Thursday, August 18, 2011

USAT Age Group Nationals Race Plan: Here we go

Well it's finally come together. The final touches have been put on the bike. The bags are packed. The list of morning items is complete. Here we go.

I've been thinking about and planning for this race for over a year. Since they announced the AGNC would be in Burlington. I watched some of my teammates compete for spots in Team Australia in 2009, and I've been wanting to get to go to the US champs ever since. With all this time to ruminate, the pressure had really been getting to me. Earlier this week the stress was making me feel like I might come down with a cold (and I'm not the only triathlete who experienced this). But after some good talks with my teammates and coaches, I'm feeling confident and rested, if not relaxed going in.

Last year, when I told my coach I wanted to go, I believe her first response was "those girls are fast." Now, 36 hours away, I'm thinking they better be fast if they're gonna help me get a PR.

Other than all the bike changes (a detailed list follows for your amusement), I'm planning a similar strategy to Mass State. Same nutrition plan, with a bit more fluid on the bike. Temperatures are only slated to be 72 by the time I finish, so I shouldn't have the same heat issues I had before. The swim is a strength for me, so I'm gonna try to use it to my advantage. On the bike, it's all about keeping people in my sights and hanging on. The woman I passed on the bike at Griskus will be at this race, so I'm gonna make it a goal to catch her again. The run will just be going crazy, pushing my limits and seeing what I can do. The Garmin has been acting up, so I won't have pace readings on the run, but I will still have my Polar. Go hard and go fast. That's it.

How to get a tri bike a month before your A race:

  • Decide you want a tri bike, 29 days before the race
  • Get the bike from your coach, 23 days before the race
  • Ride the bike for 40 miles and discover the computer is set up for 700 wheels instead of 650s, so the speed and distance are off (also swear that you will never ride that saddle again), 21 days before the race
  • Try to schedule a fitting at your favorite bike shop, only to have them tell you they can't fit you in til 5 days before the race, 19 days before the race
  • Schedule a fitting at another bike shop for 18 days before the race, 19 days before the race
  • Work from the road, so you can go to the shop for the fitting, only to find out that you've been double-booked and they won't be able to fit you for another week - But will give you the $300 fitting for the trouble, 18 days before the race
  • Take the aero pads off the bike to allow them to dry in the house rather than the basement after getting drenched, only to realize that I had separated the pads from the velcro, 18 days before the race
  • Order replacement pads online, 17 days before the race
  • UPS loses the pads, call the vendor to call UPS, discover that it's going to take a week to look for the package before they'll send you out a replacement, 14 days before the race
  • Attempt to change the wheel size in the computer only to discover that the you have to hook up the bike computer to a real computer to reset it, 14 days before the race
  • Go to the fitting, replace the stem, the saddle, add rear cages, replace the aero bars because the ones on there aren't adjustable (briefly consider taking the bars off the old bike to put on the new bike, until you're told the ones on the road bike are probably too short anyway) (briefly get excited that you at least have replacement aeropads that you could use with the new bars, only to discover profile designs changed the design), 11 days before the race
  • Decide to get a speedfil instead of using the rear cages, call around to many and online retailers because they are about to launch a new model so nobody's got the old model, find an old model, then order the seat-tube-mount-adapter kit online because your bike doesn't have a downtube bottle mount, 10 days before the race
  • Cancel the lost order for replacement aero pads, 10 days before the race
  • Call to see if you can pick up the bike, no, you cannot, 9 days before the race
  • Have your boyfriend rent you race wheels, 9 days before the race
  • Call at noon (might not be ready til tomorrow), at 4 (he's working on it now), at 5 (eh, probably another 90 minutes) to see if you can pick up the bike, finally at 7:30pm, pick up the bike, 8 days before the race
  • Get a mile away and realize the bike shop didn't give you back the old saddle, aero bars, etc, turn around and go back, 8 days before the race
  • Attempt to afix the new waterbottle with the seat-tube-mount-adapter, only to discover that the cage you have actually doesn't fit with the adapter, 8 days before the race
  • Freak the fuck out, 8 days before the race
  • Boyfriend contacts speedfil, gets them to send out another cage that will fit with the adapter, 8 days before the race
  • Take the bike out for a 25 mile loop, ooh, it feels so good, but I'm so thirsty, 7 days before the race
  • Decide I'm just going to have to replace that bike computer cable if I want accurate speeds, so order it too online, 7 days before the race
  • Bike computer cable arrives, 4 days before the race
  • Race wheels are attempted to be delivered, but no one is home to sign for them, have them redirected to a kinkos, 4 days before the race
  • Have an awesome send off dinner with the team, 3 days before the race
  • Pick up the wheels, 3 days before the race
  • Take wheels into yet another bike shop to have the cassette swapped over, 2 days before the race
  • Receive the water bottle cage and finally successfully mount the water bottle with limited water spilled, reset the computer to 650 wheels and put the race wheels on, 2 days before the race
  • I think that's it. I think I'm actually completely ready, and I've still got 36 hours!


Anonymous August 19, 2011 at 7:59 AM  

Good luck Laura! Be fast!

Shannon August 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM  

with time to spare ;)

have a great race, and enjoy yourself!!

Dave August 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM  

Rock it, Laura! Is there a website where I can find results?

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