The days leading up to a big race are always a bit different. This one is a bit different than even those different days.
People that do more than one race over the summer divide them up for training purposes. The A races (1 or 2 at most) are the important ones you build your training around, and plan to peak for. B races are ones you hope you do well on, but they could be at the 'wrong' part of your training cycle, or you might be trying to execute some specific race plan. C races are what is left, done for the experience, or treated as a supported training day.
Races are exciting, wondering how you'll do, hoping for good weather, hoping your buddies have a good day, hoping that nothing goes wrong along the way. There are so many things that could go wrong, both in the training buildup to the race, and on race day itself. Most racers try to do as little as possible the day before.
Most triathletes are compulsive list makers and detail checkers. You need all the gear for three sports while taking into account the weather, plus clothes for before and after the race for a potential variety of weather conditions, plus water and nutrition, plus extra gear in case of a flat, plus remembering all the details of 3 different courses, and the transition areas between them.
I'm only doing the one race this year, at least so I think now, so by definition it's my A race. But my part of it will be over in no time at all, and it doesn't take much prep. It's supposed to be 1.9 K swim, but who knows how far it will really be. Open water swims are notorious for being a bit short, or a bit long. I'm looking forward to getting in, and getting'er done. The race plan as laid out in yesterdays blog is still good, though I'll try to avoid the messy part of it.
Today at bike check in we scoped it all out. It's a pity that the team bike rack is as far from the entrance to T1 as it is possible to be, but it is what it is. All of us team swimmers are in the same boat. It's a long way for me to run after the swim, but once I'm standing I should be ok. As long as I don't trip over any of the curbs along the way I'll be fine. Then I'm done, except for cheering. I will have bells.
The hard part of the day belongs to Michelle, biking 90 K, then running 21.1 K. She will have gluten free cookies waiting for her at the finish line. I hope that if the going gets tough, they will call to her, and keep her moving. At least the weather is looking good. Some of my buddies are in the race, and I certainly hope they have good days.
I can look at all the race prep, and do everything in my power to help Michelle have a good day, but I'm not feeling the wish that I was doing it myself. The bike is better since the bike fit, and the run has been good lately. The swim is probably better than it's ever been, but you'd think so with the training focus there. None the less, I'm not in shape to do a half iron. I might get 90 K done on the bike, but I don't think I'd be very happy at the end, and it's been a long time since I've run a half marathon. Even an Oly might be pushing it.
After the race I'll try to get out on the bike more while we still have summer, and work on the run, while maintaining swim fitness. I'm hoping to have a really good winter on the bike trainer. Once I see how that goes, I'll start thinking about next year's races.
Here's my list for first thing in the morning. Early. Really early. My swim wave is 6:45, and lots to be done before that.
Here's T1, looking from where we will be running in. I go down along the fence forever, then turn right.
We spent a bit of time indulging our bike porn habit. So many pretty bikes!