Yesterday afternoon, I checked in for the race at the Monona Terrace, which serves as this weekend's IM WI race headquarters. I received my bag of goodies, along with other important race information. Each year, the athletes are given several bags (pictured, right) to stuff their gear into. Two are special needs bags for the run and bike. These are given to athletes, if needed, at the half-way point of both the run and bike. You have to think of the things that you just might happen to need at that point: spare bike tubes, Vaseline for chaffage relief, food, Aleve, extra CO2 cartridges for the bike, additional clothing layers, etc. You just never know. I've rarely had to pick up my bags, but it's always good to be prepared.
The second two bags are for the two transitions (swim to bike and bike to run). On Saturday afternoon, we turn in both of our transition bags, and rack our bikes in our designated spots. Our transition bags are then organized by race number, and placed in conference rooms at the Monona Terrace, which is where both transitions take place. Unlike other triathlons, the transition area isn't in front of your bike, so everything has to go in the bags.
I'm currently in the process of stuffing the bags and getting everything all ready to turn in tomorrow morning. It's sort of a stressful process to try to remember everything you might ever need for the race (but certainly not more stressful than thinking about meeting and having dinner with Royce's parents tonight...). Although I have until 4 p.m. to turn everything in tomorrow (the race is on Sunday), I'm hoping to get it all done pretty early so I don't have to worry about it.
Tomorrow morning, I'll also be registering for next year's race! Which, I'm sure, comes as a big surprise to all of you. Luckily this year, for the first time, athletes who are competing in this year's race have the opportunity to register early on Saturday morning (from 9-11 a.m.) for next year's event. This because registration for next year's event opens to the general public at 9 a.m. on Monday, and fills within hours. Ironman finally recognized that athletes who just finished an IM are in no condition to get up early the next morning to fight the crowds and register. So this is a great relief. Karen is registering again for next year's event, so it will be fun to have a training buddy again!
Which brings me to my final point. I won't be in the office on Monday, as I'll be recovering from the race, so Karen has requested the opportunity to write a guest blog so that she can fill you in on Sunday's inside scoop. Karen is a phenomenal writer, with a great sense of humor, so it should be good stuff! Enjoy!