Anyways, I got some last minute training in for this weekend's tri. Saturday morning started off with a group ride. Me and some of my other triathlon teammates tagged along to the TNT cycle team's group training. They are all bada$$ and training for the Viva Las Vegas ride...which is 100+ miles. The team was very welcoming. Many are cycle alumni and some are newbies. It was a big crowd though and I was a little nervous. I'm not used to riding in a group.
I'm wearing the purple shirt (go team!) in the middle. Ann is to my right and that's Lisa peeking over my left shoulder.
I assumed I would only be with the group for the beginning though since I usually get dropped. I managed to not run into anyone or anything as we got started to that was reassuring. Even more reassuring was that I didn't get dropped! I kept up with the group for several miles. I eventually came across someone who had stopped. She was considering turning around because she wasn't feeling well. Knowing how it feels to get left behind, I stayed behind with her and Ann. We offered to ride back with her. I told Ann I'd ride ahead to tell the others we were turning around so they wouldn't worry and then come back. Unfortunately I couldn't catch back up to the group so I ended up turning around again to head back to the other two. Eventually, they came up and were riding again! She was feeling better and decided to keep going. Yeay! It turns out that we both love the downhills (no fear!) but aren't so great at climbing. We stuck together for awhile before coming up on the back of the second group of riders. They had stopped to wait for us. While I never want someone to interrupt their own workout to wait for me, it was really nice to see all of them.
One really nice thing about riding in a group is that everyone is looking out for each other. Everyone in the back starts to shout when a car is approaching (car back!) and everyone in the front lets the pack know when there is a road hazard (pot hole! roadkill!) or if an intersection is safe to cross (clear!). And of course you have to have a little humor to get you through some workouts. Naturally, I was towards the back of the pack and I started hearing everyone yelling "Deer!" I started looking all over the place for a deer but I didn't see anything. I rolled up to an intersection where everyone was stopped. And then I saw the deer.
Hard to see but this "deer" was of the stationary variety.
What was most amusing about this to me is that to this day, whenever my brother or I are about to leave to go anywhere in a car, my mom will tell is to watch for deer. It's become a bit of a joke and I could be telling her I was about to go for a run...or a swim and she will tell me to watch for deer. So don't worry mom, I'm always watching for deer.
We all made it back safely and after my little detour in the beginning, I finished the ride with 26 miles. And since there is a triathlon coming up and I haven't done one brick workout this season (Coach Garrity, you did NOT just read that, I am a liar.), several of us turned the ride into a brick. We changed into running shorts and headed out for a run. It was a short one (just over a mile) but it gave my legs a reminder of what it feels like to go from the bike to the run. I was reminded that I hate the bike to run transition. Legs feel all weird and wobbly....yet like concrete blocks at the same time.
After getting my "cha-cha slide" on at my cousin's wedding on Saturday night, it was up early again on Sunday morning for my last open water swim before my race.
Looking like a team.....
Looking like we all need some help....
It was FREEZING! It was only about 57 degrees (air temp) when we got to the lake. The lake was definitely warmer than the air since the past week had been unseasonably hot. Even with a wet suit, it was just cold. Like take your breath away when you get your entire head in the water cold. Blah. It went from ugly to a train wreck within 25 yards.
For this asthmatic, that "take your breath away" feeling isn't just a feeling. Also having that very tight wet suit on was not helping. I could not catch my breath. And then my worst nightmare. I started to wheeze a little. I rarely have asthma issues while working out. I always have an inhaler nearby in case of emergency but you can't exactly carry one while swimming. I kept plugging along though. I stopped several times. I stood up several times (benefit of swimming along shore). I rolled onto my back and did the backstroke (or my version of it). I got a pep talk from my buddies Lisa and Mary. I was upset and frustrated but on the trip back down the beach, I started to panic a little. With my ear in the water, I could HEAR myself wheezing and for some reason, the sound of not getting a full breath of air made me panic. I knew I was ok and that it wasn't a full-on asthma attack but the sound of the wheezing while in the water was not pleasant. I just needed to get to the other end of the beach and get out of the frigid water. I walked through the water for some of the way back. I swam on my back for some. I did manage to get my face back in the water for some of it but ultimately, I did make it back.
Now, I very easily could have just swam to shore and walked back and got my inhaler out of the car. Part of me didn't want to give up. Part of me needed to prove that I could get through it. besides, if it happens on race day, I will do whatever I can (safely) to finish. I've had asthma since I was a kid and I can usually tell the difference between a wheeze and the start of an attack. If I had thought it was the start of a full-on attack, I would have gotten out of the water. If that happens on race day, I will get out of the water. While I may be stubborn, I'm not stupid and I do know my limits.
That said, let's just hope for warmer water on race day. Let's hope that using my inhaler right before the start of the race will prevent this from happening during the swim. 5 days until the race!