BSLT 70.3 – PART 1

Race travel always gets exciting the night before. From the pre-packing, weather checking (100-105 degree highs), and house chore items that get checked, it all comes to a halt the night before, just before bed, when you set the alarm for an early rise.
We are pretty efficient now and got to bed at a decent time without much to handle. In no time does that alarm ring (or in our case, Holmes) and you get to practice race day morning.
At 4:30am, we were both up and about. Gina walked Holmes, I loosened up by taking a quick jog and some ÜBE training all in a 30 minute window (even dropped off the mail too). We were all set and ready when EG came at 6:15. Big props to her as she drove us to the airport and will be watching Holmes while we are away.
Being the experienced travelers we are, boom we make a serious effort to make sure we got as little as possible to get through security, etc. in a snap.
Swift it was as it took all of 30 minutes from the time EG dropped us of to the time we were all clear. The only hiccup was my new TEAMMC shirt I was wearing flashed in the body scanner due to the screened on logos ( of which a shout out to Steve Sheridan and the crew at Badger sports for getting those shirts done! ) We had plenty of time to get java, people watch, and walk around the terminal. No issues with the flight as we boarded and took off with no problems, though we still get an annoying kick out of people whose definition of “carry on ” luggage is a suitcase and duffle bag. Yo, if you can’t carry it on your back and it has wheels, check it son. Next is Dallas, which is a nice airport, where we start to sport our Texas Tech hats and connect to Lubbock!!

Land in Lubbock, get bag, and Deb is waiting for us right outside with the huge F150. The heat is at 100 already mid afternoon. Driving back to her house, we share stories, get the scoop on each other, and feel like the vacation is starting now. Once we get “home”, we unpack in our room, have a quick snack, and as Gina took a quick nap, I assembled the Black Widow. No issues as I then took it for a quick spin around the hood and got a feel for the heat and the wind. The area hasn’t changed much other than the house building on all the land that was vacant through the years. It looks really nice. Their house went through a few changes – no more rugs, rooms have been redecorated due to the moving in/out of their daughters, and Wade has a huge 30 gallon jug of homemade wine fermenting in the corner of the kitchen, ready by winter!! they have been taking great care of us and always make us feel like family.
Reading the local paper, I realized Lubbock is actually 3000 feet about sea level. I made sure to spend extra time in the shower which had a nice jet feature. Refreshing! Once Wade came home, we went out to eat at a local BBQ place, where I had a nice plate of fajitas and cornbread. It felt like a never ending day, as the sunset here is at 9:15!! But sure enough, after a bowl of Sheridan’s frozen yogurt, we were both lights out. Our day was done after 17 hours and looked forward to a good 8 hour sleep.

Woke up before 7. Slept sound. Wade and I went for a good 45 minute jog and caught up some more. Due to injuries and schedule, he hasn’t raced since the 2011 race we did! He was only doing the Olympic distance event Saturday, so Gina and I will play his Sherpa then. He made a big batch of his awesome pancakes, Gina made the java, and we had a great breakfast. One of his three daughters was staying with them, so she joined us for most of our meals together. When Deb woke up, they all went to the family bakery, shopping, etc. while Wade and I took an hour bike ride (tested the Polar RC3 GPS unit), then made our way to the YWCA for a good swim. By 1:30, the temperature was back up to 105 degrees and you can feel it. Got in a good 3 hours of training too. We got back the same time the ladies did. They bought back some good cookies and it became part of our lunch. The rest of the afternoon was hanging out reading, Internet catch up, and Food Channel surfing. Gina and I took a quick walk before Wade and I had to go get our race packets. It was fun to see the race directors, Mike and Martin Greer, then get all our stuff, see some of Wade’s friends, then make it back to the house in time for dinner all in one hour time. I tried to take a quick rest-eye, but the smell of the shrimp and pasta was too good. Since Wade was racing it meant an early wakeup call for us, but for good practice. We still got a good night sleep as everyone was in bed by 9:30.

Up at 5, out the door by 5:30 as Wade was looking forward to getting a race in finally. The drive to Buffalo Springs Lake is only 20 minutes. It was fun to be a Sherpa with the pros Gina and Deb, and there wasn’t much of a crowd for this race. Actually there were 2 other races too – a sprint distance event that started a mere 20 minutes after Wade, then a kids event that was to start around 9am. The water temp was 78 degrees but wetsuit legal for today. Wade started his event and as we watched, we saw the remaining field for the other events make their way into the transitioning areas. Once Wade was on the bike, we spent the next hour or so checking out the other racers, gear, etc., and sat down a bit on the grass. You could see offs to the east a storm brewing, but within an hour, it was coming very close. The officials told the kids who were about to start their race to remain under a designated tent, as lightning was starting to flash and they held up their event. Wade now was on the run looking really good.
Then it got windier. Then cooler. The ominous clouds now flashed lightning more frequently and with thunder. Some of the finishers were crossing the line when the rain came. And some more of all of it. We were shielded by a row of trees but once it started to pour, knew it was a matter of moments before we HAD to move. Deb announced she was cold enough and gave Wade 3 more minutes. Suddenly, law enforcement trucks and race support cars we unloading runners. Officials had called the event due to the dangerous weather. Right call cause it was bad. Many jumped off the truck and ran the remaining feet to the finish for the fun of it. After a few more car loads were dumped off, Wade was in one. It was REALLY bad now. We shivered under one of the main tents with a few hundred others as it was near epic what storm this was. At the first hint of a slow down, Wade went to get his bike and gear, I ran up the hill to fetch the car, and Deb and Gina braved it to get into the car of which I had running and ready (it was one of those push button Start cars that took me a few minutes to figure out). Once Wade got in we drove outta there and back home. It was nasty and didn’t let up till we got home. We were all soaked and cold. Wade enjoyed the whole race scene again and was pleased with his effort, despite the cancel. He was only 3 miles from the finish too.

It cleared up nicely quick and is back up close to 90, but you can feel the change for the better. We went out to a local diner for breakfast, and now I am warming up a bit more with one of Wade’s heat packs, Gina and Deb are taking a nap, and Wade is playing guitar. An eventful morning, and glad we all made it ok, and all the racers this morning. Mike, Martin, and her crew did a superb job ensuring the safety of all out there. Hoping not a repeat tomorrow. Oh, and I am learning to do The Wobble yo.
Now it is time for the mind and body to “rest”. Ease and focus. Take time. Gina and I will go to church this afternoon as usual, and then a quiet low key dinner here at the house. Wade is a bike official tomorrow, so he will be joining us again but a little earlier than today. Gonna be a 9:30 bedtime again. Lets gather it up, go out there and race tough. Race strong. Enjoy it.

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