It was the 70.3 World Championships in Mont Tremblant in 2014. It was my first World Championships, so needless to say I was very excited.
The morning of the race, as Chris and I started to make our way to the start. Got to the transition area and double checked that I had everything in the bags.
The race started and as I came out of the water, I was happy with my swim, I noticed I had come out in a good position, ran to grab my bike bag and as soon as I took my helmet out of my bag I remembered that I had left my bike shoes in the hotel, I couldn't believe it.
What was I supposed to do? Quit? I think the thought crossed my mind very briefly and decided to proceed.
I knew I would see Christelle, my wife, in the first couple of miles and I was sure she was going to be able to somehow get me the shoes, I just had to pedal without them for a little bit, I thought.
While on the bike, I kept getting passed by a lot of people as I wasn't able to push very hard or pull on my pedal stroke. I just kept buying some time, while a moto would come and find me, is what I kept telling myself.
I got to the first turnaround and I hadn't seen anyone with bike shoes. At this point, I was over a fourth of the way and all I had to do next was get back to the town before getting to the second and last out and back. I was sure that I would see Christelle there and I would be able to bike with shoes for the last 10 miles.
I got back into town and my wife was nowhere to be found. I had ridden in pain for 45 miles already and I was at a point where I could stop but I decided to dig deep and finish the bike.
My feet were in a lot of pain and I didn't really care if I wasn't going to be able to run as long as I could finish the bike. At least that's what I told myself.
The problem was that the last 10 miles had the steepest parts of the course. I almost had to get off my bike at the last hill, but it was the World Championships, I can't get off, I thought. I pushed the pedals as hard as I could, was in the smallest gear and somehow managed to get to the top.
I made it all the way back to T2 and the thought of just quitting crossed my mind again.
I got off my bike and my feet were completely numb, so I wasn't really feeling pain, I wasn't feeling anything at all.
I decided to take that opportunity to just put my running shoes on and give it a try. I ended up finishing the run. I never thought I would be able to say that I rode 56 miles without shoes and then ran a half marathon.
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