Tomorrow morning I’m doing the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon in Denver, courtesy of Athleta. This will be my third time doing this race. They changed the venue this year, so I am a course virgin.
2011 (check out my pinky. I must think I’m sipping a cup of tea, or giving you the finger)
I love this race because:
- Estrogen is overflowing at this 100% women’s race
- This is a first time triathlon for a lot of the people who do this race. Lots of inspiring stories.
- There are tampons and aromatic antibacterial soaps on a table outside the potties
- At the end, there is the absolute best spread of food I've ever seen at a race and you eat on linen table cloths
My old lady wave (45+) starts at 7:30 a.m. I will be the one in the orange cap. This means about a 4:30 a.m. wake up call. Early morning wake ups suck, but they REALLY suck when you are racing and stressed and trying to remember every detail in the world.
That said, here are My Tips for Race Morning:
1. Do the things that you CAN do the night before. Lay out your race outfit. Pack your bag (don’t forget to have post race clothes and flip flops). Prepare your breakfast and stick it in the fridge. Set the coffee pot on a timer. Print out directions to the race start. Charge your Garmin/iPod, etc. Pin on your bib. Set your alarm.
For a triathlon I used a packing list like this one.
Getting organized the night before will remove some stress and you will sleep like a baby (a baby with colic, that is – I usually don’t sleep well the night before a race).
(Btw, if you are looking for a triathlon bag to lug all your crap in, Ken got me this one a couple years ago for Christmas and it is the BEST).
2. Wake up. Breathe. Don’t stress yourself out. Think of a mantra or quote that calms you down. I like, “Think strong. Be strong. Finish strong.” Take your nervous energy and channel it into the positive.
3. Start drinking water. Especially if your race is long one and will be hot, you hopefully will have started hydrating a couple days before the event. But, be sure to take in a significant amount of water a couple hours before. That should give you enough time to pee it out.
4. Eat something. Like they say, don’t do anything new on race day. This means eat whatever you normally eat. For me, it’s peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread and a banana.
5. If you are into this sort of thing, drink a large cup of steaming coffee. Hopefully this will lead to #6 (well, it will actually lead to number two, but you know what I mean).
6. Poop. There is nothing better than having a satisfying dump on race morning.
7. If time allows, re-check the weather and make sure you’re prepared for anything.
8. For God’s sake, get there early. The last thing you want to do is add to your race day stress by running late. Give yourself time to take in the start area, warm up a bit, put on sunscreen and most importantly, used the loo.
9. Now, go out and enjoy the hell out of yourself. Remember - first place, last place or somewhere in the middle - you GET TO DO THIS and you are extremely fortunate.
What’s your tip for race morning?
Do you have a mantra you particularly love?
PS: If you are going to be there tomorrow, let me know!