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Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Lubbock, Texas
United States
Sunny
Total Time = 6h 31m 49s
Overall Rank = 610/1070
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 127/181
Pre-race routine:

Travel: Went to Fort Worth to meet up with Aaron (Jeep Fleeb), Haley (Comet), Jessica (TriTakeMeAway), and Chris (Coredump), and Amanda (MandiGayle). Amanda worked on my calf that had been knotted up for months. She found about 6 or 7 old injuries in 30 minutes, and declared my legs jacked up. :) Jacked up, or not the felt great when she got done. It gave me a lot of peace of mind to have my calf feeling better.

Sleep: 2.5 or 3 hours Friday night. 4 hours Saturday night. Just couldn't fall asleep. Saturday we drove the bike course (Zia Cyclist, Fleeb, Coredump, Sebjamesm, and myself). The hills were longer and steeper than I had pictured. The bike course is what it is. Mostly flat woth 8 challenging hills. I was worried as much about the downhill on the spiral staircase as I was any one uphill. Coming from an area with no hills and having very novice bike handling skills, for once I was more worried about the bike than the swim. We went down to transition to check that out and in comes Natascha Badmann practicing her mount/dismount one her uber-bike. That was pretty cool. She was smiling the whole time as expected. :) BT pasta dinner was good. I had some Barilllo power pasta or something like that. Desiree Ficker was there, so Haley and Aaron got her to write a good luck message for Brandt (OldAg92) up in Couere d'Alene. That was awesome.

Race Morning: I was able to eat pretty well. I guess I finally got to a point were my nerves had settled down and I knew I needed the calories. Bagel, banana, Power Bar.
Event warmup:

FEAR. While driving in we could see thunder and lightning on the horizon. When we got to parking the wind was absolutely howling, and it was cold. I halfway considered donning my wetsuit at the car and walking down in that. Dust was blowing pretty good too. One thing about this race: everyone I met was great. Even in the parking lot there were other athletes coming up and wishing us luck.

I had an awesome rack in transition. Right on the end. Same thing happened last race. I thought again "this would be a great spot if I wasn't so slow in the water". I met some buddies from Beaumont and talked with them, Joe "the human Airfoil" from the gym, and his buddie Steve. There were rumors that the race would be postponed due to weather. I looked down at he lake and saw the water churning. That was enough to make me want to reconsider my plan for the day, maybe take a raincheck. Eventually the storm passed to the east of the site and the race was starting on time. I donned the wetsuit (happily) and moved down to the swim start.

The pro field was in the water getting lined up. There was an excellent field. It was odd to look down and see people I'd only seen on magazine covers. I met up with Triathlon's Best Jockstraps, Haley and Jess. Who else has two iron-distance veteran jockstraps? We got the rockstar treatment all weekend. It really helped me a lot personally. I think they must have said "You're going to do AWESOME!!" about 20 times. I eventually started to believe it, and by the start of the swim, my mind was in good shape.
Swim
  • 33m 47s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 36s / 100 yards
Comments:

The swim. Where to start? I have a well-documented history of bad open water swimming. In fact first race season was worse than anything last season. I side-stroked the whole 500 yards at Cactus Challenge. At my first OLY, I was slow, off-course, hugged every buoy to catch my breath, and had the jet skiers circling for most of the course. So for the past couple of months I focused heavily on the swim. Lot's of long sets in the pool, open water, and wetsuit practice.

I spoke to Dennis (Dgunthert) at the start and told him my plan was the same as always: Hang back and let everyone clear out and try not to get over-run by the subsequent waves. Dennis made a convincing argument for getting behind a faster swimmer and trying to draft for as long as possible. 30 seconds before the gun went off, I decided to change my plan and go with Dennis' advice.

At the gun I still walked into the water but I didn't wait 10 seconds like I usually do. I got on a guy's feet right away . Before I knew it we were at the first buoy! My breathing was right on, mechanics were good, everything was flowing. I was in a pack of about six guys, right in the middle. I started laughing at this point because I knew I'd hit my groove right from the start and a big PR was in the bag. Somewhere on the long straightaway at one of the bouys I rounded a little tight and I caught a fist right at the base of my skull. The guy that hit me stopped and asked if I was okay. I gave him a thumbs-up and shook it off. It was at that point when I was looking for the buoy that I started seeing red swim caps. Lot's of red swim caps. That was the previous wave! I got pretty fired up and started swimming a little harder. I pulled the pack for a bit until we caught anouther group that was moving pretty well and settled back into the draft. As we approached another big buoy I could hear the race announcer on the bullhorn talking up a storm. I picked up the pace a little and left the pack. I swam a beeline for the boat ramp and there was a mix of swim caps from previous waves and one or two from the wave behind me. I was so fired up. I have been passed by every wave behind me en-masse in each of my 3 sprints and the OLY I'd done. Today I was hammering the swim. I got to my feet and hit the lap button on my watch. I was expecting a PR, but this was really fast! 33:47!!!!! I ran to transition realizing I had a good start for my overall goal of 6:30, a time I'd posted in my blog and subsequently convinced myself I could not get anywhere near.
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing during the swim. There are rumors that the course was a little short. Either way, my swim was a big PR for me both in terms of time and my position relative to everyone else. :)
Transition 1
  • 04m 48s
Comments:

Not long after I got to my rack and started getting my bike gear on, I saw Dennis. I think he was more than a little surprised to see me. He said "Dude you were flying on the swim!!" I still couldn't believe it.

I knew T1 would be slower because I had to put on sunblock. I may have taken my time a little too much, but I knew it was going to be a long day so I made sure I didn't miss anything.
What would you do differently?:

Start practicing transitions more so I can get faster and stay through.
Bike
  • 3h 31m 50s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.86 mile/hr
Comments:

The infamous BSLT bike course. I made sure my bike was in an easy gear before I racked it in the morning (good advice from Coredump and ZiaCyclist) because the first hill right out of transition is no joke. Leaving T1 I saw Haley and Jess and they were in full jockstrap mode. It was awesome. I felt like I was riding a mountain stage of the TDF! The hills were not as hard as I'd imagined, but the overall course took a little more out of me than I'd expected. I'd done longer rides in my training, but they were all flat. I mentally broke the course down in 3 sections: first and second 20 mile sections, and the last 16. The first two sections were pretty good. It was cool to see the pro field coming in. Natascha Badmann blew by me at one point on her way back in. I think I saw Micheal Lovato too, and Desiree Ficker & Andrea Fischer at some point. At about 40 miles my right quad started cramping a little, so I slowed down and went to an easier gear for about 5 minutes. I picked it back up and after a few minute it was hurting again. I knew I had two or three hills to go so I held about 12 mph and 100 rpm. I got passed a lot here, but most of the people who passed me didn't look like runners. Joel (TH3_FRB) told me to let people go on the bike, which of course is good advice. I'd been doing that all along but at this late point in the bike section it was harder to do. I still did it. I didn't want to be running on sore legs so I stuck with the plan. The last few hills weren't as bad as I thought they would be. I saw BTers all over the bike course and knew they were mostly ahead of me, but I'd expected that. My bike legs are still developing. I had a secret goal of not having to get off the bike and push it up any hills. I didn't. In fact when I started thinking I was having trouble I didn't have to look far to see a handcyclist inching up the hills backwards. Those guys were amazing. There was one guy with long hair and a beard wearing a hot pink bandana and hot pink socks that let out a "Whhoooooooooooo Hooooooooo!!!!" As he was bombing downhill. I laughed outloud. THAT was the highlight of the bike course.
What would you do differently?:

More base training. Some trips to get in hill work.
Transition 2
  • 00m
Comments:

No chip time for T2. Probably slow. I couldn't run for a minute or two once I dispounted, so I walked to my rack. I changed fairly quickly, put on my Amphipod and gel flask and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Not much
Run
  • 2h 21m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 47s  min/mile
Comments:

I found my running legs right out of transition and I started running at a decent pace. I got around the first turn and there were Haley and Jess with ice towels and lots of encouragement! All of the BTer names were on the road in sidewalk chalk. :) More rockstar treatment!

First mile was right on at 9:00, and I ran through the aid station. My plan was to walk the aid stations and hills and shoot for an average pace per mile of 10:00 to 10:30. I slowed up a little but I felt great. Mile 2 was 9:30. I ran through the aid station and drank water and took some gel from my flask. Mile three had a big hill so I walked that trying to strecth my quads. Once over the top I made a mistake. I tried to gain some time by running faster than my pace on the downhill. After a minute or two of that my left hamstring knotted cramped so badly I couldn't straighten my leg. Pure panic for a few seconds. I walked it off and after a short while it worked itself out. I started running again at the bottom of the hill and I held my pace on all the flats according to plan, right on 10:00 minute miles. I walked a little at each aid station, driniking water and filling up my Amphipod bottle to squirt over myself.I took gel every other mile. I started with the plan to take 3 Endurolytes every hour. I upped that to 3 every 30 minutes after I started cramping a little. My gut started to cramp a little around mile 6, so I did what Joel told me to do.... just slow down. I eased up for a minute or two and it went away. The aid stations were excellent. They had people everywhere. They were all over it. I didn't take any food. I did start sipping a little Gatoraide. At mile 8 I was looking for ice at the last table and they only had one cup right there so they girl behind me got it. She caught up with me and asked if I got ice. I told her no but it I would find some at the next mile. So she reached down inside her tri-top and grabbed a handful of ice and handed it to me. Hey, desperate times... At one point one of the volunteers took my bottle and said he'd fill it with ice and catch me. "Just don't stop!" He had to be at least 65... with a straw hat. He caught me and gave me my bottle. That was awesome. I walked the last hills and stuck to my plan. I knew I was on pace to finish right on the button at 6:30 before that last hill. I walked it as planned and that left me about 18 minutes for the last two miles. I picked up my pace and held it as long as I could. Coming in the last half mile I saw Andrea Fischer and Jaime Cleveland as they were walking their bikes up to parking. They started cheering for me, and Andrea said "Go 595 you look GREAT!" Very cool. :)
What would you do differently?:

More bike base training so I can run the way I run in training on race day.
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line, got my medal and finisher's shirt, and I went to the food tent and start shoveling bagels into my mouth. I ate two whole bagels, and monster slice of water melon, waterm and a bottle of Gatoraide. My quads were SCREAMING, so after about 20 minutes of trying to walk it off, I went to the med tent to get an ice bath on my legs, and since they were happy to do it, an IV. My right quad was twitching so one of the volunteers massaged it for a few minutes with an ice towel. That felt GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. After 20 more minutes, I felt like a million bucks. I milled around and hung out with the BT crew drank a lot. Smoothing King was set up so I had a huge protein shake. I talked with Ahmed Zahler a little to follow up on a discussion we had at the expo about my sweat rate. He said he didn't want to tell me yesterday because he didn't want to encourage me to do anything new for the race, but he said I should be taking a lot more Endurolytes during the race. I will up my intake in training gradually and see how it works over the next few months. What a great guy though. A clydesdale that finishes IM's under 10 hours. Awesome.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well, before I started with Joel as my coach my training was pretty sporadic. So I had about 5 weeks with a good plan to get ready. I need to build my bike base, keep working on my swim technique and OW swimming, and try not to get hurt running. I know after 7 knee surgeries I am very luck to be racing at all, much less racing long course triathlons. I have some little nagging injuries that slowed me down (both ankles still hurt, need to rule out some overuse injuries).

Event comments:

What an awesome day! This was my 5th triathlon, and by far the most challenging. When I signed up for this race I had some vague notion of what it meant for it to be considered one of the toughest 70.3 courses in the world. As race day approached, I was actually thinking I'd bitten off way more than I could chew. My new swimming skills were untested, I'd never biked hills, and I hadn't run that far in 15 years. Other than that, I was totally prepared. Having Joel get my training dialed in gave me as much of a mental edge as anything. I knew if nothing went wrong, I would finish. I didn't think I'd make my time goal, and as it turned out that last hill on the run pushed me over my goal by 1:49. On a race this long, I'll take a "plus or minus 2 minutes". I feel great about the race. I would absolutely do it again, with a more ambitious goal time.




Last updated: 2006-01-14 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:33:47 | 2112 yards | 01m 36s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/181
Overall: 420/1070
Performance: Good
Suit: QR Hydrofull
Course: 1.2 mile rectangle, counter-clockwise. Well marked with buoys.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 04:48
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Yes
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
03:31:50 | 56 miles | 15.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/181
Overall: 702/1070
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: "Mostly flat with 8 challenging hills". Each hill on this course was steeper than anything I'd ever ridden. In fact the only real "hill" I'd been on was the bridge at San Jacinto.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
Running
02:21:21 | 13.1 miles | 10m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/181
Overall: 543/1070
Performance: Good
Course: "Mostly flat with 3 challenging hills." There is one very flat 3 mile out and back section to a power plant dubbed "the energy lab" road. It wasn't as desolate as I'd imagine with all of the people out there. There was a guy with a water hose at the intersection that leads out to the power plant. That was excellent.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2006-06-26 9:16 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Veteran
243
10010025
Katy, TX (West of Houston)
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

WOW Bill...GREAT race!!!!  And a good race report!

Congrats on your swim...what a way to get your mental game on for the remainder of the race!!!  I can't believe this is your FIFTH race, and you did such a long distance!

You are an amazing athlete triathlete!!!

Congrats again!!!     

When will be calling you an IRONMAN?      It can't be that far into the future!



2006-06-26 9:17 PM
in reply to: #466024

Champion
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Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Hey nice race all around, it's great when stuff comes together like that, especially the swim.  And don't discount the motivation of guys wearing pink socks...

 

2006-06-26 9:24 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Pro
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Evanston,
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Wow! What a fantastic day - what a fantastic RACE! Congratulations Bill. You worked hard, and it PAID OFF!

Glad to hear you mention the handcyclists too -- I'm going to use that to motivate a certain friend of mine. Thanks for sharing such a great RR with us!
2006-06-26 10:12 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Pro
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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Fantastic race Bill!  I'm glad I was able to help you prep but honestly this was all you.  In the last 5 weeks all I did was help you get your head ready.  You had the fitness to finish this race last month, you just needed to believe it.  Now that you've got your first long-course race in the books we can focus on building a racing machine so you can crush Ironstar in the Fall.  For now, just enjoy your accomplishment and rest up.  BTW...killer swim!
2006-06-26 10:20 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Extreme Veteran
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Allen
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Great race, Bill!  That swim is the result of gutting it out over and over and over again, something all of us can learn from.  Your logs are inspiring enough (6000 yard swim - wow!), but this race report is the best!  You painted a great "word picture" not only of doing the race itself, but of the total atmosphere.  Plus, it sounds like you had blast.  hoo-rah!

 

2006-06-26 10:44 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Master
2288
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Katy, TX (West of Houston)
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Bill,

I am proud of your race!! You did awesome!

I hope to do half as well at my 70.3 in October!!!!



2006-06-26 10:57 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Master
2227
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Kansas City, MO
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Wow..great race!  That is an awesome swim.  Congrats :-)
2006-06-27 8:10 AM
in reply to: #466454

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Elite
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
DerekL - 2006-06-26 4:44 PM

I hope someday to suck as much at swimming at you do, Bill. 

Very nice race, man.

Heh... Thanks!



Edited by RGRBILL 2006-06-27 8:11 AM
2006-06-27 9:02 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Expert
751
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Texarkana, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Hey Bill, awesome race. Sounds like you got it all figured out.

BTW, ain't wetsuits awesome?
2006-06-27 9:06 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Extreme Veteran
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Ohio
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
yeah! awesome job!  You rocked!! Such a great race, I loved reading the race report. Nice job.
2006-06-27 9:16 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Expert
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
You had a great race. Congrats on the swim!

I can't wait to do it again!


2006-06-27 10:05 AM
in reply to: #467102

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Elite
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Tiger Phil - 2006-06-27 9:02 AM Hey Bill, awesome race. Sounds like you got it all figured out. BTW, ain't wetsuits awesome?

Yes they are!

2006-06-27 10:58 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Great Race........good job on your swim that is awesome.... As far as the bike course goes....I've done a lot of hill riding - but I was nervous about the spiral staircase too.....I like uphill not downhill.......at the end of the last curve a guy had crashed and there were 4 people standing across the whole road.....luckily people going up the hilll warned me and a few others....Great job it's a hard bike course - even the flats are challenging because of the wind.

I'm thinking we were probably in the med tent at the same time - I was nutritional challegnged on this race (you'd think I'd know better)......was a little dizzy and nauseses after the race.....Couple IV's and I was ready to do it again.....well maybe not..
2006-06-27 11:04 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Master
2052
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Colorado
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

DUDE -- why didn't you TELL us you were a rockstar? Awesome race!!!!

 

And... you're right -- you had the best of the BT jockstrapping crew!

2006-06-27 11:08 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Expert
658
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San Diego
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Bill, you rule.
2006-06-27 11:20 AM
in reply to: #467303

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Elite
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Chippy - 2006-06-27 11:04 AM

DUDE -- why didn't you TELL us you were a rockstar? Awesome race!!!!

 

And... you're right -- you had the best of the BT jockstrapping crew!

Well, at least 2/3 of it.



2006-06-27 12:30 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Champion
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
GREAT JOB!

Thanks for the detailed report!

2006-06-27 5:49 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Elite
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Oops. I just cleaned out my transition bag and realized my nutrition (Perpetuem with endurolytes) bottle from the bike course was still half full. Might be how those cramps on the run came about.... I knew I was short some but wow.

That's one thing about the Polar bottles... you can't see how much is in there. Next time I'll use my regular water bottle and mark it incrementally so I can see how much I'm taking in. That could have been a lot worse on a long race.

2006-06-27 6:42 PM
in reply to: #467931

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Pro
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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Are you saying you were ~500cal short on your ride nutririon...plus the electrolytes?
2006-06-27 6:47 PM
in reply to: #467976

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Elite
2796
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

TH3_FRB - 2006-06-27 6:42 PM Are you saying you were ~500cal short on your ride nutririon...plus the electrolytes?

...

um.... yeah.  I know.....

2006-06-27 7:20 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Expert
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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Absolutely awesome race Bill!!  You are a triathlon stud!!  I am in total envy of your swim, especially.  Way to go buddy!  What's next on the triathlon agenda?


2006-06-27 8:44 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Master
2381
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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

It was great meeting you and racing with you.  I hear you about the 'long course addicition'.  I too like the long course races better than short course. 

You had a great first HIM.  That was a nice swim, especially given the tough start conditions.

See ya at the next one.

TJ



Edited by zia_cyclist 2006-06-27 8:45 PM
2006-06-27 8:56 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Master
1901
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Central, IL
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

Great report.  Very inspiring!  Awesome job. 

Jess rocks! 

 

2006-06-28 9:12 AM
in reply to: #466024

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Regular
76
252525
Round Rock, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman
Great work out there!
2006-06-28 3:55 PM
in reply to: #466024

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Elite
2796
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Texas
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman

This is cool. From Natasha Badman's post-race interview: 

"I was feeling great today," exclaimed Badmann. "This bike course was quite hard. I thought uh-oh, the run is going to be long. But I kept focused and held on to my lead. As a result, I think I was not as encouraging to the other girls the last few miles, so I probably need to apologize for that!”

She's blazing the course and she feels bad because she didn't do enough to encourage other racers... wow.

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