Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

I flail without a plan.

So, I had this brilliant idea to make this past week very fluid, planning 3 specific workouts and then saying I’d just go with the flow for the rest.

The flow and I don’t really go together.

Jul18-1

We hit workout #1 – the 1000m swim test.  Then, we ended up pushing the brick a day to Thursday (and obviously ended up doing it at home instead of with the group).  By Friday my body was still so sore from pushing it on the brick and playing with kettlebells (I did hit my 2 weights sessions) I could not imagine doing a track workout so we called it and decided we’d just do whatever.

Unfortunately, whatever ended up being just a 23 minute easy trainer ride because we kept changing our plans and our minds and it was frustrating the hell out of me.  We even got dressed and out of the house to go do a swim in the lake, and by the time we left, we realized that doing it would make us SO late to a friend’s get together, so we went home and changed again and figured we’d do it later.  When later came, we were both just so over it we decided to call it and just take Saturday as a rest day… which became a whole rest weekend.

On paper, 5 hours for a rest week isn’t too bad, but considering 1.5 hours is weight training and 1.5 hours was bike commuting… there wasn’t a whole lot of serious swim, bike, or run action going on.  It’s ok.  It happens.

I just know for next time that I need to plan out my rest weeks, just like I plan my regular weeks.  I flail without a plan.

Last week’s training:

  • Monday: 1000m swim test lunch (1300m total), weights PM
  • Tuesday: 45 min bike commute
  • Thursday: weights, brick workout (40 minute TOUGH tri bike trainer ride, 2 mile fast run with 9:27/mile avg in the feels like 95)
  • Friday: 45 min bike commute
  • Saturday: 15 mins rolling, 23 mins easy tri bike trainer ride

Jul18-2

I may not look like it here because I’m high on endorphins, but I’m struggling with a few things.

First, it’s tough balancing building strength with weights and not being too fried for swim/bike/run.  I feel so much benefit doing the weights, I’m going to stick with it, but it’s rough when I overdo it a little and then end up bagging or modifying other workouts.  Hopefully, I can push that line where I’m building strength but not limping around after and continue on for a while with this.  However, I’ve slacked enough years that I really need to stay committed and earn my right to do the other stuff by continuing to strengthen my body.

Second, my planning brain wants to train so much.  I’ll start piling on workouts to the point where I am happy with the mix and I’m getting enough in.  Then, I start sanity checking and realizing I’m at about a million hours and working out 3 times a day some days and I have to sacrifice something every week to keep it in check.  The struggle is real.

I have to remember: I’m at the start of a long build.  I don’t have to be superwoman right away.  My first A race is in 15 weeks.  That’s plenty of time to build up, even though it feels like I’m building from nothing in terms of endurance.  I spent some time doing strategerie over the weekend and I think the goal will be to ramp up the bike endurance more quickly first, while it’s hot, and then the run endurance in September/October when it’s cooler.

I planned out this week before I shifted focus, and I like the schedule so I’m keeping it, but NEXT week will definitely be more bike heavy.

  • Monday: weights, 3 mile easy run
  • Tuesday: pool swim with some pickups, endurance cycle class
  • Wednesday: weights, BSS recovery ride
  • Friday: 5 mile AM run, BSS lake swim
  • Saturday: 25-30 mile ride, 3 mile run at Lake Pflug

I’ve got two workouts each day but only 5 days planned.  I’d like to bike commute on Thursday if I can.  This looks like about 8.5 hours as is, more with commuting and/or squeezing some small TT bike trainer rides in for form practice if I can do it.

Food planning might need to go to the next level too.

Jul18-3

This spicy chicken ramen from Jin Ya kept the vampires away for a few days.  So garlic.  So good.

I have my meals planned out, but every week I keep having this goal of 5 fruits and veggies.  I do ok at the start of the week, but usually by the weekend, I realize I’m barely getting in two on Saturday and Sunday.  My meals are TYPICALLY pretty good and have 1-2 servings of fruit or veggies, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating veggie or fruit snacks.  Now that I am back into training and eating a little more, those need to come back.  So, until they become a habit, I need to probably portion them out for daily consumption.

I realized I was eating pretzels more often than veggies.  I also realized that in my new office, my fridge is further away than my snack pantry.  Now that I’m concious of this, I think I’ll realize that I’m being lazy and do better… or I’ll have to move things around.  Crazy how the little things are a bigger influence than you think!

So, kind of a fail last week.

  • 5 fruits and veggies per day.  Part of this is actually eating vegetables for a snack instead of pretzels (at least first).  <- Nope, typically getting between 2-4 per day.  Not great.
  • Track all days of food, staying as close to -1000 calories as possible. <- Tracked up until Friday night and then not all weekend.  Oops.
  • Hit my 100g protein, 25g fiber, and 40-50g fat macros.  With extra food calories from workouts, it should NOT BE HARD and I didn’t really hit them last week.  How do I do this?  More freggies, less junk. <- Eh.  About half the days I did ok, but the other half I was low on protein or fiber.  At least I got the fat right!

The good news is that I ended up seeing my lowest weight yet – 180 (178 on the black scale).  While it’s definitely swingy, it means I’m starting to make some progress into that 5 lbs I’ve been staring at for a while.

This week, I’m going to do better with this stuff and try to figure out ways to fix the issues I’m having actually following through.

 

  • 5 fruits and veggies per day.  I’ll be packing myself little snack bento boxes with the appropriate amount of fresh produce.
  • Track all days of food, staying as close to -1000 calories as possible and hit my macros.  My strategy for this is that I can’t eat dinner before I track everything before dinner.  It actually just made me go track food right now so hopefully that works!

…and I’ll leave it with that.  Let’s succeed at this before piling too much on top of it, hmmm?

Jul18-4

For now, I’m going to go enjoy my new pool that I had installed this weekend.  Check out my luxurious life!  Happy Monday everyone, we’ll get through it together, right?

 

#projectspring wrap up

Today marks 4 months from the start of #projectspring, and the official end of the time I had allotted for a break from being an athlete.

Apr4-4

Overall, I cannot stress enough how transformative and refreshing this season of being a human person was.  I knew I was mentally burnt out and I needed some time to heal my poor little broken pysche.  I knew I was physically weak and needed some time to stop rubbing salt in my hip injury by running on it and just stay off of it for WAY longer than I wanted to admit.  I knew I needed some time off to focus on other things in my life that had been back burner-ed because they were starting to really bug me, but I didn’t have the time or attention or the fucks to give while training.

What I didn’t know is that I needed some time to… change.  Evolve.  Spin life a different way.  I could barely see my way out of never being enthusiastic about a thing again in March.  I had no idea it was time to start a whole lot of fairly dramatic shifts in my life.

I set out with a rather large to do list, and I’m happy to say that I’ve made a whole lot of progress.  Can I check everything off the list? Not a chance.  The best laid plans go astray, and sometimes priorities change in the middle of the road.  However, now that I really and truly grasp the SPIRIT of what I wanted to accomplish (and I full admit that I DID NOT when I started this process), and I’m going to say that it was a big success.

Mar30-2

March was really about shedding fatigue, getting my mojo back and establishing some habits (-1000 calories less than I burn per day, 10k steps per day, tracked by fitbit).  If you were to go back and reread my posts from earlier in the year and then compare them with these, my attitude is night and day different.  I didn’t feel like myself through the winter.  Now, I’m back to being the happy, optimistic, dare I say even PEPPY person again instead of feeling like I’m dragging myself around through life.  Camping helped – weekends without to dos, cell phone reception, and just QUIET really helped me calm the fuck down.  I also successfully navigated myself through a 10 mile running race, thoroughly enjoying myself with a significant personal worst.

The second month was about starting things.  In April, I started started tackling the to do list in earnest, starting with the easier stuff.  I forgave my bike and started riding it again, and went camping, and started a weights program, and even ran maybe once or twice for funsies.  I revamped my website, I edited my diving photos, I organized some parts of my house.  I got a hammock and started enjoying my yard (until the heat and the bugs killed that dream), I paddled on the lake a lot and in the lake a little. This is also the month where my body FINALLY started getting the memo that we were going to start losing some weight.  Slowly.

May23-3

May changed me.  First of all, I got this crazy (for me) short haircut.  At first it terrified me, but then I came to love it.  It was almost as if all the dead weight in my hair fell away and I felt… freer.  I went on vacation and came back to find my company had made a lot of changes.  This shocked me into really pondering what I want to be when I grow up and reminded me that stagnation is death of the soul, and diversifying yourself as a person is an important thing.  I also started my journey to bike love this month, and found out that commuting via two wheels is THE BEST.

June held a triathlon, my first race in 2.5 months, where I found that my fitness was not all that bad for slacking for months.  A refreshed psyche actually makes up for a lack of training pretty well!  I got back to training a little bit, riding lots of bikes, swimming some, continuing the weight training, and running as little as I could justify (because, heat).  We also purchased our very own triathlon bikes, and found that they are a) awesome and b) definitely different and going to take a while to get used to.

June22-3

We wrapped up #projectspring with party camping for the fourth of July, cleaning out the side yard, and here we are.  It’s July 15th – where am I?

I’m 3 weeks into training for Austin 70.3 because it just felt like it was time to start.  I’m a few weeks away from becoming a Certified Personal Trainer and get to start on my Sports Nutrition Specialist and Triathlon Coach certification here soon.  I’m on two wheels every chance I get.  I’ve lost enough weight to say that I’ve completely erased the horrible nutrition experiment of  fall 2015.  I also seem to have found a way of skating the line of fueling myself well enough to train but also slowly inching the number on the scale down.

Most importantly, I feel so far removed from that shell shocked, broken girl who put this post up with a brave face and a lot of hope, but also a lot of fear.  Fear there was something broken mentally and physically that couldn’t be repaired, fear of goals I really wanted to achieve but they were out of reach, fear I’d decide I like sitting on my couch better than doing any of this shit.  Luckily, I found none of those things to be true and I can’t think of too many four month periods where I’ve changed my life more.

May31-1

I like specifics, so let’s go line by line for funsies:

  1. Get my enthusiasm back.  Gosh, I never want to be that much of a zombie again.  Overtraining and burnout is real, yo.  I am so happy to be on the other side of it.  Check, and check.
  2. #projectraceweight.  Well, it was a good attempt. All told, my highest weight was 195.something, and today I weighed in at 182.something on evil white scale.  So at the swingy ends, I lost about 13 lbs in 4 months.  Not *exactly* what I was looking for but at least the scale number went down and I followed the program pretty closely.  I learned a lot.
    1. First of all, there is definitely a level of activity that is not zero in which it’s easiest for me to lose weight.  1200 calories is VERY hard to adhere to and that’s what I get on zero training.  Raising my activity enough to earn some extra food per day but not to the point where my hunger goes crazy is an art and a science, but it was the key.
    2. Even if you make the numbers line up, it won’t always work out.  It took me SIX WEEKS before I saw any sort of meaningful progress being REALLY good.  I just had to keep at it.  Persistence pays off.
    3. For the last seven or so years, my days where I’ll have some drinks is determined by what days I don’t have to get up and train in the morning.  When you don’t have to train in the morning ever, it’s kinda hard to resist Jim Beam’s siren song more often than you should, especially when you’re going through a lot of personal and professional stuff.
    4. 13 lbs doesn’t sound like that much, but it definitely is the difference between hating my appearance most days at the higher weight to liking my appearance most days at the lower one.
    5. I had expected a hard stop on maintaining a deficit when I started training again, but it seems like I’m able to continue at this point of early season.  Tons of people lose weight while training for these things, perhaps I can too.
  3. House projects.  I hate doing this shit, like I REALLY detest and resent the time spent cleaning and organizing, but I love the results.  Can someone just HGTV this stuff for me while I’m away for a few weeks?  That’d be nice.  We got most of the little projects done and specifically held off on the bigger ones until we can determine whether doing it as CHEAP as possible or doing it as QUICKLY as possible is the priority.
    1. Cleaned and organized the workout room.  It still needs some love to become the pain cave, but that involves some creative problem solving with 6 bikes we use on a weekly basis and gear storage until we get the shed.  However, it’s no longer a room full of junk and crap and unusable.  That’s progress.
    2. Cleaned and organized the vanity area.  This one was a pain in the ass, but it seems to be working out alright.  I am SO thrilled not to have crap all over and a place to put everything.  Check.
    3. Cleaned out the guest closet.  There was so much crap there that was completely unnecessary to keep.  Donated it to Goodwill or threw it away.  There’s a lot of room for other things in there now too (or, a guest could use it as a closet, go figure).
    4. BONUS: cleaned out the side yard workshop area.  This wasn’t on the list, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.  There’s still STUFF there, but you can actually walk through without getting caught on 8 year old broken kiddie pools and empty boxes.
    5. The office did NOT get done (or started).  It’s the one project we didn’t get to.  It’s actually on the list to start working on after we finish the personal training class, so I have faith this will not be on the resolution pile in January.
    6. Planning for the big stuff: we got an estimate (though it seemed REALLY scary low) for the kitchen work, we looked at sheds, we’re pricing out the electronics for the pain cave, but we’re in a bit of shell shock with money expenditures with the tri bikes, some unexpected car expenses, paying for vacations this spring, and work bonuses still up in the air.  Maybe we’ll pull the trigger on some of this later in the year, maybe it will wait.
  4. Become a biker chick adept cyclist comfortable on the roads and get a tri bike.  I have been rambling on about this a whole lot, so let’s say check check checkity check and move on.
  5. Website revamp.  I’m super happy with how things turned out.  If I someday need to make a website that makes money or supports a business, I have more to learn.  But for now, I have a clean, reasonably nice looking soapbox to stand on.  That’s all I need for now.
  6. Process my Bonaire Pics.  Yep!  Now, I still need to process my ROATAN pics.  That goes on my to do list for this weekend.
  7. Camping once a month.  Well, we did March, April, and July.  We missed May because of vacation and other commitments and by June it got really hot.  July was only really possible because we were camped on someone’s property with a pool.  I’m looking forward to some more outings in the fall when it starts to cool off!
  8. Spending lots of time in and on the water. Although falling in love with cycling has taken away some of the water time, I’m doing my best to maintain a balance.  Check and check.
  9. Going and DOING THINGS.  To be honest, this just really fell off.  It’s not as if life is boring around here, but I just never prioritized “go downtown for this random festival” over riding bikes or camping or playing in the water, or everything else.
  10. Creativity during downtime.  While I did not do this to the letter, I’m going to change this one over to “learn some new stuff” and call it a win. With the personal training classes, working on my book, and some other super secret squirrel things that are in the dreaming/plotting/scheming stages right now, my time is definitely occupied doing some productive, fun, and learning stuff.

Jul11-4

So now, we move on to the next phase.  Honestly?  I thought there would be much more of a harsh transition.  July 14?  #projectspring.  July 15?  Something completely different.  That’s how I came into this process.  However, I think I just needed the hard stop on the front end because I was kind of miserable and badly needed to change.  I’m kind of the opposite right now, so I think I’ll just continue on with what I’m doing right now, switch a few letters in the hashtag, and call it #projectsummer.

I love weekends.

It must be summer.  At work, lately, I feel like a kid waiting for the last school bell to ring so I can go play.  I make video games, and we’re in a period where everything is going rather smoothly (crosses fingers), so it’s not as if I’m being asked to mine salt or anything.  There’s just something about OUTSIDE lately, even now that it’s hot as balls, that keeps calling me to go frolick.  At least for a little while.  Until I skate the line of heat exhaustion and need to go die back in some glorious air conditioning, rinse and repeat.

Jul11-5

Riding in 100 degree heat for an hour and a half with the crew definitely resulted in a large dose of AC after.

Friday was a day of water.  While there was that whole work-y thing wrapped around it, I spent my lunch doing gloriously stretchy thinky laps in the outdoor pool under the sunshine.  There are not many finer ways to spend a lunch break.  After work, we hit the water park, and floated the lazy river for an hour and a half, talking through stuff, solving problems, figuring stuff out.  And… it was punctuated with a fantastic fireworks show on our last lap!  I <3 the wah pah.

Saturday, I think I learned a neat trick with salt.  See, we got out much later than expected- it was almost 10am and hot hot hot hot hot.  I popped a salt pill as we rolled out on the ride.  I’ve been meaning to try it to see if it fixes my issues in the heat but for some reason, it’s just felt SO WRONG to take a big capsule full of salt when I eat so much of it already.  The ride was scorching, my soul still died a bit rolling up and down the hills of Ronald Reagan in the hot sun, no shade, and brutal wind.

Jul11-4

Still smiling at mile 20 of the bike.  Only a little bit of my soul is gone.  This is good.

However, when we started our run, something weird happened – I was not nearly as bonky as normal in the heat.  We did have some cloud cover, but I seemed to actually start improving instead of fading as I went along and I finished the 2 miles feeling strong, not half an inch away from death as per usual.  I’ll have to do more experiments (like our evening brick workouts), but this may be a small part of the key to not dying on the run leg of triathlons, perhaps.

We’ve downloaded this silly (awesome) game called Pokemon Go.  It’s essentially a geocaching game if you’re familiar with that, but with a popular video game theme.  You walk around your neighborhood (or work or wherever), and it becomes your game world.  You can visit a store (which will actually correspond to a landmark in the real world – like a park, a school, or even a store), go out looking for pokemon to catch, and when you find eggs and you have to walk to hatch them (my current one is a rare 10k distance egg, I’m half way there and hoping to hatch it today).

Jul11-6

We walk a lot already, but I noticed that we stepped it up yesterday both in distance and in pace since we had a purpose (hello 21k step “rest” day).  The cool thing I noticed this week, tons of people I know who would NEVER go on a random walk are out pounding the pavement.  We even have a neighborhood group for it, intended for sharing where we found rare pokemon and scheduling meet ups. There are tons of articles about how people might actually get into shape because of this game (kinda like DDR for me so many years ago).  It warms my heart to see people getting active and also just getting out of the house!

This week is bulk trash week, and we had an old BBQ grill to get to the curb.  While we were prepping to do that, we realized we also had 8 years of junk in our outside workshop area that we’ve never cleaned out.  Usually, we have all the excuses on bulk trash day – it’s too hot, it’s rest day, we’re tired from training, we’ll get it out for the next one, yadda yadda.  Yesterday, it just came together and we spent an hour cleaning out SO MUCH junk.  The level of rat feces on my person by the end was definitely a non-zero amount.  It may be psychological, but I am still itchy from SOMETHING this weekend.  Itchy, but accomplished at least!

Jul11-2

We are the trashy neighbors.  Not pictured: a giant rusty double barrel grill on the other side of the driveway.  Thank goodness it was all gone this morning.

Sunday was a very productive, active rest day.  The kind you almost need another rest day from… oops!  Good thing it’s recovery week, which means  I should be alright.

This week’s training was spot on, while it was a little crazy logistics-wise at times, I hit every session I set out to do, after rearranging due to Monday’s gym closure.  I got in 8.5 hours of training, which is just fine for the first peak week of many.  As I said Friday, I feel like I don’t *need need* a rest week, but I’m totally okay with having it.

  • Monday: Home weights
  • Tuesday: 2 mile run AM, 1200m lunch swim with a few 50-100m pickups in there, and endurance cycle class after work (ended up being a short one at 60 mins).  It happened to be a max endurance power test – I got 320 watts, which was one of the better results in the class.  Yay for not losing too much cycle prowess!
  • Wednesday: 2 mile run AM (I may not be a morning person but I can’t find an excuse not to run 2 damn miles ), lunch weights at the gym, and a 90 min 18 mile beginner (recovery) ride after work
  • Thursday: hot 3 mile run after work.  I was going to go to the gym and do this inside, but I was running short of time and convenience outweighed being comfortable.
  • Friday: 1500m swim, mostly just steady, but with a few spicy 25m pickups at the end
  • Saturday: 22 mile hot hilly ride on the tri bike in about 1:18, 2 mile run after.
  • Sunday: 10 miles of cruiser bike riding

This week is about a few key sessions and a lot of freedom.

  • Monday: 1000m swim test lunch (1300m total), weights PM
  • Wedensday: brick workout PM with the crew (~14 mile ride, 2 mile run fast)
  • Thursday: weights
  • Saturday: 5-6 mile track workout.  Warmup, then ladders (200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, 800m, 400m, 200m w/appropriate rest in between), then cooldown to round out the mileage.

That’s it.  I’m hoping to swim at least once more if I can and ride bikes some more miles but I’m going to leave it up to whimsy when I go.

Jul11-3

Ode to a beautiful morning.

The best feeling is when you’re totally in sync with your other half.  I started really craving food from a place called Taco Flats, which we’ve only been to once (in February).  I asked Zliten if we could bike there for lunch on Sunday and he said he was actually going to suggest the very same thing.  Our psychic links have been on and off lately, so it was nice to have a perfect connection. :)

We rode bikes the 5 miles to get there, and I chose a picadillo beef and a mahi taco, both were amazing.  One MUST have a Pacifico when it’s on draft, it’s just science.  The specific formula is Tacos + Pacifico = AWESOME.  After our bellies were full, we coasted up the street to get groceries and I think we may have found our limit.  I’ll have to look and see how many items we bought, but I’m pretty sure it was over 30 and barely fit in the bike bags and basket.  We took the same way back, which was longer than our normal route, but ended up being much more pleasant with our large haul.

Jul11-1

Hello, lover.  Get in my belly.

Last but not least, I made these amazing savory oatmeal breakfast muffins from my brain.  Ok, I did my normal thing and took inspiration from a few recipes on the interwebs, but they are SO GOOD, y’all!  The muffins have transcended oatmeal and taste kind of like a dense cheddar bay biscuit from Red Lobster.  But as a filling, healthy breakfast muffin with bacon and onion and peppers and scallions.  I’ve already dreamed up about 7 variants to try in the coming weeks.  Recipe here.

As for last week’s progress in #projectraceweight… ehhh?

The good:

  • Breakfast muffins.  Seriously, I get so excited when I find something new I can incorporate into my breakfast routine.
  • I was only 97 calories over TOTAL for the week to stay at -1000 according to fitbit.  Fitbit also said I’m -2.3 down for the week last week (though some of that is water weight lost from TOM).
  • I actually tracked my weekend food.

The bad:

  • I’m still staring at that 5 lbs that I lost last summer.  I’m evening out a bit (all my weights are generally 183-185 instead of wildly swingy), and less fluctuation usually means I’m about to drop some lb-age.  Maybe this is my month to see the 170s if I don’t screw up!
  • I kind of forgot vegetables a lot of last week.  And there was a lot of sweets, probably more than I would have eaten in a month before.  More activity gives me a little leeway, but I’m hanging myself with that rope, unfortunately.
  • I may have tracked my weekend food, but I did it today. 😛  I’m just lucky it ended up working out well.

This week’s goals:

  • 5 fruits and veggies per day.  Part of this is actually eating vegetables for a snack instead of pretzels (at least first).
  • Track all days of food, staying as close to -1000 calories as possible.
  • Hit my 100g protein, 25g fiber, and 40-50g fat macros.  With extra food calories from workouts, it should NOT BE HARD and I didn’t really hit them last week.  How do I do this?  More freggies, less junk.

And on that note… I’m off to play with some kettlebells and learn about injury prevention.  Just another day at the races around here!

The Definition of Insanity

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. -Albert Einstein

We can debate whether Einstein actually said this or not, but it’s still relevant.

Bonaire1-06

I may not have the smarts, but I’m working on the hair, ok?

Y’all, the world is getting me DOWN this week.  Can we all stop shooting each other and yelling at each other?  I even started writing up a post about all of it and then I actually got myself conflicted debating OWN self about gun control, so let’s put a pin in that.

Zliten’s theory, which actually seems like the only possible explanation, is time travel.  If you accept that time travel will ever exist, then you have to accept that it always has existed (because of the ability to travel backwards).  It is the simplest explanation that 2016 is the culmination of a bunch of future asshole bros that got ahold of Daddy’s time machine.  Everything else just makes me sad.

Either way, I think we all need more bikes.  Bikes make happiness, happy people don’t shoot each other, so bikes for everyone!  With a side of swimming in clean pools and beautiful lakes, and also running in TEMPERATE weather.  Running in this feels like 100+ shit might incite MORE violence.  Weights… if your arms are really sore, it would be hard to do gun things, right?

I digress.  Highly.

So, instead of thinking about depressing things that seem out of the reach of our control, let’s talk about things completely under my control, how I’m approaching this next training block.  How’s that for the worst segue ever?

Gunz

A different type of “gun show” perhaps.

Almost two weeks in, and it just feels different than it did the last few years.  And I’m loving it.  I think a long break really helped reset everything, and a different race schedule is helping me not have any sort of expectations on where I’m at compared to previous years.  Instead of doing these super quick builds from offseason banking on previous fitness (8 weeks to 70.3), I’m settling in for the long haul and preparing to enjoy the ride (18 weeks to 70.3).  And there’s no quick build to marathon (or marathons) after, just (just!!) another long build to 140.6(!!!).

One awesome thing about having more than two times the ramp?  I can try new things with my rest weeks.  First of all, I’m taking them a little more often.  I’m structuring them a little differently.  Lastly, they’re not going to always be Monday – Sunday when it doesn’t make sense to do it that way.

I plan to take the first half of this build as 2 weeks on, 1 week off.  I usually do 3 weeks on, but that last week is always a toss up whether I’m going to have breakthroughs or breakdowns.  Currently, I’m one workout away (Saturday’s brick) from my first rest week next week, and I don’t necessarily feel like I need it yet, but I’m kinda looking forward to it.  That’s probably a good place to be.

Jun17-2

Signs you need a rest week…

Rest weeks are also going to center around some shorter, faster, key workouts, and a whole lot of optional freedom to do whatever the rest of the time.  I used to keep the same essential schedule but make things less intense/shorter, but I found that didn’t really help the MENTAL aspect of feeling like I was doing the same things over and over,  My brain didn’t really process that 4 miles is shorter than 6, because I still had to pack my gym bag, drive to the gym, get dressed, warm up, do the workout, cool down, stretch, shower, drive back, etc.  That extra 20 minutes of my life doesn’t matter that much.

When I’m doing a lot of volume, it’s really difficult to throw super hard workouts in there too often, even though stuff like 1000m swim tests and track work are really beneficial.  If I make those the only running, biking, and swimming I HAVE to do that week, it should be both beneficial and a breath of fresh air.  I can’t imagine that I won’t go paddle around the lake or pool, or ride my bike (notice the absence of running in the heat or inside on the treadmill on this list…), but I don’t want to REQUIRE specific times or sessions.  Seasoned to taste.

On non race week rest weeks, I’ll probably keep the Monday – Sunday schedule, but for race weeks, I’m going to move that from Wednesday – Tuesday.  I have the best of intentions of saying, “I’m going rest for this race and then use it to kick off a bad ass mother effing training block”.  I either barely hang on that week or it spectacularly blows up in my face with terrible or missed workouts.  So, I’ll stick with Einstein’s theory up there and try something different.

I also plan to keep doing things that I feel like have made me a sturdier human.

Previously, I was a completely lazy ass during my non-training hours.  Going back and looking at some of my days off, I’d have something like 2-3k steps.  No WONDER I was gaining weight when I was still eating 2500 calories those days, and also, that’s a LOT of time on ass.  Rest is good, but we’re meant to move!  It totally makes sense why I felt sludgy after complete rest days.

May2-3

Walking is especially terrible in the spring when you have to traverse terrible scenery like this.

I started walking 10k steps a day to try to keep myself from completely becoming one with the couch over offseason.  It ended up becoming a great habit I don’t want to break.  On workdays, I actually take my two 15 minute breaks and walk over lunch if I don’t have anything else I have to do.  Zliten and I will often take walks after dinner if we notice our steps are lacking, and we’ll walk (or bike) places that are close enough.

Walking has gone from something done only when absolutely necessary to something I enjoy and do multiple times a day on purpose!  The activity was great, but it’s so much more than that.  It helps flush the junk out of my legs when they’re sore.  It helps me clear my head and problem solve on days I need to think or talk things over with Zliten.  It helps me not be so sad I’m trapped inside at a desk all day, at least I get to have walks!  Also, walking 5-10 miles a day means I’ll probably be less useless when the zombie apocalypse hits.

13240677_10154174203964450_7321979887376013358_n

Lifting heavy things also makes me less eligible for “most useless human in the zombie apocalypse ever” contest as well.

I always go through cycles with weights.  I start doing them because *dang I feel like a weakling*, and at the beginning, I hate them.  Then I sort of like them.  After a few rounds of raising the weights I can handle and improving, I love how it makes me feel and OMG why did I stop doing weights!!!11!!  Weights FOREVAR.  Then, training schedules start getting hectic and weights drop off because, well, the run/bike/swim are the important parts, right?  After a few weeks, I’ll have a moment and do a session, things are harder.  Subconsciously, I avoid them by prioritizing other workouts, and then all of a sudden it’s offseason and I’m making another resolution to do weights regularly FOR REALS THIS TIME.

This time, I’m making the two weights sessions non-negotiable.  They are key sessions, not fluff.  They are 90 minutes of my training plan that I will plan everything else around if necessary.  I never want to go through another training cycle with a weak core that injures other parts of my body in compensation.  I want to be able to run a long run without my hamstrings and glutes seizing up.  I want to have the core strength to be able to easily control my Death Star bike when I point out debris on the road with one hand off the aero bars and not almost careen into the street.  These are important items on my agenda and they require lifting heavy things.

Pfluger15

As for the actual run bike and swim?  That will develop over time.  Stay tuned for the ride.

 

 

Chronicles of Summer

It’s a little harder to love the outdoors when the heat index is trying to kill you on the daily, but I’m still doing my best.

Bikes:

Jul5-2

Friday morning bikey bike commute time!

It’s hot as balls outside (right now, it’s feels like 111!!!), but on the bike, it feels… ok.  Until you stop.  Then the heat comes crashing down on you like a flaming mack truck… but the actual biking parts feel great!

I’m pretty sure in 2015, I cycled outside mayyybe 15 times?  I’d have to look it up, but it’s a decent approximation because during tri season I’d make sure to ride outside at least every other week on Saturdays and otherwise I wouldn’t.  Well, I’ve done at least that many outdoor rides in the last month.  Yay bikes!  Yay playing outside!

Jul5-1

Tire, you’re doing it wrong…

In fact – this happened to us on Thursday, and we’re just getting it repaired now.  We definitely keep a low mileage profile lately.  Shame the insurance doesn’t really give discounts for not driving a car much.  I think their lowest rate was for 10-12k per year.  We don’t usually get half that, in fact, our 3.5 year old Xterra just hit 11k miles.

Holiday, Celebrate:

My fourth of July weekend was pretty badass.  It started with an almost 2 mile swim and 4 mile run under the noontime ball of death.  After recovering from the feels like 102-105 temps on that run sucking down liquids under the AC, we meandered our way into the Texas countryside to a friend’s holiday bash.  That is, after a false start in which we forgot our food at home and had to turn around when we were halfway there.  Oopsie.

Jul5-4

Oh no.  Had to look at these views for longer.  Aw, shucks.

After the mishap was rectified and we got our tent set up, we spent the evening grilling, drinking punch, catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and tons of time in the pool.  Since we were the most sober ones (???), we got recruited to run “front of the house” (aka, the smaller fireworks like fountains and roman candles) while the other guys put on the big booms further away.  I’ve never done fireworks before, just watched.  It was fun!  We only had a few close calls, and everyone made it out with all eyes and appendages intact.  Success!

Jul5-5

Since I was helping put on the actual show and not snapping pics, here’s some kids (big and small) playing with sparklers before.

We spent the rest of the night playing beer pong, chupacabra dice, and more pool time.  And then holy crap it was way, way too late, so we crashed for a few hours in the tent before taking it all down again, and cooling off in the pool again before we headed home because the weather already wanted to kill us at 9:30am.  Yay Summer?

Sunday and Monday were pretty mellow.  We stayed around the house, slept, relaxed, caught up on class and chores, and other boring, responsible, but necessary things.  However, for the first time ever, we made it out to our neighborhood’s parade and joined in with our bikes.

Jul5-3

T-rex appreciated that we made it to play papparazi.

Training Week One:

Last week was a pretty decent embarkation into an actual schedule.  We aren’t popping out of bed at sunrise or anything, but it’s getting easier to set the alarm with something starting with 7.  Doing the noontime or evening runs are killer, but 1-2 of those shorties a week need to stay on the schedule until I conquer the feels-like-hot-as-balls heat index shit.

Jul5-7

This is what happens when you’ve stopped sweating and start getting goosebumps on a run, but aren’t willing to see 11 min/mile average pace.  😛

Week one of training summary:

  • Monday: lunch swim (~1200m in 22 mins, a few fast 50s in there), PM weights (45 mins)
  • Tuesday: morning run (3 miles in about 35 mins), bike commute (~10 miles in about 45 mins)
  • Wednesday: PM brick with the BSS team (~13 miles in 44 mins rode, 1.7 miles in 18 mins ran)
  • Thursday: Heavy arms/abs, light leg weights (45 mins)
  • Friday: Bike commute (~10 miles in about 45 mins)
  • Saturday: Swim challenge (3000m open water swim), hot noontime run (4 miles in 43:55)
  • Sunday: NADA.  Couch.

Summary: a little less than I had anticipated, I’m missing one 45 min trainer ride on the tri bike, but I commuted twice instead of the once I had planned.  I’m a-ok with 7 hours of outdoor heat acclimation summer goodness.

Week two’s plan:

  • Monday: weights at home (30 mins)
  • Tuesday: 2 mile morning run, 20 min pool swim, return to endurance cycle class
  • Wednesday: 2 mile run AM, weights at lunch, recovery ride with BSS
  • Thursday: 5-6 mile run AM
  • Friday: 20-30 min swim (AM, lunch, PM, wherever it fits)
  • Saturday: 20+ mile tri bike ride, 1-2 mile brick after
  • Sunday: Probably NADA.  Couch again.

I’ll probably bike commute one or two of these days as well (maybe Thursday and/or Friday), and with that, it’s looking like about 9 hours of goodness.  It’s a little jump from last week’s schedule, so if something falls off, it probably won’t be the end of the world.

Food stuff, scale stuff:

Jul5-6

Pork + udon noodle soup + onions and cilantro = love.  Stir fry accompanies this for extra veggie love.

Holiday weekends are always rough to be super healthy awesomesauce, but I didn’t do too badly.

I made a big batch of pasta veggie salad to bring to the party, as well as a lower calorie drink option (vodka, diet sprite, diet juice punch).  I ended up eating a SHIT TON of queso and chips too, but I looked at my calorie burn that day and my -1000 number to hit was about 2500 calories.  Thank you, return to training.  So… I think it worked out okay.

I had some stomach issues on Sunday, and couldn’t keep food down, so while it’s not the healthiest way to maintain your waistline, it did keep me from overeating. Or, errr, eating more than maybe 500 calories of the simplest digestible foods, I’m ok with that not happening again for a long time.

Monday, I ate pretty well, and batch cooked some food for the week and oatmeal fruit bars.  I switched out the fruit for just peaches and used butterscotch chips instead of chocolate, but… they rock paired with some greek yogurt for protein.  It’s nice to have something different for breakfast for a change!

I didn’t actually track my calories (back to it today), but my weight is about where I would expect it to be with that time of the month it is.  If all continues to go well, I predict July to be the month of 170-something, even on the mean white scale.

Speaking of mean while scales, we got some body fat calipers to play with, and while the scale measures me at something stupid like 41% body fat, the calipers have me more like ~25%, which puts me somewhere around the healthy range for females in their 30s.  Which sounds more reasonable.  While I am not a size 0 or anything, I am pretty fit and carry a lot of muscle, and don’t think I’m almost 50% body fat.

This week, I don’t have a whole lot of crazy going out planned, and a lot of good food ready made at home, so I expect it to be a pretty successful week on the “noms” front.

Jul5-8

On that note, I’ll leave y’all with our “trash panda” making off with Nacho Cat’s food, and bid you a lovely (short) week!

 

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