Adjusted Reality

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

Austin 70.3 – The Nutrition Plan

It’s all crazy busy around here, but what’s new?  Thankfully, taper week 2’s lighter workout schedule is coinciding well with some work deadlines so it feels only slightly insane.  Someday, I’ll figure out how to stagger my big races with work obligations, but that is not what’s happening in this particular October 2016, my friends!


However, runs and swims and bikes are keeping me sane and smiling and taking selfies.  So, there is that.

Anyhoo, it’s 10 days to Austin 70.3.  I’ve done the long rides, runs, swims, and brick.  I’ve practiced race pace.  I’ve lifted weights to build muscle to support all the abuse.  I’ve indulged in my recovery boots A LOT.  I’ve eaten all the fruits and veggies and carbs and lean protein that stokes the fire (and let’s be honest, the pizza and cake and beer that ALSO fuels the workouts).

We can easily spend time badgering ourselves for things we’ve lacked in training (hello, all those missing swims where I just couldn’t drag my ass to the pool or lake), but one thing I think I’ve done right is practicing nutrition for the big day.  It’s been one of my downfalls in the past, so I wanted to make sure I came into this cycle really trying to nail down what has caused me issues.

  1. I get soooooo sick of gels and blocks.  During a long hot race, my stomach is always gross by the end and sometimes I’d rather chew razorblades at hour 5 of 6 instead of put another gel anywhere near my body.
  2. I die in the heat way more than the average bear.   I’m pretty sure this is all electrolyte balance (at least, the component I can actually do anything about with fuel).
  3. I’ll convince myself that I don’t need the last gel to save money.  This is total race brain.  Who wouldn’t spend a buck fifty TO LITERALLY SAVE YOUR RACE YOU SPENT HUNDREDS TO ENTER?
  4. Sometimes I make this detailed race nutrition plan and just throw it out the window because, again, race brain.  It’s almost easier for me to run than eat in the final minutes of these things.

So, we practice running, biking, and swimming.  If we’re smart, we practice transitions (free speed!).  This cycle, I’ve done my best to also practice nutrition and try new things.  I’ve eaten something close to my pre-race meal before all my shorter races and long workouts.  I’ve nailed down how to get myself up in the morning for early workouts (caff gel on my bedside, works every time).  I’ve experimented with different types of fuel besides just Cyborg Boob Milk and cubes o sugar jelly (blocks).  I’ve tried different types of sports drink.  I’ve also experimented with how I fuel after.


I have yet to try something like this as mid-ride bike fuel with a run after, but can we all agree that this is SO much better than a gel?

So, what did this little guinea pig find out?

Don’t fuck with what works: the day before the race

  • Whatever for breakfast, within reason.  The normal yogurt/cereal.  Sometimes a bean and cheese taco.  Sometimes just a bigger and early lunch.
  • Swimming in the morning the day before a race is the best.  Fuck shakeout runs, they always make me feel weird.  Swimming feels amazing during and makes you feel good all day.  I know it’s not nutrition but hooray for swimming!
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich on white (less fiber – good)
  • Snacks: as I find yourself even MILDLY hungry – low fat high carb snacks like pita/hummus, pretzels, fruit (especially watermelon), maybe some jerky or nuts but mostly caaaaarbs.
  • Dinner: chicken or steak, mashed potatoes or rice, and a salad.  As all day, skip anything fried (save it for after the race) or spicy.

Fuck with what doesn’t work: race day

I’ve tweaked this a lot this year, but here’s what I’ve arrived at as the race day plan.

Upon waking: a caff chew or 2 and a cliff nut butter bar (~250 calories).  Since I’ll probably be waking up 3+ hours before my wave goes off at 8:15 am, I don’t want to burn my energy jittering too early, but this will help me get up and not drag ass.  Also, I’ve found that a little protein + fat help me stomach carbs better first thing in the morning.  Regular cliff bars?  Queasy.  Fill it with nut butter?  Happy tummy.

From waking to wave start (~150 calories): bring a disposable water bottle so I can sip sports drink and water until the race start.  I’ve started so many triathlons dehydrated until I remembered this stupid simple trick.  Caff gel about 30 mins before, enough time to go poop if my stomach gets wonky, and making sure it doesn’t *really* kick in until the back half of the swim.  Also, electrolyte tabs.  With a high of 82, it’s not AS critical as a hotter race, but I’m not taking any chances.


I’m always really ambitious with my gel packing but never follow through.  I’m sure I ate one, maybe two of those tops for a 2 hour race.

Bike nutrition: English muffin with cream cheese and bacon, coconut date rolls, and a pb filled cliff bar (~500 calories solids, ~200? calories liquids).  It’s a departure from the carb only existance I’ve done in other races, but I’ve trained with it and it makes my tummy and brain happy.  I’ll have a few traditional gels as well in case the fit hits the shan, but I don’t plan on using them.  I’ve felt so much better coming off the bike after real food.

As for liquid, it doesn’t really seem to matter what it is as long as it’s got electrolytes in it and it’s not too concentrated.  I’ll start with two tanks of iced gatorade and then switch to the gatorade endurance that’s on the course, just keeping an eye on how it hits my stomach to see if I need to dilute it.  I’ll also have some electrolyte tabs if it’s feeling hot.

Run nutrition: 3 gels + whatever gatorade I can shove in my face. (~300 solids, ~200? liquids). On all my bricks lately, I’ve been putting a gel in my mouth during miles .5-2.  I won’t deviate from that.  If I feel awful, I’ll open it and take it super slow, knowing sometimes it settles my stomach if I force it down.  I haven’t had that issue in training in quite a while, so I’m hoping all goes well.

I’ve ended all my longer bricks thinking I’d need fuel soon to keep it up.  So, I think the plan will be mile 1, 5, and 9 for gels.  I’ve never gotten 3 gels down during the run leg, but I did during a 14 mile run this cycle.  I’ve never regretted taking a gel near the end of a race, but I have regretted NOT taking one.  I’ll pack two non-caff and one caff, and I’ll either take the caff at (preferably – since I’ll get the most benefit out of it) mile 1 or 5.  I need to remember that I have the next day off, so if I am up late jittering, the PR will be worth it!

I will probably drop my run bag the day before (it’s optional, but will save a lot of hassle), so I’ll probably start with either an empty handheld (to fill at an aid station), or bring a warm bottle of gatorade to dump in it.  One will make my run slower, one will make my transition slower.  If we get great luck with the weather, I may just leave it, but it would have to be a pretty cool day for me to do that.  I’ll have electrolyte tabs in my handheld and I’ll probably take some at the beginning of the run as insurance (unless I just took them on the bike).


The cravings vary, but this is a pretty frequent post race one.

Post race:

I have been REALLY REALLY good about getting stuff in my face pretty quickly and not getting to the point of fading. In the past, I’ve slacked on this, either in the name of saving calories for later or just being lazy/unprepared.  I feel so much better when I eat something right away, no matter what it is (though I feel the BEST when I end with the recovery shake).

When I end at home, I mix up said shake and get on acquiring or making food within the hour.  When I’m not home, I’ve made it a point to end at a gas station or in proximity to somewhere I can at least get some cold coconut water and make sure I eat something quickly.  At races, I’ve just been eating whatever food is available.  At kerrville, the tacos were kind of yucky, but down the hatch they went anyway.  The same will happen here – whatever’s available, I’ll eat it.

This will kick off a little mid-season break, so it’s not as vital as during peak, but there’s no reason for me to intentionally make myself feel shitty.

If I can stick to the plan, I’m looking at ~1600 calories down that hatch before and during the race, and I’m certain that’s the best I will have ever done.  If I can follow the plan (barring major extinction level gastrointestinal events), I think I may just find myself at the finish quicker (and happier) than ever before.


Then, I can get on with the business of sipping some of this and not moving much from my couch for a week if I so choose!

What’s your most decadent post race or post workout craving?  Trying to dream up what I get to put in my face for late lunch on the 30th. 🙂

Saving myself from myself.

This week, nothing went according to plan and honestly, it worked out really well for my sporty pursuits.


Proof of training, and taper crazies.

I’m somewhat flexible. I typically plan a *little* aggressively in terms of training, so I don’t freak if I miss one of my 10-12 sessions per week that’s just sort of volume filler.  Missing a 2 mile easy run is not going to make or break my race.  Occasionally, it will be something bigger, and if it’s for a good reason, I’ll get over it.  The gauge is typically if I’m willing to eat dinner and go to bed while it’s still light, the relaxation is more important than the training.

However, this week, everything just got kinda fubared with work and life and stuff.  I missed an open water race pace swim.  It was planned for Monday and I could not fit it in the rest of the week, not for lack of at least half-heartedly trying.  I missed said 2 mile run, a weights session, and cut a killer bike workout to a “slightly harder than easy” and shortened it… after already intentionally cutting a bike workout.  The original plan was 9 hours, modified plan 8 hours, and I got in… 6.25 hours.

I’ve been dealing with some major fatigue (see above said crawling into bed before the sun sets… this has happened a handful of times over the last two weeks).  Stress is stress is stress and things aren’t exactly calm around these parts.  I’m still at the point where I’m conquering workouts I can get to, but the amount of eating and sleeping I’m doing to just pretend like I can even right now is not normal.

On Thursday morning, I was able to execute an 8 mile half easy, half race pace run without an issue. When I went to bed Wednesday before sunset, I was not 100% sure if I was going to even start it.  On Saturday, I rode the same course as a month ago, and pulled down more power (10-15W+) and faster speeds (.5 mph+) with way less effort (HR 5-10 bpm lower).  It was about 10 degrees cooler, but still.  It was a pretty significant jump in 4 weeks.

I also had an “intensity TBD” 6 mile run on the plan after the bike. Considering my fatigue lately, I didn’t really want to dig too far down in the pain cave to get this done, but miles 1, 2, and 3 ticked off at 10:30, 10 flat, and 10:22 just concentrating on my cadence, so I stuck with it and finished with a nice 10:12/mile average.  It was warm (feels like almost 90), but not HOT, and I wasn’t completely cooked at the end.  With more fuel, liquid, and the promise of a week off after, I could have probably put another 7 like that together.  I was actually holding my legs back a lot of the time to keep this pace because they just wanted to go.  It felt FUCKING great after months and months of lacking run fitness to just nail this one to the wall.


I am definitely ready for the race that makes me feel like THIS after.  I’m due.  I’m doing everything I can to get myself there open for THIS experience.

While all the studies I’ve read say an exponential taper is not necessarily the best, that’s what happened this time and so far, it’s working out.  The cool thing is that I’m feeling my legs and brain come around a lot quicker, so my confidence is much higher than normal.  With two weeks to go, I’ve usually had at least one nervous breakdown and I’m thinking “how the eff am I going to do a 6 hour race when I feel like shit doing a 30 minute run”?  This time, I’m holding my legs back at race pace.  I’ll take it.

So, the key now, is volume down, and keep the intensity.  Here’s the plan for this week:

  • Monday: race pace 2250m (3 quarry loop) swim.
  • Tuesday: endurance cycle class
  • Wednesday: ~1500m pool swim (with some fast segments) + BSS recovery ride
  • Thursday: 5 miles w/3 below race pace
  • Saturday: 1 hour cycle, 1 hour run, both easy with race effort segments

It’s not a whole lot (about 6.5 hours), so I’ll be pretty iffy about skipping anything here because there’s not much filler.  If I had to skip anything in terms of not adding much to the training, it’s the BSS recovery ride, but I miss my peeps.  But, it’s the first to go if the fit hits the shan.

Life outside of training might be summed up with “what doesn’t kill you makes you tired”.  I’m eating a lot – negative 1000 calories is the furthest thing from my mind right now.  If I’m hungry, I’m putting food in my face.  I’m doing my best to make it quality food, but let’s be honest, it’s not all veggies and brown rice.  Every 3-5 hour Saturday workout leaves me starving for about 2 days.  Yesterday’s eats were ridiculous.  I ate tons of fruits and veggies and good stuff, but I also ate a churro and two servings of ice cream.


Compromise.  Delicious, delicious compromise.  Normally the lack of veggies would be a point of contention, but I had already had strawberries, plums, corn, onions, green pepper, and carrots that day and met my fiber goals.

While I’m super not concentrating on losing weight or dieting right now, I am doing these things:

  • Easy access to fruits and veggies means I eat more of them.  Literally having to cut up salad or peel a piece of fruit may mean I’ll go “nah” and eat something else sometimes.  The barrier to entry on this stuff needs to be NONE.  Buying bags of baby carrots and snow peas, cut up watermelon, or grab and nom fruit like apples is key.  This is not the time to work on habits.  It’s time to make doing the right thing as brainless as possible.
  • Hydration.  I’m getting my daily intake of water and also trying to make sure I interject more electrolytes into the mix because I seem to be running low lately (running and biking in the “feels like 100000” definitely causes this).  When I’m drooling over coconut water or would crime for some watermelon or can actually tolerate nuun in my water bottle at work or start adding salt to pre-packaged foods, I know I need to be doing that stuff until things are too salty and watermelon is just another fruit and not my secret lover.
  • Trying the healthy things before the craving.  I was craving pizza so I made pizza bread at home w/turkey pepperoni and lowfat cheese, and the craving was satiated.  I was craving sweets more than normal last week, so first thing I’d try was fruit, or a quest bar, or a protein shake.  Sometimes that would do me.  Sometimes, I still wanted the sweets and I’d indulge.

The plan up until the race is simple and one I’ve been using for a while.  Eat fruits and veggies.  Hit my protein and fiber goals.  Don’t go overboard on the fats.  Let my activity level and appetite dictate the carb intake.

In about a month, I’ll be back to stage one, doing all those normal things.  Weights.  Tracking food.  -1000 calories.  Training less specifically, doing things more things as they sound fun (let’s go ride bikes with people all day Saturday!) and less structured workouts that are super duper business time important for an imminent race (30 miles of intervals w/an hour race pace brick run during the heat of the day when I’ll be racing).  Letting my life dictate what training I have time for, not vice versa.  Probably not sleeping at sunset.  Probably not waking up before sunrise unless there’s a huge twinkle in my eye about what I’m doing in the dark.


For the next two weeks at least, the goal is to treat this stuff like a responsible adult and not a frat boy.

So, it’s taper week two.  Time to continue to walk myself off the ledge of overreaching, store up some of the energy and confidence that comes with not being beaten down and having legs that might be considered *snappy*, and trying to keep from losing my mind over everything.

Social Media 101

For those of you who have been reading pre-April 2016, you know how much attention I paid to maintaining this site and publicizing it – exactly ZERO fucks were given.  This page looked like crap, sometimes triggered malware warnings, and was all sorts of broken like a bike that you left in the shed six years ago and forgot about.  I had zero social media pages associated with it, and the only thing I would do is occasionally post a link to it in my fairly inactive twitter account that has less than 300 followers because I realized that’s how *I* found blogs but that’s it.


Time to metaphorically bridge the gap between being a complete social media dunce and maybe figuring out how to find my people.

During #projectspring, I actually spruced the place up to take it into the ’10’s, it looks nice on mobile phones for the most part, and I updated the content of the static pages.  So, I have this nifty new page that has about 100-200 hits per post and got a comment every so often.  I was pretty fine with that until I decided I wanted to teach myself how to use social media to market things.  Right now, I don’t really have a product to sell, but I do have a lil ol’ space where I talk about triathlon and food and life and post selfies and it might be fun if I had 2 or 3 comments instead of 1.

I never intend to make this particular space about selling anything, but I’d like to know how to market myself elsewhere in the future.  Since this year is about learning new things and diversifying myself, along with learning how to be a personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, and a triathlon coach, I also would like to figure out how I’d let people know about all that and maybe someday take their green paper for some service that I would provide.  I have utter confidence in my ability to provide a quality service.  My biggest fear, however, is that someday I’ll decide to make the leap, and no one will dance at my party.  I’ll build it, and no one will come.

So, I’m going to see who shows up to the dance floor when there’s no pressure of me making a livelihood on it.  This will either prove that with proper activity and marketing I’ll get the audience I need, or prove that it’s just as effing mystifying as I think it is right now, and my panic is justified, and I need to figure out how to sell out a stadium before I go through all the trouble of building it (how many different metaphors can I mix today?).


Biggest fear: my party will look like bike check in at 10am.  Empty, empty, empty.

My first step was creating all the social media pages and giving them a unifying theme, along with my blog.  I’ve enjoyed the rotating header pictures, but I also really like having a solid LOOK that screams Adjusted Reality whenever you go to an AR related page.  For now, the cover photo is the Colorado National Monument we climbed on two wheels, and my profile is one of my favorite pre-ride selfies… one of the only ones without sunglasses since it was a grey day.  I look happy, and while I have no makeup or anything on, I don’t exude grungy athlete.

I imagine those things may change as I go on other adventures and take a billion selfies on Instagram, but I’ll make sure they all change at the same time.  I originally wanted to do a “collage” type thing, but Zliten partway talked me out of it, and also the size difference between headers on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus meant a lot of work and tweaking and frustration.  So, I just went with the mountain look for now.  I’m pretty sure once I return from Florida, there will be a winter ocean theme.

I’m in the middle of step two right now – populate the pages.  The last thing I want to do is create a bunch of pages, put up a “hello world” post on each, and then start asking people to like them all naked and content-less.  So, I’m giving myself a month to post regular content to all these sites:

I’ve never created a Facebook or G+ Adjusted Reality account before because I didn’t know what to do with it besides link my blog posts.  For now, I’m trying to post on each about once a day on the weekdays.  Content is/will be… a mix of links to my own blogs as I write them, the better pictures from Instagram, links to other stuff that interests me, sharing links to races I’m doing, or cool shit going on in Austin, and occasionally just some random thoughts.


Probably stuff like this for Facebook and G+.  Probably not the blurry picture of my garmin on the way back from the pool or yet another bowl of Fage 0% and cereal.

Twitter and Instagram… I’ve already been at for a while.  Twitter, I started as my personal account but it’s more tied to this blog than my real identity, so I’m keeping it.  This is where you’ll see all sorts of shit, including random deep thoughts like “butterflies are the cheerleaders of the insect world”.  Insta… I’ve actually found I’m decent at it.  I love taking random photos and I’ve gotten better at the hashtags and when I do the right things I’m getting ~75 impressions and ~25 interactions.  Of course, insta is the HARDEST one to actually link back to the blog.  That is a thing I need to get better at.

I avoided Pintrest for so long, but I actually am kind of loving it.  I have yet to actually go down the rabbit hole of surfing others stuff, but I created four boards in Pintrest that kind of categorize my life: triathlon, food, adventures, and scuba.  Every so often, I’ll go through my blog/insta and pin stuff that’s relevant if it’s a decent quality picture.

I’ve been at this for about a few weeks.  I want to give it about a month or so, and then I feel like I’ll have enough content.  If I bring someone there, and they’re interested in my particular brand of crazy, they have enough to scroll down and see what I’m really about.

If you’re here already, I would love if you would clicky clicky on the links above on the social medias that you frequent.  If you dig, follow/like/etc me and I’ll follow you back if you’re not a bot.  If you have any feedback on things you would like to see, or things that you like to do on your social media accounts that are awesome and you’d like to see more people do, I’d definitely be into hearing about it. Help a n00bie out!


Next steps, follow and interact with other people on social media without feeling like a creeper.  Obviously, as you can see above, this may be a challenge.

Step three – follow all sorts of people that look interesting and interact!  I’m really bad right now about seeking out cool people to follow.  I’ll follow people who follow me and don’t look like they’re overtly selling something I’m not buying (or are obviously bots), or people I know or “know” (either IRL or through blog reading).

And then… interact with said people more on social medias.  I consume content all the time, but I don’t always react to it.  For some reason, I feel like a bit of a creeper being like “hey, you have no idea who I am on the twitters, but here’s a comment about the thing you posted”.  I’m getting better at liking and hearting, but I know I think comments are so much more awesome when you have something to say.

I know in my rational brain it’s not creepy, and I enjoy getting comments from people I don’t know, but for some reason, I feel like a creeper.  It’s not like I’m saying creepy things like “nice bike kit pic, I want to wear your skin like a suit”, or something equally Silence of the Lambs, it just feels weird to even say “nice bike kit pic” to a complete stranger.   Getting over that and talking to people I don’t know online is part of step three.

Step four – advertise.  A little. After I’m pretty sure I’ve done all I can on my own, and have established a pretty good routine and have extended my circle and comfort zone a bit, I’m going to enact the final stages of the plan – play with the lowest level of paid ads on the mediums that make sense.  I felt SUPER cheesy about even considering this before, but it’s no longer narcissism (here, let me pay money to get people to read my blog I make nothing from just to make me feel good).  If it was my living wage on the line, I need to know how ads work and what sort of views I can get with the lowest level of spend.

I have some other future ideas – I’d like to branch out to doing video content (YouTube), streaming (Facebook Live, Twitch), and maybe even start selling some bite size stuff on Fiver, but that’s definitely Social Media 201 for me.

Is talking about this shit taboo?  It’s definitely “how the sausage is made” stuff, but I’m quite fascinated by it, as an interested beginner sticking toes into the social media waters.  Making the pages felt great, watching my views/interactions increase with my #hashtageusage on Instagram is cool, and it’s been fun trying to thing about… “hmmm, what should I share with (a few people in) the world today?”.


Come to Adjusted Reality for the sweaty selfies, stay for the random pictures of mannequin heads in cars. 

What’s the one thing you’d want to tell a newbie that’s looking to move beyond a soapbox to stand on, towards creating a brand?  I know some of y’all out there are super smart about this stuff.  The “contact me” link and comments section below are arms wide open, welcoming suggestions, tips, feedback, and all that jazz.

Getting ready to dance at my party.

It’s amazing the difference a week makes sometimes.


I’m not a morning person.  You know it’s serious business when the headlamp comes out.

This time last week, I was feeling extremely fatigued.  I had no idea how I was going to get through a week involving a 14 mile run (longest run since March 5), and my long brick (55 miles bike/10k), when I felt absolutely flattened on Monday after a day of rest.  I was feeling pretty much the opposite of confident about this whole half ironman training and racing thing.  I’ll finish because that’s what I do, but I felt like I’m not nearly at the form I am at this point in the cycle.

I skipped some training and added a recovery ride on Sunday to do errands, but somehow still ended up with almost 11 hours.  I’ll take it.  This last week, it was about two things:

  • Going long
  • Gaining confidence/feats of strength

Intentions met.  Besides all the normal supporting workouts, I was able to complete said 14 mile run and long brick within 2 days of each other.  Thursday morning’s long run was an exercise in sheer mental toughness.  I didn’t really enjoy any step of it besides the one I took in the door after finishing.  It was hot, I was tired, I was sore, and the miles went on forever.  And honestly, I’ve had races that felt easier.  However, I finished.  I didn’t walk.  I’ll pull on that one on race day.  If I can do that on a random weekday and then go to work all day, I can do it as the last leg of my race and then sit on my ass for a week.

The brick felt a little less terrible, but still wasn’t a walk in the park.  The bike was actually really pleasant.  We rode with a group of people from our tri team, and I actually kept feeling stronger over the miles, which is normal for me when I’m on bike form, so there’s that.  It was hot when we started running, and silly me picked a really hilly route (there’s more elevation change in one of the miles I ran than the whole 70.3 course), but I was STILL able to maintain race pace for the 10k.  I had no confidence that I was going to be able to keep up the pace at a mile in, but I freaking did it.  It should be much easier on the flat course, with support, *hopefully* on a slightly cooler day.  But even if it isn’t – I’ve conquered it before.

I just need to dig on that stuff during race day.  I need to remember that it will not always be this way if it’s bad (if it’s good, I’ll let myself believe it will).  How I feel at mile 1 of the run, even if it’s bad, doesn’t mean I won’t be able to hold pace at mile 12.  Even if every step is painful, I can still do what I need to do because I’ve done it before.  My brain tends to give up before my body so maybe I’ll be able to tell it “not this time”.   Even if I’m not sure I remember the steps sometimes, I’m ready to dance at my party.


Those steps are at a time signature of under 10:30 per mile after a hilly 56 mile bike ride.  Let’s hope I can master them by race day.

And now, it’s officially taper.  The next three weeks are going to be focused on:

  • Injury prevention.  My knee is a little tweaky and swollen after yesterday’s “rest” activity of shopping for, cleaning out, and helping replace a fridge, and you KNOW I will be babying it until it feels 100% better.  I’m avoiding some of the evening outdoor riding that involves lights on my bike.  Doing my best to be the right amount of paranoid so I show up to the race in one piece.
  • Rest and recovery.  I didn’t do a great job of kicking this off properly because of said fridge replacement at almost midnight last night, but I’ll be making sure that there’s lots of feet up time in the boots and reading in bed to make up for it and I have zero plans to party all night at any point until at least October 31st.
  • Eating better.  I’ve done a pretty good job about treating my body like a dumpster at times over the last few peak weeks because I have the calories available.  It’s actually *really* challenging to eat super clean when you need to take in all the calories and carbs without overloading on fiber, and I believe there is totally room for cake and beer in an athlete’s life.  However, I didn’t meet my fiber requirement 3 of the last 7 days, so I’m a little too far on the “junk food” side of things.  Noted.  I’m eating pretty much the whole produce aisle to make up for it today (and will continue this week).
  • Staying sharp.  This week goes back to medium – length workouts with little bits of speed.  It just gets shorter from there.  Hoping by race week, my legs will rested and begging for more.

This week’s plan, which can change at any point:

  • Runs: 8 mile run w/3 miles below race pace. 10k off the bike, race pace.  2 mile easy.  Intent: settling into race pace.
  • Bike: endurance cycle (indoors, safe, but also ass-kicking), 30 mile TT interval ride (before the 10k run). Intent: bringing down distance, bringing up intensity.
  • Swim: 2250m race pace swim in lake, 1500m pool swim with some speed.  Intent: sharpening the stick, settling into race pace.
  • Weights: 2 sessions.  Intent: stability.  (<- these are the last before I get back to it after the race).

Other than training and work, it was mostly eat and sleep, as a good peak week should be.  And while it was probably a little boring, I actually feel much better mentally, so it works out!  Highlights (and one lowlight) of the week:


  • Celebrating our anniversary with tacos and fancy whiskey on a schoolnight (though I actually found my bed pretty early, so it was still in the spirit of resting up!).
  • I tracked all my food!  I may have done my weekend tracking today, but I did it!
  • KONA!!! While it wasn’t the most exciting Kona ever (repeat champions who were significantly ahead of the second place finishers), it was SUPER inspiring to be watching it 3 weeks out of my race after a long brick instead of after my first long run of marathon season, like every other year.
  • Lowlight: as I’ve sort of alluded to above, our fridge started to slowly die this week, to the point where things weren’t REALLY frozen by Sunday.  Not exactly what I wanted to spend my day off dealing with, but we found a fridge that fit (not easy with our space), was under 1k$, and was available to be brought home immediately.  I sacrificed a little sleep and my knee, as I said, is a little cranky, but we didn’t waste any food because we jumped on it.


Instead of a fridge picture, here’s a giant pretzel and shepard’s pie and salad for lunch after the long run.  Considering some of my options, it was decent carbs and protein (dumpster option: fish and chips – I resisted).

I’ll call it a pretty successful week and we can all move forward with our Mondays, shall we?

It will not always be this way.

So, I wrote this whole weekly wrap up thing and I just nuked it because if it bores ME, then I can’t imagine anyone else would be interested.


So, instead, a double rainbow. #whatdoesitmean

I think I’d rather talk about how I’m getting nervous for the race coming up.  With 3.5 weeks left to go, the calendar is at that uncomfortable spot where I’m fatigued from training, but it’s starting to close enough to get real.  How is it less than a month away?  How the heck am I ever going to feel rested again?  Can we get this over with so I can go back to base training for a little while?  Can I have a few more weeks to work on my cycling and running speed?  When am I going to get excited for this thing instead of nervous and just kind of tired of it?  Argh.

I’ve been thinking about how I will thrive there and races when I’ve felt the most successful.  I cave under TOO much pressure.  When I place a huge importance on a time goal, and the day pees in my sandbox, sometime I just say “fuck it” instead of just rolling with the punches and still getting close.  If I don’t put ENOUGH pressure on myself, when things get hard and it stops being fun, I’ll let off the steam instead of digging in because… whatever.  It’s just another race.  It’s that special combination of realistic and achievable but also challenging goals (and, ya know, meeting them) and magical unicorn pixie dust that really makes me zing on race day!

Looking over my past races, I’ve had days that I felt meh, even ANGRY about that ended up with some of my best age group placement or times.  But they’re not the ones I remember as my best races as of late.  Kerrville 2014 – I missed my overall time goal by 2 minutes but I stayed strong through the whole thing and didn’t give up and felt joy a lot of the time.  The Woodlands where I ran every step of the marathon, even if it wasn’t my fastest race.  Some of the shorter races where I found the edge and stayed there and held it together chanting three words over and over.


X-wing and Death Star are ready.  Am I?  Errr… I’ll get back to you on that one.

The half ironman usually goes like this for me… I generally have a good swim, a good to great bike (unless I crash), and then sputter and die on the run, except for that once where I didn’t completely (2014).  Here’s where I’m at right now:

  • The swim – I probably won’t have my fastest ever, but I shouldn’t be that far off as long as it’s wetsuit legal.  I know how to set myself up for a good day by not killing myself.  I’m going to do that.
  • The bike – here’s a source of my anxiety.  I’m not good at riding the new bike, but so far, that’s still translating to PRs in the sprints (about 1 mph) and the olympic (.5 mph, with rain).  This course is harder (more climbing, chipseal, etc).  So, I think one thing I need to do is just ride my best and let go of any expectations.  If it rains and I spend 75% of my time out of aero, I won’t berate myself.  If my legs feel off and I can’t manage 17 mph, I won’t sit there and cuss.  I know the *feeling* of the pacing I need to ride and whatever that translates to on the garmin and the power meter will suffice.
  • The run – here’s the other source of unease.  I really, really, really want to nail this run.  I probably have no excuse.  There’s very little elevation change and it’s very unlikely to be hot.  My run fitness is coming around and I ran low 10’s off the bike in a race in similar conditions and felt like I had a little more in me.  I really think this could finally be the race where I finally nail the run, if I don’t get in the way of myself.

Scared of failing, scared of succeeding.  This is my damn head right now.

It’s been an interesting training cycle.  Because I haven’t done the same thing over and over, I haven’t seen the same metered weekly progress.  It’s fits and spurts.  It’s a little more mystical than doing the same long ride every two weeks on the same bike and watching the pace improve.  Some rides are at 13 mph.  Some rides are at 15 mph.  Some are at 18 mph.  Sometimes the 15 mph rides are WAYYYY harder  than then 18 mph ones.  Some days I run 12 minute miles, some days I run 9 minute miles.  I don’t exactly know what to expect will come out on race day and that’s… both scary and exciting!


Some days it’s all smiles.  Some days it’s mental gymnastics to take every next step. 

I feel like training has been more flexible this time around, which has been great.  I am *just* now this week feeling the crush of fatigue and responsibility, like it’s stopped being so fun anymore.  Looking back, I maintained a training load of between 8-11 hours the last two months solid and this week won’t be any different unless a leg falls off somewhere between now and Saturday afternoon.  That feeling of it being a little much is fine.  It’s time to taper.  Just one more long workout and we’re there.

Does this mean I’ve pushed a week too long?  We’ll find out.  I’m embracing the fluidity – besides the two key workouts – a 14 mile long run (done – every soggy, sore, and mentally tough step), and a long brick this weekend, the rest of it is optional.  I bailed on a ride already this week in favor of rest (I read and slept for TWELVE HOURS) and split a run to make sure I wasn’t tearing myself up the day after (felt great and did all the miles, probably thanks to the above).  At this point, I’m nearing the end of training actually building endurance, and anything that doesn’t keep the legs fresh and/or doesn’t build my confidence for race day goes in the trash.

As for the fuel, a few weeks ago, I gave up on maintaining a deficit and giving in to eating my appetite.  Oddly enough, the weight loss I saw stop has slowly started crawling again (I think I’ve lost 1 lb on average over 2-3 weeks).  This is still that weird “wow, I look so bloated I don’t look cute in clothes but I still weigh less” loss that you get when you’re deep in season, but (healthy) loss is loss is loss.  I figured I was done for on the scale when I stopped really caring about the deficit, but the body sometimes knows better than some equation, I suppose.


Hello, lover.  This ramen (Spicy Miso Pork, from Jinya) is one of my current food crushes.  And it lives around the corner from work…

I’m really really (ok, fine) sort of trying to continue to track, simply because I think this would be great data for the push to IM.  It’s just… not my world right now to be all judgey about it so it’s hard to remember.  If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat a thing, no matter what Sparkpeople says.  I know 1200 calories per day is too cold.  2700 calories per day is too hot (at least at half ironman training levels, ~10 hours per week).  Still working on finding the porridge that’s JUST RIGHT.

One of those things I need to remember – it will not always be this way.  It’s hard to keep sight of that once you’re so deep in the extremes.  When you’re injured, it’s hard to envision a time when all the parts will work again.  When you’re dieting in offseason, it’s hard to remember that someday it will be required eating to shove 3-4k calories in your face in a day.  When you start your training program, it boggles the mind to think that you’ll be racing for 6+ hours, when an hour run seems exhausting (but you’re excited to get there).

Then two months pass and the pendulum swings the other way.  When you’re riding for multiple hours the umpteenth weekend in a row, you can’t remember a time when 45 minutes on the bike was enough, thank you very much.  When you’re deep in fatigue from training, you think you’ll never be rested or sleep enough again (but you know you will if you’re not an idiot).  When you’re racing, you will not be in pain forever.  The finish line has beer and chips and medals and most importantly, sitting.  Get to the beer and chips and sitting and how about a smile in the meantime that you’re able to be out here doing this crazy shit today, huh?

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