Adjusted Reality

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

Month: September 2010 Page 1 of 2

I Eat Triathlons For Breakfast*

*maybe.  Read to the bottom for the full story…

Here is what I wrote Tuesday night:

Apparently, between tri training where 1 hour is the absolute minimum workout and most are somewhere between 1.5 and 3, the second to last looming deadline at work hitting this week and the last (for a bit) hitting the end of this month, and just birthdays and being social and events and life… I have not succeeded in keeping a good training record for the last few weeks.

I’ll live.  I’m ready for this shit.  Bring it on, Sunday.

I have a lot of things looking back, I would do differently.  For example, here’s a list of all the horrible, dumb things I’ve done this first tri season:

-Very little swimming, when this is something that I absolutely needed the most help with.  I’ve been back in the water for the first time starting last Friday.  However, oddly enough, that time off did something to me when I finally got in and started doing laps again.  Some of you might be able to identify with this – y’know when you started running and for the first time, you hit your stride.  You found that pace that felt comfortable.  Like you could keep running forever?  I hit that with swimming freestyle for the first time yesterday.  I’m alternating about 150m breast stroke and 150m freestyle and finally got to the point where I felt like I could just keep freestyling.  Juuuuust in time.  I’m still going to fall back on breast stroke if need be, but my goal is to do at least half the 1500m freestyle if not the whole thing.

-I have not done ANY open water laps.  However, I think I’ll be ok.  I dove off the side of this into 100+ ft deep water fearlessly Friday multiple times and treaded water with no floaties continuously for 2 hours straight.  I’ll hang with some deepwater laps just fine, thanks.  Hopefully THIS lake won’t have rocks and branches and shit sticking up pokin’ me.  Yeah, please excuse the bbq-and-cake ingested pooch.  Normally I don’t like sharing the unflattering pics but this one is too perfect not to.  I’ll be taking care of that soon, thx-u-very-much but for now it’s just my extra big gas tank to get me up them hills.

-I bought a completely new bike less than 2 weeks before the tri and didn’t ride it until the weekend before.  My first ride, I did 26 miles.  Mrs. Fatass, if you’re reading this…. I have three words for you.  Owie hoo hah.  10 miles in, I came back home, Zliten put my old seat on it even though it was heavier, and I blissfully biked the rest.  I’ve ridden 3 days now and I’m way faster and doing it with less effort than I’ve ever expended before.  I can keep up with the old ladies with THEIR racing bikes on Shoal Creek and way less people pass me!

-I’m also trying to ramp up for a half (6 weeks to go from this weekend) so I have long run day mid-week since that’s a short sub-2 hour workout compared to my crazy 3+ hour run and bike adventures on Saturdays even though the runs are actually more tiring somehow.  Before Vegas, I rode 20 miles and ran 5 and showered, got on a plane, and proceeded to stay up about 24 hours straight.  After I got back the next weekend, I ran 5k, biked 25m, ran 10k, and then the next day raced (my worst ever but only by 2 seconds…) a 5k.  Last weekend, I did the 26 miles on the bike plus 10k run.  To add insult to injury, it was way too hot to do the full distance run outside, but I wasn’t going to let myself get off THAT easy with a treaddy run so I ran the mile back and forth to the gym in the 90+ degree weather and ran 4 miles of sprints in the AC in the middle.  Each week (minus after Vegas when I felt like I was going to get sick), I’ve also gotten myself up to 9 miles mid-week on a run.

What I’m doing right:

-Let me tell you, with this ridici-crazy amount of training, I am a SLEEP MONSTER.  If I get ANY less than 8 per night my body shuts me down for the deficit the next day.  I slept until 11am for the first time in months this weekend.  I also slept 10 hours the night before.  I was the person in college who slept 3 hours a night because I thought anything more was a waste.  But part of training is resting, and this week, I’m backing off the crazy and giving the ol’ bod what it needs.

-I have never been this tan.  And I don’t even intend to – with all the outside swimming, biking, and running this summer, I look finally as if I am, uh, outdoorsy.  And not even in the fake “I just got out of a tanning bed” way – I have the bike shorts, garmin, and sunglass tan lines to prove it!   Not to mention my vitamin D levels are soaring.  I feel very happy and well adjusted spending so much summer sunny happy fun time outside.

-I HAVE NOT GAINED WEIGHT!!! I was TERRIFIED I was pushing the high 160’s after Vegas and I finally worked up the courage to step on the scale today.  163.  Y’know, I’ll take it.  It’s about where I’ve been stuck for the last few months and I know it’s going to take some careful attention to my diet and toning down the crazy workouts to lose.  I’ll get there.   I’m happy to be starting from here and not higher.

-I feel very confident in my running.  I may be a little iffy on how the swim is going to go, I may be a little nervous about a new bike, but I *know* I can bust out a sub-1 hour 10k even if I’m tired as hell.  Ain’t no thing, chicken wing.

-Taking the plunge and getting a new bike.  Yeah, going to list it here too.  Even though it was risky, it actually just about split the difference of my pace on my old bike outside (12 mph) and my gym speed (18 mph).  I think I can do the ride at about 15 mph on Sunday which will put me at about 1h40 for the ride (I think).  If I can keep my swim time anywhere close to what I did in the lap pool this week, I’ll be about 40 mins for the swim, 1h 40 for the ride, and 60 for the run.  With transitions, I might even break 3h 30!!!  I could have NEVER done that on my old bike.

-Signing up.  When I set the goal to do an Olympic Tri instead of a Marathon, I was dedicated to it, but since I totally ad-hoc’d my training program, it was always a question if I’d really be ready.  A few weeks ago I was unsure if I’d even finish.  Now, I know (cross your fingers – as long as nothing weird and disastrous happens) I’m good.  It’s been a real life changing experience to set another crazy big goal and then find myself after a lot of sweat, toiling, craziness, fun, awesomeness, and sadism – standing right at the top of this mountain waiting to put up my flag saying “I am an (olympic distance) triathlete”.  It’s also fun to tell people what I’m going to do this weekend.  Apparently not many people swim a mile, bike 26, and then run 6 before lunch.

So that’s it peoples.  Bring it on.  I eat triathlons for breakfast.  I’ll rock this, and then there WILL be champagne.  And I will be able to check one of the big (revised) New Years Resolution goals off.

And here is what I found out yesterday:

“Due to Police contracts we have to close the bike course at 10:30 am. If you are still on the bike course at that time we will pick you up and you will be out of the race.”

My wave starts at 8:06.  That’s 2 hours and 24 minutes to swim a mile and then ride 26.  With the target of a 40 min swim time and 1 hour 40 bike time, plus transition…I’m cutting it cloooose.  The new strategy is to get highly caffeinated right before the race start (a soda today at lunch has kept me wired for 8 hours so it shouldn’t be hard), swim hard and positively WASTE myself on the bike course.  If I have to walk during the 10k, so be it.  At least I’ll finish.

While I was spitting venom when I first heard about the closure, I think it will motivate me to finish faster.  I tend to hold back at the beginning of long races to make sure I have enough… this will make me use my juice and dig deeper for more later.

Think good, fast, and happy thoughts for me on Sunday!

The Most Expensive Hand Weight Ever

I’m having one of those (TOM induced) thinky evenings.

I could talk here about how I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to figure out how to deal with my ever-expanding waistline.  I’m getting frustrated with it again.  I now can’t seem to figure out how to get under about 162 and I haven’t even had the guts to get on the scale again after Vegas.

I could talk here about how work is definitely taking up much more of my mental space.   I used to walk out the door at night, and not think about it again (rarely) until I walked in the next morning.  Now I think it, dream it (no joke, I go to work at least three times some nights before I even get out of bed), and especially live it.  I’m happy – however, it’s definitely an adjustment.

I could talk about being nervous for the tri in 11 days.  I could talk about many things.

But instead, I’ll just say, “WHEEEEEE NEW BIKE!!!”

It’s this.  I can bicep curl it with one hand.  It cost almost a week of my salary after taxes, but it is my new precious…just riding it around the store (and they even made me wear a helmet, lol) felt awesome.

Tomorrow, I make up the 9 mile run I planned to do today, and this weekend (after it stops incessently raining), I am going to do the 26 miles/6 mile run outside and see how awesome it is.

And then, I will eat birthday cake (not mine).

And I’ll stick to my jeans that actually fit me and worry about the scale later.

I Am My Own Superhero*

Title in honor of MizFit 😉  Proof below…

27:51 finish time.  Worst 5k time yet. However, I got to run in costume! I can definitely tell I have endurance legs not speed legs – I finished, ran back a mile, met some friends, and ran them in, and I’m now thinking “what’s next” even though I wasted my legs yesterday. However, I did place 161/762 overall and 11/82 for my age group – and if I would have JUST PR’d (right around 25 mins), I would have won a 3rd place medal. Food for thought for next year when I have no crazy length races planned and can train speed…

Post race sweaty photobooth pics follow.  Excelsior!!!

30 Dollar Burgers, Dick’s Sticks, and Stairmasters, Oh My.

Oh Vegas.  You are a beautiful and cruel mistress.  Although, we embrace you knowingly, it’s so easy to forget the pain after your departure.

The trip, quite honestly, was relaxing and fairly uneventful.  The first night we had fancy steak dinner at the Luxor (or in my case… a 30 dollar kobe beef and crab burger… yes, it was TOTALLY worth it and you know you wish you had ordered it…).  Then, we killed a bottle at the Jester bar in the Excalibur playing video poker and talking until sunrise.  I vaguely remember shots, toasting with champagne, eating brunch, and then going to sleep.  I woke up feeling ROUGH the next day, but a little walking around, digesting, leafy greens, and by about 5pm I felt right as rain and was ready for round 2.

We walked around and gambled a bit at the New York New York (my fave place to play slots, I almost always win there), and then searched out some dinner.  Mexican food fit the bill so Cabo Wabo near Planet Hollywood it was.  I had a taco salad because I was needing some more greenery (albeit with beef, sour cream, cheese, and guac on top, lol).  We then chilled at the room a bit waiting for the food to settle, and were supposed to meet up to go dancing.  That didn’t happen (no one was up for it) so Zliten and I just moseyed around and gambled more.  We weren’t feelin it, so we retired early and read our books.

The next day, I woke up feeling great so I wanted to check something off my Vegas bucket list – actually do a workout while in Vegas.  I got to the gym figuring on an elliptical or bike ride, but all the ellipticals were out of order and there was no bike.  Treadmill or stairmaster was the options, and I was NOT going to walk on a treadmill when I have Vegas to traverse so the master it was.  I’d never done one for more than 5 mins.  I set it for 30.  It was pain.  Then, Zliten was up so we hung out at the pool for about an hour at the Trop (nicest pool on the strip!) and I did some lazy laps.  Then, we got dressed and got some buffet lunch at the Luxor.  It was actually right between lunch and dinner so we got lots of different things to try.

However, before that, we decided upon slushy, high octane drinks.  Mine was called cat-5 (I got a kick out of it because I thought it was named after cat5 cable, not a hurricane…I’m kinda a dork).  It was delicious rocket fuel (and not in that make-me-run sorta way) and made for the start of a fun day (why can’t I start the day like that all the time, hehe!).  We took a cab to the real downtown (Freemont Street) and had a lot of fun playing some more quarter poker and then becoming brave and playing some blackjack at a table.  I can see why people like tables!  We ended up about even after playing for HOURS.

Now with more friends in tow, we decided to go back and get daquiris – or at least ONE BIG ONE (pictured above).  It was shared between 6 people at least.  We lugged our… get this… big Dick’s Stick (which came from Dicks Last Resort, heh) around and played some more slots.  Zliten hit it big at the Star Wars machine, and everyone else got sleepy, so we said our goodnights because we were out pretty early in the morn, and headed back to the Tropicana to play our comps.  I lost mine in a sneeze, but Zliten hit some big wins.  Then, we split that and hit more moneys.  After a 50$ bonus round win, we called it a vacation, headed to the room, read, and slept.

The trip home was pretty uneventful as well, we got our favorite Nevada sammiches (port of subs), hit the PHX airport for an hour on the way home, and landed safely.  Then, we got our car, made a beeline for the salad bar, and then went home.  Laundry is still on the floor, lizard has been huggled and loved, couch has our butt prints again, and life goes on.

Two years of 3 Vegas trips, and I think we’re refining the process.  Three nights is too few unless things go perfectly (and no one really wanted to follow my control freaky plans, which was fine, but it would have been cooler if they did, heh).  Five nights was too many.  Next time, we’ll try 4.  Also, we found out from hotel services that if we book through them, and tell them we got married there, they will upgrade us to a suite.  Zliten took a tour of them while I was in the room feeling poopy and has one picked out, heh.  So, I do believe we will be booking a four night stay sometime soon for next year early October.

So, besides being a little fatigued  from 20-ish miles of walking, a little less sleep than normal, and just being away from good food and home, I’m not really much worse for wear.  Except one thing.  Nevada nose.  I get it every time I’m there.  I had it when I lived there (and just thought I was defective).  Within a day, my nose boogers become dry, crusty, and black/bloody.  Yeah, I know, hawt, but it happens every time.  It fixes itself within a few days of being back in less Vegas-y climates, but it’s just ODD.  Again, glad to not live there and have a constantly itchy nose anymore.

Now, back to reality.  It’s a little rough with the 10 hour days and high volume of tri training, but I’ll make it.  More on being back to reality later.

Full Page Spread

Less than four weeks and counting to the Olympic Tri, and it’s time to kick things up a notch…  it is time for some distance shit up in here.  Gone gone gone for a while are the days of an hour being the long workouts.  If I’m going to need to be prepared to be in motion for about 4 hours (I’m predicting 1 hour to swim the mile, 2 hours to bike 25 miles, and 1 hour to run the 10k), I need an hour to feel like a warmup.

Not to say that every workout will be over an hour, but the hour days will be the short ones.  Strange to think that half training will actually decrease the time commitment (but increase the intensity with 3 hard runs per week).  Definitely looking forward to switching things up, though I think I have fallen in love with tri training…

I was able to track my food this week and kept either just a little under or at my calorie range to create a 500 cal deficit.  I have been CRAVEY with the dairy like crazy lately so I’ve been incorporating more cheese and yogurt in my snacks.  Although I slipped up one more time with the fried food (another french fry incident and a bite of funnel cake – hey, I’d never tried it… and I never will again. 😛 Ugh.), I did well with the good healthy foods.  My body unfortunately did not reward me with any weight loss but I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

The MO this week – try to get through the 4 days of stress and long hours while making time for my workouts – and eat like a saint.  Because… Saturday, I take off for Vegas and while I’m actually going to try and not go hog wild with the food, I’m not going to spend the weekend eating spinach and drinking water either.  I’m allotting for 4 days of no training, though I would LOVE if I could get some laps in at the pool and/or maybe a ride at the hotel gym if I’m feeling so motivated, but if I spend Saturday afternoon through Tuesday morning drunk (which, face it, is a distinct possibility), I’ll be ok to jump back into it (slowly with yoga) on Wednesday.

There are some key workouts this week though before happy fun party vacation time begins.  Monday was impromptu partner yoga with Zliten and and sprints.  Yesterday was an 8 mile run.  Saturday, before I hop on the plane, I plan to do the next step up in bricks – 20 mile ride, 5 mile run.  It’s definitely been a heck of a week and I’m just looking forward to getting through it alive.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: 30 mins arc trainer, 9 miles bike (600)
Tuesday: 7 mile run (825)
Wednesday: yoga (250)
Thursday: 15 mile bike/4 mile run at gym (1200)
Friday: off (worked late)
Saturday: 32 mile bike outside (1500)
Sunday: off

This week’s workouts:

Monday: partner yoga/thai massage and 5 miles sprints (800)
Tuesday:  off
Wednesday: 8 mile run (950)
Thursday: spin (500)
Friday: arc trainer (500)
Saturday: 20 mile bike/5 mile run outside (1500)
Sunday: off or laps at the Tropicana

Since I don’t anticipate having time to update again before I’m back from vacation, here is my life in bullet points:

-I am in a magazine!  In the interest of being annonymous, I’m not going to say which one, but I got a 4 page interview published on my game.  One of those pages?  A full page picture.  It’s a little much, but it’s flattering that they thought lil’ ol me was worthy of that much paper real estate.

-I have worked 3 days of hours in the last 2 days.  The next few weeks are going to be brutal.  Just in time for tri training to ramp up too!  Wheee!

-We went to a minor league ball game over the weekend.  It was a blast!  Baseball on the TV bores me to tears, but actually being there and hearing the crack of the bat and getting up to cheer for home runs… so much fun.  It was the second to last game of the year, but we plan to go back a few times next year.

-We have gotten some torrential rain!  The creek area where I usually practice open water swimming got totally flooded and is closed for a while.  Which is super convenient ’cause my pool is closed for a while too.  Mother nature and the universe is definitely putting obstacles in my path to keep me from practicing swimming. 😛

-My weight has been bouncing around in the lower 160s.  I’m just not sure what to do to make it go down any more.  I think I’m being fairly honest with my calorie counts and I should be seeing about 5 lbs a month.  Oh well… something to really dig into AFTER all this racing nonsense.  The goal is to at least STAY HERE and not gain before the half in Nov.

I’m sure there is more but I can’t think of it right now, so I’ll leave you until sometime next week when I’ll catch up with you after Vegas.  All photos were from the Yelp Glitterati party in August.  Too fun!  Vinyl shorts!

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