June 29, 2021 - Great fast race until the run.
Ironman Lubbock 70.3 started out with a road trip from El Paso to Lubbock with my racing/training partner and my brother-in-law. The road trip is about 6 hours long but was entertaining with the discussions and bad humor. When we arrived in Lubbock, we checked in then went out and drove the bike course.
The next day we went for a short ride on our bikes and checked-in for the race. Nothing much exciting about the day except to find out the water temp was around 80º, meaning not wetsuit legal. This to me wasn’t bad news since rain was predicted in the evening and if it was to rain the water would be cooled down to the legal temp for a wetsuit. As luck would have it, the skies did open up and it began to rain all the way up to the race start. Wet suits were legal.
The race started out with the swim which wasn’t too terrible, but I did have some trouble sighting the orange return buoys. The sky was cloudy and my goggles seemed to cancel out the color of the buoys. While swimming I did use the swimmers in front of me to guide the way until I was able to see the shape of each buoy.
Getting out of the water was great and I am glad that I memorize my path to my bike in transition since I was near the front of the pack and there were a lot of bikes still in transition. I did have a little problem with my zipper as it didn’t pop loose when it reached the end of the zipper. After fiddling with it for a little bit I was able to get it loose and get changed out for my ride.
The ride was great as there was little to no wind making for a fast bike split with an average speed of 23.8 mph. The course is flat and fast without any wind. During our race recon we did not that the wind on the bike would kick up around 8:30-9:00 AM and would be coming out of the East. The kick up of the wind would be from 7-9 mph and should happen after turning around so it would be at my back. As luck would have it, I turned around at the right time. Before hitting the turnaround, I began to count the bikes ahead of me and I counted 70 and by the time I came through the turnaround I passed one bike putting me in 69th place and I continued to move up. I ended up finishing the ride in 8th place in my age group.
Then came the run, I was feeling good during the first lap, then I fell apart with thigh cramps. I had to stop for a minute to massage the cramp out of my left leg before I could move. The reason for the cramping came from eating something the day before which upset my stomach causing diarrhea. Having this happen depleted my system of the much-needed nutrients. During the next two laps I was just trying to do damage control and not walk. The third lap was all mental since my body wanted to stop but I kept telling myself to keep moving on and don’t walk.
When it was all said and done, I didn’t finish where I wanted to in 19th place where I should have been in the top 10. However, I am still going to St. George for the World Championships.