Today is my day to do the final prep for the Leadman. I decided working from home was a good idea, since I have a few small errands to run in the day – to make sure I have everything that I need in order by the time I go to bed tonight for traveling tomorrow. I get home too late in the evening if I am at work for anything to be open. And I will be leaving straight from work tomorrow so I won’t be back after I hop in the car first thing in the am.
So what is there to do? Well, “packing” takes on a whole new meaning when you;re talking about traveling to race a triathlon. I have a lot of equipment to take, beyond the regular essentials of the travel kind. Here’s a quick list:
- Race day “kit” (shorts and singlet), race belt (for the race number), sunglasses
- Wetsuit, goggles, spare goggles
- Bike (partially dismantled and packed in a bike box, plus enough tools to put it back together), spare tire / repair kit, water bottles, bike shoes, helmet, lube
- running shoes, socks, visor or hat
- body glide (lubricant) and sunscreen
- nutrition products (gels and bars that I’m used to that to take with me on the bike and run to fuel my way through the race) plus the electrical tape to secure them to my bike
What makes things usually a little harder is that I may have some choices as far as some of the equipment. Which “kit” do I bring? Do I need long sleeves? Arm warmers? one piece or two piece suit? All questions one has when the equipment cupboard is overflowing.
Do I take my “race flats” (lighter, less sturdy shoes) or my regular shoes? 90% of the time I’ll race in my race shoes, but this is a trail … so is it wise to have a shoes that’s got a little more stability?
Do I take my aero helmet or my regular helmet? The aero helmet certainly offer some “free speed”… but it doesn’t breathe as well and in the heat will I wilt without that airflow?
What gearing do I put on my bike? on hilly courses you want gears that you can carry comfortably up the hills.. so do you stick with a 25 cog as the biggest on the back? or do you put a 27?
All these choices need to be made – some of them long before the race because you need to be able to make tweaks to the equipment and install items, and others can be made once you see the course. But if you’re traveling they may require you to take extra tools, etc. to deal with the decision once its made.
Plus I need some “recovery gear”… Ideally compression tights or at least calf sleeves. keep the legs from feeling totally like jello after the race. Some Epsom salts for the bath afterwards. Some advil. A bottle of whisky or vodka… you get the picture!
On top of the above, I do need to bring my regular “have a vacation” kinds of things too… short and tees, some jeans, a book or two to read. I need to decide if I’m going to bring my computer, or just my PlayBook and BlackBerry. Plus I need to dig out my passport and other things to make sure I have those tucked away nicely somewhere for the trip. All told, I’ve got a lot of packing to do!
Well, if I’m going to get to any of that, I need to get my work done! So that’s it for now… and I will check in tomorrow after work as I sit at the airport!