1. I asked for some advice in a tri forum prior to my triathlon, and I got some really good advice. In addition to the advice they gave me, I found out the following: Since I was wearing a 2 piece for the entire race, I thought I did not really need a lot of stuff. So I practised the transition the night before a few times, and it was good to visual everything in the proper order. Come race day it was raining, and I left everything in a bag, but sorted it out in the transition order I had practised.
2. I knew I would be a bit slow in the swim, but I was told to give it a good go on the bike. I set off hell for leather, and actually caught and overtook a few people. I started slowly though, and warmed my legs up a bit - or tried to!
3. Know exactly where the timing mats are as you transition. I thought I knew, but after the swim, I spent a few minutes getting my glasses from my friend, and chatting with her, before she said you should get going! I then had to sprint out to try and find the timing mat which the volunteers pointed out.
4. I do not regret chatting with my friend because it allowed me to feel the joy of having actually completed the swim! Another good piece of advice I received was to talk to the other people around me was well heeded. The woman who had her bike racked next to mine, helped me, as I did not have a clue what to do, I met her at the swim and since she had done this same tri 2 years ago, kept telling me what an awesome thing I was doing!
5. My husband was in Germany, so I took a friend with me and another met me there. Do not go alone, it is super to have a girlfriend there, cheering for you. I am certainly going to return the favour to someone else!
6. I ran without socks, which I am used to. However it was raining and I did get a few blisters. Still for a short race it's not too bad.. not sure about longer ones though.
7. I wore flip flops from the pool to T1 area. If you do that, get ones which are slip in slip out, not with a V front. I struggled to get them on, and then struggled to keep them on in the downhill run to the T1 area in the rain.
8. Have a snack you are used to. I usually have fig newman's when I run, and I had the same at the tri. 1 is enough as there is no time for more. I had very little breakfast, so was starving after the bike. Do not wrap in foil though!
I am sure I could have done a lot of things a lot more efficiently, but the best advice I got from this forum , was to relax, enjoy and FINISH.