Fall/Winter 2018 #1

I wanted to do a training recap, because they seem to keep me accountable. But I haven’t technically signed up for any of my off season running yet (more on this another time) so for the next couple weeks I’ll just mosey along with vague blog post titles. Life could be worse. And now, last week’s training in review:

Swim - 59:49, 2150 meters

Bike - 02:00:01, 21.37 miles

Run - 01:44:44, 6.04 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Amazing fall weather. I got to wear long sleeves and shorts on one run, which is basically my favorite thing ever. I love fall running.

  • Getting those workouts done! That includes two hours on the trainer, even though the weather was pretty.

Thumbs Down For

  • Zone 2 training. I think I’ve blogged about it before, but I really hate slowing down. I had my cycling VO2 max test done (blog post on this soon!) and it turns out that my Zone 2 pace is a blistering 10.7 mph. And that’s if there’s no wind and its completely flat. Grrrr. So my trainer and I are going to become good friends this winter. But for now, its just really incredibly frustrating.

Looking Ahead

Stacey and I are meeting up to ride this weekend. I’m hopeful that the fall foliage will be gorgeous. The foliage maps say it should be peaking, but apparently because of all the rainfall, some of the trees are going straight from green to brown. We shall see…

Race Report: Waterman's International Aqua Bike 2018

The Quick & Dirty

2018 Waterman’s International Aqua Bike

Rock Hall, MD

72℉, Sunny, dry roads

1500m swim, 40km bike


Overall Rank - 6/7

Age Group Rank (F-AB) - 6/7


Pre-Race & Warm Up:

Slept in my own bed, got up, packed up my gear and my J, and started the drive out to Rock Hall. I ate two Uncrustables for breakfast as we crossed the bridge into MD on 495. I also clearly drank a bit more water than intended, as I spent a good hour after we got over the Bay Bridge looking for a bathroom that was open at 5am. We very nearly had to stop at the side of the road!

Once we arrived at the race site, which was equal parts breathtaking view and disgusting mudpit, I picked up my packet and did the usual stickers and transition setup. There was a brief “oh crap” moment where I thought I forgot my race belt, then remembered that I wasn’t running so didn’t need one. J and I took a few pics of the harbor view, then made our way over to the Team Z tent to wait for the start.

My warmup consisted of getting my wetsuit on and walking from the Team Z tent to the swim start. Getting on the wetsuit was insane! I definitely need to practice, as once a few kind teammates gave me some pointers, I was doing much better. As Jen and I headed over to the start, I mentioned that maybe I needed a bit more trislide….a comment that wound up being all too true.


1500 meters, 40:09 (2:41/100 meters)

I’m surprised this was over 40 minutes, considering I was in a wetsuit in salty water. Granted, I told myself to take the swim super easy, but I thought I’d be closer to 38 minutes. It did take a good amount of time to haul myself out of the harbor. The “steps” were up at my armpit level, but fortunately a kind and sturdy volunteer grabbed my hand and helped me out. I kept everything calm and relaxed. There wasn’t a lot going on in the way of landmarks, so I really depended on the buoys for siting. I feel like I swam fairly straight. This was my favorite swim to date. 70 degrees, fairly clear water, and just lovely. Minus the neck and underarm chafe, of course!

A swim Exit photo to be proud of!

A swim Exit photo to be proud of!




Someone has never gotten herself out of a wetsuit before, and paid the price today. The only ever time I wore a wetsuit there were strippers. This was so embarrassing. I had to eventually sit in the mud and it STILL took forever to get the suit off my heels. It was a longish walk/run from the water to transition, but wow. Practice!



40 km, 1:38:43 (14.9) mile/hr

Oh so very close to 15 mph! My plan was to get faster with each 5 mile chunk, and I was successful! The course was pretty, with lots of corn fields and other “exotic” views for this suburban girl. It was a little bit lonely out there, since the Aqua Bike athletes were the last wave. Since I’m a slow/average swimmer and a slow cyclist, I didn’t see a lot of people. I did, however, manage to pass a couple of fellow competitors, which was amazing.

Right at the beginning I heard a terrible noise every time I pedaled. Within the first five minutes I realized that my frame pump had come a bit loose and had fallen down towards the drivetrain. It was getting smacked by my pedal with every stroke. I hopped off, stuffed the pump in my hydration pack, and got going again. Its worth pointing out that both at the mount line and here that getting clipped in was practically impossible. My Speedplay pedals have always been a nightmare to clip into, and the muddy transition area made it worse. Any idea why they’re such a pain?

The last few miles did start to get tough. I had to bargain with myself to keep on pushing and not let off the gas. I’m so proud of myself. For the first time every, I’m really pleased with my bike. Yes, I wish I were faster, but that will come with work and some weight loss. I really gave it everything I had!

Jen knows what’s up: AquaBike 4eva!

Jen knows what’s up: AquaBike 4eva!

Once I got back to transition, there was some confusion about where Aqua Bike athletes were supposed to go. Eventually I just took my stuff back into transition, picked up a medal from a group of kids with clipboards, and then found my way back to the Team Z tent to wait for my friends to finish up. I was feeling pretty goofy, which usually means I need some water and salt. I did not have any heart pounding or any other bad symptoms.


Goals & Race Post Mortem

I met all my goals! Good relaxed swim, positive thinking, and a negative split for the bike course. Triple win! I wasn’t very consistent with my workouts this season, so even though I had a lot of improvement as far as bike confidence, it didn’t translate into speed. I’m also significantly heavier than I was last season. I would love to come back to this course and have another go at it after a winter of training.

This was my first time doing a Kinetic race. I’ve heard really good things, and overall, this was a nice race. I think perhaps the volunteer coordinator didn’t give very specific instructions to some, as there were several volunteers at intersections not waving flags or moving at all. Fortunately I had studied the course map and knew where I was going. That wouldn’t stop me from doing another race from Kinetic. Hopefully my run will be in good shape and I can make it a triathlon, although it is really nice to know that Kinetic has Aqua Bike as an option for all their races.

Up next…off season planning!

Love these ladies xoxo

Love these ladies xoxo

Race Expectations: Waterman's International Aqua Bike 2018

I know I said it last time (and every time?) but holy crap, race day is tomorrow! I’m a wreck, as usual. Woke up this morning and thought maybe I tweaked my achilles. Even though I haven’t really been running….and there’s no run in an Aqua Bike…..so why am I worried about this? I also became concerned that I had a cold, and then thought maybe I broke my pelvis. Yeah….the pre-race jitters are in full swing. To-do lists and packing and alarm setting, and omg breakfast, etc etc etc. My brain is in overdrive, and I kind of love it.

Setting goals has been really awful this whole season. Actually, the goals themselves haven’t been awful, its been the expectations that are out of control. The ones that live inside my head, and never make it to the page, but nevertheless are driving me. And not in the “reach for the moon and land among the stars” kind of way. More of a, “hey, you’ve got a CSS of 2:20/100m and a Zone 2 bike speed of 12mph, so you should podium in your division,” level of ridiculousness. Like, what?! Who thinks that way? I have no idea why I put that kind of stupid pressure on myself. So to fix that, my goals need to look different. Smaller, more concrete, and within my power to execute.

Less stuff than for a triathlon….but not by much!

Less stuff than for a triathlon….but not by much!

Swim Relaxed

The water temperature is 70 degrees, and the amazing Jen is letting me borrow her old wetsuit. I’ve only swam in a wetsuit once before, so the idea is to take the start easy and keep everything long and lean and relaxed. No panic, no fuss, just swim.

Second swim goal: don’t wish it away. The Williamsburg swim was choppy, and at one point I just wanted out of the water. No matter what happens out there tomorrow, I want to grab it and live, not wish for it to be something else.

Negative Split the Bike

I’ve got a fairly flat course and no run. What have I got to lose? I will hydrate like a champ (still haven’t graduated to grabbing water bottles yet, so hydration pack it is) and then I’m going to break the race up into 5 mile chunks, and try to get a little bit faster with each chunk.

Goal Times - NOPE

I’m just not even going to go there. If I finish and can say I reached my three goals, then this race is going to be the biggest win, worthy of nothing but smiles. Let’s do this!

Anyone else racing this weekend? Shout out to my Manatee peeps at IMChatt!

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - RACE WEEK!

Race week is here! I’m actually equal parts excited (because race week!) and nonplussed (because….I don’t really know why.) I haven’t felt particularly excited about any of my races this season. I’m not sure if its because nothing feels scary-hard, so there’s no race day nerves. Or maybe because I’ve been in a funk for a good portion of the last year, that I’m finally starting to dig my way out of, but not quite enough yet to be pumped for a big event. Is it because I haven’t seen the kind of improvements I want, and therefore don’t think anything special is going to happen on race day? Every other year, there was always this feeling of magic, like anything could happen. I haven’t had that this season. Maybe goal setting has put me off my game and added too much pressure? Something to think about as I put keys to keyboard for my Race Expectations post. With that, here’s last week’s training in review:

Swim - 01:54:04, 3925 meters

Bike - 29:04, 6.91 miles

Run - 50:10, 3.16 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Outdoor swimming in September! I hardly swam outdoors at all this summer, because the sunscreen logistics (its a thing!) were a pain. But having an outdoor pool open past Labor Day? The siren song was strong, and I went for it. 100% outdoors, and I loved every second of it.

  • Getting it done when I didn’t want to. This includes climbing on the training after coming home from work, putting on sweats, and lounging on the couch for awhile. And driving out to the pool on a Saturday afternoon when, again, curling up on the couch sounded far more appealing.

Thumbs Down For

  • Not always getting it done. Sunday morning I woke up, saw the rain, and promptly…..wait for it…..curled up on the couch. The entire morning, I knew I should still get out there and get a last longish taper ride in. But I didn’t. For not real reason.

Looking Ahead

All eyes on Saturday. I’ve resisted the urge to check the weather, and that includes the water temp. Fingers are firmly crossed for water temps above 71 so that I don’t feel compelled to rent a wetsuit. Other than that, its just ticking the boxes down until Waterman’s.

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 2 weeks

Funny how you can write a series of blog posts that talk about a countdown to something, yet still be taken by surprise that the event gets closer. The countdown really is on, now! Twelve days out from Waterman’s, which means its almost time to start stalking race day weather. How did we get to mid-September?! Here’s last week in review:

Swim - 56:22, 2150 meters

Bike - 01:36:11, 21.84 miles

Run - 20:02, 1.29 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Another lovely ride with Jen in Nokesville. We both agreed after the fact that we probably pushed harder than we should have, but I’m okay with that. I know I can do the distance, and I know how I plan on trying to break up the bike leg on race day to push.

Thumbs Down For

  • Just the one workout each for swim/bike/run. Because I know I can do the distance, I don’t have the fear that usually drives me to get all my workouts in.

Looking Ahead

I’m getting a bit of FOMO as I start seeing my friends fill in their 2019 race schedules. I want to sign up for stuff, too! Also, I had an adjustment made to my medication, which hopefully means looking ahead to feeling more mentally stable. Of course, the next week or so will be tricky as my body adjusts (vertigo, blech) but it should be smooth sailing by this time next week. Just in time for race week. Two weeks to go!