I have conqured another 70.3 in Lubbock, TX, Buffalo Springs 70.3. The race took place on June 26th at Buffalo Springs Lake just outside of Lubbock. I knew from watching the weather during the week that it was expected to be hot and windy. The forecast called for the high to be 110F with 20mph winds out the southwest. The course is a single modified OAB bike and an OAB run. There are spots were the course is flat and then downhill back to flat, back uphill, back to flat. The total elevation climb is about 1400 ft on the bike and 400 ft on the run.
I came into the race feeling great and new my training was much better than it was last year. I was hoping to beat my 5:55 time from last year and hopefully get under 5:30.
A couple of events happened even before the race started! I woke up around 3:30. At this time I noticed that my back tire was flat! I know a tubular should hold air for a couple of days! I thought well maybe the valve stem is a little loose, so I decided to tighten it up and pump it full of air. It was holding at that time. I loaded everything in the car and headed to the lake. Event #2 happened when I was walking my bike down to transition. As I was walking down, the Garmin cadence sensor I have got caught in the spoke and then split it half! I’m thinking to myself at this time what else can happen! I was able to get some band cutters to cut off the zip ties. No big deal, I didn’t need a cadence sensor really. I get my transition area setup recheck the rear tire and everything is ready to go!
The swim is by far my worst event. Even though it is hot in Lubbock, the lake is spring fed which means it is usually wet suit legal race. This year was no exception. They had moved the start times forward and condensed the waves in order to get everyone in the water faster and hopefully out of the heat. My wave was the first AG wave to go. It was 50-54 male/female and the 30/34 males. I’d have to say it was on the larger wave starts I’ve been in. I was swimming well towards the first buoy but just after the turn I started to have a little anxiety. I thought to myself just keep swimming and everything will be good. I made the second turn and started to settle in and by the time I was heading back towards the west and then south towards the finish I was feeling good. My goal was under 40 minutes for the swim and I was able to achieve that.
2011 - 37:36, 478/710 swim OA, 54/70 AG
2010 – 45:41, 857/862 swim OA, 72/74 AG
Usually there is not much to say about transition, apparently this year had other plans. I got out of the water picked a wetsuit stripper and off the wetsuit went and me running towards my bike. Helmet, sunglasses, shoes, race belt, and off! I’m running down the aisle and my lens pops out of my sunglasses! Look around for it, finally find it and off on the bike!
2011 T1- 3:16 – stupid sunglasses!
2010 T1 – 2:06
The bike is one area that I’ve really been focused on since deciding on this race earlier in the year. I’ve been able to complete more longer rides than last year and been working on more intensity. The wind this year made the ride tougher than last year. The course runs in all directions, so at times, you had tailwinds, then crosswinds, headwinds, and rinse wash and repeat. I was feeling pretty good going into mile 40, but I knew the last 16 miles would be tough because it be a headwind back into the transition. I was able to push my way into T2. I was consuming water and Gatorade during the bike, but I did not consume enough because it come back and bite me on the run! I finished a 24 oz bottle of Gatorade, 24 oz of the front water, and then whatever I poured into at various times at aid stations and water bottle underneath. It was probably another 24oz. Consider the 3hrs I was on the bike, I should have been consuming probably closer to 30 to 40 oz per hr.
2011 – 3:02:14 327/710 bike OA, 43/70 AG
2010 - 2:59:13 439/862 bike OA, 45/74 AG
The run is where you can make or break a race and this year was more of break. I started off the first three miles feeling pretty strong but felt a cramp started to build in my leg. The plan was to walk all the aid stations and then decided on walking the large hills when I got to them. After the 3rd aid station, I knew I would be walking the first hill. It was a good time to try and “cool” down and walk off the cramp building. It was a tough 3.5 miles after that. I was walking/running all the way to the turnaround point. I was putting ice down my jersey, water over the head, and taking in Powerade. I got to the turnaround and finally able to run. All the way to mile 11 I was able to put in around 9:00 miles! The only time I didn’t was walking up the last hill back to transition. I got to around mile 11 and the wheels came off again and pushed myself to the finish as much as possible. The whole time I felt I was in the zone with a little tunnel vision! I crossed the line and finished and was happy to finish my 2nd BSLT 70.3 even though I didn’t beat my time from last year or make my goal time.
2011 – 2:17:46 OA??, 43/70 AG
2010 – 2:05:16 406/862, 34/74 AG
2011 – 6:03:15, 248/505 Male, 43/70 AG, OA?
2010 – 5:54:07, 335/615 Male, 46/74 AG, OA?
Not all races and even courses are created equal. Some courses are different on different days. This year at BSLT was one of those days. It was hot, windy, and dry on the run. I didn’t take in enough fluids on the bike which really affected my run. Had I been able to run a little faster I would have equaled my time from last year on course that was a little harder this year. The overall times last year was 5:55 and this was 6:10. I learned a lot from this race and hope to take it into future races. My best takeaway was toughing out the swim and finishing in a great time for me! I didn’t finish towards the bottom this year.
I crossed the finish line and felt a cramp hit my left calf, but went away quickly. They had medical people all around and one walked to me handed me water and asked if I was ok. I felt ok, but could barely talk and asked if I wanted an IV or to sit in the medical tent. I wasn’t sure, but she said why don’t you just go sit down and see if you feel better of course once I sat down, they asked are you sure you don’t want an IV it’ll make you feel better! It sure did because after 2 bags of fluid later, I was feeling great and ready to go again!
I got back to my bike and noticed that again my back tire was flat, so I was lucky that it didn’t go flat during the race. I had a spare and some pit stop, but wanted to save them until it was absolutely necessary. Of course packing up my later, I then found my front tire down also. So BSLT, you took two tires and one cadence sensor. I still beat you though!