Friday, April 16, 2010

A Wash Out in Lubbock

by Lindsay

Day 2 of USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Lubbock, TX.  Also day 2 of non-stop rain. While none of the epic hail of last year, this rain is causing some concern.  The ground here is all clay, meaning that it does not absorb water quickly enough.  The roads are all flooded with inches of water and even cars are having trouble getting through.  How will we?

The day started at 7am when the team awoke to get used to an early morning start and do get a good run in.  Plan was foiled immediately as it was absolutely teeming and still pretty dark outside so we decide to take turns on the hotel gym's treadmill instead.  Breakfast of cereal and bagels and peanut butter followed and I distributed all of the sports nutrition donated by Sports Bistro to the team.  Final checks of the bike and a quick tutorial on how to change a flat (we couldn't get the CO2 to work though) and then we were off to tour the race site.  We drove 18 miles through absolutely nothing to get there.  I'm from the midwest and have seen my fair share of flat, uninterrupted land before, but this feels different.  There was no vegetation, no plants, no buildings, just miles and miles of wet clay with a few power lines and overpasses dotting the landscape.  Lubbock is a small city of 200,000, but it sure doesn't feel like it!

The race is held at Buffalo Springs, which also hosts an Ironman 70.3 triathlon.  We swim in a dammed lake then run 4 miles out of the park, with some decent hills, then it's all flat for 10 miles as we skirt around the Lubbock backroads.  The roads were entirely flooded mind you, so I don't know how things will look tomorrow.  Even without the rain, you are out in the open and it's easy to see how the winds can strongly affect the bike ride.  No shade either, although that won't be a problem tomorrow!  Amazingly, we saw a number of teams getting a warm-up swim in.  With temps in the mid-50s both in the water and out, and choppy waves, it didn't look to appealing but kudos to them for getting in there! 

After a course viewing- which was the first time I had done that before a race and feel much better about the race after seeing it- we returned to the hotel and grabbed some burritoes for lunch (small, healthy ones!).  The rain wasn't letting up but we had to get on the bikes just to test everything out.  Sure enough, every one of us found something that was the wrong height, not tightened enough, or just plain backwords.  Even though it was just a cruise around the parking lot it was the most productive thing I did today!  Now it's time for some relaxing and showering before our team meeting and then a pasta dinner hosted by Texas Tech.  We've seen a number of teams around the hotel but this will be our first good taste of the competition.  The southern and western schools tend to have the advantage at these races as they are able to train all through the winter and spring as a team, but maybe the cold and rain will give us northerners the upper hand.  UC San Diego won't know what hit them!

Fingers crossed for a dry evening and morning, but either way, we race at 9am!  Good luck everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I notice you visited the hotel gym. Would you mind writing a review at