Second year in a row of running the Mini Mussel and I am happy to report I ripped a huge chunk of time off of last year’s race. Very exciting.
That being said, I definitely think I could have shaved a few more minutes off my time. My head has been so caught up in working stupid long amounts of overtime at my current job and trying to get my new job situated and squared away. So when Hubby asked me Friday morning what time we had to head over for packet pick up it was not surprising that I looked over at him like he had two heads. Oh, right, I have a race tomorrow. Duh.
I like the Mini Mussel a lot for many reason, but a few are definitely convenience. Transition is only a mile from my house and the race doesn’t start until 9am. We wander over shortly after 8am on race morning, and while I only had 12 minutes to set up my transition, it was fine since I didn’t bring much
I had signed up for the novice wave again. I like not having to worry about getting passed in the water by a bunch of fast people, so the novice wave is nice since it goes off last. With seven waves set to take off, I was wading into Seneca lake right around 9:30 for our 9:35 swim starts.
The swim is deep water start and at no point during the swim can you touch. You wade out and can stand right up to the buoy, then the bottom gives out and you’re treading until the horn goes off. The swim starts at the northern head of Seneca lake before moving into the marina and hanging a left into the canal. Both the sprint and half iron follow the same point to point swim course, with the half iron starting from the swim beach instead of the seawall to tack on the additional distance.
Once again, I could not keep my stroke together. I blame this race more on my wetsuit, sadly. I must not have pulled it up or situated it correctly on my shoulders because about a minute into the swim I felt like I was choking. The neckline was super tight around my throat and making it hard for me to control my breathing. So even though I started with good form on my free style stroke, I fell apart once again and went back to flip flopping my stroke. Free style for a minute, side stroke to relieve some tension on my neck, free style because I’m slowing down too much, breast stroke to catch my breath again. So frustrating.
By the time I hit the canal I was doing head out of the water free style just so I could breath a bit but not totally lose my steam or speed. And what’s weird is that I passed three people from the wave that went out before us. I don’t think I’ve ever passed anyone in the swim during a race before. So even though I was struggling, I was really happy about getting in water road kills.
Official swim time- 16:34 (2:13/100m)
My swim wasn’t super fast, but it was significantly faster than my Syracuse swim pace, so I’m happy in that regard.
I headed into T1 feeling pretty good. I felt like I struggled to get my wetsuit off over my feet and like I was moving slowly, but I was surprised to see my official T1 time of 2:55. Believe it or not that is actually my fastest T1 time ever in a race. I’m usually over four minutes. Very happy with this. Grabbed Finley off the rack and headed out for the bike course.
My bike started off not so good. I lapped my watch heading out of T1 and realized my watch was not in multi sport mode. I had set it up in transition before the race started but I realized right before getting in the water my GPS was off. It must have bumped me out of multisport when the GPS kicked on, so my watch was on “other” mode the whole race and the only data I was getting were the lap count, heart rate, and race clock. Cranky.
The first few miles of the Musselman bike course are a steady climb. Nothing too hard, but enough to notice after climbing out of the water. I was annoyed at my watch and feeling a bit not quite with it for the first few miles. It wasn’t until I hit the first downhill and remembered how much I love riding to kick my competitiveness into overdrive. I wish I had just buckled down and cranked it out from the get go. My ride would have been faster had I pushed harder the first few miles. But thankfully the Mini Mussel bike course is my default riding route and I could ride the course with my eyes closed I’m so familiar with it. So once I got my head in the game I pushed out a hard ride for the last two-thirds of the course.
Official bike time- 55:10 (17.5mph average for 16.1 miles)
I pulled into T2 feeling pretty happy. I had glanced at my swim time when I crossed into T1 and lapped my watch thinking I was in multisport, so even with only having my race clock available to me I know I came off the bike in under an hour. Helmet and sunglasses off, bike shoes off, yank on my Zoots and my visor, fight like all hell with my race belt, and head out to run. Official T2 time was 2:25. That’s somewhat slow for me and I’m positive it’s because I couldn’t get my race belt to clip. I fought with it for way too long. I wish I had enough forethought to run towards the run out while dealing with it instead of standing in transition getting annoyed.
My run was pretty uneventful. I’ve run the main drag through the park more times than I can count so there wasn’t anything to surprise me. There was one aid station that I walked through both times since the run is an out and back course along the lake shore. Other than the aid station I ran the whole 5k, albeit a bit slower than I would have liked. My calves were tight coming off the bike and I got annoyed with my first two miles clocking in around the ten minute mark. My last mile was 9:29 which was better. Official run time was 31:46.
Official race finish time- 1:48:50. That’s 29(!) minutes off last year’s time of 2:17. So I am very happy with that even though I wish my bike and run were both a bit faster. This was good enough to snag me third place for the novice female division, but since swimming novice excludes you from prizes, it goes unrecognized by the race. Boo. Had I opted to swim in my competitive age group I would have placed 15/38, so it’s not like I was in any sort of running there. And my overall place was 443/797, so pretty middle of the pack, pretty much what I expected.
Musselman is a great series that I can’t say enough nice things about. There’s four triathlon options; the micro super sprint, sprint, half iron, and double mussel, as well as a kids race with an open water swim. There’s stuff going on all weekend and it’s been given awards and accolades for a reason. As long as we live in CNY I will keep racing the Musselman because it’s a race that you just want to keep going back for more.
Next race on the docket- Delta Lake Olympic in three days!!!