Wednesday, December 22, 2010

IMWA: The Morning Of

When's the last time you set your alarm for 3:30 in the morning?

When mine sounded, I leaped - leaped! - from bed and into jeans and a t-shirt. The plan was to walk down to the start/transition area (15 minutes away), check in, get marked, and then walk back to the chalet to suit up, eat breakfast and use a real toilet. I was foiled, though - apparently you need to show up with your timing chip already strapped to your leg, and mine was still on my shelf back in the chalet. Despite my protests, I was turned away. I ran - ran - home and had to adjust my morning routine on the fly.

Earliest picture ever taken
When I got back, Kristine was already up scrambling eggs and Russell was re-heating his leftover gnocchi. You know how they say never to change anything on race-day? I took that to heart. My pre-race breakfast consisted of the same darn thing I've eaten for breakfast before every big ride over the past six months: four eggs, half a can of diced pineapple, two glasses of orange juice and a meal bar. Again, not the most carb-heavy cuisine, but hey - that's how I roll!

After slamming down breakfast, it was time to suit up and head back over to transition for one final, pre-race check of the bike. After topping off the tires, situating my on-bike nutrition and calibrating my Garmin, I was ready to start sliding into my wetsuit.

Setting up the bike

Wetsuit Step #1 - Bodyglide (in transition)

Wetsuit Step #2 - Legs (halfway to start line)

Wetsuit Step #3 - Arms (fifty meters from start line)

The process was a bit stressful - at one point, I realized I had left a bar in one of my pockets and had to pull the suit back down to my waist to remove it - but didn't take long. Once suited up, it was time to head down to the beach on the east side of the jetty with the start of my first Ironman triathlon just minutes away.