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.

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 6 weeks

You guys....I got ALL of my scheduled swim/bike/runs in last week.  That's the first time this year!  Check out Instagram for the pictures.  I'm still in lazy-blogger mode and can't bring myself to duplicate pictures here. Last week in review:

Swim - 1:08:30, 2650 meters

Bike - 02:59:34, 38.35 miles

Run - 01:25:02, 9.14 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Friends.  Liz and Stacey are the best, no two ways around it! xoxo
  • Lake Anna day!  While it didn't go as planned (more on that in Thumbs Down) it was so much fun.  The lake was clearer than I've ever seen it.  The company was terrific.  And all of it happened on a Friday, so I got a three day weekend, too.
  • Never giving up.  I was afraid my body wasn't going to let me get any workouts in after my scare at Lake Anna, but I was able to get out and run on Saturday.  AND! Despite a slow start on Sunday morning, I told myself that "not feeling it" wasn't a good enough reason, and got out there and got my long ride in.  Success.

Thumbs Down For

  • Syncope and POTS, I really hate you right now.  I'm actually going to do a separate post on last Friday's episode and how I recovered after.  That's the kind of thing I wish I'd been able to read on others' blogs after I first got my diagnosis.  But for now, let's just say that I had a bad day on the bike at Lake Anna.  There were some scary moments and some sitting on the side of the road. I recovered, in no small part thanks to my amazing friends, and was back to workouts the very next day.  Still a thumbs down though, because I really wanted to do my long ride in Spotsylvania instead of the W&OD.

Looking Ahead

BBQ with coworkers this Saturday!  The timing of it means I have to miss the team ride, so I have to make sure I'm feeling good enough to do a solo ride.

Luray Swim Fest 2018 - Race Report

Swim Fest was amazing, and I absolutely recommend it.  Since it wasn't really a race, more a training day, let's get the goal stuff out of the way first, shall we?

  • Outstanding –  < :50
  • Exceeds Expectations – :56
  • Acceptable – 1:02
  • Poor -  > 1:02
  • Dreadful – DNF for nonmedical reasons
  • Troll – vomiting (or worse) in the water
yes, you did have to run out of the water between loops.&nbsp; Yes, it sucked.

yes, you did have to run out of the water between loops.  Yes, it sucked.

My official finishing time for the 2250m swim was 1:02:23.  Rounding down, that gives me a grade of Acceptable.  For someone who has scarcely swum once a week since April, and even less over the fall and winter, Acceptable is exactly what I deserve.  What I'm actually most proud of it how I paced myself.  The course is three loops, and I had each loop within 90 second of each other!

My other goals were to be calm and have fun, and I nailed both of those, too.  I plunged right in, zero anxiety, and just swam.  As for the fun...yes, totally.  A day with friends, a swim, and a burger.  Basically a dream day, no?

Liz picked me up at o'dark-thirty, picked up Emily at o'dark-forty-five, and then we were off for Luray.  Having the sun come up behind us was neat, and seeing the mist roll over Shenandoah is always beautiful.  Once we got to the race site, we set up our home base on the top of a hill, with a great view of the lake.  Emily had never swum open water before, and was signed up for the 750m, and Liz was signed up for all 3 distances, so they were first in the water.  Since the 2250m didn't start for a few hours, I wandered over to the Team Z tent for a little bit, said hi to Caroline, and then wandered around a little more.

I practiced some pre-race nutrition, just to make sure everything was going to sit well.  I started getting some nasty burps about midway through my swim, but I think that has more to do with me swallowing air than my nutrition.  I had the breakfast of champions (Pop Tarts) as we headed out of Northern Virginia, a pouch of Skratch chews and a bottle of the Sport Hydration about 90 minutes before, and a VFuel gel with some more water right as we were heading in.  Way too many calories for a typical one hour swim, but this was more about testing, and i'm pleased with how it went.  I've tested similar before long bike rides, and I'm feeling really confident about how my stomach will handle this amount of calories at these intervals for Williamsburg.  Oh!  And I had my Skratch Hyper Hydration first thing in the morning, and the Wellness as we were riding back home.  This combo is quickly becoming my "must do" before outdoor events.  Obviously its a huge amount of sodium, so unless you're like me and have had this much stipulated by a doctor, I don't recommend it.  I'm not a Skratch ambassador or anything, although I'm starting to think I should apply to be.  I've simply found that the products sit well in my stomach, and have the necessary sodium for me to manage my POTS symptoms.

This event is fantastic for beginners, I have to say.  There are tons of SUPs and kayaks, and because it is a loop course, you're never really far from shore.  Far being a relative term, of course.  Swag for the race included a medal and a super soft race shirt.  I am loving the trend of my most recent races having these soft shirts.  They get so much more use than the stiffer ones.  You could also pay to upgrade to a big beach towel if you wanted, which came in loads of colors.

Achievement Unlocked - Peak Dorkiness

Achievement Unlocked - Peak Dorkiness

So, final thoughts...

Do Luray Swim Fest!  Do it with friends or family.  Make sure to get custard at Spelunkers on the way home.  Revel in the free race pictures.  That is all.  #swimlove