The swim was done, the bike was done, now all that was left was the run! After grabbing a quick cup of water while in the transition area, I ran out on to the run course. According to my Garmin it was 75 degrees when I started running.
I was really worried about the run the entire weekend. It wasn't that I was worried I couldn't do it, I knew I would finish no matter what, I was just worried about how my legs would feel and the heat. Thankfully, the run didn't get as hot as it was supposed to and there was cloud cover.
Mike starting his run, thanks Josh for the photo!
The run course starts the same way that the Mini Mussel does on Saturday. I ran right by our friends less than a mile into the run and they all cheered me on, it was a great motivator at the beginning of a tough run.
I definitely started out too fast, I was running sub-8 minute pace the first mile! I told myself to slow down and I was able to, somewhat, reign it in. I knew that there was going to be some walking during the run, but I forced myself to not walk until the first aid station about a mile and a half into the run. Even with a brief walk break through the aid station (where I poured ice down my tri top), my first two miles came in at 8:13 and 8:52. I wasn't too worried since I knew I was going to slow down due to the course and some walk breaks here and there.
After running along the path near the lake, we turned to go under a tunnel. It felt nice and cool in there! The beginning of the run course combines some of the first and last run legs of the Seneca7 relay that we do every year, it is fun to reminisce about that race!
After running along some gravel for a bit, we got to the part of the course that I had do for Seneca7 this year. Before going up the hill (to get to the grassy hill), someone was coming down in the opposite direction and almost collided with me! He didn't stay to the left like he was supposed to, even after the volunteers told him what to do. I'm just happy he didn't actually crash into me!
I ran/walked up the paved hill and then made it to the grassy hill. You can either use the stairs or the grass, and I just went up the grass. This was a tough part of the race, but I got back up to the sidewalk as quickly as I could.
We ran along the sidewalk for a couple of miles, while going through an aid station where I started to take sponges. Some spectators were out and were offering to spray us with their hoses, which I of course accepted!
We turned down a street to go onto Hobart and William Smith's campus and I thought about this portion of the race when we first did it in 2013. That year there were some musicians who were playing what sounded like death march music. Luckily, this year there were different musicians and their music was a bit peppier!
I kept going and after turning onto another road, I started to walk up a hill. A guy next to me said that was a good idea and started to do the same. I didn't walk the entire hill, but I would give myself little breaks here and there. After turning down another street, I was really close to being half way through the run! I could tell based on the current time and distance that I was still averaging below 10:00 pace for the entire run.
I kept taking my energy chews and would take Coke and water at the aid stations. I also kept replacing the sponge that I had stuffed in my tri top. The spectators who offered to spray us with their hoses were amazing!
I finally got to the worst part of the run course - Barracks Road. This road is gravelly and has an extremely long hill. I mentioned how I didn't like this part to the person next to me and she said it didn't look fun. She asked how long it was and I said a little less than a mile. I forced myself to run the flat part and then I ran/walked up the hill. There were people playing music toward the top and they were really motivating! Finally, I made it to the top and got some water at the aid station.
Luckily, the next part is a nice downhill so that you can build up some momentum again. A volunteer at the next turn said most of the bad hills were over, which was a good thing!
Over the next few miles, I kept playing tag with the same people. It was nice to be able to encourage each other. I had started to pay attention to my total race time and I was surprised that I was potentially going to PR. I tried not to get ahead of myself, but with about 3 miles to go I was still feeling pretty good!
The course crossed one of the streets that we were on before and we turned left to head back the way we came. This part had two way traffic, but there weren't many people heading out on to the run course at this point.
I passed one guy and he said that I had good form and to keep it up. I then went by the same spectator as before and she sprayed me with her hose again.
I ran down a steep hill, that I didn't remember from the first year that we did the race and I was back at the part of the course where the guy almost collided with me. The same volunteer said that no one would run into me this time and I told her that it wasn't her fault from before! I made it to the tunnel and I only had about 2.5 miles left to go.
The run along the lake path was starting to get hot, but I would force myself to run as far as I could and then only walked briefly when I needed to. I made it back to where the Mini Mussel turns around on Saturday and got to the final aid station. I took some water and then started to run again, another woman next to me said that we were almost done!
Pretty soon I only had one mile left to go. I knew that I was going to PR, I just didn't know by how much. I forced myself to run and finally, I made the turn around the bend toward the finish line. Some spectators cheered me on and said that I was going to finish the DoubleMussel (they could tell by my bib number). Then, I saw my people!
Smiling because I'm almost done!
Love this photo of us, thanks Kirsten for the photo!
I saw Mike cheering me on, as well as, Greg, Kirsten and Josh. It was great to see everyone! I picked up the pace and ran through the finishing chute and then I was done! I was a DoubleMusseler!
After getting my medal, water bottle and a piece of watermelon, I started walking back toward the tent where we had left our stuff. I saw Mike walking toward me and we sat down on the ground for a few minutes. After collecting ourselves we joined everyone at the tent for awhile, before heading back home.
Mike did great and was only two minutes off of his PR that he set two weekends ago. He finished in 5:52:33 and placed 13th in his age group for Musselman. Out of 63 people who finished the DoubleMussel, he was 25th overall and 22nd male out of 39. I am so proud!
I, somehow, ended up with a little over 19 minute PR from two weeks ago. I finished Musselman in 6:15:57 and came in 13th in my age group (out of 32). I came in 39th overall for the DoubleMussel and I was 8th female out of 24.
I hope that we get to do some part of Musselman weekend next year since it is such a great race! I really want to do the DoubleMussel again sometime, even though it was challenging it was fun too!
Run Leg (13.1 miles) - Jamie: 2:10:34 (9:49 pace), Mike: 2:19:13 (10:28 pace)
Finishing Times - Jamie: 6:15:57, Mike: 5:52:33
DoubleMussel Total Times - Jamie: 7:53:47, Mike: 7:17:29