These are the only races that make me nervous and the nerve endings are jumping already and its 8 days out from the race! I believe its the confidence thang in the water AND what's in the pot at the end of the rainbow. Many folks get into triathlons because somewhere in their lives, they swam - usually as a competitor on a swim team. They have perfect swim form and glide in the water just like a fish. Me? I started swimming 5 years ago and didn't get a lesson until recently. Every stroke is a struggle. Racing mountain bikes or running a 5 or 10K are nothing compared to starting a race with a nice 20 or 30 minute swim. You know that feeling that you can't breath at the start of a race? Well stick your head the water and try that. Holy crap its a different world. Every stroke must be perfect -- you have to constantly think about 10 things every 2 seconds and don't DARE get tired or it will all fall apart and you'll start sinking. Its definitely one of my biggest challenges. And the end of the rainbow? Well that would have to be Maui. Almost every serious triathlete at some point wants to look in that pot sitting at the bottom of the rainbow and see what they can find. Heading to worlds is the ultimate acheivement in ANY sport, so who wouldn't want to do their best to get that honor bestowed upon them. Initially, I started this season focusing on a better swim and better run times; but now with the season about to start, the focus is shifting to that pot at the end of the rainbow -- how can we refuse!