I remembered to harness the power of the mornings and accomplished four morning workouts this week! I didn’t hit my exact plan, but here’s what we’re looking at:
Monday: 30 min run, weights AM
Wednesday: 30 min run, weights AM
Thursday: 30 min trainer ride AM
Friday: 40 min walk
Saturday: ~1 hour outdoor ride, 20 min lake swim
Sunday: TBD, probably a walk, maybe some weights
Considering what I was up against the last month or two with almost nothing during the weekdays, I will take this any week in 2022!
Trying to reserve weekends for a while to get myself in the lake and outdoor bike rides. I can do brick workouts (since they’re short now!) during the week once I get back to it, this at least gets me out on the roads and in open water once a week.
Speaking of that calendar, notice I have a weight every day! I also found the site I used to track my trendweight and good news, it’s going down!
My trendweight went down 0.9 this week (from 191.8 to 190.9), which is very exciting. It’s also that fantastic time of the month where I’m extra bloaty, so I expect even more progress next week! While I didn’t make MUCH progress in the two months I effed off of tracking, I didn’t backslide.
I have tracked my calories every day for a week as well, and I’m averaging around 1600. Not terrible, I’m certainly not going to gain weight on that intake, but losses will be slow. When I get back from vacation, I’ll try to take that down a little bit, seems like the tipping point to really lose weight is when I can average under 1500/day. Considering my high weight in January was 9 lbs higher than my low weight this week, progress is happening. It’s just time to go quicker!
I am signed up for two races (since the Wurst Tri is still “coming soon”):
And I’m keeping my eye out for more (possibly Marble Falls in late July), I’d just like to nail down my work travel schedule first so I don’t pay 100$ for a race I have to miss.
In other news, we finally cleaned out the pain cave and I got my bike desk set up last weekend. I only got to use it once this week but it’s sooooo nice to not have my laptop balanced precariously on top of my fan anymore. I *could* potentially take a meeting (that I was a secondary participant in) there now, but most likely it will just make watching Bloodbowl games much easier. 🙂
Week 1 down, if I can model them all after this one, I’ll be doing just fine!
Some of you are singing Hamilton now, and some of you are just wrong.
It is clear to me that I need some racing in my life for motivation to do something besides work and sit on my couch after work and play Bloodbowl. It’s also crystal clear that training for longer races right now is the height of folly. The dominos are starting to fall into place where I may downgrade my level of WOAH from bananapants to just busy this summer, and I’d like to enjoy that for a month or two instead of deciding my vacation of working 40 hours a week should be bookended by doubles and multi-hour training sessions.
So, sprints it is! I’m about to give the credit card a workout and sign up for:
I had thoughts about wanting to do a longer distance at Kerrville but y’know what? I’m good with 60-90 minutes of pain right now vs 6-7 hours. My goal is to participate at Pflugerville for funsies, and then get serious about trying to race Kerrville and Wurst Tri. Well, as serious as one can get whilst starting the race descending a 2-story water slide, as that certainly adds some levity to the competition, heh.
How do I get there? Hey, remember all those big words about #projectraceweighttakefiftyorwhatever I had earlier in the year? Pitter patter (I need this shirt). It’s time to fully focus on this. If I do nothing more than maintain some level of cardio fitness, lift heavy things, and lose weight, this is probably the best training I can do for a sprint later this year.
So, if this sounds like more words about the same ol’ same ol’, it totally is. And obviously, I need to say ’em a few more times at least until I start doing them.
Tracking my food starts TODAY (and weighing starts tomorrow since I’ve already eaten). I initially said “Monday” but who gives a crap that it’s a weekend? Why wait longer to pursue my goals? From now until the end of the month (with a little break, you’ll see soon why I’m giving myself some leniency initially here) is to re-establish the habit and quantify my intake vs exercise and weight. I got on the scale on a random day in late April and it read 190.2, so that would make my trendweight go down… if I could find the damn site that I was tracking it on. Maybe I’ll just start over and make my own trendweight tracker, that way I’ll never lose it. Either way, thankfully I haven’t gained but there’s no more ignoring it.
Going forward, the workout plan is vague but the scheduling won’t be.
5x week 30+ mins of cardio
3x week weights session
3x week stretch/roll
This will be a fight of wants vs musts. Now that it’s all nice and summery out, what my doe-eyed self currently wants to plan is all manner of swimming in lakes and outdoor pools, outdoor bike rides, sunrise jaunts with my running shoes, spin classes, etc. Middle-of-the-day-Wednesday me, fighting with my to-do list, is probably going to get on the trainer for 30 mins exactly working from my phone half the time. And that’s okay. This plan allows for both methods to be valid ways to check the box. Move my arse for 30 mins? Check.
So, I’ll ask for the happy and settle for the mildly crappy. As of now, next week looks oddly sane. I won’t believe it yet, but it makes me think perhaps we can do such things as:
Monday – weights AM, outdoor ride lunch
Tuesday – trainer ride lunch
Wednesday – run 2-3 miles, weights AM
Thursday – off
Friday – run 2-3 miles, weights AM
Saturday or Sunday – outdoor bike ride, swim in the lake
However, could be:
Monday – weights AM, trainer ride whenever
Tuesday – trainer ride lunch
Wednesday – weights AM, trainer ride whenever
Thursday – off
Friday – weights AM, walk after work
Saturday or Sunday – trainer ride
…and that’s fine too. It just can’t be:
Monday – oops
Tuesday – oops
Wednesday – oops
Thursday – oops
Friday – oops
Saturday or Sunday – finally, we do something
So, why am I not hopping 100% in immediately? Well, we’re on vacation later this month. Another cruise (aka, floating cavalcade of food stuffs). My goal this time is to not look at this as “one last hurrah” before I really buckle down, but to start AHEAD of the cruise and eat like a reasonable human being and not be an arsehole.
All words I have said before, but bear repeating to remind myself:
On sea days, snack size breakfast at most or skip entirely, and for lunch, one plate of food + a soup or salad
On diving days, significant enough breakfast to fuel diving (somewhere between the snack and a full plate), and lunch when I get back
One piece of bread with dinner, and try to err on the side of entrees that aren’t fried, creamy, or otherwise high calorie unless they seem like they’ll be really worth it
One dessert per day, maximum
Try to lay off the snackses. And if I need to have them, eat less at a meal.
Gym every day that I’m not diving
And while I’m not going to track my food in the app (no internet), I’m going to log each day what I eat and bring the travel scale to keep myself in check. Notice I’m not mentioning alcohol. I don’t aim to go crazy or anything, and I plan to stick to lower calorie drinks like hard seltzers, wine, and whisky on the rocks, but it’s still vacation. 🙂
Then, when we return, back to the plan immediately (tracking, weighing, consistent exercise), which should just feel like normal, just a little bit of a reduction of portion sizes from vacation. It is time to create the habits that brought me to success before. While they may be more challenging to get started, start again I shall.
Time to get back to this again. It starts today! 🙂
Sometimes you’re rewarded just by showing up and being too damn stupid to quit even when you are broken.
Backing up a bit, we knew that everything being EVERYTHING lately, we needed to take some extra time around this race to relax and I’m so glad we did. We cruised into the end of Thursday EXHAUSTED after a launch, putting out fires, and a live stream so we halfarsed the packing and slept instead and did the drive Friday morning after a few hours of work (on our day off :P) and then a hour of packing. Please note that this also came after a week of good intentions of getting some activity, but not following through yet again. It’s ridiculous that I even finished this race but I digress.
We cruised up to the campsite north of Denton, Texas, in good time (4-ish hours with a lunch stop) and enjoyed chatting, developing Joel’s new lunchtime game D&D system, and otherwise not looking at screens. We had the usual first night of camping hot dogs for dinner, and read and slept early, often, and very well. Saturday was the day to shake everything out, and THANK THE UNIVERSE we did, as we discovered my bike tire was utterly shredded and very likely would have caused a blowout mid-race. No idea how I was riding on that. Also, during the practice swim, I brought out my old race goggles, which leaked immediately. As in, I had to doggie paddle back to shore, grab my backups, and use those. A lot of normal race prep went by the wayside this time and it really showed. All was well though, the bike shop got me some sweet looking tires, I scrubbed out and defogged my old goggles, and I was prepared to race!
Saturday was a super-duper long day though. We were up and swam/biked in the morning and left the campsite around 11:30. After an hour long drive, the packet pickup line with the dearest older lady who was manning the table taking her sweet time, lunch at the New York Deli (nomnomnom), getting my tires fixed, obtaining some nutrition from the run store, procuring camping groceries, and the hour long drive back to camp, I think we arrived at 6:30 and ate just after dark around 8:30. I was very glad for the time to relax the evening before!
I did not get the most excellent sleep, but some coffee and race morning jitters got me out of bed at 5am just fine. It felt weird to be doing all this stuff but also kind of normal and it was an interesting mix of feelers. I may not be who I once was – staring myself down in the same mirror three years ago I was hoping to win the race. This year, it’s like, “I can haz finish plz?” However, it was still nice to be there, at 5:30am, having a conversation with myself before a race. I may be highly distracted with other things right now, but I recognize I need some of this in my life.
All the pre-race setup went like clockwork, except I had to run back into transition 5 minutes before it closed because I left my bike nutrition in my backpack (that would have been bad news!). I regretted not being able to have my phone at the beach, pre-race, as I’ll remember that sunrise forever – the sun shone hot pink and reflected corals and reds and oranges on the water. Ah well, memories.
I will mention at this point that my cranky heel, which I had been abusing with all the standing and walking and all other manner of being an upright human more than normal over the last few days, was just over it already by the time I ducked into the crowd of neoprene sausages in our wetsuits waiting to dive into the lake. I just hoped it would decide to let me through 9 miles later in the day, but that was problems for later me. Now, it was time to swim.
…and the swim went really well! I felt super comfortable in the water, my wetsuit, and cruised from the back of the pack passing people. Which was a little bit WTF because I’ve been swimming so slow lately, but also a lot of YAY because I’ve been swimming so slow lately. It was a two loop swim and I actually walked the beach instead of running it, I figured keeping my heart rate down to swim faster would be better. I ended up at a 2:07/100y pace, which is actually damn decent even in my prime for a race in open water, especially feeling like I exited the water warmed up, not in the least bit shelled.
I transitioned with decent haste, and set off on what is normally my favorite sport. Spoiler alert: it was my least favorite today. Something was just *off*, and I don’t think Deathstar is to blame, though I will need to make sure nothing was funky with the new tires/bike set up. By mile 5 or 6 I had no oomph and it just got worse and worse. My head tanked hard.
Joel passed me around mile 10 having a great day and was all smiles and love and I retorted with several choice f-words about the course (what can I say, I’m a gem). There was one section, from about mile 12-15, where the road smoothed out from the constant bumpbumpbump and the wind wasn’t buffeting us for just a moment. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought MAYBE the worst was over. Then, we made a turn back into the happy horsecrap which was the rest of the bike course (chipseal and hills and wind, oh my!) At the 20 mile turn around I fought the demons saying, “just go back and beg someone to enroll you in the Olympic distance race instead” and went back out for another loop, convinced it would be better.
Spoiler alert: it was not. I just kept telling the bike course it was rude and if I possessed tear ducts and adequate hydration, I probably would have cried multiple times going 8 mph uphill into the wind with just nothing left in me mentally or physically. I. was. done. I normally roll courses like this at 17-18+ mph and I came in under 15 mph. Garmin says 2:42 for the bike (at 14.9 mph) and I was hoping and expecting closer to 2:20.
In transition I sat on the ground and contemplated life. My heel/ankle was already toast, both calves on the verge of cramping, and I really had a moment where I thought I might try to convince someone to let me into the aquabike division instead (aka, end the race there). However, out of habit I put on my run gear and I decided I would go for a little walk and shove my “cocktail” (2 advil, 2 salt pills, and two herbal muscle relaxers) down the hatch and see what happened. Note: I pack this every time and normally toss the advil. Not this day. I don’t condone throwing painkillers at pain you have for a good reason very often but it saved my race.
The “run” started without much fanfare. I walked most of mile 1, I would try running about 10 steps and nope out, but soon my legs loosened up and I tried some run/walk intervals, and they were okay. After the first few miles, I decided I was too stubborn not to finish this $&^tshow of a race and also, I was going to make friends with everyone on the course while I did so. I ran the flats and downhills and walked up. I got to know all the volunteers at the aid stations. During the second half of the second lap I noticed no one was behind me so I sped up as much as I could, and somehow my heel went from craaaaanky to letting me run the whole last mile and squeaked in DFL (dead %$#@ing last, yeah that’s the official racing term) as they were deflating the finishers arch (which they were nice enough to inflate when they saw me coming since I did make it in time). My “run” was about 2:21 or 15:50/mile pace, to complete my race in about 5 hours and 51 minutes which shows that it was really just about survival and not racing at all.
Joel told me he placed first out of three (one dropped on the bike, one on the run) and encouraged me to check my age group even though I was like, yeah, whatever. Well, I was the only female 40-44 that showed up and didn’t drop out either, so hey, first place! So very many things I need to work on for next time, I’m trying not to look at racing a full HOUR longer than I did in 2014 as a huge success but as a stay of execution for my triathlon ego. However, sometimes showing up and being stubborn AF is rewarded and failing any race prep or conditioning, I can always at least give that.
I’m finding that this is a really inconvenient time to be really firm with myself. And I haven’t been.
So, this race will be… fun.
Last time we spoke, I had an opportunity to travel for work. That fell through (for all the right reasons), and I was a touch sad about missing the opportunity but then there was a HUGE sigh of relief because it was totally at the worst time for my personal life. I thought SURELY that would mean I’d have plenty of time to knock out all these things on my “sessions I must do before the race”. Then, I don’t even know what happened, but I’m looking at an almost-empty training calendar for the week.
Ok, fine, I do know what happened –
I was prioritizing work and being social vs sticking to a training schedule. We are finally back in the office and that means some game sessions and happy hours have taken the place of working out.
My cranky heel is back in effect and I’m trying to make sure I get to the start line healthy. I ran 7 miles last week just fine, but then walking to the movies in my other Hokas DESTROYED it. Go figure. So, besides a very short run and walk one day, I’ve been staying off of it.
I made the perfect the enemy of the good. I had an outdoor TT bike ride on the list, and sadly, my TT bike has been in the car waiting to do that for a week and a half because of wind, rain, and mostly lack of motivation. That also means it’s not on the trainer so I’m not riding at all.
We plan tomorrow to do a mock tri, and it should hit most of the “must do” sessions.
1500m wetsuit swim
1 hour TT bike (outside)
2-3 mile run
I would like to throw down one more session in the pool next week, an outdoor bike ride at lunch/after work, a short run or two to keep the legs loose (or not, if I have heel issues then we just rest and let the training ride) and stretching/recovery every day.
The race weather is looking excellent right now, so even if I’m a little untrained, I’m excited to go play triathlon with a catered buffet on a really nice day. I’m definitely a different human than I was the last time I raced the X-50 as in I’m not looking to squeeze every ounce of performance out of myself and hit specific pace/time goals but that doesn’t mean I can’t go enjoy my day like a normal, slightly less type-A person! I can smell the flowers without being a champion flower sniffer.
I’m actually really excited once this is over to start figuring out how to incorporate general fitness as part of my life. That is step one to getting back towards being more like that person in 2014, but we’ll get to that after the race.
Other things and stuff
Maybe it’s kind of a dumb thing to be very excited about a video game, but also maybe it’s okay when you put 1200+ hours into it over the last few years. So, anyway, after almost 3 years and 7 seasons of KIBBL (Blood Bowl) league, I finally made it into the finals! I was so excite!
…I got utterly diced (aka, my luck ran out early and often) and lost, but hey, we #2!!!!I suppose in the past I may have had deep thoughts about this (about how this team helped me to learn how to play more aggressively but in a smart and controlled way and how that really applies to life right now) but I’m in a phase where I DO more than THINK right now, so… onto the next!
One of the nicest things about this game is that I played in my office at work, and Joel and friends held a watch party in our lounge. Potentially unpopular opinion here, but I’ve been back in the office part time the last few weeks and it’s been heckin’ great and restored a bit of my sanity I’ve been lacking for the last two years.
I have been able to cobble together a little more work/life balance (not enough to get back to training, obvs, but baby steps) now that I have a place to go that is work and home is not always work. The commute (15 mins) gives me the ability to wind up/wind down my day and transition from work to not work by the end instead of going to the couch and just continuing to work/think about work since I’m a Pavlovian dog that needs a cue, apparently. Having my own quiet box instead of sharing space with someone who is on calls all day while I’m also on calls all day means I can work without headphones 8-10h/day. I realize this is the opposite for some people, and I GET YOU. Wearing clothes that are not pajamas and doing my hair not in a knot on top of my head (100% not worth it to sit in said headphones all day) feels… nice.
It’s been amazing to see coworkers and have some in person/hybrid meetings (much to my marketing team who’s mostly working in the office!) even though it’s a little awkward, both remembering how to people again and also making the technical setup work. It’s been awesome to have lunch in the breakroom and chat with whoever’s around. Bloodbowl watch parties will definitely be a thing. Happy hours spin up occasionally after work around 4-5pm, which lead to Super Smash Bros tournaments in the game room. Work D&D games are happening on the regular. It is so damn nice to people again.
I’m happy to have the flexibility to work from home whenever (I did twice this week) but the last 2 years made me realize that a fully remote job is so very much not for me and I’m very happy to be hybrid.
In my last post about the wheels falling off the bus, I may have changed the tires, but now the alternator died or something something car parts something something. I shall part with automotive analogies here and now, thankfully, but the truth is that I don’t know what my trendweight is right now, no idea how many calories I’ve shoved in my piehole this week and thank the dear and fluffy lord that I was diligent about building fitness earlier in the year because training has been intermittent at best.
Light was at the end of the tunnel with a few important additions to the team coming into place over March. Then, I had a key employee leave – they were offered a great opportunity and I wish them nothing but the best – but that meant a 2-week crash course on their very important, very essential job, which I have primarily taken over and added to the collection of everything else on my plate. However, it was also an opportunity *I* couldn’t pass up. I’ve always wanted to learn how this particular thing works more intimately. Just like I’m sure someone would do to my day-to-day (why the hell are you in all these meetings again woman?) if they came in with fresh eyes, I’ve automated and optimized a ton of it and now that the basics are handled in an hour or two that I can do distracted whilst in those meetings, I’m working on trying some different things after doing a bunch of research.
The end of March was bananapants with all this and bringing on those new people and all the other chaos going on of in my part of making a game studio do all the things. We also have a press opportunity that came around at the last minute, and it’s a TON of work but I also couldn’t pass it up. So, with allll these other things, I’m going out of town, right before the race.
I don’t normally talk about work too much here, but all this has made for 60+ hour weeks and lots of my brain share going there even when not “working” and has definitely impacted my time (sometimes) and motivation (more often) to train and do the things that make #projectraceweight happen.
Other excuses life happenings right now – our office is opening up tomorrow and I’ve been at it occasionally getting myself set up. It happens to be across the street from our old office. This means every time we’ve been there, we’ve had “nostalgia lunches” at our favorite spots and went out to dinner once with new and old coworkers. I don’t think I’m putting on weight, but I also don’t think I’m losing it.
So, what’s this done to my training schedule? *snicker* What training schedule?
I have been able to do 1-2 weekday sessions of no great import or length and kept one weekend long session which has mostly consisted of biking. Three weeks ’til the race and it’s time for me to commit to a few things to try to make up for a bit of lost time.
Swim – I had a LOVELY 1600m swim in the outdoor pool at lifetime yesterday. I think some of the lack of motivation was while the pool next to us is very CLOSE, it’s also kind of a dungeon and the pool is… adequate at best. My swim this race won’t break any records, but even with the handful of times in the pool (seven over the last few months), this mile felt happy and comfortable. However, I need to schedule in these key sessions:
One more 1600m swim. Hopefully again in the lovely outdoor pool!
One swim at the quarry (twice around) with my wetsuit to make sure the sausage casing still fits
One swim once we get to the race venue in that lake (with the wetsuit)
I’d love to make it to the pool more than this, but this is bare minimum.
Bike – I’m pretty solid here. I’ve ridden ~40 miles multiple times, most of them at more effort than it will take me on race day (either on the trainer or on my road bike). I took the tri bike out yesterday to the Veloway and while I only made it 21 miles before heading home, it was for dumb reasons (wind advisory with 32+ MPH gusts making it impossible to stay in aero for more than 60 seconds, warm gatorade in my bottles + warm day = overheating, etc), but I felt just fine on my tri bike, not like last season. Thank you, stronger core and lack of back effery. Here’s some bike key sessions:
One more TT bike ride (~1 hour). Shoal creek, after work one day.
1-2 lunch/after work bike rides outside. We are NOT heat acclimated right now and this is the perfect way to help it along.
Run – Here’s my Achillies heel (actually calf, but w/e). A month ago, I ran 6 miles off the bike, and was encouraged. “Only 3 more miles to build, I got this”. Then, the next week, I ran 3… and at 2.5 miles, after a lovely run where I also felt great, my calf cramped/tightened, and I had to walk it out for a bit before I was able to finish it up. I figured it needed some rest, I gave it a week, and was set to go out for a run off a 1 hour bike the week after, where it did the same thing almost immediately. I got 1.5 miles that day when I had planned 7-9. I went aggressively at fixing the problem, stretching, rolling, icing, and massaging… for all of two days and then I got busy. So, here’s where I need the most work, but not in the “I need to go out and run 9 miles” way. I just need to get to the start line uninjured.
Daily: roll, boots, ice, stretch and self-massage the calf. Pick 2-3, on weekend days or days I have time do all of them.
Tomorrow I will go run 1 mile. If that goes well, I’ll run a little longer the next day, and so on and so forth more days than not per week. If I can’t do long runs I’ll at least build a little volume sanely.
I have this last pair of Hoka Clifton 1s I’ve been saving for the right race season (e.g. one where I can run faster than 11:30 min/mile). They can get a few miles on them right now if it helps me get through this race.
Some lunch/after work walks for heat acclimation are needed
Just in case this is dehydration-based vs muscle based – I need to step up my electrolyte intake. I’m going to make it a point to have one nuun/gatorade zero per day, at least, and probably send myself to bed with one so I drink it over the night/when I wake up before running.
If’n all goes well, I’d love to get at least another 10k run under my belt next Saturday. If it doesn’t, I will just continue with the above with the goal to get to the start line uninjured if a bit untrained.
So, what does this look like in a potential schedule?
Monday (WFO) – 1 mile run AM, swim on the way home from work, calf recovery PM
Tuesday (WFO) – 1+ mile run AM, lunch or after work walk, calf recovery PM
Wednesday (WFH?) – 1+ mile run AM, after work 1h Shoal Creek TT bike, calf recovery PM
Thursday (WFO?) – calf recovery
Friday (WFH) – 1+ mile run AM, calf recovery PM
Saturday – 1500m wetsuit swim, longer run (TBD)
Sunday – off
Monday (WFO) – 1 mile run AM, swim on the way home from work, calf recovery PM
Tuesday (WFH) – lunch or after work outdoor ride, calf recovery PM
Wednesday – calf recovery
Thursday (T) – 1+ mile run, walk, calf recovery
Friday (T) – 1+ mile run, walk, calf recovery
Saturday (T) – 1+ mile run, walk, calf recovery
Sunday – calf recovery
Monday (WFH) – after work walk, calf recovery PM
Tuesday (WFH?) – lunch or after work outdoor ride, calf recovery PM
It looks like not enough and a lot at the same time. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and also failing to SCHEDULE is scheduling to fail for me, so on the calendar it goes lickety split.
There is literally no other space in my life to worry about anything else, so we’ll revisit things like work/life balance goals and strength training and #projectraceweight and such after this race. As much as 2022 looked to be on the same trajectory as 2018, it’s not right now. Hopefully it can be, but just a few months delayed.
I'm a video game producer and a lover of anything game related by trade. I'm a triathlete by hobby. I live for being on or in the water as much as I can - scuba diving, snorkeling, paddleboarding, water slides... you name it. The dichotomy between my outdoor and indoor realities are interesting, but they're all mine! Longer version here...