Friday, July 25, 2014

Musselman 2014 - I guess we ARE in Kansas.

Hmmm.  Since it's 12 days post race, I suppose I won't put it off any longer.  Honestly...I don't want to write this report.  But in the spirit of race reports, full disclosure, and for the good ole learning experience, I will.  Onward.

Need more cowbell...
I posted a bit about this 70.3 this year - if you've been reading for any length of time (bless you) you know that aside from Sodus, this is our yearly race.  I've done the half Iron  in 2008, 2009, Greg did it in 2010 (I had Ironman a few weeks later), I did it in 2011, 2012-and took off last year (wonder why?).  Well, no matter what happens I always settle in a few minutes above or below 6:30 on this course.  It's way out of line with my other PR's and I know I can break 6, so that's what I set out to do when I signed up in February.  I figured a double marathon would give me a solid running base and I would work on my bike base post May.

Then life happened.  My swim training sucked due to work commitments and lack of focused training (I own that).  My bike training- well, I didn't have enough time for the 3 hour rides I needed to be focused about this one.  And I knew it.  I went into the race over trained for the run and under trained for the bike and swim.  I figured I could still pull a PR out of my hat (6:28 - like I said, this course is not my friend) and have a fun weekend.

Obviously since it took me almost two weeks to post it, I did not have the race I dreamed of.  The forecast called for severe Thunderstorms and rain all day - which is fine for the run, but hell on the bike and swim.  I left Rob and Greg snuggled in bed at 5am and made the trek to Geneva - pre race fuel was oats, applesauce and peanut butter toast.  When I got to transition at 6, there was a (not so) nice sprinkling going on.  Lame.  I set up my stuff, socialized (this is THE race weekend for the finger lakes) and hit the port o let.  I don't remember feeling much of anything, which is weird.  Usually I get nervous, excited, nothing.  I noticed the lake had a few white caps going, so I pulled on my wetsuit and hit the water to get a warm up in.

My wave started at 7:05, so I left the water, snagged a gel and waited for pre race announcements.  One of

the reasons I adore this race so much is that the RD rock- he always makes it a fun and enjoyable weekend.  However, I think they tragedy of last year's race (2 deaths, both on the bike) got to him - he seemed really off (thankfully, there was no such tragedy this year).  I don't blame him - if it was my race I am sure I would be a bit out of sorts the year after such a weekend, but it didn't seem the same.  Onto the swim....

Mussels were not the issue this year!
Swim-  (50:55) This was a hot mess.  I'm not the best, fastest swimmer of the pack, but 100% capable of a 40 minute swim for a half.  I'm steady and consistent.  HAH.  The fact is, Seneca Lake always sucks.  Even if it looks flat- its choppy.  The last half mile of the swim is in a canal, so you just suck it up, deal with the chop, and wait for the fast part.  But this sucked.  The tide was out or something an the first 100 yards where shin deep.  We walked and felt like idiots....then I wished it was all walking, lol.  When I hit the deep water, the waves were a good foot or two high and it was disgusting.  I tried every breathing pattern I could and it all sucked.  I think I drank half the lake, ad I'm not proud, but about 5 minutes in I had a panic attack and flipped on my back.  I got very claustrophobic and could not, for the life of me, put my head back in the water.  TDLR; I doggy paddled 75% of that swim. I hit the canal 1300 yards in at 36:xx and finished the last half mile in 14 minutes.  LAME.

Bike (3:29- 16.3 mph) - Transition was a slow go, mostly because they restructured and you had to run over cobblestones to get anywhere, all around transition.  Yuck.  I got my bike stuff together super quick and headed out, hoping I could out bike a bad swim.  (My slowest.  Ever.).  About 5 minutes into the bike we all stretched out for the ride and relished being on terra firma.  I found out they pulled a ton of people out of the water and felt much better about my crap swim.  Then, the winds started.  The first 15 miles of this course suck anyways - false flats for 99% of it.  But the strong headwinds made going 15 a chore.  Ugh.  I wont belabor the bike - I have no desire to relive it.  In a nutshell - driving rain, head winds, cross winds, 5 nice fast miles of tail winds....and everything else was crap.  My legs never hurt, I never felt tired physically, just unable to push beyond the wind and honestly being afraid of toppling over.  Wimp.  For the first time...I wished I was at home, and not out in this mess.  Which really bummed me out- I might not be the fastest triathlete out there, but I always have a good time.  Otherwise why would I train at 4am?  Food for thought for 180 minutes.  Onto the run.

When I run my feet do not touch the ground :-P
Run (2:08, according to my watch - 2:10 according to race- 9:40/mi) - Hands down the best part.  I think I could have pushed it a bit more, but this part  And right.  It rained, the hills were there, but hey, I rolled with it.  Rob and Greg came out to cheer me on at parts of the run course, and so did my mom, which was awesome (I think I need them on the bike next time, lol).  I joked, ran 95% of it, walked the hills, and felt great.  Came in teh chute at 6:36, yet again in the spread of my Musselman 10 minute zone.  lol

Post race I ate some, stretched, got my crap and headed out with the boys.  I got a giant cheeseburger and fries for dinner and called it a day.  Later we found out that the county next door had a tornado, which would explain the bike winds and swim waves!!  Post race feeling - honestly...  I felt let down - for the first time I didn't really have fun at this race, which pains me to write.  I think I need to find another 70.3, or lay off the longer tris for awhile.  I just dont have the time for the bike, to be honest.  Maybe in a year or two...or maybe Ill change my mind next month :-P

Up next is Sodus Sprint, then finger lakes Olympic (haven't done this course since 2007!) and the OBX marathon in November, which I am hoping to break 4 in.  We move on.  Sorry for the lame race report, but I always strive for honesty...Musselman did not float my boat this year.  Jry's out for next year- we'll see what it brings!


  1. I am a SAHM and I raced my last triathlon, 70.3 when my daughter was 9 1/2 months old. It was just too hard to fit ALL the variety of training in. I ran for the next couple years because you can easily push your child with you. This year is different. She is now 4 1/2 and I am back in the triathlon game, I did a 70.3, an Olmpic, next up- my first Ironman, Boulder. Wish me luck! Don't beat yourself up, you rock!

    1. You get it!! I am hoping to revisit Iron in a few years but right now its just not worth it - though hard to remember when I see the events :-) are you doing Boulder this year? Knock em dead!!!

  2. You're too hard on yourself Rae. I understand wanting a PR, really I do, but, you have to remember that you are doing all of this while working full time, being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. You rocked this just like you do everything in your life. I think you're a rockstar! You were already a winner when you started the race just for having the courage, dedication and tenacity to get there! Hugs!