Left the Bay Area on Tuesday (12th) to travel to Stockholm, Sweden. Had a connection in Copenhagen so the first flight was about 11 hours. I didn’t have to pay to check my Scicon bag. Not sure if it was because I had status with the airline (SAS) or not but it was certainly a pleasant surprise. Next positive thing in the journey to IM Kalmar was in the form of an upgrade on the flight to Copenhagen. Even with a better seat I was not really all that comfortable and got off the plane with some pretty bad back pain. Had a pretty short layover in Copenhagen and then onwards to Stockholm. Wasn’t really able to sleep much during the flights. Got a few hours in at most.
Made it to Stockholm ok and so did the bike and the rest of the luggage. My parents picked me up and we had to play a mini game of Tetris to fit the bike and all other stuff into the rental car. Started the drive down to Kalmar and stopped in Norrköping for dinner (Thanks Jonas L for recommendation!). Made it down to my parents rental cabin at the island of Öland late on Wednesday after over 24 hours of traveling.
Thursday morning I moved to stay with some friends in a cabin right on the west coast of the island. Started off Thursday with a mini-triathlon to shake out the travel-legs. Short swim right by cabin. The water temperature was around 20C (68F). After that a short ride to check out a part of the bike course. Did an out an back that ended up being about 20k. In order to make this a true mini-triathlon a run was in order and managed a decently paced 3.7k run.
The rest of the day was spent picking up the race package, spending some money in the IronMan shop (proud of myself for not going crazy here) and attending the mandatory athletes meeting. In the evening I had a delicious dinner with my parents in the city of Kalmar.
Friday was bike and bag drop-off day. Spent some time double checking that everything was ok with the bike. Decided to strap two tubes, multi-tool and two CO2 to my seat-rear-mounted bottle cage holder. Also decided to go with very concentrated sports drink (Osmo) in the two bottles and then just fill water in the bottle mounted between the aero bars.
Packing the bike and run bags was pretty easy. I only had one pair of running shoes with me for example so not much of a choice here. I did decide to ride with socks even though I usually don’t in races. Figured this is such a long race that the few seconds saved would do much and I need them on the run anyways. But they are tricky to get on when the feet are wet from the swim. Also decided to ride with gloves. Just threw them in the bag and on race day I grabbed them in my hand and put them on while riding. Opted to run with a visor (Zoot) instead of a cap. Figured it would be a bit cooler and I could dump water from the water cups on my head and get the hair wet for some cooling if I had the visor.
Spent most of the day Friday taking it easy outside of packing the bags. Dropping of the bike and bags was uneventful. Took the ferry from Kalmar back to Öland to grab an early dinner with my parents. Got a really good view of the swim course from the ferry so that was nice.
The weather on both Thursday and Friday was great. I kept being nervous about burning as I usually do when I’m out in the sun. Its happened before that I have a burn even before the race starts and thats obviously not optimal.
Went to bed early on Friday but slept terribly.