Sunday, June 2, 2013

Race report: Keuka Lake Triathlon


For reals this time. It's not really official until you breathe into a wave, get kicked in the face and feel the clock ticking in transition... that indoor stuff didn't count. (Related: I am a duathlete and I am a marathoner)

The Keuka Lake Triathlon was a fantastic whirlwind kinda weekend. All in all, I'm thrilled not only with my results but by the fact that I felt SO prepared, and feel like most of the decisions I made were the right ones.

The blow by blow in a sec (you folks get the rambling, I'm already halfway through the bottle of wine I bought in wine country version. Should have bought the big bottle. I'll do a more coherent version using a couple of those professional writer skills for Scootadoot later this week!)

First and foremost, the results! The goal I told everyone else is: Finishing not last. The goal I secretly told myself: 2 hours.
  • Overall time: 1:47:21
  • 820 yard swim: 24:00 (3:12 per 100 yards)
  • T1: 3:12
  • 13.6 mile bike: 50:00 (16.56 mph)
  • T2: 2:00
  • 3.1 mile run: 27:40 (8:55 minute mile)
  • 168/260 overall, 55th of females, 12/20 in my age group
Ok now the play by play:


Philip and I went down to Penn Yan Saturday afternoon with Flower in the backseat and way too much stuff. (Only let him navigate if you have plenty of time to spare.) Got there in time for the clinics. Bummer that more people didn't go... they were excellent. Got some great tips on my running form and felt much more prepared. Chugged lots and lots of water.

Had a burger and fries (what I was craving) at Timmy G's, a cozy little restaurant downtown, and a glass of Hazlitt Cat red wine. 

Stayed in the dorms at Keuka College. It was definitely... a dorm. Ahhh, a plain white room with three twin beds and sandals in the shower. 

Far from a hotel, but a cheap bed for the night, and the best part: I could see the lake (and transition) out the window. I sprung for air conditioning, and burrrrr, it sure was air conditioned!!!


The alarm went off at 5, and I commenced the: Peek out the window to see how crowded transition was, set alarm for ten minutes, go back to bed. I finally got Flower out of the car and claimed my spot (third bike in, perfect) at 5:45. 

I set my transition the way Mary taught us and put some plastic bags over it to keep it dry, and got marked. I found Sarah and Kelli who were also doing their first triathlons, it was so wonderful to know people there. In addition, the two people next to me in transition were from the Rochester-Area Triathletes!! I am totally joining

I went back up to the room to foam roll one more time, and made my first big mistake, I forgot transition closed an hour before my wave!! I smiled, gave the "it's my first time" plea, and got the crew to hand me my swim stuff. 

I doused myself with cooking spray, put my wetsuit on over my spandex shorts and sports bra, and went down to the water.


I watched the olympic tri folks take off, then waded into the water as soon as they let us.


I slowly inched in, finally sucked it up and put my head under. Came up in shock. BURRR!!! I didn't want to be That Person Who Runs Out Of The Water With Her Tail Between Her Legs, so I stayed in, and slowly acclimated. The water was never nice, but it was tolerable. I did some swimming back and forth a little, then met Sarah on the shore. 

We met a girl from Buffalo, Katie, and us three first timers waited nervously until our wave was called. We filed through the chute, and then it was our turn. One minute. 30 seconds. 10 seconds. Horn. 

During the transition clinic, Mary told us some swim horror stories that left me wondering if I should have been taking the aqua kickboxing class at the Y to prepare. 

Fortunately, my wave was cool. Everyone spread out, and I was only kicked twice, and kicked someone else once. So water combat skills weren't necessary, but I employed her spitting in the goggles to get rid of fog strategy.

I liked the buoys because it split the swim up. I probably still zigzagged a lot, but when we practiced at Canandaigua Sarah told me her strategy, breathe three times and spot, and it worked. 

I found myself out of breath at the first buoy and my heart sunk a bit. Maybe I was too dependent on having the wall to pause at. We turned, and I settled into a nice rhythm, switching to breast stroke a few times. I had to straighten out a couple times but I felt smooth up until the next turn around point. 

Getting back was rough because there were no buoys, I was just sighting the arc in the distance. I psyched myself out a few times thinking I was closer than I was and ending up tired. Then there was someone I just couldn't get around. But I made it. 

I stripped off my cap and goggles, ran up the stairs, and peeled off the wetsuit as I ran into transition.


I was prepared for the transition. I got my padded shorts and tank on (a tri suit would be nice), took a honey stinger, remembered the helmet before unracking the bike, and took off. I wish I would have done gloves too, but that's ok. 

Mounting the bike was a little rough, so was unmounting, but no embarrassments. The hills weren't bad at all -- all the practice on Route 65 and spinning paid off! I passed people uphill, got passed downhill. 

The only flub, the velcro strap on my saddle bag was cutting into my shorts and I ended up with a bruise and a hole in them!!! 

The ride was smooth, we rode through some rain and headwinds but nothing I couldn't handle. Average pace was 3:34, close to my 3:30 goal. 


Another smooth transition. I got the clips off, Asics, knee straps and compression sleeves on, and was out through the gate in two minutes, slurping a Gu as I went through. 

I had used the iPhone with the Runtastic app on the bike, but my hands were shaking so bad as I came through transition that I couldn't unlock/reset it, so I just left it behind and ran naked.

I feel like I started off too fast. Calves started to ache, so I backed off the second mile, then picked it up at the end. 

It was hot, and I dumped water on myself at the second water stop. I ran in hard, and finished dripping wet and grinning as Mary, who was announcing, called my name. Wonderful!! 

I finished exhausted, but probably could have handled a longer race! 


Another perk of staying at the race site: A nice shower after. Then I inhaled all kinds of yummy food, sat in the sun for awhile, and headed home, doing a little wine tasting on the way in at Yates Cellars... yummmm Reisling. Shoutout to Philip for driving home... I was beat (though I should have taken advantage of the situation by stopping at a few more wineries on the random backroads he turned down...)

Lizzie and Brandy stayed with a sitter who had a big yard, so we're spending Sunday night laying around lazily and fighting for leg room on the couch.

I'm sad I don't have any photos from the race :( It looked like there were official race photographers there though!! 

Much more confident for Musselman!!


  1. You're absolutely amazing! Can't wait to see what you've got for us over at Scoot a Doot. :) Congrats!!!