24 July 2011

Aqua Mussel Race Report

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. TO ME! Yes, tomorrow shall mark the anniversary of my very first blog post. Two years ago I did my first HIM at the Musselman Triathlon in beautiful Geneva, NY. Musselman will always be near and dear to me since it was my first HIM. The good news is I have definitely gotten faster since that first HIM just two short years ago. Musselman is a really unique race. The race director, Jeff Henderson puts together a fabulous eco and family-friendly race that was voted one of the top five family races in the country for four consecutive years by Triathlete Magazine. Jeff has a great sense of humor too. Last year, Jeff established the micromussel, a race consisting of a 100 yard (or so) swim, .6 mile (roughly) bike, and  a .02 mile (give or take) run. The athletes must either ride a tricycle or bigwheel for the ride portion of the microMussel.

My weekend was pretty crazy. You know, par for the course. I arrived in Geneva Friday afternoon. Kelly and I stayed at an apartment of a colleague of mine—thanks Izzster! Kelly and I were scheduled to work the Tri Slide Pit at the MiniMussel Saturday morning—which we totally rocked. I can not even begin to tell you how many athletes approached us to ask us where we could pick up TriSlide the morning of the race. Later that afternoon, Kelly and I had to be at the Smith Opera House for a rehearsal. We both were involved in the third ArtsTriathlon following the athletes meeting. This year was especially awesome since Kelly and I had an opportunity to play a piece together. We had not performed together since we were both students at the Ithaca Conservatory more than twelve years ago. How is this even possible?!

Following the Tri-Slide pit on Saturday, Kelly and I made our way to breakfast at a local restaurant where we ate our weight in pancakes. I ran out of the restaurant (literally) where I just got to my rehearsal time with moments to spare. Following the concert, I picked up my packet at the pickup, and Kelly and I returned to the apartment for some much needed Recovery Pump therapy. As you will soon find out, my legs certainly needed it last Sunday.

The Race: My knee started feeling better a couple of weeks ago, and I told Coach Mary that my run endurance was pretty good, and that I might be able to try giving the HIM a shot. I promised her that I would alternate running and walking, and that my ego would certainly not get in the way. Coach Mary's response was "... uh-huh. Let's talk on Thursday."

I then spoke to a couple of my friends—Kelly and Alexa—who also convinced me that my ego would get the better of me, and that I should not try to run. It came down to Coach Mary, who said "...you have two choices. Do you want to run this HIM, or run at Rev3 Cedar Point?" I chose the latter.

My swim was about 37-ish minutes. I never really felt great, but I did not feel bad in the water either. I think that I did not have enough to eat race morning. I drank a lot of my  First Endurance Grape, but I could only manage to throw down a bagel. I just could not stomach anything else. I wasn't nervous, just not hungry! The lack of nutrition in the morning turned out to be a critical mistake when I got to my bike. Gheez, you would think I would have this figured out by now!  I was hoping to ride in the high 20's, maybe even average 21 m.p.h. for the course. I had done the course a few times averaging around that, and thought that since I did not have to run, I could just leave everything out on the bike.

When I got to my bike, I had a little extra motivation waiting for me as I pulled my bike off the rack:

Despite my motivational mantra, the first ten miles on the bike were not fun. My legs were just never with me. Last season, I was able to do a lot more rides where the hills are. Unfortunately, this season, I have not been able to get out and do those rolling hills. I think I felt it on Sunday. There is no substitute for putting in the miles and finding some hills to climb. I averaged just over 19 m.p.h. for the course. I am pretty disappointed with my bike, but I learned something from the experience though, and that is progress: force the food down, no matter what! It was blazing hot on Sunday. The temperatures soared to 94 degrees. My bike split was 2:56. I have some work to do, but I will get it done, or I will suffer like crazy come September.

Off for an hour and a half spin. More soon. Train Smart!

From Urban Dictionary under the "Triathlon Widow" heading:

A triathlete is any person who was once human, but has now transformed into something super-human, and can no longer hang out with other mere mortals. They must spend all their spare time swimming, biking, running, and shaving themselves in order to keep their new-found sport god status. During this time, they are technically still married, but their wife/husband considers them dead due to their lack of normal human function.
Note: The spouse is only considered a triathlon widow during the time the triathlete is wasting all their spare time spent training, racing, shaving, or thinking about their multi-sport addiction in general.
I'm a triathlon widow this weekend. My husband is gone from our family for 3 days to do an Iron Man race 5 states away. Yes, he had to pay to be in it, and no he does not win anything.


Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Good to hear the knee is doing better Mark, and very smart to not try and run!

The Triathlon Widow def is hysterical!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Aquabikes are such a differnt race and the finishline is soooo anti climatic

Mark said...

Diesel, I agree. I felt a little disappointed, but I had to listen to my coach or suffer the dire consequences of my actions.

Hollywood said...

This looks like a blast. I thought I was going to pee myself when I saw mario and Luigi.

Caratunk Girl said...

I am so happy the knee is doing better Mark!! Good idea to listen to Mary, she could totally kick your ass.

Molly said...

Smart to lay off the run, hope that knee is 100% asap!

why does your recovery pump look science fictionish to me?

Anonymous said...

I know how hard it is to stay away from runing but I am glad you chose the right decision for you! Hopefully your knee will be all better soon:)

Julie said...

Bummer about you knee but it is good that it is doing better.

I enjoyed reading about the Tri Widow...funny stuff!

By the way, I love the picture that you are using on your header! You have a beautiful family:)

Emz said...

Super late to the party. :(
But here!! Just not on your left.

Love. Love. Love. Urban dictionary.

Hoping the knee is doing better!!