I have only done these race report follow-ups for adventure races so far, but I have a few pointers to share about triathlon. So consider it your lucky day!
This was hard to predict for me since I don't typically train at HIM-race intensities for extended periods of time. But here is what I decided on and what I actually consumed:
Breakfast: normal ameliorated oatmeal, plus coffee with soy creamer
Little bit before the swim: gel with water
Bike: 1 frame bottle with 3 scoops CarboRocket Half-Evil and 2 tabs nuun. 1 aero-mounted bottle with water and 2 tabs nuun. I brought 3 packages Honey Stinger Chews but only ate about 2 packages' worth. I also brought 2 back-up gels but did not eat them. Plus water from aid stations. (consumed 653/813 cals)
Run: brought 4 gels with me. At the first aid station, the volunteers were handing out pretzels and something in my mind clicked like "oooo that looks good". I didn't want to bother with solid food but I interpreted the pretzel craving as a need for salt and then started taking aid-station-provided salt pills whenever I could get them. I went through the 4 gels in the first 8-9 miles and still needed calories. The on-course gels were tasting pretty gross to me but I ate 2 of them. And looking at my late-race slowdown, I should have ate more. Lesson learned! Plus water from aid stations. (consumed about 660cal and needed more)
Post-race: 1 bottle Muscle Milk after the bathroom emergency. Another bottle of Muscle Milk before going down to transition the first time. Then some delicious BBQ! I love BBQ. (And corndogs, but I had to wait until the drive home to get one of those)
I am somewhat of a black sheep in the world of triathlon...I am a cheapskate. Like, super cheap. I would prefer to spend 20 hours of my own time making a one-off carbon water bottle mount instead of plunking down $50 for it. This year, I am wearing last year's racing kit. And when I was practicing my flying mounts, I was challenged by the fact that I use regular road bike shoes instead of triathlon-specific shoes. Mine have three velcro straps instead of one, and no heel tab, which makes them slightly more difficult to put on while pedaling. I did not want to buy new shoes. Solution? Every cyclist's best friend...THE ZIP TIE! I made myself heel tabs by attaching zip ties to my shoes. Aero? Mayhaps not. Cheap? Definitely.
WHAT?! There's no navigating in triathlon! But, I just want to emphasize some points about the venue for anyone thinking of doing this race next year. One cool thing is once I parked my car on Friday night, I didn't move it again until Sunday afternoon when I was leaving. But, I did a lot of walking as I mentioned in my race report. Please do not underestimate this venue - it's spread out. We stayed in the race hotel, the Holiday Inn. The finish line and expo (red flag and teal shopping cart in the map above) is in the hotel's back yard, which is cool. But, transition (black flag and purple square) is a good 15-minute walk from the hotel. And the swim start (red swimmer, Calhoun's On The River) is a good 15-minute walk from transition. Your walking will probably be reduced if your coach is not working transition and you don't feel the need to ask her inane questions 3 times daily.