Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musselman 2013, my first half iron Part 3: Post-race high, and planning what's next


See Part 1 and Part 2 (about the race itself). (Related: I am a marathonerI am a duathleteI am a triathlete.)

After I set out to do this in earnest almost a year ago, I completed the Musselman half ironman, Geneva, NY in 7:18:15. It broke down like this: 1.2 mile swim in 49:17, T1 6:21, 56 mile bike in 3:42:36 (included an 8 minute wait for an accident to clear), T2 8:02, 13.1 mile run in 2:31:59. This put me far under my goal, the 8 hour cutoff that I was so worried about making

I felt like a rockstar coming through that chute. They mispronounced my last name, and I finally stopped. A volunteer cut off my timing chip, and two young girls handed me the greatest medal ever, and the greatest water bottle ever. 

These are real bike gears! I got a mid-sized one. Photo by Victoria.
This bottle is supposed to glow in the dark. Haven't tried it yet.
But someone on Facebook pointed out that the mussels are in the
wrong order, run bike swim!
I took a few moments to recover, and told Victoria she needed to make me walk so I wouldn't cramp.

I needed not worry about Victoria being bored. While I was out killing myself, she took pictures and Tweeted constantly (even finding a plug in a state park - a feat! -  to juice up and Tweet some more!), updated Facebook on my behalf, made friends with the Moms in Motion, spent a few hours volunteering in the food tent, took a photo of the winner then tweeted it, and proceeded to make friends with him, and still found time to lounge by the water. She blogged about the experience here. (We're first and foremost writers. It's what we do.)

Wegmans catered a delicious meal, I had some pulled pork, potato salad and ice cream. Victoria saw it fit to take a photo of the carnage before it got packed up. (I had spread out a bit before this was taken, I was not a bad transition neighbor!)

I was surprised how awake I was, and how good I felt, after the race. I tried to nap, but sleep didn't come. I was going to stay in Geneva another night, but I was feeling restless and wanted my bed and my dogs so I came home early. Wegmans fed me again, this time with sushi and a frozen pizza, and I finally dozed off.

Monday I was off work, a good decision. I woke up and no muscle wanted to move. I spent the day on the couch. Tuesday I went to work with some stiffness. Standing up and sitting down hurt, being on my feet for more than five minutes at a time hurt, but mostly I was physically tired. It's now 9 p.m. and I'm ready for bed. At lunch, I went out and got a new item for my car. My bumper is getting slightly ridiculous.

I want to send a very sincere thank you to my friends and family who were stalking Victoria's Facebook updates and supported me through this journey. If I didn't have a support system, I wouldn't be able to make it through. We do this first for ourselves, but having people asking you how it's going and cheering you on keeps you motivated.

That's the beauty of social media. Facebook and Twitter played very different roles. Facebook was about connecting with the old friends, in Columbus, whom I miss dearly. I could share things a bit more intimately with them, details that I wouldn't put on a public blog.

These comments appeared underneath a photo I used in Part 1 -- my Musselbaby inside the beer mug from my first 5K as an adult. They keep me motivated, but keep me grounded. Molly was the one who introduced me to Fleet Feet's marathoner in training program.

On Twitter, I was able to connect with others doing the race, and get my questions answered. On Twitter, I found people who were in the exact same boat as me. On Twitter, I realized I was not the only first-timer with nerves!

And, of course, since it's Twitter, share other random thoughts that pop into my head.


Musselman is where I'll peak this year. I have the Highlander Cycle Tour and the Wine Glass Marathon.

Right now I am considering doing a full. It's very much a consideration right now, and I know I'm still on my post race high so I need to approach it with a clearer head.

For now, I'm going to get my life back together, clean up my apartment, do some yoga to try to provide some relief to my stressed muscles. (Sorry, mussels.)

Speaking of which, the whole weekend was a quasi-celebration of the mussel, a sea creature that prior to I was more apt to think of as food.

But after seeing the mussel as a mascot for such a great event, I think I might need to pass on them from now on! 

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