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Musselman Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Geneva, New York
United States
89F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 33m 6s
Overall Rank = 311/424
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 19/25
Pre-race routine:

Bagel + banana. Minimal stretching. No warmup.
Event warmup:

  • 45m 54s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

Waves started building up as the swim progressed; when Lisa started her swim 1hr after me, the waves were big enough to cause problems, but wasn't too bad for me.
I didn't push it all that much during this swim, but it felt good. I handled the waves (small, but still waves) well - something that would have, and did, cause me major problems at other races last year.
What would you do differently?:

Work harder, and become a better swimmer. I could feel myself moving better at times when I really focused on form. It's hard during the race though since I also had to think about sighting and trying to draft and everything else that you think about.
I just don't think I pushed hard enough or really worked on this swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 3s

Good transition, although could have been faster getting the wetsuit off. Stumbled slightly when tried to hop on my bike (shoes clipped in ahead-of-time), and got a couple "OOHH's" as people were probably worried I'd spill. But I got moving OK.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. 11 of 25 in my AG on this transition - I'll take it!!
  • 3h 28m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 16.11 mile/hr

This was simply horrendous. I lost my motivation. I mean like totally gone. I wanted to stop, I didn't know why I was out there. I just wanted to quit. I seriously thought about hanging it up when I got back to T2. I thought myself crazy for even dreaming I'd be able to do an ironman.
I spent a LOT of time up out of the aerobars, pedaling very very easy. I don't have HR data since the HRM wasn't picking up for a lot of the ride, but I was in very low Z1 for most of the ride.
The only people I passed were folks on mountain bikes.
What would you do differently?:

Not give up. Simply unacceptable. I think I wasn't mentally prepared for this race. Also, I need lots more TITS.
I feel like ever since I got the cervelo I've been much slower on the bike. I don't understand it.
Transition 2
  • 01m 55s

Good T2. Even got a "nice dismount" from a spectator at the dismount line. Could have been faster; took me a second to gather myself after my disaster on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Not much - 10 out of 25 in my age group - now if I could only place that high in the swim/bike/run!!!
  • 2h 14m 44s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 17s  min/mile

The first 2 miles, I collected myself after my meltdown on the bike. Fortunately these were flat miles - mile 1 in ~9:00, mile 2 in 10:09.
After that, I got back into the zone. I had to walk some of the uphill parts of mile 3, which took 12:09, and then I was REALLY in the zone. My stomach was a little unsettled after the bike, and I wanted to throw up near the beginning, but somewhere in here things felt much better. I wanted to redeem myself. I was passed by two people the whole run - one super-fit woman around mile 3, who was gone before I could blink, and another 21 year old guy earlier around mile 2 - I caught him later at mile 11 and finished 2m45sec ahead of him.
I got a big mental boost around mile 4-5, when I passed 2 people in my age group. I took mile 4 at 10:20 and mile 5 at 11:02 (uphill). At each aid station, I drank water, poured some on my head, and kept a wet sponge on my neck inside my tri top the whole time. I think it was a good idea to stick to the water, and then started on the coke at mile 11, even though I didn't really need it, I figured the extra burst wouldn't hurt.
It was hot, and the locals had sprinklers going and would spray us if we wanted them to - they were great.
On mile 4, I also heard a lady walking by say to her friend, 'can you imagine these people have already swum like a mile and biked like 50 miles?'. That really made me feel good. THAT IS MOTIVATION RIGHT THERE. From this point onward, I was passing people left and right. It was COOL.
Mile 6 was 10:37, and mile 7 (steep uphill) at 13:45. After this I knew it was largely downhill, and felt great. I kept it in Zone2 for mile 8, taking 10:27, and then took it up to Z3 according to plan. Got through mile 9 in 9:40, mile 10 in 9:54, and mile 11 in 9:39. Throughout the run I was actually happy - I got a lot of "wow, you're still smiling, way to go!!" comments from spectators and aid station volunteers. I then took it up a notch for mile 12, but needed a longer-than-usual aid station stop and so took 10:08 for that mile. When there was 1.1miles left I really took it up the final notch, and got through the last 1.1mi in less than 8:34 - probably 8:15-8:20, I didn't stop my watch for a while. Not bad - ~7:30m/m pace for that last bit!!

Overal HR data:
Time in Zone1: 25:53
Time in Zone2: 1:15:12
Time in Zone3: 26:40
Time in Zone4: 5:42
Time in Zone5: 1:50

Mile 1: ~8:45 (avgHR 168, maxHR 170)
Mile 2: 10:09 (avgHR 163, maxHR 170)
Mile 3: 12:09 (avgHR 165, maxHR 175)
Mile 4: 10:20 (avgHR 167, maxHR 177)
Mile 5: 11:02 (avgHR 170, maxHR 181)
Mile 6: 10:37 (avgHR 172, maxHR 177)
Mile 7: 13:45 (avgHR 168, maxHR 178)
Mile 8: 10:27 (avgHR 168, maxHR 179)
Mile 9: 9:40 (avgHR 171, maxHR 183)
Mile 10: 9:54 (avgHR 177, maxHR 184)
Mile 11: 9:39 (avgHR 179, maxHR 188)
Mile 12: 10:08 (avgHR 181, maxHR 187)
Mile 13.1: ~8:15 (7:30m/m) (avgHR 187, maxHR 199)
What would you do differently?:

Not a whole lot. By far this is one of my best AG ranks - 16 out of 25. I'm quite happy with that, although it was possible only because I went so easy on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

Laid down, Lisa got me some ice in medical gloves to put on my head, and poured cold water on me. I never saw so many people in the medical tent - in fact, never saw such a big medical tent! It was HOT!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

mental focus and motivation

- clearly limited by mental meltdown on the bike.
- need lots more bike miles
- bad swim also - just didn't push enough, I think
- good run - highest AG placing EVER
- actually placed higher in my AG than at Devilman in May (mainly because 4 people DNFed on the run)

Event comments:

This is far and above the best run and best organized race I've ever done. It was just awesome. I highly recommend it. There were 3 bands/groups playing on the run course, locals were great, it was just miles ahead of anything else.

Last updated: 2006-02-27 12:00 AM
00:45:54 | 2112 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/25
Overall: 246/424
Performance: Below average
Suit: deSoto full T1
Course: triangle shape, in Seneca Lake. very nice lake to swim in - good visibility; some diesel taste to the water, but pretty clean.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:03
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
03:28:30 | 56 miles | 16.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 24/25
Overall: 397/424
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some
Course: Kinda hilly at the beginning, then generally flat over the 2nd half.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:55
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:14:44 | 13.1 miles | 10m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 16/25
Overall: 25/424
Performance: Good
Course: Single loop course; kinda hilly, although hills were well spaced and there were plenty of flat spots.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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

2006-07-19 8:40 PM

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Seattle WA
Subject: Musselman Half Ironman

2006-07-19 9:15 PM
in reply to: #487683

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Musselman Half Ironman
Congrats on finishing.
2006-07-20 9:38 AM
in reply to: #487683

Extreme Veteran
Cary, NC
Subject: RE: Musselman Half Ironman

good for you for pushing thru the mental crap. it's tough... the head games we play with ourselves. but it's part of what makes it such a great sport as well. i'm glad you got over your meltdown and had a good run!

2006-07-21 8:03 AM
in reply to: #487683

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Whitsett, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Musselman Half Ironman

Interesting what happened on the bike.  I can't remember you ever saying anything about it in the past, so chalk it up to a fluke thing....leave it in the past where it belongs.

But, I can't help but thinking that even though you spent some good time in Z1 on the bike, you more than made up for it on the run.   Sounds like you had a lot of good passing going on - especially late in the race.

And here's the other thing that's exceptional - you negative split your run!  That's tough to do both mentally and physically.  Congrats!  Great race!!!!


Way to go Tom.   

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