Adjusted Reality

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

IM doing a thing.

It’s not as this thing was unplanned (it’s been in the distance for years).  It’s not like I haven’t been working my way up to it.  It’s not like today is any different than yesterday.

But it is.

im

Eiiiieieiieieiiiiieeee!  It’s for reals!

Because we actually plunked our pennies down (all 710+ 56 dollars fee ><) to go through… let’s be realistic… probably about 14-17 hours of sweat and effort and pain and smiles and hopefully not blood but probably tears in Woodlands, TX, on April 22, 2017.

268 days to go.

I’m sure I’ll be discussing this in length for many posts to come, but I have a few initial thoughts, at which I’m sure I’ll look back at in 8 months and laugh, but for posterity, here we go!

First of all, finishing at 16:59:59 is good enough for me.  All told, if I have the most amazing race day of my life, my prediction this far out is I think I could finish right around 13.5-14 hours (specifically, a 90 minute swim, a 6.5 hour bike, and a 5.5 hour marathon).  I will certainly have goals to meet the day of, but as long as I cross that line in the time allotted, I’ll be super thrilled.

Jul28-1

Thanks random sign, I hope I’m Ironman tough…

Cycling is really my limiter, so I will have my butt on a bike a lot from now until April 23.  I expect come December, I will be biking just about every day (and I’m going to have to get a LOT more cold weather gear, because I pretty much hang my bike up from October until the spring).  Luckily, the course does play to my strengths of being fairly flat and not many turns, but it can get wiiiiiindy in April, so there’s that.

Swimming, I’m the least worried about, but I’ll definitely be getting in some longer open water swims before the lake gets too cold, and then I’ll be back in it as soon as it’s reasonably tolerable.  I usually avoid the lake from about November until April.  Also, I plan to do lots of long swim sets in the pool over the winter.  I’m actually super duper excited about this.  I love swimming and am excited to have reasons to swim for 60-90 minutes more often!

Jul28-2

Sure, this is a long hard run for me right now, but that will soon change.

Running is somewhere in between.  I’ve done 6 marathon cycles now, but never with cycling and swimming prioritized.  It will be interesting how I’ll be biking most of the week but then there will be this random long run every once in a while.  It’s a lot of pressure off just to expect that my marathon is probably going to take close to 6 hours and there will be some walking.  Also, knowing that the weather will get COOLER as I go is a huge boon and I love running in the afternoon/evening.

Weights will stay in the mix throughout, though at some point I’ll probably stop aggressively upping my numbers and stick with maintenance.  Someday.  I’m still having fun with it now.

I’m not exactly sure what the weeks will exactly look like yet, but I have ideas.  I’m pretty sure for my sanity, I’ll need one full rest day most weeks, but I think I have to let go of that being Sundays, except maybe on recovery weeks.  I think the hours will grow organically, and the more I’m immersed in this 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule, the more I like it.  I can push myself for 2 weeks, knowing the light at the end of the tunnel is not far off.  Especially when I have 8 months to build.

After the Oct 30th half-ironman, I have one race scheduled – 3M Half Marathon in mid-January.  No full marathons.  I’ll definitely be looking for some longer supported rides to join up with over the winter, it would be AWESOME to not have to deal with 100+ mile rides on our own.  The rest of the season is up in the air and may just be awesome lovely long blocks of training.

Jul28-3

More miles = more tacos.  Which is always a plus.

Eating is going to be an interesting conundrum.  I will need to continue to track my food against fitbit activity, because things get weird when I train a lot.  Some training days I burn a LOT more than expected, especially if I’m generally active the rest of the day.  Some days like Saturday, I burn less than expected and EASILY can outeat my burn and more.  It will be interesting to see if there’s a level of training I can’t outeat.

Hopefully in 269 days or so, I’ll look back at this and think how silly and naive I was, but also still hold all the excitement and wonder feels about doing this crazy thing called Ironman.

Step one, do stuff, step three, profit!

Just to switch it up, let’s talk about the super fun things I did not involving training or eating.  In slightly related news, I need a weekend from my weekend.

Jul26-4

Pic not related.  Just beautiful.  From our poke stop on Wednesday night.

First of all… we FINISHED our personal trainer class last night!  The last two chapters covered the business side, and it alone has been worth the price of the class to me.  While I’ve certainly been interested in the rest of the class, I’ve kind of been doing a lot of this stuff for a lot of my life.  Not to say I have it in the bag, but most of it rang pretty familiar.  The business and marketing stuff is kind of like magic to me.  Step one, do social media stuff, step 2… ?, step 3, profit.  In my mind, that was how it works.

Well, now I have a LOT more information on what to do, and to keep myself learning, I’m going to attempt to grow this site a little.  Because, why not?  Right now, I have between 100-200 views and a few comments max on each post.  Hopefully I can see some progress actually working social media a bit besides my “huh, maybe I should cross post a link on twitter” thing I started doing like 5 years ago.

Anyhoo, this week we’ll take some practice tests, and we’ll look into scheduling our real certification test sometime before we go on vacation!  Ulp!  It’s really happening!

Jul26-5

Movie theatre selfie.  Melfie?

Before that, we finally got to a movie theatre and saw Ghostbusters.  It. was. hilarious.  Anyone that said that women can’t be funny and that an all-girl reboot would suck was SO WRONG.  Ghostbusters (the original) was one of my favorite movies growing up, so I would have been pretty critical if it didn’t hold true to the style of the first movie.  But it totally did.  I loved the cameos from the original cast.  And Holtzman’s contrast between quirky and cocky was perfection.  The rest of the cast was stellar too.  I love when movies don’t disappoint me!  Sadly, there are about 3000 other summer blockbuster movies I want to see and maybe a month from now I’ll have a chance to see one more. 😛

Backing up to Saturday night – as I said, we had birthday dinner with friends at a Mediterranean place (yum!) and then did something outside of our normal… we went to karaoke. My voice is still paying for it!  Admittedly scream-singing Killing in the Name might not have been the best option at around 12:30am after singing for 3 hours, but hey, it was fun times.  I found that SingStar is much easier to hold the right pitch (since it has a backup vocal track).  Once my throat feels shot, Fever actually hits my vocal cords just right.  Lastly, singing (and dancing) the Time Warp with my husband who’s normally very anti-karaoke was probably the highlight of the night.

Other than that, we hit a lot of training last week, so the rest of the time was a lot of werk werk werk werk werk.  And like I said, between training and fun and chores and cooking and class and errands, I kind of forgot the part of the weekend where you unwind and relax.  Ah well.  One more week on then REST/RACE WEEK!

Jul26-3

Last week’s training built some confidence.  My body started to get with the program and realize that we were actually training for reals now, and is responding more predictably to applying training stress.  My brain is rebelling a lot less too.  It’s not perfect (sleeping in is still a problem), but there’s much progress.  Basically, it’s starting to be business as usual to do 2 workouts a day, even in the heat, which is super refreshing after the adjustment period from a whole season off.  I have not forgotten how to do these things and sort of accidentally hit 10.5 hours of training last week and felt rather… fine.  Not a quivering mass of jello at all.

  • Monday: weights, easy 3 mile run
  • Tuesday: 1200m swim, endurance cycle class (one 56 minute long hill with no breaks…)
  • Wednesday: weights, 90 minute recovery ride
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: 5 mile “long” run, 1500m quarry swim
  • Saturday: 3 mile run, 3 hour TT trainer ride, 1 mile fast brick run (9:44 in feels like 109 after 3.5 hours of training works for me).
  • Sunday: off

The high points: during endurance cycle class, I actually upped my resistance by a lot on the second half of the loooong hill because I was feeling good, and then still felt very strong cycling the next day.  It was a recovery ride, but it does have a few good solid hills and I kept up with the front (of the beginner ride) pack that day. Saturday started as a fail with a missed alarm, but we totally recovered and put in a really solid day of training on the TT bikes, ripping off that long ride bandaid, going from a max of 90 mins to 3 hours.  Also, Saturday’s running felt super fantastic, especially the mile off that super long bike ride.

The low points: neither swim was great – Tuesday I dragged in the pool due to fueling and timing, and Friday I just daydreamed too much.  I enjoyed the swim Friday, but it was much slower than intended.  I’m doing *okay* at swimming right now but I feel like I stepped back a little bit from the gains I made last year.  Also, a five mile run really feels long to me right now, especially with crappy sleep out in the heat when you’re having digestive issues from a nutrition oops the day before.  It’s frustrating because I neither have speed nor distance right now, and my husband is just perky as a little puppy after all this run rest.  My legs need consistent mileage to improve, his need to not run for 4 months, apparently. *angry facebook emoji*

Jul26-6

Deep into a 3 hour trainer ride.  My crotch says “send help!”.  My eyebrows also say “pluck me!”.

This week, the goal is to hit the bike harrrrrrrd.  The weather is looking to be rather unpredictable with thunderstorms scattered around all week, so there may be more treadmill/trainer action than normal, with swims whenever I can find a non-thunderboomy moment.  The big challenge of the week is THIS on Saturday.  It’s got a few outs (can just do the 30 mile out and back to the first shop, it rolls by our house about mile 52 if we are dyyyyyying), but my goal is to get cozy with the 3 hour+ bike ride by September.  And the best way to do that is ride with people.  So we shall.

Here’s the plan, which is totally up to the weather cooperating.  It has already been altered.  Pray I do not have to alter it any further (name that movie!).

  • Monday: weights, 60 minute trainer ride
  • Tuesday: 6 mile run, 1500m swim
  • Wednesday: weights, brick (40 min/20 min) (either with BSS peeps or at home on the trainer)
  • Thursday: 4 mile run, 1500m swim
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: El Diablo – 62 mile ride
  • Sunday: off

All told, looking to be another 10+ hour week.  I’m looking forward to it.

I definitely felt the switch flip in my appetite this week.  Y’know, where 4 normal person meals a day plus snacks is about right most days to fuel double workouts?  Such a difference between 1200 calories a day and 2000+, even if both of them are a -1000 deficit.

Jul26-1

While I need to reign it back a bit, it is REALLY nice to be able to indulge every once in a while.  This taco plate above was totally within my calorie/macros (because I actually split it into 2 meals), even if it wasn’t the healthiest choice nutrient-wise.

Jul26-2

However, this bacon cheeseburger and fries totally screwed my Saturday.  Even almost 4 hours of training calorie burn can be totally wiped out with proper exercise fueling, a huge meal after for lunch, and then celebrating with friends.  The proper fueling was a huge step in the right direction – almost 800 calories (200 per hour) during training for me is really really good.  However, I should have had something healthier than this if I knew I was going out to dinner as well and having some adult bevvies… noted for next time. It was upwards of a 3500+ calorie day without a whole lot of nutrition.  Oops.  Booze OR junk food.  Not both.

Historically, I have not typically been good at tracking my food once I get to high levels of training, but I think actually doing it will be helpful to me to keep the slow trickle of weight loss towards race weight going, because I can identify situations like this where I need to do better.

Last week’s goals:

  1. Track food every day, stay -1000 under.  I tracked every day (yay), but I missed a perfect -7000 by about 1200.  Most of that was Saturday.
  2. 5 fruits and veggies every day.  I don’t know what’s so hard about this but I only got it about half the time.  Luckily, the bento box trick is working, I’m eating my veggie snacks.  However, I was really bad at remembering fruit.  I have a shit ton of peaches right now to eat.

This week’s goals:

  1. Track food every day, stay -1000 under.  Track the day of.  Even Saturday.  Just do it.
  2. Five fruits and veggies every day. Specifically, fruit with my yogurt snack or protein shake, a standalone peach, my veggie bento box, and a veggie with each meal.  This should not be so hard, people.
  3. I have been going out a lot more than I should because I have been lazy about batch cooking.  Even cooking some spaghetti at home sounded too hard after a long workout one day so we went out.  Last weekend, we actually batch cooked 3 different meals I’m super excited about, so this week should be better.  On Saturday, with the monster ride I have planned, I should go for a giant quantity of at least semi-nutritious food after vs a fat and calorie bomb.
  4. Not particularly related to food, but I’ve been bad at Sunday 10k steps since I’ve been training again.  10k steps PER DAY, woman.  Even rest days.  It’s not hard and it’s good for me to loosen up the legs.  If the heat is crushing, get out the ghetto treamill.

And with that, time to do all the Tuesday things.  Wheee!

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!

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