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BUFFALO SPRINGS 70.3

Buffalo Springs 70.3Buffalo Springs 70.3Buffalo Springs 70.3

I have just returned to Boulder after my second attempt at the 70.3 distance. It was a promising weekend in Lubbock Texas with a strong field assembled for the race. I was excited and nervous for the start and was keen to have another crack in the longer triathlon. The swim is in a natural spring lake and the water was warm although just barely still a wetsuit legal swim. Whether we should be wearing a wetsuit or not became quite a hot topic of discussion at the Pro meeting prior to the race, personally I wasn't a fan of wearing a wetsuit when the water is so hot and the air temperature even hotter. Josh Amberger and I got out to a quick start in the swim and built up a 60 second buffer on the rest of the field. It was hard to swim to fast as you heated up so quickly. The swim ended up being very short as Josh and I exited the water after 20 minutes, a good four minutes short for a Half Ironman swim.

 

I had a good first transition, it felt quite strange stopping to put socks on. I was first onto the bike and straight up the first hill. Lubbock looks like a very flat farming town at first glance, but in the distance where the race is held there is a hidden valley that we raced up and down many times through out the day. It was a deceptively hard course and luckily we didn't have the predicted 110 F (43 C) temperatures. Josh pushed the pace early on the bike and I went with him for the first 15km. I was nervous on going so hard at the start of 90km as I am so inexperienced at this distance still. I dropped off and settled into my own pace, ready for a long day. I felt comfortable on my Blue Triad and got caught by the fast moving chasers at around 25km. My new position is becoming easier to ride, I just need to gain more strength in this position now. I was able to ride with the group of 4 briefly before getting a little nervous with the high pace. I need to learn to push myself for the longer ride. It was nice to have former world number 1 Terenzo Bozzone and also one of the greats Greg Bennett in the field. I ended up riding by myself for the remained of the bike. I started to get very uncomfortable on my saddle at about 60km and it was hard to ride hard when I was struggling to get comfortable on my saddle. I lost a lot of time in the last part of the bike, coming off the bike in 6th. I need to look at changing my saddle so I can sit in my position easily for the distance. Another part of the learning phase!

 

I jumped off the bike and felt pretty good. My rear end was happy not to be on a saddle anymore and I was off onto the run. It was a nice run loop around the lake and up a steep hill exiting the park. Then near the turn around there is about a 5-6km stretch on a dead flat, straight road. This section of road is actually known as "Energy Lab 2". It was a good mental challenge and gave me a chance to see where I was positioned. I ran out to the turn a little conservative, with my aim to build into my run and come home faster. In my first attempt at a half I did the first part of the run to hard so it was nice to feel stronger as the run went on. My run time wasn't anything flash but I was happy to negative split it. It was also a good opportunity to practice my nutrition plan created by Darryl at Shotz Nutrition. I also didn't have sore feet or blisters thanks to the socks and my Altra race flats.

 

It is very exciting trying the new distance and I know there is so much to improve on, I was able to take away a lot of positives from the weekend.  I ended up in 7th place with a solid field. Unfortunately I couldn't make it a Oceania clean sweep for the top 6 after getting passed on the run by Michael Lovato. It was great to get some good advice from Greg and Terenzo after the race. I also really appreciate Josh Amberger helping me in my lead up with his words of advice. Josh and I shared a fantastic homestay and had a great weekend with the locals.

 

I am now having a few easy days to recover and sitting down with my Coach Ben Day to discuss the build up to Boulder Peak 5150 in a couple weeks.

 
 
 
 
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