mini-Mussel Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Geneva, New York
United States
Musselman Triathlon
60'sF / 0C
Total Time = 1h 33m 50s
Overall Rank = 32F/297F
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 4/41
Pre-race routine:

General info: 297 women, 666 participants.

Up at 5:00 a.m. Peanut butter sandwich, Powerbar, banana. Put electrolyte powder in water bottle for bike, and sipped on plain water. Hit the road at 6:00 a.m. and made it to Geneva before 7:00.
Event warmup:

Swam for a few minutes. Was able to adapt pretty quickly to the choppy conditions, but was pleased that we were going to be swimming in a more sheltered area. Took note of which way the waves were pushing me.

Also made sure that my bike was in an easy gear (forgot that detail at Webster.)
  • 14m 36s
  • 750 meters
  • 01m 57s / 100 meters

50/297 women; 202/666 overall.

This swim was SO much better than Webster! My goals were to push the pace more than in Webster, swim straight, and bilateral breathe more. Mission accomplished on all three! In Webster I averaged 2:02/100 yds, and here I averaged just over 1:45/100 yds (converted from the metric stats). My sighting was great, I accounted for the waves pushing us towards the right, and I did bilateral breathing the majority of the time.

I set myself up towards the front and when the wave began I briefly wondered if I had made a mistake because there was quite a bit of contact and things weren't clearing out. I had a vision of the entire pack swimming past me! :) But it cleared up a bit, became crowded again, and then cleared up for good.

I felt fabulous - felt like I was swimming fast, working harder (which was my goal), and it even felt good to have the contact because now I know what it's like to get bonked (lightly) in the head. I also paid attention to the swimmers around me once things cleared out, and when someone came right up alongside I just moved over a bit to avoid the contact.

I knew it was going well when I started seeing caps from the previous waves ahead of me!

I also really enjoyed the canal portion of the swim - it was fun to notice the spectators as I was breathing. They had volunteers helping people up the boat ramp, which was a nice touch.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, the only thing I can think of is to just keep pushing the pace and not worry about leaving too much out in the water.

Overall, I was EXTREMELY happy with this swim, and have zero complaints.
Transition 1
  • 02m 8s

T1: 7th in AG, 77th in sex, 219 overall.

This T1 went well. I was able to take my cap and goggles off while I ran, and the wetsuit came off much more easily than in Webster - liberal Bodyglide helped. I had remembered to previously buckle my top two straps on the shoes, so those went on well too. Gloves were a bit tough to get on.
What would you do differently?:

Well, it goes against the grain but I think I'm just going to tape my aerobars and ditch the gloves. That will probably save at least five to ten seconds, particularly when you consider the time needed to take them off. I also think that next year I'm going to buy tri shoes so I can work on leaving them on the bike, or at the least have less straps to deal with.
  • 49m 4s
  • 16.1 miles
  • 19.69 mile/hr

126/666 overall, 20/297 in sex.

Great bike ride. Felt strong and stayed in the big chain ring except in the first rise because I wanted to try to get my heart rate down a bit. I was passed by one woman who I then proceeded to re-pass, and I didn't see her again. Other than that, I was only passed by men. Gave and received good verbal support from fellow riders, which was nice. There was also good crowd support, particularly from the guy in the convertible waiting to pull out of his street and applauding as we went by.

I was hoping to go faster during the turn towards the lake, but the headwind was really strong - I was happy that at least I was going downhill!

Upon dismounting I realized that I had made a crucial error in not standing once during the entire ride. My hamstrings were SO TIGHT - similar to after the first Plainville Crit ride. I think it really impacted my initial pace in the run, and I know it slowed my down as I was running with my bike to T2. Lesson learned for next time - stand at least once!

I also had the same issue as I did in Webster with my shoulder blade area getting really tight, as if it wanted to turn into a muscle spasm. I think I have a death grip on my handlebars/aerobars when I'm racing, so tried to consciously relax my upper body to ease the discomfort which helped somewhat.

What would you do differently?:

Stand at least one time during the ride. Try to relax my grip on the handlebars/aerobars and relax my upper body while I'm riding.
Transition 2
  • 02m 13s

31 AG; 223 sex; 524 overall.

Well, missing 3rd place by 8 seconds has taught me a valuable lesson - screw the Garmin on the run!!!

I was in a lot of discomfort from my extraordinarily tight hamstrings (note to self: stand while biking next time), but pushed through to the transition area. The whole time I was jogging towards the TA I was thinking, "Should I take the Garmin or not?" I decided to take it, futzed with it a bit, and ended up in 4th place, missing 3rd by 8 seconds. Ouch.

Other than that strategic error, T2 was a bit smoother than at Webster. Was able to put my running shoes on while still standing, and put on my race belt and visor while I was running out.
What would you do differently?:

FORGET THE GARMIN!!! Totally unnecessary for a sprint.
Take the risk and don't bother with the gloves in T1, which will save time in removing them in T2.

Next year I'll probably get tri shoes and work on a flying dismount.
  • 25m 49s
  • 3.2 miles
  • 08m 04s  min/mile

227/666 overall; 54/297 sex.

Well, this was an amazing run for me. A new PR pace by a few seconds, and I honestly tried my hardest. Rough beginning fighting through the issues with my hamstrings, but still managed an 8:01 mile. I was hoping to negative split, but I struggled a bit and ended up all over the place - 8:01; 8:18; 7:57; 8:23. I found myself thinking that I'd rather do a half-ironman because at least it's all endurance rather than pegging your heart rate for the whole race. Everything was burning, but I just told myself that sprints are all about who can take the pain the best and the longest.

I wasn't getting passed by any women in my age group and thought that I might have a chance to podium - I just felt like I was having a great race. Then in the last mile I heard a woman's voice chatting with a few guys behind me as she passed them. Even though I hadn't seen her yet, I KNEW she was in my age group. Totally instinctive. Sure enough, as she passed me she had a "43" on her leg. I sped up trying to keep up with her, and managed to do so for a bit. Then I became aware of the fact that I was breathing SUPER HARD while she seemed to be barely panting. It was then that I knew she was toying with me (not in a bad way, mind you), and sure enough, in the last 1/4 mile it was as if she shifted into the big chain ring and pulled away. I tried everything to speed up (the voice inside my head was screaming, "She could be the difference in making the podium!!!"), but I couldn't. I was giving it all I had, and that's all I could ask for.

When I crossed the finish line she was standing there getting her chip removed, and I walked up to her and said, "I tried to keep up with you, but you were too fast." She put her hand on my shoulder and said, "You did great!". To me, that is what epitomizes triathlon. It was awesome.

Sure enough, she ended up in 3rd place!
What would you do differently?:

I can't really think of anything. I ran as hard as I could, and given that I've only been running this year, I really can't complain.

Next year will be faster as I continue to develop my base.
Post race
Warm down:

Made a point of going through my stretching routine, trying to loosen my hamstrings a bit.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

What limited my ability to PERFORM faster? I guess not standing on the bike so that I was hampered in T2 and the beginning of the run. I also need to stop blowing off 1/3 of my swim workouts so I can keep increasing my pace. Finally, being in my first year of running, but I can't control that so to me it doesn't really count.

As for what limited my ability to be faster overall: fiddling with the Garmin for the run (never again in a sprint); not having tri shoes on the bike; not being able to do a flying dismount. All of these things may only add up to a minute, but it can obviously make the difference between a podium and fourth.

Event comments:

This race was amazing - beautiful course, great volunteers, great crowd support, great music, excellent post-race festivities. Many little touches like personalized motivational message on the number marking your transition area. Fabulous schwag - great shirt!!.

Hands down the best race I've experienced/been to, and it's already in my calendar for next year. I am also going to make it my first half-ironman when 2011 rolls around. I'm recommending it to everyone I see.

Last updated: 2008-11-28 12:00 AM
00:14:36 | 750 meters | 01m 57s / 100meters
Age Group: 9/41
Overall: 50/297F
Performance: Good
Actually approx. 1:45/100 yds.
Suit: Yes
Course: Deep water start, straight and then slight left turn into canal. Exit via boat ramp.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:49:04 | 16.1 miles | 19.69 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/41
Overall: 126/297F
Performance: Good
Min HR 151; Avg HR 170; Max HR 180
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: Fairly flat, with some longish but mildish hills. Out along the lake, right turn down towards the lake (and crossing some RR tracks), then right turn back along the lake.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 97
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:13
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:25:49 | 03.2 miles | 08m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/41
Overall: 227/297F
Performance: Good
Min. HR 158. Avg. HR 170. Max HR 177.
Course: Flat out and back along the lake, with a BT aid station near the turn-around.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5