Adjusted Reality

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

Month: August 2011

Hills and Hell

…but since every race I do can’t be pancake flat, I need to get better at them.  For some reason, I love challenging myself with speedy track workouts and 5k tempos at the end of 10 mile runs, but increasing in elevation?  No thanks.  It’s easier for me to increase my pace from 10 min miles to 8 min miles than ascend a 3-4% incline at 10 min miles.  That’s pretty bad.

I know plenty of people who rock the hills so I asked on twitter what the deal is with outside hill repeats.  I mean, do you REALLY just find a random hill and run up it over and over?  @TriciaRunning and @libbyruns confirmed that yes, it is that simple (and these ladies are certainly experts), so this morning I found myself driving 3.5 miles (10 mins) to get to a confirmed quarter mile stretch of street that I love love love going down on my bike coasting at about 20-25 mph.  Today, my cross to bear was running as fast as I could UP it.

I parked my car at the bottom, set out my water bottle and towel right there, jogged around the block a few times to warm up, and once I was ready, I blasted up that hill.  It was pretty brutal.  I haven’t pulled the data off the garmin for elevation change but suffice to say if this puppy came about 10 miles into a half, I’d consider walking it.  I then turned around, walked a bit to catch my breath, then jogged down it.  Grab water at the car, head back to where the road dead ends, and repeat 5 more times.

Each time up the hill sucked.  Looking at my garmin was painful so I just attempted to go as fast as possible.  My hill repeats averaged out to about 9:20 min/mile pace.  I think I’m too heat acclimated to use the 20% rule anymore, but even if I just give myself a 10% boost, that’s about 8:25s going up a wicked hill.  You rarely find a hill in any normal race that really doesn’t level off for a bit after .25 of a mile, at least around here.  It’s usually up and down, or at least up and flat.  What I need to practice is RECOVERY.  Figuring out how to adjust my pace after hitting the flats so I both recover, but don’t slow to a crawl.  It will just take practice.  So I’ll be out on that hill, like a dork, at least once every couple weeks.

Picture above unrelated to hill running, but you can definitely see me working the biceps with two drinks.  Yay yelp, I love your parties!

Nutritionist A Go Go:

Friday was my follow up appointment and guess what?  I gained another pound! I’m 5 lbs up, but definitely smaller.  Less to pinch, and the pants I’m wearing right now wouldn’t zip a month ago (and now they’re comfy and don’t even make me have a muffin top).  She said that while she was hoping to see loss by now, she’s not completely surprised.  Mesomorph bodies like me can like to hang onto the adipose (bad stuff produced by excess sugars in the blood) longer than normal, and since I build muscle easily, I’m building muscle much quicker than I can shed the fat (hence the pants fitting better but extra weight on the scale).

She asked said to give it another month and I should almost CERTAINLY start seeing progress.  Case in point was one of her clients, same body type as me, took 8 weeks and saw no progress and then after 16 weeks she had lost 30 lbs.  I’m ok being patient.  The energy, and the visual results are enough to keep me going.  I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing.

That being said, we’re both a little wary about the weight gain and want to curtail it.  So, my new… challenge… (we’ll stay positive and not say HELL) is this new portion “worksheet”.  Let me just get to it:

1-2 servings legumes
Beans, lentils, hummus, etc.  1/2 cup is one serving (1/4 cup for hummus) I’ve been eating on average, probably a serving every other day.  So it’s time to up the beanage…

Unlimited veggies and fruits
Pretty much anything in the produce section, I can have it in mass quanities.  Exceptions – carrots, corn, potatoes, pineapple, banana.  Pineapple and banana in moderation (as long as I’m not eating a pineapple a day or multiple bananas – I’m good).  The rest covered below.  She said probably don’t go beyond 5ish servings of fruit a day, but we both agreed that probably wouldn’t be a problem.

0-1 servings corn/potatoes/carrots (otherwise known as Veggie B)
At the most, eat one of these every other day.

3-4 servings concentrated protien
This is beef, chicken, fish, pork, greek yogurt, milk, most cheeses, etc.  3-6 oz of meat = 1 serving.  1 oz of cheese, 16 oz milk, 1 cup greek yogurt.  There are also some tofu and tvp and tempeh stuff listed here, but I don’t really go for that stuff so I ignored.  This is about what I eat generally in a day (maybe a little more on some days with cheese/jerky snax)

4 servings of plant oil/olives, canola mayo
1 tsp oil, 1 tsp mayo, or 8-10 small olives.  This is a challenge for me and after analyzing what I eat I decided to get some fancy yummy olives to snack on.  I <3 olives a lot, so this is not a sacrifice of any kind for me…

1-2 nuts and seeds
At first, we had 1 down here, but after looking at my habits, she bumped me up to 2.  I eat a lot of nut butter with breakfast, and have nuts as a snack.  When I said nuts are my new chips, she decided I could have more.

0-1 dairy
These are the non-protein-y dairy products like cheddar cheese, regular (non-greek) yogurt, buttermilk, etc.  I imagine ice cream would be here too 🙂

1 grain
Here is the kicker.  I can have 1 grain per day.  That is, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup pasta, 1/2 cup buckwheat, amarnith, barley, etc.  My one saving grace – I can have 2 small or 1 large low carb tortilla.  I would buy stock in these companies now.  I informed her that this is the one category I will DEFINITELY cheat on once a week and she’s fine with that.

So, on a normal day, this might look like this:

workout fuel: milk (1/2 protein)
breakfast: greek yogurt (1 protein) w/apples and pb (1 nut)
lunch: turkey, bacon, cheese (1 protein and 1 dairy), and coleslaw (1 oil) wrap (1 grain) and side of veggies (1 veggie b – my mixed veggies have carrots and corn)
dinner: ribs (1 protein), beans (1 legume), coleslaw (1 oil)

This is what I have left over for snacks: 1 legume (which will likely be hummus), veggies (I’m stocked with snow peas, celery, and broccoli for dipping), fruits (raspberries, pears, apples), 1 nut (10-12 almonds), 2 oil (a mess of olives), 1/2 protein (a small piece of jerky)

So, it’s not as if I’m being left to starve.  However, it will take a little getting used to – bumping up the oils and beans and decreasing the grains.  I’m hoping lowering the grains THIS low is temporary.

Sorry if I’m all food all the time here lately, but this has been a crazy process and I want to make sure it’s well documented.  Hopefully it’s interesting to someone else out there.  Let’s end the post with my workouts and other interesting things I did this weekend…

Last week:

Thursday: full body weights (morning), 9.56 miles inside ride in 30 mins (lunch)
Friday: off (work interfered, doh!)
Saturday: 35 mile bike ride
Sunday: off
Monday: 1.15 mile run (warmup), crunchtime class, 30 mins hills (9.15 miles)
Tuesday: 10 mile run with 5k “kick” at the end (1:53 – last 5k around 31 mins)
Wednesday: off

This week:

Thursday: 2000m swim in 35 mins, 30 mins full body weights
Friday: hill run – 4 miles (.25 mile hill avg 9:20 pace), 1600yd swim after work (bonus swim!)
Saturday: off
Sunday: 30 mile bike ride
Monday: 30 min ride, 1 mile tempo run, crunchtime
Tuesday: 11 mile run with 5k “kick” at the end
Wednesday: swim + weights

Three cool things I did this week:
1.  Normally Friday nights are relax and early to bed, but we decided to rearrange our weekend and go out instead.  It’s awesome that the closest bar to our house is also the one where everyone in the video game industry frequents, and we ended up with a group of about 20 people.  Also, there was a 6 foot tall rasta banana there.
2.  Today, while the temperatures topped 110, we spent hours out in the heat at the hot sauce festival.  I threw caution to the wind and ingested quite a few non-sanctioned corn chips, but all in the name of sampling a bunch of awesome salsas, quesos, jellies, and sauces.  Zliten and some friends tried a sauce that was 7.2 million scovilles and y’know the cartoons where smoke comes out of someone’s ears and their eyes pop out of their head?  Yeah, kinda like that.
3.  I’m out of cool things so I’ll share two more interesting things – I tried a bacon flavored gumball.  It tasted like medicine.  I also went and got blood drawn to make sure everything is totally ship shape on the USS Quix (yes, I’m watching Star Trek on netflix, why do you ask?).  They took a billion vials and I used it as an excuse all day for everything.  I HATE needles and honestly wasn’t looking forward to it, but it’s never as bad as I expect.

Well, time to nom nom nom on some lemon pepper mahi, asparagus, and maybe a little rice since I haven’t gotten any grain on today, get together food stuffs for tomorrow, put away laundry, and pass the fuck out (7:30 am wakeup + out in the 110 degree sun a lot of the day + 30 mile bike ride = tired puppy).  I’ll try to be more prompt in posting my weekly progress, but no promises.

What’s one cool thing you did this week?

Year of the Triathlete

Facebook now has the feature of reminding people of their past with the “this day in 20xx” feature.  Besides a firm reminder that I pretty much only post about amazing food and working out and races, it also reminded me that yesterday, a year ago, August 22nd, I completed Sweet and Twisted and became a triathlete!

…holy crap, it feels like forever ago.  However, I have very vivid memories of that morning in question.

I was practically knock knee terrified for the swim.  I had open water swam TWICE, the first of which was accompanied by a bit of a freak out.  I didn’t have freestyle down yet, so I was planning to do the best I could, but lean on breast stroke a lot.  I took as long for that as I do now for about 2.5 times that length, but I was WAY spent afterwards.

I still had my big ass heavy department store Schwinn.  It took me over 1 hour to ride those 12 miles and I even got heckled by a volunteer who told me that maybe I should get a heavier bike.  This was the first time that I would ever have fathomed I wanted to spend more than 200 bucks on a bike, but it was apparent that I was going to need it if I wanted to continue.  I remember thinking the course was hilly, but I’m pretty sure I’d eat it for breakfast now.

I remember finding out the special hell that was running outside in the late morning heat during August.  I mean, they were nice enough to hand out cold towels throughout the course, but still – it was HOT (and definitely influenced my decision to take July-Sept off this year, I’d rather race Apr-Jun and again in Oct when the temps are below 105 highs).  Also, I was rolling sans garmin, so I was super excited to see the finish line… and then we curved away from it (I mean, I could almost touch the fucker, it was so unfair).  That last mile was the longest of my LIFE but I made it through the finish line and was just giddy with joy that I was a TRIATHLETE.

Besides major nerves about the open water swim, I was pretty confident – my ultimate goal last year was an Olympic (which I did in October), and I was already training longer distances, but it felt great to put it together in a race.

Then I went home and drank too much champagne.  I believe this was the race that started that tradition…

In the last year since then I’ve:

-Purchased a new bike.  A week before my next race.  It worked out because I went from utter crap to a decent entry level road bike, but don’t be me.  It could have been bad.

-Raced an Olympic.  Holy exhausting race, batman!  I got a 3rd place in the Athena division (out of 3, heh).  I definitely want to do more but I just don’t have the time commitment right now.  I’m actually training those distances+ right now, but not as much volume or brick work as I would if I was signed up.  I’ve been continually tempted to just jump into an Oly race one weekend and see how I do, but I’m trying to be a good girl and not do a billion races this summer as I’m looking into a decent amount once the weather turns more to running season.

-Improved my swimming and biking skills like crazy.  My average chillville pace on a 35 miler is 2.5 mph more than I was racing last year.  I’ve neglected my swim a bit lately, but I can still jump in and knock out a mile in about 35 mins.

-Racked up another 2 Sprints this year, and signed up for a 3rd. – all with my Zliten!!! He has become my triathlete partner in crime and I love it!

-Entertained some 70.3 and Ironman dreams in the future

And I simply can’t believe it’s only been a year.  In the next year, who knows what titles I can add to my racing repetoire… marathoner?  century bike race finisher? half-IM finisher?  Age group podium winner (in what, I care not…)? Who knows?

It’s a great reminder to just embark and see what happens.  Two years ago, the idea of a triathlon scared the bejezus out of me.  Biking?  Haven’t done that since I was 14.  Swimming in open water?  Haven’t done that since high school.  Who could do all that together?  Apparently me.  And I’m hooked.  And I love it.  And I can’t imagine life without triathlon.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and force myself to rest this evening, as apparently 10 miles ran with a fast 5k at the end isn’t enough to keep me down lately (I wanna swim, wahhhhh).  What have you embarked upon recently and now can’t imagine life without?

Note To My Nutritionist

…will pretty much have to sub for a weekly update as between crazy work hours, appointments, social obligations, and sleep, I got nothing.  In the way of time, sanity, or brainpower.

Dear Nutritionist Lady-Person,
Another week, another set of logs and some navel gazing. 🙂

My progress seems to be a bit of a contradiction.  I’ve had two people tell me I look smaller.  Tuesday, someone who hadn’t seen me in 2 months.  Today, I had my yearly with my doctor and SHE said she thought I looked leaner.  Which was odd because I have gained at least 10 lbs since last year.  And she sees me nekkid so there’s no possibility that I was just wearing something flattering…

However, my weight has actually gone up.  My first visit in July, I was 173.  Today, I was 177.  Things definitely fit better and I feel less wobbly since then, but is it really possible I’ve gained over 4 lbs of muscle in the last month (and if I really am getting leaner, it would have to be more, right)?  Honestly, It’s not a number I care about, if I’m making progress and I end up a 200 lb size 6 running sub 2 hour half marathons somehow, I’m ok with that.  I want to fit in all my clothes (which I’m making some progress, albeit slow, at).  I want to improve athletically (which I am).  I was feeling a little blah about workouts before I changed my diet, and now I’m forcing myself to take rest days instead of wanting to take more of them.

This is definite progress.  As much as I miss sandwiches and am really struggling to kick the apparent corn addiction I never knew I had – even if I don’t lose weight I’m not going back and don’t feel like what I’ve been doing here for the last month or so has been a waste.  I feel amazing.  But the scale going up is bugging me as it seems counter-intuitive to my long term goals, which is frustrating.

So next week, I’ll try to log my portion sizes a little more carefully.  When you first suggested the portion worksheet (note – two weeks in when I talked about not making scale progress she suggested this – I wasn’t ready), I felt like I was not yet really acclimated to the dietary changes.  I feel like I am now.  Introducing one more step isn’t going to rock my world like it would have 2 weeks ago.  Not that I don’t have improvements to make, but I’m pretty comfortable with what I’m supposed to eat about 90% of the time.

I also asked the doctor to order up a full run of tests with my thyroid just to make sure there’s no pure medical reason for it too.  I’ll be doing that next week.

Also note that this week work ate my life – lots of Amys and meals out – but I think I did ok considering the crazy hours I’ve put in last and this week.

I’ll see you next Thursday at 12:30.

<omitting full log of what I ate as to not kill y’all with boredom>

Love and kisses,

I could postulate on and on about what it all means, but I think instead I’ll submit last week’s workouts and this week’s plan and call it a post.

Last Week…
Thursday: 4.2 miles hill/sprintervals on treadmill in 40 mins (about 9:40 pace overall)
Friday: off
Saturday: 20 mile outside bike ride in 1:23 (should have been 30 but Zliten got glass in his tube, and then I had to be at work)
Sunday: off
Monday: 9.45 bike inside in 30 mins (18.9 mph pace), 3 mile run in 28 mins (9:20 pace), 30 mins crunchtime
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: off

This week…
Thursday: full body weights (morning), 9.56 miles inside ride in 30 mins (lunch)
Friday: 10k run sometime (before work? after? double 5ks maybe?)
Saturday: 35 mile bike ride, swimming
Sunday: off (or Saturday’s ride if I have to work)
Monday: 30 min ride, 30 min run, crunchtime
Tuesday: 10 mile run with 5k “kick” at the end
Wednesday: off or swim + weights after work (8am meeting UGH)

It works out much better if you look at it from Mon-Sun (which is how I plan out my weeks).  This week was a stepback week (and I picked a good week for it with work hell), and now it’s keeping myself in good condition for the tri (which I’m pretty peaked for) while increasing the running miles to be ready for the half mary, and increasing my bike miles because it’s fun and I want to do at least 50-60 before I have to ditch the bike for the winter and lace up the sneaks every Saturday morning for longer runs.

Have a great week everyone!  What are you conquering this week?

Marathon Fever

On the pure high of my last 9 mile run going so well, the 10 today feeling easy peasy besides my poor sore legs from the workout the night before, taking back the summer and getting heat acclimated, and the realization that I’m just not going to have time this summer to get in an Olympic tri (I was going to try to fit a race in but you should see my calendar through the end of the year… it’s bananas), and reading some race report porn (this hot mama just finished her first and this badass who just finished an Ironman is the reason I haven’t blogged much – I’ve been obsessively reading the archives of hers, and then there’s of course this awesome lady who is out for revenge on RnRSA this year) around the internet, I’m ready.  I want to be a marathoner.  I want to be in the cool kids 26.2 club.

As much as I wanted to love 5ks, it’s just not working out between us.  It may be something I’ll go back to someday, but I have a lot of work to get back to the speed I was at, and the courses matter SO MUCH on these.  A little long?  No PR.  Super hilly?  No PR.  Humid?  No PR.  Hot? No PR.  Cold?  No PR.  Longer distances, you expect some hills and valleys, some more than others, but I’ve raced pancake flat 5ks in perfect temps and you just have to be ON from the moment you start.  When I go to attack that PR, I’m going to need to probably train up for a while, and then race every other weekend.

While I feel like being a little heavier/well fed doesn’t affect my endurance races, I feel like its hindering me on all out speed runs.  Working on it, but still.  I like going on long runs even if it’s the same 2.5 mile loop over and over.  I don’t feel warmed up until at least halfway through a 5k and by then I’m huffing and puffing hard.  Working on my 5k time did nothing for my tri run time.  I have a feeling that what I need to work on is a 5k tempo… but at the end of a double digit run in the heat.

So, I entertained the thought.  Then I spoke it out loud.  Then I mentioned it in a blog.  Now, I’m actually looking up potential races for Spring and putting together a potential training plan.  I think I may have marathon fever.  Someone call a doctor, please.  My life would be much easier if I was cured…

I’m probably going to use this FIRST program again since it worked well for my last 2 halfs, which is 3 times per week of running, and 2 days per week of x-train.  Also, since I lack the cognitive ability to do a recovery or easy run, two days of hard x-training is my savior.  So a week in the life would probably be: Monday: bike (45 mins) + crunchtime, Tuesday: tempo run (4-10 miles), Wednesday: swim (45 mins) + weights, Thursday: speedwork (45-60 mins), Friday: off, Saturday: long run (10-20+ miles).  Not much more mileage/hourage than what I’m doing now, except I’ve traded a long bike for a long run and switched around the days a little.  A little rougher on my bod? Sure, a 22 mile run is going to be a much harder effort than a long ride, but by then it should be just an incremental thing.

I wasn’t going to do a marathon.  Wasn’t going to do it.  But then I realized that if I want to knock out an Ironman someday, or even a half IM, it would be good to be able to know what 5-ish hours on my feet feels like.  Calculators put my well trained pace at 4:20, but I’ll be happy to finish under 5.  I’m doing some research right now, and trying to determine what my long runs should be.  20 miles seems too short, some programs go up to 26, some plans even to 30 – but most caution you against going too far before your first race.  So, anyone out there that has done marathons – is 20 REALLY enough or should I do a 22-24 run 6 or so weeks out?

Also, the matter of which race I should pick.  The obvious choice?  Austin Marathon.  It’s 6 miles from my house and actually goes through my neighborhood.  However, I ALWAYS ALWAYS get sick once a year – in February.  Usually that week.  Something gets me.  Has happened the last 3 years at least, if not more.  The idea of running my first 26.2 with a cold sounds crappy.  Rock and Roll AZ is cheap because I have a place to stay, just need a flight, but that means Zliten probably won’t be with me (which might be good for him :D) and its only about 3 months of training past my half.  Pretty much – every marathon I’m looking at is in Dallas (RnR, etc).  I’m not super fond of Dallas (though I’ve not spent ALL that much time there), but I hope they put on good races!  I’m looking also at RnR Mardi Gras on March 4th, but the idea of spending my 33rd birthday the day before unable to party… I dunno if I can hack that.

Although, lets see if I give up after my longer-than-a-half-marathon run like last time. 🙂  I think the problem was I didn’t have a training schedule, I just figured I’d leisurely increase my mileage.  Also, I had 50 dollar trail running shoes that were way worn.  OF COURSE my feet felt like fire for a few days after a 14 miler.

In other news –

Still following the plan.  The nutritionist lady person evaluated my eating for the week previous and 90% was good.  She pointed out a few things she’d like me to do away with (a samosa, some corn chips, sharing a small blue razz slurpee) but all my main meal choices she was happy with, so that’s a big bunch of YAY.  No weight loss yet, but I definitely feel firmer.  She said if I haven’t lost anything by our next appointment August 25th we’d tweak things more, but it’s been really really nice to have someone just tell me to stay the course.  Three more weeks.

I did break down and have a sandwich this weekend.  It was glorious.  This weekend, I’m definitely going to eat a (good organic) burger and (olive oil fried hand cut or oven baked) french fries (though it will absolutely have a huge, yummy bun).  As long as these can still be sometimes foods, I’m ok with them not being all-the-time foods.  Trying for one not-quite-on-plan meal per week, and cutting out my issue with “add ons” or “offers”.  If something comes with a meal (samosa), offered free (chips and salsa), or is offered to be shared (slurpee), I end up having it even if I really want it or not.  This week, I’m trying to practice saying no.

Workouts since I’ve blogged:

Saturday: 25 mile ride with Joel – easy peasy 13.3 mph
Monday: 40 min ride hills level 8,9,10 – avg 19.1 mph (best pace evar!) and crunchtime class (especially brutal this week)
Tuesday: 10 mile run – 1:55.  Besides my legs killing me from the workout 12 hours before, it rocked!
Wednesday: 30 mins full body strength (on my own), 30 mins swim (1500 yds).
Thursday: (lunch)

And, that’s about it.  There was also Harry Potter 7-2, a bbq at a friends (where the cards and a blender came out and we stayed too late), dropping money on new gear for Zliten and I (new helmets, new running shoes, a camelback for Zliten, and of course, some new workout clothes for me…), cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.  This week, I’ve just been resting up, as I’m heading into some massive crazy – work at 7am tomorrow, 8am Friday, evening deadlines both days meaning I’ll need to stay late likely, and next week starts week-o-appointments.  Dentist one morning, doctor another, a Yelp event, a launch… so I’ll be getting creative with my workout schedule.  Thank goodness it also coincides with a stepback week so less mileage.  Yay!

So, yeah… any marathon advice/recommendations?  What would your splurge meal be?


But I’ve been busy… see… since last Thursday…

Friday, I got up early and ran sprints at the track, same program as last week (100×2, 200×2, 400×2, 800×1, and back down, with equal recovery walk/jogs in between, about 45 mins.  After work, we went downtown for fancypants dinner at Gumbo’s.  I indulged and had a slice of bread, a crab cake, and bite of cheesecake, but I stuck to greek salad, filet mignon, and veggies so it wasn’t all bad.  Noticed that I’m not used to a big dinner anymore and it actually felt really bad on the ol’ tum tum.  Here is me fancied up!

Saturday, we tackled a 20 mile ride in the neighborhood (I reset back to 20, Zliten and I are going to work back up in 5 mile increments).  It was a nice mellow ride that took about an hour and a half.  Then, I got a haircut which I am MAD happy with (the last one traumatized me a little, it was a drastic change), and she even dried it straight for me.  My poor hair will never look this nice again, I so don’t have the patience for it.  I’m so so so thrilled it turned out awesome.  Haircuts kinda traumatize me…

Then had lunch with friends (chicken taco salad – good.  Corn chips – bad), and then got some shoppings done.  We were real adults and purchased a for real pot and pan set (a good one), and various and sundry other things that we needed and spent way too much money.  Then, we fired up the grill and had friends over, brought our TV and PS3 outside to the patio, and played Katamari Damacy, Trivial Pursuit (I won 3 out of 4 games, wheee!) and ate ribs and stuffed peppers and (organic) corn, and broccoli salad and boozed it up a little (rum + coconut La Croix + lime + stevia = MAGIC), until I got sleepytired and passed out happily.  Thought I learned my lesson from the big dinner the day before? No way.  I ate way too much.

Sunday, this made me feel kinda crappy, but I managed.  We ordered some chinese food (chicken in black bean sauce, brown rice, eggdrop soup, good.  Eggroll? Not so…) and proceeded to chill all day.  I got groceries, did laundry, and basically chilled out all day watching star trek and dorking on the internet.  Dinner was pretty epic – mahi mahi with a side of veggies and brown rice pasta w/olive oil, garlic, and parm. cheese.  OM NOM NOM.

Monday, I did 45 mins on the bike doing hills and I think busted my pace record at 18.9 mph average.  19 SOMEDAY (maybe next week?)!!!  Then, had a pretty brutal crunch time class as usual.  Eats were fairly unremarkable, normal yogurt and berries breakfast (trying to eliminate the oats), soup and salad lunch, and a repeat of the awesome chicken tostada I made last week + a little extra bowl of nommies.

Tuesday, I got up and did 9 miles.  Honestly?  Wasn’t as hard as it has been.  I’m getting heat acclimated fo sho, and this was the first time trying the coconut water and BOY DID IT HELP.  Some weird body sensations/feelings were absent and I’m thinking… mild electrolyte imbalance/heat exhaustion?  Maybe.  My 9 miler was slow as molasses (11:20 pace), but if you apply the 20% rule, it actually was more like low to mid 9s.  Which is way faster than I would normally kick out a long run like that.  So, I’m either getting heat acclimated, faster, or both.  I actually felt pretty great after the run!  I had a mega smoothie w/cherries, pineapple, and mango to go with my protein powder, pb, and banana, lunch was veg. curry (which honestly ended up with a few too many grains, lentils, a small amount of rice, AND a flatbread, but thems the breaks when you don’t have meat to compensate…).  Dinner was a very yummy dish of crab legs, drawn butter, homemade mashed potatoes, and normandy veggies.  More OM NOM NOM indeed.

Wednesday I was feeling kinda wiped so I took it easy.  20 min weight sesh instead of 45 like I wanted (but did lots of combo exercises so I was sufficiently worked), and an easy 30 min swim (only 1400 yd).  I really need to put in some more quality swims before the tri Oct 1, but it’s hard with all the running and biking and weights.  Priorities.  The swim is only 10-ish mins of the tri so it’s hard to justify spending a lot of time on it.  Eats included picking up bbq from Rudys (chopped beef, turkey, coleslaw, beans – good.  One slice of bread, creamed corn – not so), normal yogurt and berry breakfast, and homemade chicken taco salads for dinner.  We stayed late at work and played a game called munchkin with some coworkers.  Oh man, so much fun.  Started at 7:30… didn’t finish until almost midnight which is WAY past my bedtime.

Yesterday was sprints at the track (400, 800, 1600, 800, 400 w/400 in between).  I’ll talk about this more next week but it was pain, but went by fast.  With the 20% rule, I was happy with my splits (my last 400 was like a 6:30 min/mile pace, with the 20% rule of course).  Lunch with the girls at the company and had an amazeballs greek salad w/chicken, but splurged and had a mini-brownie cupcake thing which was SO WORTH IT (best desert I’ve had in forevs).  Dinner was grilled chicken (holy god, organic chicken is expensive but SO WORTH IT – the taste was like finally tasting filet mignon after eating hamburger all these years….), leftover mashed potatoes, and normandy vegs.  There may have been a few drinks due to work stressin’ me out, but early to bed as I was EXHAUSTIMACATED!!!

So, that’s pretty much the last week.  Eats generally good, but not angelic.  Workouts, on pace and on plan.  Work and life – busy as usual.

Some deep thoughts:

-Need to continue with the running and biking outside.  It’s part of my plan to not be such a wimp this year with conditions.  Austin has about 3 good running months in the spring and about 2 in the fall.  I refuse to spend 7 months of my life indoors anymore.  I have beat the heat, I can (ulp, way worse for me) beat the cold.

-With work/life being summer crazy, I think I’m scrapping the Olympic Tri idea this year.  I can train distances all I want for fun, but it takes a certain amount of hours to put them together that I don’t have/don’t want to give up right now.

-However, this recent conquering of both morning running and not-so-ideal conditions is making me consider that 2012 may be the year of the marathon.  9 miles is far from 26.2, but I think this might be the time where I don’t get up to 13.1 and just want to die after.  I’m training smart this summer and not biting off more than I can chew with tris and races and whereas I was getting burnt out last year, I am feeling invigorated and fresh (again, I’m over 1.5 months out of my two October races).  Slowing down in the heat is actually making me appreciate running for running sake again, not a goal pace or time, just getting out, enjoying the morning, and running more by feel.  If I keep with THAT mentality, I might be able to do it instead of being a dummy and trying to push my pace hard.  I can take walk breaks or go snail pace if needed.  The great thing about my first marathon is it will be a PR!

-While I have not made progress on the scale – my legs are getting super buff and there is way less to pinch.  I’ve been having some weird stomach bloaty things this week, but I still feel a bit less in the waist too.  I’ll take it!

This weekend – Harry Potter, 25 mile ride, lunch and games with parents, bbq, and then a nice relaxing Sunday… what are y’all doing this weekend?

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