My first race of the '09 triathlon season is tomorrow morning; the gun goes off at 7:30 on a 70.3-mile endurance event. I'm jittery, I always am before a race regardless of its size or importance.
I started preparing for this season back in November, now all of a sudden its staring me in the face. The normal questions run through my mind and will likely cause a fitful sleep tonight. Did I train enough? Could I have done things better? Is all of my equipment present and in good order? These worries will plague me right up until race start. Once the gun goes off and I'm moving through the water towards the first buoy it'll all be on automatic pilot. The hard part is over, now it's time to just let muscle memory do it's thing.
My biggest concern is leaving my race out there on the bike course. In other words hammering so hard on the bike that I have nothing left for the 13 plus-mile run. I've done this twice before, and frankly its a rookie mistake. I'd love to finish with a strong run, but it means having my ego cede a bit on the bike. That'll be my biggest challenge. We'll see.
Post Script: I went 5:29 for the race, and placed very high in my age group. I may have even won it, I'm not sure. The swim was a mess as I haven't done ANY open water swimming and was drifting all over the place. The bike was very fast and by far my strongest event, even on the extremely hilly course. As predicted I had a hard time tempering myself on the bike and paid for it dearly with one of the most painful and agonizing runs of my triathlon career.
All-in-all I was happy with the race as my season opener. Next weekend I race in Peachtree City, Georgia.