After I crossed the mount I clipped one foot in, hopped on the seat and was off. Oh man. I was off. I felt the cool air hitting my wet tri kit and felt a flash of exactly how I felt during the beginning of the bike at Redman. It made my stomach churn. I talked myself out of it and just told myself ‘You have to keep going’. 3 miles in, I still felt anxious and wanted to get off my bike and I just kept saying ‘You have to keep going. Get settled in. You will feel better’. Honestly, I wanted to cry, but I knew I had to do this and crying was just dumb at this point….I needed to get past this. So on I went. And on I went. And before I knew it I had passed mile 5 and after that I had a slight smile on my face thinking ‘Well, I made it farther than I did at Redman’….and then I hit mile 18… and felt even better. Yes, it was a tough course – there were hills, there was wind but hell…. I wasn’t laying on the concrete…I was pretty darn happy as each mile ticked by and felt my energy surging throughout the ride.
At mile 35 I had another male racer say ‘Yeah STL!’ as he passed and shortly after another female racer say ‘I like your bike!’ who had a Cannondale Slice also, and later I was just chatting it up with another guy about the darn hill we were climbing….and with those small little things, they were such reminders as to why I love this sport so much. It’s an individual sport, but there is still so much camaraderie.
I also wasn’t as timid on the down hills as I usually am, which is HUGE for me. I only braked once and even then it wasn’t for too long. It wasn’t until after the race that I saw on my Garmin file but I hit 35 mph on downhills twice that day. Probably a record for me. Let’s just say I really felt comfortable on the course. 🙂
When I came back into the campground I felt on. top. of. the. world. I was going to get to finish this race!! I flew into t2…chatted it up a tiny bit with the girl next to me and decided I would use the port a potty instead of holding it during the run (ordinarily I would NEVER waste time using the porta potty). Then I was off on the run!