It’s a lot easier and more relaxed to prep for a race when you get to spend the night before at home. No planning days in advance for a plane trip, no need for real clothes to wear when you’re not working out. On the other hand, packing for a tri is a lot more involved than a marathon because you’ve got three legs and two transitions to deal with.
I spent Friday afternoon cleaning my bike, collecting my gear and making sure my nutrition is in order. I had a minor panic attack when I realized my team kit is too big and would be wildly uncomfortable to wear for so long, but thankfully my teammates came through with an extra top and shorts. Like Katie, I have to lay everything out and check things off the list one by one as I put it in my transition bag. Here’s what I’m taking with me:
- Tri shorts/top
- Nutrition (for all legs) — Gu, Clif, Shot Bloks
- Bike itself
- Arm warmers
- Race belt
- Aero bottle, extra water bottle
- The Stick
- Body glide/ride glide
- Ear drops
All packed and ready to go. Then I made pasta for my pre-race dinner — Penne with Roasted Asparagus, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese, from Cooking Light:
- 2 cups uncooked penne or mostaccioli (tube-shaped pasta)
- 12 asparagus spears
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and set aside.
Place asparagus and tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss gently to coat; arrange asparagus and tomato mixture in a single layer. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from pan. Place pan back in oven, and bake tomatoes an additional 4 minutes. Remove tomatoes from pan; let asparagus and tomatoes stand 10 minutes. Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths; halve tomatoes.
Combine shallots and the next 4 ingredients (through honey) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Place pasta, asparagus, tomato and spinach in a large bowl; toss. Drizzle juice mixture over pasta mixture; toss. Sprinkle with cheese.
Now it’s off to bed for a very early wake-up call. Dreading the fact that it may rain, but otherwise I’m pumped. See you on the other side!