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Buffalo Springs Race Report

Today, I am going to change it up a bit and talk about a race I did last weekend. Feel free to comment or call for any information on this.

How the race began………..

I got everything ready to head out Thursday night and was planning on rolling out at 6 am. I woke up at 4 am and laid there for 10 minutes before saying forget it and headed out. I was on the rode at 4:30 am. The trip was smooth. I rolled solo and had planned on riding back with Kevin who had spent the week in Amarillo. Borrowed Cadi drove nice on the trip up there.

Friday I hung out with family in Lubbock I don’t normally get to see, so that was cool. About 3 pm John Vigil came in from Vegas and Mike Bland ( L4 Sports ) and Duke came in from Austin. We met at the hotel.

We stayed at the La Quinta, which was next to the Holiday Inn. We drove out to Buffalo Springs. We wanted to check out the lake. We pulled up to the gate and found out that it was 6 bucks per person to drive in to look. We collectively said forget that and u turned. We then decided to go check out the course. We drove out of the park and began the course route.

After about 4-5 miles in, I turn to everyone and go “I don’t see what the big deal is; this course doesn’t look bad at all.” Then we made it to the first hill where I gently and quickly began to eat my words. Grunts, moans and sweating occurred for the rest of the course until about mile 40 ish. That was a sobering ride, but hey that’s what we expected.

We drove that evening back to our hotel and went next door to the Holiday Inn for check in. We then discover that it’s the wrong Holiday Inn ( Good job Tuggle for not figuring out that there are 2 Holiday Inns in Lubbock ) Me and Vigil head over to the right Holiday Inn and get checked in. I bought some BSL stuff and we headed back to the room.

Saturday am we got up and went to the airport to get Vigil’s friend/coach from the airport. Then we met with Mike and went back to the lake. We wanted to check water temp. I swam about 75 M out and thought, this stinks. The water was as clear as Dr. Pepper. I couldn’t see anything. I had a bad feeling. Then we ran about a half mile to get a feel and raise the HR. Then we left. It was hot.

My friend Kevin showed up and we decided to rest the rest of the day. We went and saw The Hangover. Funny flick. Short trip to Wal-Mart and back to the hotel for bed. We were lights out by 9 pm.

4 am came early. We through everything in the car and headed next door to Denny’s for pancakes. That was the nice thing about being in the wrong hotel. Funny thing is, there were about 4 of us racing and the rest were everyone in Lubbock that was still up and drunk from the night before. I lost my wallet and Kevin searched the room and couldn’t find it. I looked through the car and it wasn’t there. One last trip to the room and I found it (thank you Jesus).

We headed to the lake. The traffic was crazy and heading into the park took some time. When we got out, the wind was blowing like crazy and I was cold. Who would have thought? I carried my bike out of the parking area and my bike was being blown around. This would be fun I thought.

Into transition everything was business as usual. Right before I went to bed, Vigil text me to bring a bag to cover my shoes in case of rain. I brought a Wal-Mart bag. So I set up my area and taped my Gu on. I put on plenty of body glide. Last half I tore up my neck in the race and was determined not to do that again. Everything looked ok. I was 3 bikes from the end, so I was happy with my area. I had to go to the bathroom so I headed for the line.

I waited in line and saw Mike Peardon and said what’s up. I got back in line. It was 6:29 I had to go bad. Then I hear them let the pros go. I still had 10-15 people in front of me. I had a 6:45 start time. Dang.

I left the line and headed to the start line. I found Kevin and gave him my crocs and put on my wet suit. Down to the water to get in for a bathroom break (hey I had to go). Then they called us in. I ran out through the mat and in the water.

Go. I waited a few seconds and let the guys in front go. Then I walked out behind them till it was deep enough to swim. I began the swim and could really settle in. Normally it takes me 3-400 meters in open water to get settled in. I came to the turn out across and was not even feeling it. My wetsuit was really constricting me. I had no groove. I just kept crawling. I had take sight very often to stay on course.

You really couldn’t even see your hands must less the person in front to draft. As I took the last turn towards the finish I felt my groove. I started feeling fine and swimming good. Figures, probably the last .25 mile or so.

I swan into transition and let them help me start peeling the suit. I got down to my feet and a volunteer started telling me to lie down. I pulled one foot out and she said lay down, I hesitantly did and she yanked off the suit and I found myself lying in sand, nice I thought. Kevin yelled at me and I turned and saw him. I saw Steve Wilson as I was running through.

As I left transition I heard John behind me. As I biked out of transition there was a huge crowd. I yelled out to the crowd “hey this course is flat isn’t it?” Apparently they though that was funny. I had to go to the bathroom again. I guess I was drinking enough. I decided to stop at the 1st aid station and go to the bathroom.

Unfortunately I found out that there were no port a potties on the course at all. I rode 3:45 minutes having to go really bad. The wind had settled some, thank goodness. I made it to mile 20 and realized I was way below my anticipated time. ( Note: I did not have my Garmin. In hind sight a bad call. I had sent it in for repair.

It worked but would not sync. I decided to go at this race with no speedo or HR monitor. Bad call.) So without my Garmin I had no idea other than pure time how I was doing. I tried to pick it up. The course was challenging. The last 10-15 miles it was raining. Thanks goodness it wasn’t during the switchback hills. The last hill into transition was very tough.

I went into T2 and got ready. My stuff was soaked, but not my shoes that were inside the Wal-Mart bag. I was mentally thanking John. Bathroom stop and I was golden. I headed out into the run. I ran about 100 M and had to stop.

My right Achilles tendon was killing me. I made it to a tree and stretched it. It felt better…….for about 10 steps and returned. I repeated this process 3 or 4 times. I wasn’t a ½ mile out and couldn’t run. I was about 4:45 into the race and had an intense pain in my foot.

Should I DNF or walk. I decided that I had driven to Lubbock to finish and I should even if I had to walk. So I began to walk. I figured on timer that I could walk 15 min miles and make it. I walked past some great athletes running back in. Pretty cool. The hills were even tough to walk. I was at mile 6 and spotted a port a pottie, I needed to go again, but decided to wait till after the turn around.

I made it to the turn around and realized I wasn’t even pacing 15 minute miles. I wasn’t going to get back till 8:20 total at this pace. This stinks I thought. After 6.5 or so, I hear a voice behind me saying that she was coming up from behind and I needed to run with her to the next station which was about 150M ahead. I agreed. I started to run. My tendon was hurting. I made it to the station and got some coke.

I thanked her as she went on. That was it, that was my strategy. I would run/walk to the end. I went by telephone poles. I ran one and then walked one. I did this all the way back. I made it to mile 10 when a lady caught me and thanked me because I was pacing her.

She was having sciatic pain. I told her my strategy and she said let’s do it. So we ran/walked to mile 12. I was pushing the time. I had realized around mile 10 that I could make the 8 hours. At mile 12 I was cutting it close, so I told her I had to go on, that I was going to have to run in to make it.

At about mile 12.5 I ran beside a CAF racer. I almost fell over in disbelief. She had the medics beside her. A car filming her was trailing. The medic was asking her to stop. She did not respond; she just kept going. As I ran up to her I saw she had neither leg and about where her legs stopped she had blood coming out of both legs.

They were draping the legs, but she was still pushing that wheel chair. WOW. Amazing. I told her that she was 10X the athlete that the rest of everyone out there was. She was my inspiration to finish. I ran back in and finished at 7:59.25. I had beaten the 8 hours. And even though I was really hoping for a 7:15 finish, I guess I did it. Good thing it was cool weather.

I learned again that changing my technique ( no Garmin ) nearly did me in. I had no way to pace myself and somehow injured that tendon on the ride. I don’t know if I would not have hurt it if I was pacing better or not. As always more training my have helped. I am going to work more on hills than I did.

I have a mild limp today, I have been working out the tendon and letting it heal. Some time off this week and I should be good.

Shout out to my homies up there with awesome finishes:

  • John Vigil 6:59
  • Mike Minardi 4:55
  • Duke McCoy 6:34
  • Mike Peardon 1:19 ( Sprint Tri 2nd place)
  • Mike Bland DNF ( I give him props, he showed up but flatted at mile 50 )
  • The unknown CAF racer YOU ARE A CHAMPION!
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