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Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Geneva, New York
United States
Musselman Triathlon
90F / 32C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 01m 56s
Overall Rank = 30/1100
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 5/75
Pre-race routine:

Anatomy of a Race Fail, Part II

This weekend of racing at the Double-Mussel (Sprint on Sat, HIM on Sunday) was supposed to be all about the fun. Capital F.U.N. So far this season I’ve had breakthrough races, setting PRs in the half-marathon and Half-Ironman distances, and defending the title of Co-Ed division champs at the American Triple-T with my wife. I had nothing to prove at the Sprint on Saturday or at today’s HIM. Just go out and enjoy myself. But in this goal, I failed.

I admitted to Alaina as we drove to the start that I was suffering an existential race crisis. Triathlon came in a black robe and challenged me to chess (and the sumbeetch beat me in three moves). Namely, I didn’t give a damn about racing. And this wasn’t the usual nerves, with the ‘I dont’ wanna hurt,’ etc. that usually nips at the mojo. It was, ‘I just don’t really care about doing this. I really want to be doing something else. This isn’t fun to me any more.’
Event warmup:

All night I was taking Pepto and Club Soda trying to blast out the naztiness in my stomach that started during the Sprint, but the pain and tenderness just under the ribcage was an unrelenting beotch. I’ve never had this kind of discomfort and I knew it would rear its fugly face tomorrow.

I started the morning at 3:30am to try to get a bagel, banana, and Ensure down and let it settle, but it all sat atop the stomach for hours like oil on water. No mixey.
Swim
  • 33m 40s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards
Comments:

The swim started ankle deep, so many people in my wave were talking about the wave ahead of us, which was 50/50 walkers to dolphin divers/swimmers. After 100 yards, it was deep enough to swim comfortably, and after 200 yards the chop and waves started nailing us, rolling bodies and gulping water every other breath. I actually enjoyed the adventure of it, mostly because of the assurance that a wetsuit provides in such gnarly conditions. Sighting in these waves and into the sun sucked ass, but it did for everyone. I caught some white caps from the wave before and generally felt good, knowing that my time would be slow because of the crazy chop.

After the 2nd turn, we went into the canal, and again it was a blast. Really had a good time out there. However, it would be end times for the fun.
Transition 1
  • 01m 34s
Comments:

Getting into T1, I could feel the pain broiling below my ribcage all the way down, just like yesterday in the Sprint. This time there was no nausea, but a feeling like I should lie down and apply massive pressure to my guts.

Bike
  • 2h 42m 7s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.73 mile/hr
Comments:

The first 30 minutes on the bike I vacillated between feeling decent and feeling sluggish. That was not a good sign. Usually I’m all amped up, ready to kill it for 2 hours before feeling like death. This race it was right from the start. I picked off some people, which lifted the spirits, until the stomach ache pronounced its intentions to suck hard around the hour mark. Mostly I wanted to ride myself into form and bury this racing ennui. But I just couldn’t get up the will to care with all the incessant gut pain.

After the steep climb away from Cayuga Lake around mile 30, when my speed dropped from 22mph to 21mph average I really lost it. The roads were crappy, the farms boring, my mood tanking fast. I took in 2 bottles of Heed and 2 of water, along with salt sticks every 45 minutes and 3 gels throughout this ride but nothing sat well. Everything that went into the gullet was pain exploding in my guts, like I was an overstuffed pillow spewing feathers out the seams.

My power had been quickly dropping from 215 watts average -- an effort I can hold steadily on almost every one of my long training rides -- going down well into the 180s. Pathetic. I got so down on myself about what a shitty ride this was turning out to be, and the bottom fell out. My stomach ached for relief, panging whenever I tried to go harder. A headache came on and it turned into waves of nausea. I was consuming the same stuff I’ve been taking for months of training, but it was all going wrong. No one else was around me and it was damn lonely. I wanted to pull a David Millar and throw my bike off a bridge.

Then came Sampson Park, a barely paved 3 mile stretch of park trail that sapped the last vestige of my will to go on. Visions of driving my bike into a wall overwhelmed me. I motivated myself with the promise of quitting after the bike ride. I looked for the sag wagon to pick me up. I played out every scenario of DNF and was completely satisfied by it, with no regrets at all, except for having to wait for someone to come get me. I didn’t want to wait. So I toodled through the course, unmotivated to go any harder than the bare minimum. White flag. Towel thrown to the floor. Count to ten. Death warmed over.

Eventually I was at mile 50 and said ‘Fuck it. I’m going to finish this bike, but there is no sense in going on after that. This is THE WORST RACE I'VE EVER HAD. My stomach is aching so bad now that any breath is a screaming pain in my abdomen. This is not fun. This is not worth it.’ And it wasn’t.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s
Comments:

At T2 the guy ahead of me handed over his chip to a volunteer saying he was injured and couldn’t run. And that should’ve been it for me too. Why didn’t I just turn my chip in and end this stupid race? But I slowly walked to my rack and put on my run gear. I figured that I paid the money, and running is my favorite part, so I might as well get a few miles in before ending it all.

Run
  • 1h 42m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 52s  min/mile
Comments:

Coming out of the chute I saw Alaina’s parents and gave tried to smile for the camera. Heh, that should be a good one. Then I saw my aunt, whom I’d wanted to catch up with before the race. I stopped and gave her a hug and told her how happy I was to see her. Explaining how I felt horrendous and my stomach was a wrecking ball, I said I just wanted to get in a couple more miles before DNFing. Then I settled into an EZ pace hoping that the cadence of running would push the pain out of my GI tract and let me enjoy myself. It didn’t.

I walked every single aid station and chatted with the volunteers. I put all my trash neatly in the bins. I took every goody item they had in their hands. Sponges, water on the head, coke in the gullet, salt tabs, water to wash it down. High fives to the kids. I was determined to have fun and appreciate the people who make all this happen.

I told myself, ‘just go one more mile to make it worth it.’ And when I got there, I said, ‘Ok ok, just go one more, this isn’t too bad if I just keep it super EZ.’ This scheme got me all the way up to mile 6, when it was like, ‘uhhhhh, why don’t you just finish for shits and giggles? I walked every hill. Thanked everyone on the course. Tried to chat with people coming by, though there weren’t many. It was lonely out there.

The community came out with water hoses and I asked them to get me in the face and on the back, which was heavenly. Slogging along, I realized I was going to make it, but only if I went slowly. I’d tried numerous times to pick it up, but every time I pushed it, my stomach revolted with terrible pain. At mile 11 the tenderness and aching was so bad that I was forced into a hunched walk, pushing downward on my guts again for a few minutes. A guy from my AG passed me and I didn’t care. A guy I’d passed a while back was coming up again. I mustered on.

At mile 12, I saw my cousin heading out on the run course and gave her as much courage as I could. After all, I was about to finish and it was into the 90s and she was just going out. Her race was going to be way harder than mine. Ahead, I could see the AG guy who passed me, so I made it my only mission of the race to catch him. And I did, with 1/2 mile to go. After that I cruised it in, and hit up the ice bath to nurse my broken ego and curse a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad race that was totally on me. Nothing against Musselman, they put on a great show.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat in the inflatable pools again and tried to wash away my horrendous race. My stomach was painful to the touch and I went to the med tent after I nearly puked and passed out.

Finshed 10/100 in the Double Mussel category.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Gut reaction to the weekend: I’m sick and tired of triathlon racing. This isn’t fun any more.

Event comments:

Musselman lives up to its reputation as a top notch race.




Last updated: 2011-02-27 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:33:40 | 2112 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 23/75
Overall: 129/1100
Performance: Average
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 01:34
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
02:42:07 | 56 miles | 20.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/75
Overall: 51/1100
Performance: Bad
Wind: Headwind
Course:
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 01:37
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
01:42:58 | 13.1 miles | 07m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/75
Overall: 38/1100
Performance: Bad
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2011-07-20 11:39 AM

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Expert
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon


2011-07-20 11:59 AM
in reply to: #3606161

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2011-07-20 2:19 PM
in reply to: #3606161

Master
1920
1000500100100100100
Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
You had your first bad race. That is a seriously sucky feeling. But you WILL get over it. One bad race doesn't mean the end-all for your triathlon career. You've been doing nothing but setting PR's and getting exponentially faster since you started. Heck, even on your 'bad' day you were 5th in your AG!! Jeeze! This is the first time you didn't go out and crush souls- but that happens to everyone! It does NOT mean you should just give up. Sometimes, racing ends up not being fun, but that does not mean that no race will ever be fun again, so stop being so existential about the whole thing- it was a bad stomach, it wasn't even your legs! Chalk it up to bad day and get ready to own it at Steelhead.

2011-07-21 8:30 AM
in reply to: #3606596

Expert
1145
100010025
Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
jazz82482 - 2011-07-20 3:19 PM

You had your first bad race. That is a seriously sucky feeling. But you WILL get over it. One bad race doesn't mean the end-all for your triathlon career. You've been doing nothing but setting PR's and getting exponentially faster since you started. Heck, even on your 'bad' day you were 5th in your AG!! Jeeze! This is the first time you didn't go out and crush souls- but that happens to everyone! It does NOT mean you should just give up. Sometimes, racing ends up not being fun, but that does not mean that no race will ever be fun again, so stop being so existential about the whole thing- it was a bad stomach, it wasn't even your legs! Chalk it up to bad day and get ready to own it at Steelhead.



In short: HTFU.
2011-07-22 9:22 PM
in reply to: #3606161

Master
1845
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Canandaigua
Gold member
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
Man that was some nasty GI demons you fought off and the guy in front drops out yet you put on a good run.  Nice job.  Did the gut come back together yet? 
2011-07-22 11:37 PM
in reply to: #3606161

Veteran
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100100252525
Syracuse, NY
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon
Way to fight through it. Hope things are feeling better now both mentally and physically! Was a tough day to race and I can't imagine starting it without a strong desire to actually participate. Recover well.


2011-07-24 10:00 PM
in reply to: #3606161

Expert
968
5001001001001002525
Wellington, North Island
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon

Great job getting through the race Ryan! You still did great, even while experiencing true gut-wrenching pain.

I agree that one bad race doesn't mean you need to quit triathlon racing, but I've also been the one to walk away from racing a sport I truly loved for awhile just because I needed the mental and physical break from it. If the next one isn't fun either, than maybe it's time for a break. The great thing is, you can always come back to it whenever you want.

2011-07-27 11:19 AM
in reply to: #3606161

Expert
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1000252525
Subject: RE: Musselman Half-Iron Triathlon

races (or parts of races) always have a lesson for us.  There is always something to learn (maybe even more from the crapper race) after the glow or grimace of a race passes.  That's one of my favorite things about this sport! 

Here's what I got from your race...you never gave up.  No need to HTFU... you are a badass already.  For racing hard to win when you feel well, and for finishing the race when you feel like . 

I think this needs to happen....You, your better half, me and beer.  Soon.  

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