Adjusted Reality

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

Cleveland National Championships Race #1

After finishing all the things right on time at work, with a huge sigh of relief, we headed out to the airport to jump on a plane at 6pm to Cleveland, Ohio.

Everyone kind of gives you funny looks when you say that’s where you’re going for the weekend (usually my vacation destinations are a little more… tropical), but then when you say it’s to compete in a National Championship race, they nod and say “good luck”.  I wasn’t expecting much out of Cleveland, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Our flight got in late, around 1am, and that meant we were settling into our room around 2.  Not ideal, but it was much better to get the travel day done with and wake up in the city ready to do all the things vs try to fly in the next morning.  We slept until 11am, and then unpacked and put our bikes together.  Zliten did an amazing job doing it rather quickly, and then we attempted to hightail it down for the official pre-race swim practice that ended at 1.  We left the hotel at 12:30, it was supposedly a 20 minute bike, what could go wrong?

Well, we got HORRIBLY lost, had to backtrack a bunch, and then ran into construction on the bike path.  It took us 45 minutes to go the 4 miles to the race, and we OBVIOUSLY missed the swim, so we just splashed around in Lake Erie for a few and then headed to packet pickup.  After that, we dropped Death Star off for her weekend at sleepaway camp, and split a burger for lunch from a food truck on site because we were DYYYYING by that point and just needed something… anything.  We made the journey back to the hotel, which involved walking about 2 miles and then picking up a bikeshare and riding that 2 miles back with my husband on his tri bike (since he couldn’t drop it off until the next day).  It was suuuuuper fun hauling ass and huffing and puffing my way up the bridge while my husband was taunting me about averaging 17 watts.

By that point we were back on the verge of hangry, and after perusing the area, settled on an Irish Pub for pre-race food.  I had a salad, and then this amazingly decadent meatloaf filled with bacon and gouda.  I would have felt guilty about eating the entire enormous brick of it, but I knew what I had done today and what I was about to go do tomorrow, and did not feel bad in the slightest.  We stopped by Heiman’s, a pretty fancy grocery store, and got some breakfast for the morning and snacks and random essentials, and then headed back to the room to prep all the things and relax.

Then the wedding DJ started in.  Our room opened to this beautiful arcade, which was awesome.  However, they host events there every weekend.  The rooms were these old converted offices from the old Arcade, so they were super substantial, but even through two heavy doors, I could hear the *thump thump* of the wedding DJ until 11pm when it ended.  I did not sleep well the night before the race, for various reasons, and that being one.

4:30am came super early, but I’ve got this pre-race thing down to a science, and this morning was no different.  Caff beans. Tea. Sunbutter honey english muffin.  Bathroom and contacts.  Quick appointment with the foam roller.  One more bathroom.  Kit up and go.  The shuttle situation was REALLY convenient, it took about 20 minutes from hotel to race site, and I was in transition setting up before I knew it. 

I had decided to do a really dumb thing and wear my new kit (just took the tags off) on race day since it was rushed to me.  Do as I say, not as I do… but honestly, I justified it because this race was for funsies and I just wanted to wear my new and shiny, damn the conseqences.  I got nervous about it while I was lying awake in bed the night before and I packed a backup kit just in case. 

Well, I’m super glad I did, because as I zipped it back up after using the porta potty, the zipper failed in the same spot it did on the last one.  I was SUPER frustrated, and I chided myself for being too effing fat for the kit (which, I’m not… my measurements put me one size DOWN).  This started a cascade of all the negative bullshit in my head.  My specially cultivated calm, confident, and slightly egotistical race day persona went right the hell out the window to “what the hell are you doing here, fatty mc fatterson?”.

I changed and tried to clear my head and headed down to the race start about a 10 minute walk away.  However, my head was too clear, and I left my swim cap, goggles, and earplugs in my morning bag, which I had in the bag I had checked.  We walked alllll the way there and back, and I had to run to join my wave and missed the warmup swim.  Oh well, it was consistent with the shit show the morning had become.  Oddly enough, I traded stories about popped zippers with the girl next to me (her wetsuit, my kit, I hoped it made her feel better), and then it was 3, 2, 1… GO TIME!

Hey, look at me, almost the only idiot in Lake Erie without a wetsuit! 😛

Swim:

Lake. Erie.  All the fun of an ocean swim without the salt water.  It had looked deceptively calm in the early morning, but as we headed out, the waves and current picked up.  I cursed myself for not bringing my wetsuit.  It took up a bunch of room in my suitcase, last water temperature reported before I left was NOT legal, and I rarely use it, so I just left it home,  However, some extra buoyancy would have been REALLY REALLY nice in the chop.  I swallowed a crap ton of lake, once even choking on it to the point of ALMOST hurling in the water.  I took a few seconds to breast stroke while I hacked and coughed and then got going again, albiet slower as I continued to try not to yak.

Then we hit the turn buoy and I was fairly impressed with my time at the moment, thinking I was swimming against the current and would have an easier time from then on.  I turned and found that was not the case.  The next 12 minutes felt like the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the knights run at the castle and it never gets any closer.  The chop often was above the buoy when I’d try to sight.  I almost ran into some boats and had to stop and ask which way to go (I wasn’t far off course, thankfully they were just very tight in directing us).   The swim back was a little faster but I was TIRED from fighting that current and by the time I got to shore I was very frustrated with the swim in general and especially the time it took.

Swim time: 44:06.  My garmin registered 2052 yards which means it was about 400m long.  Some of this might be sighting but I’m confident most of it was not, I stayed on the right path fairly well.  Still, I’d be at least mildly disappointed by this time for a 70.3 swim (which was actually only about three pool lengths longer than this…), so I’ve gotta hope Cozumel is a little less rough.  Or I’m a little better.  Or both.

T1:

I had been thinking “say something nice to Zliten, say something nice to Zliten” the whole way in, and what came out of my mouth was something like “don’t let me fucking forget my wetsuit ever again, that was bullshit”.  Oops.  Transition was a long run but it gave me time to check my head and realize I was about to start my best sport and I was going to be happy about it. 

On the way out, I shouted again to Zliten, “Yay, I get to ride my bike now!” and took off on Death Star to try and catch someone in my age group, as I was fairly convinced I was in last place at that point.  The truth is, I wasn’t quite, there were three people in my age group that took over an hour to complete the swim, and I heard accounts of people (who had legit qualified for the National Championships here, not newbies) getting towed in by kayak or even just making it to shore and handing in their chip for the day after completing the swim.  Regardless, I certainly wasn’t in the normal position I’d be in at this point and I was looking forward to chasing people down on the bike.

T1 time: 5:01.  Honestly, my garmin clocked the transition at almost a third of a mile.  I’m okay with five minutes for that length.

Smiles because I did. not. drown.

Bike:

I ate my gel and I worked the pedals and my speed was just NOT coming up for the level of effort I was putting out.  I was wondering if something was wrong… and then I realized it wasn’t me, it was the weather.  Headwind.  Cool.  17 mph into that isn’t too bad.  I went up and down the hills at the beginning and then got onto a freeway (cool!) and then made my way onto a crazy narrow single lane interchange thing that was super bumpy (scary!) and was relived when we headed into a neighborhood onto better roads.

My speed came up and my legs got under me, and I hit the turn around seeing about 18 mph on the garmin.  Ok, I could deal with that when I knew I had some help on the way back.  I just got to work and ate some blocks and passed everyone I could.  My bike was still doing the delayed shifting thing it has been lately but besides that everything felt nice and smooth and I just kept working my average up until I crossed the line.

The most obvious thing I learned on the bike ride?  If I leave my top tube straw out, instead of tucking it in after each sip, I will drink much more liquid over the course of a bike ride.  If nothing else, this race has taught me that. *captain obvious salute*

Bike time: 1:19:15 (18.9 mph).  Honestly, I paced the thing more like a 70.3 (155W/172W normalized @ 158 BMP AVG HR), because that’s what I’m practicing for right now.  The other “gear” I have is to race a sprint, and I knew going out like that would be a bad idea.  I’d love to race more Olympics and nail what that 25 mile race effort feels like, but for now, I’ll just be happy with that.

T2:

Again violating the “nothing new on race day”, I was feeling incredibly protective of my feet and doing everything I could to avoid blisters.  Even though I knew it would cost me time, I ditched the quick laces for regular ones.  Also, I left my socks OFF for the bike ride, and set them in my run shoes covered in powder so they’d be dry.  I can report that I got ZERO blisters on my feet during the two days of racing so it was worth it.

T2 time: 3:27. Big transition was big.

This is what a happy runner en route to the finish line looks like!

Run:

I got out and my legs felt pretty darn decent.  And then they sent us directly up a big hill.  D’oh!  I knew I only had to contend with it twice so I charged up the best I could without burning too many matches, and picked up my pace once it evened out.  I realized that my legs were definitely carrying me at a Olympic run PR at this point, but feeling like they had a lot more in them.  My options at this point were to pick up the pace or to cruise a bit, and considering I am inexperienced at this distance and also was racing the next day, I kind of cruised. 

All the lifting this year, and following my mountain goat husband up hills with less complaining has made me a better hill runner this year, apparently.  Everyone was complaining about the hills and I managed them just fine.  There was that first one, and then a short steep-ish one around mile 2, and the third, which I called optional hill because you went off the path simply just to go down and back up a steep hill.  Race directors are mean. 

There was no walking today, besides a few steps at one crowded aid station to get some water down.  I kept my pace fairly even – 9:45s to 10:15s (with a speedier 9:30 for my last mile).  Even though I didn’t feel like I needed it, I ate a gel halfway though just like I planned.  I finished feeling like I had a lot left in the tank, at least one more of the 3 mile loops, without needing to slow down.  For an Olympic run PR, I’ll totally take it!

Run time: 1:00:09 (9:42 average pace).  First sub-10 minute mile Olympic run!  I’m stoked!  And it wasn’t even all out racing.  I’m excited to see what I can do for my half ironman races this year if this is any indication of where my run fitness is…

Overall time: 3:11:58. 138/162 AG.  So close to those top 18 slots that qualify for worlds, hahaha!

I’d say overall, I put about 80-85% into this race, but besides the pre-race BS and the fallacious swim, I had a total blast on this course and couldn’t wait to race it again the next day.  After some food.  And sleep.

Dear self, medals are not food.

After wandering aimlessly for a bit, I picked up my bag and changed into clothes.  We waited around for a while hanging out with friends and then when transition opened, I moved my bike to the place it was supposed to be for the next day.  For our commute, we walked two miles to get to the city bikes, and then rode them back to the hotel.  Next on the agenda was to get cleaned up and food in my face to fuel tomorrow’s race!

Part two coming soon…

Krause Springs Part 1 – fourth of July, butterfly gardens, and wonderful laziness

I had magical memories of our 2017 Krause Springs trip.

I was wondering, even if a little bit, whether the magic I felt was the newness of camping with the popup.  It was just an entirely different experience than any other vacation I had taken in my life and I was hoping that essence would still be there at Krause.

And it totally was.  Even if this trip was different, it wasn’t any less amazing.

After a super smooth set up, we enjoyed our fairly standard first night meal when we don’t race the next day – hot dogs and veggie pasta salad, with an adult beverage this time because we could!  Usually, the first night of camping means being good, because we have to swim, bike, run, or do all of the three the next day, and in this case, we had ZERO plans.  However, our lack of sleep the night before limited it to just ONE and after the little fireworks show, we crawled in bed with our books and proceeded to sleep blissfully for 10 hours.

Wednesday was the fourth of July holiday proper, and we woke up to rain.  We had a delicious breakfast of bean and cheese tacos, and I spent some time coloring, intending to get warmed up to paint later in the week.  Then we took a walk to the butterfly garden.  Zliten spent some time drawing and I ran around and photographed everything. 

I wasn’t patient enough to get a picture of an actual butterfly or hummingbird, but I got some nice scenery before it started to POUR.  We hung back in the camper and made some fairly epic campfire stew and read and relaxed watching the rain drip outside our open camper windows. 

The persistent rain forced us to cook our first meal in the camper, and it actually worked out quite well.  When you don’t have to deal with the wind on the stove, you get a nice even temperature.

We lucked out and got a break in the rain pretty much JUST for the fireworks setup and show.  The rain had kept it cool and I’m sure there was less potential for fire hazards, so it worked out for everyone.  So much BIG KABOOMS!

The fireworks shows here are just plain epic, and I had so much fun playing with my new camera’s fireworks mode.  Zliten had to remind me to actually sit back and WATCH a bit instead of take pictures of every firework.

The next day, we slept until we couldn’t possibly stay in bed any longer, listening to the sounds of  a light drizzle on the popup canvas.  Once it cleared up, we had some breakfast and soon after, lunch because we were still hungry.

There was a lot of wonderful laziness on Thursday.  I read and napped and read and jumped in the pool and then read a little more, but I did take a hike to get some pretty footage of the area around the tent camping areas.

Our one big food experiment was campfire pizza.  It ended up a little burnt on the bottom, and it was more like a pizza inspired casserole, but all the delicious tastes were there.  Would totally make again.

Later, we headed down to the falls.

I neglected to bring the strap for my camera this vacation, so I spent the entire time in the natural springs clutching my camera for dear life.  I can report that I still have it! Success!

As the sun went down, I had to run around the campsite once again to see where the light was pretty and take more photos.  These weren’t the best grounds for epic sunset photos, but I enjoyed watching them each evening!

We took it easy that night and went to bed early to be ready for adventures in the morning.  Part 2, coming soon!

If you want to skip the words and just see all the photos, click here.

Week 4 – The Secret to Success

Hi everyone!  I leave for Nationals tomorrow!

All the feels!

I went from zero freakouts to maximum over the course of Monday, so I shut down my planned second workout of the day and just destressed and prepared instead.  I think I’ve even outdone my normal craziness with a 10 page vacation document for 4 nights away, but there’s so much “you must be here at this particular time” going on this weekend, and we don’t have a car, so it’s definitely not our normal getaway.

My goals in Cleveland are to:

#1 Survive racing back to back days.  I think I’m less worried about the actual effort, and more about the back to back 4am wakeups (ughhhh), and all the logistics that go along with racing two different races, so there’s that.

#2 I rarely get to race Olympic distance, so I’d like to take a stab at the holy grail for me, a sub-3 hour race.  The temperatures and the course should lend itself well to it, we’ll see how my legs and brain react to the day.

#3 Have fun!  I don’t have any delusions about actually qualifying for worlds in either category this year, so I’m just here to enjoy the experience and hopefully not come in last (and even if I do, eh, it’s fine, I know I’m a little fish in a big pond again).

This week I’m training fairly minimally because I’m not 100% sure how my body will react to two hard efforts in a row and I want to give it the best fighting chance possible without a real taper.  Also, it’s a great excuse to let some little niggles try and heal.  I’m looking at you, stupid blister on my right arch and cranky left leg (earlier in the week, my glute was bothering me, now it’s my ankle… sigh… the tapers).  I’m doing a bunch of short swims, did one bodyweight session, some bike riding, and trying to stretch and roll and boots as much as possible while I’m at home since all I’m traveling with is my teeny portable roller.

Monday morning bike rides make the entire week better.

Last week was a great training week – I hit every session I planned!

  • Monday: 1 hour easy bike ride, gym weights
  • Tuesday: AM run: 9 miles at 10:30-11:00 min/mile pace
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: 20 mins swim, 30 min bike, 2 mile run indoor tri at Lifetime (unofficial, of course)
  • Friday: AM weights, PM open water swim
  • Saturday: 45 mile TT ride at the Veloway, 3 mile brick run (9:30-ish/mile goal pace)
  • Sunday: off

Things to note:

Tuesday’s run was the first strugglebus in a while.  I still did the exact run at the exact paces I needed, but the second half was not pleasant and I definitely aggravated my blister doing it.  It was a great mental toughness workout and honestly, I’ve had worse. 

On Thursday, I pulled off just about the exact same paces I did at the Indoor Tri in January but they felt much easier.  I almost hurled after getting off the treadmill earlier this year, keeping the same pace in August felt challenging but not pukeworthy.  The perceived effort on the bike wasn’t even the same zip code.  I was dying the entire time in January, this was a build from steady to sorta challenging by the end now, both ending at 10.1 miles in 30 minutes.

Saturday’s ride was actually super nice – while 15 loops of anything gets monotinous, it was nice not having to dodge cars or stop for anything but bottle fills.  I was able to manage 18.2 mph for the entire ride and the effort felt reasonable.  My legs were a little sore after 45 miles (which makes sense, because this is my longest ride in six months by 10 miles), but I definitely had another 11 miles in me to complete the half ironman distance and my legs ran off that bike just fine (I held 9:50s instead of 9:30s, but heck, it already was feels like 100 when we started, so I’m still pretty proud of that). 

On swimming: I just haven’t been able to manage to get myself to hit the 70.3 race distance yet.  I’ve increased my comfort zone to a little under a mile (1500-1600yd), I just haven’t had the oomph to do that .2 yet.  My glute most commonly starts barking on longer swims (especially towing the safe swimmer – I decided the second lap without it on Friday was worth the risk so I ditched it), so I’ve cut a lot of attempts at 3 lake loops (about 2400 yd) to 2 (1600 yd) because of it.  As long as I get a few 3 loop swims and some longer pool swims before race day, I should be fine (and I have 7 weeks after this one to do it so… not worried yet).

Training requires some substantial high quality food.  Training does not require that chocolate thing, but it did come with the meal so *shrug*.

I’ll announce that I’ve found the answer to weight loss success.  If correlation = causation, then all you need to do is eat two slices of cake, skip your planned workout, and drink whiskey for dinner.

Yep, I’ll be selling this on late night infomercials starting next week.  It’s the path to success!  Actually, I know what I do in the weeks before seems to affect me much more on the scale than what I’m doing immediately (unless it’s drastic like a long hot run or ride or eating a giant bowl of super salty MSG-filled pho), so I don’t want to get cocky, but for better or worse, that was my Monday and I woke up and weighed myself on Tuesday and the scale taunted me with 169.8, 169.9, and then finally settled on 170.2.  While that’s a low swing, my upswing the next day was only back to 173, and my trendweight is actually tilting down rather nicely.

  • Average calorie burn: 2519
  • Average calorie intake: 1888 (-631 deficit)
  • Average weight change: 175.0 to 174.5 (-0.5)
  • Average diet quality: 21.4

So, underneath my “diet by cake and laziness”, I actually have some solid scores for last week.  My goal for the next few months will honestly be to just keep doing pretty much this above and see where it takes me.  I ate mostly healthy food in the proper portions and counted my calories, but this plan also involves a burger and fries, whiskey and wine, a giant bag of BBQ from Rudy’s that consisted of most of this weekend’s protein, one small slice of cake and half a cookie.  So, it’s not all angelic but 9 hours of training means there’s room for a few splurges here and there.

This week, I’m going to have less of a deficit because I’ll be doing less training, and probably not taking the calories down too much lower (both because of racing).  So, I’ll expect to not see too much happening on the scale, but I hope to minimize the asshole eating (but allow for some) while in a new city.

Fun with the fireworks setting…

In life matters that don’t involve triathlon or what I put in my mouth, I edited July 5th and July 6th camping photos.  I still have 51 left for July 7 and 8th, but you can see what’s done HERE.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been so late with a vacation post (I almost want to pre-date it to July to hide my shame :D), so maybe look for a PART ONE coming soon-ish.  Maybe I need to post about my July vacation before I leave town in August.  Maybe I’m ridiculous, but I just love to explore and take photos!  Now, if someone could pay me more than 18 cents for it…

Week 3 – feels like coming home

Three weeks down, nine to go to Cozumel 70.3, thirteen to Waco 70.3.

I’m feeling pretty good about things right now.  I’m not feeling ready to race a 70.3 yet, but with six weeks of solid training left + three weeks of taper, I think I have enough time to get my legs under me.

After my first block (two weeks build, one week stepback), here’s how I feel about the various sports.

Swimming, I used to love you the most.  About 5 years ago, it was my best sport of the three and I enjoyed practicing it, especially once we started at Pure Austin and I had the beautiful pool and lake handy to paddle in.  For some reason, over the last two years, I’ve fallen out of love with swimming (and my slightly worsening times in the pool have reflected this).

However, the good news is that a) summer is here and while my motivation is lower than previous years, it’s at this year’s peak to be in the water and b) while my pool times are not great, I’m actually working REALLY HARD on my open water form and those times are actually coming down.  Funny, when you swim with your head down and try to emulate your form in the pool even when you can’t see the black line, things get more efficient.  Rather than something like a 30 sec/100m discrepancy between pool and open water, I’m closer to like 10.  While it’s partly the product of not doing speedwork and getting slower in the pool, it’s also attention to better form all around and I’m racing in open water the rest of the year (so the pool times don’t matter) so I’ll call it a win.

Biking, is it possible to miss you even though I ride three times a week?  I’m feeling rather wistful for last year’s cycling training (for the Hotter’n’Hell 100) which was: ride bikes.  A lot.  Preferably in the heat.  I miss the commuting, I miss taking off early in the morning to ride for hours and hours on a Saturday (with no impending brick run after), and I miss bike adventures and group rides with the goals of just to GET LOTS OF MILES ON MY BUTT.

However, this entire year is about sharpening the stick.  I’ve allowed myself one ride per week with the goal just to enjoy being outside on Evilbike, and I’m finding I rarely want to stop.  I know there will be more time for this later in the year, and I’m sticking to my specific goals involving shorter melt-your-face-off TT speed sessions and longer brick workout riding places where I don’t have to stop much to simulate race efforts.  But… man, I’m looking forward to some times in November/December where we hop on our bikes and go ride with some stops to take pictures of cool things and eat food with no pace or time goals.

That being said, it was nice that 17.2 mph on the Shoal Creek loop felt. like. holding. back. like. woah.  So the effort I’m putting in is worth it.

Running is a surprise.  It’s been the bane of my existence for years, both with my slowing paces and random minor but annoying injuries and imbalances.  Even earlier this year, my take on running was that I should do it as little and fast as possible.  My meager 5-ish miles a week (but mostly faster) returned enough dividends that I wasn’t going to change things.

I’m running about 2-3 times a week now, which isn’t that much different than before, but the runs are longer (last week I did a whole ELEVEN miles for almost TWO HOURS of running).  Oddly enough, or maybe just as a surprise to no one but me, since I’m a little lighter and have new shoes, both my legs and brain have taken to some additional miles as if they’re coming home from a long time away.  In fact, these longer hours in general feels like coming home, as it’s been a while.  Intentional absence, for sure, but it’s fun to train a lot.  I digress.

The cool thing is that I am completing pretty much all of my runs at the pace goals I’m setting, even after time away, even in the heat, even when I have the ability to make excuses why it’s too fast – it’s not.  While I know 7 miles is way shorter than 13, I felt like 10:40/mile was a nice relaxed pace that I did not want to stop when I finished (and spoilers, I held a slightly faster pace for 9 this week though I was 100% READY TO STOP after).  In the feels like 100+ degree heat, I was able to maintain a 10:30/mile pace for a 10k off the bike (with a few water stops).  In the insane humidity, I was able to descend, not quite to 10k but to at least slightly under half marathon pace (9:30-9:45), for the middle three miles of last week’s run on Tuesday even though it felt like running through soup.

Weights is a thing in which I am still doing because I know I need to, but I don’t have too much love for it right now.  I know it’s one of my most important sessions of the week, but that doesn’t mean the illogical part of my brain wants to skip it to go do other things.  I’m definitely moved past the “heavy lifting” part of the year and probably have to let go of the fact that deadlifting/squatting any signficant weight is going to need to be on pause until after Waco and recovery, but I’m still showing up and doing the things.  The default workout right now is:

  • 5 min row warmup, then 3x everything below….
  • 10@40# kb squats
  • 10@40# kb side leans
  • 10@40# kb rows
  • 10@20# shoulder press with dumbbells
  • 10@25# kb single leg deadlifts
  • 10 ball pass crunches
  • 10 ball hamstring curls
  • 10 ball inverted v-ups
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 single leg calf raises
  • Streeetchy stretch!

I can roll through this in about 35-40 minutes, and while it’s not the kind of PUMP that deadlifting 150 lbs is, I definitely feel it, especially in my weak spots like my hamstrings and lower back.  I’m pretty confident this will help me at least maintain if not make small gains if I stick with it through tri season.

That’s a lot of words about sports so let’s put up some schedules and move on…

Last week:

  • Monday: 1 hour easy bike ride
  • Tuesday: AM run: 1 mile warmup, 3 miles fast (10k-ish race pace, trying to hold low 9s), 1 mile cooldown
  • Wednesday: home weights
  • Thursday: 1600yd lake swim
  • Friday: AM gym weights
  • Saturday: practice olympic distance (1500m swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run)
  • Sunday: off

I had to shift things around a little bit, but I got in all the sessions.  Hooray!  This resulted in 6.5 hours, which was also about what I’d planned.  Stepback week + finally getting my morning person thing on = success!

This week’s plan:

  • Monday: 1 hour easy bike ride, weights
  • Tuesday: AM run: 9 miles at 10:30-11:00 min/mile pace
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: brick workout, swim (maybe all together)
  • Friday: AM gym weights, PM open water swim
  • Saturday: 45 mile TT ride at the Veloway, 3 mile brick run (9:30-ish/mile goal pace)
  • Sunday: off

Looks like about 9 hours and a nice peak week before heading into Nationals race week next week.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!

As for the non-training training goals:

  • Hit all the sessions. (CHECK)
  • Get good sleep (which hopefully will start pushing me towards being more of a morning person) (CHECK)
  • Prioritize recovery – as in use the boots, roller, or stretch once a day. (mostly check – I think I skipped a day or two but I also visited the chiropractor AND got a massage so that makes up for something…)

My weight loss efforts have dropped from about 1 lb per week to 1 lb per month, however, it’s still going in the right direction.  At 1 lb per month, I’ll see the 160’s in 2018.  So, that’s still motivation to keep at it.  What I’m currently doing does not seem to be affecting my training or general happiness and well being, so it continues.

  • Average calorie burn: 2404
  • Average calorie intake: 1794 (-609 deficit)
  • Average weight change: 175.1 to 175.0 (-0.1… sigh… at least it’s not +)
  • Average diet quality: 19.7

So, at this point, I’ve had two weeks where I’ve done deeeeecently, and no progress.  I can only assume that life is punishing me (or, more likely, that I was selectively weighing on good days before and now that I’m back to every day, it will take some time to stabilize). 

Goals for the next week:

  • Salads every day.  I missed my veggies goal more than I have in a long time.  Eat your veggies (and fruit, those were lacking too) woman!
  • I had a cadence before.  Yogurt and berries in the morning.  Lunch.  Salad.  Fruit and nuts snack before I left work or right when I got home.  Dinner.  Post dinner snack in whatever categories I was lacking.  I’m not eating all that much more, but I am finding I’m not quite eating the right things.  I’m going to try to establish that cadence again.
  • Saturdays are going to be a challenge now that I’m onto long workouts.  I need to make sure I have plans for something reasonably healthy/easy, if not for the meal immediately after said long workout, for the rest of the day instead of eating crackers and cheese like I did this week… ahem.

It’s official, I’m a PAID stock photographer.  I made my first sale… of 18 cents!  I’m rich!  Where’s my mansion?  While it’s kind of laughable, it’s nice to know that someone was able to find my picture and for one reason or another, purchased it.  Besides the work of uploading and setting key words, this is stuff I’d do anyway with my photography, so I’ll keep building a stock library and who knows, maybe someday I’ll make 1.18$ #shootforthemoon

In terms of photo goals, here’s what I’ve done:

  • I submitted (and got accepted) the remaining 12 left from my “second best” May 2018 vacation set to two out of the three sites (Adobe seems to be the pickiest, so I left them for last).
  • Narrow down my photos from about 700 (with my cell phone shots as well) to under 200.
  • I’ve edited and processed everything from July 4th.

I know, the typical thing to post here would be a firework photo, but I loved this one from the butterfly gardens a lot.

This week, I’d like to:

  • Submit those 12 “second best” photos to Adobe and wait for my inevitable rejections.
  • Finish at least through July 5th.  And even if I don’t finish, make some progress by not being against the idea of sitting down and editing three photos a night if that’s the amount of time I have between dinner and bed.
  • Holding on the book until I finish these photos.  However, after this batch… it’s on!

In terms of other IRL things, we had our first weekend at home and no plans since June 2nd.  The last time that happened was April 21.  Before that, March.  No wonder we’re feeling a little crispy and protective of our time lately.  It was nice to come home after smashing myself against a long workout in the heat and barely have to make words at anyone for two days.  With work and training and life the way it is right now I really need some time for my sanity to be silent and just focus on something relaxing like editing, TV, a book, etc. 

And on that note, I’ll take my wordy self and do just that…

Week 2 of 70.3 training – nailed it!

On the heels of a rough week 1, I’m happy to report my sentiment for Week 2 was, “Nailed it!”

Insert peach emoji here.  If you want a nice looking peach too, you can get this kit of mine HERRRE.

And not even in the ironic pintrest fail sense.  Except in some instances where it was sort of that exactly. 

As for training, I’m thrilled to report it’s the first time in a long time I’ve put check marks in all the boxes.  That is, all workouts were completed, exactly as planned (if not exactly WHEN).  That’s a HUGE win for me.  I may have rescheduled some things about 23 times before completing it, but all’s well that ends well, yeah?  Even if that ending was 5pm on a Sunday walking back from the lake for a swim I put off since Monday…

Here’s the week 2 summary:

  • Monday: weights (home), 1 hour easy bike ride
  • Tuesday: 7 mile long run 10:30-11 min/mile pace
  • Wednesday: FTP test AM
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: gym weights AM, 1500yd pool swim PM
  • Saturday: 35 mile TT bike ride/3 mile brick faster than race pace (sub-10 was the goal, I actually hit sub 9:30s!!!).
  • Sunday: 1600yd lake swim

It really is the swim practice that has been tripping me up.  I don’t have the option to swim at lunch anymore (though that changes soon! yay!) and it’s the least convenient session to get to.  I actually love doing it once I get myself there and going, it’s just the effort to get there… ugh.  It sounds so lazy, but it’s just the truth.

And it makes sense when my swimming spaces are so ugly.  Sigh…

Everything else went rather well!  An hour bike ride after work on Monday is honestly just the thing to shake the blahs.  I’m starting back a little… errr… lot lighter with some things for weights but I’m showing up and doing it.  While the swims were difficult to coordinate, I had two longest swims of the year and they felt pretty good.

The highlights of the week were my cycling and running.  I know, I haven’t said the words “highlight” and “running” in the same sentence for a long time, but it’s true.  As for cycling, I took an FTP test on Wednesday morning, and it went up 7 points, and since I’ve lost weight since my last one, my watts per kg score went up nicely as well (2.15 to 2.25).  I’m now in the middle of the cat-5 or cat-4 category, depending on which version of the chart you’re looking at, so that’s something. 

As for my run, I won’t say the paces I’m doing are effortless, but they are more comfortable than expected.  My 7 mile run at 10:40s ended before I wanted it to, I could have easily continued on another few miles at the same pace and effort if I had time.  Then, Saturday, in feels like 95 degrees in no shade, I ran a 9:28/mile pace for 3 miles off a two hour reasonably challenging bike (18 mph average/1200+ feet of elevation gain in the heat).  Again, this wasn’t EASY but it was doable and at 169 HR average, it was a little high for what I’d hold during the half marathon off the bike but it wasn’t butting up against my racing ceiling either (~175).

This next week is a stepback week, which I don’t feel like I need physically, like, at all, but mentally, I’m ready.  The next few days are already presenting challenges with life not understanding that it’s time for training to be the focus, and not other stuff. ><  However, we’ll get ‘er done, somehow, someway.  Here’s the plan.

  • Monday: 1 hour easy bike ride
  • Tuesday: AM run: 1 mile warmup, 3 miles fast (10k-ish race pace, trying to hold low 9s), 1 mile cooldown, PM home kettlebells
  • Wednesday: ~1500yd swim, lake or pool PM
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: AM gym weights
  • Saturday: practice olympic distance (1500m swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run)
  • Sunday: off

This is a little bit of scheduling gymnastics from the plan 24 hours ago, but thankfully it’s not the myriad of two-a-days it would be if it was NOT a recovery week, so I’m thankful for a little more leeway.  I have faith all the boxes will be ticked, just not confident everything will happen exactly when it’s supposed to.  And that’s ok.

My other goals for last week continue to be goals for this week:

  • Hit all the sessions. (CHECK)
  • Get good sleep (which hopefully will start pushing me towards being more of a morning person) (CHECK)
    • My worst night of sleep was 6h43m, and I just stayed up later than normal, nothing sinister.  Saturday night, I got 6 hours and 41 minutes of DEEP sleep (for about 9 hours total), waking up at 11:30am.  My body is doing all the right things, and I’m finding waking up in the 7am hour much easier.
  • Prioritize recovery – as in use the boots, roller, or stretch once a day.
    • I didn’t hit it every day, but I stretched twice, rolled twice, and hit the boots once.  Five out of seven days isn’t bad!

Let’s see how this week goes!

As for the scale-y side of things…

Wait, that’s not what I mean… hehe…

Let’s just go to the numbers…

  • Average calorie burn: 2480
  • Average calorie intake: 1805 (-674 deficit)
  • Average weight change: 175.6 to 175.1 (-0.6)
  • Average diet quality: 22.1

I had typed this thing about making zero, zip, nada, zilch in the way of progress, but I’m going to dig a little bit into there because that’s not entirely true.  My trendweight is hovering right in the 175.somethings, where it has for pretty much all July.  Right now it’s the LOWEST it’s been with 175.1, so that’s a thing.  However, I’m not entirely sure if I’m goosing the numbers a little bit by selectively weighing on days when I think it will be a good result (I weighed Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sunday, which coincided with either morning workouts or days I went light on dinner).

Either way, the process numbers above look in order for the last week.  I have a feeling I’m still paying for vacation week and the week after where things went all to hell with my eating.  My progress is slow.  My progress is stalled.  But, there is still progress and even if it takes me 10 weeks to lose 5 more lbs while not negatively impacting my 70.3 training, that’s fine and dandy.  I didn’t gain this particular weight overnight, so I know I’m not going to lose it that way either.

A summary of #projectraceweight in graph form.

This week, I’ve batch cooked some meals instead of just scrounging, I’m grabbing some snap kitchen for the first time in a while.  I don’t have any parties or plans this week that involve gluttonous meals.  In the monthly cycle of being a woman, this should be a week that my hormones won’t hamper my efforts.  This should be a good week for me if I can play by my old rules where I was doing well.  So I shall.

Speaking of rules… I’m trying not to break them.  I really am.  I drew my suck lines in sharpie two months ago and I’m really trying to abide by that decree.  It let me let go of a few things that while I really want to do, I don’t have the time or attention for at the moment AND THAT’S OK.  I will be a famous You Tube star, painter, jewelry designer, have a fabulously renovated and organized house, and whatever else some day when I have all the time in the world.

Trying to be legit with a watermark and everything.  However, this one got rejected by two out of the three stock sites. I still like it so I’m posting it here.

However, photography keeps creeping up above the line by nature.  I keep going places and taking pretty pictures, and that means I have photos to edit, and if I’m going to go through all that, I might as well submit them to build my stock portfolio, right?  It sounds like a natural thing to do but then it takes time, I’m estimating that the process of making it ready for the three photo sites is at least 30 minutes PER PICTURE beyond what I’d do just to put it in a personal album. 

Right now, it means that I prioritized those submissions over my Krause Springs pictures and all I’ve done with that set is narrow 500+ pictures down to about 200 that were decent. 

Still with the phone pictures, but I miss my tree and my hammock.

Because this seems to be the thing I want to focus on/procrastinate editing my book with right now, I’ll indulge it for a little bit, if that I won’t have another big batch of pretty pictures to edit probably until October, so it won’t be a constant distraction.  My next goals are:

  • Further narrow that down to a reasonable amount of photos to take the time to run through the editor, hopefully 100 or less.
  • Upload those to facebook and do a (maybe a few) Krause Springs posts.
  • Pick the ones that are on the level of the first batch I submitted to each stock photo site (with the rejections in the second batch, I think I’ve found the edge).
  • Upload the best 10 to ONE of the sites and see if any get rejected.  If they all pass, upload them everywhere.
  • Pick the next best 10-15 if I think I have any more that are good quality.  Upload them to one site and see if any get rejected.  If they all pass, upload them everywhere and repeat the process as deep as I want to go into my stock.

If this takes me a month or two, so be it, but there’s the map and the plan.

The book editing process is going slowly, but one more session and I can probably call myself one-third of the way through the first rough pass.  That’s the benchmark I’ll focus on.  I’m hoping I can carve out some time this weekend or next but again, I’m not giving myself a set timetable for this stuff lest I get overwhelmed.

And in the spirit of not overwhelming myself, th-th-th-that’s all folks!

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