Monday, July 11, 2011

Osoyoos Pre-Race

I watched the Vancouver Subaru sprint and half iron the weekend before Osoyoos and came to the realization that a half iron was a ludicrously long distance for a race!

I've done enough halves (halfs?) that I know the distance and how long it will take me, but as I've only done sprints this year it seemed like a long, long time to be racing.

I felt terribly unprepared in general.  I don't know why as I've put in the time and distance but somehow it didn't feel like enough. That's probably a good thing as any race I've gone into cocky has inevitably turned out to be humbling.

Part of feeling unprepared is that I haven't been as focussed on my training as in past years.  Work has been extremely stressful for quite a while and I really haven't been able to plan anything much in my non-work life. Stress has also had other fun effects.  A bad day  at work after a bad night's sleep and a kinked back lead to the mother of all taper tantrums/meltdowns on the Thursday before the race. As an FYI, a large, open plan office isn't a great place to lose it, I suggest you plan your breakdowns for more private locales.

Happily, that seemed to clear my nerves. I was still concerned about my back but a massage appointment on Friday morning fixed the worst of the issue and I felt I could complete the race.

In being "planning challenged" I was very disorganized in my preparation for the half: I signed up a week and a half out from the race, I found a hotel the weekend before and arranged a car rental on the Wednesday prior.  So in packing on Friday before heading out I knew I would forget something. On Facebook I offered Okanagan cherries to the first person to figure out what I forgot.  There were 40 replies, the most popular item was a race belt, an item I have yet to forget but apparently a lot of my friends have. Happily no one thought I was clueless enough to leave my bike behind.

The definitive list of things I forgot:
- bento box (I could have survived without, must learn to be a better roadie!)
- earplugs
- helmet number. OK, not something I packed but I forgot to put it on my helmet and only figured it out 70km into the ride
- instant oatmeal. Quick oats are pretty sludgy when you just add boiling water rather than cook 'em for 5 minutes

I stopped in Chilliwack on Friday night and had a short visit with my dad. Saturday was a mellow day, on my way up I drove the bike course then registered, napped at my hotel and did my short pre-race workouts and the pre-race meeting. I didn't see Andrew Graham but did meet up with Kristie briefly.

Then it was back to the hotel where I ended the day calm and looking forward to racing.

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