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Mar 22, 2011

Tempe Secrets Revealed!

Are you going to Tempe? Think its gonna be a doozy? Not sure what to expect? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you're in for a treat! As the Space Dragons prepare to invade the storied waters in Tempe, AZ for yet another year of fun, fury, and Space debauchery, let's not forget that experience goes a long way and that our team is riddled and oozing with "experienced" vets bursting to share their thoughts and ramblings on the secrets to Tempe. So without further adieu, consider the following from your fellow Tempe bound vets: 

Robert and his energy dense grub

1. Tempe is DRY whether hot or cold, hydrate before, during and after tournament festivities
2. Long days with lots and lots of racing, eat moderate amounts of energy-dense food throughout the day
3. Stay alert and keep track of the time, lots of races means lots of CHAOS!
4. Take care of yourself during the day.  Hydrate, eat, sunscreen!
5. Cheer on your teammates! There will be likely 5 teams ... (Masters, Men, Women, Red Mixed, Blue Mixed)
6. Take the time to enjoy the venue, in general, HAVE FUN!

    Deej will school you on Tempe. How you like dem apples?!
  1. Outerwear: The weather can be unpredictable at times. Always bring a jacket. We have seen sunny skies turn into a storm and hail in a matter of hours. Bring a warm jacket even if the weather calls for sunny skies.
  1. HydrateBecause of the heat that Arizona can bring we have seen paddlers and even our own paddles succumb to the heat. Even if you might not feel thirsty constantly hydrate especially with Gatorade not only H20. It gives you back electrolytes and recovery essentials that will help during the hot day.
  1. Umbrellas and Hats:  I know it may sound a bit weird but an umbrella that you can open and close while in the racing area will also help to keep the heat off. Fatigue can build while sitting in the open sunlight. Try to create your own shade for yourself.
  1. List and organizeA few days before you leave create a list. Within this list you can put down all of the components that are necessary for racing. Such as your paddle, racing jerseys, PFD and even just toothpaste so you do not have to share. Lists come in handy and you will not forget a thing if you take the time to create one.
  1. Snacks: Everyone is responsible for two days of snacks, the nite before stop at the store and pick up a couple of things. We are a family and we have to help one another. Also have cash available for yourself, taking money out of the ATM there may cost you a few dollars, so have some cash handy for yourself.

Ceez says, "I smell Tempe. Wait are those Spam musubis?!"
1)  Check the weather prior to going to Tempe.  I have competed in 6 Tempe tournaments.  I've raced in rain, under the glaring Arizona sun, raced when it was cold, under windy conditions and even hail !!
2) Wearing USC or UCLA  gear around town will get you the "stink eye" from resident ASU Sun Devil fans.
3)  Don't be intimidated by the 1000m race.  To me, it is much funner than the 500m race.  The 500m half way mark comes faster than one would think.   Do not over pace, we do long sets in practice all the time!! 
4)   Spam Musubis.  We are on our own for food this year in Tempe.  There are limited vendors at the Tempe tournament.  IMHO, there is only one good food booth to get food at,..the Hawaiian food booth.  They always run out of Spam Musubis very quick.  Attack as soon as you can!!
5)  Make sure your legs and arms are in good shape.  We need them for the races, but also, this tournament celebrates the breast cancer teams like no other tournament.  The tunnel of paddles made by all the paddlers can be quite long and you may have to stand in your paddle salute position for a while!

Galen tapering his workouts with light pushups
1) Drink lots of water.  Tempe is a desert so be aware that the dry desert air will dehydrate you at night and during the day

2) There are cameras everywhere!  Watch out for them sneaky Arizona highway cameras.   Those remote cameras, on the highway, will take a picture of you if you are driving too fast, so get to know your cruise control intimately.

3) Sunscreen up!  Coming back from a weekend of fun sore and red is so not hot nor enjoyable.  Apply early and often
4) Don't forget your lips!  Bring some lip balm (with spf!) to protect your lips and keep them nice in supple and soft (for yourself and...)
5) Have Fun!  Relax!  It's your first tourney.  Enjoy the sites and festivities.  Share new experiences with your teammates.  Come back with plenty of fun stories - that you may or may not want to tell...but see step #2.

Coach Em enjoying her light bowl of oatmeal
1. REST the week before the race.  Sleep well.

2. Stay hydrated the week before and during the races.
3. Eat light on race day if you don't want to puke.
4. Stop at Cabazon outlets on the way.  There's a fantastic Coach outlet.  Pearl gets something new every year.

Funny hat free! Everything else? $5 to Turtle!!

1. Make sure you take everything you usually use at practice (ex ... paddling gloves, butt pad, rash guard, sun glasses and even ur water shoes). Having the things you're used to helps you avoid distractions due to change.
2. Remember to cheer on our team when we not racing, it can be the extra boost paddlers need during a race.
3. We are known to be the FUN, HAPPY and STRONG team!! Lets have fun and paddle strong! Bring your funny hats, tutus, and warrior attitudes!
Watch out for the traffic cams (I think they've been canceled but not sure)

Even Princess Pearl puts away her tiara for layered warmth!
Dress in layers, Tempe is desert weather, very unpredictable, our first year we had hail!

Drink lots of water, again Tempe is desert weather, very dry!

Stay out of the sun!

Bring toilet paper, they'll run out!