Here is a conversation that I hear all the time about 70.3 Ironman Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX.
Athlete: When is your next race?
Me: In 1.5 weeks. 70.3 IM in Lubbock.
Athlete: OH MY GOD. You are doing Lubbock?
Me: Yeah. Why not? It’s a great race.
Athlete: It’s hot. It’s hilly. It’s Lubbock.
Me: Oh, have you done that one?
Athlete: No that is what I have heard
Me: So, you have never done Lubbock but you are listening to someone else fears about the course?
In 2001, I wanted to do an Ironman 70.3 and back then, it wasn’t event called Ironman 70.3! I saw one in Texas. Signed up for it! Yes, it was Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon. I had NO IDEA of what I was getting into and honestly didn’t know how challenging the course really was. But, I knew I wanted to do a half Ironman before my full Ironman (IM-WI in September 2002). I chatted with my coach at the time and we discussed things about Lubbock:
What I knew about Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock:
- It was hot. I heard stories about the temperatures were SO HOT, which your feet stuck to the road on the run.
- It was hilly on the bike and the run.
- There was an Energy Lab II, just like Kona. SWEET!
- Texas Tech University is up there.
- Buddy Holly was from there or his museum?
- There are gophers hanging out in the fields. They are so stinking cute, while I know the farmers don’t like them.
I signed up anyway.
What I did to get ready for my 1st Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Lubbock:
- I trained.
- I worked.
- I try to hang with my friends but I had training to do!
- I read everything I could via magazines, books, etc. I went to Border’s to buy more books and magazines. Smart phones were really not around then. Internet was around but I couldn’t afford a computer. I just bought my new bike, Principia.
- I probably bugged my coach WAY more than I paid her for :) Thanks Shelly and I am sorry!
What I didn’t know about my 1st Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Lubbock:
- No clue about nutrition. Gatorade and water will work just fine. I will a Power Bar too.
- No clue about salt tablets or amino acids.
- Two-piece bikini should be fine for the swim, bike and run. That’s what Paula Newby Frasier did in Hawaii.
- Let’s put sunscreen on before my swim. I was FRIED!
- I bought a sleeveless wetsuit at the Expo and used it.
- Forgot my water bottles and Gatorade in the hotel race morning.
- It was hilly. It was windy. It was hot.
What I LOVE NOW about Ironman 70.3 Lubbock:
- It is a challenging course. It really is but what Ironman 70.3 Triathlon shouldn’t be challenging?
- It will test your limits as an athlete and tell me this, “How Bad Do You Want It?”
- Generally, your first Ironman 70.3 or Ironman Triathlon will always be your favorite
- It was the BEST feeling in the world to cross that finish line. Once you start hating crossing the finish line to a race, it is time to look for a new sport. Just my two cents!
- When Chris and I were starting to get to know each other, I received a “Top 10 Reasons Why I Need to Drive to Lubbock with him in 2003.” This year at Lubbock will be our 15 year anniversary starting our relationship. #awwwwww
- The swim will generally be wetsuit legal. Mike Greer is good like that!
- The bike still has a SHIT TON of hills but this can make or break an athlete ON THE RUN!
- The run course has changed over the years and I really do miss the “Energy Lab II,” where it is a lot like Hawaii. You see the stem coming off the road and the sound of power over your head.
- The finish line is fun, jump in the lake to cool off, get an IV if you need it or if you want beer, you can have that instead!
- The Finisher Party that night is a blast and you can catch up with your friends and tell war stories about race day.
Last but not least…
- Mike and Marti Greer are some of the nicest people/race directors, I have ever met.
Here are my times from Ironman 70.3 Lubbock:
- 2001 – 6:32:30
- 2003 – 6:20:01 (Flat on my bike with clincher tires!)
- 2005 – 5:41:21
- 2007 – 5:42:44
- 2013 – 5:38:59
- 2015 – 5:22:47
- 2017 – 5:11:45
Amazing how much improvement, I saw over the years. Like I said in my FaceBook Live “Life Lessons of an Athlete,” two weeks ago, “Being An Athlete Doesn’t Happen OverNight!”
Yes, I will keep going back to Lubbock….