Tomorrow’s the 1st race of the season… a “warm up” race that, as of this moment today promises to more chilly than anything. It’s been raining all day. Heck, it’s been raining all week. A week of wet, chilly runs and spin classes. Ugh. I don’t know what I was expecting. I may or may not have already mentioned that the vast majority of my races back in 2010 were in the cold or (and often AND) rain. Those race included multiple sprint tris, a half-Ironman distance triathlon and a full marathon run in the rain. Yes, it rained the ENTIRE 26.2 miles. Every last one of them.
Tomorrow’s tri is a brick workout in week 12 of the 70.3 training plan – we managed to time this first race perfectly. Except for the rain part. So, while the race tomorrow is just a .5 mile swim, a 14.4 mile bike and a 5K run, I will spend my evening steeling myself against the idea that I will be spending yet another few hours of my life submersed in water chillier than most normal people would tolerate, and then biking and running in 50-60 degree weather and into potentially driving, pouring rain. Hooray.
But I digress.
In the meantime, it’s prep time. Time to make sure I have all of my gear. Fortunately, the internet is chock-full of sample prep lists … what, oh what did we ever do before Google? Here’s my own preliminary version:
Swim / for the morning:
- Warm clothes for setting up your transition area
- Swimsuit / tri suit
- Goggles (plus an extra pair just in case)
- Swim cap (including a neoprene cap to go under the race cap in case you’re swimming in water cold enough to freeze your noggin)
- Baby powder for your swim cap
- Timing chip
- Body Glide, vaseline or other lube of choice – apply pre-swim and leave at transition area for shorter distances (may want to also include in bike to run transition bag if there are 2 separate transition areas)
- Bike Shoes
- Bike Shorts
- Water bottle / hydration
- Race belt with bib # pre-attached
- Arm warmers and leg warmers or Jacket and pants
- Bike gloves
- Running shoes
- Hat or visor or headband
- Water bottle
- Snacks – bars, gels, chews, whatever you use for race day fuel (remember not to try anything new…)
- Clothes for after the race
- Advil or pain killers (depending on the length of the race and how prepared you are of course…less prepared=more pain killers)
- Wet wipes – I usually have some of these or use a towel at transition that I dump water on and wipe my face off after I get off the bike. You know, to get all of the bugs off my face and outta my grill and all…
I fully expect I have forgotten something here. And I fully expect that even if I didn’t forget ANYTHING on this list, I will probably forget something tomorrow. Hopefully it will be something really unimportant (though I’m not sure that on this list I’m willing to give up… baby powder, I guess.)
Anyway, recognizing this is the 1st race of the year and I’ve probably definitely forgotten how to do this, my other race day advice for myself and any other 1st race of the year individuals?
- Give yourself enough time on race morning to do everything you need to do. Don’t forget to get up early enough to eat and let your stomach settle. What is that your mom always said about swimming after you ate?
- You’ll probably have to park a little ways away and cart your stuff, so be prepared for that – bring a backpack or a gym bag or something (not like me, one of the first race I did, I just threw everything in the car and had to hand-carry it all in multiple trips back and forth from the car to the transition area. Not the recommended course of action).
- Getting there early also means you’ll have plenty of time to set everything up so you can find it when you get out of the water and are running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to minimize your transition time.
- And of course, getting there early will also mean you’ll have time to squirm and wiggle your way into your wetsuit in a more relaxed fashion. You know, with some dignity. Like the rest of us. Ha.
Good luck, have fun, and happy racing everyone!