Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mini-Mussel Triathlon Race Recap

Last weekend we packed up the family and all our gear so 3 of us could Tri as part of the Musselman Triathlon Weekend in Geneva, NY.  This is a HUGE event for this small town.  The main event, of course, is The Musselman 70.3 Half Ironman.  SD was entered in this...he did his first 70.3 here last year and it was this race that got me my Tri mojo back while watching of course I wanted to tri it this year! Thing 1 & I were entered in the Mini-Mussel....the sprint distance.  1/2 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 5K run.  They also had a kids race, a super-sprint race, and for those truly cray-cray....the Double Mussel where you do the sprint tri on Saturday plus either the Aquabike or Half-Iron on Sunday.  (I think this is something you have to work up to! ;))

Yes, that's Clifford the big red dog on my towel
Thing 1 and I drove (well, he drove....yikes!) up Friday afternoon to pick up our race packets. Packet pickup was very well organized and we were in and out of there pretty quickly.  We then went home to pack our gear and get ready for the morning.  We would have stayed overnight Friday too, but there were seriously no rooms to be had.  Luckily, we live only an hour away and the Mini-Mussel didn't start until 9am. We didn't even have to get up that early.  We packed the car and loaded the bikes onto the rack the night before, so we were able to sleep in until around 5:30 and were out the door by around 6:30.  We got there just in time to rack our bikes, set up transition, hit the potty and head to the swim start for the pre-race announcements.  I was pretty excited to do this and was even more excited to do it with Thing 1.  Is it wrong that my only goal for this race was to beat my kid?????  I thought not ;-D.  

Little notes in transition
Here is my whole race strategy: I started in the wave before him so I get a 6 minute head start.  I figure this is fair because I birthed the child with no drugs...and well, he is 16 and crazy fit. 6 minutes seems like a reasonable handicap for a 44 year old woman. Next step, kill the swim.  This is where I excel, so I wanted to come out really strong. Bike: crank over 16mph and put my new bike to the test.  Run: Just hang on and hope I gave myself enough leeway to survive the run & cross before him.  

So off we go....The Swim...

Someone had a sense of humour giving men 13-23 the pink caps!
It was a 1/2 mile....800 meters and I was in the 4th wave.  I lined up with all the baby blue caps and we were soon off.  I positioned myself to the side because I don't like to get swam over and it was less congested here.  Plus it was the side the buoy's were on.  I felt great on the swim and just kept my arms going steadily, breathing 1:4 for about the first 400 meters. Once we were in the canal proper, I was breathing with every stroke and starting to overtake a few green caps from the wave in front of me & even a couple from 2 waves in front! I had no idea what my time was but I thought I was doing well.  When I got to the boat launch we exited on I was grateful for the arms of assistance from the volunteers who helped us get our footing and continue up the ramp and onto the mat that ran into transition.  Tons of people were walking here. I felt good, so I just went wide and around them.  When I heard SD shout "14 minutes", I was elated! I had swum my best swim yet!!!! Official time: 14:14 I was 12th in my AG, 85th female & 244th overall! Sweet!

I hate this picture. Thing 2 says it's the best one because I'm not smiling & I look like I'm trying hard. Thoughts???

T1: 1:58 Got my socks & bike shoes on, grabbed my bike & helmet and I was out of there.  Made a snap decision not to put my bike top on at this time.  

The Bike: It was a nice bike course.  Some rolling hills but nothing too major.  I felt like I biked pretty well and felt very comfortable in aero position.  The only bad thing about the bike was that I passed by the accident scene from the cyclist that was killed.  I understand he went head first into the back of a car that had run out of gas and was killed.  Please, please, please look where you are going when you bike.  This was so sad.  When I went by EMS & police were there and they had a tarp up blocking the scene from view so there was nothing I could do but continue biking. I knew Thing 1 was behind me otherwise I would have had a minor freak out. Official time: 58:13 16.6mph
Kinda looking like I know what I'm doing...who would of thought?!?

T2: 2:16 This should have been faster.  I was really slow getting my shoes and shirt on.  I need a tri belt.  

The Run: An out and back course along the lakefront trail.  Very pretty. No shade. It was warm.  Not even close to what Sunday would turn out to be, but I was hot nonetheless. I saw Thing 1 just after the turnaround.  I thought for sure, he would catch me. I just put my head down and ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me. Every time I looked back I thought I'd see that yellow singlet bearing down on me.  But no, it was victory for Mum as I crossed the line 45 seconds in front of him!  (and yes, I know his official time is faster than me, but if you ask anyone who was there who crossed the line first, it was me....bwahahahaha ;D)
Official time: 29:46  9:18mile


I so enjoyed this race.  It was such a fun atmosphere and the volunteers and community were great! I will definitely do this one again!
Best spectators ever...what a couple of goofballs!

"Official" family timing ;-D
After the race, we checked into our hotel, showered and went to pick up SD's race packet.  He got weighed and got all his goodies and then we went to the Wall of Mussel to sign our names and have some food before the mandatory meeting for half-iron participants.  Then it was back to the hotel to get SD's bike and rack it.  That is a nice feature, having secure bike racking the night before the race.  Especially since it started really early @ 7am.

My favourite picture of the weekend
As for Sunday's half-iron...well, let's just say that heat is an Irishman's kryptonite.  In short, SD had a great swim: (35 minutes) & a pretty good bike (3:01) but the half marathon had no shade whatsoever and it was over 90 and humid.  He got about 6km into it and decided that he'd had enough.  Given the day & how he was feeling, it was definitely the right decision to make.  I'd say he killed the aquabike division though! Overall, it was a good family weekend.  We had a great time together. And for all my race pictures, I'd like to thank Thing 2 who was our official iphone photographer & did a great job!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finger Lakes 1st DNF...

Well, kinda sorta.....
Yes, we stopped to ask for our photo to be taken

Way back in January, when the weather sucked (oh wait, it still sucks...well, sucked in a cold snowy way), I eagerly awaited the opening of registration for Finger Lakes Fifties. Registration day came and I excitedly plunked down my $$$ on the 50K race, with the hopes of cutting an hour off my time.


~8 or 9 miles in
Fast forward to a helacious winter that wouldn't go away and a spring where I thought I'd float away in all the rain & you have the perfect set-up for the under-trained.  I managed to get on the trail for a grand total of 5 trail runs before this race.  That's right. 5.  I can hardly believe it myself.  Not that I wasn't in shape.  After all, I did run my best marathon in May & my run, bike, swim training has been good. But it is in no way a substitution for time on the trail.  For those that do it, it is a whole different style of running.

Anyway, as the race approached, Trail Buddy and I started to get a little scared.  In fact, we seriously considered DNS'ing it but just couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  The only other option was dropping to the 25K (actually 16.5 miles), which is 1 loop of the course.  We couldn't change officially so we would have to start @ 6:30am with the 50K & 50 milers & drop out early instead of with the 25k runners @ 8am.  But that was ok with us as the forecast was for insane heat in humidity anyway.  The earlier the better.

This is a great trail race.  If you are anywhere near this area and you love trail running, you should do this course.  They limit registration to 250 runners and run it like an Ironman.  Full service volunteers.  Lots of food.  Free photos. Full on enthusiasm.  And can I just say, this year a GREAT shirt! I don't know about anyone else, but my experience with trail races are that they are cheap to enter and you get squat in terms of swag and finish line bling.  So when I was handed a women's cut PINK, attractive and soft Sweatvac shirt, I was pretty happy! The men's shirts were blue.

Race morning arrived and we were on the road at 5am. We arrived just in time to check in, go to the start, and we were off. We just ran easy and let most people ahead of us. We had decided to just run easy & enjoy the day. Since we hadn't run together in a while we had a lot to catch up on. The first few miles were ok but soon after the 1st aid station we hit the hills & mud. There was so much mud. I'm pretty sure my shoes carried 10 extra pounds of it on them. It made the going slow even though I felt ok. We chatted and slogged on and were soon overtaken by some very speedy official 25k runners. Some of them made it look easy! 

Oh so graceful ;-D
We crossed the finish instead of the lap mat in 4 hours 48 minutes....35 minutes slower than last year! I can't even imagine what our 50k time would have been! Between the mud, high 80's temps & 90% humidity I heard the race had the fewest amount of people completing the full 50 miles in its 25 year history! I might have been able to slog it out but it would have wrecked me and I have musselman tri this weekend and I have goals for that race! 

It was hot as heck on this stretch but worth it for the view!

So, yeah, I failed. But I had fun doing what I did. I just couldn't do more that day. I wish I hadn't forgotten my phone that day so I could have shown you my shoes and my feet. Not only were my shoes unrecognizable (had to take the hose to them down for a long time!) but my feel were macerated already. It would have been very bad to go on. I can't even imagine what working the next day would have been like. 

Next up: Musselman sprint triathlon...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Limestone Mile

Happy Canada Day! 

And we are actually in Canada at our cottage! Yay! As we were driving up on Friday it occurred to us that there might be a Canada day race around. A quick Internet search found us The Limestone Mile in Kingston, Ontario. Great location as it was only about an hour's drive & had race day registration. Not exactly my distance but definitely the preferred distance of Thing 1& Thing 2. 

And SURPRISE...Canada's fastest marathoner Dylan Wykes was there to start each race! Very cool! 
This guy is seriously fast! 2:10:47 marathoner! That's a 5 minute mile for an entire marathon! And very nice too. Cheered on all the kids as they ran by. 

The kids race went off first. There were even a couple of toddlers under 2 that finished the entire distance! It was stinkin' cute!

Next it was time for the women to line up. Dylan challenged us to run under 5 minutes. Haha. Funny guy. There were 2 separate and distinct groups lining up. The fasties & the 'oh my god, what was I thinking' groups. Clearly, I was glad there were others like me in the latter group! 
Before I knew it we were being counted down and we were off. 

The pace was fast & I took off as best I could. Somewhere in the middle of the slow group. It was a 2 loop course and I held my spot through the first. Thing 2 was yelling at me to pick up my's his pet peeve about my running form. I tried and I will admit it does help me run faster. About a kilometre in I started gaining on a couple women in front of me and was able to pass them and hold on to it! Yay! No one passed me the entire race & my pace hurt but I didn't want to die like I did in the indoor track mile I did in the winter. 

Crossed the line in 8:17!
Not speedy by any stretch of the imagination but respectable. I'll take it. 

Plus it was fun to run in Kingston, which is a very pretty city. 

Thing 1 & 2 ran too. They are not happy with their times so I will leave that out. But they had fun & also thought having Dylan there was pretty cool. 

Don't they look happy I took their picture? ;)

Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of myself????? There was a photographer there, if I find any on the race site later I'll add them :)