Monday, 13 July 2015

Musselman 70.3 Triathlon- Part 1

So yesterday I completed the Musselman 70.3 in Geneva NY.  It was a beautiful sunny hot day, a great day to swim, bike and run.

We drove to Geneva Friday night and settled into the Athlete's Village aka the dorm of the local college.  The next morning we headed out to the bike shop and then packet pick-up, I needed tubes for my tri bike which I decided last minute to take.  So just to give you some history, I had a road bike and last fall I bought a tribike.  I have not ridden it much outside, just on the trainer inside this winter.  I am still getting use to being clipped in and the tribike was another new thing to be mastered, I felt unsteady  and unsure on it.  Anyway, the weather forecast looked good so I decided it was now or never and since I wanted to ride it for IMMT, I needed to ride it Sunday.  I decided to leave the road bike at home so I could not change my mind.

My friend Michelle was also doing the race so we met up at at 1:30 for the race briefing.  This was Michelle's first race and I was so excited for her, it was great to re-live this through her.  Tradition is to sign the I did and stopped for the mandatory photo op. I was not too nervous for the race, I had done this before and hoped I could do it again, the one thing I have learned is to take nothing for  granted.  Instead of the full 8 hours, I would have 7:45 as the course closed at  I was worried about this, 2 of my last 3 half HIM races were over 8 hours, I was going to have to hustle to make the cutoff this time.  

I had an "A" plan, 45 mins for the swim, 3:30 for the bike and 2:30 for the run.  I figured 15 mins for transition which would put me at 7 hours.  I knew that would be challenging, really challenging but I was up for it.  The closer we got to the event, the more I realized this would be tough with the anticipate temps.  I talked with a friend who has done several IM races and since the bike is my biggest challenge we decided I should push the bike and ease up on the run, I liked that plan, since this was not an "A" race but a long training day, I did not have a lot of recovery time in my plan.  The heat takes a lot out of me and I could not afford to loose a week of training after this race.  

Race day dawned and my day started at 3:45am, well before dawn actually.  We had to pack and be ready to go at 5am as we were driving home right after the race.  We met Michelle and her awesome hubby Chad and drove off to the race site. It was hopping at 5:15 am and after body marking it was off to transition to set up.  At body marking I saw Jamie who writes a blog I had been following "From Couch to Ironman"  She was doing the double mussel, sprint and HIM distances, with her hubs Mike.   Here is her blog From Couch to Ironman.  I read her recap of this race which helped me decide to do it.  

We met up with the SwimBikeMom group at our tent.  I love being part of this group, we support each other so much and it was so nice to finally met some of the other women in the group.  

Now the butterflies started to fly, I got in for swim warm-up just as they were calling us out of the water.  I only had time to get wet, no time to warm up which would be a problem at the swim start.  We were starting at 7:15 and because of the corralling and double counting for safety we were ready to go by 7am.  It was a water start, we waded in to the water and waited for the horn. It was rocky and not too deep and I tried to swim straight away but my hands kept hitting the bottom so I had to walk a bit at the start. Imagine 75 or so people spread out at the start all trying to head for the same point (turn buoy), it was chaos and I had to stop several time to avoid swimming over someone or being kicked.  The water was murky and full of weeds and as we turned the first buoy the waves there tough to swim through.  Finally we made the final turn and eventually we entered the canal portion.  I had an incident with some sort of marine life that head butted me.  It was the strangest thing but eventually I finished the swim and I was a few minutes before my goal time, 43:23 for the swim.  The swim was tough, I was not warmed up, I swam wide and it was wavy in the lake but all in all I was happy with my swim.  I really hope to do my IM swim in 1:20 - 1:30 and this puts me right no track.

I will recap the bike and run and final thoughts tomorrow, I still need time to process it all but enjoy this part for now.  

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