Well Hello There
Although inaudible, it was like a sound heard from far away. Something I couldn't place. But something that nonetheless had gradually nudged my unconscious mind toward the land of the fully awake.
In my back, and lower pelvis, that telltale "Shark Week Has Arrived" throbbing. Well hello there period, you're early...like a whole WEEK AND A HALF EARLY! This isn't supposed to be happening. I don't have any feminine items...I don't have any Advil...I'm also RACING TOMORROW! GAH!
Yup, that was my reality a couple Fridays ago at 3:30 AM when the beginning of menstrual cramps woke me from a very peaceful sleep. A surprise that I was neither expecting or ready for, but which was remedied by a quick trip to a drugstore a couple of blocks from the hotel.
Once periodmageddon was handled, we had a good giggle about it because when it comes to racing, I am THE (self-appointed) authority on being over-prepared for all eventualities. In longer distance triathlons, there is a concept that is referred to as the "Special Needs Bag." Here is an article on another site explaining the concept. But in the interest of brevity, a special needs bag is your "what if" or "I may need" bag.
Below are pics of what my special needs bag looks like and I use it no matter the distance. I have it with me for marathons/half-marathons. I grab whatever I need at the start and put it in my drop bag to pick up at the finish line. I keep it in my gym bag, for...well, just in case. And it's in my triathlon bag no matter the distance. I never know when I may need the stuff in it, so I'm always prepared.
Want ideas on how to build your own special needs bag? Below is a pictorial rundown of my special needs bag. Here's to strong AND prepared racing!