Adjusted Reality

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

Month: April 2012

Georgetown Red Poppy Ride – The Wall of Wind

Can’t lie, I was actually a little nervous about this one since the last metric century ride a month ago.

1.  I know now how much it hurts to ride 60+ miles.  The first one was great because I was blissfully ignorant, having never done more than 35.  This time, I knew how hard the end would be.  I knew how wasted I would be the next day.  I knew I was in for 4-5 hours of biking.  It took me 8 months to decide to do a second half marathon after my first one.  It’s taking me 2 years to get back to an Olympic tri.  But this year is about building a massive endurance base, so my recovery time was one month for this new and challenging distance.

2. While we have most definitely got more bike time this month, it’s all been right around 1 hour or less – which didn’t leave me feeling confident that I was any more ready to be on the bike for 4-5 times that.

3. Feeling much better about the clipless pedals, but was still nervous about how I would do on tired legs.

Gear: blue north face shirt, pearl izumi bike shorts, moving comfort bra, bento box with nutter butters, chips ahoy, power bar caffeinated gel bites (cola and strawberry banana), pb pretzels, sesame sticks, solids, candied mango slices, and quench gum.  I even stashed some extra in my camelback which also had my chapstick, biofreeze wipes, an extra tube (we had 4 total), my compression sleeves, and it was full of icewater + grape nuun.  Also had an extra b0ttle of icewater on the bike.


-I expect my nike dri fit tanks to take the place of this north face shirt as my faves, but it’s the lightest, comfiest, most wicking shirt I own and I didn’t want to try anything new and be stuck hating life for a long time, so I bit the bullet and wore the same thing.  Yes,  I do actually think about things like this for the race pics. 🙂

-I way overpacked food.  This time, I really enjoyed the powerbar gel chews, the nutterbutter cookies, and the orange slices at the aid stations.  I think I’ve learned what I love the most are new things and things at the aid stations, not what I liked last time, heh.  However, it was really good to have options.

We ended up not being able to fall asleep until way, way too late the night before, so we got a late start.  I think I’ve perfected my morning food routine though – the oat-mega bar was great on my tummy and a caff tea late got me going great.  We got to the race, which started at a high school, with just a little to spare.  After hitting the bathrooms (inside the school, which was really nice instead of porta potties), we got back to the car, geared up, chatted with the couple next to us (they were also doing the 63), had one more potty trip for Zliten, and we ended up starting with the family ride in the back.  Bah.

That made for dodging and weaving a lot in the first few miles which was sort of annoying, but kept us from getting out too fast.  I did a lot of “on your lefts”.  There was a lot of inconsiderate riding, like people riding 4-5 across slowly and taking up the whole road so it was hard to pass, or people riding REALLY slow on the lefthand side (note: it’s like in a car – you pass on the left, then move back to the right).  I was really happy when we got ~7 miles up and lost the family 14 mile ride folks.

The first 30 miles were strong as hell.  I had to reign Zliten in a little bit from going too fast in miles 10-20, I didn’t want to feel like I was pushing myself at all in the first half since I remembered how FREAKING HARD the second half was last time.  We varied each mile but every 20 mins, we were steadily hitting 5 miles +/- a few seconds, rocking our 15mph goal pace.  It was great.  It was looking like we were going to cut an hour or more off the time and finish in just over 4 hours.

We had determined to take as few stops as possible and keep them short, so we passed the first 2 rest stops and only hit one up at around 26 because Zliten needed to pee.  I had been dreaming about orange slices for about an hour and the station had them.  Hooray!  Speaking of nutrition, I learned the last ride that you just have to keep eating.  I took a caffeinated chew at 10 and 30, and popped cookies and pretzels and mango snacks as I remembered.   I didn’t feel like I needed it and almost felt bad eating so much so fast but I knew that by the time I was hungry, it was too late.  Also, the scenery was GORGEOUS.  Beautiful Texas countryside.  I look down a LOT on the bike because I’m a scaredy biker but I couldn’t help but notice the awesome.

Then, we hit the wall.  A big wall of WIND.  Somehow, we kept heading directly into the wind.  This is also the section where the most uphill sections were – nothing that would faze me normally, but add ~15 MPH headwinds and 30+ miles on my legs already and the fatigue set in.  My hands started to ache, my neck started to hurt, as well as my hips, back, and quads.   We slowed way down and kept losing ground.  From mile 30-35, we lost a whole 4 minutes on a pace we were easily keeping before.  And it just kept getting worse.

I also started getting really loopy.  Zliten gets kinda quiet during these middle miles, and I get delirious and talky.  It works.  I like to sing songs like “I wear spandex and I know it” (sung to Sexy and I Know It) or make new lyrics like “At the Copa, Copa Cabana, the hottest spot in Havana, they dance and they sing and they do lots of things THAT ARE MORE FUN THAN FUCKING BIKING UPHILL IN THE WIND”.  I also get the mouth of a sailor apparently.  I’m pretty sure my f-bomb count was at least in the triple digis.  Fuck you wind, fuck you hills, fuck you bumpy fucking roads, fuck green guy who was going 2 miles an hour on the left…  Really, how I keep myself sane on the bike is keeping myself amused.  It’s not going to be pretty when I have to ride long distances solo…

We took an aid station around mile 44 and saw our car neighbors.  They were holding together well!  I was almost out of nuun, so I filled my camelback halfway with gatorade.  It was like mana from heaven.  We didn’t want to lag too much so we took off quickly.  The despair hit then.  We were slow.  It was hilly.  There was still headwind, and it seemed like every time we’d get respite it was for a quarter of a mile or less, and then back in.  I kept getting ahead because I just wanted to be DONE and then I’d have to stop and wait.  Sometimes I’d get behind.  One fork wasn’t marked so we had to stop to check the map.  The miles went slow.  I just wanted to see the mile on my Garmin change to 50-something, and once it did, I got a little  boost.

We had yet to really take a real rest, so we were going to do that at the next rest stop.  Well, it didn’t come.  Around mile 53.5 there was a nice flat patch of grass, so we made our own.   We sat down for about 5 mins, stretched, downed a bunch of gatorade, ate more food, waved at passerbys, and I got my wind back.

After we took off here, I had lots of energy left but Zliten was still pooped.  The wind subsided a bit.  I kept both shoving food in my mouth (I tried to eat a bite of something each mile), singing silly songs to myself and I kept going fast because I just wanted to be done, and then I’d get so far ahead of Zliten I couldn’t see him, and then I had to stop and wait.  Aero position was my friend at the end, my palms felt bruised.  My legs actually stopped hurting this late in the game, but my lower back and neck definitely didn’t, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.  Zliten, however, was having to stop occasionally because of leg cramps.  When I saw him get super slow and looking rough I would make him get off the bike and stretch.

When we hit 60 it was even worse.  Zliten slowed to a crawl and so I kept speeding up and having to stop.  We hit 61, then 62, then 63… then 64…. then 65… finally we saw the turn in to the school (on the back end, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR NOT MAKING US DEAL WITH TRAFFIC ON TIRED LEGS!!!!) and we crossed the finish together, touched down, and DRANK ALL THE GATORADE and ate the crap out of a bag of fritos.

My time biking was about 5:07, I think Zliten’s was about 5:19 (I stopped mine when I was stopped), and total time out on the course was about 5:50.  A little faster than the Rosedale for like 4 more miles, and in worse conditions (I hate you WIND).  My goal was simply to finish faster, and no crashes, and mission accomplished.

I liked the course, and the support, and it was a great ride on a great day.  Next year, perhaps we’ll undertake the 100 miler!  If it fits within our training and racing plans next year, we will definitely do this one!  A sweet tech tee with the course map on it also definitely helped my favorable opinion… I’ll just hope for less wind…

From there, we went to see my ‘rents (who live up there) to shower, eat pizza and ice cream, and play games.  From THERE, we hit up a friend’s BBQ for dinner, although it was very short lived – we both stayed away from sitting so we didn’t crash, but Zliten made the mistake of sitting down for a sec and then realized he needed to get home.  We had another invite to the bar, but we just couldn’t hack it.  We were totally beat.  We sat on the patio, popped some champagne, and enjoyed the evening watching tri videos on youtube.

I’m a lot more confident about the 56 miles of riding for the half iron after this ride.  It was less hard than I remembered the first one being, even with the wind.  While I didn’t feel like I was ready to run a half marathon, I did feel like I could knock out a few slow miles without dying (and if I would have had shoes with, we would have).  And I have 5 months to train from here.

Today, I have sat my ass on the couch besides a trip to the gym to use the hot tub, for a well deserved rest day.

Less than a week until Rookie Tri – the first tri of the season.  300m swim, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run.  My goal is to race it hard, so that I don’t have any of the “that’s all I get to do?” feelings I have now… and to beat my time from last year, of course.

Wiggly with Excitement

Is it weird that if I see this and think about running, I sigh exasperatedly, but if I think about biking them, I get all wiggly with excitement.  Maybe I need to run hills once a week in the off season next year like I did with biking.


I usually blather about diet and exercise and races first, but as was pointed out to me by my lovely husband, “there’s nothing more boring than someone else’s diet or workout” (although, that’s why you all come here, right? RIGHT?) so perhaps I’ll lead with something else for a change.

Vacations, I has planned them.  Usually, we have lots of little random weekends out of town here or there for races or other reasons, but this year, we just *don’t*.  So, since I’m NOT OK with my first vacay of the year being in August, we decided to do a few mini trips:

First up next month – spa weekend here.  Looking forward to fancy hotel, dinner, spa, dance lessons?, and just chillaxing over a long weekend.

Then in June – camping.  We finally bought a tent, so we’re out to camp at least 2-3 times this year (and this would make it twice).  This place is so close to home, but feels like a nice escape away into the wilderness.

True story – I haven’t been camping except for one nighters which were basically just excuses for going out into the wilderness and getting drunk.  So I had to ask Zliten what the second day was for.  He went into hiking/running trails, swimming, canoe/kayak rentals, and just relaxing with a kindle and this view.  After that, I was on board, and yet again, wiggly with excitement!

That should tide me over until August and September vacays – which are San Diego and Alaskan Cruise times, respectively.  Don’t even get me started on how excited I am about running my first out of state half marathon in SD, biking and running amongst the glaciers training on the cruise, and going snorkeling in Alaska!

Aight, so now onto real life stuff… training, and food, and races, oh my.


Last weekend, our “long workout” was a practice swim bike run at Lake Pflugerville.  We did 13 miles on the bike in about 50 minutes on what could be described as rolling hills, nothing severe but definitely some up and down.  I gained a bit more confidence with my new shoes, and figured out a strategy – for the love of all that holy, if I’m riding on a busy street and anticipate turning soon or have any other reason I might need to stop, rock out with one pedal out until I’m onto a straight stretch.  We kept up about 15 mph pace, and it felt EZ peasy most of the time. We ran a 5k around the lake, which Zliten PR’d and I took it easy (30:19 and 30:49, respectively), and swam 500m in about 12-15 mins.  I wanted to get in open water before the tri next weekend just in case I freaked out, and I’m happy to report that nature’s got nothin’ on me. Last weekend was the first time in a long time I haven’t been exhausted by the intensity or duration of my weekend long workouts (and I did over 1.5 hours).  Next stop, half ironman!


This weekend is the second supported bike ride on our calendar, the Georgetown Red Poppy Ride.  This one could potentially get us into trouble, as it not only has a metric century (63 miles, which is the plan), it also has an 80 and 100 mile course.  Considering the longest we’ve ridden since the last one is 13 miles outdoors and we have a tri the next weekend, I think we’ll be able to control ourselves and just do the 63 we have planned.  But we both have that inkling that 80 isn’t that much more than 63….

The real goal is to do the 63, and to get closer to 4 hours than the 5 it took us to do the ride in March.  So that would be riding faster, and taking more expedient stops.  We’re also loaded up with goodies like pb pretzels, cookies, nuts, candied mango, and the like, so we’ll have better eatin’ without the rest stops.


After my feet touch down on the finish line of this bike ride on Saturday, I’m officially calling it TRI SEASON.  I’m so full of wiggly excitement about this, I don’t even know what to say.  I’m sure that will change soon enough.  First up will be rookie – 300m swim, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run.  To combat my “that’s all” thoughts since I’m all but primed for about an Olympic distance tri right now, I’m fixing to race this one HARD since it’s the exact course from last year and I plan to PR the SHIT out of this.  Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeah!


In my ongoing quest to find a nutrition plan that works for me, I’ve been trying some smoothie lunches.  I’ve accompanied these with a small, savory item (like a greek salad, a cup of soup, etc), and I’ve been saving half of said smoothie for a snack around 4-5pm.  Some of my creations have been:

Strawberry Love: Strawberry 110 cal protein shake, chocolate pb2 powder, banana, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, frozen strawberries

Spiced Late: 1/2 cup pumpkin, scoop vanilla protein powder, vanilla extract, apple, skim milk, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg

If You Like Pina Coladas: Tropical protein powder, banana, orange, pineapple, mango, lite coconut milk, coconut oil

Not-In-The-Box Oreo Shake: Skim milk, oreo cookie protein powder. (200 calories of friggin yum, almost just as good as a jack in the box shake)

Creamy Raspberry Lemonade: Vanilla protein powder, frozen raspberries, banana, coconut oil, lemon juice

Really, the ideas are limitless.  It really just needs: 1) some sort of protein powder+milk or protein shake 2) some sort of fat – pb or coconut oil 3) a thickener – banana or pumpkin seem to work, without it, it’s ok, it just tastes really ice 4) frozen or fresh fruit.  I haven’t gotten brave enough to put veggies in yet.  I also put some stevia extract in each one because I like it sweet.  Each one (besides the simple oreo one) is about 300-400 calories and is really filling.  I plan to continue to do this a few times a week.  It’s just so simple and yummy, curbs my snackings in the afternoon, and really kills my need for any sort of desert.


Since they cancelled our weekly Monday crunchtime class, I’ve found a new love: group kick (kickboxing).  I’ve always wanted to try kickboxing, and it’s both a great cardio and strength workout.  It works muscles I didn’t know I had in my ankles and shins.  It’s pretty hard to get my abs to be sore these days, but they were definitely worked over.  Also, since I took the introductory class, I have these fun boxing wraps that do nothing, but they make me feel all badass.  I think I’ll stick with this one for a while.

I’m going to reiterate this to myself over and over, so just a warning you’ll get sick of hearing this mantra. a) The best way for me to change my body composition is to strength train.  A lot. b) The best way for me to improve both my race times and my general happiness is to change my body comp in a positive and healthy way. c) Therefore, I should NEVER want to skip a strength sesh for a cardio.

Enter this week.  Two things.

One, I got major cramps on my run Tuesday AM (which is a damn shame because otherwise it was a FANTASTIC morning, and I was feeling GREAT and SPEEDY) so I cut it at 2 miles instead of 5-6.  This is making me REALLYREALLYREALLYREALLY want to skip my weights class tomorrow morning so I can make up the run.  Because in my sillybrain, apparently I will die if I don’t get at least one 10k run in each week (even though I’m going to be almost triple digis in bike miles, hello…).  WEIGHTS ARE NON NEGOTIABLE, silly brain.  /sigh

Two, all of a sudden I got freaked out, realizing I hadn’t mashed up any bike hills on the stationary at the gym in quite a while.  I figured my hill skillz HAD to be deteriorating with all this ez trainer and outside riding.  I hopped on the stationary, and lo and behold, it even felt EASIER than normal.  Gotta give weight training credit for that.

So, long story short – the hills, the weights – DO THEM.  I need this tattooed on my forehead.  Although, it might get me funny looks in mixed company as it might be taken as a suggestion, perhaps?

Questions of the week: what gets you “wiggly with excitement” lately?  What do you need to just DO?

Zlitens Posty Post: Post 2

If you want to get a BodyBugg click there, since that will get you 20% off and I think it rewards me some how, but I am not sure how.


But On to Blogging !!!

Part 1. Reading!

Since we last talked, I have read,

Ashes of the Realm; Greysons Revenge

This was a fun continuation of the last book Ashes of the Realm: Juliette’s Dream, and it grew the characters up some, introduced a few new players in the galaxy and a new inter-dimensional race that is now set on enslaving our galaxy. So we now know what books 3 and 4 will be about at least. But as always Saxon Andrew kept the pacing up and even though when compared to his last series this is hitting on a lot of the same topics, they are in slightly different ways, so its still enjoyable. The character development is nice.




Then I read

The Expendable Few

After like 12 books in a row by Saxon Andrew, back to a book by Randolph Ladone. What a treat to go from a 3rd person narrative with an almost omnipotent view to a book written in the first and second person, that goes into the thoughts and feelings of the character as things happen rather than just observing them.

This book is the newest of the Spinward Fringe series, and does not follow or continue on with any of the main characters from the series. Think of it as a spin off book, or an expanded universe book. Things that happened in the series have happened and the universe is the same but things are continuing on.  There were some characters that made cameo’s but it really wasn’t about them. Wheeler ( one of the main bad guys turn good guys from books 2 to 4) shows up for about a dozen pages, and a few “relatives” of people you know from before.

I did really enjoy it though, there were some twists that I didn’t expect and there was some great descriptions of ground and hand to hand combat in this one. No epic space battles this time, but with the way it ends I am sure that is coming soon. To wrap up, Thanks Taylor for the book as a birthday gift, and I can’t wait until Raldolph gets the next hundred or so books out for that series. (Also if your in the media, the first book would be a great made for tv movie.)

Next I read


The Giver : What a terrible book. Apparently they are making a movie out of it, and I do love distopian type settings of the future. But this just left a terrible taste in my mouth, and a stain on my mind that I think will haunt me much like the ending of The Prestige , but Worse.


To recap the story, there is a community in the future that is well regulated all functions are performed by individuals who excel at that function. Families though are not allowed to have more than 2 children, and children can only come from the women of the community known as birth mothers. Once their child has been born it is taken to an institution where it is  kept for 1 year, then given to a family that has requested a child.

Needless to say the book attaches you to not only the main character but a few others who end up being “released”. In other words put down like a dog, and it not only includes the elderly but also anyone who commits a crime or even a baby if it is not “acceptable”. So in one scene there is a “nurturer” who just delivered twins from a birth mother, and he weighs the two babes, then takes the smaller one, sings it a lullaby and then kills it. ( Arrg I am still all pissed off in side just writing about it. But then again that is probably what the author was trying to do.)

So yeah, apparently a required reading book for middle school kids here in Texas. Just disgusting.


OK after Finishing that terrible thing, I at least have something fun to back it up with. I had Emailed Saxon Andrew about a month ago just to thank him for the series I had read since it was so much fun, and I got a reply asking if I would read and give feedback on book 1 on a new series. He also just put it up on Amazon so that works.

Lens of Time Series: The Pyramid Builders

So far this has been a fun time about a genius professor, and his slutty dressing friend who has 4 doctorates but was sick of people being intimidated by her smarts so she started dressing like a bimbo. Not the best character introduction to the characters so far, but hey I already am happier about it than the last book I read. So expect in a week or two to have a real review of this since I am only on like page 50.



Its been about 3 weeks since my last post, so my training chart will be kinda big here.

As you can see I have been at it good for the last few weeks, although I should have put in a weight metric in today so that that was more accurate. Pretend there is a grey box on the 19th that says Weight 186.2. I was lowest on the 16th due to being dumb and staying up late on Sunday after the 10/20 having drinks and dehydrating myself. But we will get into the Dumbness of Sunday later.



SO the 10/20 was last weekend and it was a blast! I had to make 1 quick bathroom stop at mile 2.5, but thankfully it only really added about 2 minutes to my total time and I felt MUCH better afterwards. That redbull went through me fast LOL!

Click Here if you want to check out all my info for the race. gps, heart rate, cadence, elevation and overall great data! BTW Training Peaks is just awesome for the amount of info you can put on there, and the Garmin 310XT gathers a ton of data when you have the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor attached.

My perfect weather, perfect feeling, super awesome goal was going to be 1:45:00, but it was Humid, then raining then muggy, and a bathroom break added in, and my total time was 1:49:52. I am very happy with that time, its not the best ever but for sure the best 10 miles I have had so far.


TRI Season!

Rookie tri is in 17 days!

Lets list out things I need to do before Tri season.

  1. Keep going to Swim Class. So for Christmas Quix got me “lessons” and we finally found a place to get them. Thanks to Moolala or what ever the deal site is called. This last Tuesday was my first lesson, and my goodness, I had no clue how bad my swimming techniques really were until I was shown how to do them properly and coached on it also. That explains all the pool time you see on my schedule this week.
  2. Wash the bike again, and lube it all up. This is kinda important all the time, but with the more miles we have been getting in the trainer and on the road lately, this is a must. Really id I don’t post at least once a month saying I washed and lubed the bike, get on my butt for it. Its the longest portion of any Tri, and if its not in great condition how can I expect to do well.
  3. More open water swims. I am not afraid of swimming in a lake or river, but it would be benifitial for me to get out there and practice my swimming in Not-a-pool just so I can get the feel again of waves, and the choppy waters.
  4. Get mentally prepared for even more training. I really should step it up from 4 to 5 times a week to 6 to 7 times a week.


Things I did wrong over the past 3 weeks.

Weight, I have seemed to have hit a lull in my weight loss, but I think a big part of that is I stopped tracking so consistently, and just kinda didn’t care much for some days. Here is an update weight chart.

The yellow line is where I want to be, the blue line is where I am.

Desserts have also been an issue, I can usually go without desserts, but lately I want chocolate after every meal it seems. or pie, or chocolate pie. I gotta get that under control.

Next I had too many drinks after the 10/20 race.. Too many, and it wasn’t that I was too hung over or evil or anything like that, but that I got it in my head to go prune a tree in the back yard that my mother in law got after me about the day before. While doing this, I did not hurt myself or anyone else, but I did get my glasses caught on a branch of the tree, and they somehow flung into the yard. We searched everywhere and could not find them. Needless to say I had to go get new glasses Monday morning.


Well Leah hated my old glasses anyways. Complained about them probably once a month that they were either dorky, or didn’t fit my head right, or something. That’s OK, this time I was prepared. At the glasses store I took pictures of 14 different pairs of glasses on my face and then emailed them from my phone to her desk at work. Then just let her pick out the ones she wanted me to have. (Guys, this works great. The sales people might think your crazy now. but Believe me, its worth not getting told you made a bad choice over and over.)

It really kind of worked out for the best, I knew my prescription had changed and I needed to go in. I had been getting headaches again every day while sitting at my computer for a  few weeks. But I had been avoiding going to the optometrist because the place I went to was full of jerks, or at least people I didn’t like dealing with. They also nickle and dime everything, like do you want the old machine with worse results included in your visit, or for 35$ more we will put you with the new machine.. There was no way I was getting an apt there without at least a weeks notice, so I went to the place next to the lens crafters that I had decided on since I could get the glasses in about an hour.

Well This place was amazing, the staff was nice, they had tons of modern equipment that all just worked the first time, and the Doctor even explained things to me as he was testing my eyes. (Unlike being berated at the other place for making the doctor late to his golf game since his own machine broke.)  Best of all the visit only was 35$ because they actually took my insurance!

The Lens Crafters experience wasn’t amazing, but I know their lens grinding machine broke or something and instead of 1 hour it took them 4, but over the next 2 days they kinda made it up to me.

10/20 – Thunder Thighs

Austin 10/20

My motto for the day was: I have thunder thighs, these thighs are gonna bring the THUNDER today.

I have always wanted to race a 10 miler.  Quite frankly, the last 3.1 miles of the half marathon are, in my opinions, the worst.  Story of my life is a great first 10, and then I just can’t hang on through the last 5k.  While I’m working on addressing what goes into that (with more strength training, planning for more distance, and a better pacing strategy), sometimes it’s nice to try something you think just fits your natural strengths and that you’ll be pretty good at.

And so, months ago, I signed up for a 10 mile race and was REALLY looking forward to it and wanting to train for it.

Months passed, and between lots of slower base running and getting up to speed for tris, the only thing even close to speedwork I’ve done is progression runs.  I had envisioned a finish time of something between 1:30 (A goal) and 1:40 (C goal).  However, since I’ve not been working up to 9 minute miles, I changed my goal and strategy.

A time goal: 1:35.  I figured if I was having a stellar day, I could potentially pull 9:30s.  They’ve been fairly comfortable on select days when I’m in the zone. B time goal was 1:40.  10s have gotten easier and easier as I get stronger and the year goes on.

A pace goal: negative split.  Since I’ve been practicing progression runs, I figured what a better way to try out my new skillz.  I pretty much have one race strategy: go out fast and try to hold on.  I’ve been finding more and more how much this DOESN’T work for me.  B pace goal: negative split in terms of effort.  Even if the pace didn’t work out, I wanted to feel like I was easing into the first half, and then really pushing it the last half.

Morning food routine: glutino bar, but I tried something new: a caffeinated tea late.  Worked like a charm.  This will definitely be my new pre-race drink.

Temps for the day: 75, overcast and 90% humid.  While other runners hate this weather, I love it.  I feel warm and loose right away and it’s not so warm that I’m overheating.  It’s a lot easier to start out EZ when you’re not trying to save yourself from hypothermia.

Gear list: cheapo black sweatband and wristband, north face blue tech tank, regular underarmor lucky sportsbra, one honeystinger gel in my small shoe wallet (which I actually clipped to my pants), old and busted grey capris I’ve had forever, wigwam thick socks, and my Brooks Racers.

Gear notes: get yourself a damn wicking visor already, headbands are so 1980.  Didn’t use gel (didn’t expect to but figured better safe than sorry).  Don’t wear old and busted pants in humid weather.  They will disintegrate around your thighs and chafe like a mofo.  The racers were a sort of risky decision that paid off – I had never run more than 7 in them, but all my runs with my other shoes have been crap slow (they were fine until about 9.5, which was NBD). Also I went sans compression sox, because I am vain and they didn’t go with my ensemble.  Zliten isn’t.

We got moving a little late, and were very thankful that a) the race was only 3 miles from the house and b) it’s essentially right where we work so we knew the secret back entrance.  We porta pottied and I got a warmup, and then we piled into our seperate corrals.  I was in 4, Zliten was in 8 (he should have been further up, but he put worst case pace, not what he expected, which is fine, he likes starting in the back).  No one was respecting the damn corrals (huge race pet peeve).

Soon, we were off.  During the warmup, my legs were sluggish, but as soon as we took off, 10 minute miles felt like a jog.  I obsessively garmin checked when I wasn’t fighting off the hoards of people who got in too-fast corrals, and ended mile 1 exactly at 10 mins.  Mile 2, I set my sights at 9:50.  Garmin ticked 2 miles at exactly 19:50.  Mile 3, I tried for 9:45 and there were more downhills than I expected so I came in at 9:35.  Mile 4 and 5 were right around there as well.

Mile 5 saw exactly 49 minutes.  I was feeling great, and figured it was time to start turning on the heat… just as the course started turning on the hills.  They advertised fast and flat, and that was true… except for the last 5 miles. 😛  To be fair, I’ve run on much worse, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.  Mile 6 and 7 were around 10:15s.

I was a little upset I was losing ground but the friggin hills were just steep enough to register, and relentless.  I just sort of ignored garmin time and moved to perceived effort, I just tried to go as fast as I could while also not feeling like I would die.  The end was also a little frustrating – you get ALMOST up to the finish line and then have to detour for another mile.  I didn’t think I had anything left in me but once I saw the finish I sprinted it in.

10.15 miles, 1:41:50.  10:02 avg pace overall, 9:48 first 5, 10:05 pace for last 5.15.  My ranking was higher in the second half than the first half, so I slowed down LESS than the average bear.  195/727 (26% beat me – almost in the top quarter) Age Group, 1075/3944 (27% beat me – again, almost in the top quarter) in Gender, Overall 2175/6009 (36% beat me).  And, since it’s my first 10, auto PR!

I finished, got my water and 3 juicebox thingees (the water stops were a little crowded, so I only took in 2 half cups of water and 2 half cups of gatorade so I was DEHYDRATED) and waited for Zliten.  He rolled in only 8 mins after me, his official time in the 1:49s.  While the big draw of the race was a post-race party, neither of us were into it after walking back to the car, so we headed home.

This was a huge win for me.  I am never good about pacing myself in the first half of a race, and if I really would have went out fast, I know I couldn’t have held on with the hills.  I’m pretty sure it would have been more like 9:20s and then 11s instead of an almost even split.

Speaking of Thunder Thighs, the strength thing seems to be working… I liked all my race pics from this race, and in general, I think my clothes are fitting better.  I need to weigh in this week and do my dang measurements, but I’m generally happier about how things fit and how I look.  Probably not coincidentally, I managed last week not to eat like an asshole, and maintain about a 800 calorie deficit on average.  So, we’ll see.  I’m trying to do that again this week.  Maybe, just maybe, the scale and tape measure will be kind.

Either way, I’m seeing marked improvements with my running keeping up the weight training sched 3x each week.  I need you all to hold me accountable through half IM training that a strength workout is worth sacrificing more time in the pool, in the saddle, and on the road.  It’s a gamble, but I really think getting stronger is the key.

Also speaking of being vain – I may want to take a great race pic, but this is how I rock it after in the backyard. Note: biofreeze is cold.

Next up: another metric century bike ride in 2 weekends, and then ROOKIE TRI in 3.  I’m so flipping excited for TRI SEASON I can’t stand it!!!!

Hoo Boy…

It’s been busy!  Even with a weekend of relaxing and a 3 day weekend, I’m just now getting here to talk about it.

So yeah, things and stuff.

Rosedale Ride: I was going to talk about it in more details, but let’s just sum it up with these bulletpoints

  • Hardest race I’ve done in a while.  Riding for 5 hours took a lot out of me.  This needs to get better by the end of summer because I certainly don’t want to be taking anywhere near that long to ride the 56 miles for my half ironman, but happy to prove to myself that I can go the distance.
  • I’m still terrified of my new shoes.  Falling helped to get that freak out of my first crash out of the way, but the two times I fell down just stopped on the side of the road shifting my balance wrong, I think freak me out more even though they didn’t hurt at all – there is all manner of curb I’ll be riding on, and who knows if I have to stop near somewhere it will be tragic to fall over the wrong way.
  • Regardless, I’ve got my big girl panties on about it and not changing my pedals back – everyone else seems to do fine with them so I’ll learn too.  My heart rate may just stay a little high on rides and I may be chanting *please don’t make me stop, please don’t make me stop* when I get to intersections.  10 miles last weekend went ok though!

My runs have been very hit or miss lately.  Some days I have just draaaagged asssss through the miles and it was all I could do to keep going (but also found that all I needed to do is slow down – 11 minute miles may be frustrating, but that’s all I have sometimes).  Some days, I feel like a rockstar.  I’ve been able to do some pretty fantastic 3-6 mile progression runs where after the warmup mile, I’m pretty easily running under 10 minute miles.  For example this morning, I did 10:45, 9:55, 9:40, and 9 for the last quarter mile.  I just have to have faith that even though the first half to full mile will suck, I usually perk up.

Swims, I’ve been maintaining about 1 per week, about 30 mins for 1500 yds.  I need to get some open water lovin’ in here this month before Rookie in May, but I’m just not concerned.  I did just snag a groupon to finally get Zliten his Christmas swimming lessons, so that’s exciting!

My eating has been fairly subpar (for me).  As such, my weight and measurements really haven’t gone anywhere (I assume with the measurements, as I haven’t gotten the tape out in a few weeks).  This week, I am trying something new: smoothies for lunch.  Instead of spending my lunch break frantically preparing food, I’m trying out some new recipes.  Today, I put in skim milk, chocolate protein powder, water, chocolate pb2, 2/3 banana, and a squish of chocolate syrup (just tasted not quite right without it).  Tomorrow, I think I’ll try the strawberries/strawberry protein powder/banana/milk (trying to figure out a fat to put in there – c0conut oil maybe?).  I’m having a small savory side with it (today, veggie quinoa pasta salad, tomorrow, maybe a greek salad).  I couldn’t drink it all and saved the other half for a snack and felt really full today.  Bonus!

Also, I think that what I really need to do is the “eat 500 calories less than Zliten” diet.  He regularly burns about 500 more than me, and we mostly split our meals down the middle (so he’s losing weight, I’m not).  That’s a lot though – that’s like a whole meal less!  I’m trying to eliminate more snacks instead of a meal then, because I really hate eating 300 calorie meals, I’d rather just try to suck it up and feel like I’m eating a real meal unless my energy levels are super low and I’m feeling bad.  And honestly, the way I’m feeling after my lunch smoothie, I don’t need no stinkin’ snax!

Working on the training program for us through the half ironman.  Let me tell you, having 2 races a month and two vacations (one 4 days, one like 10 days) within a month and a half of race day (like, right during peak training time) is providing a CHALLENGE, but I think I have it conquered mostly.  I’ve never followed anyone’s tri training program, just did my own by feel, and that’s what I’m doing this time (I’ve done a LOT of research and picked and chose what worked for me).  I discussed with Zliten, and instead of a lot of long single sport training, we’re going to pile on the brickage.  That is, instead of getting comfy with overdistances like wanting to bike 100 so that 56 feels like cake, we’re going to do more bike/runs that are closer to half iron distance.  And, of course, we’ll train with the caveat that if our body needs a rest, we’ll back off (and planning in more rest weeks than I have ever before so that should help).

Fun Things I’ve Done Since Last Report:

  • Went to a wedding with a candy bar and BBQ for dinner.  I wished I could stay longer but it was Sunday night and work calls on Monday, so I had my sweets and danced my ass off for a bit and then headed home.
  • Had a board game and pizza day at work as a fun day not last Friday but the Friday before.  We played a bunch of D and D board game and DAMN IT’S HARD.  Then we went home and drank absinth and played more.
  • Spent March 30th without pants or workout gear on.  The most strenuous thing I did was hang out at the neighbors for a while.
  • Saw Hunger Games on April Fools Day.  No foolin’, I enjoyed the movie a lot.  They skipped some of the nuances, but they definitely did the books good and I’m just sad I couldn’t watch the next one yet!
  • Made some EPIC chicken and bok choy in garlic sauce.  I finally figured out awesome chinese food at home – it does just take a little chicken broth and flour to make it right.  I used brown rice flour so it’s a little better, I suppose.
  • Booked our trip to San Diego this summer.  We plan on spending most of our time there with Zliten’s parents, but also are hoping to get in a nice long bike ride early AM Saturday and run America’s Finest Half Marathon on Sunday.  Finally, a race in a different state!
  • Went to Camp Gladiator boot camp.  If I didn’t absolutely need to do traditional training for tris, I might blow off run/bike/swim for a month and do this.  It’s super fun!  We played freezetag!
  • 10 mile ride and 6 mile run at Pflugerville.  We plan on making good friends with the lake this year.  Didn’t have time to swim, next time for sure!
  • Played D and D (the actual role playing game) all day good Friday.  It’s an amazing core workout, the guys make me laugh so hard!  And, I fireballed FIVE trolls to death and ended the game early.  Ha!  Being a wizard is a good thing… here’s me triumphing over the fallen beasts…
  • Did the Mighty Texas Dog Walk, with this cutie pie – he only has 3 legs but that totally doesn’t stop him at all!  He was definitely in the first quarter of finishers, he just wanted to run run run run *sniff sniff pee* run run run run *sniff sniff peeeeee*.  He definitely tired his owners out.  However, he was definitely a sleepy dog after… apparently he barely complained when his parents left to go out later.
  • Between this and the next entry, had brunch, a short nap, got groceries, swam, lifted weights, and got all gussied up.  5 hours definitely was productive!
  • Had fancy birthday dinner with my good gal pal D in which we ingested: blue cheese with honey, pork cracklins, garlic bean sauce on toast, a pimms cup, spicy pickles, a cauliflower steak, buttermilk pie, and sticky toffee pudding (lots of tastes and sharing around the table).  So yum!
  • Then, we went to the Kung Fu saloon and I kicked ass at skeeball (I won almost EVERY game and they had it set up as a competition), drank grape vodka, watch people play an epic game of Jenga, played Jenga ourselves, and had a thoroughly fantabulous evening.  Here we are watching an epic match of centipede.
  • On Easter, we slept in (OMG 9:30 wheeeee), went to my parents house.  We ate ham, played cards, played bocci ball, ate pound cake, played more cards, and then got home and had a little relaaaaaaaaax time.  Not the most flattering pic but whatevs.

So, please forgive me for not blogging, but as you can see, iz been bizzy.  This is ommitting the fact we’re still training 5-6 days a week and I’ve been working hard to meet a deadline at work (met today! woohoo!)

This week, hoping to just train and relax as much as possible, as Thursday is bike maintenance class, and this weekend is the 10/20 (10 mile run race) and Dad’s 79th b-day celebrations, so we’re booked.

Now, I’m off to log some more miles because I’m off work earlier than expected and get my crunchtime on!

Questions of the day: What’s the awesomest thing you’ve done in the last 2 weeks?  Any suggestions on how to conquer my pedals on my bike better?  How long do you need to warm up for on a run before you feel like you’re really IN THE ZONE?  Any bets on how long it will take me to come back and blog? 🙂

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