And it’s the day before race day again! I love, love the day before race day. One gets to go to packet pick-up, hang out at the expo, listen to some experts speak and buy some awesome gear on sale (or not!).
For me the day before race day is a lot of activity in the morning with slow winding down as the day progresses. Charanya, my good tri-buddy who was instrumental in getting me to sign up for a triathlon and one of the founders of Tri-Oomph! and I went to the packet pick up for Danskin triathlon. The Ironchicks training was geared towards Danskin and since I was so nervous about the swim, she signed up to swim with me! She’s a seasoned tri-athlete having finished several tri’s over the last 5 years. She is beginning to train for a relay half-ironman distance with her hubby Vish. Now Cha hasn’t trained for a while. So she’s going to do this race with me after having done 1 training swim at Barton Springs with me (see comments to the previous post), 1 training bike ride and 1 training run, all in the week before the race. Now that’s what I call confidence and trust in muscle memory! I am confident she will do great and really, really happy she’s going to be out there with me! Additionally, Amit, our star Coach A is going to be a volunteer at the swim exit. Boy will I be glad to see him when I get out of the water!
So today we went to the Travis County Expo Center to pick up our race packets. My bib number is 800 and Cha’s is 834. My swim wave is the 9th one scheduled to begin at 7.29 AM tomorrow. Cha is in the next one, scheduled to start at 7.33 AM. We’ve decided that I will hang back and she will hang front so that we can swim together! I’ve also inscribed my race swim cap with the letters SIR-CHA at the back so hopefully she can spot me. We picked up our goody bag which has a great running tee, a swim cap and a tote bag, which Bharath has promptly appropriated. It says Danskin on it, so I guess people will know he got it from his wife!
Danskin also has us rack our bikes at transition 1 day prior to the race. So that’s what we did after packet pick up. My good friend Karen, from work advised me to rack the bike near the subdivision X so that at least on one side there won’t be another bike, or at least some distance away. We had to put the bib number on the bike before racking. My rack is the last one facing the lake, 4 sections from a tree and right across 3 port-a-potties! Got the mental snap in my head. I just hope no one moves it but that cannot be helped. Cha’s bike is on the next set of racks. We then walked down to the swim exit and I stood in the water a bit. I think it was great for Bharath to come with me to pick up so he could see for himself what I’d be doing. Vish explained to us where we would be entering and exiting for T1 and T2 so that was super helpful.
Cha was reminiscing about her first Danskin when she was single and had no friends in town to cheer. I’m so glad she is doing this with me, training or not! She is a bit nervous about the bike ride because she has the clips and has morbid fear of flats. Luckily this race is famous for being extremely supportive and beginner friendly so I hope there will be folks around to help if that happens. We will also have our friend Sharanya come out to cheer so it’s super exciting!
After a nice, heavy lunch of Italian pizza and pasta at Mandola’s with Vish and Cha, I came home and had to snooze because it was so hot outside. Besides I figured I won’t be sleeping much at night so I might as well rest when I can. Then I woke up and planned the transition stuff (keeping in mind Coach A will be coming to inspect). Coach A was kind to lend me his fluorescent green transition mat, claiming I will be ‘nice’ not to take up too much space as other rookies do and it will be easy to find it.
Here’s a list of the stuff I am taking
- Helmet with Bib # stuck on it
- Bike gloves
- Running shoes with elastic laces from J&A bike shop @ $5.95
- Ankle length pair of socks to avoid timing chip chafe (advisable to get chip strip but I’m too cheap to pay $10 for something like that).
- Swim cap with SIR-CHA inscribed
- Goggles (2 pairs – 1 from Coach A for back-up)
- SPI belt with race number attached (got 2 lace locks and elastic string to convert SPI belt into excellent race belt for $2.25)
- Sunglasses inside SPI belt
- Timing chip inside SPI belt (better remember to wear it before the swim!)
- Nutrition including GU gels, Kashi bars etc.
- Sundry lotions such as sunblock, bug spray, chafing stick (thanks to Coach A), moisturizing lotion etc.
- Water bottles (currently in the freezer so that the bottles have chilled water as the day progresses) – 1 for bike, 1 for run (with holder and GU packed in) and 1 general/back-up.
- 1 small bike pump.
- My bike has a couple of CO2 cartridges and flat repair kit though god knows what I will do with it if a flat happens
- Danskin tee for change of clothes
- 1 pair of shorts for change of clothes
- Towel (bright yellow)
- Bright green T mat
- 1 pair of flip flops (which I will wear to there)
It’s all neatly packed into my bag right now. I don’t know if I will need anything more but we will find out after this first race!
Dinner will be light – lentils pasta (worked wonders during my first half marathon so will stick to the recipe – sauteed onions, garlic, mixed with boiled whole masoor and pasta. I might add a bit of cheese too. Salt and pepper!).
I’m ready to get out there and Tri-Oomph!