Practice Makes Permanent!

14 Apr

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I had a swim coach a few years ago repeat this mantra as we were practicing hand placement at “The Wall” as we “finished” our “race”. I’m such a goof that it never struck me to do it in triathlon for transition. Then along came Michelle Simmons.

My schedule for yesterday (2 days pre race) was to practice my transitions for 20 minutes.

WOW! After going through them once, I began to remember the frustration at ALL of my prior triathlons: “Geeze! I should have put the Chamois Butt’r on BEFORE the sunscreen and ALL of it BEFORE I PUT ON MY CYCLING GLOVES! Now I have all this shit on my hands, inevitably it will end up on my sunglasses and I will have slimy hands on my bars! Why didn’t I practice this last week?!” So, now I have. Even stripping the wetsuit! First I had to call my neighbor “C” and ask her to meet me out front and zip UP my wetsuit. I DO have the most wonderful neighbors! I took a couple laps in my pool to see if everything felt okay, no rips/holes etc.

So now practice “nailing jello to the wall”:Swim cap and goggles off and stuffed down tri top. Unzip wetsuit as I run to T1, peel right shoulder off halfway down upper arm, left side same way but the arm of the wetsuit comes all the way off, now the right arm out and start pulling the wetsuit down to my hips. Once I am next to the bike in T1 I start peeling it down and then stepping on one leg with the opposite foot pulling one foot out at a time. PLEASE LET THERE BE WETSUIT STRIPPERS AT THIS RACE! Throw wetsuit, goggles, swim cap on transition towel. Now for the actual transition practice in T1.

I have practiced placing everything exactly where it needs to be as I apply it. Sunglasses UNDER the bike gloves inside my helmet….no sunscreen overspray onto the sunglasses! My bike helmet with glasses, gloves inside sits atop my aero bars ready AFTER everything on the ground is applied: Chamois Butt’r, sunscreen, race belt,shoes. Hit “start” on Garmin for Bike Leg. Mount Bike, SMILE, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, PAY ATTENTION, SAY THANK YOU! HAVE FUN!

And Off the Bike: Hit “stop” on Garmin. Switch to “run” on Garmin. Helmet off and atop aero bars, gloves off (yes, I once wore them for 13.1 miles. That was one HOT race!) and placed inside my helmet. Bike shoes off, wipe feet while grabbing GU from inside of running shoe (for use as I run out of T2), socks on, running shoes on. Place hat on head as I run out of T2. Race belt is already on from bike. Hit “start” on Garmin. SMILE AND HAVE FUN!

So, tomorrow I race. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THE WATER! Since I am “old” and racing the “olympic” distance, my race doesn’t actually start until 08:15. It’s gonna be a scorcher! They said the water temp is only 69. But the ambient temp should top out about 80-85 during the race, and expected high of 90+ here in the BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF THE SUN!

And yes, I have a nice mix of electrolytes and lots of hydration on the short little bike ride!

For anyone interested the race is Lifetime Marquee International (Olympic). Bib # 977

I’ll give a full race report by Monday. I promise!

D

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