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!

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 3 weeks

So maybe not rainbows and unicorn kisses, but last week turned out decent.  The workouts themselves were a bit all over the place, but I got some of them done, so that's a huge improvement over last week's cry-fest.  Last week in review:

Swim - 01:53:03, 4000 meters

Bike - 02:19:51, 31.12 miles

Run - 20:02, 1.28 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Two swim workouts in a single week. Despite the fact that I usually really love swimming, this year I have been struggling to get to the pool. I should thank my lucky stars that I'm able to maintain my usual mid-pack paces with the meager amount of attention that I've put into my swim this year. But last week I decided that with an Aqua Bike on the calendar and rain in the forecast, I was going to head to the pool instead of out for a run on Sunday. Success!

  • A wonderful long ride on Saturday. It was 73 degrees, the rain held off, and Jen and I got 24+ miles in around Nokesville. So awesome. My HR was a bit higher than I wanted it to be, but I'm not going to quibble.

Thumbs Down For

  • Barely any running. I got a walk/run in on Monday, then nothing else for the rest of the week. While I don't feel the need to prioritize running because of the AquaBike, I also don't want to give up running entirely. That'll just make it hurt worse when I try to get back on the horse.

  • Trainer issues. I struggled to get on the bike Tuesday morning, and continued to struggle through the workout. I was supposed to hit some Z4 intervals, and despite feeling like I was pushing my hardest gear, I couldn't get my HR to go up. That's weird for me. Usually its always high. I gave it thirty minutes, then decided to call that good enough and headed for the shower. Something is better than nothing.

Looking Ahead

Peak week is here!  After the team ride was changed to Frederick, MD, Jen and I are discussing heading back to Nokesville to get our last long ride in.  I'm considering inviting Caroline, even though she may be more interested in going to the Team ride.  Or maybe Stacey or Liz.  Love love love having so many training buddies to choose from.  How did I do so much of my training all alone last year?

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 4 weeks

Last week sucked:  

Swim - 00:00, 0 meters

Bike - 00:00, 0 miles

Run - 00:32:02, 1.55 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • A trail run that didn't involve a huge amount of mud.  The rain held off just enough last week that I was able to get out there for half an hour of fun.

Thumbs Down For

  • In case anyone is wondering what depression looks like in metric form, that's it.  I had such a terrible week, complete with ugly-crying fits.  Why?  Isn't that the most insidious part of depression?  No reason, of course.  I mean, yes, there's some stressful stuff going on that came to a head last week.  But, for me at least, depression shows itself by my inability to deal with stuff that comes along.

Looking Ahead

Time to dig deep and get back to it, right?  I'm not as bad off as I felt last week, and I have an appointment with my doctor in a couple weeks to adjust my meds.  Plus, last week was so incredibly awful, things can only get better.

Also, maybe looking ahead to having a post where I get to be positive?  Rainbows and unicorn kisses would be most welcome right now.

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 5 weeks

I bragged about me being in control of my POTS, then had an episode.  So naturally when I bragged last week that I got all my workouts in, this week I missed several, including both of my key weekend workouts.  I'm not particularly upset though.  I've already gotten a couple 30 mile rides in, so I have no worries about completing the distance.  That, and seeing as I missed them, and that's in the past, and I can't change the past....well, what else is there to do?  Move forward, and keep doing the work, right?  Last week in review:

Swim - 51:34, 1900 meters

Bike - 42:05, 9.66 miles

Run - 01:29:23, 5.29 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • A speedy day on the trainer.  My 14 minute Z4 interval averaged 16.4 mph, and my 3 minute Z5 interval averaged 19.8 mph.  Obviously trainer speed doesn't always equate to road speed, and I'm not actually aware of a race with a 4 mile bike segment, but hey! Milestones are milestones, and it feels good to celebrate them.
  • Powering through.  I've been more successful with my track workouts when I do them on the treadmill, so on Wednesday I sauntered over to the apartment gym and climbed aboard for some 800m repeats.  So hot!  I was sweating buckets during the warmup, and was soaked through by the second of four repeats.  I could tell it was hot in the gym, but I just kept plugging along.  Yes, they were a bit slower, but I got all of them done.  As I was leaving, I checked the thermostat in the gym....82 degrees F!

Thumbs Down For

  • Missing my weekend workouts.  I have a lot of "shoulda" happening with this past weekend.  Shoulda gotten the run in first thing Saturday.  Shoulda gotten myself on the bike for at least a small ride, which is better than no ride at all.

Looking Ahead

This week is a recovery week, so no high intensity workouts on the schedule.  The weather looks really hot and humid, but it'll be okay since I can go as slow as I want.

My body tells me no...

 

After several weeks of feeling good, and a couple rides where I actually marveled about how well I was doing, my body gave me a big middle finger. 

It was last Friday, 8 miles into our ride at Lake Anna and we were at a stop sign, regrouping.  I felt that familiar pounding in my chest.  Its kind of like the symptoms of a panic attack, but without any of the mental component. I knew that if I pushed through, I would wind up feeling much worse a few miles down the road.  I had Stacey hold my bike while I paced around a bit, since standing still is a big no-no with syncope and POTS....but it just wasn't getting any better.  I remember looking at Stacey and telling her (I think?) that I wasn't right.  There was a moment when I tried to lie back, with the end goal being to swing around and prop my feet up on the fence behind me.  Nope!   I immediately went tunnel vision, and as I sat up, I tasted metal in my mouth.  That was when Stacey took off like a bat out of hell, riding back to go get my car.  Liz handed me water to pour on my head, which simultaneously felt divine and like I was drowning.  I felt like my heart was beating extra hard, in addition to fast.  My HR monitor confirmed that I was indeed tapping away a nice allegro in my chest cavity.  My hands felt like they weren't connected to my body.  Liz continued to talk....possibly engaging me in conversation?  Its a little blurry.  I some point our voices sounded normal again, and I realized my heart rate had finally come back down to rest levels.  I started feeling significantly better, to the point where I knew that once I was in the car with some A/C on me, I'd be great.

So a few things about this:

  1. Did I already mention how awesome my friends are?  There really are no words. <3
  2. There is absolutely a part of me that feels bad that I threw such a wrench in our fun day.
  3. There is also a part of me that is proud that I was able to throw that wrench.  I wouldn't have done that earlier this year even.  Now I know what I need, and I'm not going to compromise.
  4. I bounced back really well.  I was sort of tired and wasn't hungry at all for the rest of Friday.  But I actually felt well enough Saturday and Sunday to get my workouts in.  That's never happened before, and I credit me actually stopping before things went to far
  5. I don't know why this happened.  And that's frustrating.  It was super hot.  I'd had some GI distress earlier that morning.  Maybe because of that, I didn't drink enough plain water?  I'm getting really good about getting enough salt, but if your total fluid is low, then plain water needs are higher.  Or was it my bike fitness?  I don't know, my HR was kind of high the whole time.  I'm not great at hills, but I shouldn't be feeling the burn 7 miles in.  Maybe it really was the heat.
 This is five days later....trying to cool down after 800m repeats....with an HR of 165.&nbsp; Grrrr.&nbsp; It didn't come down below 140 for a good 20 minutes.

This is five days later....trying to cool down after 800m repeats....with an HR of 165.  Grrrr.  It didn't come down below 140 for a good 20 minutes.

My body tells me no, but I won’t quit, ‘cuz I want more.
— Young the Giant

I feel like I say this a lot, but where does this leave me now?  Same place as before.  Head down, getting it done, eyes on Waterman's International Aqua Bike.  Not everyday gets to be sunshine and rainbows.  I need to be okay with that, because letting myself get upset or sad is just asking for a downward spiral.  Dark days make the light days even brighter.....or something like that.  Sigh.