Buffalo Spring Lake 70.3

Lubbock, Texas

June 25, 2017

This was expected to be a 90+ degree race with winds exceeding 20mph.   Instead, we had moderate temps in the 80s with a 8-10mph SE winds and overcast skies.   This is a tough race course with history.

I’ll get into the race to begin with and then add details at the end.   The goals are what I send to my coach (Ben Drezek) prior to the race:

Overall. I want to enjoy the BLST race experience and collect good data for my next phase of training.   I don’t have pace/time goals per say.    I want to enjoy the BLST race experience and collect good data for my next phase of training.   I don’t have pace/time goals per say:

SWIM

My pre-race notes to coach: Swim. Good swim focusing on lines of sight and effort level during the swim.  I would like to be able to get onto the bike in great shape with a clean transition that’s efficient but not rushed.   What to pay attention to get some good liquid in me during transition to stay ahead of hydration.   Steady swim pace.  

From my Galveston race report: “Need to learn to use my arms as oars and pull myself through the water – I’m thinking about swimming in the wrong way – need to continue to change and make this part of the race easier – not faster, just easier.”

Last race: Time: 00:40:34

This was a easier swim that allowed me some distractions. I’m still learning to draft and I got caught in this game during the race.  I would have had a much better swim without worrying about others and simply swimming between the buoys in clean water.   Nothing special on the swim but cool 74 degree water.  I had a steady swim pace and certainly COULD have pushed the pace at points.  I settled during the swim and kept a great rhythm.  I did use “use my arms as oars”.   This was a decent improvement from the last race and can be put in the win column.  I swam slower that capability, but felt good coming out the water – need to find a middle ground.

Swim Time: 00:38:01

I would have like to have seen this closer to :35, but I’m happy where I’m at for the moment.

For my upcoming training:  Continue to concentrate on bilateral breathing and use speed/strength training to improved upper body pull strength.

BIKE

My pre-race notes to coach: Bike. I’m going to push the bike but not to breaking – with nutrition at the forefront of my thought.  Want to see what I can steadily maintain over the distance.    What to get good nutrition and stay ahead of hydration.

Last race:  Time: 2:54:08 [wreck]

This was a much harder bike course and I did my best.  I hung about 15 minutes off of our KMF team leaders for the duration of the bike and felt strong on a challenging climb course with elevation change of approximately 3000 feet.

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This is by far the most fun that I’ve had on a race course.  Never looked at my data during the ride, but knew that everything was clicking on the day.  Happy with an 18.5mph average on the bike.  If you are interested, top speed was 39.8, slowest 6.9 on the final climb.  My training preparation was on point and I was where I needed to be as I transitioned to the run.

Bike Time: 03:01:40

For my upcoming training:  Continue to put miles on the bike with a concentration on long and steady.

RUN

My pre-race notes to coach: Run.  Little bit lost as to how this one will work out, but I’ll play this one by ear.  I plan to take a moderate/easy pace coming off the bike and see where the legs are for the run. From last race report: “Next time: I will have a hydration bottle with me on the run.  This is something that I need to start using on every long run to get use to the idea.”   I’ve worked on this since Galveston and I’ll take your advice on a small ice chest with a throw away bottle of cold water rather than carrying a bottle the whole time – this seems a more reasonable solution.  I’ll again take in some salt on the ride and run.

Last Race: Time: 2:57:14 [walked due to bike problem]

Prior to the race, this run course had me scared to death.  The idea of coming off a very tough bike course onto a challenging run course left a lot of room for error.   In a pre-race seminar it was mentioned many time that this course was decided in the run.

The course was made of many small hills of 20 – 100 yards and a large 1/2 mile hill with a 10% grade – yes, we got to do it twice..   I started on the run course beside my teammate Paul Beaty and took the first mile of the course a little faster that I should – my decision.  We parted was and he continued his race as I settled to a 12 minute pace – my chosen pace based on how I felt and what I thought I could maintain for remainder of the race.  Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 4.59.03 PM.png

I alway feel uncomfortable for the first 3 miles, but try to distract myself to plan my run. I don’t necessarily like running wet, but ice cube in my kit sounded like a fine idea.  They were a GREAT addition and likely saved my race from heart rate spikes when the sun made its appearance.   I settled into the race in mile 4, forgot the miles between 5 and 10, and the last three miles were TOUGH  but my pace didn’t suffer too much.

Run Decision 1: Denise and the kids gifted my with a camelback running bottle, and per my training I carried it throughout the race – this was an asset that I keep with my during my next races.   The ability to sip throughout the race was remarkably comforting and helped my maintain an appropriately hydrated throughout the run.  This was a race time decision since I put it in transition – it paid.

Run Decision 2:  I made the decision to walk the aid station.  This is different from having to walk the aid stations (at least in my mind).  I’ve heard this advice in the past and was too stubborn to do it.   I’ll never run through an Ironman aid station again.  Paul Beaty will tell you that it’s more like a power walk, but still it allowed me to fill up with gatorade, water and ice as needed and let my my body recover.

Decision 3:  Don’t walk.   This sounds easy, but it was the toughest one of the day.  There’s not a single team mate that wouldn’t have patted me on the back and congratulated me if I would have walked part of this run course, but on the drive to the race on it became my number 1 wanna do for this race. Decision 2 made this possible. Success.

Teammates on the run course were remarkable to be able to give a small boost when you were climbing our an attaboy when you were rocking a downhill.  I little bit of run time with Paul and Tim were valuable and up lifting.

After Galveston I stated: “Buffalo Spring will be in 89 days.    This means that I have a significant training block to increase my long-course fitness.  I would like to see a swim less that 00:40 with less effort and a completed run.    This is a much harder race from my understanding – a DNF is waiting if my preparation is lacking.”

For my upcoming training:  I need to continue to work on my run strength.   It’s very different to run a 1/2 marathon or a marathon versus putting swim yardage and bike miles in prior to a running race.  BRICKS, BRICKS, BRICKS.

Run Time: 2:30:50 

OVERALL TIME: 06:19:19

SUMMARY

This was a much harder race – a DNF was waiting if my preparation was lacking – my training wasn’t lacking.


I’m going to use Coach Amanda’s prompts for the next portion:

Mentally

I was 100% ready for everything that the race could have thrown at me.  I was ready for the worst.  The course was challenging, but nothing more than what I expected.

Done Right

Stay with my phase of the race.  Nutrition was on point with little need for change – more liquid nutrition is better.

Improvement

These remain from the last race: Fitness and daily nutrition.   Need to be at race weight by next race in 89 days – said before – I’m getting there.

I’m 1/2 Iron fit.  This is good at this time of year.   Now, Iron Fit.

Differently

I have little that I would have done differently at this race.  Planning and execution were as good as could be expected and was able to experiment with hydration, ice, and aid station breaks

Lessons

Continue to trained harder and longer with more bricks – the long distance is fitness, fitness, fitness.  Full-iron distance is scary from today’s viewpoint.

Just swim.  To Hell with everyone else.  My sighting and lines are fine.  I lose time worrying about others.

Back to Training

I want to continue to improve my intensity during training and push my work sessions. It was a pleasure to be prepared.

Next race

[going to leave this on blank – deciding on the Redman/No-Redman 70.3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Jeff Allen

"My mission is to balance the goals of my personal and professional life while continually gaining new knowledge. This effort to balance my goals should not dilute the quality of my goals, but should enhance the quality of life for my family, co-workers, friends, and students." Jeff and his wife, Denise, have two sons and live in Aubrey, Texas.
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