I am sitting here typing this while watching the 7th stage of the Tour de France, and trying to recover from a very nice long trail run this morning with Susan's running group from Cardinals. Thanks for letting me jump in with all of you here and there.
I was thinking back this morning about Buffalo 70.3 and was trying to remember the pain that I know was there, but the funny thing that keeps happening after these races is that it fades quickly. I will try my best to get it right, but as usual I try to remember the good things rather than the bad. It could also be the fact that if I remembered how painful these races can be I would question the sanity of my friends and myself!
I was nice and warmed up for the race start which is really rare for me. I usually am talking too much to everyone around to remember to get in even a little warmup ( I know that is a surprise to most of you). When the race started I had a hard time right off getting in a good position running into the water, and this was going to stay the same throughout the swim. Before the first buoy I had been kicked in the head, I hit someone else in the head on accident, and choked on nice lake water twice. Not to mention I couldn't find a clear area to swim long enough to feel good like I was making any sort of headway. Coming out of the water I was really glad that was over, but expecting that I was way off of my normal time. I came out with a 31:12, which is where I am normally. A very good surprise, but considering that I have seen my some swim improvements lately I had really hoped for a little better time.
Normally not much to say here except this time I decided to go on the wrong side of my bike rack. I guess a first time for everything. One good thing was seeing my friend Ron volunteering on the bike out. Friendly faces always make a race much better.
Lucille and myself were really feeling good on the first half or more of the bike. I was keeping a higher pace than normal for me in a race, and was really hoping to make up some time on the bike for once. As usual for me I had many of the fast people pass me like I was standing still, and really all I could do was keep it steady and limit the damage. The bike is still where I need the most work but that takes time. After coming out of the back canyon and turning west I hit a strong headwind that really knocked me back for a few miles. As I was getting closer to the park I started passing people again, and that was making my legs feel better to get a few spots back in the overall. Coming up on the last climb I could feel that I had pushed my legs harder than I had in previous races, and as the climb started the insides of both legs started cramping from top to bottom. To be brutally honest I was trying to not panic, because trying to climb with both legs cramping could have shut me down where I was at for more than I wanted. Luckily, I made it to the top and when the pressure came off the cramps let up. Crisis averted!
It was Keebler time on the 4th climb of the day!
I would love to tell you that I went straight to my back rack, but yes I went to the wrong side again! Susan might say at this point that once I hear a loud pop it means that my head is out of my butt. I hadn't heard that pop yet!
Part of my race plan was to push as hard as I could to get to the run sooner rather than later hoping for cooler temps. I could tell on the first 2 miles that I had pushed hard, and my legs felt worse than they had in a long time for a race. Plus the temps might have been cooler than later in the day, but they felt hot to me! Before the first hill I was starting to get my legs back, and started to pick rabbits (people) in front of me to start trying to close the gaps. I was passed fewer times on the run, and mostly by people that were crazy runners. I did find that if I could stay steady up the hills I could make some good headway. Only on the 2nd climb did I have some issues with my right hamstring, but thankfully it went away before the midway and I was able to keep going. Another thing I did on this race was take my time at each water stop, and make sure I could get cool and keep hydrated. I also found that if I dumped water and ice down the back of my jersey it cooled me off better, but that is probably due to my head being in my butt :) Coming back into the park I was feeling good and started picking up the pace a little. I stayed this way until the last mile, and to my surprise I had enough to put in a strong finish. Besides a little stitch in the side it was one of my best feeling finishes.
Finish - 5:28:44
Overall - 213/832
Age Group - 42/97
After looking back at this race with a couple of weeks gone I am very happy with it. I was 10 minutes faster than my race in April, and from when I raced Buffalo 2 years ago I was 20 minutes faster. This was my second fasted race in much rougher conditions than Vineman last year. Susan noticed the biggest difference. I am finishing and not feeling like I am going to die, but instead recovering quicker from the races. Some of that is due to my conditioning, and some of it is due to getting off of statins. I will always have an issue with my cholesterol, but with this healthier lifestyle and working with my docs I will keep fighting to do what I can. It is just that I don't want to solve one problem while causing others. I know there has to be a balance, and I will keep searching.
Now time to enjoy some good drinks, good food, good workouts, and most of all good times with family and friends. Over the next few weeks I will figure out what races are next, and will get some of the pages updated.