I was unenthused about this race. Honestly I have Ironman tunnel vision right now and I can't get excited about much of anything. But I paid, so I raced. I didn't expect much. I'm not a short course athlete and I've been doing all long course training for the past 6 months. I assumed this race would hurt.
I arrived at the race site a little later than usual, around 8 am. Took forever to pick up my packet because it was at Hobart and William Smith College, and body marking also took forever. I ran into Glenn and Jeremy at packet pickup. Saw many other Train-This athletes in/around transition. Mary had the "Eggaphone." I got my stuff set up, went to the bathroom, and then went over to the lake. I ran into a friend of mine from grad. school at ESF, Brandy. She was doing her first triathlon! We TAed zoology together for a semester. I gave her some pointers for her first tri!
Musselman is a really well run race. They have a great packet, they have great post race food (ICE CREAM) and the do a lot of neat little things like customizing the stickers where you rack your bike in transition. This year, they had you put an inspirational mantra on your transition spot, and you can see mine in the header above. :)
I was waiting to go into the corral when I got recognized by Erin Mullaney, who is a friend of Kim and Travis's. I had never met her but I knew who she was via race result stalking. I knew she was fast! I knew she did Ironman. That's about it.
My instructions from Mary were to go "balls out as fast as you can the entire way." That's it. I almost emailed her during the week to tell her not to bother making up an official race plan, and then she didn't anyways which was totally fine. Balls out is not something that can be defined in mph or min/mile. :) You can't pace BALLS OUT!
I was in the 2nd swim wave: girls and guys were both in this wave. We had to swim out to the buoy and then swim back towards the canal and then into the smelly river. The swim was easy. I tried to redline it. I'm not a fast swimmer. I really tried to push it out of my comfort zone because the race was so short that I knew I'd be screwed if I didn't get out the water fast.
Got on the bike. This part is my FAVORITE! I immediately started cruising and I saw Kim yelling for me in the park. I passed a TON of men, a few younger girls who must swim well, and then I saw Erin in her Tri-Spot team kit. We played leap frog for a while and then I passed her and held the lead. I know Erin can run so I figured I should get as far away from her as I possibly could. She's the only one in my AG that I saw. I was riding really hard. I passed Jason W. right before entering the park. We got into the park and he went by me and yelled "Alexa my ego won't let you beat me!!" he then proceeded to do an awesome flying dismount and ran into transition ahead of me. I cannot do a flying dismount because I am a PANSY. As I entered transition, people were yelling at me that I was the first woman into transition. WHAT!?! I was in the first swim wave, so clearly I was not going to win the mini-Mussel (there are some FAST LADIES in this race) but I was winning my age group and I felt like I was in the freakin' Olympics! SOOO COOL! I grabbed my shit and ran out of transition in #1 feeling like a super awesome bad-ass rockstar!!
Bike: 44:47, 22.0 mph, 3RD FASTEST bike split of all the women
I saw Kim again and that was exciting! I caught and passed Jason. Erin caught me in 3 minutes. I knew it was coming so I wasn't surprised or bothered. She blew past me and took off to the point where eventually i couldn't even see her. I'm not a 5K runner. But I was still 2nd in my AG and I wanted to hold that spot. A few guys passed me and I asked them if there were any women behind me (I always get run down in these short triathlons). They said that I was in the clear. I never look behind me! It shows weakness and fear! They then told me to go catch the girl in front of me. Hah! I was like "ummm I was ahead of her and she already passed me!" They liked that and laughed. I saw Jeremy at the water stop! I just tried to hold a consistent pace. I saw
Run: 23:30, 7:21 min/mile
Final time of : 1:23:21
I knew I was getting an award. I thought I was getting 2nd in my AG. I also was 5th overall woman. WHAT!?!? How did I do that in a sprint tri?? Anyways, after the race I was chatting with Erin and we were waiting for awards. And neither of us got called up for 25-29, and she was 1st and I was 2nd. Sooo apparently Musselman does overall awards to 5 places! So I got on the podium, got some sweet hardware and $25!
Good f-ing race! 2 weeks and 1 day til Placid. I just need to keep this fresh feeling!
My team makes this sport the most fun I've ever had. When I finished the race, I had voicemails, texts, and facebook posts asking how I did and congratulating me. I had teammates, Train-This alumni, family members, and friends at the race cheering for me. I cheered for teammates that I saw on the run course. It just doesn't get any better than this. Teammates congratulate you on a race well done, but they also pick you up after a bad race. Tomorrow I get to spend the day in transition cheering for my team, which has evolved into my family. I can't wait. :)
Coach Mary has had a lot to do with my improvements this year. My bike improvement is what I see the most. I am so so happy with this! Now I just have to catch the swim and the run up with the bike. ;)