Mind Games

Mind Games

Buffalo Springs Race Report



            I am not a swimmer!  This frustrates me.  I work at it.  I work hard at it, but no matter what, I am always left in the dust when the gun goes off.  Buffalo Springs was no exception.  To make matters worse, it was a nonwetsuit swim which just adds to my misery.  This doesn’t make sense, I am fit, I swim everyday, I have a great swim coach, Gerry Rodrigues, and I have been mistaken for a swimmer because of my body type (Thanks Terrenzo).  I just don’t move in the water.  It seems as if the field rounds the first buoy before I take ten strokes.  It just doesn’t make sense.  But I am getting ahead of myself; I just had to get that of my chest.

                I prepared for this race.  I had a solid four week training block, I ate right, I salt loaded since Wednesday, I got to sleep early every night, I didn’t have any booze for some time (That was a tough one), I tapered thoroughly, and I felt great about my chances in the race.  I thought this was going to be a good one.  After a long work day Friday, I flew to Lubbock and arrived around 10:30p.m.  The cab driver got lost on the way to the hotel, which got me there around 12:00a.m.  No big deal, the race wasn’t until Sunday, so I had a day to chill and relax, which I did all day Saturday.  The wake up call would come early Sunday morning.  With the race being a 6:30a.m. start, and Buffalo Springs being about a 20 minute drive, we would have to get up at 3:20a.m.  That’s early!

            Eric Bana!  Eric, freaking, Bana is the reason I only got three hours of sleep Saturday night.  No, I wasn’t up thinking about the race, or if I had everything packed, or anything else triathlon related.  I watched the movie “Funny People” before bed and Eric Bana played one of the characters, but I could remember what his name was.  And, you know that feeling of when you know something but can’t think of it, well I had that feeling, and I didn’t think of his stupid name until 12:30a.m.  This really made me mad.  So I went to the race on three hours of stupid sleep. 

            On to the race.  As I previously stated, the gun goes off and I am instantly alone.  I watch the swim pack get further and further away, and since there are no wetsuits, I feel like a rock in the water.  I was wearing my Xterra Velocity skin suit (www.xterrawetsuits.com) which saves me from a downright embarrassing swim, but the buoyancy gained from my Xterra Velocity wetsuit really helps my swim.  This is when I start to get pissed off, and my MIND GAMES begin.  I think, “Why do I get up at 5:15a.m. every morning to swim if I am just going to be left in the dust every time I am in a race.”  A ton of negative thoughts enter my mind, a lot of them involving me swearing at myself and asking myself if I am wasting my time with this sport.  Now, if you know me, you know I am a positive person.  I try to get positives out of every situation and it is unlike me to think negatively, but I really thought I was ready to race.  So, after the men leave me, and pretty much all of the women pass me as well, I finally finish the swim.  I look at my watch and I surprised to see 32 minutes.  I thought my time was going to be much higher than that.  Not fast by any means, but the worse part is all of the energy I spent trying to keep myself on top of the water.  My legs were burning, and my heart rate was pretty high. 

            I get on the bike and start to get into a groove.  Within the first 5 miles, as usual, the arm rest on my aero bars breaks which means I have to race the bike portion with one arm lower than the other.  No big deal, I was hammering.  It was a challenging bike course with some steep climbs, but I was powering.  I actually finished the first 30 miles in around 1 hour and 10 minutes which is a pretty good pace, but then the “fun” began.  A head wind kicked up, and it seemed as if it was out to get us.  No matter which way we turned it seemed to be right in our faces, and strong.  I am so tired of the wind.  I think it has a vendetta for me this year.  Other athletes say, “The wind makes you stronger.”  So does bench pressing midgets, but I am not going to do that.  I don’t want to put up with it any more (Wha, Wha, Wha, can you see me crying?).  This arch nemesis shredded my legs.  I went from having an outstanding bike split to a subpar one.  I haven’t looked at my split yet, but I think it was around 2:30.

            From the moment I got on the run, I was spent.  I am a runner.  I run my tempo runs at 5:30 pace while in training, no problem.  So when I struggle to keep a 7 minute pace I get frustrated.  I know I am capable of so much more.  I plodded along, picking it up when I could, but it just wasn’t there.  I had to dig deep just to eek out the 13.1 miles and I felt all 13.1.  I finished my run in around 1:30, and we will never speak of that again.

            Patience.  I must have patience and keep my eye on the prize.  As I always say, no one ever starts out as CEO; you have to start out mopping the floors and work your way up.  Those who do start out as CEO don’t appreciate what they have.  I am currently mopping floors, and although I am embarrassed to be “mopping floors” at times, I know it is a necessary evil to success.  It would be easy to retire from triathlons because I am not having success, but then would I be living my life to its fullest?  Succumbing to mind games is the easy way out.  I’d rather take my chances and ride this roller coaster to the end.  Who knows where it’s going to take me.  Thanks to my newest sponsor Jack Black Grooming Products (www.getjackblack.com ).  Their stuff is legit.  RACE HARD!


1 Comment

  1. Nice race report. Stay strong bro. I was also mopping floors for 2 years before I started getting some results in bigger races that I was happy with. Nice win in Santa Barbra.

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