The Musselman Triathlon is exactly that -- an experience. Since a lot happened over race weekend, I decided to divide it into two posts: a race report (coming soon) and everything else about the weekend (below).
Musselman takes place in the Finger Lakes region of New York, starting and ending at Seneca Lake in Geneva. It is named for the zebra mussels that live in the lake. Unfortunately, I never got to see any of them, but I got a lot of cool swag with cute zebra mussels.
|The real life ones are not as cute as |
their cartoon counterparts.
I couldn't tell you when I first became aware of Musselman, or who I heard about it from, but it's been on my list of races to do for at least the year or so. I was very excited to particpiate this year, and it lived up to it's expectations!
I arrived in Geneva, NY on Friday evening after a longer than expected drive thanks to construction on the interstate. As soon as I entered the downtown area, this came into view and brought a huge smile to my face, so I had to pull over to get a picture:
|I couldn't wait to race in BLUE water!|
The next step was to pick up the keys to my dorm room in the Athlete Village. This is one of the really cool things about Musselman - it is located very close to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and you can book a dorm room for $35/night. No frills here, but it had air conditioning and was only 5 minutes from the race site. More races really need to have lodging options like this.
After unloading all of my stuff, I made my first trip to Wegmans. We don't have Wegmans grocery stores in Pittsburgh, and friends from eastern PA and NY rave about them, so I was really excited about this trip. I picked up a giant bottle of spring water, some milk, yogurt (one of my co-workers lent me his portable microwave-sized refrigerator which was awesome!), some snacky things, and one of their $6 dinners. Wegmans, please come to Pittsburgh!!
|Almost too cute to eat. Note that I said almost.|
I went back to my dorm and found a picnic table outside to eat and watched the sunset. Then it was time to get my stuff organized for the next day.
Saturday wasn't race day for me, but there was a race going on. This was the sprint triathlon called the Mini-Mussel. Some of my fellow Pittsburgh Triathlon Club members were racing it, so I headed over to the race site to do a warm-up running workout and spectate.
|View from the lakeshore trail... the view alone made me soooo happy :)|
Not only did I get to cheer on my PTC teammates, but I got to meet and cheer on my blog friend Alexa who was competing in the sprint race - and took 2nd AG - just a few weeks after doing Ironman Coeur d'Alene!
After the race, I opted to go for a practice swim in Seneca Lake since one of my PTC teammates had extra goggles and a cap, and since I was wearing my tri-suit (since the only thing I forgot to pack was a set of workout clothes to wear the day before). My teammate Jim and I had to sneak out past the lifeguard, who told us we were only allowed to swim in a 50-yard line in shin-to-waist deep water. This was lame, and it seemed that everyone else thought so too, because there were a bunch of triathletes who had proceeded in further as well. I am really glad I had the opportunity to get this warm-up swim in because I realized soon after starting that there were waves to navigate, and this gave me a heads-up for what to expect on Sunday.
WoolSports became the title sponsor of Musselman this year, and so they had a booth at the finish line with some of their products and... sheep!!! I am easily amused by things like cute animals :)
After my swim, I said good-bye to everyone and went back to campus to go to the expo and get my race packet. Musselman's sponsors, especially WoolSports, did a great job taking care of us! I think this was the best swag bag I've gotten at a race to date. Instead of a plastic shopping bag, we got a canvas tote bag with the race logo on it. WoolSports gave everyone a pair of moisture-wicking wool socks (that have the zebra mussel logo!) and wool skull caps. The bags also had shampoo and conditioner from a local upscale bath/beauty store (random, but awesome - at least for the ladies!), a Musselman race belt, and samples of Hammer and Clif nutrition products. Noticeably absent from the swag bag? That stack of advertisements that inevitably ends up in the trash/recycling bin. Way to be green, Musselman!
|It makes me so happy that the zebra mussel is on the toe of the sock!|
|Possibly one of my top 3 favorite race shirts!|
Cuddly sheep + mussel wearing
wool cap and booties! Yes, I am 5.
On Saturday evening, I met up with my parents, who had just arrived in town, to get dinner. After that, I went back to the race site to rack my bike. Until I started looking at the bike rack numbers for my spot, I completely forgot that when we registered, one of the mandatory fields was something motivational/inspirational etc. to put on your bike rack sticker. I couldn't even remember what I'd put...
|How could I forget? :)|
Then, it was back to the dorm to lay out all my race gear for the next morning... zzzzzz....
Sunday was race day, but that will get it's own race report post!
After leaving the race site on Sunday, I went back to my dorm to shower, pack up all of my stuff, and relocate to the B&B my parents were staying in nearby Phelps, NY. We had a low-key evening of eating leftovers from the night before while chatting with our hosts and another guest who also raced Musselman. And, I made a new BFF who I sadly forgot to take a picture of before leaving - Pippy, their golden retriever/black lab/Australian shepherd mix.
The Finger Lakes has a ton of vineyards and wineries in the area, so on Monday we hit the wine trail! Red wine has antioxidants, and antioxidants are good for recovery, so therefore, wine is good for recovery. That's my logic, anyway :)
We visited three wineries over the course of the day, and it was interesting how each one had its own character. I bought some super yummy locally-produced double-cream white cheddar cheese at the first place, and carried it around with me into the other wineries to have with my wine tastes. Yes, the cheese was that good. Or I was just that hungry the day after the race. I bought a few (or perhaps more than a few?) bottles of wine including a white ice wine, a wine made from apples and cherries, and a pinot noir with cherry and toffee undertones that was just delicious.
I was sad to leave on Tuesday morning. This is a really pretty area and there is so much to see and do. I started joking about starting a B&B of my own in that area, both because I liked it up there so much and out of my disinterest in going back to work the next day at my sit-at-a-computer-all-day job. It seemed like it would be easy and low-stress to check people in, make them breakfast, clean up after them, and then go ride my bike all day. (Realistically, I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that...) Then the plan got more detailed, like catering to triathletes and offering a setting for training camps with suggested bike/run routes and/or guided rides/runs. I don't know if it will ever happen, but it's something to think about... :)
Stay tuned for the Musselman race report!