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!

Race Expectations: Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint 2018

Holy crap, guys, race day is TOMORROW!  Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint is my A race for the first half of the summer.  Once I got the go ahead from the cardiologist back in April to train and race, all my focus has been for this day.  I'm a big ball of emotions, as usual.  Excited to see all my friends and cheer them on at their race on Sunday.  Nervous because my tapering triathlete brain is convinced my ankle is broken. (It absolutely is not.)  Scared that I'll wind up walking like I did at Westfields.  And there's even a tiny part of me that thinks that race day magic is going to take hold, and I'm going to have a really awesome day.  I'm better prepared for this race than any ever before.  I've had multiple 20+ mile rides.  I've hit open water twice already this season.  And I've even been doing speedwork, proving to myself that I can in fact run a whole mile put together without my heart exploding. 

Goal setting for this race is tricky this year.  The course is different than last year, and I guess that's a blessing and a curse.  Blessing, because now I can't compare to my performance from last year.  And we're not comparing, right?  Right.  Sigh...  Curse because even though my swim and run are nowhere near where they were last year, I'm actually feeling a lot more confident on the bike, and was looking forward to seeing if I could beat my bike split from 2017.  The course for the bike is technically the same, it just looks like the overall distance is shorter, so I suppose I can look at overall speed?  But let's go, goal time: 

Swim Smart 

This means don't start out too fast, sight well, and swim it in until I absolutely have to walk it.  The swim is in a different direction this year, accounting for current.  Also it is apparently quite warm...87.8 last I saw.  Ewww.  Very important to keep it calm and collected since warm water is a POTS trigger, so I'll be conservative in the swim and cautious standing up and running into transition.  Basically...be smart.

Hydrate on the Bike

Never been done before, my friends.  For real, this will be my tenth (how is that possible?!) triathlon and I'm such a nervous wreck on the bike that I've never taken in liquids before while moving.  This year I have my hydration pack, and the goal is to take in some fluid on the move, setting me up for a strong run.


Flat Laura! Also, this image looks tiny, and I will probably reupload when not blogging on a phone. ;)

Flat Laura! Also, this image looks tiny, and I will probably reupload when not blogging on a phone. ;)

The weather is actually looking okay for Saturday morning, so I want to actually run during the run leg.  Novel idea!  I've done long runs in the rain, and speedwork when it the feels like temperature was over 100.  I got this.

Goal Times

  • Outstanding –  < 2:00
  • Exceeds Expectations – 2:05
  • Acceptable – 2:10
  • Poor -  2:15
  • Dreadful – > 2:15
  • Troll – DNF for nonmedical reason

I want to feel positive, soak up the cheers from my team, and cheer on my fellow Z-mates on the course.  I want to be able to put down the gas and run across the finish line.  More than anything, I want to race this like there's no tomorrow, but NOT pass out at the end, because I've managed my POTS instead of it managing me.  Here we go!

Good luck, fellow racers!  May the course be with you!

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?