1. Is two hours enough to check in and get my transition bags all sorted? Only last month, an organization for which I'm on the board set its annual board meeting during the two days before my race. We're doing it over video conferencing, so the (somewhat unrealistic, totally not foolproof) plan is to go to LP on Thursday evening after I'm done teaching for the day, spend most of Friday and Saturday on a video conference in Starbucks, and fit in the check in around the meeting. According to the schedule in last year's Athlete Guide (this year's isn't posted yet), I would have three hours on Friday to check in and sort transition bags, which I'll reduce to planning for two hours, because something always happens to screw up my plans. Then on Saturday I could rack my bike on the lunch break from the meeting. Is this at all realistic? I've informed the board president that I'm doing this race, so if worst comes to worst, I can probably take time out of the meeting, but I really shouldn't if I don't need to.
2. LP is usually very cold outside at the swim start, in the 30s (the water is in the upper 60s). Then it gradually warms up during the day. I have a full wetsuit (my second, because the first one really wasn't good for my arms) and I am planning not to warm up ahead of time in the lake, per recommendations. I'll also do what I can to stay warm at the race start with throwaway clothing, maybe some of those camping hand warming thingys, etc. Then I'm wondering what to do for the bike. I have a sleeveless trisuit and arm warmers, also a bike jersey if that feels better. Some people suggest a full-on change at T1 to get all wet clothes off. I could wear a bikini bottom and a sports bra under my wetsuit and change into bib shorts (which would be more comfy for me anyway--I still hate long rides in my Orca trisuit). But. The IM website says it doesn't provide changing tents at 70.3's. Other people on slowtwitch have said that there was a changing tent at LP 70.3 in the past so I'm a little confused on this point. Dudes also report just wrapping a towel around their waist and changing out in the open. Do women do that at all? If so, um, how? I got lady hips, so it'd need to be a big towel. And would I be able to change into running shorts at T2? How much time would that take? If I avoid a DNF at all, it'll be by the skin of my teeth, so I'm a little interested in quick transitions. I'm also interested in comfort, and not fucking myself over by trying to be too quick, so I'm intentionally not going to try to speed around too much in transition...
3. Other questions about gear: I don't have a bike windbreaker. Again out of concern for the temperature, should I think about getting one? Would good padding on my trunk and my suogi arm warmers suffice? And what about knee-high compression socks? Some people suggest them too. Is there something else I could do to keep my feet and lower legs warm if it's hovering around 40 at the start of the bike? Would regular knee-high socks be ok? I'll also pick up some of those super cheap gloves that gas stations sell for a thin extra layer on my hands, on top of my regular bike gloves.
4. I've worked out my own nutrition that includes Hammer perpetuem tabs mostly, with an hourly indulgence on the bike of something else that can include a bar, banana, etc. And strategically planned caffeine to keep me going, along with electrolyte pills. I think I'll mostly avoid on-course nutrition, except for water. I have a hydration vest that I've grown accustomed to on long workouts, but I'm trying to train without it so I don't have to lug it around on race day. I do really like the ready access to water that the pack affords, especially on hot runs, so I might bring it to T2 in the event that it's hot by then, but most likely I'll not use the pack. Is that a weird, unrealistic plan in any way?
I'm also planning to get some Gatorade Endurance to try the on-course nutrition as failsafe, but I'm not really planning to use it. Maybe towards the end on the run, when sweeter makes me happier sometimes.
5. I'm also starting to think about a plan for the race itself, with target heartrates and speeds and such. But I don't know how to do that. Are there any online guides for figuring out target paces or heartrates that you would recommend?
Ok. I think that's it for now. I think y'all can tell that I thrive in the weeds of the details, and the complexity of this sport is one of the things that attracts me to it. I know I have a lot of questions, and y'all aren't my coach officially (unofficially though, this collective has definitely been my coach), so if you don't have time for all this, I'll just bumble through best I can.
Thanks thanks thanks!
Formerly GiantNewb, but not such a newb anymore.