Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Better Late Then Never? Buffalo Springs and Muncie!

Yes, I am way late in posting my race reports. Apologizes again. I'm a broken record, again...Let's start with Buffalo Springs!

I arrived to Lubbock on Friday. As soon as I got out of the airport I felt that dry, Texas heat and had to smile a little bit. Yes, it's certainly not comfortable, but I love racing in my home state! I will say that the humidity of Houston is nothing like the dryness of Lubbock. Although they are probably equally unpleasant! In any event, I got to the hotel and built up my bike and got to meet up with my vatos, Amanda and Michael Lovato. The best thing about these races is catching up with friends, and I've come to love my vato-time, even if it is a bit tardy!

Saturday was a little swim/bike/run course preview. I knew this race was going to be epic, and like what I learned in Mil Art--a war of attrition so to speak on race day. This race you had to play your cards right, there really was no room for mistakes. To me, one word came to mind--conservation! Getting through would be an accomplishment! The pro race meeting was totally laid back and I got to catch my with more friends that I've know for years now (crazy!) Kelly W and Jessica Jacobs (yes, this might surprise people but I am not Jessica Jacobs :)!

Race morning came too early as usual. Amanda and I kept Michael in order and we arrived to race site with plenty of time. We got the bikes all set up and head down for the swim. I opted for the sleeveless TYR Hurricane. Again, I knew it might not be as fast as the full wetsuit, but I was more interested in conserving. When we took off and got to the first buoy I was just behind the feet I wanted to grab. Perfect. Although right next to me a girl that I don't know is pounding me every stroke. I'm thinking really? Yes, this definitely impedes progress and I couldn't quite catch the feet in front of me, perhaps because every stroke I took half her body was on me. I thought, "Well, she must be a swimmer and know what she's doing, we are getting nowhere." So I moved over so she could go ahead and grab the feet and I'd fall in behind her. Big mistake! She died about 100 meters later and I realized that she probably wasn't fighting for the feet like I was, I think she was probably just a little over anxious and firing on all cylinders! In any event, I couldn't bridge back up, and then I was pulling several girls. This is not the situation I wanted--remember the buzz word "conservation!" So I soft stroked and let the girls go ahead and fell in. I look over and who do I see? Amanda! Every stroke I'd smile at her and knew she was having a great swim, so don't make her laugh! I kept my heart rate down and finished the swim. I got a time check in transition of about 2 minutes down. Not too bad, although I would have like to be a little closer! I got on my Kestrel 4000 and went to work. The whole bike I focused on nutrition and not ever extending myself. I kept a consistent effort that was within myself. I slowly picked girls off and was able to get a good idea where I was at 2 180 turns. I caught Kelly with about 10 miles to go. I rode into T2 and they announced me as the first woman. I thought "how silly, they missed Margie" but unfortunately I learned later that Margie had gone off course, so I really was the race leader. I wish I would have enjoyed it a little bit more! I started the run, again--conserve, Jessica, conserve. Get through it. I was waiting for Kelly to come flying by. Sure enough she did, but not until around mile 2 which really surprised me. I guess I put on a little more time than expected those last few bike miles. I kept trudging along, focusing on my nutrition and putting one foot in front of the other. I kept seeing this guy out on the course (bike and run) and I figured it was a pro woman's coach. After seeing him about 10 times I felt like we were old pals, and he started to give me a little feedback. At around mile 12.5 I said to him "am I almost done already?" He smiled and said just ahead. It turns out it was the legendary Dave Scott! He was Sherpa for his son who started in the wave behind me! Very cool. So I finished with a bit of blurred vision and stayed strong for 2nd.

The next day I flew out straight to Denver. My family was having their annual family reunion in Estes Park. Honestly, Buffalo Springs is not like other half ironmans. It just takes a lot out of you--the heat, the course, the wind. I was beat up. And recovering at 7200 feet is probably not ideal, but good for the soul nonetheless. We had a great time and I'll post some pics when I get them downloaded. "Training" was definitely interesting. I was just really beat up from Buffalo Springs and started to feel pretty run down. We came back to Tulsa for 1 day and then I was on another plane to Indianapolis for the Muncie 70.3.

I'll admit I wasn't feeling too zippy for this race. If I hadn't been chasing 70.3 points I would have scratched it. But being worth more points I decided to go for it. Unfortunately so did a group of talented women, including good friend Kelly W who went on to come in 2nd! If "conservation" was the buzz word for Buffalo Springs, then "blah" would be for Muncie. The gun went off and within my first 10 strokes I thought "uh-oh." I had nothing. My arms just went through the water, seemingly grabbing nothing. I got on my bike and just biked, no power behind them. It was a lonely day out there :) I started the run and actually felt pretty decent, although my time might not reflect it. I finished 6th. For as blah as it was, I had to be satisfied. You just can't expect to be in the race with these women without a little pep in your step. I had nada. Was it worth it? Only time would tell if I got the precious points to put me in the top 25. When it was all said and done, I landed at 27. Hopefully 2 women would decline their spot. Luckily they did and I confirmed my spot to Vegas last Friday.

So where does this leave me? Getting ready for Worlds 70.3 in Vegas! I'm loving that it's going to be hot and hilly. This is my type of course! Again, none of this would be possible without my wonderful family and friends, and I include my awesome sponsors in this friends category! Trakkers, Rev 3, Kestrel, First Endurance, Tyr, Avia, Recovery Pump, Louis Garneau, 918 XC...Just a quick story on Recovery Pump. I brought them along with me to Muncie 70.3 I had a late flight out the following day so I sat around in them for several hours. No soreness! No joke! These things are worth their weight in gold!!

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