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.
Have A Dig Deep Story To Share? All you have to do is think of a particular time in your life when you had to dig deep (it doesn't necessarily have to be about racing or training, it can be about anything). Make your story as long as you want and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject : Your Instagram name if you have one). Don't forget to include a picture :) . I look forward to featuring your story! Cheers, Hugo