Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rev3 Cedar Point Half Race Recap - Swim Leg

Almost two weeks ago, Mike and I raced the Rev3 Cedar Point Half. We had transferred our entry for the Rev3 Quassy Half that took place in June to the Cedar Point race. Back in June, we were getting our old house ready to go on the market and I was leaving for California a few days later, so it was in our best interest to transfer to another race.

Cedar Point was the only one that fit our schedule, so we went with it.

Saturday we went to the amusement park for race check-in and got our stuff. It did start to rain a bit while we were there, but luckily it stopped for awhile. There was a mandatory meeting, and since we had never raced a Rev3 triathlon before we figured it would be in our best interest to go. Also, quite a bit of the race course had changed due to construction, and later weather, so we wanted all of the details.

We spent the time in between check-in and the meeting by checking out the Cedar Point lighthouse. We love lighthouses so it was a good way to spend our time. 

 Pretty, pretty

At the meeting we found out all of the details of the race. Actually, while we were putting our race numbers on our bikes because of the mandatory bike check, we found out that the swim course had changed and that the bike and gear (for full athletes) check in was now optional. We decided to just rack our bikes in the morning because of the weather.

Mike and I did go on two roller coasters after the meeting, but then one of the rides we wanted to go on was closed due to a mechanical issue and then it started to pour. We decided to head back to our hotel since we didn't want to be on our feet for too long. We also had to stop at Dick's Sporting Goods for Mike so that he could buy a cheap watch, he forgot his Garmin at home! After dinner and some frozen yogurt, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the next day.

 Personalized card, nice touch Rev3!

On the morning of the race, we didn't have to wake up very early at all. It felt weird waking up around 6am for a 70.3. Due to the full distance race, half athletes didn't start until 8:20am. When we got to the park, we were able to rack our bikes and set up our transition areas relatively easily. We checked our morning clothes bags since we didn't have any supporters with us and got our wetsuits on.

While waiting for the start of the swim, we were able to see the full athletes in the water. The swim course had changed due to the wind and we were now all swimming in the marina. The half athletes had to do one 1.2 mile loop, while the full athletes had to do two loops. Additionally, rather than having waves we were now going to have a time trial start with two swimmers starting every few seconds. Mike and I decided we would go together and tried to get as close to the front as possible. This was nice because if we had kept the wave start, I would have started 10 minutes after Mike!

After a moment of silence for 9/11 and the National Anthem, we didn't have too long until our start. We did see the lead swimmer for the full come out of the water (he did give his wetsuit to a spectator, which is against the rules).

Mike and I lined up, we were probably the fifth or sixth pair to get into the water. We kissed right before the start (to which the race director said, "I hope you know each other!") and shook the race director's hand, and then it was time to go!

We got into the water and after a few steps down the ramp, I started to swim. The water wasn't too bad and thankfully I didn't have to deal with lots of people! We swam out toward a 180 degree turn, and there were a few times when people got close to me but I wasn't having it. After the turn, I was worried about people coming from the other direction so I tried to make sure I was over to the right as far as possible.

One weird thing that happened to me during the swim was that I had an afterimage of either the sun, the yellow buoys or a combination of both. I couldn't really see out of my left eye because of this and I just hoped that I wasn't going to run into anyone!

After the 180 degree turn, we had a bit of a tailwind, but I knew that after making a left turn later on that the water was going to get a bit choppy. I was right. It was never the worst I have swum in, but it wasn't the best either.

After making the final turn, I just wanted to be done. I felt like the swim was taking forever (which it kind of was, my watch recorded 1.4 miles) and I was just ready for the next leg. The final red buoy felt like it wasn't getting any closer, but eventually I was approaching the swim exit.

I turned toward the exit and swam until my hands hit the ramp a few times. I stood up and then ran over toward the wetsuit strippers. They got my wetsuit off relatively quickly, and then the next part of the race began - the .5 mile run to the transition area.

Swim Leg (1.2 miles) - Jamie: 36:24, Mike: 32:35
Transition 1 - Jamie: 6:44, Mike: 6:01

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mini Mussel Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

Yes, I know, I should have recapped this BEFORE recapping our Ironman but that's not how life has gone this year.

Back in June, Mike and I were supposed to race the Rev3 Quassy 70.3. Due to needing to get the old house on the market and my trip to California only being 3 days after the race, we decided to transfer to the Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3 (next weekend).

Unfortunately, that meant we only had one triathlon this year prior to our Ironman.  We participated in the Musselman weekend for the fourth year in a row by doing the Mini Mussel sprint triathlon.

The adorable Macey

Luckily, our friend, Janell, was also racing Mini Mussel. She, her husband, Aaron, and their new dog, Macey, were our first visitors at our new house!

Friday night we went to packet pickup and then waited for Janell and Aaron to get to our house (also from packet pickup). We had dinner and talked with them before it was time to go to bed.

Geneva isn't too far away from Rochester, and thankfully, the sprint starts at 9am. We left our house and made the drive to the race start. We got there a bit later than we normally do, but not by too much. We all had plenty of time to get body marked, set up our transition areas and use the port-a-potties.

 The three of us before the race, photo courtesy of Janell

Mike was the first one to start off and then I went off a few minutes after him. Janell was two waves after me. I felt like we had been treading water for a long time, and later Aaron told us that my wave was in the water the longest, but finally the announcer said we had one minute until the start.

You may be able to spot me, I'm the crazy one

Then we were off!

Swim Leg (.47 miles) - Jamie: 11:55, Mike: 10:53

I started out a bit too fast, especially considering the swim leg of this race was our first open water swim of the year. Oops. I was able to slow down a little bit and then focused on getting to the turn toward the finish. A sprint swim is just so short!

I didn't have to fight for a position too much, and I did pass some people from the wave ahead of me. After a few minutes, I saw the buoy for the finish. I made sure to swim until my hand hit the bottom of the boat ramp a few times, and then I popped up out of the water.

Transition 1 - Jamie: 1:50, Mike: 1:46

I ran into the transition area, and got my biking stuff on pretty quickly. I felt slow, but that's probably because we also hadn't done very many bricks during training.

Again, like last year, I hated running over the cobblestones in my bike shoes but I made it to the mount line in a decent amount of time.

Bike Leg (16 miles) - Jamie: 58:42, Mike: 49:39

I just really don't like the beginning of this bike course. A few weeks prior to the sprint, Mike and I rode the 70.3 bike course which starts the exact same way. I struggle to push the speed on the slight incline the first few miles.

The bike was relatively uneventful, I felt like I was going somewhat slow but that was a given considering our lack of training at this point. I love when you get to the turn where the sprint bike course deviates from the 70.3 bike course. It is downhill and the only real place where you need to pay attention is when you ride over some railroad tracks, but of course the Musselman crew has everything clearly marked on the roads so you know what is coming up!

As I made my way back toward the transition area, I was wondering how the run leg was going to go. For some reason, running has felt the worst for me ever since my 50 miler back in November. I hoped that I would be able to get through it easily enough, but I knew that it was getting hotter out.

Finally, I turned back into the park and rode a little bit toward the dismount line. As I got there another participant was FLYING in to the dismount line. He really needed to calm down a little bit, it isn't worth it to hurt other people.

Transition 2 - Jamie: 1:55, Mike: 2:08

Normally I would take my bike shoes off, but I don't remember if I did or not at this point. I got to my bike and then put on all of my running stuff. As I ran out I felt heavy but I tried to push the pace as much as I could.

Run Leg (3.2 miles) - Jamie: 28:52, Mike: 25:57

Unfortunately, it was getting hot, but I was able to keep my pace under 9:00 pace for the first mile (as usual I took off way too fast!)

I am actually really, really disappointed in this run leg. I think I just gave in too quickly and I should have pushed myself harder (but to be honest that's where my mental state and view on my training was at this point in my life). I saw Mike about 1 mile in to the run leg, after I had been listening to someone who was just out for a run (not part of the race) yelling at everyone coming back toward the finish, "you're almost done!" I was not having it.

Luckily, she went away and I kept going. It was hot out and I grabbed some water at the aid station. I did walk a little before the turn around and I had seen our friend Mark making his way back toward the finish line.

When I started to make my way back to the finish, I saw Janell. She looked really strong!

I did walk a few more times (this is what I mean by pushing myself and staying stronger, oh well). As I got closer to the finish, I saw our friend Sarah! She looked great and I was really proud of her for doing the race!

The finish line is in sight! Photo courtesy of Janell

As I made my way closer to the finish, our friends Kathy and Jamie were cheering me on (they had come to our rescue during one of our botched training rides, so thankful for them!) Then I saw Mike and Aaron on the side lines and I ran through the finish line. As I did, Mary Eggers (the announcer), said, "here's Jamie, no stranger to the finish line!"

And with that, our fourth year of the Musselman weekend was over!

Finishing Times - Jamie: 1:43:14, Mike: 1:30:23

Even though this was my slowest Mini Mussel time yet, I was alright with it. I knew that our training was lacking and I still had a great time being at a race that I love.

Waiting for the awards, photo courtesy of Janell

We hung around for the awards since Janell placed in her age group, and then we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with Janell and Aaron. I was really happy to share this special race with Janell, and I hope she comes next year to race the Musselman 70.3 with us!