Saturday, June 16, 2012


Well, the time has come.  My routine has changed and I'm focused in recovery and getting ready for race day.  This includes: PACKING.

I finished packing my race gear and gave it to the man-friend for him to take up to Idaho in his car.  He's driving and took off Friday to spend a wonderful summer weekend in Jackson and continue on to Boise on Sunday afternoon.  He will be spending Monday through Thursday at his cabin until he picks me up at the Spokane airport on Thursday night.

After a nice lil pool conversation with a friend today, I realized I should probably describe what getting ready for a triathlon means and what I'll do with all my gear on race day since a few of my readers are not triathletes.

Swim. Bike. Run.  This pretty much describes a triathlon, but there's also race morning, transitions and post-race.  These last 3 "legs" are as important as the other three and require as much preparation. So now, down to business:

1. Race morning: The morning of my race I pretty much follow the same routine.  I wake up, jump in the shower and try to relax.  I usually do something special with my hair, like braid it or come up with something that'll keep the hair out of my way, but still looks cute and girly.  I like to feel girly on tough days.  I wear my tri kit (I'll get to this later) but wear comfy pants and a sweatshirt.  Sometimes a beanie (depending on how cold it's outside).  I wear comfy warm socks and crocs.

Priya and myself before leaving the house in CDA.  Couple hours before the start of Ironman CDA 2011
2. Swim: This is most times the most scary part of a triathlon.  There's a little too many people trying to swim in front, next, on top, or even below you.  It looks something like this:

Ironman CDA 2011 swim start - Full on contact sport. 
In addition to being prepared to getting kicked and punched, water temperature plays a huge role on how you dress.  In lake Coeur D'Alene, the water temperature is roughly 55 degrees on race day.  Cold.  So I wear (on top of my tri shorts and sports bra) a long sleeve wetsuit, neoprene booties, a warm swim cap and my race cap on top.  Looks something like this:

Lake CDA ninjas!! 
3. Transition 1 (or T1): This is the area where you transition from swim to bike.  In full Ironman events, there's these people called "wetsuit strippers" who will help you get out of your frozen wetsuit, but any other triathlons you do this on your own.  The gear I usually have there is well, my bike as well as all my bike gear (I'll get to that in a minute), but my T1 gear consists of a towel to clean up my feet (from sand) and dry them up, a water bottle (one that I will not take with me on the bike) and some nutrition.  Also, some sunscreen.  That never fails.  Also, always try to remember where you've set your gear, since transition area looks something like this:

Transition area at Ironman CDA 2011
Again, there's some differences with a full Ironman triathlon and a smaller event.  In Ironman you will get a chance to go to a tent to change and get ready for your next leg, so not only do you have to remember where your bike is, but also your number, since you'll have to look for your transition bag in a place like looks a lot like this:

Someone please find my bag!!! 
4. Bike: Before you head out on your bike ride, you gotta make sure you got it all.  First, well, your bike.  Then your cycling shoes, gloves, helmet and sunglasses. Water bottles, bike computer, nutrition.  Of course, you gotta be prepared for it all and an extra tube as well as CO2 is important to have with you.  Now, nutrition is key since it will be what will make your ride successful or dreadful.  You gotta count your calories beforehand and bring enough food with you.  You gotta have a plan of action.  What if it's chilly?  Well, you also gotta have arm and leg warmers and maybe even something for your ears.  And last but not least... during a race, you HAVE to have your bib number with you.

Yes, cycling gear makes you look like a clown.  I understand that. 
5. Transition 2 (or T2):  Once you are off your bike, you gotta find your spot again.  That's where you wanna drop off your bike, and usually where your running gear is waiting.  I usually don't need the towel, but I do drink some more water and eat a little more.  This is usually a good time to re-apply sunscreen and pay the porta-potty a visit.

6. Run: I like wearing clean, dry socks.  Compression socks for longer runs (e.g. half marathon or longer).  I also like running with a hat, but usually don't bring sunglasses.  You also gotta carry your nutrition and a race belt with your number.

Gorgeous afternoon for a run in Coeur D'Alene 2011
7. Finish and post-race: Once you cross that finish line, you've accomplished what you've trained for.  Both your mind and body go into "rest mode".  You always want to have something comfortable to wear.  After a small race, I usually wear some shorts and a t-shirt (and take off my tri top).  After Ironman, I go back to comfy pants and a sweatshirt.  Always, ALWAYS wear what you think will be the most comfortable outfit.  It will help put a smile in your face.

Oops... not this!  Although this was warm! 

Ah.. nice!  Pants and sweatshirt! 
And I believe that's it.  So, as you can see, lots of gear, lots of thinking, lots of nutrition.  And if you've read this far and I didn't bore you too much, I'm sure you are ready to do an Ironman.  Now, back to doing laundry.


  1. Great post! I am so happy I, in part, inspired such great info. I can't wait to use what you said to get through my (pathetic, in comparison) race!

    1. Haha yeah!! I figured I'd put it out there :). And your race is not pathetic! I'm scared shitless of that Alcatraz swim!! ;)