Adjusted Reality

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

Month: July 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

Week 29: Good Bad Ugly Week

No race for a few weekends means I can actually do a weekly post.  Woohoo!  It was the week of good, bad, and ugly.  Let’s start on the positives and work our way down from there.

The Good – Training

I really nailed this week.  My body took everything I threw at it last week, with my highest volume week yet this year, and was ready for more.  I was really happy with that after dragging it kicking and screaming through the minimal amount of training that seemed halfway reasonable to prepare for BSLT, I’m ready to handle things much better this time.  Instead of the mental fuck which is putting out a training plan, knowing that it is both too little to prepare you for your race and too much for your body to handle, and just trying to hit as much as you can, it’s nice to turn all the boxes green, not have to put in caveats, and say, yep, went as planned.

I had a few days last week where I either mixed up which knee was hurt or realized it was the end of the day and I hadn’t thought about my knee at all.  It’s not 100% twinge free all the time, but this is probably the next step in healing, where it’s just not a factor.  I’m continuing the icing and stretching and all that, but it’s now just as preventative medicine.  I’m really glad about that.

Swim:

While I don’t expect to see much more in the way of gains in the pool this year, I’m really enjoying that I’m cruising in at about 30-33 mins, depending on the day, for 1500m.  In January, it was taking me 30 mins to swim less than 1100.  I’m definitely considering doing a couple weeks of swim focus in the early season next year, because it just seems like when I put myself in the water more and start getting towards that 6-7km per week, my times just drop.

Bike:

Epic biking week over here.  First of all, I did the same volume of training I did last year this week (~135 miles) and instead of crashing and burning, I came out feeling awesome.  I did two long rides – one 50 miler on the trainer, and a 64 miler outside.  The trainer one was just fine, but the outdoor one was GLORIOUS.  I felt amazing through the whole thing, I kept increasing speed (from 15 mph at the beginning to over 16.5 mph at the end), I never got down or felt bad or got too delirious, and for the first time ever, I could fathom going 100 miles.  Piling on the bike miles this month seems to be a good decision.  Also, I’m definitely enjoying doing double bricks and pushing myself fast on the trainer as well.

Run:

Running MILES are taking a backseat this month, but I’m working on intensity.  Another great double brick, where both miles were sub-9s (8:55 and 8:36).  Nice, easy 9 miler, where my HR is finally cooperating.  Not that 11:30s are anything to throw a party over, but the effort in which those 9 miles were done is (decent HR, felt like I could go on forever, even on tired legs).  The mile off the bike on Saturday was great too – 10:30s felt like conversational pace (spent the time yacking with our friend B) and I could have easily run more but B had to go, and then by the time we could have got going again, I was cooled down and we figured we should call it.

Weights:

Back to them.  I’m about at my maintenance weights for the program, not counting the last, heavier set I should be doing.  I’ll probably just stay here for a while – my knee feels stronger because of the lifting, but I don’t want to push it.

By the days…

Monday: Weights: Getting Better + Stretch 01:00, Swim: 50 Laps 1500 m 00:33
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Star Wars Ep. VI an… 50 mi 02:16 – 22.1mph pace
Wednesday: Bike: Double Brick: Trainer + Music… 20 mi 00:42 – 28.3mph pace, Run: Double Brick: 1 Mile Loop 2 mi 00:18 08:45 pace, Weights: Samesies 01:00, Swim: Little Sprints 1500 m 00:30
Thursday: Run: Normal Loops + 2222 and Back 9.12 mi 01:45 11:30 pace
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Magical Unicorn Ride at the V… 63.77 mi 03:51 16.6mph pace, Run: Little brick 1.02 mi 00:10:42 10:29 pace
Sunday: off

12 hours total.  3000m swim, 134 miles bike, 12 miles run, 2 weights sessions.

This week is taper + Jack’s Generic Olympic, so it will be nice to get some rest and recovery, with only 5 hours of training planned (plus the race).  My goals for this race are:

Swim + transition in under 30.  I hope I will WELL surpass that but the beach run in between the loops is definitely making me nervous (long, rocky, ouchie beach).

Bike – beat 18 mph.  I did 18.1 here for the sprint on a hillier course, I just did 16.6 mph on a much. much longer ride, the course is pretty pancake flat minus about ~5 short hills, so I feel like 18 is in my grasp.  I want to really push this and test my bike legs.  18mph is 1:26 for this 25.8 mile course, so I’d like to beat that.

Run – they advertise 6 miles, but I know the course is a few tenths of a mile short.  I want to do this in under an hour.  I want to just make sure to stay with it and try to push as hard as I can off the bike.  However, this race, since I’m definitely more bike focused this month, I think I would rather burn a little more on the bike this race and if it costs me a few seconds on the run, so be it.  I know I can slog around this perfectly flat trail pretty well even on tired legs.

Folks, that makes about 3 hours allowing for a few mins at T2, so I’m gunning to be at the finish no later than 11:08am.  Also, I start 6 mins after Zliten, so it’s a toss up whether I’ll catch him in the water depending on the day I have, so I may be the rabbit or I may be the chaser on this one.

The bad – Food/Scale

Going from 9 to 12 hours of training on the same amount of food probably wasn’t realistic, but it was worth a try.  I’m ok with being a little hungry (ok, I’m not, but I can at least pretend), but forces within me actually dragged my butt to the kitchen at time to binge on things that could have been better.  Huge, huge hunger crashes.  Next peak week, I just need to prepare for that and plan lots of better good-for-me food (2000 calories is probably the lowest I should go on training days where I do 2+ hours).

I am making zero progress.  The scale is stuck at 177-179.  I’ve not been diligent about food tracking during peak training, like, ever, so I’m not sure whether it’s that I keep fucking up, or whether my body is just totally being resistant, or what, but it’s frustrating.  July had a lot of social stuff, and that always throws me for a loop nutrition-wise, but August so far just looks like a nice solid block of training and being hermit-like.  And I’m very ok with that.

Best (worst) thing I ate this week: a club sandwich on a fried donut, with homemade potato chips and fried brussel sprouts.

I’d say that could potentially be a reason I’m not making progress, but I feel like one meal like that on a week where I did over 12 hours of training is justified.  The rest of the week was my normal 90/10, but just more calories of it.  All I can do is keep plugging along.  This week’s goal is good food, back to normal levels since I’m training less, and no junk.

Monday: 1448 calories, 27 DQ
Tuesday: 1947 calories, 28 DQ
Wednesday: 2164 calories, 27 DQ
Thursday: 2732 calories, 23 DQ
Friday: 1679 calories, 22 DQ
Saturday: 2729 calories, -2 DQ
Sunday: 2163 calories, 5 DQ

Averages: 2123 calories, 18.5 DQ (wow, that’s really, really terrible for me)

Weight: Low – 176.0, High – 179.6

The quality of the weekend was bad, but if you keep in mind that on Tuesday, I rode 50 miles, Wednesday, I rode 20, ran 2, swam a mile, and did weights, Thursday I ran 9 miles, and Saturday, I rode my bike for 4 hours and then ran, these calorie counts are probably not the end of the world.  I just need to detox from eating 3 different fried foods yesterday, and hopefully I’ll make some progress this week.

The Ugly – EVERYTHING IS BREAKING

While my body is holding together, my things are falling apart.  Here are my tales of woe from the last few weeks:

  • Someone backed into my car and left a number.  Too bad it was a fake number – so guess who’s left paying 600$ to fix my bumper.  Yep, it’s this gal.
  • My laptop’s broken and we’re waiting on the part.  At least this one is covered by warranty.
  • Zliten’s tablet randomly stopped working.  It just won’t charge.
  • Zliten’s root canal also is costing about an arm and a leg because of insurance maximums being hit already this year.
  • The tree in our neighbor’s yard got hit by lightning.  While this one could have been WAY WAY WAY worse, it knocked out power for 15 hours because it broke the converter (we had porcelain and tree refuse all over our front and back yard), and when the power came back on, we found that the TV in the bedroom was fried.  We just got a new one yesterday, and the 32 inchers looked so tiny, we got a 39 inch, and now it’s like our own movie theatre in the bedroom!
  • I would insert bitching about the smartest mouse in the world living in our house that we just can’t catch, but we totally nabbed him at lunch yesterday.  Fucker.  Score one for team human!

I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting things, but it’s been a rough July.  Hopefully August will be better.  I have things I want to buy that are NOT replacing broken stuff and dental work, thank you very much.

The Else – Time to Go Into A Hole

I spent July being pretty social and doing stuff with lots of different people.  For example, last weekend, we hung out with 4 different sets of friends in 2 days.  We got to catch up with a few more the weekend before. It was great, but I’m exhauuuuusted.  Drinking that much beer and eating donut sandwiches is hard work!

I feel pretty fulfilled socially and frankly, I’m ready to go into a little training hole.  If y’all want to hang out, let’s do it on a run, bike, or swim, mmmkay?  Or food after, where I stuff my face with at least twice what’s appropriate in polite company and then go to sleep.  I need to just really focus on getting good rest and recovery because I’m going to be putting myself through a lot in August.  I’m sure in a few weeks, I’ll be wanting to see people again, but for now, I’m really cool with doing stuff around the house for a bit and keeping up with people’s lives through facebook and such.

August is going to be about training and sleeping a lot and eating all the good things.  So much of this.

Question of the week: what’s the best thing you ate last week (best is subjective)?

Week 27 and 28: Hungry Robots and Real Clothes

Not having a working laptop is both terrible and wonderful.  Terrible, because I am going to type up a really quick post here and not spend much time on it because I can’t do it at home, and I really wanted to play my game this weekend (probably ONLY because I couldn’t, but still).  Wonderful, because I have unplugged a little bit since it’s annoying to do all that much from my tablet internet-wise, and I played a lot of other people’s games this weekend.

However, I’ve got two weeks to recap, so let’s git.

Training:

Week 27 was the pre-week kick off for training block #2 this year.  It was more of a gentle return to routine – I didn’t want to hit it 100% hard after the two extremes of BSLT racing, and then a full week completely off, doing no more cardio than thrift shopping.  I did a little bit of biking on the trainer, which felt good, especially because we have our new resistance controls that make adjustment ON THE BIKE possible (I know, should have spent that money 2 years ago, but better late than never).  I did (really light – less than half of 1 rep max) weights once.  I ran a pretty solid 5 mile run in clouds and drizzles that felt magical.  I swam really fast.  It’s amazing what happens when your body is completely rested.

I even think being that rested helped me race better at Couples.  I was able to keep my brain positive, and it wasn’t worn out from suffering through a lot of hard workouts, it was like, ok, we can do this.  My FITNESS was pretty low but my brain was into it.

Monday: off
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer Hill Workout + Starga… 22 mi 01:00
Wednesday: Weights: gym weights + stretching 00:45, Swim: Pool laps 1650 m 00:33
Thursday: Run: Neighborhood Loops 5 mi 00:56
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: easy spin + quicksilver 16 mi 00:45
Sunday: Swim: Couples Tri Swim 800 m 00:19, Bike: Couples Tri Bike 11.2 mi 00:42, Couples Tri Run 3.1 mi 00:34

5.5 hours total, 49 miles biked, 8 miles ran, 2450m swam, 1 weights session

Week 28 was about 80% of insan-o levels.  Two weights sessions, slowly working my way back from barbie weights to real heavy things.  On the bike, we did a 45 miler trainer (aiming to start the process of a long bike ride most weeks so a 56 mile tour de Kerrville is not such a shock to the system), and two short, speedy 10 milers for double bricks the next day (followed by a 1 mile run).  Looking at last year’s bike mileage, I did not ride nearly enough, inside or outside, so I’m hoping to change that with quite a few 100 mile+ weeks and lots of 45+ days.

I got a little bit of my run mojo back.  The double brick 1 milers conjured up some speed I didn’t know I had – the first was 9 minutes flat, the second was 8:40.  I’m not entirely sure I’ve run an 8:40 mile at any time this year, but certainly not after 20 miles of hard riding and a pretty fast first mile.  The next day, I ran 7 – it was hot, my legs were tired, and I had to run slower than I wanted to keep my heart rate from blowing up, but I got through it, and it was a good easy run, staying in zone 2.  After the epic swim on Saturday, I did a 5k in the 90 degree mid-day heat in no shade, and while I didn’t track HR, I felt pretty strong even in the heat and on tired legs.

Swam twice this week, meant to swim 3 times but this was the one session I missed.  Oh well.  The weekday swim was uneventful, but the weekend swim at Pflugerville was definitely of note – it was my first Iron distance swim (2.45 miles to be exact – so .05 more) and I did it in under 2 hours!  This was 10 laps around the Lake Pflugerville buoys.  The first four laps were uneventful.  Lap 5 and 6 were a little soul sucking, because it was that no mans land where I’m swimming further than normal, but I still have a lot to go.  I got a little brain foggy then, lost my form, got sloooow, and got a little down.

Then, lap 7, I picked it up because “I only had an Olympic swim to go”.  I build speed again, had better form, and rounded the last buoy of lap 9 and headed out to shore.  I waited a bit for Zliten, I chilled, and then when I saw him go for another lap, I got my garmin out of my waterproof safe swimmer – I still had .3 of a mile to go!  D’oh!  I made quick work of that one and ended up with 2.45 miles in 1:58.  While I still certainly need to get better at that, pretty impressed that I’m 22 mins under the Ironman cutoff (you have to complete your swim in 2 hours and 20 mins) without any training!

Monday: Weights: Weights + Stretch 00:45
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Star Wars Episode V… 45 mi 02:01
Wednesday: Bike: Double Brick: Bike 19.18 mi 40min, Run: Double Brick: Run 2 mi 17:40min, Weights: The ush… 01:00, Swim: Gym laps 1080 m 00:22
Thursday: Slow + Steady + Strong 7 mi 01:22
Friday: off
Saturday: Swim: Iron Distance at Lake Pf 3950 m 01:58, Sweaty 5k at Lake Pf 3.1 mi 36min
Sunday: off

9 hours total, 65 miles biked, 12 miles ran, 5000m swam, 2 weights sessions

Food/Scale:

July is frustrating, but I did it to myself.  June’s 3 races of carb-loading (and probably subsequent body abuse) and a little less attention to detail in this area, and then a week off + less quality food while family was in town = back to what seems to be a setpoint for me at 177-178.  See, I now KNOW that it takes my body 3-4 weeks to respond to what I’m doing to it once it gets in a state of confusion (read: hungry ALL THE TIME), and it just takes patience.  Still doesn’t make it any better when I’m going to bed hungry and the scale doesn’t change.

Again, disclaimer for the people who may be happening upon this without a lot of background – don’t try this at home.  My body is not your body.  For most people, 90% healthy food consumed to their appetite works to effortlessly bring them down to a healthy, optimal weight.  Not me.  Once I get the weight loss going, it seems to be that way, but once I get stuck, I really, really have to get to the point where I’m angry-hungry for a few weeks until the lbs start rolling off, and then I can resume being a human for a while.

I tried giving up grains, I tried low carb, I tried low salt (probably the worst I’ve felt in a long time), I’ve tried super protein… all these things make me feel is heavy and gross and weak and angry and tired.  I worked with a nutritionist for a year who I love for introducing me to the concept of quality food (organics, etc), but she cycled through all these types of things and I ended up putting weight ON.  My body seems to thrive on a super healthy vegetarian’s diet who eats meat once a day (or twice in smaller quantities).  Chicken and a salad shuts my brain off and my tummy feels heavy all day.  A salad with a small bit of chicken, beans, cheese, and veggies rolled up in a whole grain wrap with more veggies on the side?  Brain up, awake, and body feels light and happy.

Even with this diatribe, my calorie counts are not super low for the amount of activity.  This week though, I’ll be training full capacity and attempting to not increase calories at all (of course, there is a level of hunger that is stupid, and I’ll go eat something healthy to shut my stomach up, and I will not be skimping on calories before, during, and after workouts), and keep that DQ score through the roof.  Hopefully this is the jump start needed to get on with my 15 lbs to Kerrville initiative.

Week 27:

Monday: 1887 calories, 16 DQ
Tuesday: 1654 calories, 29 DQ
Wednesday: 1442 calories, 26 DQ
Thursday: 2107 calories, 26 DQ
Friday: 1622 calories, 25 DQ
Saturday: oops.  Guessing about 1700 calories, ~15 DQ
Sunday: oops.  Guessing about 2500 calories, ~3 DQ

Averages: 1844 calories, 20 DQ

Weight: Low – 177.4, High – 179.4

Week 28:

Monday: 1685 calories, 28 DQ
Tuesday: 1781 calories, 28 DQ
Wednesday: 1890 calories, 25 DQ
Thursday: 2281 calories, 18 DQ
Friday: 1724 calories, 22 DQ
Saturday: 2336 calories, 4 DQ
Sunday: 1440 calories, 25 DQ

Averages: 1876 calories, 21.5 DQ

Weight: Low – 175.8, High – 179.2

The low weight is moving, but the bounce back is about the same.  Bugger.  This week, I’ll add 2 more hours of training, and attempt to keep the calories around 1800 average.  Stay tuned!

Other stuff:

We went out, with people, to a brew pub and had dinner and beers.  I wore clothes – a dress even – and makeup and such.  It was a lot of fun to catch up with some of our friends.  I need to remember that we need some outside social interaction and not just drink on the patio (or at the very least, invite friends over to drink on the patio) and wear real clothes on a Saturday night (not pajamas or spandex) every once in a while.

As I eluded to above, my laptop keyboard is toast.  The shift key on the left won’t unstick, so it’s stuck on.  This sounds less tragic than it is, as I can’t make numbers, periods, or anything, so I’ve just been using my tablet while it gets fixed.  It IS under warranty through American Express (yay), so it shouldn’t cost anything, but I’m waiting right now for the approval and the parts to come in.  We took it first to Best Buy as we weren’t sure if we got the insurance on it (we didn’t), and they said they’d charge a 35$ non refundable fee before it even gets looked at, and they had to ship it off to another state, and it would be minimum 2-3 weeks.  We then went to the shop down the street, they said it would be ~50$ in labor, part at cost, and it would take an hour or two once they had the part.  We will be going with the local shop. 🙂

If you are into that type of thing (big giant robot smash crazy alien monsters) – GO SEE PACIFIC RIM.  It was a lot of fun, thoroughly mesmerizing, and made me smile on the edge of my seat the whole time.  First movie in a long long long time I’ve seen on opening weekend and it was totally worth it.

We did get to game not last Thursday, but the one before.  We took over a pirate ship and found ourselves 400+years in the past and snuck past creepy fish monsters chanting in an uber creepy basement. There was one super spooky part where our GM reached out and touched my arm to demonstrate something and it made me shriek and jump.  Fun stuff.

Other gaming related stuff – I’m really making progress getting further along in my own game.  I also spent a lot of the weekend playing Secret of Monkey Island (the Telltale Adventure Game).  It’s cute, it’s fun, it takes no reflexes, and it’s my kind of game right now.  I got through episode 2, 3, and most (I think) of 4 until I started getting crabby and realized I had played for 9 hours already.  Next on the docket is the Telltale Walking Dead games, which are supposed to be AWESOME but much less fun and cute.  We’ll see when I feel like I’m ready for those.  This gaming was at the cost of getting any sewing done, but I’m going to haul out my table to the front room this week so I can sew and TV (at least listen) at the same time.

I’m pretty sure everyone has seen this, but if you haven’t… well… lots of this.  The Oatmeal – Why I Run.

And with that, I’m out.

Question: what’s the last movie you saw in the theatre?

Couples Tri: The Rabbit

If you’ll remember, I had a pretty frustrating race last year.  Couple that (hehe) with the fact that while the knee is (slowly) getting back to normal, I’m still feeling the effects of the lack of fitness from missing training, and I’m only 14 days out from beating myself up hardcore for seven and a half hours at BSLT 70.3, and this is on my least favorite course pretty much in the world (Decker Lake and Walter E. Long Park… sorry, it’s not me, it’s you…), I didn’t expect much from this race.

This little airplane did have a few goals:

  • Swim in the same zone where I felt at Pfluger.  It’s my last sprint swim, let’s go hard!
  • Bike fast, and with the confidence I felt at BSLT.  Carnage is not a thing compared to that switchback at mile 35, but just to state the obvious, not getting off the bike and walking up that stupid hill.
  • Run smart.  Keep as fast a pace as possible while keeping my knee happy.  Run up that dumb ass hill instead of getting all pissy and walking up it like last year.
  • Keep my head in the game at all moments.
  • Beat Zliten – if I can.  We will be racing head to head this time…
  • A Couples PR would be nice, but if I put together all the other goals and it doesn’t result in a PR, that’s ok too.

How did I do? Stay tuned….

 

Day before:

We had a fun day of packet pickup, queso and veggie tacos at Magnolia Cafe (questioned whether that was good pre-race food – but since it’s just a sprint, we went with it because it sounded good), saw Pacific Rim (AWESOME!!!), more errands, grabbing a turkey sandwich for dinner, batch cooking for the week ahead, packing up tri stuff, laundry, random other shit, and it was 10pm when we went to bed. Badness.  Plus, I had to make sure and rest every hour or so when my butt muscle started to get sore so my body certainly wasn’t rested.  We definitely overdid it a bit.  One great thing about out of town races… you can’t do errands all day.  You are forced to just sit in the hotel room and have downtime.   Next Austin race, we’ll strive to do a little less (how often do you get to say that?).  10pm bedtime wasn’t as tragic this time because transition didn’t open until 6am, but I would have liked to be in bed an hour earlier and lots more relax time that day.

Morning of:

Got up, had a great poop (yay poop)!  Had a coconut chocolate cliff bar (yum), skipped my normal tea and just split Zliten’s energy drink with him, and got to the tri about 15-20 mins after 6.  We got a pretty awesome spot on the “Married” rack (you rack by division, and the divisions are by who you’re partnered with), and did our normal walking around (bathroom, car again, finding our friend B, other dicking around) and got down to the race start in time for the pre-race meeting (which we ignored, sorry Couples, I’ve raced Decker like 5 times now, I’m cool), and chatted with B and caught up on the happs since Pluger.

We were able to get a pre-race swim, and I got in and, holy shit, it was total bathwater.  I MUCH prefer bathwater to freezy water, but it definitely was a contrast to 2 weeks ago in that gorgeous spring-fed 74 degree lake.  It was at least 84, the announcer pretty much said it was a million degrees and no wetsuits allowed period.  I got my stroke dialed in on the way out, did some race pace on the way back, and on the way out, stepped sideways and tweaked my knee a little.  SPOILER: this is the last time I’d think about my knee this race, so while that made me nervous, my body held it together.  Fucking hooray!

Then, the race got going with the national anthem, cheering off the first wave, chatting more with B, eating chompies and beans (which I shared with Zliten since his gel fell out while swimming), and then we BOTH were on double deck, which is nice (usually, every triathlete and their mother gets to do that, and then, I get in line), because “married, combined age under 70” was wave 5.  We lined up, I earplugged up, got in the water, hugged and kissed Zliten good luck (looooooove that part of this race!!!), got up in the middle near the buoys (figured, let’s go for it), and then the countdown started.

Swim:

The airhorn blew, I dolphin dived (first time, it just felt right) and got to hurting.  I swam over dude right in front of me, next person in front of him (apparently I should have started closer to the front), and kept that pace for a bit until it cleared and I was gasping.  I did my best to settle into uncomfortably hard (like PF), and concentrate on long, lean strokes.  The problem I had with amazing sighting skillz from BSLT “plagued” me here as well, but today it was a boon.  Since I wasn’t swimming with M dot people, I’m much more competitive against the local tri folks in the lake.  Before the first 1/3 was done, I swam over (sorry) caps from the previous wave (and apparently I swam over Zliten too, oops), and I had convince myself I was doing awesome.

I hit the turn buoy and all of a sudden, the concept of how to do a efficient and effective catch part of my stroke became completely transparent to me.  *Angelic Choir*.  I did not get swam over, nay, I passed about a billion people on the 2nd part.  I saw lots of caps from the previous wave (4 mins), caps from the wave ahead of them (8 mins), and I caught my first pink cap (12 mins).  I had to be on pace for a record setting swim (for me).  I didn’t see ANY of my cap color around and I decided to believe it was because I was way ahead of most of them.

I turned around turn buoy #2 (for the last third of the course), feeling pretty strong, and felt that thing that triathletes never ever ever ever want to feel on the swim… someone knocking my timing chip loose in deep water.  I grabbed my leg and tried to refasten it, and it just came off in my hands.  Fuck.  Well, at least I still had it.  I wrapped it around my right hand as best I could and swam.  Forever and ever from now on, I’ll use a safety pin to hold it on.

I won’t use it as an excuse, but I definitely felt the difference in my catch, which had just clicked a few minutes ago.  I felt like a one and a half legged woman in an ass kicking contest.  I did my best, still surrounded by caps of the waves ahead of me, only getting passed once, but I still left the water feeling stoked about the first 2/3rds and a little frustrated about the last 1/3.

Swim Time: gonna say 19:25 for 800m.  Since I didn’t have my chip on my foot, it didn’t record a swim, but a REALLY LONG T1.  I subtracted last years T1 from the total time of 23:23 (3:58) and got that.  It was under 20 for sure, and that’s at least TWO MINUTES better than last year.  I was hoping for closer to 16 when I entered the water, but that was unicorn and rainbow dreams on par with pool time pace.  If I had to guess, I think this course was a bit long (both years).

T1:

Jogged my ass up the hill, did my normal stuff, got out, and noted I was definitely “the rabbit” and I was going to lead the chase.  Zliten’s bike was there, and I didn’t see him the whole transition or hear his name, so I just got out on the bike as quickly as possible to prolong the time until I would see him again. Mounting went fine, and I was off.

T1 time: estimated 3:58.  I don’t know, so I’m claiming last year’s time.

Bike:

I’m sure the “shoes on your pedals” trick is good for some people, but some lady on an expensive bike pedaled past me, then she struggled to get her shoes on, and I passed her, and I don’t remember seeing her the rest of the time.  Equipment and trickery only counts for so much.  I chomped a chomp, and got in aero and got going.

This course can be described, in a nutshell, as RIDICI-hilly.  There are very few flats – you’re either going up or down.  It’s only 11.2 miles, but there’s nothing easy about it.  After some mild uphills and downhills on the front of the course, you turn onto the side road (at the time – my average was about 16.5 mph).  You get more of these, and I did my best to a) pass everyone I could and b) stay in aero, since my little crutch of riding the drops didn’t work as the tape was falling off and startled me every time I touched it (note to self: FIX DROP TAPE and don’t ignore it like you have been for months).

I worked on being prepared for Carnage (sharp right turn into a stupid steep hill) by dropping down to little left gear and accidentally went down to little right gear too.  I started the hill with less momentum than intended, but after BSLT, I know what I had to do and just worked up it without the fear I’ve had each time in the past of falling over, and though it was crowded (out of my mouth came: : “on the…middle?” while passing two people) I made it and recovered and got up the next one n.b.d.

I leveled up a bit more in aero today.  I spent a lot of time there as I have lately, but I also rode down quite a few hills in them.  I maxed out at 32.3 mph, which is usually Freaky Friday speeds for me.  Even with Carnage, about at the 2/3 point, I was at 17.5 mph. Super solid.  I kept looking back after this, figuring it was any minute that Zliten was going to come up and fly by me, but it never happened.

However, the last few hills killed my pace.  I made it up double hill feeling pretty strong, and quad buster, but I think I just lost it a little bit from the last hill to the dismount line.  I just couldn’t get my legs going again and I think I mentally psyched myself out after being SO FUCKING DEAD on the run at the 70.3 two weeks ago, and I saved too much and spun too easy the last half mile.  My speed at the dismount had amounted to just a 16.2 on the garmin, which, really, is not horrible, but I know I can do better.  It was a few seconds better than last year, so I was happy.

Bike Time: 41:56 (16.0 mph)  Better than last year by about 15 seconds.  I think I held back a bit because I was so scared of being as drained as I was off the bike in BSLT, but I’m pretty ok with this overall. I don’t do well on this bike course, and this is the best I’ve done here, I keep taking seconds off every time I ride it, and considering I’ve ridden my bike twice (indoors) in the last two weeks, I’ll take it!

T2:

I felt a bit of ye olde transition gravity here, got my stuff on (this time was an added degree of difficult – it wasn’t just put on the shoes, but also put on the visor and the race belt since I was running with my handheld and 3 things is officially too much to deal with in my hands), and got out.  I thought I might have seen Zliten on the bike coming in as I ran out, but still being the rabbit, I didn’t want to stay to find out.

T2 Time: 1:54.  10 seconds more than last year, but accounted for because of the handheld shenanigans.

Run:

I had felt pretty good on the warmup run (sans garmin, so no idea if my “I’m going fast, wheeee” was 11s or 9s), but when I got out, I was in the 9s and 10s and the legs and lungs were feeling ok.  The head seemed to be into it too.  Aight.  We’re all here.  Let’s party.

The problem with this course is that a) it’s just about all sticks and twigs.  I have a recovering knee injury.  Any jostling side to side last year would have been uncomfortable.  This year, it could be potentially race ending and b) I’m pretty sure they figured out how to rack up about 3x more uphill than downhill on this course and gave it to us triathletes on a course as a present with a bow.  Smiley face.

My run fitness is nowhere.  I don’t have it.  Tyler’s not here.  Tyler gone.  All I can do lately in races is run by feel, pay very little attention to pace so it doesn’t piss me off, and keep my heart rate up.  I know that if my average HR is 178, I’m giving all I can, no matter what speed it is.  I pushed up, and then down the sticks, onto the grass, up the hill, and then on the down, I saw my pursuer the first time this whole race.  HE WAS SO CLOSE, like a tenth of a mile away.  I dug in and pushed with every ounce of run-up-the-hill I had.

I got into the woods and just knew he was going to pass me with that stupid grin on his face (which I love, obviously, but this is a race…) and be going a speed I couldn’t match.  I wanted to prolong that as long as I could with every fiber of my being.  I wasn’t going fast (remember: fitness gone) but I wasn’t letting up.  I hit mile 2 and I wasn’t caught yet (looked over my shoulder at least 10 times as people came up behind me), and got some good momentum on the downhill (though I did go slower than I might have before the knee thing) and then I hit the turn which started the part of my course that infected my nightmares.

I turned, threw my visor down low, and started chugging.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered.  Then I looked up and it was the turn before the turn, and I was running away from the race course.  Ha!  Pushed my visor up a bit, turned the NEXT corner, and then it was go time.

This was my test.  This is a huge, about half mile, extremely steep run hill.  In most race situations, I’d justify walking this.  However, how can you justify walking on a 5k (nevermind it was preceded by a 800m swim and 11.2 hilly ride)?  I chugged.  And chugged.  And chugged.  I had almost convinced myself that walking would be better until I noticed that I was passing all the walkers (some in my age group) and that it was PAIN LIKE THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS but somehow I was able to take it and keep going and didn’t die.  And any minute, Zliten was going to pass me anyway because he’s better at hills, so I kept working at it like a bike hill.  Walking equaled unclipping.  No unclipping here.

Somehow I emerged at the top and hit pavement…. ahhhhh, delicious pavement.  I went from the 13-14mphs I was doing up the hill to 9-10s as my feet FINALLY got some traction and I saw the finish line.  Goddamn if I was going to let Zliten beat me here, so I ran, then sprinted (ok, so real standalone 5k pace, but OMG FELT LIKE SPRINT) through the finish line.

Run Time: 33:58 (10:57/mile). 30 seconds slower than last year but also WAYYYY more consistent splits (11:20, 11:09, 11:30) and also not nearly as slow, in comparison, as Pfluger this year (2 mins slower).

Total race time:  1:41:13.  All my goals for this race are met.  1.5 minutes faster than last year, and my brain was in a much better place the whole time.  The rabbit was never caught, as I cheered Zliten into the finish a minute and a half after I crossed.  I’m back, baby! 🙂

Next week starts the volume ramp up for actually training for a 70.3, and I’m really looking forward to having 2 Olympics (my fave race length) in the next 2 months on the calendar, with many weekends in between for some toughness and badassery building training.

Week 25 + 26 – Time Warp

Holy crap, it feels like it’s been FOREVER since BSLT, but a week and 3 days ago I was laying in bed with a beer and mac and cheese, celebrating finishing the toughest day of triathlon yet.  The pain (both the muscle soreness and the mental pain of that sloggy run) has faded and now I’m ready to kick off the second half of the season!  And, oh yeah, I have a race this weekend that I keep forgetting about.

However, let’s recap the last two weeks first, shall we? (I’ll just leave this one right here from Independence day.  I’m totally festive, but what is with that pose and OMG THE TRI TAN).

Training:

This one will be pretty easy – besides the race, which I’ve covered in about 5 billion words here, was a lot of jack and shit.

Monday before the race, I swam about a mile in a little over 30 mins.

Tuesday and Thursday before the race, I did a quick 10 mile trainer in 30 mins in the morning, and at lunch, I ran 5k outdoors in ~95 degree temps in approximately 35 mins each time.

That’s it, that’s all, unless you count shopping as cardio (which I totally do when it’s 4 hours in the thrift store, Macklemore would be proud…).  I felt as prepared as possible for the race, the extra little bit of rest that week (skipped a swim) didn’t do me badly, and while I would have loved to not have been starting from zero run fitness and zero point five percent bike fitness 6 weeks out of my first big race of the year, I could have accomplished nothing by jam packing that six weeks any fuller than I did.  Also, the week off hasn’t taken away all my creakies, but I’m in much better condition than I was, and I think a gradual reintroduction to miles will help shake some of that rust off.

I’ve got a good idea of what needs to change the second half of this season.  Goal #1 is to get 100% absolutely comfortable in the saddle knocking out 50-60 mile bike rides (both trainer and outdoor).  Running 10-13 miles is not a thing to me, generally (right now my run fitness is more on the 10 miles is the edge of my comfort zone, but that should resolve itself soon).  Riding 50 miles is something I have done not that many times.  Once I get better at that long bike ride, I’ll get off the bike less wasted.  I’m good at running on tired legs, but it’s been an incredible shock to my system how long 56 miles on race day really is for me.

Food:

I have eaten a lot of not-so-normal things over the last few weeks.  Some have been intentional, some haven’t.  I’ll divide this into 3 categories:

6/24-6/27 – ate like a normal, healthy Quix.

6/28-7/1 – ate more refined carbs, less fruits/veggies/etc to prepare for the race, or refeed after the race

7/2 – 7/7 – did what I could to eat healthy, but we had family staying with us and the biggest compromise we could do to satisfy all eaters was to go out every meal.  Calorie counts were totally fine.  Diet quality was not so great, but it is what it is.

By the numbers…

6/24 – 6/30

Monday: 26 DQ, 1351 calories
Tuesday: 25 DQ, 1705 calories
Wednesday: 26 DQ, 1590 calories
Thursday: 29 DQ, 1606 calories
Friday: 16 DQ, 1750 calories
Saturday: did not track (mac and cheese and club sandwiches, oh my)
Sunday: did not track (about ~1000 calories of cliff blox and bars, and then whatever I felt like shoving in my face including a sonic burger and tots and more mac and cheese)

7/1 – 7/7

Monday: did not track (bbq and beer and random foods)
Tuesday:  1219 calories, 18 DQ
Wednesday: 1526 calories, 22 DQ
Thursday: 1795 calories, 9 DQ
Friday: 1560 calories, 21 DQ
Saturday: 1896 calories, 18 DQ
Sunday: 1515 calories, 11 DQ

I’m not certain it’s really worth it to do an average on week 1, but for week 2:

1585 calories average (this looks awesome, but keep in mind I had zerrrrooooo training… my appetite was just about nil all week)

16.5 DQ average

Weight range week 1:  176.0 (low) – 179.0 (high) (riding that crazy crimson rollercoaster or this might be lower)

Weight range week 2: 176.4 (low) – 183.4 (high) (hey look at all that water weight I put on racing and lost real quick but haven’t made any progress because of all those chips and ice cream and stuff)

Three races in 30 days wreaked havoc on any sort of progress in June (two of them travel trips and carb loading), and I’m very excited that all I have to contend with in July is one measly little sprint tri this weekend which just means not cutting calories the day before, and only an hour and a half of racing to eat and beer back after.  Right now, I am, as they say, full of shit.  Literally.  My body got used to the crappy food last week.  Healthy food goes in, nothing comes out this week.  I’m hoping it resolves itself soon or I’ll have to take little chocolate steps to do it myself.

After the crazy-fest which was racing every 5 seconds, traveling, and family events, I’m ready to just go to work on eating good food and just enough of it to sustain training.  I’m done with deserts and fried food and crappy bread.  I have a few social occasions planned this month but outside of those 2-3 specific meals, I’m all over getting back to my Quix-itarian diet, y’know, the one that seemed to be working at taking off the coveted “elle bees” this spring.

Couples Tri:

This one is cool because you get to start in the same wave as your partner (hi Zliten!).  Last year, we stuck together.  It was AWFUL.  We train well together, but we drag each other down in races.  We will start together, and if we end up together, awesome, but we’re not waiting for each other at any point during the race.

I’m at such a different point in the season than I was last year.  In 2012, I had just begun to really load myself up with training volume and was at the beginning of being really burnt out.  This year, I’m coming off a week of rest, just starting the second half of this cycle, so I’m totally rarin’ to go, if not just a little rusty.  I’ll take head on straight and rested any day of the year though…

My goals for Couples:

  • Swim in the same zone where I felt at Pfluger.  It’s my last sprint swim, let’s go hard!
  • Bike fast, and with the confidence I felt at BSLT.  Carnage is not a thing compared to that switchback at mile 35, but just to state the obvious, not getting off the bike and walking up that stupid hill.
  • Run smart.  Keep as fast a pace as possible while keeping my knee happy.  Run up that dumb ass hill instead of getting all pissy and walking up it like last year.
  • Keep my head in the game at all moments.
  • Beat Zliten – if I can.  We will be racing head to head this time…
  • A Couples PR would be nice, but if I put together all the other goals and it doesn’t result in a PR, that’s ok too.
  • Stick around for awards.  Hey, you never know!
  • We’re planning on hitting a brunch buffet after.  Last goal is to not completely pig the hell out…

(This is how we do the 4th of July in Texas, y’all)

Other Stuff:

We helped catch a shoplifter coming out of Nordstrom’s Rack as we were coming out of Whole Food.  This girl screamed at someone to “Leave her the fuck alone” and ran away, so we told the police officer in WF that something was going on.  By the time we got to the car, we saw her hiding in a car and the guy that she ran away from had a badge.  We pulled out and actually blocked her in so they caught her.  Brings new meaning to “It’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot“.

We had a work event at a place called Top Golf, and I’m dying to go back.  It’s essentially set up like bowling lanes.  You get up to the tee, a ball comes out, you hit it out onto the grass, which is set up with a bunch of targets, and each ball has a chip in it, so it tallies up your score.  We only got to do it once (because we’re nerds and also played a board game), but I totally TROUNCED Zliten 70 points to 29 (just in case I don’t win this weekend, I can throw this one in his face :D).

Lots of family time last week.  We got to be real people!  We played cards many, many times.  We saw Monsters University.  We walked around Georgetown’s cute little downtown area.  We went thrift shopping and I got a billion new things!  They asked, and I contemplated, if it felt weird not training.  It sorta did, but in that way where it sorta feels weird to be on vacation on a work day.  Knowing that it was an intentional choice (not forced because of an injury) and that I’d be back to it next week made it incredibly pleasant, and I’m totally ready to attack the summer of training because of it.

If you see Halo Top Creamery’s ice cream (70 calories a serving), it’s actually just frickin amazing.  Whereas Arctic Zero is good for something completely healthy to kill that “i want something frozen” itch for almost no calories, it is not super sweet and it is not creamy.  This stuff just tastes like ice cream, and has milk and sugar, but it’s all organic and quite a few less calories than even the light ice creams you see (120 calories for Slow Churned, etc).  The lemon cake flavor is to die for, and the chocolate is nothing to sneeze at either!

That’s about it for the 2 week wrap up.  I’ll be back to recap Couples soon!  Like, in 3.5 days when I race it.  Still hasn’t set in that I race this weekend, but off to see if I remember how to swim (likely) and lift weights (unlikely).

Question of the week: what did you do for 4th of July OR what was the most exciting thing that happened to you last week?

June Recap, July Goals

Posting is late due to extreme family time week, but here we go!

1. Make it through this month with my sanity intact.  Just sayin’.  Gonna be one of those months…

Oooooh yeah.  I just about had a nervous breakdown a few times this month, but I made it.   July seems to have slowed down a little so far, so there’s that.

2.  If 176.0 is May’s low – and I continue to eat and train the same way, survey says I should hit about 172-173.

Lowest this month was 174.8.  June was a challenge with 3 races, 2 of which were long enough to do the carb loading thing, so it been mostly a month of maintenance (June trended a wee bit lower than May, but not much).

3.  Calories, 1600-ish 5/7 days,  2000-ish 2/7 days, average about 1700-1800.  This seems to be about my comfort weight loss zone for the training load I’m doing right now, and totally fine as long as I  am eating good quality food.  To that end, keep average diet quality score above 20 each week.  To all these ends, continue tracking calories and DQ score, allowing for more calories/less quality the day before and of each race (refined carbs = good then).

I did not nail this all month, but the week I nailed it, I saw a loss (that was the week I got my low for the month, 174.8… hmmm… coincidence?  I think not…).

4. PR Pfluger Sprint.  At the very least, PR the swim, bike, and transitions if my knee is a limiter on the run still.

Missed my time by 30 seconds, but feel pretty good about my performance.  Essentially replicated my swim (though I swear the timing mat was WAY further than last year), exactly replicated my transitions to the second, and huge PR on the bike.  Before the run, I was ahead of my time last year by about 2 mins, the knee was indeed a limiter on the run.

5. BSLT 70.3 – finish before the cutoff.  I’m sure I’ll have more goals as I get through training this month but right now, it’s all about survival.

Finished well before the cutoff and survived.  The swim was awesome, the bike was hilly and challenging but fun, but I was ill prepared for the distance and thus made the run, which I was also ill prepared for, mostly miserable minus a few miles I was able to tough out a decent pace.  A fantastic long training day full of mental tough-making stuff though!

6. Clean out stuff and get rid of it with a yard sale.  Donate the rest to charity.  Take earnings from garage sale and use it to buy a cabinet to stash stuff in the workout room (thus addressing one room this month).

All done, minus the purchasing of the cabinet.  The room is in usable condition though, so there is that, and it shouldn’t take very long once we do purchase it.

7. Again, minimize spending.  Try to consider whether you ACTUALLY need the thing you’re buying or whether it just sounds fun.

Besides the massive amount we’re spending this week doing family stuff, we did pretty good on this.  Minus Zliten deciding to have a tooth that needed a not-all-the-way-covered-by-insurance root canal, so guess what goal is going to stick with us for another month or two? 🙂

8. Finish the book you’re reading.  Start the next one.

Check, and check.  Over 50% through.  Hoping for more today.

9. Balance training enough with not training too much.  Stay present and check in with the knee often.  Stiff for a day or two isn’t an emergency.  Lingering pain that doesn’t go away with a stretch and walk is bad and needs a step back.

I think I did pretty well with this.  Body was doing pretty good through Pfluger, then I pushed a little too hard, so I just immediately started to taper instead of squeezing in a few more distance workouts.  I held up through BSLT without being much worse for wear, so I’ll say success on this front this month.

10. Shift the schedule to the morning.  Wakeups this month and beyond need to start happening by sunrise many mornings to get training in – that means getting into bed just as it gets dark.  Embrace it.

Check.  The heat is a huge motivator here.  This week we’ve been sleeping in, but we were getting up in the 6 and 7 am hours without too much of a problem last month to train when needed.  One more week this week of slacking here, and then it’s back to getting up with the sun and logging lots of miles.

11. Do some social stuff.  Don’t go into a 70.3 hole.

We had a game night, we did dinner with friends and we hung out with friends one night, so we weren’t hermits, but not great.  However, I definitely need some social friend time soon.  I had a dream that we were in Vegas and I fell asleep at the bar before I could order my drink.  I think that’s my subconscious telling me to not be so lame.  July is already looking up, I’m counting family time as being incredibly social for a week, and we’re scheduling an outing with friends, we have a birthday dinner for other friends, and a game night, so it should be good.

12.  Actually go get the massages the chiropractor prescribed me – one this week and one the week after Pflugerville.  No excuses when the place right next to her office does 1 hr for 30$…

I got the first one, and it hurt so much I didn’t want to do the second so close to BSLT.  I may need to actually seek out a licensed sports massage type person to explain my various sports and ouchies to instead of just pointing to a menu.

13.   Remember to keep track of my calories.  Pre track if at all possible, but certainly keep on top of the totals before going too crazy at the end of the day.

Besides over the two out of town race days, I at least tracked, I even pre-tracked some when I had time.

June was rough, but I have high, high hopes for July!

1. Let’s try again to get to the low 170s.  Right now, 176-178 is the norm.  I’m hoping that it’s more like 172-174 at the end of the month.  I will do this by pre-tracking and logging DQ score all this month.  1500 on lighter training days, 2000 on heavier days, about 1700-1800 average.

2. I’ve made a training program through Kerrville.  Give it a second look for sanity to make sure it’s not too ambitious and incorporates in enough recovery, and vet it through the triathlete’s training bible and make sure it has the right dose of speed and force workouts later in the game.  Then, pen it in, strap in, and get ready for some weeks of swim/bike/run/weights (yes, these come back this month!).

3. Couples, the goal is to #1 keep my head positive and in the game the entire time #2 get up Carnage without clipping out and walking (should be no problem after last weekend) and #3 run the whole 5k, even that dumb long hill on the back end.  This will probably result in an auto PR, but that is not the primary goal this time, mostly to redeem a really mentally bad race from last year.

4. Be social!  I am intentionally easing up on July’s training a bit so we can do that.  We’re planning on going out, to like, a bar, with friends, twice.  One game night (at least, maybe two).  However, don’t be so social that it gets stressful and we want everyone to go away.  Strike the balance.

5. Minimize spending as much as possible.  I’m finally able to start putting money into savings again, let’s continue that trend.

6. Buy cabinet and finish workout room.  This month, it’s gotta be the kitchen.  Clean out the pantry, the fridge, and go through the drawers and do one more pass to see what should go away (we did some for the garage sale, but it was very quick).

7. I have been eating a lot more desert than I should, I think it’s part of what held back my weight loss this month.  So, starting July 8th, I will be doing ONE, 100-200-ish serving of sweets PER WEEK outside of these things: running/bike fuel, arctic zero, frozen greek yogurt + fruit in food processor, muscle milk + fruit.  Also, perhaps try one of those sunbutter+protein powder cookie recipes floating around the internet.  The idea is to not cut out desert, but move it to healthy, contributing to my DQ score things that taste good too.

8.  Back to batch cooking (easy stuff for July 8th week since I’ll be getting a late start, then July 15th on).  Out 3 times a week, max (and 1-2 is preferred).

9.  Having a sewing project evening/day.  On the docket: mend the stuff that has holes (also iron on the patches for my poor holey pants), make one size small guys shirt into a girl shirt (shorten the waist and the sleeves), make one of the dresses I bought into a skirt, and start the second set of pillowcases.  Not all of this needs to get done, but I need to at least do *something*.

10. Back to body maintenance, since I’ve been really bad about it this week.  At least 3 times a week: foam roll, shockies, stretch my whole body, stretches for my knee.  At least 2x day – ice my knee/butt (until my butt pain goes away).  Heat on knee before morning workouts if needed.

11.  Yet again, finish book.  Start next one.

12. Change up my shoes at least a few times a week.  The sandals I’ve been wearing constantly for the last two months are starting to have an odor.

13. Quarterly beauty maintenance – pluck brows, do nails, do toenails a different color than turquoise.

This is the first month in a while where I’ve actually had to cut myself off at 13 instead of stretch for more (not making the cut: figure out vacation plans for Nov, figure out race schedule through April next year, productivity at work, etc), so I think this week of rest has done me good, both mentally and physically.

Question: What’s your July goal?

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén