Adjusted Reality

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

Month: June 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

What Did I Just Do?

I just sent this letter to the nutritionist on staff at my gym.  As I said below, I’ve been banging my head against this problem for 2 years now.  I’ve been bitching about it for just about that long.  Time to suck it up, and get help.  I’ve been saying THAT for almost 6 months now (admitting it is the first step, right?) but today I made the first step towards action.  I’m pretty proud that I just hit send, for some reason, that took a LOT.

It hit me today that I need to do this, I need to do this now, and I need to throw the money and time at it NOW so I can take off these seemingly insignificant to everyone but me 20 lbs, and more importantly, establish a plan with a professional how to get through race season without gaining and carrying weight for a signficiant amount of time (I’m well aware that it’s typical to gain a few lbs during race week/after endurance events, but I should not still be carrying that weight 2 years later).  If I continue this cycle I either need to give up anything beyond 10ks (not really in the cards unless it was medically necessary for some reason), or I need to figure out how to adequately fuel myself for the training and racing I do while allowing for things like vodka sodas and tacos that make life worth living.

I’m pretty sure the sane thing to do when receiving this email is back away quickly, and pretend that it never happened, but hopefully I’ll get a reply instead.  I’ll definitely chronicle this on the blog, as I’m hoping it will be valuable and/or interesting info for the internetz to see.

Hiya,

I’ve been considering doing this for a while and wanted to get more information on what would be involved/what we would do, etc.  For some reason, this is a little intimidating and scary, but info can’t hurt, right? 🙂  Let me overload YOU with information and see if you think you can help…

Here’s my background.  4 years ago I was 265lbs and I lost about 115lbs, down to about 150 in the spring of 2009, simply by using sparkpeople.com, counting calories, and building a regular exercise program (started with 20 mins 3 times per week, and uh… got crazy from there).  Around that time, I found a passion for races (started with running, but now pretty much anything with a finish line and official time, I’m there).  I’ve done 3 half marathons, 3 sprint triathlons, 1 olympic triathlon, duathlons, and various and sundry 5ks, 10ks, and adventure races.  Sounds great, right?

I’m in great shape and staying healthy.  The problem is?  I’m pushing 170 lbs+ right now – I have gained 5lbs with each half marathon and another 5 when I was out with an injury earlier this year, and taking off weight right now, which actually came pretty easily and like clockwork with just counting calories in 2007-2009, is just NOT.  I want to lose weight partially for the vanity (it stinks not fitting into all my clothes), partially for the potential reduction in race times, partially because I was injured this year and I suspect it may have been because I’m asking my body to continue to push my paces harder carrying more, and partially because I am 20 lbs overweight for my height, and I’d like to be back in the normal range.

I generally eat healthy (to the point where my friends tease me about rabbit food and joke about whether we can go places so I have something I can eat), but I eat a fairly high volume of said healthy food.  I get hungry often, and I’m not satiated with small amount of food generally.  Plus, I’m no angel, I have a handful of meals per week that aren’t the best.  And, I still think I’m in college at times, and will have a few too many vodka and sodas. 🙂  However, I do my best to earn these with workouts.  For example, yesterday, I indulged in fried pickles and a few whiskey drinks.  However, I rode 20+ miles in the hot sun, and did a 5k race.  Calories in, calories out.  It worked for me when I was taking off the weight from obesity, but now, not so much.

I’m consummately training for things – generally I workout at least 5 hours per week, more when I’m ramping up.  My current regiment is 2 bikes (general pace, around 15-18mph), 2 runs (9-10 min/miles, 8 for speed work), and 2 swims (I swim about 1 mile in the pool in 30-40 minutes) per week (30-60 mins), and about 2 hours of strength training per week.  By all estimations of online calculators and common sense, I’m burning about 2500-3000 calories per week.  I do stepback weeks every once in a while and have easy weeks before and after races, and I always have at least one (usually 2) rest days per week, and I very rarely get less than 8 hours of sleep per night (9 if I can).

It’s not the exercise I have a problem with, it’s the eating.  I’ve tried counting calories again, and what should be taking off 1-2 lbs per week is not budging.  I feel like I should NOT have to work out like I do and subsist on 1200-1500 calories per day, but that’s the only way I take off any weight, and it’s pure torture.  I can do that for a few weeks, and then I get exhausted and crash and burn and get frustrated.  And it doesn’t feel healthy.  And the numbers just don’t make sense.

Right now, I’m working on cutting artificial sweeteners, and lowering my salt intake, and just generally eating cleaner food for most meals.  I’ve not been great about tracking my calories for the last few weeks, but I’ll jump on that so you have an idea about what exactly my intake is.  Lately, about 1600-1800 calories with maybe one day of more (but as before, usually accompanied by mass quantities of exercise).  My body should be maintaining at around 1800 calories per day with no exercise per online calculators – it just doesn’t seem to add up.

I’ve been banging my head against this for 2 years now and I’m ready to get help.  I’m ready to make the financial commitment, and would like to work on this, as starting next fall, I’d like to push myself further and start training for full marathons and a half iron man within the next few years (blog note: just the inkling of an idea – let’s revisit this discussion once I’m back down to my fighting weight, mmmkay).  It doesn’t make any sense to continue to gain weight doing this and would risk injury doing so.  While it seems from your profile, you’re specialized in folks losing weight for medical reasons, and that’s not really me, we both share the love of moderation.  Frankly, I believe that if I go run 10 miles, I’ve earned a margarita, y’know?  Plus, it seems very convenient as the gym is somewhere I frequent anyway. 🙂

Apologies for the novel, but I wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting into.  Also, my husband is considering the same services.  He’s not QUITE as insane as I am but he does train with me and is also working towards the same goals as above.  Since we cook/eat/train together, it might make sense to have couples sessions?  Would that be the same price as singles?

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks,
Me


So, it’s done.  I’d love advice from anyone that has done nutritional counseling or something like this, or if you have had success with any other person/resource like this, I’d love to hear it, as I’m not sure we will jive.  I have a feeling she’s more into 300 lb ladies who think the 2000 calorie salads at Chilis are healthy and who sit on the bike and pedal 2-3 mph just to keep the tv on and call it a workout, and not typically working with athletes, but who knows.

While I’m all for “hey I track my food and exercise on BLAH site and it’s great”, that level is just not working for me.  I have exhausted those options and am pretty much convinced I need one on one time with an individual (either online or in person) who is tailoring a plan directly to ME.  And I think it needs to cost me money – if I’m spending money, I’ll really have to think twice about throwing that advice I’m paying for away on crappy and/or too much food.  I would also, if nothing else, like comments telling me that I’m not wasting my money doing this because it aint cheap.

And now I’m just jabbering because I am nervous about this, but also just ready to GET ER DONE.  Bring it on, world.

Pflugerville Triathlon: Ridin’ Sideways

The subtitle of this one came to me as I was biking – as I *yipped* for the third time when I felt like my bike would get pushed almost sideways by the wind.  Then this song got in my head.  They (the wind) see me cyclin’, they hatin’.  Gustin, they try to get me ridin’ sideways…

So yeah, if you can’t tell, it was NOT a perfect day.  Wind made the usually calm lake full of white caps.  The riding sideways thing mentioned above, coupled with a mean headwind at times, both on the bike and run.  Somehow, on the run course, I never caught a tailwind.  It was wicked hot (over 80 at the start, probably upper 80s at the finish).  I ran out of water.  It was TOM time and that’s NEVER optimal for a race.  I’d been nursing some owie hips this week.  My last workout before the race?  I had to walk it in, almost crying due to digestive issues and pain.  I’d had various minor injury tweaks.  Work and life have been a beast and I have not trained as hard as I wanted to.

But guess what my friends?  I still freakin’ conquered that course.  My goal? Around 1:40.  My time? 1:40:36.  Age group place 22/52, Overall Female 116/300.  Almost in the top 1/3rd!  Righteous!  For someone that last year was just happy not to be last, I feel like I’ve improved a LOT.

Now, there are two ways I could take this.  There’s the negative way, berating myself for missing my goal time by 37 seconds.  However, I’ll chose to be both stunned that I was able to predict my finish time within 1 minute, and excited that I was able to take some majorly non-optimal course and situational conditions and still frakkin rock.

The timing chips crapped out so all we have are overall times, so I can’t dissect each section, but here’s a bit about how the day went, and sharing my advice to any newbie tri folks with my not-so-pro tips!

PRERACE:

Woke up, and had gotten a good solid 6 hours, I think this was the most awake I have ever felt for a race this early.  And early it was – alarm time was 4:30.  Youch.  Pre-race dinner of steak, taters, salad, and bread settled well (I don’t know why I ever deviate – this is the one thing that ALWAYS gets me through a race).  Got to the race, got racked (it was open racks so Zliten and I got to bunk with each other, which was SUPER nice).  Decided to hit the bathroom and then had a quick jog to warm up.  Not-So-Pro tip: bring an extra old pair of shoes with you that you wouldn’t mind losing.  That way if transition closes before you can get a warm up, you can use that pair and stash them somewhere else (car, behind a table, etc).

Found our du loop friends running transition, then found an ex-coworker who was also doing the tri, and then found our other du loop friends.  I decided that it was time to get in the water and swam a little bit of warm up.  It wasn’t quite bathwater but pretty close.  It was nice to get a feel for the chop before being thrust in it for the race.  Not-So-Pro tip(s): swim out a ways away from people and pee there.  WAY shorter than the porta potty line.  Oh yeah, and DEFINITELY get a warm up swim.  You’ll be ok without a bike and a run, but if you get into the water without any sort of warm up its a shock to the system.  If it’s going to be a cold day, bring something to put on over your suit and wait until the last possible minute to get into the water, but it’s worth it.

Zliten was in wave 4 and I cheered him off and then waited the 22 minutes until mine.  I spent the time reviewing my transitions.  Cap off, goggles off, put in hand, get flip flops, run to transition.  Shirt on, sock on, shoe on, sock on, shoe on, camelback on, helmet on, sunglasses on, garmin power on, garmin on wrist, grab bike, run it out.  Then I started going over the race in my head.  I decided to start on the inside but towards the back on the swim.  I decided to take it easy on the swim.  Rock the transition.  Go hard on the bike, hope my legs remembered how to rock the hills.  Rock the second transition (glasses off, helmet off, glasses back on, grab sweat bands and run out).  Push the run as much as I could.

The conditions may have not have been perfect, but my head was on straight for sure.  That’s major. Not-So-Pro tip: DO THIS.  Being mentally prepared and centered rocks.

SWIM:

Starting on the inside in the back worked pretty well.  Also, the swim start was MUCH nicer, minus the white caps.  I ate water once right away and had to breaststroke a few while I coughed, but soon I settled into a good rhythm.  Pro tip: in choppy water, breathe to the side away from the wind.  Also, roll more onto your back if you need to get a breath.  I decided to take it easy, and while I wish I knew my split to verify for sure, I don’t regret it.  I finished up the last 100m practicing my transition in my head, and I was barely winded at all when I started the run to transition.

T1:

The 1-2 mins I may have been down by taking the swim easy, I’m pretty sure I picked up in transition.  Again, without splits I don’t know for sure, but it can be characterized by “According to Plan”.  The only thing was I ripped one pin putting my shirt with the race number on it, and I just let it be.  I ran my bike out, mounted, and headed out.  Not-So-Pro Tip: Practice Practice Practice your transition.  Take a day on your taper week that’s off, set out your gear, and do it at least 10 times.  Do it until the point where you can list the steps in your head without stuttering.  This 1-2 hours can take more off your time than working for a whole year on your run or swim.

BIKE:

The wind definitely started picking up.  On the flats and downhills, I was rocking 18-22s.  In the headwinds, I sometimes slowed to 12-15s.  The first 3 miles were fast.  The second 3 were not.  Then some rollers, some wind, and some decent slight uphill stretches.  I kept pretty close to the 16mph average, but I was losing ground.  However, around mile 10 we got onto a frontage road and got a nice downhil, folllowed by a mile and a half of flat/super slight uphill.  I got up to around 25 mph and kept it for almost 2 miles.  That was probably the best 2 miles of biking I’ve ever done.  I felt like such a freakin’ rockstar.

The last 2 miles were a bit uphill, but I was riding high on adrenaline and kept a decent pace. Not-So-Pro tip: Don’t let anyone tell you that cycling on a stationary bike at the gym doesn’t help your biking.  I’ve improved about 4 mph average in the last year simply by learning how to climb hills and strengthening my quads.  You have to ride outside on what you race on for sure, but some cyclist act like those miles are worthless.  They SO aren’t.

Observation: headwinds suck, but sidewinds are worse.  Riding on super light bikes is great until you feel like a gust of wind could knock you over.  Zliten actually caught air on his bike flying up around a corner and was fractions of an inch from being a puddle on the ground, but he didn’t even miss a beat and kept pedalling (his rockstar moment).

T2:

Dismounted feeling STOKED, ran the bike in, racked it, helmet off, and grabbed my sweatbands and was off and running.

RUN:

I did this exact run course about 1.5 months ago and had a just under 9 min/mile pace.  I was shooting for what I thought was a modest 9:30 pace.  Unfortunately, it was not modest that day.  I took off running and tried to settle into a pace but the race started with a very slight uphill and RIGHT into the wind (which might has well have ratcheted the incline up a few percent) and I looked down at my garmin and was shocked to see 10 and even 11 min mile paces at times.  I passed Zliten on the run, talked a bit, and then took off.  After I turned to not quite be heading into the wind I was able to pick up the pace a bit, but still, 9s and 10s, whereas the last run was 8s and 9s.

This was my least favorite part of this race.  The headwind parts always seemed to come while I was on the uphills (they were slight, but didn’t feel that way).  I was out of water in my camelback and the water stops were warm.  I never felt like I settled into a decent pace.  The day was just starting to really burn up.  I simply did what I could. Not-S0-Pro-tip(s): if you’re overheating, keep your palms cool.  I run with my camelback and just constantly drip water onto my hands while I run.  Also, if you have a real camelback, it’s VERY insulated.  Don’t make my mistake and just fill it with ice thinking it would head up enough to make water.  Warm water is much better than ice and no water.

I ran it in to the finish, pumping my fist, accepted my post race water bottle and ice pop (OMG, best finish line nomms ever – I came back for 2 more), and walked it off while I looked for Zliten.  I met up with our friends, then ran him in, and we celebrated together and cooled down and cheered on more finishers.

Then, of course, we got a 27 dollar pizza (our fave) and drank champagne and enjoyed a Sunday feeling awesome!

Aftermath and future plans:

Swim – Going to continue to swim, of course, but I’m going to stop worrying about getting much faster.  This worked well taking it easy as a warm up.

Bike – I’m just thrilled. I am guessing around 16.5 mph.  Going to continue to work both outside and inside on hill workouts and spin class.  I think I have the most to gain here this year.

Run – More outside runs.  More bike/run bricks.  Speedwork.  Heat training.  HILLS HILLS HILLS.  Lots of work in this area.

Today though, the order of the day was REST.  My body actually felt relatively awesome – I wasn’t hurting or sore during/after yesterday, and today I’m barely feeling it.

Now, a bit of a break.  I don’t plan to do another tri until late summer/early fall, and while there may be a few 5ks here or there, they’re all for fun.  It’s time to reset, rest, make sure the injuries are fully healed, and get stronger and leaner in preparation for fall.  Also, it’s too damn hot.

So yeah, great race.  Ridin’ sideways, but flying high.

F Words

Two days until the race.  This has *definitely* not been according to plan for training with injuries, life, work, and the like, but I feel pretty good.  I’ve gotten a lot of outdoor training in the last few weeks.  Hell, I’ve swam the exact course twice, ran the run course and biked the area.  My legs feel good, my body seems to be holding up, and I have proper expectations as to what I will accomplish (goal is to simply beat my paces for the last one – swim in about 12 mins, bike in about 52, run in 29).  I’ve also been practicing transitions, I got my T1 (swim to bike) down to about 45 seconds from arriving at my station to departing.  With transitions, my goal is 1:40 or less.

However, I got up this morning and tried to get my last run in.  My goal was 2.5 or so around race pace (9-9:40).  First mile I got through at 9:30 (which is normal, I usually take a while to speed up on a run), but then all of a sudden MAAAAJOR tummy problems hit.  Just about the furthest point from home.  I slowed to about 11-12 min miles and figured I’d jog it in and then just had to start walking around 1.25 miles.  I wished I had my phone, I would have called Zliten and made him pick me up.  I was almost in tears by the time I got home – the trifecta of digestive issues, sudden onset of cramps, and nausea from all of the above plus the heat.  I would like to let everyone know I got home just in time thxuverymuch (although I’m not sure I would have admitted it if I didn’t…).

I went from confused (why the fuck do I have pain in my stomach) to pissed (fuck, I will have to deal with TOM stuff at my race) to actually pretty happy (thank goodness I have my worthless body day I have once a month today and not Sunday… and it explains my horrible run).  I had some chocolate this afternoon (Zliten and I split a Milky Way caramel and a few pretzel M and Ms) and it actually made me physically feel better.  Not just emotionally, not “oh it was yummy”, but my body felt better and less in pain, like it actually wanted something in the chocolate.  Score!

On another note, if you have been reading my blog lately and/or follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I’m trying to watch my salt intake, as well as stay away from artificial sweetener, and try to eat mostly real food, not diet/light/fake stuff.  I figure I might as well start sharing some of the culinary delights.  While watching sodium isn’t terribly chic, maybe it will help people with some healthy, easy, yummy meals.

Today’s Recipe, Lemon Pepper Mahi Mahi, brown rice, stir fry.

Also note I am not a food blogger/photographer.  Crappy camera pic outside at night for the win.  And as you can see I am rarely patient enough to take the picture before I inhale half of it.

Step 1: thaw 2 pieces of mahi mahi.  We typically keep gigantic bags of it around from Costco.  We thaw ours in a bucket with warm water (they are individually wrapped), takes about 20 mins.

Step 2: find big tupperware – mix equal parts olive oil and white wine vinegar, and about 1 tsp of lowery’s lemon pepper seasoning (about 3% sodium), whisk it together with a fork until it gets a little frothy.

Step 3: put fish in, put on lid, and toss it a bit so both sides gets covered.  NOTE: do not do it the other way (put fish in, then marinade), it’s hard to get it the right consistency.

Step 4: If you don’t have a rice cooker, just go to the store and buy one now.  I’ll wait.  I got us one for Christmas 2 years ago from Target for about 15 bucks and we use it at least once a week.  If you have a rice cooker, put in rice as you normally do and cook.  Brown if you need some fiber, white if you roll that way (I’m a firm believer that white rice is NOT the devil – if you eat more than enough fiber every day like I do and want some friggin white rice, by all means…).  Exception: you do not need to buy a rice cooker if you buy the little single serving packs of microwave rice, that works too.

Step 5: After the fish has done it’s thing for at least 15 mins or so, you can cook it.  Best is your outdoor bbq, next best, a foreman grill, in a pan will work.  I really detest baked fish, but if you like that consistency, you’re bonkers, but go for it.  Zliten usually does this step but it can actually be accomplished without a Zliten (at least I hear).  Fish is done when it’s got a nice crispy crust and starts to flake apart.

Step 6: While it’s all cooking, pop open a frozen bag of stir fry veggies.  Supplement with any other veggies woefully missing (my frozen veggies have water chestnuts, carrots, and broccoli, I add snow peas and canned baby corn which is a little salty, but I rinse them pretty well, guessing about 5% daily sodium).  Nuke in microwave.  Toss with sesame oil, braggs liquid aminos (6% daily sodium, tastes essentially like watered down soy sauce), and garlic chili sauce (5% sodium).

Step 7: Plate the fish, a half cup to a cup of rice (depending on the hungries), and a mess of veggies.

For a nice sized (4-5 oz) piece of fish, a cup of rice, and a few cups of veggies, you’re looking at about 450-500 calories and about 20% of your daily sodium count (which can attone for the sins of a lunch out, no problem, and still keep you under your daily).  This meal is very filling too.  If you don’t dig stir fry you can sub any other veggies (sometimes we do normandy veggies with onion, garlic, and a little smart balance – even less salt).

So there is recipe #1.  I’ll try to post them more often.

This post is brought to you by F – fucked up runs, fish, and Friiiiiiiiday.  Packet pickup tomorrow, hangin’ with the rents for Dad’s day, and then the day-bef0re-the-race scramble to pack and get to bed super early.  Transition opens at 5:30 am and we want good spots so Sunday will be ridici-early.  Wish me luck, and let’s hope that no part of ANYTHING I do Sunday is as painful as that damn run today!

Taper Taper Taper

I may have had some ups and downs in the last month, but last week, I can without a doubt say I busted my ass, and am proud of the week I had.  Except perhaps the weekend, but I’ll still call it a win.

Let’s go day by day, shall we?  Sometimes I like to do that…

Monday: got to work early, had everything ready to go to do the Pflugerville Lake swim/bike brick with people, …and it was postponed a day due to basketball (watching, not playing).  D’oh!  So we instead took the opportunity to go to the gym after work, and I ran 3.5 miles worth of alternating hills and sprints (.25 mile fast 8 min/mi pace, .25 mile steady 10 min/mi pace, .25 mile 3% incline @ same pace, .25 mile steady, rinse and repeat, though I did change it up for a while and did .1 mile intervals too) and got to crunch time.

As for the eats, I had my normal greek yogurt/oats/fruit/honey breakfast, rotisserie chicken in pitas w/tzatziki sauce and veggies for lunch, and garlic and tamarind chicken with peas, carrots, rice, and a grilled flour tortilla (fake naan), snackies were carrots and hummus, a little dark chocolate, a popsicle (yep, real sugar kind – so good), and 2 corn cakes.  (1800 calories)

The good: pretty much everything, it was a relaxed Monday at work (which never happens) and I was SUPER productive and happy, a full day of good, healthy eats, low sodium, and a good workout.

The bad: high fructose corn syrup in the popsicle, Pflugerville brick being postponed, tweaked my back a little at crunch time.

Man…I wish I could sleep this soundly.  And on an elephant with a tutu…

Tuesday: got to work early again, was hoping the brick would be on and it was!  Hooray!  Today, Zliten became unhappy with a number on the scale so he decided to start tracking his food again for a bit, and I decided I would commiserate with him and do the same.  We got out to the lake and it was hooooot, but the swim felt good.  I did 2 laps of the 500m course I’ll be swimming this weekend (took it kinda easy so I didn’t retweak what I tweaked the day before but any open water swim, specially on the course, is great!).  Then, we got ready and did a group (well, 3 of us) 15 mile ride.  On the way there I was feeling badass and keeping pace just fine (we were only riding about 15 mph, but it was about 100 degrees), on the way back, it definitely was more of a hard pace than a cruise with the hills. We did an hour exactly for 15 miles, I was pretty happy with that.

I was feeling kinda shaky on the way home so we grabbed some vitamin water and a small bag of chips – that did the trick.  I’d feel bad about it, but y’know, after expending about 1000 calories, I needed something THEN.  Other eats for the day – sprouted grain cereal, berries, almond milk, and honey for breakfast, brown rice, stir fry veggies, and sesame oil for lunch, and we picked up chipotle barbacoa tacos for dinner.  For snacks I had a smaller version of my normal yogurt breakfast, and enjoyed ONE glass of wine after dinner. (2028 – ate more because I expended more, makes sense to me) (2028 calories)

The good: work being just as good as Monday, outside swim and bike, bike paced pretty well, making me feel confident that I might get my 16+ MPH on the tri, eating more because I expended more, stopping to fuel myself instead of waiting and feeling like crap, another mellow day at work, tracking food again and attempting not to let it rule my life, just using it as a gauge.

The bad: stopping for chips, a little more salt than I should (though I think my body was ok with it after so much outside time, my skin was practically crusty like a salted baked potato…), and tracking again – it has the potential to drive me crazy.

Wednesday: had to be into work by 9am for a release, and potential of working late, so I had no idea what was in store.  Things went a little crazy, but wrapped it up in enough time to make it to the gym so I caught up on weights, I did a killer arms and legs session.  Not actually all that much to say about the day.

Eats: normal yogurt breakfast, salad bar for lunch, and lemon pepper mahi mahi w/rice and veggies for dinner.  Not many snackies, snow peas and tzatziki sauce, half a donut, and a small piece of jerky. (1682 calories)

The good: boss brought in donuts, and brought my FAVE (boston cream).  I was able to have half of it throughout the day and I actually ended up throwing the other half out because I forgot about it.  Mostly good clean healthy eats.  Great weights session.  And oh, yeah… ZLITEN WAS CLEARED FOR TRI ACTIVITIES AGAIN! WHOO HOOO!!!!

The bad: salad bar was WAY more calories than I thought, so I’ll have to modify what I put on it in the future.  That salad was NOT worth 800 calories.  Work was crazy.  I suppose you could call the donut bad but I won’t because of the way I handled it.

Thursday: had to be to work again early to clean up after a release, grabbed a sandwich at lunch instead of eating what I packed (but ate it for dinner), did abs and had a (1400 yd in 25 mins) swim, came home, relaxed, and kinda wanted to eat everything in the house.

For eats, I had a normal yogurt breakfast, a Which Wich buffalo chicken sandwich, sour patch kids, carrots and hummus, turkey sausage, cream cheese, and sprouted grain English muffin sandwich, a black bean burger patty on top of a big ol salad, and a Popsicle. (1746 calories)

The good: held to my workouts.  I was kinda exhausted by the swim and just wanted to rest but that’s what this week is for.  Feeling still hungry after dinner and making a black bean burger patty and a salad (which actually filled me up) and not just mindlessly snacking all night for probably more calories.

The bad: HUNGERS after a decent sized dinner sucked.  Tiredness.  Sour patch kids that somehow lept into my mouth.  The popsicle.  The sandwich that while is low in calories, was over my whole day in sodium.

Friday: Got up and ran in the morning before work, felt GREAT!  Had pho for lunch, went to the pool and coached Zliten on his stroke while I floated, got some hot tub time, made homemade manwiches (96/4 ground beef, salt free tomato sauce, onions, garlic, spices, bellpeppers on a bun with cheese – the beef and sauce is happy diet approved, the bun and cheese is a splurge), and relaxed.

Eats besides above included the a slightly less than normal yogurt concoction, half a bean and cheese breakfast taco, carrots, and a big salad with dinner.  Oh, and a glass of wine. (1634 calories)

The good: my run, homemade manwiches, and getting through another week.  Having 1 glass of wine and not a billion.  Relaxing.

The bad: lots of salt at lunch and the bun and cheese at dinner.

Weekend: I’ll just cut to the chase…it was both a spectacularly awesome soul soothing but also horrifically calorific weekend (2041 and 2483).  There were way too many margaritas, two days of bbq, not many veggies, and a lot of hangin’ in our new ghetto fabulous pool watching movies (see above) or splish splashing with friends.  There was also a bunch of shopping and buying stuff which I had wanted to do for a while.  There was also walking around the mall/stores/etc for a long time Saturday and Sunday (to the point where my feet actually hurt) and a nice 10 mile ride on Saturday morning.  So it’s not as if the extra calories didn’t go to SOMETHING, but they didn’t go to losing weight.

I didn’t weigh every day, but I fluctuated from about 171.2 to 168.4.  So right around where I have been.

I averaged about 1916 calories per day (1647 the low, 2483 the high).

I averaged about 400 calories burned per day (both spark and daily mile agree upon about 2800 for the week, and both I think over estimate the cardio but don’t count the weights, which should even out).

On average, I’m running on about 1516 net calories per day, and my maintenance range is supposedly around 1800.  It makes sense that I will probably not see a dramatic change on the scale this week, but that’s ok.

This week is TAPER TIME!  Race is on Sunday.  Plans include:

Monday: off (practice transitions)
Tuesday: bike 6 miles/run 2 @ outside in the morning
Wednesday: open water laps (@ company boat trip)
Thursday: morning 6 mile ride outside, 500m swim/hot tub @ gym in evening and practice transitions
Friday: morning 2-3 mile run outside, potential hot tub @ gym in evening and practice transitions
Saturday: off
Sunday: RACE!

So ZERO strength, short speedy workouts, lots of rest, and WORKING ON MY TRANSITIONS!!!!

Two planned splurges this week: company boat trip (there will be some wine and catered lunch) and IMMEDIATELY after we have a yelp event (with more free booze and bites), and after the tri, we are getting a motha flippin savage pizza (deep dish, the works) and having champagne.  Both days will have PLENTY of activity to balance it out (Wed – 4 hours of swimming, Sun – duh, the tri).  So I’ll make sure that those two days are balance with 5 other amazingly great days (so far, so good!).

How is your week going?

Run <3

While I’ve been really heavy into the triathlon stuff lately, my humble start was running.  I can definitely call myself a runner without raising an eyebrow, whereas I couldn’t call myself a cyclist or a swimmer yet without a snicker.  Perhaps a triathlete (though that still feels uncomfortable having only been at it a year and completing 3), but I feel more like a runner with a cycling and swimming problem (nod to the hash house harriers – they call themselves a drinking group with a running problem :D).

Runs have been tough lately.  Between back issues (running is the last thing to come back fully – I can cycle and swim without any issues, but when running, it reminds me until I am 100% healed), disappointing paces, changing schedules, and just some general ennui with things, running and I have been a bit out of sorts.  Particularly outdoor running, haven’t had a good one of those in a while.

Driving to a chinese restaurant in my ‘hood for some lunch, and then back, I realized that it felt weird to be traveling that route in a car, because I so often ran it.  Then, feeling a damn lot of pride that I’ve traversed so much of my neighborhood, and quite a few surrounding ones, on fleet running feet.  I know where the potholes are to avoid.  I know where the hills are, the flats are, and the slight downhills where I can really open up.  I know where the puppies are to say hi to.  I know to avoid the 4 cats outside at one place.

I definitely have brief snippets of what I remember about the various neighborhoods I’ve lived in.  Everything from bulletholes outside (yay first apartment) to drunken walks home from our neighborhood bar, to cool creaky bridges, to *way* too many screaming kids, but this one?  Definitely, I will remember pounding every inch of said pavement and knowing the roads much better on foot or on bike than I do in my car.

Then there’s the camaraderie, even though I’m a lone wolf, so to speak, as I don’t have a running partner.  The other runners, walkers, and bikers out keep me from feeling too lonely.  Sometimes it’s a smile and nod, sometimes it’s a high five, but no matter what, it’s an acknowledgment that have both earned our entrance into a secret club of awesome people!

Beyond the obvious health reasons, and besides my obvious pride and feeling of accomplishment with running new distances and/or personal records, there is more.  I need to remember that when I’m on crappy run #3 in a row or I have to tone down my paces due to heat, injury recovery, bad days, etc.  There is more to it than just the numbers on the treadmill or my garmin.

Hell, even Zliten, who definitely prefers the cycling to a run, finally was cleared to take his first treadmill run today since the great Gladiator Games debacle, and after, he said he felt much better, more like himself.  There is a magic that doesn’t happen with other sports or activities.  That endorphin rush, the “runner’s high”, is like no other.  It may feel a little more intense after PR’ing a half marathon or something, but I still got a decent hit even after my 12:00 minute mile back-hurty run.

Some people detest the treadmill, but I like it.  There is something to be said about a controlled climate, even and soft terrain, and being able to scientifically and methodically push my pace.  Speedwork is rarely as successful or enjoyable outside (unless I can get to the track in nice weather, that’s fun too), and what better to work on hill repeats than a surface I can click with the touch of a button.  My gym has little TVs attached to the ‘mills, so I can zone out.  For some reason, I default to: a) gameshows – wheel of fortune or minute to win it really distract me from the task at hand, b) cartoons – simpsons or the like, though anything works, or c) food porn – love the iron chef or man vs food.  Makes me think about running faster so I can get through faster and get home and have dinner.

One of the best things I love about running though?  I get to zone out and listen to music and have time to myself.  Not time to think or worry or plan or scheme or schedule or dream, just really time to be.  To be present.  In the moment.  A good hard run means not only can I not talk, but I can’t really think.  Active meditation.  Head clears, and the only thought is your body placement, stride, foot strike, how far you’ve gone, how far to go, and how fast you are going.  The ol’ grey matter isn’t letting through work worry, body image worry, life worry, or anything.  It is time just to exist and function as a moving object.

What do you love most about running?

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