Adjusted Reality

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

Month: March 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

The Most Debaucherous Almost Half Marathon Ever

So yes, Saturday I walked 11.5 miles.  The garmin says we did 13.25 miles and took about 5 hours, however, some of them were WAY too fast to be walking, so I think we got about 1-2 miles in the car.  So totally an estimate, but I know FOR SURE we did more than 11.  Why would I just decide to leave my house and spend that long on my feets?  Because – it sounded like fun.  I know, I’m completely nuts.

We started the day around 12:30 leaving the house (Zliten was aiming for 11am, I was aiming for noon, so a little late but it worked out).  I was wearing my new “adventure pants” (spf 20 lightweight breathable khakis that can convert from pants to shorts with a few zips – and even have an attachable bag to store them in), which got their own theme song – something like “Adventure pants, adventure pants, doin’ the dance, adventure pants…”.  We remembered sunscreen this time, which was excellent, as we spent about the next 7 hours in the lovely sunny day.

Earlier in the week I had started to plan the route/stops, but Zliten and I discussed it, and decided just to go with the flow.  So we left without a map, without a plan, with just a few ideas of landmarks we’d like to walk past/see.  The one thing we had decided was we were grabbing lunch somewhere on the way.  We set out actually pretty hungry, but as we walked, we just started getting pickier and pickier, and the one place we settled on wasn’t open for another hour when we passed it – so we ended up almost downtown (about 6.5 miles) before we passed the famous Texas Chili Parlor, and popped in to split a sampler and a margarita.

Thus begun a long, lovely, epic, and debaucherous night.  We employed the “one drink and move on” method at most places, and stuck with margaritas before sunset, and moved onto whiskey after dark (this may have been a bad decision, but anyhoo).  Pro tip: after walking a half marathon and drinking all day – trying to subsist on some pineapple, a few bites of chili, one piece of fried fish, and a few fries?  Makes for a bit of a fuzzy night 12 hours from the time we left the house.

What?  I was just trying to get a little yoga in…heh.  Sadly (or happily, not sure which), there are no pictures from that day.  I just forgot to take any, but Zliten I guess decided to NOT chronicle the day.

Some highlights though:

-Having the endurance and drive to do a walk like that.  Feeling totally free in my hometown (not having to worry about my car or transportation or whatnot).  Sure I was totally wasted the next day (and still recovering a little today still) but man, that was cool.

-It totally felt like a mini-vacation in my own city.  I mean, who just walks around like that seeing the sights if you live there?  It was awesome!

-The tiniest bar in Texas – the owner and bartnender were super friendly, and they had pretty tasty 2 dollar margaritas…

-Sunset from the top deck of the Motlov with a pomegranite margarita.  Awesome.

-The deck at the Patio.  There were huge animal heads on the wall, the fireplace was nice, and it was a really nice place.  However, after the sun set pretensious people came in and kinda ruined the vibe, and I felt rather underdressed in my sneaks and khakis.

-Getting denied access to the last bar because I was too far gone.  Yes, this is what the lack of food does.  Good thing I’m not easily embarrassed…

-Good friends that came and saved the day at the end of the night.

Next time, we are going to learn from our (my) mistakes, and try to enforce an earlier curfew, and make sure to get a good, hearty, healthy meal in us before heading out instead of leaving it up to chance.  But – this was way too fun.  I think I prefer hanging out downtown right before/after sunset – rather than closing them out at 2am.  I think we’ll definitely have to do this again soon – but not too soon. 🙂

Do you find you walk more on vacation or at home?  Have you ever just “seen the sights” or pretended you were on vacation in your hometown?

Spring Has Sprung

…and if I’m lucky this week, I just might get to enjoy it.

Workouts:

Well, I even went further and decided to give myself a week off running completely.  With everything going on and the extra hours – I was mentally and physically exhausted.  I was just not up for stressing my body out in that way.  So instead, I did more moderate intensity cardio.  I also got in 2 full strength sets.  I wanted to get in some more yoga and stretching, but failed.  Oh well, I have a goal this week…

Day by day:

Monday – 30 mins arc trainer, 50 minutes gym weights

Tuesday – 90 minutes DDR (pretty low instensity for the first 60, I was playing through the story mode).

Wednesday – 40 mins resistance band workout

Thursday – 45 mins arc trainer/stretching

Friday – 30 mins DDR (med intensity)

Saturday – 11.5 mile walk.  Yeah… more on this later.

Sunday – rest day

So as much as I felt like a schlub not running at all, I certainly kept active, so I’m ok with it.

I was going to also keep up the no running thing this week, but I sorta kinda got a chance to enter a little duathalon for free this next weekend, and can’t pass that up at all.  Since I have never ever done anything like this, I have to at least train a little.  Here’s the plan:

Monday: arc trainer and weights at the gym.  I know – it’s KILLING ME how beautiful it is outside and I’m choosing to hit up the gym, but I need one more day to recuperate after the epic walk (and alcohol consumption after), and this seems low impact enough to be right.

Tuesday: practice duathalon.  3 mile run, 9 mile bike ride, 1 mile run.  Either at the gym or outside.

Wednesday: nice l0ng bike ride after work outside, weights

Thursday: one more practice duathalon.  3 mile run, 9 mile bike ride, 1 mile run.  Hoping to do at least one of them outside.

Friday: off (frantically try to pack for Saturday)

Saturday: duathalon and camping!

Sunday: easter eggs and chocolate bunnies and sitting on my butt

Eating/Weight Loss:

Not so good my friends, not so good.  I have not yet gotten on the scale, but I imagine it’s not going to be pretty.  I decided I’m going to start the big push to get under 155 on April 5th – that’s not to say I’m going hog wild this week, or really have been, I just have a different…methodology I’m going to start rolling with, and it’s just not going to work out properly trying to train up for the du and a rest day the day after/easter.  More on that next week.

I am getting on the scale tomorrow morning, and I’m going to put it out there – I will be THRILLED if I’m under 160.  The weekends are killing me.  Stress is killing me – not that the stress is bad – but it’s the finite amount of give-a-shit I’ve been talking about.  I have less to spare when I get home from work that I have in a while.  The less intense workouts I actually think are in my favor as my appetite is FINALLY curbing a bit, but still is less calories burnt.  And I’m allowing excuses.  I know it.  And I’m just finding it hard to break out of it.  I guess I can’t really lament a gain until I for sho know I actually gained, so I’ll wait for the pissing and moaning at least one day.

I’m just finding it really hard to care.  Still.  When I walked almost a half marathon on Saturday and look at how much I work out on a “less intense” week it just doesn’t seem like a priority to me.  The only time it’s a priority is when I try on my clothes and they just don’t look *quite* the same they used to (and I think half of it is in my head).  I know I need to get it in check before I gain too much.  I’m just hoping that switch flips on sooner, aka now when it’s 5 lbs, rather than later.  I’m also just curious how far it will have to go until it start affecting my running performance – I’m SURE that would get me back in line.  But I don’t even want to get there.

Oh well.  April 5th.  I’m going to give it a go for all of April and see if I can take off the extra fluff so I can get back to worrying about more important things – like a sub 7 minute mile.  Or finally breaking 15 miles run continuously.  Or increasing my weights.  Or something besides caring about how my jeans fit or what the scale says.

Mental space/Life:

We are back to normal days at work – for now.  This is good, as I’ll be home and out of the gym tonight at around 7 – 7:30 instead of 9 – 9:30.  I’m eating at home again so I won’t want to have dinner at 6pm and then want it again after my workouts.  I also have more time to relax – which is lovely.  Today I am – as Zliten described – feeling like a pile of dumb from the weekend, but I think if I can get through today unscathed, I’ll be back to my normal on-top-of-it self.  Some time outside after work this week running/biking should do me good.

Anyone ever do a duathalon?  Have any camping tips for me as it’s been over 10 years?  What’s your favorite thing to do outside when the weather is nice?  More on the epic walking adventure and more ramblings this week (you don’t get away that easy…).  Hope your weekend was epic, and you’re having a stress free Monday!

Random Things

It’s Friday, and I do believe it’s high time for some adorable cat pictures and some randomness.  So it will be.

1.  Do you ever feel like the tricks stop working?  Like the “if you’re hungry drink a glass of water” or “eat more protein to feel fuller” type things?  It’s like my body is going “HA!  I know what you’re trying to do, and it won’t work anymore.  I am still HUNGERS!!!”

2.  Also related – how do you stop the nighttime CRUNCH AND MUNCH?  Not tips on how to make yourself not eat the fridge even though you want to, but how to eliminate the urge?  For example – I’ve gotten in this bad habit that I NEED to eat just about the moment I get home from work.  Great when I’m getting out of the gym and food is ready moments later, but bad in the instances where dinner takes a long time after or now that I’m eating WAY WAY earlier because the office is providing dinner.  I don’t have philosophical beliefs against eating late (a calorie is a calorie at 10 am or 10pm), but I have been trending towards sweet snacks.  I guess what I need to do is wait until I’m back to normal and set some sort of rule like after dinner I can have only fruits and veggies or something.  Right now I’m just like this dude below.  Last night was better though – I made myself healthy desert of 1 cup of pineapple, 1 cup 0% plain oikos, and 1 tbsp powdered sugar all blended up, and that was totally satisfying.  And mostly healthy!  Maybe I need to just PLAN for something like that every night…

3.  I had a fantastically cool and scary dream where one of my artists was chasing me around Las Vegas with a shotgun.  He was like, a bounty hunter and I was escaping something.  It was scary, but fabulously exciting – I ended up going through theme parks, cutting my hair and changing my clothes to get away (I looked interesting with shoulder length wispy hair with blonde streaks), and ended up in some rich kids crazy house with my dog (who was apparently obedient enough to stay with me through all this), hiding in this spectacular old room only accessible by a 1920’s elevator lift when I woke up.  I was very fleet footed and apparently had some of my gymnastics skills back.  It felt more like a movie where I knew I was going to get away, but exciting nonetheless.  Very cool, because I normally dream very mundanely – like I’m at work, but my boss is my middle school teacher or something… or don’t even remember them at all.  Any cool dreams to report lately?

4.  Plans this weekend (if work doesn’t interfere) are kinda cool.  We have been meaning to do a long hike.  We have been also meaning to hit up downtown bars during the day.  We decided to roll this into one big exercise-y debaucherous day.  Saturday, we’re going to do the 7-8 mile hike… stopping every other mile or so for refreshments.  Sneakyface bonus: more not-running training how to be on my feet for long periods.  If work *DOES* invade my weekend in a manner which would make this inconceviable, we’ll figure something out.  I’m thinking… rock climbing.  I like combining drinking and exercise! 🙂  Any cool plans this weekend?

5.  I decided to take this week completely off running.  And life did not end.  I needed it.  Depending on work next week I might take next week off too.  It’s nice and all to prove to myself that I have the mental and physical toughness to both wrangle a ton of new job responsibilities and extra hours – and keep up my kick ass workout schedule – but it’s exhausting.  I’m all about the low/medium intensity stuff this week like DDR and the arc trainer and long walks and lots of lifting heavy things and stretching stretchy things.  It’s enough to know that I know I COULD run – I’ve certainly gotten out there enough times when I had NO desire to and had great runs.  Right now though – I’m not training for anything specific, and my body/mind are emphatically shouting at me to back off a bit, so I’ll listen.  Am I a complete wuss or what? Tee hee.

That’s about it for me today.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll hitcha back on Monday.  I’m debating on starting April’s Experiment then – we shall see.

The Carrot Or The Stick

One of my go to questions for interviews (and I’ve been doing a lot lately) is “What motivates you?”  For senior level/management positions, it’s followed by, “How do you motivate others?”

I’m toying with this a lot in the last week or five in my personal life.  This is sort of in the vein of the finite-amount-of-give-a-shit in my life right now.  While I realize that – yes, it is healthy to let some things fall off your radar.  Yes, it is ok to shift priorities around due to life’s little surprises.  It’s even acceptable to slack a little after accomplishing something big.  However, I feel like the meter might be swinging a bit too far in the wrong direction lately.  Or maybe it’s just me being dillusional.

What’s causing my grump?  Well, it’s lots of things.  I think I’m finally feeling the let down of such crappy circumstances around my half and not even being CLOSE to accomplishing a goal I trained for HARD for 3 months.  It’s certainly about that time of the month where I can tend to be a little bleh.  It’s the few extra hours of work coming in just as it’s starting to get nice enough outside to run just before dusk (when I still gotta be at work), but too cold in the morning.  It’s the scale going the wrong way.

Really though – it’s my inability to make lemonade out of these lemons.  I know how to lose 5 lbs.  I just can’t bring myself to do it.  I COULD have toughed out the run this morning, but I was so excited to have a run in the nice weather it floored me when I saw 40 degrees this morning.

I don’t wait until Festivus to air my grievances.  Let’s whip them out, shall we?

-This was supposed to be the year of maintenance.  However, I have not been able to get to my maintenance weight of 155 since mid-December.  I have wasted 1/4 of my year trying unsuccessfully to lose weight.

-My house is a freaking mess and I have no care or desire to do anything about it.  The last thing I want to waste the precious few moments I have at home on when I’m already feeling bleh and burnt about responsibility is clean.  We keep it picked up enough to keep the critters away but that’s about it.

-I had this GREAT plan to keep my running going.  I didn’t want to lose that awesome base I had built.  I was going to keep on with the long runs.  Then – boom.  Injuries and birthdays and now it’s been a month since I did anything longer than a 10k and I have no desire.  At all.

-I’ll eat well all week, minus something silly like a piece of cake every day, but well within my calorie range, and then have 3000 calorie days on the weekends because I am hungry.  And I can’t stop eating.  And I don’t care.  And I know it’s something broken in me because it’s not craving junk, and I’m not mindlessly eating… I am really and truly hungry and my body wants good food.  All signs that it’s not just faking me out to get some baked cheetos.

-I haven’t been shopping for 3 months.  I’m just too bleh about the fact that I’m 5 lbs up to even want to redeem my savers gift certificate from Christmas.  TOTALLY SAD!  I love to shop.  But I just can’t make myself feel like I deserve it right now.  I’d like to say it’s motivation to chew through the high 15o’s but it’s again the problem of lack-0f-give-a-shit.

-My hair is in this in between stage, and I feel schlumpy.  I’m debating for the first time in over 10 years letting a professional cut it instead of Zliten to attempt to get some layers (or something different), but I keep thinking that I could totally use the money on something way more important or fun and it’s just HAIR.  And I also dread the convo I’m going to have to have… “Ok, so I need something that looks hawt but can go back into a ponytail easily, doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to style in the morning, looks good curly, straight, or wavy, will last through getting drenched during workouts, doesn’t cause me to have to wash my hair more than once every 3-5 days, and doesn’t take expensive product to maintain.  Oh, and I’d like a pony as well…”

I could go on and on but there is a common theme here.  I can’t bring myself to care, but I’m depressed (in that wah, I’m a rich little white girl and things aren’t going my way, not clinically) about it.  This violates one of my cardinal rules of “put up, or shut up”.  Either it’s time to figure out how to fix it, or move it off the radar for a while.  There is no use lusting after something I don’t have the oomph to pursue.

I simply don’t think I can put everything that’s bothering me off my radar, so I’ll also have to decide how to get myself motivated.  Whether to employ the carrot, or the stick.  I know that I’m motivated by specific goals that are completely under my control.  The question is trying to decide right now if punitive measures are the way to go if I fail, or if rewards are the way to go if I succeed.

Sure – the answer seems obvious.  OF COURSE I should respond better to the idea of getting something awesome for accomplishing my goal rather than being affected in some negative way if I don’t.  But, as we’ve established, I tend to be broken.  Right now, the lack of give-a-shit is rampant.  Even a really cool prize, I could probably convince myself that I didn’t really care about.  And things I want – what I really, really want (yes, reference intended) – I end up getting anyway.

So maybe it’s time to break out the stick.  Maybe it’s time to stop coddling myself, telling myself it’s ok, I’m doing ok, it’s ok to fuck up.  Maybe it’s time for some good old fashioned hard-assery when I fail.  It’s been a while.  I have been living in this happy bubble where everything I do is fine and it’s okay if I forget a workout because I don’t feel like it and it’s ok if I eat a shitload of cake because I DO feel like it, and it’s ok if I eat when I feel hungry even though I know I’m eating too much.  Maybe it’s not ok to not clean the house and to not get myself out and running for 3 hours like I wanted.  I know I’m stronger than I’ve been in the last month.  I know I’m more capable.  My give-a-shit is broken and I need fixing.

It’s time to do some soul searching, and I do believe Monthly Experiments will return in April.  I will pick something to focus on, set achievable goals, and apply both a carrot (a reward for myself at the end of the month) and a stick (some sort of “pennance” if I stray).  I’m not sure what yet, but it’s time.  It’s time to kick off the post race funk, work will be settling a bit, the weather should be lovely and prohibitive of outdoor activity, and beyond one planned indulgence for my father’s birthday, there are no crazy pitfalls and minefields to wade through.

For now, time to eat.  Good thing I have some carrot sticks handy. 🙂

Rainy Days and Mondays

This weekend was disappointing in the fact that it was BEAUTIFUL all week, got cold and rainy Saturday, got cold and supahwindy Sunday, and is now back to gorgeous again.  Just in time for overtime again!  Wheeee!

Workouts:

Workouts went as planned last week, minus skipping the 5k Saturday morning.  It was rainy (like heavy pouring rain) and thunderstormy.  The race people said they were still holding it, but we decided that we didn’t want to get sick/injured and figured – next month.

At first I was holding out, trying not to be a wuss and so was Zliten, but when I realized there is no way I’m getting a PR on a mud run, and he thought about adding a twisted ankle to his huge arm bruise (which I didn’t cause, thxuverymuch) and his rib being out of place – we decided against it.

I’m taking it easy on running right now.  My body has spoken and is now shouting very loudly.  My appetite has NOT gone down at all (please see food stuff below).  My heels are hurty.  I just feel tired.  I’ve just gotta accept that right now, 3-4 months is about the limit for me and I need to rotate to easier workouts for a while to stay healthy.  I’m going to lower the requirement down to 2 runs a week, and no less than a 5k – so at minimum 6 miles a week.  I hope to get out and do more.  But honestly?  I need a rest.  Long epic walks.  DDR.  Bike rides.  Gym cross training.  Lotsa weights/resistance band/strength stuff.

As much as I wanted to try and keep a base, I definitely proved I can ramp up quickly without too much discomfort.  Maybe in a few weeks I’ll revisit the idea of going longer than a 10k, or if the right opportunity provides itself and I feel rested/ready – but for now… short and fast.  What?  I can’t do short and slow….

Food Stuffs:

I started tracking last week and was doing good.  Minus the daily piece of cake (?), I sailed through most weekdays without an issue calorie-wise, coming in at about 1400 per day.  The problem?  The weekend.  Friday, I ate dinner at 6pm, then went out and drank.  Pretty much like a little fishie. I woke up STARVING.

Then, I was just HUNGRY all weekend.  I tried to make decent choices but it was about 50%.  Saturday, I got no mayo on my sammich, and threw away some of the bread, and didn’t eat ALL of the fries, but as you can see, it wasn’t super healthy.  Then I snacked all day (on cuties and sesame chips and cheese) at my parents’ house.  Then birthday dinner #29456 was filet and grilled shrimp and veggies and salad with lowfat ranch.  But there was also bread.  And onion straws.  And key lime pie.  And then LATER there was even more snacking.  Same type of thing Sunday.  My appetite is just NOT NORMAL right now.  I’m not necessarily uber craving the bad stuff, and the “cake everyday” thing should subside now that birthday celebrations are officially over, but just the sheer quantity is disturbing.

And I have no excuse!  I burned like 2500 calories last week, max.  I ran 6 miles.  The only thing I can think is that I’ve added a few miles a week walking around the office.  Literally.  I’m not kidding.  Herding cats is walky work.  However, I sure don’t think I’m doing ANYTHING compared to the 30+ mile weeks and my trap just wants more shoved down it.  Carrots or carrot cake, sprouted grain bread or jelly donuts – it’s all the same.  All that matters is the ease of ability to shove.  So the good news is I’ve been eating a lot of healthy food.  The bad news – I’ve been eating A LOT.

Mental State/General Life:

It’s definitely interesting, this life.  Just a little over a month ago I was putting all my training to the test slogging through a sick 13.1 miles.  I had no idea what was in store for me in the next month.  Things I have learned and experienced since then:

-I only have a finite amount of “give-a-shit”.  I can cultivate more with work, and I can slack and have less, but there is a tangible amount of effort I can put into things, be it physical, mental, emotional, and willpower-y.  Right now, work has definitely borrowed from other aspects of my life.  As frustrating as it was to shift FROM that 3 years ago, I got used to it, and now it’s just as weird and awkward to shift that direction again.  This could (and probably will) be a whole other post.

-I was freaked out about being able to ever run a half marathon again – because when I took the break it felt so unnatural to run more than a 10k.  What if I just can’t do it anymore?  What if that was a fluke?  What if I’m not meant to run long distances even though it was was rewarding?  I had/am having the same moments with work.  I’m doing what I had done before at my previous job (except on a much higher profile/larger scale).  The funny thing about both – if you did something well once, chances are you’ll be able to do it again as long as you train properly and give yourself the necessary time to adjust.

-I can get all upset at myself for not making much progress on my resolutions yet this year.  I haven’t seen under 155.  I didn’t hit my half marathon goal pace and I’m curtailing my running for a bit.  I’m not reading, I’m not writing.  I haven’t done any of the one liners except whittling down my smoking (once a week, always with alcohol, thxuverymuch).  However, that nebulous “figure out WTF to do with my job” resolution?  On like donkey kong.  So 1 out of 5 aint bad I guess.

-I’m feeling that ennui about the whole MUST!LOSE!WEIGHT! thing right now.  I just don’t have the oomph to give more than 50%.  Mostly, because I feel like I do enough with the regular, vigorous exercise and eating healthier than most humans most of the time.  And if it’s not working, then FUCK IT, something is broken and I just don’t have the mindshare to fix it right now.  Inherently, this is ok.  I’m a healthy weight and in good shape.  However, I can’t let it go too long.  It’s been a long standing question in my mind that just never gets answered.  What is ok?  When can I call it, and say that I eat healthy enough HERE, and there is no need to worry as long as I stick to this standard?  Argh…

Anyhoo, that’s my braindump for the week.  I think I’d like to expand on some of this but it’s already running long and I’ve got a million and two things to attend to.  FYI, I seem to be good about visiting bloggy folk that twitter.  I miss all your blogs.  If you are on twitter, pleeeeaaassse look me up (I’m quixotique) or comment and I’ll find ya.  I haven’t been able to get to my rss reader in weeks. 🙁

I miss you all.

I’m going to try and get my head unfogged and figure out how to eek out a little more mental focus on a few more things without going bat shit crazy and rocking back and forth.

I’ll see you then!

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