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.

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.

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!