Well there was a lot of training prep, obviously. I don't know that doing this solo is really something you can train completely for unless you have 8-10 hours/day on weekends, but I did my best and tried to do lots of bricks and double bricks. I rode and ran on every section of the course, something I found really helpful. I can get apprehensive about steep descents (which this didn't really have), so it was nice to experience it first in a controlled environment. It's also nice to have and know landmarks so mentally you don't feel like "are we there yet? are we there yet??". I did manage to get a good amount of time training on the course, especially at East Canyon. I was time efficient and have had to pump a lot to have milk for baby girl, and my husband was good about giving me a morning most every week he could stay home till noon.
Swimming I just treated like normal, 2000-3500 yard workouts, Master's when I could, and some good open water time. I also spent several sessions swimming without my wetsuit to prepare myself for that. Was good to see how my tri or bike shorts and sports bras did while swimming too. Led to some equipment decisions for race day. On the bike, my long rides were 40-65 miles and I feel pretty good about that. Yeah my legs got tired, but I felt pretty well bike prepared, they were mostly tired from the running and transitioning. It would have been nice if my butt were better prepared, but getting on and off the bike a lot actually makes it more tender race day I think than just staying on the bike for 6 hours straight. Running is where I probably could improve the most for a next attempt. I never ran longer than 13 miles for several reasons. First, I couldn't run the last 3 months of my pregnancy because of pubic symphysis pain and then didn't return to real running till about 2 months after her birth thanks to a bad hemorrhage after her birth. So I wanted and needed to be smart in building up my miles, but I figured where these are only 6 miles runs, running double that should be fine. 6x4=24. I really should have incorporated marathon style long runs. My last 2 runs suffered because of the lack of 16-20 mile runs I think. Live and learn. I just didn't have the time this go around.
Stuff wise, here it is. I got everything packed up Friday, fairly nonchalantly, but I found a good method. My husband Jeremy would be doing all my transitions and I didn't want him to get stressed about where everything was (considering how much stuff I had to bring, extras of things) and what I needed so I packed everything in separate cloth shopping bags. Swim stuff in a blue one, bike stuff in a green one (to match my bike), and run stuff in a red bag. I tried to keep these bags very simple and basic. My tri backpack had all my nutrition and extra clothing in it (bike shorts, new jersey, run skirt, tech shirt, socks, sports bra). Swim bag had a couple caps and goggles, wetsuits, 2 swim suits to put over my shorts and bra (will explain more later), and a swim top to put over my sports bra if I wanted. Bike bag had chamois creams and lubricant, a couple tubes and CO2 and our spare bike bag with basic tools and flat change stuff. Run bag had the 2 pair of shoes I would wear, socks, and baby powder.
Nutrition wise I froze 4 water bottles pre mixed with my EFS, dosed appropriately for how long each leg was. Much easier to tell him I need a certain bottle (they were all different colors/designs) than 1.5 or 3 scoops and of what flavor as I changed between tropical punch and grape each bike leg. Only thing I should have done different was to have frozen them several days in advance, overnight didn't have them frozen solid. The first bottle you only want to freeze halfway though so you can fill it with water that morning to get it melting. The others will melt in time or he could have set the one out I needed if it wasn't thawed enough. We had 2 large bottled water jugs in the van for refilling my aero bottle, kept one and the water bottles, jug of Liquid Shot, Coke, and snacks and food for Jer and the kids in the cooler with 2 bags of ice (wasn't sure the family would have time to stop anywhere for long and wanted to be sure they'd be happy and fed). Definitely needed the 2 bags of ice. I would have him fill the aero bottle full with ice before putting water in, right before I was ready to ride.
Another thing I would change would be to have not procrastinated writing down what I needed when. I had planned to write down what bottle, what equipment, what pills I'd need at each stop, but didn't have time. I tried on the way up but just didn't have time so I ended up having to tell him what bottle I needed, what pills I wanted, what run shoes I wanted along the way. He adapted well though and ended up just pouring some Metasalt and SportLegs pills each in a ziplock bag labeled with their name and dosage and would leave them in transition so I could grab what I needed. I didn't do so well with reading and thinking about what I needed and how long it'd been since I'd had some though, so he kept on top of it for me and told me while I was in transition how many of what to grab. Worked nicely. He was a lifesaver the whole day!
So it was time to drop my sweet baby off at my mom and dad's for the night. Fed her and put her to bed there about 7pm Friday, wrote out her whole instruction manual which was probably way more than my parents needed, left her a nice supply of pumped milk and every toy we own and pried myself away from watching her sleep and went home. Cleaned out (procrastination, I know) and packed most of the van, and ate a reasonable plate of spaghetti. Didn't get to bed too awfully late, 10pm maybe?