Well, here we are.  Race week.  Race week?  What?!?! Yeah, race week.

Much more of this last week than #swimbikerun.

I had hoped to be almost fully packed, feeling super rested and excited and springy, and rarin’ to go, feeling confident about my training.

Here I am *cue the dramatics* with my whole little world falling the hell apart.

  • Last week was probably one of the most stressful work weeks ever, and I had two 11-hour days to boot.
  • On Wednesday, I came down with a head cold (that I was hoping was allergies for a few days but it was not).  I’m still getting over it – I’m feeling better than I was late last week but still low energy and that’s exaaaaaactly how we want to be on race week, right?
  • I clocked 3.25 hours last week, and ZERO swimming, which is what I really wanted to focus on in taper, so obviously I’ve completely forgotten how to endurance.
  • Because sick me = snoring me – all the nicely laid out gear on the guest bed is now on piles on the floor (so we could both get some sleep) and I haven’t had the energy to do any more packing since Friday and I keep thinking about ONE MORE THING I need to go get and it’s just SO MUCH STUFF.
  • Let’s also focus on the fact that for no reason, my knee is literally broken and has been for over a week now.  I’m convinced I have a tendon just flapping around in there somehow disconnected without any actual trauma.
  • One more thing to pile on – during all this came that awesome time of the month – which I am SUPER thankful we’re getting out of the way now – but definitely adds to the fatigue.

Sigh…. I guess I wrote this for myself before I needed it, when things were going actually super well.  This taper has been SUPER FRUSTRATING.  I’m at the point where I want to be excited for the race.  I should be excited for the race.  But I just can’t even think about it that way yet.  All I can do is plead with the race week divinity to help me get through all this shit in time to deliver me to Saturday morning in one piece.

Dear protector of the bikes, please give me 112 smiley miles on Saturday…

Logical, coach me, is stepping in to provide freaking out athlete with some facts:

  • You have swam close to and past race distance 8 times this cycle, twice in open water.  Maybe you wanted more practice this week for your confidence, but you didn’t need it for your fitness.  You’re fine, fish.
  • We ramped long bikes early in the cycle.  Yes, there has been an absence of riding bikes for 4-7 hours in a row lately.  That doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten how to do it.  You can’t do all the things all the time.  That 112 miles on Long Day #2 felt pretty darn good, and you’ll be SO MUCH MORE RESTED after taper.  Also, in the last 6 months, you’ve ridden: 112, 100, 87, 80, and 75 miles outside.  You’ve done: 5, 4.75, 4.5, and 3.75 hours on the trainer as well.  The legs do not forget.
  • 5 weeks ago (6 weeks out from the race), you ran a fairly effortless 20 miles.  This was proceeded by a really nice 19, and a rough 18 (but you made it).  More importantly, you ran 11 miles off a 5 hour bike ride and 1 hour off a 7 hour bike. You don’t have much top speed, but who cares?  You can run forever.  You didn’t build this by smashing your legs with a bunch of long runs, but with overall volume and your legs have responded well and were RELATIVELY pain free during training.
  • This cold couldn’t really be coming at a better time (unless it didn’t come at all).  You’re not missing important training (yeah, this taper week was sparse, but if it had to happen THIS IS THE WEEK FOR IT), and it’s forcing you to rest like a mother effer.  No crazy partying or stupid “let’s cram this training” has occurred.  This is a benefit to feeling like crap.
  • The knee is not really broken.  Both knees feel weirdly cranky and while anything in the knees is scary, it REALLY IS just muscle tightness and your rational brain knows it.  The chiropractor even checked it out.  Stretch, roll, ice, massage, boots, do all the good things and it will go away by race day.  Have the faith, this one happens all the damn time.

So, here we are.  Sniffles, broken knees, feeling barely ready for a sprint triathlon, head a mess, but y’know what?  Going out for a nice, relaxed, 4 mile run made me realize that everything is probably going to be alright and I just need to relax and go along with the ride.  Hopefully by the middle of the week I’ll be all bouncy and excited like I expected to be.

Such little runs, so many THINGS to pack.

Last week:  almost nada

  • Monday: off (planned)
  • Tuesday: 30 mins weights (11 hour work day, missed open water race)
  • Wednesday: off (unplanned, 11 hour work day, missed bike and run)
  • Thursday: 45 minute bike (coming down with a cold)
  • Friday: 3 mile run
  • Saturday: 1.5 hour bike
  • Sunday: off
  • 3.25 hours total of 7-ish planned

It is what it is.  And my race does not hinge on missing 3.5-ish hours one week.  I’ve trained better than that.  All we can do is move forward.  Here’s what I know about this week:

  • Monday: 4 mile run (DONE)
  • Thursday: off (travel)
  • Friday: pre-race swim and maybe a quiiiiickie spin on the TT bike before drop off.
  • Saturday: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
  • Sunday: audition for a hot dog eating contest or something….

Tomorrow and Wednesday – I would like to swim since I missed all week last week.  I would like to do a quickie 20 min/20 min brick.  I would like to do another heat-of-the-day short run.  I’ll probably do two out of those three things but I’m not committing to which yet.

#fueledbytacos.  If only tacos packed well into special needs bags…

Life stuff:

Who cares about life stuff, it’s race week!  Here’s my random to do list:

  • Decide between new shooz and old shooz on the bike and the run and rethink your life choices that lead you to this point (just kidding… sort of).
  • Cut your damn toenails.
  • Figure out if I’m going to actually get small PVC pipes from Lowes to make disposable rollers for my special needs bags (which have actually saved my life on multiple rides and runs).
  • Get tiny body glides for special needs bags.
  • Get some Imodium for my med kits.  I’ve never taken it (during a workout or also during life) so it will be absolutely only if the literal shit hits the fan, but I’ve been told by multiple multiple people it should be on my person just in case.  If I’m about to shit myself at mile 16, I’ll try just about anything to fix that.
  • Pack all the rest of the stuff (at this point, mostly clothes and toiletries for before and after) before Wednesday night at midnight (please).
  • Write goofy notes for Zliten to put in his special needs bags.
  • Grab tupperwares to bring with.  My hotel has TONS of free food at various points of the day, so I want to make sure I have options of things to eat after the race if I can’t even with things.
  • Find my bib number so I can post it all over social media so people can follow along with our crazy days.

And of course – eat the right things but don’t freak out too much about it.  No going crazy with beers and shit when you DO start to feel all-the-way better.  Stretch, roll, puffy legs, get (and give) Zliten massages and do all the smart things you know to do.  Try to be more of a lark than you normally are (early to bed, early to rise WITHOUT sacrificing sleep).

Off to do things about the things above instead of just writing about them.