In one week I will be writing my first 2010 triathlon race report.

But right now, I am sitting on a case of the nerves.

It has been a long weekend in the UK, more for me since I took Friday off.  Although I hate doing it, I went shoe shopping on Friday.

A shiny new pair of suede and patent leather high tops – yummy!

Now, you would think this would be heaven.  A new pair of shoes, nerves softened a bit by the glow of the shoppers high.  Know what?  This was a disastrous move.  Bank balance aside, the things look great but I forgot one key thing.  My heals always hate new shoes.  Ever since I was a kid I get blisters on the back of my heals.  So yep, they looked great as I walked all over London on Saturday.  But man, I wish I hadn’t put them on until after race day!

The little “blister incident” prompted me to have worries.  How much training this week?  Will my legs do ok?  Everyone I have spoken with said the Blenheim Triathlon course was deceptively hilly – how would I handle running on hills?  And cycling?  Have I built up enough strength?  And I haven’t been in truly open murky water yet this season.  Yikes, would I be able to sight okay and go straight?

Yep.  Nerves bubbling to the surface.

One thing we did last year which really helped with doing the triathlon in Idaho was going to the race course beforehand.  Actually that was a lifesaver – if I had seen that climb the day of the event for the first time on my bike, I think I would’ve cried.  So drawing on that experience, we decided to do a little reccie on Monday – it was a holiday in the UK and neither of us had been to Blenheim before (even though it is just around the corner from Oxford!).

We took our bikes on the tube, then the train, and finally rode out to and around Blenheim.  It is a gorgeous place.  Hopefully I got the sightseeing out of my system so that I will be in a race frame of mind on Sunday (in Idaho I kind of sightseed rather than raced at one stage of the course – it was so gorgeous it was hard not to!)…

The swim location – and the Palace, aka transition, and the ride out of T1.

Seeing the course really helped me to calm down a bit.  We rode one loop of the bike course, nice and easy, so that I could try to remember the dips, loops and turns.

And yeh, I mugged for the camera too!

I must say that I understand the comments now about the course.  Yes, the lanes are narrow.  Yes, it is full of turns and I can see how it can be crazy with racers flying past.  I worry that my legs won’t make me move fast enough to avoid being a danger to others, but hey, that is what the left lane (the slow lane) is for.  I’ve never ridden over cattle grates before, so I will just have to close my eyes and be brave.  And let’s hope there is not rain – I can see the lanes being really slippery when wet, and my elbow doctor would be none too pleased if I fell and ruined his fine work!

Heading out and seeing the course made me a feel a bit better – less of the bad nerves, more of the good ones – the ones that will help me to be full of adrenaline, the ready to go nerves.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much my training will impact my racing, and to see how much stronger I feel… The proof will be on Sunday…

And I can confirm that my bike Ninja Face and I really don’t like taking public transport!

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