Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 13 and Triathlon Prep

I was so much more nervous about this race than I have been about any other previous race. This was much different than even my marathon, because at least then it was all about running. But with a triathlon, so many other factors come into play.

The last week of any training program includes a "taper," where you work less on endurance and more on just maintaining your fitness level. It's like the calm before the storm of your race- winding down the mileage, and keeping everything at a relaxed, comfortable pace.

With triathlons, I also take this last week to finish up any odd and ends related to the race. For example, I took my bike in to Bay Area Schwinn for a tune up and tire liners. I'm not super saavy with road bikes yet, and tire liners help prevent some of the smaller flats that normally occur with tires/tubes. I knew if I had a flat during the tri, I'd be DONE.

My road bike post tune-up and with my race number
(Notice my dog Buckley in his spot on the couch)  :)
I ordered some new tri clothes online as well- triathlon clothes can be pretty pricey, so I hunted some good deals online through REI and Zoot. And since my Garmin functions first as a running GPS, it needs a special sensor that mounts to the bike to track speed and cadence, so I put that on the bike and made sure it worked. I also ordered a quick release kit so that I could transition the watch from the bike to my wrist quickly.

My tri outfit
 A few days before any race, I try to hydrate as much as possible- that means water only, and at least 64 oz per day. And I always make sure to eat healthy those few days- a lot of people like to load up on carbs with pasta, but I prefer a good sandwich that doesn't make me feel totally full like pasta can. It's become a tradition/superstition for me to eat a Lenny's deli sandwich the day before a race for lunch or dinner. It turned into a fiasco when I attempted to find a location while I was running errands that Friday, but I got my sandwich!

The night before the race, I packed my transition bag, which carries all my necessities for the race. Everything in the picture below ended up in my backpack for the race. I think it's a good idea to go through this process no matter how many triathlons I do, since some races require different items. And at this most recent triathlon, the announcer noted that four people forgot helmets, and one person even forgot their bike wheel!

The night before run through transition set up.
My bag included my towel (which happened to match my bike and outfit), race number with race belt, running shoes, socks, hat, sunglasses, bike shoes, helmet, towel to wipe feet, goggles, Garmin, bandanna, cell phone, driver's license, insurance card, swim cap, GU energy gel, eye drops, and hand sanitizer.

My race day transition set up.
Any time I compete in a race, I try to stick to a routine, making sure that I have everything needed prior to race day. All the training that occurs weeks and months in advance means nothing if I'm not properly prepared for race day. I'd hate to be one of the racers who forgot a helmet that morning!

So that's what it takes for me to get to race day. I was a bundle of nerves and totally stressed about the swim, but I was ready to go for my first Olympic tri!


Rachel McPherson said...

Next time we're in the same city, I'm showing you how to change a flat tire! Just now catching up with your blog, can't wait to see how the triathlon was!!

Monica said...

LOL Rachel, no kidding. I'm totally scared to get a flat. I have no clue.