Hey All, sorry it's been so long so get ready.
First off Congrats to Formulaic for his CdA finish and although you can jump over to his blog and read all about it, I am glad you came out of your craziness and realized that your an Ironman!! Trickbaby!!! Please read Run Bitch Run's race recap if you want learn what an Ironman is all about, she's it.
After the CdA event it was time to focus on some things of my own that were coming up, like Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in Lubbock, TX. Over the last couple of weeks most of all my training has been run related with a couple of short swim stroke lessons and 2 some what mediocre swims, 1 bike of about 35 miles so overall I was a little nervous heading out to BST. I was actually able to get a swim on Tuesday and some how pulled a rookie move and left my swim goggles at the pool while I was talking with others and didn't realize this till the next day when I was packing all my stuff, so hey, I got new goggles which worked well for the race but I still like my old ones better.
As the week unfolded I was able to spend some special times with a special person this week. It's nice when you can make someone smile and enjoy there day just a little more than normal.
I left on Thursday heading towards Lubbock with my mom who I was going to drop off in Santa Fe, NM. as she was there visiting her sisters and a wedding to attend. On Friday I rolled out of Santa Fe and headed towards Lubbock but with my sights set on Ft. Sumner, NM.
As I rolled into Ft. Sumner I was excited for a few reasons. 1) I was able to talk with Antonette who was in Seattle with the TNT Vegas group getting ready to run there marathon event on Saturday and everything was going great and she had just came back from a short run and said it was very nice. I was a little jealous as I wanted to be in Seattle running with the team and enjoying the much cooler temps. 2) I was following all the signs that said Billy the Kid Museum ahead and now I was looking for it. The town is very small and you can almost roll through it without blinking but I found the museum, paid my $5 to Billy the Kid's mom still working the counter and telling stories of her son. The museum was great with Lot's of history of Ft. Sumner, soldiers, relics and of course the Kid stuff, like his shotgun, his pistol, chaps, and spurs. I was surreal to look at this stuff and think that he actually held it in his hands and carried it with him. I enjoyed it and it was worth every bit of $5.. "I'll make ya famous"
As I rolled out of town my next stop was the tombstone of the Kid and I followed the signs once again and as you drive down this little road for about 2 miles off the highway you come to another museum place and in the back which is open to the public in the middle of a big lot is caged tombstone. It's Billy the Kid's along with a couple of his "Pals" After checking it out it was time to get to Lubbock.
Now as I was heading to Lubbock it was pretty hot, like 93-98* in different places so I was riding with the windows down for some heat training for the race and for .... my newest exciting adventure.
I have been picked up at a crew member for Molly Sheridan who is running BADWATER!! Yes, Badwater, the 135 mile foot race from Death Valley, CA to Mt. Whitney where the temps range from 120* - 135*!! I am very excited to be a part of her crew and I will be posting more information on that as it unfolds in the next couple of weeks. The race is July 13-15th.
Once getting to Lubbock I met up with John Tuggle a fellow chiro and great Friend. We then drove the bike course and went to packet pick up and as I was there I saw Sarah Reinertsen and asked her if I could take a picture with her. She is very nice and just full of energy and life and I was very honored to have a brief moment with her, Thanks Sarah! p>
Once packet pick up was done we went back to the hotel and just relaxed and on Saturday we picked up Liz from the airport, got her bike from transport, went to the lake and swam in the murky can't see the end of your hand 75* water. Really warm for a wet suit but come race morning it was ok. After all that it was dinner that night with some of the New Mexico Outlaws, S. Baboo, Misty, SWTriGal and husband Hartley, Mitch from Houston, Jane and a few others. It was nice to catch up with everyone and even get to talk to Antonette up in Seattle as the Team had all finished and hear about there day!
Later it was just relaxing at the hotel and getting ready for the morning. Sunday morning I woke up to ugly cloud cover and slight drizzle but I knew it was coming with 5 second weather checks I was doing. I went to Denny's had some pancakes, loaded the car and Liz and I were off to the race site. There were a lot of cars and parking took a little while but we got to transition and I got set up while talking with S. Baboo. Shortly after I went to the bathroom line and as the pro's went off I was beginning to wonder if I would make my swim start as the line was not really moving but then all of a sudden it was my turn and I was done and out looking for Tuggle at the swim.
Swim: 50:07 (2:36/100)
What can I say. Better than other swims but still not my strong point. As the group took off it was a quick turn to the right and then all the turns were to the left. You could not see anything in front of you in the water so there was lot's of sighting to be done. I know at the beginning I was way off the line and then I decided that I would get right on the line and fight the faster swimmers off as they pass me and that is exactly what I had to do as one time I got elbowed in the side of the head but no worries I just grabbed the back of his legs and pulled him when he got in front of me and he tried to kick!! haha.. NOTE: DON'T BASH ME or I WILL YANK ON YOU and throw you off rhythm too! Overall the swim was a little choppy and now I am hearing that the course was a little off and long as the pro's stated but not like that would have made any difference in me swimming an extra 200 or 300 meters. I got to the boat dock, the volunteers helped me out and off I went to T1.
T1: Same stuff as usually here. On the way out, John ran out of the isle in front of me and I yelled at him "You didn't think you were going to get that far ahead of me did you!" he turned around to look as we ran out and biked mounted.
John took off very quickly on the mount and I fumbled trying to clip in but it wasn't long and I was rounding the corner out of transition onto the road to begin the OH SO NICE 6% climb right out of the gate. Yes, it's not pretty but at least it wasn't too long of a hill. I quickly saw John cranking it up the hill and as I pulled him in I started to spin a little faster and harder to make the pass quickly, I said "This isn't pretty is it?" He said not even close! and as I passed I said "Hey, get used to this because it's going to be like this all day!" and I shot passed him. (Now going back to Saturday, John was talking some funny smack and said that he was going to beat me on the swim and bike but I would most likely catch him on the run but the other two were his. He did beat me on the swim time with 49:17 (50 seconds faster) but with my T1 time of 3:07 and his 3:56 you can see how you can lose that 50 seconds really fast!) So me yelling this at John as I passed him on the FIRST HILL was awesome. Now I just had to make sure I kept it that way as I have never rode with John and I didn't know his pace. I crested the top of the first hill and screamed down the other side and hit hill #2 at the 3rd mile! YES! Mile 3 there is another not so enjoyable climb and there were lot's of bikes all weaving all over the road passing and just trying to make it to the top. It was a little longer than first hill but not as steep and finally I made it to the top with my heart rate still sitting comfortably in Zone 5!! haha. Now for the next 15 miles or so it's pretty much flat and with a little back wind I was soon pushing 22-25mph and enjoying the ride. Down a nice 2 mile hill that would soon be the uphill grind but for now it was 33mph and holding on! The next climb came and it was a little work but nothing too serious imo. I made the first turn around on a 3 turn around course and checked my watch to see the time and calculate how far Tuggle was behind me. I saw S. Baboo closing in as well but still far behind and figured he would catch me by the second turn around. As I went down the hill I saw Tuggle and he was 8 mins from the turn around so I yelled out "Your 8 mins from the turn behind me, Move it!!" So that really meant he was at least 16 mins or so based on my pace, it was something to keep messing with him. As I came up to hill climbs #3, which I think they call the Staircase as it's a few switch backs with some good inclines ranging from 4-6 or 8% but overall a gradual climb that just takes patience and work. As I climbed I could feel the pressure in my legs working and as I looked up the road I thought no big deal just keep working and your almost there. Once at the top it's a short flat to turn around #3 and start heading back and with 1 gradual long climb left and 1 short steep climb left your pretty much home free after mile 35. I went down the Staircase and saw Liz coming up and OH, by this time S. Baboo had caught me just after climb #2 which was challenging but again nothing to crazy. I figured Liz would catch me before T2 but due to a slight unscheduled Dismount she didn't, but good thing she was OK. As I rode the last 10 miles back it was slightly raining and everything was pretty much wet and it was just get back to T2. One thing that happened to me was at around mile 18 I went to get my salt from my Bento box and there wasn't any in there I could find so I pulled all my shot blocks out and no luck! They had all fallen out in the car when the bikes were laying down and I didn't notice it when we left the car, so I had no salt at all on the humid ride and I could feel my quads cramping up a little on the some of the climbs. I took some Gatorade but I really needed the salt and knew I had some at T2 for the run so I would have to take it immediately when I started running. Also nutrition wise, I used Perpetum as I have been using on my training runs for the Ultra training but on the bike I mixed it just a little bit stronger and towards the end of the bike I could feel my stomach cramping and knew the bathroom was coming which would cost me 5 mins on the run. the last long downhill I cranked out a 41 mph top speed of the day and soon began the last 6-8% climb of the day and YES, this is at mile 55 of the bike! Nice huh! I cranked up it and just thought to get to the top and it would all be over and although it was tough especially coming at the end of 55 miles this thought crossed my mind: VEGAS, I LOVE YOU! and THANK YOU!! for all the hilly ass terrain, wind and heat you give me on training days because you made the Buffalo Springs Bike course way easier than I ever imagined it would be. I will not curse you again Vegas terrain.!! I rolled into T2 stopping the clock at 3 hrs 16 mins! Pace 17.1 mph my Fastest ever 56 mile bike ride!!! PR BABY!!
Tuggles bike 3:44.
T2: Time 2:21, Hey another PR here, I'm getting this T2 stuff down.
Once the run started I though OK JT it's time to fly and put all that ultra run stuff to work. I took the salts I needed as I could feel my quad still cramping and shortly it went away. I was feeling great and clocked my 1st mile at 10:17 and I actually used the 4 mins run/1min walk program and that was plan. At the start of the 2nd mile my stomach let me know it was time to go to the bathroom and now I had just caught up with SWTriGal and we both had to go. I darted in and yup, 5 mins later I was still there finishing up but what could I do. My second mile was 17:23 and then mile 3 came with the 500 yard 8% kick your ass to walking hill. I walked up it and then it was flat and down a nice long grade that would later be the uphill portion to kick your ass again around mile 9.5 but by this time I was having a hard time running and just felt out of gas or something. I figured it was from being behind on salt but nothing I could do but keep moving. I had also stopped taking shot blocks on the bike at the end b/c of my stomach and now 40 mins into the run I really didn't feel like taking any gels but I took 1 and it wasn't a good idea as it just made me blah feeling. After walking up another 6-8% 1/2 mile hill it was out the Energy Lab. Yup that's what they call it, as it is this flat road next to an energy plant with NO Shade and you can see for like 3 miles straight but luckily you only have to run down it for about 2.5! haha. By this time the 4/1 run-walk program was out the window and I was running when I could and trying not to walk. An aid station had Coke so I took some and it seemed to work and I got to the 6.5 mile turn around and they had Dr. Pepper, even better and it worked. I was now caught back up with SWTriGal and we chatted for a bit and I ran on. I saw Liz coming and knew she would soon be passing me but now I was dealing with some poking pain where my liver was and could only figure my diaphragm was cramping in that area so I tried walking, pushing on my side, short breaths and nothing seem to change it so I kept running. Liz passed me and I soon saw Tuggle just entering the Energy Lab road as I was heading out. As I was running down the monster 6-8% hill I thought let it fly and take advantage but the road was also Slope and your feet were at this weird angle and as I was running down my left toes were bashing into each other on my left big toe, A problem I have dealt with before in running anything over 13 miles and hence why I switched to the Injinji toe socks which are the BEST EVER! but was not wearing them today as I didn't think I would have any problems on 13 miles. WRONG! b/c I was dumping lot's of water on my head and keeping cool my shoes and socks got really wet and so my toes were jabbing my other toe which was causing pain and I knew that if I kept running the last 4 miles that way I was going to have some serious problems to deal with later if it didn't take me out sooner so I saw this Gatorade cup on the side of the road. I sat down, pulled off my shoe and sock, rang all the water out of my sock, tore a piece of the cup off and folded it in between my big toe and 2nd toe, wrapped it as best I could and put my sock and shoe back on and away I went. It probably took about 2 mins or so but I was off running down the hill and my toes were fine, it just felt funny with some card board in my shoes but soon it got soft and I never felt it again. The last hill climb is long and even though I walked up it It really took it out of me. I decided to take another gel being as I had only taken 1 this whole time and figured it might do me good the last 4 miles, umm.. Wrong.. again I played with the blah feeling once again and just had to suffer through it. Once up the hill and back in the park it's pretty much flat and gradual little bumps and working to get to the last 2 miles seemed to be taking a long time! Finally mile 12 I could hear the music and knew I was only another 20 mins away but that just seemed way too long and I tried to run as much as I could be now it seemed to be run to that driveway and walk to the next type of thing. I had seem my perceived time goal slip away a long time ago and now I was just hoping to beat my RAGE time which I didn't even think that was possible based on my watch and T times but I kept moving and running. Finally, mile 12.25 came and a voice entered my head that said "you can do anything for 10 mins!" It couldn't have came at a better time b/c I knew I could run the last mile so I started running at a nice even pace and I saw mile 13 maker and there was the finish line, I crossed the mat that brings up your name and heard Mike Riley say, "From North Las Vegas, John Vigil, Congratulations John" and I saw the camera and just smiled to be done and enjoy that I just finished! The Voice came from my newest and special running partner Antonette who has helped me overcome some good running sticking points in the last couple of months, Thanks Antonette.
Run Time: 2 hours 47 mins. Pace 12:47/mile. Not at all my best 13.1 mile run but dealing with the hills, cramping, toe and stomach issuses I will take it.
I was glad to be done and quickly grabbed a beer and some Gatorade, I must have drank about 50 oz of Gatorade now that I stopped and I was feeling just tired.
Overall Time: 6 hrs 59 mins! (51 seconds) haha.. I cracked that 7 hour mark just barely!! but I did it. I am happy with that b/c I had other PR's during the day and it's all an accomplishment. Not only that SWTriGal and I were Not DFL like at RAGE last year!
I will write more tomorrow on the post race and travels back..