Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Musselman Pre Race Race Report

I had no intention for this blog to turn into a book of race reports, but it is what is for now. Hopefully it’ll become a place to document my trip to Israel. In the meantime, I raced again! I’ve been looking forward to the Musselman since I first heard about it 2 years ago. I always thought I would do the sprint, but when a certain someone (who will remain nameless) suggested we do a Half Ironman, this seemed like the perfect race. Only 45 minutes from home, cheaper than a WTC race, an incredible reputation and a swim in Seneca Lake (where I went to sleep away camp for years). So I signed up back in December and immediately started training. Let me tell you, I was more prepared for this race than anything else I have ever done in my life and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

With this being my first attempt at the 70.3 distance, I was really focused on making sure I did everything right. I took Friday off from work, focused on hydrating, taking in plenty of salt and getting plenty of rest, along with packing everything up a day in advance. This was going to be a triathlon-focused weekend and nothing was going to get in my way! However, there was one non-triathlon thing that had to get done on Saturday. I felt really strongly about getting up to Camp for services on my way to the race. There’s something so serene and special about Shabbat Services on the lake at camp, and it was even more special to me since I was able to look out at the lake where I’d be swimming early the next morning. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t praying for calm waters and cool temps! So while I may have spent more time sitting in the direct sun on Saturday than was wise, I made sure to wear lots of sunscreen and drink tons of water. 

I left camp around noon and made it to the race expo by 12:30. From the moment I entered the campus at Hobart and William Smith I could just feel the energy in the air. I got my key to my dorm room in the Athlete Village (how awesome is it that they let you stay in the dorms?!) and was given a Musselman chocolate bar :). Just walking into packet pickup you can tell this race is special. I was given my chip and cap by two of the nicest women who were just so eager to help me out and answer all of my questions and given possibly the best race swag ever – tote bag, shampoo and conditioner, peanut butter, tech shirt and best of all, a stuffed Mussel baby. That Mussel baby is coming to Israel with me and he needs a name. Any suggestions?

Help! I need a name!
Anyways, packet pickup was smooth and quick (the only surprise being that you had to weigh in and write your weight on the back of your bib, which I didn’t like but I understand why it was necessary) and I headed over to Wegmans to pick up a sub for lunch before going to the pre-race meeting. Loved how close and convenient everything was! I was able to meet up with Alex, one of my friends and training partners at the meeting. That was where we got our first warning about the possibility of the non-wetsuit swim. This was one of the most well-run race meetings I have ever been to, and Jeff Henderson, the race director, was pretty funny, too. He showed two maps of the bike course – one with just mile markers and info about rough spots, the other with all the wineries! While I wasn’t planning on stopping at any of them on Sunday, we decided it would be fun to bike the wine trail someday!

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I signed my name on the Mussel mural (the cartoonist behind Frazz is a triathlete and he adds to the mural every year), and got my stuff into my dorm room. It was huge –two rooms, and thankfully on the first floor (i.e., no stairs to climb post-race). I headed back to Wegmans to pick up a bagel and coffee for my pre-race breakfast since I couldn’t find the microwave that was supposed to be in the dorm kitchen (actually, I never even found the kitchen). Then it was back out into the insane 90-something degree heat to meet up with some friends at the Arts Triathlon. This was a talent show of sorts with lots of local kids who were extremely talented musicians and one of my fellow triathletes with an absolutely stunning voice all performing. It was very cool, and just another example of how this whole town really gets behind and involved in this race. Super cool.

After an early dinner at Behurst Castle with my adopted family for the day (thanks Kirstan and Alex!), we headed over to Seneca Lake State Park for our first look at transition and to rack our bikes. Yet again I scored a great spot on an end rack right near bike out and run out. One of the many benefits of starting this sport young, I guess! Way back in December when I signed up for this race they asked some funny questions on the registration form. Like, “Who inspires you?” This is how they used my answer…

Yes, I teared up. But I managed to get my bike situated on its spot and the gears covered with plastic bags in case it rained and headed back for an early bed time. 

Bike are racked and we are ready to go!
Ok, this is crazy long and we haven’t gotten to the race yet.So here’s the short version -
Swim – 39:08
T1 – 1:38
Bike – 2:54:09
T2 – 1:30
Run – 2:02:09
9/48 age group, 48/306 females, 245/832 overall

Actual race recap here!

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