It’s hard to call a 12th place pro finish and a finish where you are beaten by some of the top age groupers a victory, but today for me it was. I’ll probably expand on this in an article for a local publication. And, I don’t want to be poor poor pitiful me. I have to say that I have not really every been injured since I started racing. By injured, I mean something that took me out of biking or running or swimming completely for more than a few days. Fortunate you might say. Certainly many others have had it much worse, and have come back all the stronger.
So in late April and virtually all of May with little to no training, it was a tough pill to swallow. I took my first return to running steps exactly 4 weeks ago the day before the CapTex triathlon in Austin. I said that if I could run 1 hour the week before the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon, I’d go race.
Friday I packed up and headed to Lubbock. Went through the normal pre race motions with the exception of that little 6+ hour drive. I also got to see my sister-in-laws folks in the big city of Post, TX. He sells furniture to people coming and going…they own a furniture store and he’s the town mortician!!
The short story is that I went to BSLT because I really like the race. And, my main goal for the race…my gold performace…would be running 13.1 miles. BSLT has a reputation for being a tough course with tough conditions. Truthfully, the course is not ‘that’ tough. But, the conditions can make the course pretty epic. The high in Lubbock on Saturday was 112 or something stupid. The high on Sunday was to be 110 or something equally stupid with West Texas Winds to go with it.
With those conditions on the line, I still kept to my goals and my race plan. That was to simply have a day out there where I swam, biked, and ran 70.3 miles. I mean, yeah I was ‘there to win’ as I blogged before. But, no one is going to give you a win, and you can’t fake fitness. Certainly not with the pro fields that are generally assembled these days as there are always a few solid guys who line up.
The short story is that I had an average swim. A slow start and a good finish. I rolled up on a couple of guys that were a bit back from the front two about 1/2 way through the swim and stayed there. On the bike, and I knew the lack of fitness would show a bit. I had a solid 2nd half and likely lost very little time to most of the other pros. I was off the bike around 10th or 12th. The conditions were indeed very tough on the bike, not so tough that you couldn’t ride fast as evidenced by the top bike splits. The run conditions were equally tough as shade was at a premium and the tar on the road was bubbling up through the rocks out past the powerplant. I settled in to a pace that was not fast by any means, but still faster than I ran my hour last weekend. I hit the turnaround on pace for a blistering 1:33 or so! I managed to hold that pace, ran the entire run, no pain to speak of other than the pain that comes with completing 70.3 miles.
So, a bit of a victory of sorts for me. A bit humbling yes, but great to be back at it. As James would say…onwards and upwards.