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
KathyG - 2012-06-26 2:34 PM

Lots  of positives in your race Jen!

First race since 11/2010
No GI issues!
Nutrition plan worked
You Validated your Kona spot
You covered 13.1 miles despite running 90miles in last 18 months
Great power numbers compared to your training!

You my friend rocked it.....look forward to what you have in front of you....Kona what a great goal race!!!

Thanks, Kathy!  This made me realize I forgot one more HUGE positive...

This was my first race post-breast reduction!  I didn't have to lug ridiculously huge b@@bs for 70.3 miles! :D

And I had WAY less chafing as a result!  Woot! :D

2012-06-26 3:37 PM
in reply to: #4281185

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Oh man, I laughed at your expletives in the T2 recap.   I hear ya!   Congrats on getting it done.
2012-06-26 5:56 PM
in reply to: #4280281

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Congratulations on finishing your first race since IMFL '10!  You pereserved which shows you are mentally and physically tough.  Onward!
2012-06-26 10:25 PM
in reply to: #4280281

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Triathlete Nation ~ Texas!
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Congrats on the BSLT finish. A tough course and a tough day.  Go KONA!  Great job and best of luck on the big island!
2012-06-26 10:36 PM
in reply to: #4282147

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Enjoy your trip to KONA - you earned it!
2012-06-27 1:15 PM
in reply to: #4280281

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Shalimar, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
You HAVE been through a lot since IMFL, so bask in the glory of this success!  And you definitely have learned a lot -- what to do AND what you can expect your body to do.  Great job!!!

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