T-minus 15hours and 15 minutes (roughly) before Tri the Parks, Indian Springs State Park!!!!
Excited is the word I would use right now, not nervous. Ready to get this thing the hell on. Do I think I am going to best my fastest sprint time? I am not sure, but I am going to have a good time doing it.
Last night was my last workout this week before my race. Actually I really slacked this week, but it will turn out ok. Bike + Transition Practice (yes I will get more to this later) on Thursday, full tri on Saturday (so it picks up 3 workouts) and then an open water swim on Sunday. So my week will be lopsided, but that is ok.
So last night, James was to help me out with my transition times. My fastest times in a Sprint race have been a total of about 2:20-2:30. So last night we practiced in his cul-de-sac, and although the distance was shorter than my average run through transitions, we compensated for this by adding 10 seconds to T1 and 10 seconds to T2. I think the point I want to hammer home to everyone (and I am sure that I am preaching to the choir, save the people that have never actually practiced their transitions), IS TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A (SOME) SYSTEM IN PLACE, MEMORIZE THAT SYSTEM, AND THEN EXECUTE THAT SYSTEM!!! Other than that, you can skin the proverbial cat anyway you want (**Note** - no cats were injured in the creation of this post ;-)
Here is my break down: Total times for both T1 and T2 in practice (including the added 20 seconds) 1min 20 seconds!!!! An improvement of 1min 10sec-1min 20sec!!! Cutting my time in half! Here is what I did to achieve this
1) NO SOCKS!!! I have been told any race shorter than an Oly you do not need to wear socks, but take the appropriate precautions by a) training without socks and b) athletic tape, band-aids etc... or better yet band-aids and then tape over them so they do not fall off during the race.
2) Rack bike (within race regulations) so that your bike is facing the most efficient way towards the exit of transition. If you have the option of putting your bike wherever you want, put it close to the bike exit (this gets complicated when the bike and run exit are on the opposite sides, but getting there early can help you determine location).
3) Set up your system as efficiently as possible, and anything that is mandatory goes where I have to move something (i.e. sunglasses and helmet on aerobars, race number goes on top of running shoes). I also have my running shoes equipped with the slip on shoe laces (where you fix the elastic laces to how tight you want your shoes to your foot) and my bike shoes are already opened up as much as possible.
4) Do not clip/strap down shoes until you are on the bike (from t1)!!! What you say??? Won't they fly off! I thought so too, and then I went through three practice runs. The trick is to run and take smaller steps so that you are not flexing your foot as much with the possibility of it flying out. I have noticed people during races not locking down there shoes until they are a mile down a road once they have started.
5) Practice unstrapping your shoes before you get off and leave them on there (run barefoot to your spot in T2). My shoes scraped against the ground a few times, and once my rear wheel popped up because my right cleat got caught on the ground, but I just kept running with my bike. If you have a downhill, you can unstrap them earlier (1/4 mile left to go). If it is an uphill or turns you will have to wait later.
6) Do not be afraid to just throw the stuff you don't need anymore anywhere in your space.
7) Make sure you "run" through transition!!! This is an ok time to max out your heartrate. The shorter the race the more T1 and T2 count.
8) When you are coming into T1 or T2, then you need to be visualizing what you are going to be doing in transition.
After my transition practice, we went on an 18.5 mile bike ride through roswell on some fast flats and steep hills. He kicked my butt, but got me averaging 24mph on the flats (maxed out on 28.5 on flats) and then had to granny gear it on the hills, I could not handle it.