I'm sitting in a hotel room in North Austin, TX, watching the Longhorns beat the tigers out of Missouri (who picked tigers as an apropos mascot for Missouri?). Tomorrow is the Longhorn 70.3, and Amy and I have completed a long, erratic ("You guys are too unpredictable," says training partner Phillipe) pre-race day. Here's how it went down:
9:30 AM. Wakeup. We slept in, having had a long, long work week.
10:10 AM. In need of our rental car (and in need of arriving at the pro meeting by 11), we start jogging to the rental car place. What else would you do, really? Call a cab?
10:55. We realize we won't make the pro meeting.
11:15. Arrive at race site, catch last five minutes of pro meeting which, judging from the glazed look on my competitors faces, featured the regular no new news of pro meetings everywhere.
11:30. Attempt to navigate check-in line. Can someone please figure out a good way to do this at triathlons? Why does it never work?
12:15. Leave race site, on the hunt for a bicycle for Amy (oh, right, hers didn't show up from the airport—minor detail).
12:20. Eat "breakfast" and have first coffee of the day. We were so hungry and in the throes of caffeine withdrawal that we could barely focus on ordering. I kept forgetting I'd ordered food, the addiction center in my brain was so pleased at finally receiving coffee.
1:00. Arrive at Jack and Adam's, an Austin-based cycling shop, to try and sweet-talk them into renting Amy a passable bike. In a move of surprising generosity, they let us demo a brand new Felt road bike and spend about an hour fitting it to Amy. Go and see them if you're in Austin, really. Tell them thank you for us.
2:00. Head back to hotel to try and get everything we might need. Amy and I don't really read those athlete guide things, so we were a bit confused about what we needed to do. We headed back to the race site, hoping to get in a bike and a swim.
3:30-4:00. I try to get some air into my notoriously finicky wheels (disc and tri-spoke wheels are great, but they can be a bitch to inflate). Discover that THE MAVIC NEUTRAL SUPPORT MECHANICS DID NOT BRING A STANDARD CRACKPIPE/DISC WHEEL ADAPTOR. To be honest, I didn't remember to bring mine, so this is all, really, my fault. I forgot rubber bands, too, and electrical tape. For the millionth time, I told myself that I would pack one race bag, or a little stuff sack, that has all this little but important stuff in it.
4:00. 20 minute ride. Everything, amazingly, works!
4:30. We walk into transition as the announcer says "Ladies and Gentlemen, transition is closed." We set up our bikes and head back to the expo, to drop off our second transition bags (Longhorn is a two transition race this year).
5:30. We hit the water for a swim. It looked deceptively short, but took me 28 minutes to swim it, even with a wetsuit. I wasn't pushing, but I thought it would take a shorter amount of time.
6:15. We meet an awesome German woman named Miriam in the parking lot, who asks us about race numbers and tells Amy she's beautiful. Turns out she's doing her first half-iron, and she's straightforwardly German in a refreshing way. She points out that there are a lot of jerks in triathlon, which is true.
7:00. We hit Whole Foods (see the above picture—even WF gets into the whole Texas Longhorn thing, it appears) and buy barbecue, cheese, peanut butter, and bananas.
8:00. Dinner, packing for the race, hanging up wetsuits, checking things.
Soon. Collapse into bed. Amy and I have a unique ("unpredictable," again says Phillipe) way of getting ready for races. Sure, we had a curveball in finding a bicycle to borrow, but pre-race days always have curveballs. Right now we're lying in bed together, happy to have gone through a scattered day together. The great thing about having too many i's to dot and t's to cross is that you don't think about the race too much. Pre-race days when everything is taken care of, well, usually lead to an over-thought race, I've found. Still, it might be nice to lie around all days with your legs up in the air. Tomorrow there is webcasting of the race, so if you find yourself near a computer, head to the endorfunsports webpage to see how they do with it.
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