Jen Rulon

Jen Rulon - Ironman - 70.3

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.

2017 Ironman 70.3 Lubbock

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: 

2013 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….





AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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