When you are in situations of stress, you can have one of two reactions – to fight or to run away.  In my situation, that “stress” was breaking down on that run at Jack’s Generic.  I’ve been going over it in my head constantly this last week.

The angel on my shoulder says:

While you did your fair share of walking, and Zliten clipped along slowly not stopping to walk, you still beat him by over 2 mins on the run.  Since you two have a fairly even pace lately, I’m not sure that my walking hurt you – it may have actually helped you conserve energy to really RUN when you could run.  It was insan-o stupid hot, you had allergy issues and weren’t 100%, so let it go.  Your goal race next month (holy wow, is it REALLY 7 weeks away???) is not going to be this hot and you’re bike focusing right now so don’t worry about it!

The devil on my other shoulder says:

Listen, you can explain it away any way you want, but the fact is, you broke mentally.  You stopped running and walked during a 6 mile run.  You do this at triathlons often when things get tough and it’s just your brain being weak.  If you finally want to really feel good about a 70.3, you’re going to have to run the whole thing and it’s going to be hard and you’re going to have to figure out from where you can summon those brass balls at Kerrville, because you do not have them yet.

Sometimes after something goes sideways at a race, my instinct is to fight.  I sucked hard on the run and folded in the heat?  Well, time to run daily at noon in the heat, right?  Not last week.  Last week, I had the opposite reaction – flight.  To be fair, the environment played a big part (air quality was shit all week due to the African dust storms + residuals from Mexico crop burning the week before), but I didn’t really fight it.  I ran 3 miles last week outdoors (and none indoors).  I instead biked over 200 miles indoors on the trainer, which equates to about 90% of last week’s training.

I sort of gave myself hell for converting a 10-13 mile run planned to a 67 mile bike trainer ride, but then I decided that licking my wounds and hiding for one week would be ok.  When I realized that feeling of legs about to fall off I used to get around mile 35-40 now doesn’t really kick in until 60 (outdoors) or 70 (indoors), it’s all good strong work that isn’t for naught.  Step one to running better off the bike really is to get better at the bike and I’m so totally doing that with all these great bike miles lately.  Now that I’m over the BSLT hump and training for a more gentle bike course, I just need time in the saddle, and I’m doing that in spades.

However, step 2 is working on getting some run miles under me.  I haven’t done a double digit run since BSLT.  My other run miles have been pretty weak.  Hiding last week?  Fine.  I sort of crashed into last week really worked over by racing in the heat.  But this week, I need to start emerging.  I feel it, finally, I’m caught up on sleep, my body feels a bit less broken, I’m feeling pretty rested and recharged.  I’m ready to fight again.

I did complete my second feat of strength  – a 112 mile bike ride on the trainer. We made an event of it – watching Harry Potter movies and eating lots of yummy foods chopped up into tiny pieces.  The first 40 miles was fueled by a flax waffle + syrup, two pieces of turkey bacon, and a bag of apple slices.  Around mile 33 we called for pizza and it got there quick!  I ate two pieces of Mediterranean pizza (in tiny little baby bites) from miles 40-60 and two more 70-90, and then my tummy went a little sour and I just stuck to candy and dried fruit after.  Up to about 70 was all fun and games, but 70-90 was just ROUGH.  90-100 went quicker because I was excited to see what over 100 miles looked like on my garmin, and then 100-112 was just utter delirium.

You can see from the pictures…

This is me at the start.  Below is me at hour 4…

Butt Status: OW.

I’ve now done all three of the standalone legs – swimming 2.4 miles, riding 112 miles, and running 26.2.  I’m aware that doing the bike indoors is partly cheating but still, let me be happy about this.  I can fathom putting that swim and bike together, but running a marathon after?  Not yet.  I need some time (and gobs of training) to put my head around that.  I’m going to say that the difficulty for me will be in that order.  Swim, not a thing.  Bike, hard, but I could live to fight another day.  Running a marathon for me is a huge feat of strength in and of itself, so that’s the part I need the most time with.

To round out talking about all the disciplines – I’ve been doing my weights like a good girl, but for some reason, dragging myself to the pool isn’t going well.  It’s like I feel that all my swimming improvements are good enough this year, and I’m ready to move onto focusing on the other sports.  I know it doesn’t work that way, but it got the best of me last Monday and I missed a swim and didn’t make it up, so it’s a loss.  Boo.

I am instituting a policy in which, for the rest of tri season, if I make both swim/weights sessions, we get to go out to dinner (somewhere reasonably healthy) on Wednesdays, because the demotivating factor is that I just can’t dig the coming home and starting cooking dinner at 8:30pm.

Here’s the week by the numbers:

Monday: Weights: Home Weights 00:45
Tuesday: Bike: Triple Bricks – Music Videos … 27.04 mi 01:00 27.0mph pace, Run: Triple Bricks – 1 Mile Loop 3 mi 00:26 08:46 pace
Wednesday: Weights: Gym Weights 00:45, Swim: Ready for my closeup… 1590 m 00:35 35:25 pace
Thursday: Bike: Trainer+Red+X-men 67.52 mi 02:58 22.8mph pace (30 pre-work, 37.52 after)
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Trainer Iron Distance + Harry… 112 mi 05:08 21.8mph pace
Sunday: off

Total time: 11h30min

Total miles: 206.5 bike, 1590m swim, 3 run, 2 weights sessions.  A balanced week, if you will! 🙂

We had a lot of fun with the trainer/movie/buffet day and had talks about a double century over holiday break (when I don’t care how thrashed I am for the next day/week/etc).  I’m not sure what’s cracked in my brain to like trainer time so much, but at least it’s cracked in Zliten’s brain too.

I suppose I should also mention the three miles I did run were all sub-9.  So there’s that.  I’m ready for my sprint triathlon (just in time for them to be done for the season :P).

On the healthy eating/scale numbers front, I’m frustrated and starting to see the brat come out, kicking and screaming.  It’s not faaaaaaaaaaiiiir, I want cake, I want burgers, I’m training in the double digit hours this month and the only time I can eat junk food is on my bike.  Not to mention, that I’m not making any progress.

But I do know that healthy food fuels me better than that crap even if I should be able to justify eating it.  Also, August last year was a great month for me, I lost 5 lbs because I was really attentive to eating like a Quix-ivore – meat once a day, lots of veggies and fruits and grains and beans and the like.  Hoping that the end of this month sees some nice progress, and all I can do is just keep at it.

This week, I ate out more than I would have liked, but a few times, it was the option of being hungry-angry in the kitchen and shoving a few hundred calories of snacks in my mouth before dinner was done, or just letting Tarka cook my indian food for me.  I think I came out netting less calories (even with a naan splurge), and I discovered the LOVE which is chana saag (mix of chana masala and saag paneer without the paneer).  New FAVE!  While I don’t like to make it a huge habit, healthy takeout isn’t the end of the world, and I lost 100 lbs eating a lot of meals cooked outside my home, so it’s not a big deal.

I was not 100% on the not taking food because it was in front of me, but I was better.  I at least thought about it each time, and, y’know, sometimes I did want it and it was an ok thing.  Sometimes, it wasn’t.  I’ll work on this.  I have a goal this month to eat one desert that I pick out and consume when I want, and it sounds weird, but I think it’s just because I know sweets are around the house and the office so much that I don’t indulge in what I want because I know that my willpower will fail eventually and I don’t need to willingly eat it.  However, maybe by WILLINGLY indluging every so often, that random-sweets-outta-nowhere won’t hold so much power over me.

I did do a bad thing on Friday, and when Zliten went to Sonic for diet cherry limeades, I willed him to bring me tots, and he came back with tots AND onion rings.  Oops.  My mind control worked too well.

By the numbers:

Monday: 1485 calories, 26 DQ (2 negative, fried food)
Tuesday: 1858 calories, 26 DQ (1 negative, calorie-heavy sauce)
Wednesday: 1684 calories, 28 DQ (1 negative, calorie-heavy sauce)
Thursday: 2474 calories, 25 DQ (6 negative, beer)
Friday: 1757 calories, 23 DQ (4 negative, fried food and chips)
Saturday: 2879 calories, 10 DQ (12 negative, beer and wine)
Sunday: 1596 calories, 21 DQ (0 negative)

Total calories: 1961 average per day (for a 11.5 hour training week, not bad)

Positive DQ per week – 186.  Average Positive DQ per day – 26.5. Negative DQ per week – 26.  Average Negative DQ per day – 3.7

This week, I ate approximately 14% food that is negative DQ points.  Next week, the goal will be to get as close to 10% as possible.

Weight: Low – 177.0, High – 179.4.  Stabilizing, but not making progress.

In other news, we’ve planned out our last race of the year – the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach, FL.   This is definitely a bucket list item for Zliten as he’s a huge space nerd, and this race is all about space – the schwag, the aide stations, the course (runs up and down the shore where people watch the launches), the packet pickup is even at Kennedy Space Center.

There are other draws too – the course is also pancake flat (16 feet in elevation change) and in FL in December, so it should be amazing conditions.  It’s also 3 weeks later than last year’s 70.3 to marathon cycle so I’ll have more time to train.

Then, after racing, we’re going to spend some time on the beach, visit the Space Center for realz, and then take the rest of the week in Key Largo and beach bum, dive, snorkel, and relax.  I am unreasonably excited for this.  I spent last week stressed about the details, but now all I have left to do is find us a condo in KL, everything else is booked and good to go.

Question of the week: What reaction did you have to stress last week – fight or flight?