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Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Lubbock, Texas
United States
Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
89F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 02m 25s
Overall Rank = 435/783
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 39/65
Pre-race routine:

We were driving to Lubbock on Friday and hitting the road mid-morning. Got a call from my dad at 5:00 a.m. saying that my mom had fallen ill and was in the hospital. He said go on to Lubbock and he would keep us posted of her status and we would play it by ear. We packed extra clothes and pretty much planned on going to Phoenix anyway, it was just a matter of when.

Did some light training on Saturday with Bill, TJ, and Chad. Driving the bike course and getting the intel from those guys really helped me out.

Didn't sleep as much as I needed to and woke at 4:00, but I felt rested. Ate 1 Clif bar, 1 Clif Builder's Bar, 2 cups of coffee, and 12oz of Gatorade.

Grabbed the bike and my wife, jumped in the truck and hit the road.

Due to the long line waiting to get in the park, I was a little behind in my normal routines. Got TA set up, but wasn't able to do my standard recon of all the ins and outs and it cost me a little bit later on.
Event warmup:

Didn't have time to do much.

Got the wetsuit on and made it to the water with a few minutes to spare to get in some swimming. As I was standing in knee-deep water and getting the goggles set, a guy asked me to zip him up. The swim waves had already started and I was getting anxious about the time, but I said sure and went to work on it.

Well, it wasn't zipping properly, it was taking quite some time and I knew something was wrong, but I didn't have the heart to bail out on him. After what seemed like minutes, we realized he had his wetsuit on INSIDE OUT. I managed to undo the zipper, pulled it down off his shoulders, said good luck and goodbye, and left him to finish the job. Wow, and I thought I was cutting it close.

Got in some strokes and was as ready as I was going to get.
  • 44m 38s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

Started towards the back like usual. I knew I wouldn't put up a fast time, but I wanted to be effecient and not waste any energy.

Fell into my little routine of self-doubt that hits at about 300 yards... "My swim sucks" "I'm not going to finish" "You fool, you wasted your money on IMAZ 08" "Where's the closest canoe or bouy" "You'll never make up the 10 minutes you'll be behind everyone in the AG" "Swim to the weeds, get out now while the shore is close, you idiot"

Pushed on through and started concentrating on getting it done. Found a guy who was my speed and drafted off him. Let him do the work and the sighting. I watched his feet and the bubbles, nothing else mattered; not my mom, not my son in Iraq, not how tough the hills are going to be, just finish the damn swim.

Outstanding plan until he got tired and started to fade; dang it, someone who's slower than me. So I'm on my own again until the fast guys in the following wave catch up. Of course, they blew on past, but didn't abuse me too badly. Just as well, I didn't need a traffic jam at the swim exit and wetsuit strippers.

Stroked it on in to the finish and staggered up the rocky ramp. In their zeal to help, the volunteers in the water kept pulling me forward out of the water. I would've done better just walking out on my own.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except become a faster swimmer. This was a good swim for me and I actually nailed my predicted time. Never got tired or winded, so it was a "success".
Transition 1
  • 02m 54s

When I came out of the water I looked for the strippers, but there weren't any. WTH? Oh well. I ran to TA and got the suit off pretty fast. Went ahead and put the socks on now; helmet, glasses, and go.

Never sat down, but did do the hop and balance dance, and that rocky pavement beat up your feet something fierce.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, I was smooth and made no errors considering what all had to be done.
  • 3h 01m 31s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.51 mile/hr

I hit the bike ready to take on the hills, the heat, and the wind. My plan was to spin up the hills, and the first chance was right out of T1.

Got to the top with no problem, but then started to feel the hamstrings wanting to cramp a little. What!, already and I hadn't even gotten started! It passed quickly and was a non-issue the rest of the day, just a matter of my body dealing with something new.

We had great weather and the heat and wind were never a factor. The only limitation was my own ability. I carried 1 bottle of double-strength Nuun water, 1 bottle of Perpetuem (4 scoops), 24oz of G-ade Endurance in the aerobottle, 2 gels, and 1 Clif bar. I drank and ate everything except half the Clif bar. Never took any bottles at the hand ups.

The hills weren't as bad I thought they'd be. Being a lightweight guy, I did very well on the uphills, passing a lot of riders. Only went to the 27 cog 2 times, and never stood up or mashed. The downhills were another matter...

I'd had some close calls with severe bike wobble last year at a race with big descents and wanted to take no chances today. I rode the brakes pretty steady and kept the speed at about 32mph. As expected, I got passed on the downhills. Oh well, I'd catch most of them later.

Went as hard as I could on the flats and had a fun ride. Felt good the whole time, got out of the saddle a few times to stretch the legs.

Soon enough, the end was here. Because I hadn't studied TA like I normally do, I unclipped a little too early and had to ride the last 50 yards with the shoes on top of the pedals to the dismount line. That's not very effecient and I lost a small amount of time. Probably, my only "mistake" of the day.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much really, except get more experience and confidence in descending at high speed. It was frustrating to pass a bunch of people going up the hill only to lose those gains on the downhill.

Everything else went according to plan, but I missed my goal time by 12 minutes. Basically, I had under-estimated the hills.
Transition 2
  • 01m 49s

Got off the bike clean and got to my spot quickly. Change shoes, grab hat and number belt.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, had a fast T2 relative to the field.
  • 2h 11m 30s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 02s  min/mile

Took a half mile to get the legs adjusted and then it was just a matter of pounding it out. They didn't have the miles marked very well, and so you guessed that there was an aid station "about" every mile.

Took a look at my watch and knew I had a shot at breaking 6 hours which was goal for the day, but I would need a good, solid run to get there.

I had planned on walking the aid stations to catch a break and properly drink. If you screwed up and dehydrated today, you'd wind up in the med tent or worse. Settled into a routine of 1 cup of ice and 1 cup of G-ade. Pour the G-ade in the ice and drink it, then pour the ice into my hat or side pockets of the tri jersey. Ate 2 gels along the way from the aid stations.

I didn't try to run the uphills, instead I fast-walked them to conserve energy, and did very well; only getting passed once or twice on an uphill. I had plenty of energy and never felt in danger of cramping or falling out. The heat was never very bad, and we had some overcast skies.

Stayed steady, but never managed to get into a faster pace. I was content to be comfortable and take in the experience. I started to pick up the pace for the last 2.5 miles once I knew the end was near, but just missed the sub-6 hour goal anyway.

Saw my wife, Tommy (zia_cyclist), and his wife near the finish line cheering us on. Finished strong and hoped I had a good finisher photo.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, I ran to the best of my physical abilities. Missed my goal time by 16 minutes. Again, under-estimating the hills.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a cup of G-ade and some ice. Went back up the run course to find my wife, Tommy, and the others, and get out of the sun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Overall physical ability and as always, slow swimming.

I had a good day, made no major mistakes in a race that can punish you if you miscalculate something, especially for a first-timer.

Very pleased with my race and even though I missed my race goal by 2+ minutes, I consider it a successful effort.

Event comments:

The only reason I gave this race a "4" is because of its stature and venue, but I have to be honest; I've seen better post-race food, drink, and atmosphere at a local sprint costing $60.

I'll probably be coming back next year, with the experience from this race, and another season behind me; that sub-6 (and more) will be mine. I was impressed with the quality of the athletes in the field. From top to bottom, everyone I saw was doing well. Not sure of the number of DNF's, but there were few casual racers on a course this tough.

Couldn't hang around for the day or the banquet. My wife told me that my dad had called during the race, said my mom was not doing well at all, and we needed to get to Phoenix ASAP.

Cleaned up TA, showered at the hotel, packed the truck, and hit the road for Phoenix by 3:30.

Last updated: 2006-12-31 12:00 AM
00:44:38 | 2112 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/65
Overall: 618/783
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU full with tri top and shorts underneath
Course: A modified box with dog-leg angled sides that gave you the choice of following the buoys or going in straight lines.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:54
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
03:01:31 | 56 miles | 18.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/65
Overall: 423/783
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Modified out and back with a few hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:49
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:11:30 | 13.1 miles | 10m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/65
Overall: 402/783
Performance: Good
Course: An out and back with some shade and 3 good-sized hills.
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
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] 4

2007-06-27 6:27 PM

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Waller County, TX
Subject: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3

2007-06-27 6:55 PM
in reply to: #863580

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Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
Jim I generally have those same thoughts on the swim, I just happened to be "pre-occupied" this time around. You had an awesome race despite having a helluva lot going on. This is a hard course when you're not distracted, it's even harder when your brain is working overtime on other issues. I look forward to seeing you out there next year. Please don't sweat the 5 bucks. You can buy me a cold one at the awards dinner...
2007-06-27 7:08 PM
in reply to: #863580

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3
Looks like you had a good race... considering what was going on family wise.

OK, those hills must be SERIOUS. For you to have that average on the bike and for the run... those must be some butt kicking hills. I would HATE to see how those hills would eat me up!

Solid race. You did a great job!
2007-06-28 1:45 PM
in reply to: #863580

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

Nice race.  That's a great time you posted for your first attempt at this tough course.  On the swim, I think the swim start here is harder than any I've done, even harder than IMFL.  It's a beach start, early when it's dark, the water is dark, a narrow cove, a right turn after's all tough.  So, don't worry about your thoughts.  We all have them. 

It was great meeting you and Beverly. 


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