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Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Geneva, New York
United States
Musselman Triathlon
74F / 23C
Total Time = 5h 03m 1s
Overall Rank = 44/549
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 9/40
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 5:00 and had a bagel with peanut butter and honey and got a coffee on the way to the race site. I waited in line and used the porta potties on site and got my transition area set up. Ran back and forth between transition and chip pickup because they needed to scan my bib before activating my chip. I had enough time, but I felt rushed and wasn't as focused as I could have been. A few minutes before the fist wave started, I had a GU and some water.
Event warmup:

I had stretched a little, but no real warm up besides running for my chip and putting my wetsuit on.
  • 39m 34s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 52s / 100 yards

The start was in thigh deep water and since I could see the two waves infront of me still walking, I knew it was going to remain pretty shallow for a while. When we started, I jogged a little and swam then did a few dolphin dives. That seemed like the best way since the bottom was sandy here and I shot past a few guys who were swimming. After a hundred yards or so of that, I was getting a little winded and the water was getting too deep to dolphin effectively and I started to swim. The chop was not too bad here and there were two bouys for sighting before we hit the first turn buoy and I was doing OK at that point and was among the pack, but not drafting anyone.
After the first turn when we headed into deeper water is where it all came apart. The water was rougher here and we were heading towards the sun and there were no bouys to sight off except for the next turn bouy 4 tenths of a mile away. I just swam in the direction that everyone else was going, but the waves were knocking me out of line and I was all over the place. I was overtaking people floating the water that were in the waves before me, but I was not seeing many people near me actually swimming anymore. I must have been pretty far off course, since I only saw people off to my right and support boats on my left. Eventually I did see the next bouy in the distance, but it took me forever to get there as I couldn't stay straight.
The last leg was better since the waves were coming from behind now and it was easier to see with the sun behind us. Just after the turn, I felt a long string of lake plants wrapped around my ankle and kicked to get them off, but then I realized they were caught on my timing chip. I stopped, unwrapped the plants, saw my chip was not looking very secure, so I took it off and put it back on under water. A little later, it occured to me that I couldn't remember putting my HR strap on. I felt my chest and couldn't find it, and thought about where it was and how I should not forget to put it on in transition.
I swam to shore and when I stood up, Danielle was right behind me. The bottom was not nice and sandy here like at the beginning and I was afraid of getting cut on the mussel shells, so I swam a little farther until it was too shallow to stroke without hitting the bottom, then stood up and carefully walked in.
What would you do differently?:

The dolphining was very effective and I will do that in the future if the water is shallow like this. My navigation was terrible and it was partially because I was not expecting the rough water and lack of bouys. I should have been more careful to stay with people and sighted more often, although I don't know what I could have seen. My timing strap was better than the ones they gave us and I should have used it instead of relying on their old beat strap. I was lucky I didn't lose my chip in the water.
This was probably my worst swim ever and the pace ended up being the pace that I'd swim if I was doing catch up drills.
Transition 1
  • 02m 19s

I had my missing HR monitor on my mind and after I got my suit off, I opened my bag to find my strap. It wasn't where I thought and so I touched my chest again and I was wearing it the whole time, I just didn't feel it under my wetsuit. Stupid me. I stuffed my bag back and put my shoes and helmet on, said "bye" to Danielle and was on my way.
What would you do differently?:

Have an actual checklist before the race so I don't flake out and think I forgot something and waste time and mental effort worrying about it.
  • 2h 40m 13s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.97 mile/hr

My splits tell the story of this ride. The first dozen miles were into the wind and uphill and it was slow and frustrating. The next dozen were either downhill or with the wind and were fast and fun. There was a little climbing just afer the half way and then more fast roads. The old Army base road was rough and not fun to ride on, but after that it was flat and fast to the end. The rain started with ten miles to go, and it was refreshing.
I used every bottle exchange and got HEED, had 1.5 Clif bars and four GUs.
What would you do differently?:

I noticed that my exertion/HR goes down as my speed goes up. If I would work as hard on the flats and downhills as I do on the inclines, maybe I would be faster overall. It is time to install Danielle's old power meter and start using it to help me manage my exertion in various conditions and terrain.
Transition 2
  • 01m 9s

Nothing interesting happened here. In my last race I forgot to take my Garmin, so I made sure I remembered this time.
  • 1h 39m 46s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 37s  min/mile

It was raining when I started and I expected a very good run split since it would keep me cool. My goal was HR in low zone 3 or a 7:20 pace, and I got where I wanted to be within the first mile. I had two GU packets with me and I planned to have a HEED at every aid station. My mile splits were close to where I wanted considering the terrain until about mile nine or ten when I started slowing down. The last few miles were down hill or flat, but my pace was slow and I felt like crap. I just wanted to get it over with and slogged out the last couple miles.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't get enough calories on the run. With the cool rain, I was not motivated to drink at every aid station and the two GUs were not enough. One more GU packet might have made all the difference.
Post race
Warm down:

Ate some watermelon and walked back to transition and packed up all my soaking wet and dirty gear. I stretched and then walked some of my stuff to the car and changed from my wet race clothes to some different wet clothes. It was raining really hard at this point and I wished I had an umbrella as I walked around and waited for Danielle to finish. There was pizza and ice cream, but I never have much of an appetite after long workouts, so I only grazed a little bit. The pizza was actually good, not like the usual after race pizza you usually get.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

If I had sighted more effectively on the swim and if I had taken in more calories on the bike and run my race would have gone a lot better. The plus is that I feel more motivated to get into better shape by improving my diet and doing more running and race-effort training before FIRMMAN in September.

Event comments:

This race has gotten a lot of good reviews and I agree that they are very organized and everything went super smooth. They also give out a lot of nice swag that I didn't expect. The number of volunteers at the aid stations was really good and I thought it was funny running through them how all the kids were enthusiatic about yelling "water" and "sponges" even though I doubt many people actually wanted sponges when it was raining.
What I didn't like about the race was there were not enough bouys in the water especially since it was so choppy. The bike portion through the Army base was not nice and the run course had too much concrete sidewalks that were tough on the legs.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-02-15 12:00 AM
00:39:34 | 2112 yards | 01m 52s / 100yards
Age Group: 18/40
Overall: 101/549
Performance: Bad
Suit: Blueseventy Reaction
Course: A trianglular course with the first leg parallel to the shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:19
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
02:40:13 | 56 miles | 20.97 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/40
Overall: 53/549
Performance: Good
Lap.Time...MPH..RPM..HR; 5...15:59..18.8..93..167; 10..16:17..18.4..95..157; 15..15:16..19.6..95..155; 20..12:57..23.1..94..153; 25..11:17..26.6..95..149; 30..13:26..22.3..93..151; 35..18:10..16.5..89..157; 40..15:42..19.1..89..151; 45..13:33..22.1..95..149; 50..12:32..23.9..97..150; 55..12:48..23.4..96..152; 56...2:33..20.0..90..145;
Wind: Strong
Course: The elevation changes were mostly gradual, but the wind made what could have been a fast bike not so fast. The surfaces were good except for the few miles that went though the old Army base. Those sucked.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
01:39:46 | 13.1 miles | 07m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/40
Overall: 64/549
Performance: Below average
Lap.Pace..HR; 1...7:04..175; 2...7:12..177; 3...7:40..178; 4...7:21..178; 5...7:50..178; 6...7:32..178; 7...8:36..177; 8...7:56..175; 9...7:21..176; 10..7:54..179; 11..7:34..178; 12..8:05..178; 13..8:16..175;
Course: A few rolling hills, but nothing too steep or long. The most challenging part was the running surfaces like concrete sidewalks and muddy gravel which took more out of me than I expected.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-07-15 1:25 PM

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Middletown, CT
Subject: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon

2008-07-15 3:59 PM
in reply to: #1531239

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
Great race out there! That swim was so awful, I never want to think about it again I think those hills on the run took more out of the legs than expected, because even though those last 3 miles were flat/downhill, it was such a sufferfest. Congrats!
2008-07-18 11:48 AM
in reply to: #1531239

Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
Nice work!  I'm so glad that swim is behind us forever.  Get ready to rock at FIRM this fall! 

Edited by DMW 2008-07-18 11:49 AM
2008-07-18 12:39 PM
in reply to: #1531239

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Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon

Nice race out there!! That swim was a rough one. I agree that there should have been more buoys on that 2nd leg. I ended up spotting a farm on the hilltop that had 3 large fields positioned directly above the buoy. It almost felt like I was cheating when I saw a few swimmers swimming perpindicular to me. I always try to find landmarks on OW swims so I don't have to rely on focusing on a small buoy when I breathe.

The tailwind on the bike was awesome and I felt the same as you regarding my HR on those sections. I should have worked harder instead of enjoying the break.

Congrats on a great race!! I hope you consider doing it again, Jeff does a great job on any race he is involved with!!

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