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.

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.

Countdown to Waterman's Aqua Bike - 7 weeks

Part of the reason why I haven't been blogging much is honestly because it is such a drag to add the pictures when I'm on my tablet.  And what a stupid reason not to write, right?  So from now on I'm just going to post.  Maybe I'll add in pictures later, maybe not.  Besides, all the pretty pictures are on Instagram

Last week was a recovery week.  As proof that I haven't been particularly consistent with my training, I actually logged almost as many hours last week as the "work week" prior.  Time to buckle down and do the work!  With that, last week in review:

Swim - 1:38:06, 3750 meters

Bike - 02:29:43, 31.34 miles

Run - 01:01:53, 3.38 miles

Thumbs Up For

  • Outdoor swims in the sunshine.  So fun.  I wish I wasn't so fair so I could do these more often.  But maybe having them be infrequent makes each one a little sweeter?
  • Getting out to the trails.  Despite the super slow paces and deep mud, there really are fewer things that make me smile the way a crazy hot and humid run at Riverbend does.
  • A solo recovery ride that actually felt easy.  15 miles, over 13 mph average (whaaaaa?) no fear, no medical issues.  Holy crap, this was truly an amazing morning!

Thumbs Down For

  • Comparing.  I still have to fight to keep from comparing myself to others, particularly when it comes to paces.  And that just tends to take the fun away.
  • Fish Face Time Trial 1.2 mile Swim.  I did HarborFest Swims the past two years, and they were some of my favorite events of the season.  This year some changes were made to the event, making it less of a race and more of a supported training day.  Yes, I supposed we could all use more open water training days.  But I really wanted to pit myself against others in a race situation.  Swimming is my favorite discipline, the one where I feel like I can actually get out there and give it my all.  To have this event be turned into something else was disappointing.

Looking Ahead

This Friday is training day at Lake Anna!  So excited for some swim bike fun with some of my favorite people.

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

Race Expectations: Luray Swim Fest 2018

Technically Luray Swim Fest is billed as a race, but I'm treating it like a super fun training day, with a medal at the end.  After an effort to ride bikes with Liz was thwarted by rain, she mentioned Luray Swim Fest.  I had originally been planning to do Washington's Crossing again this year, since I really enjoyed it in 2017, but the weather wasn't looking too promising.  Instead, I signed up for the 2250m event at Luray, and I'm really happy about that choice.  

Me at Washington's crossing 2017, where you swim across the potomac river.&nbsp; With bonus image of the elusive J in the bottom right corner!

Me at Washington's crossing 2017, where you swim across the potomac river.  With bonus image of the elusive J in the bottom right corner!

Goal setting is always really hard for me.  For some reason, I have these expectations in my head that I am significantly faster than I actually am, resulting in ridiculous goals that can't possibly be met.  Not so for this race!  I've barely been in the pool since Reston Tri back in September, and even since April I've only managed about one swim a week.  Expectations are low.  Still, I want to put things down on paper, so here we go: 

Be Calm 

I've only had one instance in open water where I panicked, but seeing as I have very little pool time in the last six months, and this being my first OWS of the season, I'm making it a goal to relax and be calm

Have Fun!

In addition to this being a bit of a girl's day out with friends, this event also has a Team Z presence.  I want to spend some time at the tent, and try to stop being such an outsider.

Goal Times – bringing back the Hogwarts O.W.L. system of scoring myself

  • Outstanding –  < :50
  • Exceeds Expectations – :56
  • Acceptable – 1:02
  • Poor -  > 1:02
  • Dreadful – DNF for nonmedical reasons
  • Troll – vomiting (or worse) in the water

I want to really swim, and finish strong.  I want to finish feeling good enough that I can run out of the lake and across the finish.  I've done some distances pretty similar to this before, but nothing exact.  So....automatic PR, I guess.  

Who else is swimming this weekend?