But my body had other ideas this year, so it became an aquabike, e.g. the two legs of triathlon that I power through to get to the run, aka "a chance to work on my weaknesses."
I made my way up to Geneva, NY after escaping from clinic the day before. At packet pickup, I collected my block of local cheese and a baby tree (which is currently residing on my living room floor since I live in a high-rise condo surrounded by concrete. If anyone has tree-planting suggestions, please let me know. Or owns a large pot that I can borrow in the meantime. Thanks.) After being distracted by a milk crate full of apricots, I remembered I needed my timing chip and all that stuff too.
Since I'm tired of writing traditional race reports and you're probably tired of reading them, this time Imade a bunch of lists instead, since everyone on the internet likes lists:
Swim Swim Swimmin'
Things that were good:
1. No whitecaps in the lake this year. Always a plus.
2. Swimming a pleasant and relaxed 34 minutes and some change, because I'd had to re-frame this as a training day and some extra practice on the course. For future Musselman endeavors, of course.
Things that were bad:
1. Aquabike is the last wave. I'm impatient.
2. Every year I get lost in the canal. I mean, not really lost, because it's a canal. But every time I go around a turn, I get excited that I'm done, and then I'm disappointed. One of these years I should count how many times the canal turns. I'm pretty sure it's only 2 or 3. Not that hard, Adrienne.
Aquabike note: walking all the way back to transition because you can't run takes a long time. You'd think I'd be more successful at getting my wetsuit off with this extended "break". No. See image to the right, and thank you race photographer for immortalizing this moment.
What I Thought About:
1. I love you, road bike, but you are much slower than TT bike. Spine, please cooperate so I can be aero again soon. Thanks.
2. Pretend you are in the Tour de France. Pretend you are in the Tour de France. I wonder what is happening in the Tour de France right now?
3. This race is so much better than an Ironman. I wonder where I can plant that tree.
4. While spinning up the Big Hill because I'm a lightweight: QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN!!!
5. That caffeine I had this morning should be binding the adenosine receptors in my cingulate and prefrontal cortex right about now. Oh, look, horses!
Songs I Sang in My Head, in order: (further proof that I have no control over what happens in my brain while alone on the road)
1. Vanilla Ice - Ice, Ice Baby. Approximately the first 6 miles.
2. Beyonce - All the Single Ladies. Next 2 or 3 miles.
3. Sisqo - The Thong Song. Unfortunately for nearly 40 miles. I haven't even heard this song in probably 10 years.
Other Things I Did:
1. Made a new friend named Gary.
2. Stopped to pee.
3. Stopped to help a woman who needed a tube.
4. Appreciated the scenery. There are wineries and farm animals. Another perk of not going HAM.
After coming off the bike, I still had to wobble through transition, rack my bike, and trek over to the finish line to receive my spiffy bike gear medal. This is all well and good, and is meant to give aquabike athletes (aquabletes?) a quality finisher's experience. However, the reason I am aquabiking is because I'm not doing so well on two feet. So I tacked a good 10 or so leisurely minutes onto my time while I got Lady Vanilla Icecapades (road bike, christened by friend who had too much tequlia) back in place, pondered the meaning of life, and wobbled gingerly (if that's possible) out and around and towards the finish chute. My new friend from the bike course caught up to me by that point. I suggested we hold hands across the finish line. He was a good sport. I hope to see him again next year.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you finish a recreational aquabike.