Thursday, November 24, 2011

IMAZ Pre-Race

You can find my actual race report here:  it has been updated with pictures since I first posted it.  :)  For those of you who like to know how my actual preparation for the race went (especially if you are a newbie or doing the race next year)- you may find this post interesting/helpful! :)

Pre-Race : Only two meltdowns!

I felt different going into this race.  Usually I LOVE being around all the hype- hanging out at the expo, shopping, wearing all my tri-geek stuff, talking with other athletes, etc… but this weekend I wanted nothing to do with it- I was focused on staying calm and resting up for the big day.  I was pretty boring to be around actually- I was in good spirits, but all I wanted to do was eat, hydrate, execute my pre-race workouts and prep, and sleep.   By SLEEP, I mean, ASLEEP by 8:30PM Friday and Saturday night- and most of my pre-race week as well!

We flew in on Thursday and I took the day off training- I wanted to get myself situated.  I did the necessary packet pickup and bike-pickup (used Tri-Bike transport) at Expo and got the heck out of there.  I unpacked and got my bike, bags, etc. ready to go.  Dan and I went to House of Tricks for dinner- What a cute, romantic, and cozy little restaurant!

I wanted to get a feel for my race pace on the bike course with the wind, so Friday and Saturday Dan drove me out to the Beeline so I didn’t have to deal with all the traffic and cars and other athletes in-town.  I felt okay on Fri., but was still surprisingly a little sluggish- obviously that meant I needed more food and sleep. :)  My mom flew in Friday afternoon, and the three of us joined my coach Jen and her husband Jerome, along with (new) friends Molly, Tracy, Jen, and a few others for lunch at Pita Jungle.  Yum!

After more rest and a last-minute CVS run, we had an early dinner at Monti’s with our friends Tabitha and Carl, along with Scott Neyedli- he is a pro triathlete that they were hosting for the race (who went 8:29 and took 11th!!).  The Roman Bread was simply delicious and perfect for pre-race!  My brother also flew in Friday night, but I was already asleep, so my amazing husband went to pick him up from the airport :)

On Saturday I finalized my transition and special needs bags, and headed over to the swim to get a feel for water.  Yup- just as I remembered it- cold (61 degrees).  I didn’t wear a thermal cap or booties or anything and honestly I was fine.  Nothing to worry about for the race- I knew my TYR Hurricane wetsuit would keep me warm!  I did tear a small hole when I was putting it on- oops!  I had remembered to pack wetsuit glue, so it was an easy fix when I got back to my hotel later that day. 

From there my people were waiting for me to take me back to the Beeline for one more shake-out ride.  This time, I felt FANTASTIC!  Right at race watts, I was happy with how I felt and the speed I was going- yay!  But then… 

MELTDOWN #1.  I had planned to meet my crew at the turnaround- they were going to “check out” the casino then pick me up.  Yeah, ummm… I was waiting at the side of road for 15-20 minutes without a cell phone!!  Gaaaa…. There was a miscommunication for how “long” I would be riding… at least I had time to stretch!  Love you guys!  

I did a short shake-out run after that… my first one in a week.  Pace was fine, but ankle felt awful… well, at least I knew what to expect for race day!  We headed back to the race site to turn in my transition bags… and discovered I took my special needs instead- oops.  Easy fix- I would switch them in the morning.  Another lunch at Monti’s with Dan’s Mom, Dad, and sister Leslie who had flown in the evening before, then back for more rest before dinner.

MELTDOWN #2- lost garmin charger.  Seriously??  Dan and I had JUST seen it hours before.  We never ended up finding it.  I was FREAKING OUT- my race plan was very dependent upon pacing.  Luckily, Carl and Tabitha saved the day and let me borrow theirs- THANK YOU!!!.  

We went to their place for a homemade, very plain (yet delicious) pre-race dinner with Scott, his girlfriend Lisa (who just SWAM the English Channel in 10 hrs. in July!), his mom, and our new Australian friends Greg Farrell (who ended up 2nd in his AG!!) and his girlfriend Alison.  It was a perfect, relaxing evening to calm nerves and get excited for the race!


I woke at 3:45am (15min before my alarm) wide awake.  I ate my breakfast, got my gear and nutrition, and was out the door and at the race site by 5:30AM.  Again, I was NOT into the hype- I wanted to focus and stay calm, so I put on my headphones, kept my head down and went about my business.  Switch Transition and Special Needs Bags, put nutrition on bags and bike, drop off special needs bags, wait in looooong line to get air pumped in tires, check to make to sure brakes aren’t rubbing, put bike in desired gear, get body-marked, go to bathroom (a few times) then get wetsuit on at 6:35.  Using Tri-Slide it slipped right on- I also used Tri-Slide in my bike shoes and run socks.  NO BLISTERS- AT ALL!!  I also “foggled” my goggles and sunglasses- worked like a charm- no fogging, even after my goggles got knocked off twice…I handed my dry clothes and gear off to my wonderful mother, and I got in the water about 8-10 minutes before the gun went off (had to swim ~100yds to get to start), took my position, and waited… When the gun went off, I KNEW that I would be done in under 11 hours…


AJ said...

Laura - I have been so impressed with your training, dedication, toughness and spirit this year. I already knew that you are an amazing person, but this race proved it! Thanks for sharing!

Caratunk Girl said...

LOVE the pre-race - your dedication and training this year have been so amazing!!