Race Preparations for Nautica South Beach Triathlon

Happy Friday, friends!  This time tomorrow, I’ll be in Miami for my first triathlon of the season—woohoo!  In completely unrelated news, Syracuse plays Michigan tomorrow night.


Unfortunately, the tipoff is scheduled for 8:49 p.m. (so approximate), so I won’t be able to watch the game; early to bed for an early morning filled with swimming, biking, and running!

Speaking of Nautica South Beach, I briefly mentioned my race-day preparations yesterday.  As a type-A person who thrives off making lists and organizing in general, I figured today would be the perfect time to share the behind-the-blog logistical stuff that’s required for any race, especially an out-of-state triathlon.

Early January – I officially registered for the race.  Wow, that seems like such a long time ago!

Early February – I took care of airline, hotel, and trailer transport stuff.  I lucked out because Full Throttle Endurance owns three bike transportation trailers, so I didn’t have to go through a third-party.  Plus, I personally know the guys who drive down and handle the bikes, so that’s definite peace of mind.

Early last week – This shouldn’t surprise anyone:  I made a rough itinerary of each day’s activities, along with a race-day packing list.


Obviously, there were items I forgot the first, second, and third time I thought about race day, so I’m glad I drafted it so early.

I also printed a hardcopy of the race packet.


Not a ton of information, but at the very least, I know which direction to swim, bike, and run.  That’s half the battle, right?

Monday – After work, I headed to Zen Bikes and had my indoor bike trainer tire removed.  Because I’ll be riding outside from now on, it was time to reinstall my road tire.  I even saw one of my teammates at the shop who made the eerily accurate prediction that our race kits wouldn’t make it to Miami.  Well played, sir.  More on that shortly.

Tuesday – Around 7 p.m., I went to the Performance Center at Chelsea Piers for the second part of my bike fitting with Ann Marie.  During my first fit, she added a new saddle and saddle post, which have made a huge difference in terms of speed, efficiency, and comfort.  This time, she added new aerobars (Profile Design T1 Plus for my fellow trigeeks), and even though we talked about replacing my stem, it wasn’t necessary.  I plan to blog more about this second fitting, but here’s a sneak peak.


[Photo courtsey of Ann Marie]

Pretty legit looking, right?  Honestly, I’m a little worried about using the new bars for the first time on race day, but I’m not technically “racing” SoBe, so it will be OK I hope.

Wednesday – Bike-loading morning.


See you in Miami!

After our indoor cycling session, a teammate who isn’t racing this weekend gave me her tri top to borrow as a backup.


Good thing, too—even though we ordered our race and cycle kits a while ago, there was a mix-up, and long story short, our gear is currently somewhere in Oregon.  Needless to say, we won’t have it by Sunday.  I owe my teammate big time!

Gentlemen readers, feel free to skip down to the Thursday section now.

So I tried on the top yesterday.  It fits surprisingly well, but it’s literally the most unflattering thing ever.  One, I don’t look good in white because I’m so pale.  So there’s that.  And two, I have virtually no boobs to begin with, but the top totally mashes anything that had a chance.  Womp womp.

Thursday – Since I won’t be in Miami for our team’s scheduled bike pick up, I handed off my pedals to one of my teammates.


As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll write a full-fledged post that details the bike-loading process and what I learned, but basically we had to remove our pedals just in case something happens to the trailer and/or our bikes.  Thankfully, nothing has ever happened, but as a precautionary measure this ensures we’ll be able to install our own pedals on any bike and easily clip in and out.

I also started packing.


So.  Much.  Stuff.  And this is all for the race.  I’ll also have to lug around a suitcase with my “real” clothes.

Friday – After an FTE swim this morning, I took care of last-minute tasks like printing my plane tickets, organizing my snacks and nutrition (yes, there’s a difference!), and painting my nails to match my sneakers and race kit.


As per tradition, I like my nails to match my swim cap, but since I don’t know which color that will be yet, I went with this sandy red.

All right, friends—have a great day, and I’ll talk to you from the beach!

How do you prepare for trips, events, and races?  Do you make lists like me?

31 responses to “Race Preparations for Nautica South Beach Triathlon

  1. Ha, of COURSE your nails have to match your gear. Have a GREAT race!

    • carriestevens

      The type-A/OCD side of me is pretty smug right now. Thanks, friend! Hope you’re feeling better too.

  2. I have an Excel packing list–one for work, one for vacation trips. Makes packing a breeze!
    Love the nails!

  3. Love the matching nails- that’s the spirit! Good luck on your race!

  4. Good luck on your race! So exciting!!
    I love making lists……sometimes I have more fun making lists for an event than I do actually doing the event!! 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Thanks! Making lists gives me so much peace of mind. Don’t even get me started on Post-It notes! 😉

  5. you must be beyond excited!

  6. SO EXCITED FOR YOU! You’ve worked so hard and holy preparation! You’re in Miami B****!!

  7. I definitely make packing lists! I always forget something if I don’t make a list.

    GOOD LUCK!!! I am so excited for you!!

    • carriestevens

      Making lists makes me feel less anxious–and more prepared. Have so much fun this weekend too! 🙂

  8. Haha you are so much like me it is scary (well I don’t do the nail thing because of interpreting)! I always make lists and then rewrite things as I remember them!

    Though, I wouldn’t be in bed by 8:49 at night, even before a triathlon. I can’t shut my mind off that early.

    Good luck, Carrie! You are going to do great!

    • carriestevens

      Takes one to know one, right? 😉 I’m optimistically saying I’ll be in bed by 8:49p; don’t know how well I’ll sleep, but I’ll feel better if I stick to my normal bedtime schedule. 🙂

  9. Sooooooooooooooooo excited for you!!! You’re going to kill this race and set the tone for your 2013 season. I’m completely a list person. If it’s not written down, it’s going to get left at home. Also, I totally love the nail polish. Painting my nails is the only race tradition I have. I don’t know why, but I just like having fun colors to look at. Now I’m off to check out yesterday’s post. In all my cyber stalking of your blog, I got tied up yesterday which meant limited time.

    • carriestevens

      Thank you, friend! I go from feeling excited and amped up to totally unprepared in a matter of seconds–but mostly ready to do work. 🙂 Believe it or not, there were still items that were left off the list that I thankfully thought of while cleaning and running errands. And it sounds so weird, but painting my nails has a very calming, relaxing effect. Plus, I won’t be setting any course records, so I do want to look semi-decent for the race photos. 😉

  10. Well done and the task list creation looks somewhat familiar :-). I think I went through the same thing, minus the nails. I arrived here in Miami on Thursday and have had a chance to cover the run and bike portion – both look to be pretty flat courses (with the exception of a few of the causeway entry/exit points – which are pretty long grades to pull). I have a swim clinic scheduled for early tomorrow morning since I’ve never done an ocean swim before. Very exciting and although it rained yesterday and today, looks like the weather should be great for us!

    • carriestevens

      Glad we think alike and make lists! That’s awesome you were able to make it down a few days early; I definitely plan to do the same next year. Like you wrote, I’ve heard the bike and run courses are relatively flat, minus the hills on the causeway. Make sure your bike is in the lowest gear in T1! This will be my first ocean swim as well, and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot at the clinic. Hope to see you at the expo later today!

  11. GOOD LUCK!!! that is so awesome that you will be in Miami! sounds like so much fun, and a great way to start the season. so good that you know the guys who handle the bikes- a BIG plus on transporting bikes- I would be so nervous otherwise! Have fun and KICK ASS! 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Katie, I needed your moral support and expertise Wednesday morning! First my pedals wouldn’t come off, then my wheel wouldn’t budge, then my aerobars almost had be removed … very hectic, but it all worked itself out.

  12. Good luck Carrie! Can’t wait to read the race report! You’re going to kick butt and at least the ocean will be warm! 🙂 At least by our standards up North!

    • carriestevens

      Thanks, friend! Can’t wait to do work and put it all together … and here’s to hoping I don’t get sunburned. 😉

  13. Good luck! Am sure you’re going to have an amazing time.

    Re the tri vest, I promise they are just as flattering with boobs. And no pro women really have boobs so I wouldn’t worry too much! A full on trisuit is perhaps the least flattering garment I’ve ever worn.

    I think I lost the thread – what did you decide to do about the wetsuit?

    Enjoy some of the warm weather for me please 🙂

    • carriestevens

      LOL–I tell myself no boobs means less weight to carry around! 😉

      I’m wearing my full-sleeved wetsuit this weekend. I know it will be hot, but I’m willing to deal with it if it means a fast swim split because I need all the help I can get. I didn’t buy a sleeveless either. Looking forward, I may reevaluate, but all the literature suggests you’ll be faster with a full-sleeved suit, so wearing one (if you can deal with it) seems like a no-brainer to me.

  14. It’s only a short swim so I think you’ll be alright, maybe if it was an Ironman…! I think it’s the best call anyway, as I said before, I’ve never ever seen anyone advocate it (even if I do swim only in the UK which is mainly freezing!)

    Also, less boobs = more aerodynamic?!

    • carriestevens

      I totally agree–the general rule is to wear a full-sleeved whenever possible. No boobs means more streamlined in the water, right? 😉

  15. A reduction is obviously the only thing standign between me an a sub 1h 3.8k swim then…

  16. I’m late to reading this and just took a glance at your twitter feed….CONGRATS on placing second in your age group!! Amazing job. Can’t wait to read the recap!

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