I don’t think I’ve ever shown up at the Danskin Triathlon with all my bits and bobs sorted out. You’d think that I’d have a checklist or something highly organized like that but I never do. I’ve had years where I’ve forgotten my swimming goggles, my helmet all sorts of key items. Now that I think about it, there’s actually quite a long list of items I have to lug to the race. I’m going to do myself a favor and write it down, for next year.
- Flip flops I’m cool with never seeing again – seriously, we have to walk down a boat ramp to get to the water. It’s ouchy on tender feet. You can wear the fip flops until you enter the final portion before you enter the water where they have this lovely carpet stuff. Not ouchy at all. Now I’ve “rescued” my shoes for the last couple of years but that doesn’t guarantee anything.
- Swimming/biking/running outfit – there is no “changing” mid race. Maybe chuck a t-shirt over the top when you head out on the bike, but really something you can wear to do all three elements of the race is ideal.
- Goggles – I love that Decker Lake doesn’t require a wet suit but goggles are a must. That’s some murkey water people.
- Swimming cap – the race people give you one of these when you register so it’s not technically something to pack but you do have to have it on race day so must be in your “go” bag on Sunday morning.
- Race number sticker for helmet
- Running shoes
- Yanks – these are handy dandy shoelaces that speed up the whole “lacing up” process to a quick “yank” hence the name. Not a must have but handy.
- Small towel for getting your feet clean-ish and dry before you shove them in your shoes
- Water – if you haven’t swallowed a gallon of the lake already a little mouth sluice is helpful. Plus something to swig on mid race helps too.
- Gu – depending on your need, a little nutritional pick me up does wonders.
- Baseball Cap – or basically something more than sunglasses for shade. In Texas that sun can be brutal!
- Race belt
- Race number – clipped to the belt so you can quickly pop it around your waist
- Gu again – you’ve got to run a 5K remember and there’s a pretty nasty hill right at the end just to make sure your ass is well and truly kicked.
- Cell phone – preferably with a camera so you can snap pics of your bad ass self
- Lightweight bag to put all this stuff in and somewhere to stash your car keys and phone while you’re out on the course. FYI – on this one my friend Fro picked a bright orange bag and hung it on the end of her bike rack. This was the FIRST time she didn’t run right past her bike so something must have worked. But then getting the end spot is highly unusual so something to mark where all your stuff is in the throng is also ideal.
- A friend to wish you good luck at the beginning and high five you at the end. I never forget this one.
So as I mentioned, I’m usually fairly scatterbrained about the whole prep and packing situation for the race. This year I, while I still didn’t write it down, I was SO sure I’d remembered everything.
Last year I forgot the bike helmet – a particularly bone headed move if I do say so. This time when I packed in San Francisco I talked myself through the race. I mean really, it’s been SEVEN times already. I don’t need a list. Then, back in the hotel room in Austin the night before the race, I laid out all my items and checked again. Yes, yes, yes – everything was there.
Why all the fuss this year? Well apart from helmet-gate last year it was the only thing I HAD prepared for. As I mentioned in my last post I was not my usual fit-self going into the race, and I was nervous. Having the wrong kit would just push me over the edge and send me into a full blown tizzy.
So on the morning of the race day I walked down the hallway of my hotel and something felt weird. I couldn’t figure out what it was.
Then, standing there waiting for the elevator, I looked down at all my stuff. I had my helmet, my carefully packed bag and was wearing the swim/run/bike outfit and my flip flops. Everything should be right.
Then I figured out what was weird. That was the problem, everything was right. I was wearing two right flip flops.
I started to laugh. Two right shoes could only be a good omen. This was going to be a good race after all. All my nervousness and concern for the race fell away. I was still ridiculous me who just couldn’t get her stuff together.
And it was a good race. Without the pressure of beating my time I took the race at what I thought was a leisurely pace. I chatted with swimmers and bikers and runners and generally had a good time. Funnily enough I didn’t even post my worst time. Not close to last year’s stellar performance but not awful. I still managed to finish in the top 50% of my age group.
Don’t get me wrong, I was WIPED OUT for the rest of the day. I was physically drained. I really wasn’t in the physical shape to complete the race but my head and my heart won that one.
Fro and I talked after the race. I remember saying “Wow, that time wasn’t bad. If I’d trained I might have done well.” She laughed at me and commented that we both said that every year. And maybe for the 2013 race we’d actually make it true.
She’s right you know about saying “I’ll train for next year” and I sure hope she’s right about the training for 2013, for both of us.
So maybe between my two right shoes and her two rights we just can’t make a wrong.