Yesterday I'm talking to my friend Mary who is going to her first Nationals. It's also the first time she's flown to a race. I've been helping her with all her questions, and giving her various pointers about things one needs to remember about flying with a bike. (Leave the Co2 cartridges at home!) I'm sounding like the cool professional who's done this a lot.
She starts telling me about how she's been checking out the entry list, and at all the people in our age group, and yada, yada. I had stopped looking at the entry list several days ago having decided that it doesn't matter who's in the race. What ever I do, I do. Knowing that so and so is in the race, doesn't change my stratagy. If they're that much better then me, I can't do anything about it. After listening to Mary, I looked at the entry list. That was a mistake. All the women who beat me at Saint Anthony's will be there, as will some of the other heavy hitters of the F50-54 age group. So much for Top 10 this year. Can I still qualify for Team USA? Who knows.
This morning I went into major repacking frenzy after the first of one of my multiple freakouts today. I had packed up the bike yesterday, and packed my tri-bag. I usually take the tri-bag as carry-on luggage, and have a separate bag for anything else I need. So today I'm sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast and thinking about what I'll be taking with me. Bike bag, and suit case gets checked. Tri-bag and computer bag go on the plane with me. Damn! How the hell am I going to get all that crap on the rental bus? I've done it before but it's too much like work.
So I proceed to take everything out of the tri-bag, repack it in a smaller transition bag to see if it all fits. (No wetsuit saves a lot of space.) After I determine it will fit into that bag, I unpack it, and put the empty bag inside the bike case. Then I take everything upstairs and figure out if I can get all of it into the suitcase with my other stuff. I don't really like checking my gear, but figured I can replace everything but the orthotics if my luggage vanishes. The orthotics will go into carry-on. I manage to get everything into the regualr bag. Thank you EMS!!! They make awesome bags on wheels.