Adjusted Reality

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

Month: August 2010 Page 1 of 2

More Than A Truck

So I’ve been neglecting the blog.  Apologies, my lovelies.  I sort of took the opportunity to ignore my calorie consumption as well.  I *meant* to count calories, it just didn’t happen.  I *meant* to get in a swim on Sunday, but it didn’t happen.  I *meant* to stay away from fried foods like I’m supposed to but there was an…um… incident on Saturday night with some french fries (and then Sunday with an eggroll and a few bites of general’s chicken that I can’t blame on being drunk).  I *meant* to continue to do no sweets but there was a piece of high quality dark chocolate Thursday.  And then Swiss chocolate Friday.  And Sunday.

None of these things is horrible in and of itself but it was a reminder that getting cocky is bad.  I was down to 161 again on Friday and this morning I weigh more than a truck (thank you salty chinese takeout).  It’s all well and good that I completed a tri.  It’s a great accomplishment to have completed my first long workout outside (16 miles biked and 4 mile run in the heat).  Burning about 1700 calories on Saturday certainly entitles me to a bit more food than the norm.  However, on a weekend where I’m going out partying, I have to remember that replacing that many calories is VERY, VERY easy.

So, today it’s back to it.  Back to tracking, no sweets, no fried foods, and I’m going to make an attempt to be really on the ball for the next two weeks (because I leave to go to Vegas then).  I’m going to do my best to NOT go crazy there food-wise but we shall see.

So last week:

Monday: off (recovering from the tri)
Tuesday: 10k run
Wednesday: yoga class for 1 hour
Thursday: spin class for 1 hour
Friday: arc trainer for 35 mins
Saturday: 16 mile bike, 4 mile run (then later 4 mile walk)
Sunday: off (was going to swim but I kinda didn’t leave the house except for groceries)

This week:

Monday: 30 mins arc trainer, 9 miles bike
Tuesday: 10k run
Wednesday: yoga class for 1 hour
Thursday: 15 mile bike, 4 mile run (at the gym)
Friday: swim (either gym or open water)
Saturday: 30 mile bike ride outside
Sunday: off

Weight high/low: 163/161

It’s very swim light, and I’m thinking about changing that, but here is the plan for now.  Maybe add to the crazy on Saturday or a trip to the springs on Sunday before the ball game we’re going to… who knows.

So yep.  The goal is to log food every day from now until Vegas, stick in the reasonable range, eat back enough calories with good food on crazy exercise days, and try to weigh less than a truck this time next week.  Economy car perhaps…

Sweet and Twisted Tri

So, here is the long version…

Saturday, I spent the day running around, hanging out with my parents, shopping, picking up the packet, and getting the final stuff I needed.  I mean, it seems obvious that there is more gear and prep for a swim/bike/run than just a run but dang.  There is a lot to think about.

Against my better judgments, and I’ve never done this for a race before, I bought a new shirt to wear on top of my singlet because nothing I have was right and proper for what I was looking for (wicking, not skin tight, and not BLACK to be easier to spot and be cooler).  I ended up taking a chance and the shirt worked out well, but I definitely spent a long time looking for something perfect.  DON’T TRY THIS ONE AT HOME KIDS.  I also knew that worst case I could just peel it off and roll in just my singlet, and it only occurred to me after the race that while I swam in it, I never ran or biked in it.  Again, NEVER wear something new.  I’m glad it worked out for me.

So, my gear list for the swim:

-swim cap for my heat
-sports bra
-flip flops to run from the water to the transition area

They suggested some anti-fog stuff for goggles, but I just went with new ones.  Again, never do this the day before a race.  Don’t be me.  The swim was so short I knew if the goggles were fubar it wouldn’t be that bad but still…

Bike Gear List:

-running shoes/wicking socks
-shammy to dry my feet
-new shirt with race number pinned to it already
-big heavy ass hybrid bike
-bike helmet
-towel to set everything on
-bike rack for car
-special adapter for said heavy ass weird bike so it fit on said car rack
-multicolored lei to tie to the back so I could find
-backpack with emergency tire pump, sport beans (which I didn’t need), and camelback
-patch kit that attaches to my bike

I was one of the only people with a mountain bike.  I figured there would be more noobs like me, but I guess most people can at least get their hands on a cheapo road bike.  I had never changed a bike tire, and I didn’t give myself enough time to learn, so I just decided worst case scenario, I would walk the damn thing through the course.  Thank goodness that didn’t happen.  The lei was good to help me find my bike in the racks and racks… definitely stood out in the crowd.

For the run, I just plunked my backpack down and didn’t need any extra gear.  Some people have special bike shoes, I of course did not.  I mean when I bike I usually wear my OLD broke ass running shoes, but I was able to make an exception this time.  Other things I brought – my slippers (I will never go to another distance race without them – it feels SO NICE to slip into them after being on my feet a while… and a change of clothes so I didn’t have to go home in a sweaty singlet.

So, back to the race happs.  I ended up not getting to bed that night until 11 (thank the DEAR FLUFFY LORD I had gotten great sleep all week) and the alarm got me up bright and early at about 4:50.  I don’t know how you morning peoples (Miz, Mrs. Fatass, etc) do it.  Anyhoo, got up, got everything loaded in the car, and took off.  Ate a big breakfast bar and spent the whole morning crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t have any tummy problems – the earlier I get up, the more likely I am to be a little queasy.  I held it together though.

We got to the spot and it was still dark, and walked my bike and gear through the tall grass.  First, I got body marked – both biceps, both quads, and age on calf.  It so tickled.  I had to contain myself from squirming.  Then, I bid Zliten adieu and rolled everything into the transition area and set everything up on my towel.  I had to run out to get a few pre-race pics with my number on, but I had plenty of time.  Then, I went and got my timing chip (which straps on your ankle, very different from other races) and it was getting close to time, so I went and stood by the water.  I put my toe in and thankfully it was NOT as freezy as Barton Springs.  I debated between a practice swim or not and decided against it.  I’d made peace with open water and didn’t want to be cold when I got out.

Then the pre race briefing started and I started getting NERVOUS!  I knew once I completed the swim I was golden but being that it was the FIRST thing and I was in the second wave (glad it wasn’t the first, but still), I didn’t have much time to watch and learn.  Good thing that the waves were really small and there was plenty of room.  Before I knew it, I had stepped up with the other orange cappers and heard 3,2,1 GO!  And I started to swim.

And I found that we were so close to shore for that first leg that I kept running into branches and rocks.  D’oh!  I started with the freestyle and mostly kept it up to the first buoy, but after that I felt wiped and sort of alternated between breast stroke and freestyle for the rest of it.  My only goal was to finish NOT last in my wave, and I came in about the middle of the pack, so I was thrilled.

I got out of the water (they had about 8 people helping us out which was supah nice), put on my flippy floppies and hotfooted my way to the bike transition.  I think I made pretty good time – I dried my feet, did my socks and shoes, slipped on my sunglasses, shirt, and helmet, grabbed my bike, and ran it out of transition, mounted and… oh look, let’s start with a hill.

And the hills kept comin’.  I’m glad I had practiced outside the last 2 weeks, because my easy 25 mile pedals in the gym were NADA compared to this.  And, see my “heavy ass bike” complaints above.  I had totally underestimated how important the quality of your bike is.  Running races… you have your shoes (very important, but really, about 100 bucks and a good fitting and you’re good to go), your brain, your training, and the road.  Biking is a whole ‘nother story.  It’s all about a lighter bike.  I don’t mean to be mean, but there were people who were obviously in worse shape than I was FLYING past me on the bike course with their racers.  I heard “on your left” way too many times.  One race volunteer even told me I should get a heavier bike, hehe.

Also, let me say that after making sure I had the camelback full and iced down, when I got on the bike I couldn’t ever reach the damn straw.  1 hour of biking in the hot sun, knowing I had icewater on my back, and not being able to grab it was kinda torture, but I was not about to get off my bike to do it.

I made it through my 2 loops of 12.8 miles and headed back to the transition to dump my bike and bag and chug some water (it was still cold!  Score!).  I jogged the whole way in and it was a great warmup – I started running and my legs felt GREAT!  All the brick work I had done totally paid off.  I got major vindication passing up a lot of people on the run who had passed me on the bike.  Everyone kept saying – out and back, out and back.  So I go out, I go back, the finish line is in sight and then… I get directed AWAY, up a HILL, and told that it’s about one more mile.  Bugger!  I definitely pouted a bit there and slowed down, but once I got up the hill and rounded the home stretch, I kicked it up a notch and sprinted to the finish.

Woohoo!  I am a triathlete!  All in all, a GREAT race for a tri-virgin – people were very supportive and I didn’t feel like a jerk for not being an elite athlete.  After…there may have been a little too much junk food and ummm, FOUR bottles of champagne split between Zliten and I that day, but I freaking deserved it.  I took yesterday off because I figured I’d be dead tired but I felt great.  Today, it’s back to business.  10k run today to get back into the business of running longer than 5k, and more fun and games to follow this week.

My biggest desires with the training:

-Be able to do 25 miles bike/10k run OUTSIDE (heat training/accurate conditions)

-Be able to do 5k run/25 mile bike/10k run at the gym (endurance training)

-Be able to swim 1500m in the pool then bike/run (transition training)

-Do a 30 mile bike ride and 10 mile run (more endurance training)

Everything else will just be filler workouts to keep up the calorie burn/cardio.  I feel like I could do double distance if I really pushed myself (oddly enough, the BIKE felt like it would be the most troublesome), it’s now just getting more comfortable with 4 hours of constant activity and improving times.

More soon on the specifics.  For now, I’m going to enjoy my week and get my head around longer distances.  So, my question of the day – what is the one thing you could not live without for races (or workouts), besides the obvious?


More later, but this pretty much sums it up…

…and this is how I hope to spend the rest of my day.

I know I finished under 2 hours (which was the goal), but not sure how much.  More soon!

Hell and Wellness

Training for this tri has definitely been a different experience than anything thus far.

All other big bad races thus far, I planned out my training to the day, and then by the time the race rolled around, I had checked each workout off the list and came to the end, and breathed a sigh of relief that training was over and it was time to rest up and get prepared for the race.   This one, however, I took a different approach.

Instead of a 3 month training plan, I sort of laid out overall goals:

-Be able to do the distance of each (done)

-Get more comfortable with swimming (done-ish)

-Learn how to do those distances together (done)

-Get comfortable with the conditions (outside in hot summer, open water, etc) (done)

-Go rock the sprint distance (Sunday)

Then there is a shortened cycle for the longer distance

-Be able to do the distance of each (done)

-Learn how to do those distances together (working on it – have done the bike/run back to back in the gym but definitely need more of these)

-Get comfortable with the conditions (it will be cooler, but a 25 mile ride/10k run outside != one in the gym)

-Rock an Olympic tri (Oct 3)

Then each week, I did about 2-3 key workouts that progressed me towards these goals and about 3 days of workouts to get some miles/calories/endurance but were kinda secondary workouts.

It’s been very relaxed, however, I almost feel like I want to lay out the next 6 weeks to make sure I’m getting what I need, but for this one, I feel prepared.  Then 6 more weeks and a half marathon (maybe, still haven’t registered for anything yet, but that’s the plan).  Then… a break.  I’d like to be able to not have to force myself to run outside all winter if I don’t wanna.  Maybe speed training to try and shave some 5k time off again?  Maybe become a yoga bum?  Perfect my swimming stroke?  Try kick boxing?  Reduce my workout scope and eating scope and make a real glorified push at losing some weight?  Pump some iron?  I mean who knows…

Oooh, look, it’s shiny syndrome.  I’ve not even gotten through this WEEKEND and I’m already planning life through next Spring.  Ooohkie.  Focus.

I think the problem is I’m feeling so not intimidated and I should be.  It’s like if I had a marathon on the horizon, and the goal was really the marathon, this is just the half I signed up for to tune up.  It’s my first race of this type, so I should be freaked.  I was 2 weeks ago.  Getting through the open water swim was huge.  Getting ok with being out in the hot sun again was huge.  As always with tapers, I feel like I haven’t done CRAP this week but I know it’s for the best.

However, there has been a lot of PREP this week.  Bike breaks fixed.  Emergency kit to change tires almost assembled.  Bike rack to transport it to the race obtained.  On the list still: a shammy (I know it’s spelled chamois but that’s just ridiculous and I protest) to dry my feet, something brightly colored to tie on the back of the bike, and an actual new tire in case I get a flat (and learning how to change it).  In preparation for the 5 am wakeup call on Sunday, I’ve been getting up early all week.

I’ve been reading lots of first time tri tips (mmm, tri tip) sites out there, and most of them say pretty much, in summary, just get through your first one, enjoy the experience, and don’t worry too much.  There are lots of people around to help and guide you if you’re flailing.  So, I think that’s where I’m at.  I’m ready to have a new experience under my belt, call myself a triathlete officially, and drink my celebratory mimosa.  Until it really kicks in and I start flipping the hell out.

So the week of hell and wellness is going fairly well.  I say hell and wellness because:

Monday – up early for an hour of outside run and bike, work, grocery shop, cook, chores, sleep.

Tuesday – up early for a 2 hour dentist appt, work/meetings all day, open water swim after wook, eat dinner, cook lunch for the next day, relax an hour, sleep

Wednesday – up early for a doctor appt, work/meetings all day, shopping for tri supplies, yoga class (which was actually HEAVEN), help cook dinner and relax an hour and then sleep

Today- up early to take my car in for service appt, work/meetings all day, having to deal with idiotic fax machines and bs all around (can you tell its about that TOM)…

…plan was spinning class tonight, and then I thought we had a party after but THANK THE DEAR FLUFFY LORD it’s next week.  Instead I did…nothing.  It’s that one day a month where I muster just about everything in me to not lay in the fetal position on the couch.  People at work asked me what was wrong.  I elevated the threat level from nominal/green this morning, to elevated/yellow by lunch and to high/red this afternoon (seriously, window crayons are the most fun).  It wasn’t completely due to hormones but I’m sure it didn’t help.  I figured if I was in that bad of shape, spin class wouldn’t be a great idea.  It wouldn’t be the end of the world if I popped some pain killers and sat on the couch.

What I wanted to do is sit out on my back patio with a) a cheeseburger b) a big slice of chocolate cake c) a bottle of wine or d) all of the above, but I decided it was a bad idea.  Instead, I had some lowfat hot dogs with whitewheat buns, veggie pasta salad, and some baked beans after a snack of baby carrots (I totally stress ate about half a lb of carrots, I am pathetic, tee hee).  And… I split a bag of coconut m and m’s with Zliten.  And had two thin mints.  And about a cup of frozen grapes.  I think I’m ok with less than 150 calories of sweets on a day like today.  I was in the mood to take down a half lb burger and fries and a couple slices of ooey gooey chocolate cake.  I think I mitigated my cravings pretty well.

Tomorrow, luckily, there are no more crazy appointments – I will be getting another short bike and run in tomorrow, gotta make it through work/meetings, then pho-riday, more work/meetings, and then relaaaaaax.  Up early Saturday so my clock’s not off – run errands, packet pickup, hang with the folks a bit, sleep early and then… RACE DAY!

Ok, writing about it is getting me excited.  Getting the race day prep packet in my email is getting me excited.  Honestly – thinking about a burger and fries and some froyo is getting me REAL excited.  Is it possible I might approach a new experience totally and completely excited and not nervous at all?  I mean, I get nervous going to a new restaurant or taking a new route to work, I swear…

So, I’ll see you on the other side.  With pictures, and race numbers, and finish times, and I’m sure one hell of a story to share.  So, I ask, what’s next for you?  What’s the new and shiny on your horizon?  Of course, any first timer tri tips more than welcome too. 🙂

Mindful, Not Perfect

So after my big wins earlier last week, I’ve been kinda coasting.

I weighed in for the first time in a while under 160 (159.8, but still).  I also ate pretty reprehensibly this weekend and ingested a shit ton of alcohol.  I managed to do two outside hilly rides since we last spoke and hit the pool for some laps yesterday, and did a short bike run brick outside this morning, but I highly doubt it’s mitigated much of the indulgence.  At least I have stuck to my guns and 1) ingested no fried food 2) only had a few bites of desert on Saturday (which I had planned on).  Also, all the sitting outside partying in the 100+ degree heat has honestly done wonders for my heat acclimation.

However, there was probably enough pitas and hummus Saturday nite for an army, washed down with a ridiculous amount of wine, preceeded by a chinese food feast of epic proportions (curry chicken, wonton soup, black bean noodle, oh my).  Friday night was tacos from the grill, vodka, and homemade salsa and guac with chips.  Thursday night was a full plate of chicken yakisoba and some whiskey.  Yesterday, we hit tex mex brunch until we wished for extra stomachs and then had some snax at the movies (more veggies/pita/hummus and split a bowl of chili) and THEN more chinese leftovers.

In a former life this would be a guilt-riddled experience, where I cursed myself for having such low self control and being a failure and yadda yadda yadda…  now, I realize I had a kick ass time all weekend, I didn’t eat anything that was NOT worth it, and the scale said 163.6 this morning, which is not optimal, but it is what it is, and it is a lot of salt, not 3 lbs gained or anything.  I definitely remember why I don’t do this all the time – my body feels much better when it’s not stuffed with indulgent food and booze for 3 days straight… I am so ready for a mellow week it’s not funny.

As of this morning, it’s ON – time to refocus – 6 days from now I’ll be a triathlete.  Last week was another good confidence builder, and I need to do just about the same this week, with a bigger dose of R and R near the end.  One more open water swim.  An outside bike/run brick.  Also, I need to go get some gear and do some prep.  One of my brakes on my bike isn’t working properly.  I need a bike rack for my car so I can transport it.  Debating on what I’m going to have in my transition area (do I need a water bucket for my feet?  a shammy to get feet dry quick? a shirt to throw on over my singlet with my number on it?  something brightly colored so I can see my bike?).

I’m feeling pretty zen about it now (which I’m SURE will change later this week), so that’s good.  I’ve put in the work, so I’ll be fine, right?  Right?  …ok, maybe a little nervous.

Only counted calories for half the week so there is no point in tallying those numbers, but here are the deets I have tracked:

Monday: 30 min swim (350)
Tuesday: 5k run morning, group power (700)
Wednesday: open water swim (600)
Thursday: 9 mile morning ride outside (400)
Saturday: 12 mile ride outside (600)
Sunday: swimming laps (400)

Avg burn per day: 435

Avg calories I would have to have had each day to maintain weight: 2247

Low/High Weight: 159.8/162.0

Next week, the name of the game is good, healthy food that makes my body feel good, rest, continue to heat acclimate and prepare, but also lots of rest.  The only exception is a party on Thursday night – we’re going, but plan to take it mellow.

Food/Exercise/Etc Plan below:

lunch: salad bar
dinner: manwiches (96% fat free grass fed beef – though I do use the canned mix) and veggies

Exercise: short bike/run brick outside in the morning (done, yay!)

lunch: tuna sandwich and salad
dinner: homemade chicken tikki masala with rice, peas, carrots, and a flour tortilla on the side

Exercise: open water swim after work

lunch: chicken pasta veggie salad (fiber pasta, olives, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, cilantro, celery, grilled chicken)
dinner: chicken caesar salad and soup

Exercise: yoga class after work

lunch: luncheon roulette (hope the dice are kind)
dinner: hot dogs and/or garden burgers, (maybe one of each, maybe one of the other), coleslaw (something easy and fairly low cal before the party)

Exercise: spin class if I can make it, arc trainer/random cardio if not

lunch: pho
dinner: beef stew and salad

Exercise: short run to keep my legs loose, probably treadmill after work

lunch: out with my parents
dinner: lemon pepper mahi mahi, rice, veggies

Exercise: off

Sunday: Tri day!!!!

After the tri, I require 2 treats – a small frozen yogurt from a for real yogurt shop (not just soft serve vanilla somewhere), and a burger and fries.  There is a new place that just opened that is supposed to be JUST like my favorite burgers in Austin that just closed down.  Yes, I am aware that it’s no fried food month, but I am going to make one exception.  I plan to be in it for the long haul (until Vegas mid-next month).  The goal with these month-long abstainings is to be mindful, not perfect, so I’ll be ok.

So yeah, today’s workout was major, tomorrow is open water #2, and then it’s all downhill from there.  I’m ok with THAT kind of coasting.  So, dudes and dudettes, how is your week shaping up?  Perfect, mindful, or neither?

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