Monday, July 18, 2011

Musselman 2011

This was my second half iron man distance, and the second one in two months.  I signed up with two of my friends Kayla, and Jason (both of whom I met at Team in Training, and both are going to do the Nation's Triathlon in September with me).  We signed up for this race in the beginning of the year, the Musselman Triathlon has been run for the past 8 years or so, and everyone that I know that ran it said it was a great race.  So I had high expectation for this race.  The first hurdle we had was trying to find a place to stay, most hotels were either booked or really expensive, so thank goodness for Lisa (my excellent wife) who found out about the athlete's village.  The athlete's village was at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges, which I am still not sure if it is one or two schools.  Well anyways Kayla, Jason, and I and our significate others (Seth Kayla's finance, Emily Jason's wife, and Lisa my wife, also Jason and I had our kids in tow Orion and Bex) got a room in the athletes village.  The room consisted of four smaller rooms and a common area, Jason and Kayla said it reminded them of college.  I have to take their word for it since I never went away to school, but it did remind me of the summer I spent at wrestling camp on the Messiah college campus.  

We all came up on Friday night, I got there first since I took the day off, and picked up the keys to the room.  Kayla, Seth, Lisa, Bex, and I went to dinner at Parker's pub in town, it was only restaurant in town that had a table in downtown of Geneva. I got the Bacon Cheeseburger and it was pretty good, and we had a nice time.  We went back to the dorm room, and Jason, Emily, and Orion were just arriving when we got back.  They got unpacked, and we all went to bed.  The next morning we got breakfast at a local church, all you can eat breakfast, which had bacon so it was awesome.  After that we went to pick up our packets weigh our self in, which I think was a little higher than normal since I just ate a million pancakes and tons of bacon and some orange juice. We got our goodie bag, which had cliff bars, hammer gels, shampoo and conditioner, wool socks, and some other things in it.  Yes I said "wool socks," they're from a company called wool sports which makes sport clothes out of wool.  I didn't try this, but I will and maybe I will post about them, but I am very skeptical of them.  Well anyways after the expo we met up with Mary Ann Kennedy another person for the Central PA area, and Team In Training Alumni.  After that we went back to the room and had lunch, sandwiches that were brought up by Jason and Emily.
After the lunch Seth, Kayla, Jason, and I drove the bike course.  We were checking the road conditions, which seem to be okay, and we were seeing how hilly it was.  Which it was hilly if you are from one of the plain states, but not if you were from Central PA.  The bike course also went by a number of wineries, which I am not a major wine guy so I really didn't care.  Well after that we all took a nap in the afternoon, and then we went to the race meeting at 4:30 which was well prepared (it had a power point so you know it was done by a pro).  After the meeting we met up with Don Larkin, and some other try folks, and we went to write on the famous wall mural in Geneva.  I don't know why we did this since they cover it over the next year but we did.  We also met a comic or actually someone promoting a comic.  The comic's name was Jef Mallet, he writes the Frazz comic which seems funny, but I never heard of him, and the woman who was telling us about his book made it seem like this guy was a house hold name.  I'm sorry but I never heard of the guy, he might be really funny, his book might be awesome, but really he is a comic, and not everyone reads comics. 

After that we went to the free pasta dinner and ate tons of pasta.  We then went back to the dorms to and got our bikes ready and went to go rack them at the park.  We checked out the lake, and the canal which is the last section of the swim, and saw where we had to swim in, bike out, bike in, run out, and the finish area. We then went back to the room and we all got all our stuff ready for the next day's morning, we all needed to be up around 5:00 am and be at the park to setup transition.

Going to sleep Saturday night wasn't hard for me, I turned a Netflix movie on and I was out in about 15 minutes.  I don't even remember having any crazy dreams, like I normally do the night before a race.  We all got up on time and got out to the park on time, we setup our transition area, and met up with some Central PA friends like Don and Dee Ann and some others.  After we met with some people Jason and I went into the lake and tried to get a small warm up in.  The lake is shallow at the shore of the lake, and there wasn't much practice that we got in, but we did get a few seconds in it, before they started closing the swim area for the start of the race.  So we got out and Jason and I were the second wave which started 5 minutes after the first wave, where we met up with Amy, we wished each other luck and we went out into the lake.  I must say this time I wasn't as nervous over the swim like I was at Eagleman, probably because I did that distance before. The swim wasn't as easy as it was at Eagleman, the lake was somewhat choppy until you got to the canal, and I was starting to get a little sea sick, but I kept it together and swam the whole thing.  Once I got to the canal it was very calm, like the race director said, and I was out of the water in about 44 minutes.  Which is faster than Eagleman (I'm starting to believe that swim is longer at Eagleman since I thought this swim was much worse than Eagleman and I was 5 minutes faster here, or maybe Musselman is short, anyways I don't know and I don't know if I care either).  Out of the swim and into transition.

Transition was about 3 minute transition since I wanted to grab some food before I went out on the bike.  The bike ride started in the park and then you went out on some New York highway 96A, I think.  I was chugging along when I saw Jason changing a tire.  Which I found out was his first of two flat of the day.  Which really sucks, but anyway I went along got passed by a few people, and I passed a few people as well.  The course had rolling hills, I averaged around 18 mph on the course, which is pretty good for me.  Toward the end of the bike I caught up to Amy (which I was a little shocked at since she is a fast cyclist), we had a quick word and then I went off.  I finished the bike in 3 hours and 5 minutes which was faster than my Eagleman time.  

I took some time in transition, had a few peanut butter pretzels and grab some Twizzlers for the run.  I ate the Twizzlers by the first water stop and at the first water stop grabbed some water, salt tablets, Heed, and a number of sponges to cool me off, and I again I was off.  Around mile 2.5 I caught up to Don Larkin who probably had 10 or 15 minutes on me because of the wave starts, and I said hi and wished him luck. The run from that point got a little rough.  You went off roading for some of it, at mile 3 there was an up hill climb in the grass or you could take the stairs, I took a combo of both, up the stairs for the first few steps and then up the grass for the rest of it.  You run in downtown of Geneva for a while and then into the neighborhood,  in a number of the houses around the town were a number of people cooling us off with there garden hoses, and at this point needed since the temperature was raising into the 90's.  Around mile marker 7 there was an extremely steep hill which was a rocky road (a road made up of loose rock, not of ice cream even though I was thinking of ice cream at this point).  After the hill was another water stop which was really needed at the point too, and you were back on the road.  After that you ran through the colleges, and at one of intersection we had a young lacrosse team cheering us on, and giving us high fives.  We went back through downtown, and back by the lake, where I saw Lisa, Bex, and Emily cheering me on to the finish with a time of 1 hour and 46 minutes and my official race time 5 hours 39 minutes and 53 seconds.

I signed up for a massage and waited for my friends to finish, and around 2:30 we all went back to the room showered and drove the four hours back home, of course we had to stop at Fox Run winery to get my mom some wine, and eventually got home around 10:00pm.  Well that is it for now sport fans, I have one more race this season the Nation's Tri in DC for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I am still looking for donations so if you can please visit my web site