Jennie Finch sweating the small stuff
I'm pretty pumped here for my final week of training before heading to New York City. Right now my focus is really on streamlining everything and getting the kinks out. I just got my tri bars a week and a half ago and they make a huge difference. They're essentially extenders that go on your handlebars and allow you to lean over and get your body in a whole new, more aerodynamic position. They say the reduction in wind resistance can add another mile or two per hour to your speed!
I've also been trying to finalize my plan for eating and drinking during the race. I got a watering system for my bike that sits right up on the handlebars, so now it's a matter of finalizing my plans for getting water, electrolytes, fuel and all that stuff. I have found packs of Gu gel to be too thick ever since I ran my marathon, but in the marathon I would eat one right before the water stop and then drench it down with water. This time, on Coach Grampy's suggestion, I'm trying diluting the gel packs in water. He gave me these hand-sized flasks that fit right on my bike so I can just squeeze the gel in with water at the beginning. It's crazy how much energy gels help on the long bike rides. I used to not do it, and now it's like 'Whoa!' It gives you a whole second spurt of energy.
I'm still piecing together a few final pieces of my wardrobe, too. I just got my wetsuit this week, and I'm going to wear it Friday for a last open-water swim and Saturday for one more local sprint tri at Lake Charles. That's my final dress rehearsal where I'm really going to focus on practicing to make my transitions as smooth (and speedy!) as possible. And then I am hoping to get a pair of triathlon shoes for the bike. The ones I'm using now are great, but they have these cords for the laces, which take extra time to get right. Not good when you're tired, shaking and in a hurry! Tri shoes usually have an easy-on, easy-off Velcro strap and a loop on the back to help you yank 'em on fast.
Then the final piece is getting online to read all the coverage of the different transition areas in New York. I'll be taking notes, making sure I understand all the logistical stuff so it doesn't slow me down on race day.
We're almost there!