Thursday, September 22, 2011

Packing for a Half Ironman

by Meghann on September 22, 2011

Packing for any race is tough. Packing for a half ironman that is 8 hours away is even tougher.

There is so. much. stuff.

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๐Ÿ™‚

This is my first triathlon where I won’t be waking up in the comfort of my own home the morning of race day. I’ve traveled for marathons before, but never a triathlon. Marathons are easy – as long as you remember your shoes, you’re all set. Triathlons? not so much. You have three unique sports to take into consideration and all of the gear that goes with them.

I was kind of excited gathering all my gear up. I paired everything up in transition order and triple checked that I had everything.

Now, the real question is… did I get it all?!

Swim

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Have:

  • tri-suit
  • wetsuit
  • Body Glide
  • goggles
  • watch
  • flip flops

Still need:

  • waterproof sunscreen
  • pre-swim nutrition
  • swim cap (will be provided during packet pick-up)

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I’ve gone back and forth on wearing a watch during the race. Yes, it will create a little draft in the water during the swim, but not enough to really worry me. My wave time is nearly two hours after the official start and – with the time cut-offs to take into consideration – I’m really curious to where I stand on all three legs for piece of mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also planning on grabbing plastic bags to wear on my feet when putting the wetsuit on, I liked that tip everyone had to share.

Bike

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Have:

  • bike (already in the car)
  • bike pump (already in car)
  • spare tire + cartridges (on the bike in the car)
  • two water bottles for each of my cages
  • sunglasses
  • Garmin
  • socks
  • cycling shoes
  • helmet
  • 4 Chewy Bars

Still need:

  • Gu Brew tablets for my water bottles
  • bento box (more of a want than a need)

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The Garmin is less for time and more for watching my speed on the bike. My fear is going out too fast and wasting my legs before the run. Not good. The Garmin should help keep me at my 15 mph-ish goal. Fingers crossed.

The Chewy Bars are my nutrition of choice on my bike. They’re what I’ve been eating during training and I’m pleased with how easy they are to eat on the bike, that they don’t do funky stuff with my stomach, and they taste good. My plan is to have a 90 calorie bar every hour on the bike, plus what ever Gu Brew/ Ironman drink they have on the course.

I came pretty close to purchasing aero bars and an aero water bottle for the race, but it just got to a point where I couldn’t spend any more money on equipment. Yes, it would be nice to race in aero position, but I’m betting I’ll be fine without it. Perhaps that’s an upgrade I can invest in next season. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Run

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Have:

  • shoes
  • race belt

Need:

  • running fuel (gu chomps?)

The run part is easy – just some shoes and I’m ready to go. I’m hoping to find some gu chomps at the expo on Saturday for my run fuel, I’m clear out at home. I debated grabbing a hat (and I know people are going to suggest one), but I can’t stand running with a hat on. I’ve tried – I promise I’ve tried – but it just isn’t for me.

Also, a spy belt? Hmm…. maybe not. I’ll just stuff the chomps in the sports bra. That should work.

Transition Area

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Have:

  • towels

Need:

  • Do I need anything else?!

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Am I forgetting anything? I sure I am.

I went over my race plan with Courtney earlier and set a few goals for my race. Nothing extreme, but I do hope to come in under 7 hours. My primary goal will be to finish, of course, but having a time goal will allow me to push myself, instead of allowing myself to mentally give up. I don’t want to finish this race feeling like I didn’t give it my all, I want to finish strong and proud of what I’ve done.

This may be my only HIM (who knows what the future holds?), so I’m not allowed to have any regrets come race day – I won’t allow it! ๐Ÿ™‚

I cautiously loaded my car this afternoon and made the long drive (gotta love a healthy mix of weather and traffic) to my parents’ house. I’m staying here for the evening, then Kelly, Ben, and I are heading up to Augusta tomorrow evening. The bonus is my twin brother is in town from L.A. for the week, so I get to spend some extra time with him.

Leaving at a funky time meant it made more sense to not worry about making it to my parents’ in time for dinner and instead pack one for the road.

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Ignore the fuzzy photos. It was rainy and humid when I pulled into the rest are and my camera lens went crazy. I was too hungry to wait and worry about it.

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Dinner was a kale salad I had prepped and marinated earlier (take that Cafe Hey!)

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  • Kale
  • Tomato
  • Carrots
  • Olives
  • Chickpeas

All ‘massaged’ with lemon juice, evoo, balsamic vinegar, and salt, then refrigerated for 4 hours.

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The salad worked great as a roadside meal. No mess and all I needed was a fork to enjoy it.

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Can’t forget the bubbles.

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I saved the Attune bar to nibble on while i drove. Nothing like a little chocolate to help the time pass by.

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Now, I’m safe and sound at my parents’ house. Let the official hourly countdown begin!

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