My first race of the weekend is a little less than four hours away. My stomach has a pit in it that feels like it contains a significant portion of the universe's dark matter. Doesn't matter the race or the venue, I feel this way every time I pin on a number.
You'd think the nerves would go away after a while, but they don't. I mentioned said nerves a couple weeks ago to Peter, whom I've raced against since we were Cat. 4s. He said "the fact that you get nervous every time is probably one of the reasons you race your bike."
And I suppose he's right. I realize that nobody else cares how I finish. But I care. So I will be nervous until that feeling is replaced by adrenaline and fatigue.