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!

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.