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Buffalo Springs Triathlon Report

Written By The Tri Doc on June 16, 2016

Here the journey begins-

Friday- Me and my friend Andrew began the journey to west Texas loaded up with bikes and all in his van. Andrew has a pretty sweet van that works very well with triathlons. It holds both bikes inside the van securely, so you don't have to worry about theft and/or the bikes crashing on each other. It also has a fridge and lots of storage…. But enough of my sales pitch.

The drive down there was relatively uneventful. We stopped for a sandwich in Subway in Coleman TX. This place has the hands down worst experience I have had in a restaurant this year. While 5 people stood in line, watching one guy work, the supervisor and manager had a meeting. It was pretty unreal. I got my wonderful wife to sign me up for Ironman Texas at noon. She got it all handled. I was booked at about 12:05. Anyways, the trip was fine and we got to Lubbock around 5 pm and got checked into our room. The room had a lovely view of the Wal-Mart next door (it was kind of nice, because we went there twice). We went to packet pick up and got our stuff. The pickup could have been a little smoother, but it was ok. I saw my friend Juan working the expo and hung out with him for a bit. We left and went to Texas Land and Cattle for a steak (my choice) then headed back to the room for the night.

Saturday- We got up and started sorting through the packet. Andrew was complaining about the shirt. It was cotton and he wanted a dri fit, which I prefer as well. We went to the expo for a little bit and then headed out to the course for a look. We drove the course and checked it out. Took some pics and went for a short ride. I adjusted my rear derailleur a little and the bike felt good.

Back to the hotel for a shower and then we headed to the movies. We saw the A-Team, I enjoyed it. My last two movies have been throw backs and have been pretty good. Went to the expo for a last time, Andrew wanted a hat and was not happy that you didn't get a finishers hat. We met up with Juan, Red, Mark, Sarah, theirs kids, Mark, Pam and BJ at Stellas for some pasta. We saw the CEO of HoneyMilk there and then Craig Alexander eating next to us. It was pretty good. (Thanks to Aunt Glenda for the recommendation) As I left I went to Craig and told him when he finished the race to look for me in T2 because I would be there in 15 minutes (for those of you that don't know Craig, he won the Kona Championship the last 2 years in a row…. He's wickedly fast). I was ready for bed. Back to the hotel again and tired I got in bed only to wake up. Me and Andrew laid awake to around 11pm. I woke up at 12:30 and for good at 3:19am

Sunday- It's go time. Breakfast and a little coffee and we head to the course. Leaving a little early this year helped us get parked faster. We parked and starting getting our stuff together and had 2 people try to get us to work on their bike. I guess the van makes us look like mechanics. Haha. We got into transition and set up. Everyone around was fighting about their space. You would have thought we were doing a sprint. Lake temps had dropped to race legal for wet suits so that was good.

Race- Watched the pros head out and waited for our turn. The guy was using a bull horn and you could barely hear him. We started at 6:45 am. The wave was out of control. I started right in the middle and it was like a bar fight only with actual hitting and punching. I didn't fare well. I almost lost my Garmin and someone pulled my goggles and broke one of the straps (I have 2). I took more hits and kicks in the race than I have in any other of my tris. That's kind of unfortunate because at the 70.3 level and about you would think that these guys have some sense, but they didn't. I didn't swim that well and was worried about losing my goggles the whole race. I did not (thank you Jesus). Got out of the swim and my watch said 38 minutes which I knew was wrong? The swim was short.

Got on the bike and headed out. The weather was holding out well. The bike was relatively uneventful. It has some pretty challenging hills, but I just stuck to my plan and rode almost to my goal. That was good. I do like (sarcasm) the last hill that is a 8.9 grade on the last mile. You earn that one. Then downhill you get to cook into transition. 3:40 on the bike was close to my prediction.

Started the run and set my pace. It was starting to get hot. This has been my first race (70.3) that I didn't start the run either injured or under trained so I was pretty excited. As I continued my first mile I noticed that I was extremely thirsty and very full/bloated at the same time. My heart rate started to climb and the wheels started to come off. Dang! I started walking and tried to fix my hydration/nutrition problem. I was really hot. Mostly walked till about mile 3.I began to see people coming back in. I saw Claudia who was eyeing for a Kona slot (she missed it by one, Nice try Claudia). Then I saw Andrew who was also hurting. His legs were bothering him bad and he didn't look happy. I passed Red who looked great coming in strong (she PR'd this race). I finally started some running again. I would run, then walk. About mile 8 I started feeling better again, but knew my goal was shot and it was hard to get motivated to push myself again. Oh well. I ran/walked the last few in and finished with a bunch of TZ's cheering me on. I got er done.

Across the finish line I saw the med tent pretty full of people getting IVs. The temp takes its toll. Andrew had picked up all my stuff from transition. That was really cool of him; I told him I might bring him back to my next eventJ. I finished in 7:49 which was 10 minutes better than last year but 35 minutes off of my 7:15 goal. I guess its back to the drawing board.

I still have the goal to beat 7 hours on a half. I think it's realistic, but I have to keep bringing my run times down. I think I am the slowest person I know, but who cares, I only race myself. I don't know if I will go back to Lubbock, but definitely not next year. I will be beat from just completing IM Texas which I am very excited about.

The old motto stands true; just KMF (keep moving forward)

Until next time, I'll be training J