I’m a planner.  I am extremely organized. I don’t like “changing” the schedule.  I like following a plan.

My original plan after driving home from Austin 2 weeks ago was to be at altitude for 4 weeks, get in some good solid training,  race the Boulder Peak Triathlon, and then to race Racine 70.3 the week after that.

However, after being in Colorado for about 10 days, having 3 solid sessions of training, and training faster than I had since March of this year, Michael suggested on Tuesday of last week (after running 8 x 800′s) to race Lubbock.  I told him no way…LOL.

After Wendesday’s 4 hr HARD ride with Simon’s training group of girls, Michael again suggested that I race…Again, I said no way.  Michael told me to please consider racing  as I was training better than I had in months…Previously, I had some of my best “races” in training and he didn’t want to see that happen to me again…LOL.  He wanted me to have a great race in a actual race!

I considered his suggestion and I thought about it…and thought about it some more.  I  made a few calls.  I got a bit of encouragement from Cliff.  And I made my final decision after speaking with my Yoda…the RAPPSTAR.

My YODA gave me a list of suggestions on how to pull myself together for this race.  I wrote every single detail down and I followed them to a “T’.

Lucky for me I was able to find a last minute house/dog  sitter (thank you Christy!).  I packed the car Friday morning and high tailed it to Lubbock, TX which was a 10 hour drive. 

Here I was exactly 2 weeks later, driving down to TX– AGAIN.  I felt “crazy” and excited.  I was in love with the unknown and the adventure driving alone to a race and not really having a “plan”!

I arrived in Lubbock, TX around 9:30/10pm Friday night.  Saturday was my usual pre race activity of swim, bike, run.  For the first time that I can remember I was without my better half, Michael.  It was eerily strange…

Race morning was like any other race.  I was nervous with excitement.  I had my normal pre race breakfast of Oats and yogurt.  I arrived on Gillam time instead of Lovato time.  I got to transition 90 minutes before race time…lol! 

The swim was ok.  I swam really hard for about 400 meters and was with a nice little group.  However, my breathing was really off and I had a hard time getting in good, deep breaths.  Going up and down from altitude does this to me.  I got dropped after about 600 meters, swimming alone and could feel myself getting slower throughout the swim without having “people” to swim with.  I finished out the swim alone, but fairly happy.  The first 80 minutes of the bike was pretty good.  I felt great and my legs felt fresh.  At about 80-90 minutes, I could feel my legs tighten up from the trainingand dehydration from the previous week.  I had to slow down a bit.  And I had to eat a lot of food.  In fact, I believe that I took in more fluid and food on the bike portion of this race than any other race that I have ever done!  I believe that my metabolism was reved up from being at altitude and from the previous week of solid training.  I was actually HUNGRY…VERY HUNGRY!  I was absorbing everything and able to keep every thing down without GI disomfort.  (Victory for me)!

As I approached T-2, I assessed my legs.  I jumped off my bike and my legs felt fresh (probably from eating so much food!).  It didn’t even feel like I had ridden my bike.  I started off running 6:20and 6:30 miles.  I was flying for the first 9 miles, feeling fresh and fast.  At mile 9, my week’s worth of training came back to bite me.  I started getting the chills… feeling like I was dehydrated.  I slowed dramatically by 90 sec per mile.  I tried to drink a lot at the aid stations and I tried to pull it back together, but the damage was done.  I was currently in third place and I knew that 4th was charging hard.  I found myself praying to Jesus to help me finish the last 2 miles.  With 1 mile to go, Jessica passed me. She put three minutes on me in the last mile! LOL! I was a bit bummed to not podium, but happy with 4th.  After all, this race was not on the plan and I was stoked to be on the line, feeling good and excited to race!  Excited is what I had been missing in my last few races and I was stoked to have it back!

I loved being back in Lubbock.  I loved racing with my Colorado people and my Texas people.  I love Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 because it’s a good, honest, salt of the earth race.  It’s not your typical “Starbucks racing”.  Next year, I will plan for it! And next year, I will fly! :)

Happy racing!