Back when I had the bright idea of doing Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX, I thought it would be a flat course, rolling at best, with some wind and probably pretty hot. It was kind of like that, but more like hilly, really windy and HOT HOT HOT!
Have I ever mentioned that I like a challenge?! I felt good heading into the race. My Boise blues had been all but obliterated and I was ready to shake loose a solid run performance.
Just getting to race morning turned out to be a challenge in and of itself!
The Friday before leaving, I had a bike fit which showed a pretty significant inefficiency in my right leg. Further testing revealed my right glute is not functioning, right hamstring is over working and my pelvis is rotated to the left. This is complicated by prexisting conditions, but definitely fixable. Lucky me, I was able to get a few adjustments at Ovenell Chiropractic, a massage w/ cupping from Nikki and a faścial stretch from Trish at Golds Gym, yay! My body was as good as could be expected after only 5 days.
By the time I got around to checking my race wheels before packing...I remembered that I was supposed to be making sure they stayed inflated so the glue on my tubular so wouldn't dry out, oops! My rear one was fine, but the front wouldn't hold air. I knew my trusty mechanic at Arlberg Sports had the day off, but I wanted to prepare him for what he was going to see Tuesday morning...with only one day to figure out :) all I can figure is that he enjoys challenges as much as I do! Probably not, but he handles it well. Turns out that when I flatted in Boise, the tube got twisted somehow and ended up with a pinch flat, which explains why it wouldn't hold air. Somehow there was a spare tire available and it was replaced and ready to go that afternoon. Whew!
I figured leaving Wednesday was a bit early for a Sunday race, but my flight was cheap and I extra acclimation time is always beneficial. My flight from Seattle landed in Dallas at about 8:30pm Wednesday, only to find out my flight to Lubbock had been cancelled for "weather", even though there was none to speak of. Regardless, I waited in line for close to 3 hours to find I'd been booked the next morning at 10am. By that time all the hotels w/n 10 miles were booked and from there, the only ones available started at $200. Since the option of staying at the airport all night and morning didn't sound appealing to either me or my new friend from Post, TX. We decided to rent a car and drive. By the time we (myself, Marianne and Royce Hart along with their 5yr old granddaughter Matty) hit the road, it was midnight. We did stop at about 1:30 for dinner at the Iron Skillet, otherwise, we took turns driving straight thru to Lubbock...arriving just before 7am.
Exhausted and luggage-less, I was trying my best to remain pleasant...well, human at least. But when I went to pick up my rental car and was told they had given away all the cars...even though no flights had actually come in the night before, it was all I could do to not have an absolute meltdown. Avis came to my rescue with their last car, yay! He could very well have raked me over the coals with the rate, but it ended up being much cheaper than my previous reservation. Win!
It was pretty smooth sailing for the next 12 hours or so.
Later that night, while I was putting my bike together and noticed somehow the screw to the head set had been sheared in half. Wha?? When I took it to the shop (Velocity) in the morning, the mechanic looked at me sorta cross-eyed and said he would take a look at it, but expect it to take a few hours. Trying again to not panic, I headed to the store to kill some time. No more than 10 minutes later, I received a call from the shop saying it was all fixed up and there would be no charge. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Yesssss! I promptly picked up my bike and headed out to course for a quick ride. Just outside the park is a lovely gas station, with the most HORRENDOUS port-a-potty I have EVER seen! It was swarming with flies, no toilet paper nearly full. But I had to go SO BAD… Ok, just hold your breath, close your eyes and hope for the best. As I walked out, with a probably equally horrendous expression on my face, a fellow racer was there also about to head out on their bike. With a big Texas smile, she said “HI”, with a tone that said “I know exactly what you just experienced and I’m so sorry!” After a quick chat, we headed our separate ways. She advised about the prevalence of goat heads, so I tried to stay clear of the shoulder, and managed to only pick up one thorn, THIS time, my tire sealed up perfectly. Whew.
Hope that was a sign of things starting to turn around. And they did.
At least until I heard news that my car, back home, had broken down and was being towed to the mechanic. Oh well, I’ll deal with that later.
That pretty much catches us up to race morning. The night before which, I did not sleep a wink. I was nervous, in a good, excited kind of way.
Race start was at 6:30a, so most of what happened before then is kinda blurry.
As soon as my wet-suit was on, I couldn’t wait to get in the water. Yup, already hot. It wasn’t more than 5 minutes into the swim when I started to overheat. GET THIS WETSUIT OFF OF MEEEEEEEE!!!!
Before I knew it, the swim was over and I was on my bike and headed out of the park. L.O.V.E. that bike course! It’s just like Boise...except hillier, windier and hotter. The miles flew by and just like that I was off and running.
Holy hot mess. The first 2 miles were pretty great, the next 4ish were a little less stellar, followed by struggle city and at mile 11 my brakes were fully engaged. It was all I could do to keep moving forward. Though I did my share of walking, I was proud to make it the last 2 miles holding at least a slow jog. Woof. A number of factors contributed to my run performance, the largest of which was not following through on my fueling strategy completely. When I was packing up, I realized I had 2 gels still in my pockets (yay, W-kit pockets are awesome).
What I do know is I take full responsibility for my lackluster performance. No excuses.
Despite the performance, I am grateful to have completed the hardest race I’ve ever done. Yay!
I couldn’t have done it, or even made it to the starting line without the best team ever!
Thank you Wattie Ink, CMI Growers, Adventure Wenatchee, Blue Seventy, Power Bar, ISM Saddles, Ambrosia Apples, Daisy Girl Organics, D’Olivo, Herbalife 24, Arlberg Sports, SpiderTech, Rudy Project, Reynolds, Speedfil, TriBike Transport, 10 Barrell, Hypoxico and SET Coaching! Much love to my family, friends and amazing community!
Next up, Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, August 17th. See you out there!