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    8-5-2015 7-21-00 PM

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Weekend Update

Gobs of SSSMST’ers went far and wide to race this past weekend.

We start in Muncie, Indiana for the 70.3 race.  Muncie is notorious for being beastly hot and humid.

Brian Stern battled the elements to make the podium in his age group!

Bad swim good bike and better run. Not perfect but good enough suffering to podium.  

Next, we go way east to Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland for the Xterra  EX2 offroad triathlon.


Great road trip with John, Z, and Rood to Maryland for the EX2 xterra triathlon. Willse has been trying Tom get people to go to this thing for 5 years. Headed out sturday with a cooler full of beer and 4 bikes on a truck. Drover to the middle of nowhere to a great hilly venue at a casino resort. Preroad the course, and determined that this as going to be a tough race.
Held it easy on the swim, had a really good bike, then survived the run. WhenWillse first told us the 5 mile run took him about 45 minutes, we made fun of him. He said ” you’ll see’. We saw. It wan’t really a run, as much as a jungle-like bouldering and crawling session. Sure, there was a little running here and there. but mostly going either really steep down, ore really steep up. It as painful.
All 4 of us got on the podium. Great work by Z and Rood to step up and do their first mountain biking ever on a really difficult course.


Finallly we head northeast to the Finger Lakes Region of New York and the Musselman Triathlons.  If you so choose, this is a two day affair with a sprint distance on one day and half iron the next!


Jen P on the podium at Musselman!!

Jen P on the podium at Musselman!!


Despite the tropical weather we were experiencing, I really enjoyed this race. I can’t say I was going as fast as I wanted, but this race was being used as a race prep/long traingin day for IMMOO. I raced Musselman once before, and said I would do it again. This year did not change that thinking, and I’ll be back again.

Fantastic seeing all the Clevelanders on the course (Ryan, Durno (Ed – who let that guy in?), Gibbs, Snakebite, CTC, Fleet Feet, and of course SSSMST)! The fan support was great as usual and everyone kept it together for a strong finish! Like I heard a fan say during the run “if you can do it today, you can do it anyday!”


Musselman – without question, my favorite triathlon. I needed this race. It was not by any means a perfect performance, but it gave me the confidence I needed to enter the final training and preparation for the big race in September and I was SO happy with the end result.

The short version: Swim – made it through. Bike – pain. cave. Run – comeback kid!
The long version: The swim was pretty uneventful. The lake was nice and calm and the water a comfortable 70 degrees. I really have not been swimming so I wasn’t expecting much. I focused on staying long and used it as a nice warm up to start the day off. Not fast, not terribly slow. Given the amount of swim training I’ve done, I’m not disappointed. I can get the swim ready for Wisconsin in the next 8 weeks. 

The bike is where things got interesting. I’ve been logging a lot of miles and was looking forward to see what I could do on my new pretty blue bike. The first 28 miles I felt fantastic. I was hoping to finish the bike around 3 hours and was right on target. I was taking in nutrition and plenty of water, taking note of the hot sun beating down on us. And then things changed in a hurry. Somewhere shortly after mile 30 my left calf muscles turned into one gigantic knot. When it first started I tried to stay calm and positive. I focused on staying relaxed and tried stretching it and started pounding my electrolyte drink. Too little, too late – it wasn’t going away. I was in serious pain feeling like my calf was just ripping itself apart with every turn of the crank arm. With a good 20 miles left, I was deep into the pain cave and started to give up mentally. I told myself to just keep moving and soft pedaled the last 15 miles, clinging to a little hope that maybe once I got off the bike it would loosen up. I don’t quit races. Entering T2 I was formulating my strategy for the run, but I was in so much pain I was also mentally preparing myself to accept defeat for the day if I had to call it quits to avoid injury. The thought of ending the day and the pain had me nearly in tears as I came to the bike dismount line.

My strategy for getting out of T2 and out of the pain cave was simple – just keep moving. So I did, slowly at first. To my great surprise over the first two miles, the cramp relented and the pain started to go away. I was ecstatic. I decided the rest of the race would be nothing but fun! With a smile, I encouraged every runner I passed and thanked every volunteer and Geneva resident for cheering. I even paused at the top of the big hill in the middle of the course to do a little dance with the band that was playing for encouragement. The dividends were huge. While many were struggling in the heat, I was tackling the tough run course with ease and strength. In the last mile I glanced at my watch and knew I was headed for a PR. I came in at 5:45, a 12 minute PR and good enough for 4th in my age group. Elated – no other word to describe how I felt after a tough day. I learned from this race that my training is working and more importantly got to practice the mental toughness that I’ll need to get me through Ironman Wisconsin in 8 weeks.

SSSMST had some outstanding performances as did many of the area triathletes that were there. Great to see so many familiar faces. Huge congratulations to everyone! What a great weekend!

Jen & Murph post race

Jen & Murph post race

Jen P (mini mussel):

Double mussel race weekend started off Saturday morning with a sprint race. Even though I was racing Sunday I planned to go pretty hard, which I did. The race overall went well with the exception of passing the scene of the athlete who crashed. I took the time to take a good look to be sure it wasn’t anyone I knew but I wish I hadn’t as it was a disturbing scene with much blood and CPR being performed. I immediately burst into tears but kept racing which frankly did not feel right. I got myself together and said just race hard and send positive thoughts. Unfortunately this athlete did not make it. The picture in my head is one I will not forget and hope to never witness again. Definitely puts things into perspective.

Jen P (musselman):

Double mussel continued with Sunday racing the Musselman half-iron. The swim went well-a PR for a HIM swim for me. The water was fantastic-no chop this year and a great temperature. The bike seemed tougher in the past with some wind. Frankly I think I was perhaps a bit too conservative on the bike however it paid off as I had a fantastic run. I started the run and felt fantastic. Now this race the run is tough-the first half can eat you alive and make you pay. So I was certain to keep an eye on my HR and how I felt. It was getting hot. The aid station volunteers were wonderful. Sponges, water, ice. Repeat. And many folks got out with their hoses to douse you as you ran by. Awesome! And that was key to making it through. Fortunately I continued to feel fantastic and finished strong with a smile. I tell ya that is one of the best feelings…so I’ll keep that in the back of my mind for IMMOO.


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