Adjusted Reality

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

Uphill Both Ways In The Rain, and Decisions

Quick Recap of Spicewood Half:

Did my pre-race ritual (which is by rote now) of honeymilk and a gluten free breakfast bar, got packed up, got in the car, and got to the race.  Not sure if I was ready for uphill both ways in the rain, but there I was…

My goals for this one were:

A) Get to the finish line without further injury or DNF.  This wasn’t an A race, a B race, or really even a C race, so it wasn’t worth it.  The turn around for the 10k was 3.1 miles in, and unless my hip felt ok (which it did then), I was going to turn around and just finish with Zliten.  Once I started to feel pain, I liberally walked when I had to the rest of the race and though I had some mental anguish taking it so slow, but I successfully fended off megamaniachal competitive Quix.

B) Run them hills and enjoy it!  When Zliten asked me how long I would take to finish, I said 2:15? 2:30?  More?  I really had no time goal on this one (ESPECIALLY once I knew I was going in gimpy).  The first 6 miles I really attacked the hills and worked on refining my stride both up and down to fatigue my quads more and the rest of my body less.  I’m still feeling it in my quads today where my normal tight hammies and calfs are back to normal, so mission accomplished.  Geisha steps, quick little geisha steps!

The race temps were about high 50s-low 60s and spitting (not enough to be considered raining, but definitely wet).  I made the gametime call again to ditch my long sleeve and run pants and tank top, which seemed to be the right call.

Zliten and I ran the first 3.1 together uphill (seriously, some uphills were more severe than others, but this was definitely all UPUPUPUP).  My thought when seeing the elevation was “awesome, I’ll knock out the tough part at the beginning and fly down the hills at the end”.  I was feeling ok, so I left him at the turn around and picked up the pace to about 10:15-11:15s through mile 4-6.

Around 6, my hip started to go from stiff to hurty, so I started to take walk breaks.  Then the hurty stayed constant but didn’t get worse, so I definitely took liberal walk breaks and just enjoyed the scenery.  It was freaking beautiful.  The quote was, “after climbing the hills you will be rewarded with some awesome views” (paraphrased), and it was so true.  My anticipated finish time went quickly from 2:15 to 2:30 to 2:40.

I’m not sure how to put this tactfully, but I’m usually the biggest one among my finisher group.  I usually finish with the skinny folk, but not this time.  Yes, this time, I was definitely with those of my stocky stature.  I finished at 2:40 and some change, 2nd to last in my AG.

However, I did accomplish some awesome goals: a) my quads were WAY sorer than the rest of my legs the next day, which means I’m successful in trying to change my stride and b) my hip actually felt GREAT the next day.  It was not exactly the big bang I wanted to end the last race of 2011 on, but it was definitely a different, more mature, more patient Quix that day than I have ever been even if I had to fight my head the last few miles to not push through the pain.

Decision Time:

Now, I have to make some hard decisions in how I continue with my training.  I am DEFINITELY at that point of training where I just feel BLEH.  Not close enough to the race to be excited about it yet, and far enough into training that I just want some time off.  I made the decision to ramp up my long run EARLY, and I completed 18 miles 9 days ago, and have my first 20 on the schedule for this coming weekend (it will actually be Monday but close enough).

I am less broken than I thought I would be right now – I thought I’d be limping after racing injured on hills but I took it slow and cautious enough to feel better post-race than I had during any run last week.  Now that I have no scheduled races for a while, I want to be VERY careful to take care of it now.  If I slip a week of training right now it’s no big D.  I’ll take that over dealing with a nagging tight/painful hip for the next 2 months.

I’m just wondering how WISE it is now to be going out to run 20 over 2 months out from my race.  I plan to do 20, and then relax most of the week, and chase that with a 10-15 the next.  Then, over my holiday break, I plan on doing a 21 and 22.  Then probably another stepback week of 10-15, run my 23 mid-Jan, and then start tapering.  I may just have to go out on those runs and see what my body can do.  As long as I hit 20 one of those days, beginner marathon training dictates that I should be able to finish.  More than 1 is gravy.  This feels so weird to be playing it so fast and loose with my first marathon (I have a tried and true half training schedule), but there was not a plan that really felt right for me, so I had to tinker with my own concoction.

I am hanging on with the tempo/hills/speedwork during the week.  It’s not much harder than what I was doing to train for the half and though some of the runs have been tough, I’ve not felt like I’m out of my league (and I’m doing the advanced speedwork, not the beginner training). After 5 halfs now and really pushing longer distances this year, I’m very comfortable running up to about 2 hours, but doubling that is REALLY HARD.  I don’t remember going from 10k to half being this hard on my body.

I’m really not concerned about the time on my marathon, because as much as I want to earn the 26.2 sticker for my car, it’s really part of a grander plan.  It will be nice to know what 4-5 hours on my feet feels like because I predict 6-7 for a half ironman.  And that is (possibly) the goal this year.

What I did do is take this week easy.  I plan to do two elliptical sessions, 2 weights sessions, 1 bike session, and a long swim – so not sitting on my ass, but definitely ramping down the intensity.  I’ll resume the pounding on Monday and see how I hold up.  It always freaks me out during training, but I’ve learned that taking time off never hurts me if it’s to prevent an injury.


So the first calorie counting week has come and gone.  I reliably ate between 1700-1900 calories (right around 1800 most days) each day besides my long run day (2400, lots of this booze).  She asked this week for me to cut to 1600 calories except on long run days.  No problem, right?

Two challenges:

-It’s SO HARD to fill up on just a few calories without bread.  Low cal filling lunch? 2 slices sprouted grain, 4 oz turkey, mustard, veggies.  Boom, done for about 350 calories.  The legumes and oils and nuts I’m filling the carb void with have SO MANY MORE CALORIES and 1600 is so so so so so hard.

-Habit.  I wasn’t tracking calories with a goal to hit 1800, that’s just where I landed.  Every freakin’ day.  Cutting 200 calories when you’ve established a habit is HARD.  Guess it’s time to make a new habit.

This week is going to be a practice run at it, because next week I’m on vacation and while the goal is to mitigate weight gain with lots of activity and be reasonable stuffing my cakehole – I am not going to be tracking and I’m not going to be training.  The week before Christmas I’ll start for real.

I know that sounds stupid, but I’m not usually a huge OMG HOLIDAY I MUST EAT EVERYTHING person, so hopefully I can get a jump on two weeks of weight loss before Jan 1st.  I’m sick of looking like an overweight special needs kid in my race photos (let’s just say I will NOT be purchasing any of these…) and this is getting ridiculous.  150-160, I was upset with the number on the scale, but nothing else affected me.  160-170, I was upset that some things in my closet didn’t fit, but not really upset with the mirror.  At 175 I am consistently unhappy with what’s in the mirror, and I need to fix it.

So, 1600 calories.  Let’s do this…


Dashing, Trotting, and Other Forms of Locomotion…


Gimme A Break


  1. Miz

    uh yes.
    do you have any plans to see if you can sneak in to the running event this weekend?
    to the expo?

    I wanna try but Im gonna have child in tow–tho shes a good sneaker!

  2. Wade

    Based off your incredible exercise discipline, 1600 calories will be easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
    Good luck.

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