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Musselman Aquabike - Aquabike

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Geneva, New York
United States
Jeff Henderson and Score-This
80F / 27C
Total Time = 3h 22m 41s
Overall Rank = 9/60
Age Group = M40-45
Age Group Rank = 1/5
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:30, a moment before the alarm. I did not sleep well, frequently waking throughout the night. I got up and ate a bowl of cereal. I've tried some more theoretically better breakfasts, but I havent had the best success with them. So stick with what works. One thing that I dont normally do was grabbing a handful of blueberries. But I love blueberries and I felt they would bring me good luck.

Out the door at 5AM. Car was loaded except for liquids. Drank the large coffee and ate a banana on the drive to the race. I made good time until the turn into the state park. The line was backed up onto 96A. But it moved quickly enough. I got an ok parking spot. Pumped up the tires, grabbed my bag and wetsuit, and walked over to get my chip. Got the chip, then body marked, then to go find my TA spot. I was on the very last row, almost to the bike exit. So it was a good spot for my race.

I got setup, visited the facilities, then went for a run.
Event warmup:

I jogged a bit. More to get the body warmed up and to help clear the system. It worked and I made another facility break. I jogged back to transition to get stuff for the swim. Took a gel and put on some sunscreen.

I wanted to get into the water for a warm up, but there was no time.

I caught up with rstocks. Great to see him. We were in the same wave. Also bumped into Ken, Dudley, Mike, and Mike. Great seeing them too.

I was in the 4th wave, so there were a lot of people on the course ahead of me.
  • 31m 59s
  • 2100 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

My goal was a 30 minute swim. I thought with a wetsuit and drafting, I could do that. I actually had asked rstocks if he would mind if I drafted off him for the swim. He said that was fine. So I would try that.

The waves were 3 minutes apart. Really very short. We had to wade out to the start in that time. I barely had time to warm my wetsuit before the horn went off. We pushed off. I looked for Bob. He was dolphining. I lost him in the crowd and never saw him again.

The water is very shallow at the start. I was swimming. And it could not have been a minute into the race when my right hand scraped the bottom. I felt a sharp sting in the tip of my right middle finger. I knew I had cut it on some zebra mussels. Well, nothing to do but continue on.

Without a swim warmup, I knew the first few minute would be tough. So I kept my pace in check and breathed mostly every 2 strokes.

By the time I reached the first buoy, I started catching up to the wave in front. I had to negotiate other swimmers pretty much the whole race. I was on the outside right going out. And with a left hand turn around the first buoy, I almost overshot it. I was just swimming along. Hmm, no one around, should look up. Good call. Only overshot by about 15 feet.

Much more towards the sun on this leg, but not directly into it. I was a touch off in my navigation in this leg, but not too bad. Mostly, swim along, try to find open water. Avoid getting kicked.

Third leg was right into the sun. Without the crowd to follow, I would not have been able to see the next buoy. Just swim toward the sun. Hmm, where is everyone? Ahh, I am a touch inside the line. Gotta veer out a touch.

It was about this time that I felt like I loosened up and was swimming well. About 15 minutes in, I had warmed up. I actually felt stronger and better the further I went in the swim.

We entered the channel. It gets more and more narrow as you go along. Early in this stretch, there was plenty of open water. But the crowd got thicker and thicker. Make the last left turn up the narrow part. This was constant bodies to negotiate.

Get to the boat ramp. I swam until I could not go further. Stood up and started running. Garmin said 30:42. Got off my goggles. I took the Garmin off its quick release band and worked on getting the top off the wetsuit. On the jog to transition, I got this done.
What would you do differently?:

I had a good swim. I controlled myself well. I built my pace and effort as I went along and got settled in. One of these days, I'll find a good draft. But not today. While I did not reach my 30 minute goal, I was still very happy with the result.

Looking at the results, I was about 80th overall for the ~860 people who finished either the aquabike or full half.
Transition 1
  • 02m 6s

I took my time here in T1. I sat down and got my wetsuit off. Put on my bike shoes. Stand up and put on helmet and sunglasses.

I noticed that my finger was still bleeding. I had a small hand towel and I wiped off my fingers and hand in that. But they were bloody again rather quickly. I thought about taking the towel with me to put pressure on it, but it was too big to really carry. So I just left it.

I grabbed the bike and a banana and headed for the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 2h 48m 36s
  • 56.5 miles
  • 20.11 mile/hr

I had ridden the course twice this summer, so I knew it fairly well. I wanted to take the portion on 96A at a fair pace, but not too hard. the cross road would be a good time to get in nutrition. On 414, I wanted to pick it up and make some time. Recover on the downhill to Cayuga. Maintain a fair effort down 89, not blitz the legs on the hill, take it easy back to 96A. Use the downhill to recover. Not push too hard through the park. Then hammer it home once on smooth pavement after the park.

I brought 6 gels and wanted to take one about every 20-30 minutes, the last while in the park. Along with 24 ounces of gatorade endurance, this would be about 1000 calories. Success on this front.

Final goal was to try to maintain about 210 watts. I thought I could probably do that. And I did.

I left transition and had to move well beyond the mount line to get a clear spot. I was able to eat the banana while still in the park. I tossed the peal in the bushes on 96A.

There were a lot of bikes on 96A. I usually did a fair job of keeping my power in check. But it was tough keeping the power down when I had to pass people. But I frequently said friendly things to the folks as I went by.

I found myself drawing hard on my water. And I actually needed a refill at the first stop. That was my first moving bottle exchange, a curious experience, I must say. After filling my aero bottle, I used the rest to try to clean the blood off my hand. I just made a big mess. Fortunately, tri shorts are black and wont show all the blood that I wiped on them. But despite getting off a lot of blood, my hand just got bloody all over again quickly.

There was one guy I leapfrogged almost the whole ride. This guy had about the worst bike form I've ever seen. His upper body was moving constantly, swaying back and forth as he slowly ground the pedals. But it obviously worked for him.

I moderated my effort until we turned north on 414. I made the strategic decision to push this section. While my average pace was around 19 mph from mile 6 to 17, it was almost 24 mph from 18 to 28. I burned a couple of matches here, no doubt. I was fatigued toward the end of this section and was very glad to hit the turn towards Cayuga and some downhills.

I got in some nutrition on this section and tried to recover. I averaged about 20 mph while on 89. Then the one good hill. Mile 34 to 38 saw me average only about 17 mph. This had a lot of questionable pavement.

We entered Ovid and were back on 96A. Some good downhills back towards Seneca Lake. I averaged close to 25 mph for miles 40 to 42. Miles 43 to 46 were Sampson State Park. This was the un-maintained road section. I actually averaged almost 19 mph through here, though my power was about 180. I took my last gel, early in the park.

Out of the park and onto East Lake Road. The best pavement on the whole course. Time to give it all I had left. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to push about 250 watts through here, and averaged about 25 mph. But today, I had already burned a lot of matches. I was struggling at this point and had to grit it out.

From mile 47 to the finish, I did average about 24 mph. My HR went from about 120 to about 140. It was all I could do. I was trying to push more, but my legs were done. I crested the hill at go back onto 96A and shouted to myself, "COME ON!" "LET'S GO!!!!" It was a level of effort and intensity that I can't always muster. I was able to hold on til the finish.

Once back in the park, I pushed until the end. I was so thankful I didnt have to go run 13 miles.
What would you do differently?:

I executed my plan well. I may have pushed a touch hard in the times that I wasnt planning on pushing, but it worked out well for this race. I was definitely going too hard if I expected to run afterwards. But for today, it worked great.

I had hoped to break 3 hours on this ride. I crushed that time and averaged over 20 mph. I really didnt think I was capable of maintaining that pace over this distance. Sometimes we surprise ourselves.
Post race
Warm down:

I saunted to my spot in transition. I got my bike racked and just looked around, not exactly knowing what to do. A woman came over and took my timing chip. I was spent. I should get some food and drink.

But first, my hand. It finally stopped bleeding about halfway through the ride. But my whole hand was covered in blood. I walked over to the medical tent. They cleaned it up as best they could. Used a ton of water to clear it out. They were of the opinion that I needed stitches. They could not do that there, so I'd have to go to the ER or another doc. They bandaged it up and sent me on my way.

Walking around in search of food, I saw Dudley heading out for his run. He looked good!

I finally found the food. I chowed down on a bunch of fruit. Some good drinks too. I wanted something with protein, but I didnt find anything. Oh well.

I had planned on staying around til folks I know finished the half. But my finger was throbing and I needed to see a doc about some possible stitches. So back to transition where I sas Jackjack, who was volunteering.

I gathered my stuff and hit the urgent care center near home. They offered me the stitches but said I could get by without. They did re-clean the wound and re-bandaged it. I'm on antibiotics as a precaution. Get to check on my tetanus status tomorrow too. No swimming for a week.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I was very happy with my race. It went well. I executed my plan. I felt fresh and my legs responded. I exceeded my expectations. Perhaps next year I'll do the whole thing.

Event comments:

This is perhaps the best run race that I know. Just outstanding the organization and professionalism.

Last updated: 2010-04-29 12:00 AM
00:31:59 | 2100 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/5
Overall: 0/60
Performance: Good
Suit: Nineteen Wetsuit
Course: Start in thigh-high water. Swim out to a buoy, turn left and go parallel to shore. Turn left again and go towards a channel. The last half in the channel.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:06
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:48:36 | 56.5 miles | 20.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/5
Overall: 0/60
Performance: Good
Avg HR 128. Avg Power 198 oa, 212 when peddling
Wind: Little
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 98
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-07-11 9:18 PM

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Rochester, NY
Subject: Musselman Aquabike

2010-07-11 9:25 PM
in reply to: #2974184

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike
Great job out there!

Way to crush the bike goal! 
2010-07-12 7:54 AM
in reply to: #2974184

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Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike

Nice race!  That bike was really impressive especially coming off a good swim.  I hope your finger does OK!  That sounds really painful.

2010-07-12 8:09 AM
in reply to: #2974184

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Malvern, England
Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike
Nice race and great speeds!
......and you're gradually moving up to the longer distance stuff -tee hee hee - no turning back now
2010-07-13 7:02 AM
in reply to: #2974184

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike

Nice race Rob!! You almost hit your swim goals and crushed the bike!! Great job!!

Next year you need to come out and run with us fools after the bike!

2010-07-13 11:43 AM
in reply to: #2974184

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Rochester, NY
Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike
Nice race Rob!  Too bad about the finger cut, but it doesn't sound like it bothered you too much for the race. 
Your OA rank and AG rank are awesome!

2010-07-19 8:31 PM
in reply to: #2974184

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Subject: RE: Musselman Aquabike
Great job on your race.   Nice to see you on the way out!  Must be funny to be standing around hile everyone else is runnign around like crazy.
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