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my first half-ironman is about six days away and i'm starting to freak out. while i've been training consistently for eagleman for nearly the past six months now (like real training, not just my regular goofing off), suddenly it's starting to seem much more real. just this weekend, while my twitchy quads and achy calves were keeping me awake after what should have been a start-of-the-taper-easy-bike, i let my mind start to wander: can i really hold those watts for that long? will my 2-3 missed swim sessions come back to haunt me? what it i blow it too early on—heaven forbid, what if i WALK? and most importantly: will i give myself heatstroke and end up in medical?

part of me wants to shout "mulligan" and insist that eagleman is my first pass at that half-distance, meaning i can sandbag it if things head south on raceday. the little voice in my head reminds me that i'm racing the half at both rev3 cedar point and then again at anderson... maybe eagleman's just the warm-up to my finals... but i don't really like excuses. instead, i'm just looking to control the controllables and have fun out there. that's why i'm avoiding posting any goals or expectations. regardless of whether i hit my best case scenario, falter to plan B or—gulp—worse, i'm excited to just get out there and put to test my training from over the past few months. it also doesn't hurt that riding the eagleman course reminds me of growing up in the hot, muggy and bug-infested swamps of louisiana... ah, home sweet home...

but that's why it's been so dead around here: i've been training up a storm, trying to tackle the increasing work responsibilities in my 9-to-5 and apartment-hunting like a madwoman across all corners of D.C./Northern VA. and so i leave you with:

a few observations....

  • there is no shame is licking a spilled powerbar gel off your fingers, forearms, jersey... and shifters... when you accidentally squeeze gel all over your aerobars on a very windy day
  • aero helmet, zipp wheels and a $3k shiv have no business biking at sub-17 mph pace around DC's hains point on a mid-week, post-work ride
  • pretty sure Rev3 and Pearl Izumi have already seen ROI on my Rev3 kit... since i like to run around the mall/monuments, i photobomb a LOT of tourist photos. i mean, A LOT A LOT.
  • the paved walkway around the outer circumference of the washington monument is exactly .5 miles (thank you garmin!)
  • the route from my current apartment, past the white house, around the monument and back up 16th is a reliable 45-minute trek... as long as it's not tourist season (then it's 90-min)
  • during the summer in DC, steady-state runs can very quickly disintegrate into fartlek sessions if you're not careful about avoiding the overly touristy areas
  • eau de chlorine can sometimes be sexy... but usually it isn't
  • get a bike fit and gain so much free speed you don't even know what to do with yourself

finally, there are few things better in the world than finishing a 4-hour brick at dusk at the very edge of a rickety old pier and then cannonballing into the river—clothes, shoes, garmin and all:

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