Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Buffalo Springs 70.3 Race Report

Pre Race
I arrived in Lubbock on Friday afternoon. I went ahead and went to the expo on Friday to pick up my race packet, so that I would have one less thing to worry about on Saturday. The expo was fairly simple with a few vendors scattered out in the hotel indoor courtyard. It was fairly easy picking up my number and chip. I was glad to see that they had brand new straps for the chips. The last two races I had completed the straps were old and I was afraid they were going to fall off, plus they cut into my ankle even with putting body glide on.

On Saturday, I did the standard drive the race course. The bike course was flat except when you would go in and out of Ransom Canyon. People said to watch out for the hills on the bike course, but I considered nothing harder than what I rode around Conway. The three hills on the run course are the hills that I figured would be tough since there are not many of those around here. I also went for swim in the lake and found the water to very warm and did not expect the race to be wetsuit legal.

Race Day

I got in the morning around 3:30. My wave was set to go off at 6:40 am. I also read where the parking can be pain, so I planned to arrive early in order to avoid any waiting. I was glad I would hear people complaning about it. As I was walking to transition, I found out the race was to be wetsuit legal. I don't know how they pulled that off, but I would take it. I went to my assigned spot in transition and got everything set out. I was ready to go 45 minutes before my wave. When the time was getting close, I went ahead and put on the wetsuit, only to find that the zipper was jammed. I had two people try to help me, but they couldn't get it. I removed the wetsuit, fooled with it for a bit, but still couldn't it. I ran back to transition to put up the suit and would go without it (I did fix it later).

The swim started right on time and we were off. I hung toward the back of everyone and made the first turn. Once that turn was made, we were looking straight into the sun. I could not find the next turn buoy, so I sighted by using were everyone else was going. Once we got out of the sun, I got into a good rythm toward the next buoy. I was made the second turn, I some how ended up well to the right of everyone else, but still felt I was swimming well. I had no issues heading towards the finish. When I finished the swim, I looked at the watch and saw 45 min. Pretty disappointing. I was hoping for at least a 40 or better. I finished 3 to last in my AG in the swim, ooops.

T-1 and Bike
No issues during transition and headed off the bike. The course starts with a hill right off, so it was up one hill and down and back up again until we back to the flats. Making the turn on the main road, I got into a good pace of just over 20 miles an hr. I was feeling pretty good with that pace through most of the course. I would take my time going up and out of the canyon, but I was still passing lots of people. I guess that's what happens when you have a terrible swim time. While everyone was passing me then, I would pass them all later (well not all of them). Going back to transition however on the modified out and back course, we ran into a pretty strong westerly head wind. The last 10 miles were a grind at around 16-17 mph. Bike time was 2:59:xx. I felt really strong on the bike. I thought my time would be a little better. When I ride, I do not check the time. I'm only checking my HR and speed. I was able to keep my HR in check through out the ride, so I knew I was ready for the run. The roads where pretty bumpy. You had to watch the roads at all time.

T-2 and Run
No issues during T-2, in and out in 1:50. They say the first three miles or so of the run is flat, but it's more a rolling course with small hills, before you get to the long climbs. The first mile was a 7:45, but I was able to back it down to around 9:00 by the second mile which was my goal for the first half the race. Once I got to the turn around I would hope to increase the pace to the end or at least hold on! As I got to the first climb, I saw everyone walking the hill. I decided to try and run up it, but when I noticed the HR was getting up there I figured now is not the time. I ended up walking up the second big hill before the turn around also. For the first 9 miles, I was at 9:08 pace. I started to really feel it after the last downhill around mile 10-11. I slowed down for about 3 minutes, but wasn't able to make up that time. I came in at 2:05 which isn't bad considering the course is pretty tough.

Post Race
They had fruit, pretzels, gatorade, water, beer, Honey milk, nothing really special. We received a medal and a finisher shirt. Overall I would say that I really enjoyed this race and challenge it presented. I would do this race again next year depending on what is going on then, in order to see how far I've come along.

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