So I've been pretty run of the mill lately with posts, so decided to shake it up a bit and answer a question I got on race day prep... I will say I got in my last ride yesterday on the new tires and they are SWEET. Love them, and their interent reputation for puncture resistance! Hope I'm not tempting fate, but I need all the help I can get on the bike! :-)
Okay, so race morning... I get up at 3:45 for a couple reasons.
First, to eat some breakfast, and give it time to get digested and settle. That way I'm not swimming with a big floating ball of bagel and peanut butter in my stomach. Some people CRAM insane amounts of food in their faces on race morning; I eat my regular breakfast. I can chow down on the bike, so no need to overfill the tank.
Second, the transition area opens in CDA at 4:15 am this year (if I remember, it was 5am the last 2 years), with body marking starting at 5am. I am a firm believer in CONTROL THE VARIABLES YOU CAN, and that includes gettting to transition to get my bike, gear, bags, and body marking done before 2300 other people show up. I honestly like to have piece of mind, know my stuff is together, and relax and enjoy the atmosphere before the swim instead of rushing around and feeling panicky, trying to find a bike pump and a port-a-john that doesn't have a line 300 people deep.
I am no expert, but I know what works for me, and skipping out on 45 extra minutes of sleep is well worth the price of enjoying the morning.
I also have the luxury of staying about 1.5 miles from the transition area in CDA, so it is a short walk to get there. Depending on where people are staying (we were way out in Liberty Lake in 2007, a 30 minute drive), you can adjust your schedule accordingly. My only piece of unsolicited advice is that whatever you do, give yourself time to enjoy the WHOLE experience. Crazy as it sounds, it goes fast!
One more cheesy photo for my positive imagry for the week... :-) This was Lake Placid last year, where we raced in a monsoon, and the 200 mile bike course, all uphill (kidding... kinda). You'll notice I didn't blaze through the course (uh, just shy if 16 hours!), but I finished, lucid, and with a smile on my face.