Here it was, the week before the sprint triathlon. I tapered my workouts to the following; a bike preview on Monday of the course, running 5 miles on Wednesday, skipped all strength training, and did a slow and slightly painful 4.75m on Friday. I was feeling way more excited than nervous but I was VERY concerned about the water temp of the canal (Hudson River); it was gong to be around 70 degrees which can shock your system. I was pretty convinced someone was going to kick me and I’d panic and swallow a ton of PCB filled canal water. (Spoiler: I didn’t)
The bike preview that Monday was a great idea; it was a low-stress way to get oriented with the roads and calm my nerves. Unlike most people, I was most nervous about the biking portion of the race. I had a Diamondback hybrid meant for casual Sunday spins, not triathlons. Spoiler: using that bike was a mistake. Not a disastrous one per se, but definitely a mistake.
We arrived at the Hudson Crossing Park bike transition area and there were about 12 other bikers there preparing. I ran into a nice lady I happened to have taken a Spanish course in college with and we took off to familiarize ourselves with the course. It was… hilly. And laborious. To say the least. I become more worried about my bike. EVERYONE (except one 15-year-old girl who told me she literally hadn’t swam since last year’s triathlon and was using a mountain bike) had nice road bikes. My bike’s thick tires and heavy frame was ill-fiting for a triathlon and I knew this was something I knew going into it. I made a joke about it. No one laughed.
Then Saturday, the day before the race, we went up to Lake George on my dad’s boat for the first time this season. Lake George is one of my most favorite places in the world to be. The water was a brisk 63 so I made a point of lowering myself in dramatically and vocally lamenting to anyone who would listen over how cold I would be the following morning in the canal.
For our late lunch at the lake, I really took advantage of the idea of “carb loading”. French fries, chicken wings, pretzels with cheddar sauce, soft-serve ice cream; I said no to nothing! I got home and got all my gear ready:
– towel for drying off my feet
– chamois for drying off my body
– Pearl Izumi triathlon suit (LOVED this – no chafing, good support, right level of padding)
– sports bra (when a tri-sut just won’t hold the ladies down)
– sweats and warm-up shirt
– socks filled with Gold Bond powder
– Gold Bond powder to fill my sneakers (this worked out great)
– tight headband (could never, ever workout without it!)
– Bag Balm for lube (so what if it’s for cow udders)
– Garmin GPS watch to use on my bike to track my pace
– regular watch to time the whole race and splits as Garmin can’t go underwater
– iPod for warm-up motivation tunes (I was reminded many times the day of NO MUSIC ALLOWED DURING THE RACE)
– goggles full of spit 🙂
-swim cap to wear under my race-official one for warmth and in case it ripped (I didn’t end up doing this)
I went to bed early (it was still sort of light out!) and dreamt of drowning in the Hudson River.
More to come!