Someone asked my why, after years of racing, I still get nervous. 
First, let's take a look at the definition of nervous.
NERVOUS: highly excitable; unnaturally or acutely uneasy or apprehensive: to become nervous under stress. Of or pertaining to the nerves; nervous tension.  Characterized by or attended with acute uneasiness or apprehension: a nervous moment for us all.  Vigorous or spirited.

Keeping all those things in mind, I came up with a long list lot of stressors that run thru my mind contributing to my nerves before races...or should we say "vigorous spirit" - ha!
After weighing all the facotors involed, the thing that makes me feel nervous is racing with my heart.  Above all else, I put myself on the line.  In life, I hold myself back a lot, afraid of what everyone will think of me When I race, there are no curtains to hide behind.  Just me out there truely testing myself, fully emotionally exposed.  It's a little scary, but as I let myself be free to chase my dreams, I know that I need to rely on my heart to carry me.  The more I expose my heart thru racing, the more I embrace my true self - it's like therapy...only much more expensive!! 
I know my heart is strong, but it's the kind of strength that can only be tested by faith, not tangible or quantifiable measurements.  How I feel about my race afterwards, honestly has very little to do with the result, but more about how I carried my self during the race. Did I believe in myself?  Did I believe in my training?  Did I believe in all the people that believe in me?  Did I allow myself to feed off the energy of the event and everyone around me?  In otherwords, was I couragous enough to race with my heart wide open?  Or was I too afraid of getting hurt? 
As I venture off to my 3rd weekend in a row of racing, I carry my heart with me.  So yes, I might be nervous, and a little tight and tired, but that's all okay - my heart will show me the way!!!


1st multi-sport race 2012

Considering weather patterns in the NW in April are relatively unstable, this first race is always questionable.  In fact, I have only ever started this race once before and ended up dropping out because I could not stop shivering when I got off my bike.  Lucky for me, this weekend was exceptionally beautiful!
I'm not a huge fan of duathlons, but none-the-less I was very excited!  It was also exciting to be in Wenatchee, I adore that town and all the people there!  The turnout was a little less than what I was expecting, especially considering the weather, but the competition was fierce!!  We headed out on the first run and by the time we got to the turn around, I realized the course was much hillier than I remembered!  Despite the little hills, I felt strong and smooth, coming in 4th I think.
My transition was terrible!  Note to self, PRACTICE!!  Once I was finally on my bike I marked my first target.  After a while of chasing, I realized I was never going to catch that guy and my strategy turned into just hanging on and to not let anyone pass me.  For the first 1/3 of the bike, my legs were on fire and I didn't feel comfortable until the last 1/3 or so, and by then I felt unstoppable!  The only thing bad about ending my bike leg on a good note, was it made me dread the upcoming run.

No biggie, just 3 more miles of running, woof!  I felt pretty good after about the 1st mile, then by the start of mile 3 I tried to push it a bit to see if I could pass someone and my hamstrings felt like they were on the verge of cramping.  So again, I backed off a bit realizing I didn't really need to push it that hard on the first race of the season.  Of course, I knew the person behind me was running very strong, so I couldn't exactly back off either.  Before I knew it the race was over and I ended up 3rd overall (including guys), which was my goal - yay!
I couldn't have asked for a better start to the season!
My thanks go out to everyone that put on the Apple Capital Spring Duathlon, all the participants, my Mom and Jeff for the wonderful pre-race meal and undying support, SET Coaching (my coach),  Wenatchee and all my friends and family for supporting me ALL the time!