Two months ago, I signed up for the Desert Classic Duathlon and ever since, I have been a nervous wreck.
3.65 mile trail run, 30 mile road bike, 3.75 mile trail run
I have never been so nervous for a race. In a running race, once the gun goes off, I get in a zone and don't have to think about anything except putting one foot in front of the other.
This was so different. First, I have never raced on my bike before and second, the whole idea of transitioning from one event to the other was completely overwhelming to me.
What if I forget equipment, nutrition, clothing? How would I know which way to go in and out of the transition area? How would I pace myself? What if I was last? Oh, I just did not want to be last!
The race started uphill on the road and turned onto a trail. My good friend and riding partner, Kate, was with me for about 10 seconds before she took off. She is one tough competitor.
The first trail run was great. I felt good and kept a good pace- until I entered the transition area. Then, the nerves were back. I'm pretty certain I had the slowest transition time overall.
Onto the bike- I exited the transition area, clipped in, waved to Lance and the kiddos, and took off down the road. Five minutes into my ride, I wanted off the bike and back into my running shoes. I love biking, but my confidence in the sport is almost nonexistent.
I divided the bike into thirds in my mind. I had ridden the course, so I knew what was coming. I was conservative and kept a comfortable pace since I had never done one of these and was unsure how much energy I would need to have left in my legs for the last run. I was passed by a few women who I remembered passing during the run. Ugh, that was frustrating! As I finished the bike, I began to panic, "Don't fall off, don't fall off." I VERY carefully came to a stop, unclipped, and was determined to make this a faster transition.
I ran out of the transition area and onto the trail and experienced what Kate warned me about. My legs forgot how to run. It was two miles in until they decided they would start to cooperate and finish this thing. I came upon my family on the trail. It was a nice surprise and gave me the last bit of umph I needed to keep going. Again, I loved the run. It was challenging- climb after climb, but I loved it! I came over the top of a ridge and saw the finish line. I sped up, crossed the line, and heard over the loudspeaker, "Welcome home, Sara."
And... I was so very glad to be home.