Adjusted Reality

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

Month: February 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

February Fun Times

Just wanted to start this with proof that I actually look nice once in a while and don’t always wear spandex or funny t-shirts…

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February is one of those transitional months.  March is a GREAT GREAT month due to birthdays, usually better weather, fun stuff, first metric of the season (Rosedale) which means I have to motivate myself to ride outside at least few times in preparation, and it’s usually just the start of the best part of the year (read: everything but Jan and Feb, really, minus a few whiny moments in August to get over the 100 degree temps).  While January is just a whole lot of depressing suck, February there is at least light at the end of the tunnel.  Helps that we’ve had some awesome, although unpredictable weather.

Also, there was no racing in February.  It was kind of nice!  I mean, I’m racing on March 1, so it’s close, but I’ve had 5 weeks and 6 days of just train and build, train and build, and it’s been great. I find I really figure things out a few weeks into a block, and if I’m racing too often I miss that “learn, push myself, recover, and grow” part of training where I can do it in a less judgmental place.

I may be the ONLY person in the world that gets excited about trainer rides, but I love them, and I’ll top 400 miles on my bike JUST in February (how’s that for bike focus), and with 200+ in January when I really wasn’t trying, I’m pretty happy with butt in saddle time in 2014 thus far.

I’ve been keeping up with the swimming longer and doing focused sets and it seems alright – I’m posting slightly slower times overall, but I suppose that makes sense when I am swimming twice as long (if I could hold that 8:50-ish pace I can hold for 5 miles for 10 miles I would have a HUGE PR but I can’t, not yet) and also taking rest during sets as prescribed.  I haven’t felt any major breakthroughs, except the one in which Zliten actually likes spending an hour at the pool, so I’ll take that one, it will pay divedends.  I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some (a wee bit chilly but that’s why I have a wetsuit) open water time next month.

Running – yeah.  She’s an unpredictable mistress.  I’m looking at about 75 miles this month.  MUCH better than Januray, as expected.  I’ve alternated between 4 shorter runs (~5 miles) and 3 with one longer run, but ramping up after the half has gone slower than I’d like, oddly enough, you can’t just add swim and bike volume and expect to adapt immediately.

I seem to have maintained my run gains for the most part, though its changes day to day.  My standalone 10 miler earlier in February was like UGGGGHHH to keep 10:45s, and my post bike 9 miler last weekend felt like prancercise to stay around 10:30s (both flat courses on nice overcast temperate days).  Next month, I aim to ramp back up in miles to ~30+ per week (it’s run month).  I responded really, really well to higher mileage with appropriate rest in the fall, let’s see how that goes with more swim/bike mixed in.

My body has been in decent shape.  I tweaked my back once, but that resolved itself in just over a week (and I got a great swim focus week so there’s that).  My heel seems to be doing weird things – it’s touchy but if I take care of it I’m doing just fine. Lately, I need a 1 mile or so warmup to get going faster paces, which is probably a GOOD THING anyway.

I am definitely playing the shoe shell game.  It seems as if a week+ of wearing my hokas straight triggers heel ouchies.  Sads.  I love my clouds.  They feel great sometimes and not others.  I’m going to work on alternating them with other shoes, but I don’t think they’re my one go-to shoe.  I’m not sure if my new Asics are wonderful or horrible (I have only put ~25 miles on them), but my old shoes I did the marathon in (that are not QUITE defunct yet) seem to be a safe middle ground right now, so I’m wearing those as well on days I feel vulnerable.  My heel feels excellent walking around on these new massaging sandals, so I bought them and am doing that.  Icing it also feels nice.  I’m going to race in the old Sauconys tomorrow, and hope the rest week next week works its magic.

Not much progress on the scale, but it feel like my shirts are getting larger in the waist and smaller in the shoulders, as they tend to do as I ramp up for tri season.  It’s weird, I only fluctuate about 5 lbs total between my OMG I’m so bloated and my “not bad, not bad” weight right now, but it’s like night and day to me how I feel at 175 and at 180.  So bizarre.

And now onto ALL THE COOL THINGS from February:

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I swam the longest I ever have in the pool (I had it all to myself and I just forgot to get out) and then ate delicious pizza.

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I actually participated in Superbowl Festivities this year (go sports! win the things!), with some DIE HARD Broncos fans.  While it didn’t end well, their house was SUPER festive and it was fun.

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I got to game again!  We finished the session (I lost my chicken pet to a sub-machine gun… SADS) after taking over a dirigible and found our portal in the arc d’triumph in Paris.  Now, next session it’s my turn to tell the story.  Of course, I picked something ambitious and scary and hard but its what called to me, so look forward to that in March. 🙂

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We celebrated Valentine’s day.  It’s funny, we called everything over the long weekend was “romantical!”.  This was my romantical shirt, and I made romantical caesar salad and romantical arugula and cheese ravioli.  I even put a heart on it because I am teh cheesy.

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Aieeeee bike ride outside!  I am a wimp and skipped two planned outdoor days earlier this month due to cold or wind, but this day was perfect and it was a great 43 miles around the veloway with a great brick run after.

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Zliten’s meal for me was romantical filet mignon, lobster, cauliflower, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts on the grill.  It was a great weekend of eating.  First, though, we got our cheer on for the Austin Marathon with our cheer hats, handing out bananas around mile 18.  I think I prefer cheering that one instead of racing it, but maybe I’ll do the full some year.

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President’s Day, we were treated to a great sunset, and I saw it as we came out of our romantical (read: ouchie) massages at the Beijing Massage place.  Also, who put Pinocchio’s nose on me? 🙂

feb26-7

I finally got into Birds (yep, procrastinated again and ended up at the walk-in place instead of supporting my awesome friends of friends who do hair, oops) for my yearly shearing.  And…uh… it’s kind of short.  But it’s super low maintenance, and will be rather nice instead of dragging around almost a foot more of sweaty mop through two-a-days. (Upper left, before, upper right, day of, lower left, day after, lower right – sweated and showered in and looking more like my normal fro.

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Wicked!!! This was one of my Christmas presents to Zliten (and to me, of course :D).  We got some yummy greek food first, and then settled in.  The show was FANTASTIC.  We both loved it.  I forgot that Broadway shows usually run ~3 hours, and we were shocked by the 11pm conclusion.  Made getting up the next day hard – I’d say we’re old, but really, we’re just triathletes.

And, that’s pretty much a wrap for February fun times.  March should be pretty legendary, so onward and upward!

What was your favorite thing you did in February?

The Messy Middle

I guess I race this weekend.   Just the way I said it shows you how I feel about it. I’m ranging between mild apathy to mild excitement but there’s no talk around here about meeting the man with the hammer, or race plans, or nervous energy.  Just silly faces.

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Folks, we’re quickly approaching what I like to call the “messy middle” of the first half of my triathlon season.  First comes the embarking on the quest – the first week or three of checking the boxes and being all smug that they’re all green, and it’s new and fresh to be putting in the miles and two-a-days and three-a-days and feeling that deep fatigue of training on a tired body and smiling because it’s been a while.  The return to being a fish in the water and swimming for a reason besides “do something for crosstraining and so you don’t forget how to swim”.  Climbing hills on my bike, whether it be outdoor ones or slamming the resistance down to max on the trainer, and seeing the bike miles in the hundreds instead of the tens for the week tally.

The end of the season is another animal.  Finally coming out of the haze and exhaustion of months of hard training and lots of miles.  Having that A race within spitting distance, close enough to get excited, close enough to get butterflies, close enough to start visualizing yourself on that line and imagining how it will be that day.  You are standing tall, with your bike, your goggles, your shoes, perched on top of your training logs, standing with those super fit legs from all those early morning spin sessions, two mile swims that make you leave the gym just as they’re closing, runs off the bike that make you dig for the rest of what you have…. and you’re ready to kick some major A race ASS.

Somewhere in between there – the newness of the “I’m following a plan again for all three sports and it’s awesome and triathlon is awesome” wears off, and it’s not yet time to start getting geeked up to toe the line in a useful way, and thus – the messy middle.

I’m quickly finding myself there after the first big training block.  It went REALLY well, it was fun to be back at all 3 sports, but I really felt it last week – tired both in the body and soul.  I had moments where I just wanted to get off the rollercoaster and let it pass by.  It took some major revisions to the plan to make this week work – and there will still be a yellow (did something, but not as planned) and a red box for the week (one modified run to a bike care of ouchy heel, and one skipped swim because of sanity reasons).  I didn’t plan well, because I had 8.5 hours on the plan, and one skipped session = 9.5 actual, so it probably worked out for the best.  Because you have to be adaptable.

Adhering to a schedule that I wrote 6 weeks ago through hellfire and brimstone is just crazypants if it doesn’t make sense.  Being self coached and writing my own training plans means I go through a lot of “the fuck was I thinking” moments later in the season and I have to adjust.  Right now, I’ve learned that after a big block, including the most hours you’ve ever trained in one week in your life – your body is going to have a mind of it’s own and force you to dial it down a notch whether you were hoping to eek out another 2 weeks of volume or not.

It’s not a failure to adjust (and maybe you all know this but I need to remind myself this).  It’s all about figuring out what the spirit of the week’s plan was and try to keep that going.  For example, this week was about the return to running more + speedwork – in time to get the legs sharper for this half marathon race I signed up for next weekend.  My body said NOPE on the more run miles, but was (a bit reluctantly) handling speed a-ok, so I rolled with it and did a lot of speed sessions where it made sense (and once where it didn’t – oops on run speedwork AM + heavy weights and swim speedwork PM – I slept well THAT night).

But circling back to this weekend… this race on Saturday is not an A race – I’m not even training specifically for it, besides the half-hearted attempt for 2 weeks of run focus that isn’t working out so well, or tapering for it.  I suppose you can call an 8 hour week reduction, but much more than I’d normally do on a taper.  I am going to run it hard (not as just a training run), but I won’t be disappointed at coming up short on PR attempt number 2.  Reaching for 2:07 is all that is required that day – whether I touch it and grab it or not is irrelevant.

My entire strategy is:

A) Show up

B) See what happens

Sure, I will probably go out around 9:30s, but maybe I will not, because it seems like my body needs a bit of a warmup lately, and that seems to pay speed dividends later.  I’ve had almost 11s feel hard and 9:20s feel easy on runs lately under similar conditions, so it really depends on which legs decide to come to the party.  I’ve even considered ditching the garmin, and following a pace group, or maybe just running completely by feels.  It’s all up in the air and I’ll make the call around 6:59am Saturday, most likely.

Either way, it kicks off a rest week, and heaven knows I am so very ready for a true one of those right now.  After mad sleep and not too much crazy this weekend, I’m ready to get through one last week of all of it, and give some fast running a go, if nothing else but a judge of where my fitness is right now.

The results blog will be a little delayed due to circumstances beyond my control, so if you are on the EDGE OF YOUR SEAT to find out how I do (which you shouldn’t be, because I’m really not, but hey…), you can follow me on twitter – @quixotique

You Know You’re An Endurance Athlete When…

1.  You don’t drunk text, you drunk-sign-up-for-marathons.

On Saturday night, I saw a facebook post that after being open only ONE day, the Space Coast Half Marathon was FULL.  We were debating between the half and the full, but DEFINITELY wanted to run it, so that made the decision a bit easier and we signed up that minute without any hesitation.  So, I guess I’m doing another marathon at the end of November!

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2. The words come out of your mouth – “it’s like a day off, we’re only running 5 miles!”

Monday was 2 hours, Tuesday was 2 hours, Wednesday and Thursday were over 3 hours, we had a 4+ hour workout on tap for Saturday, and we only had a quick lunch fiver that day.  It’s all about perspective.

3. Your workout laundry load is WAYYYY larger than your normal clothes.

For a triathlete doing two-a-days or even three-a-days sometimes with wardrobe changes, it makes sense.  I only wear ONE thing to work per day and one set of pajamas per week.

4.  You hem and haw over a 100$ shows, but have ZERO problems signing up for a 100$ race.

I spent 100$ to sign up for 3M, and 115$ to sign up for Woodlands Half.  I balked at some Alice and Chains tickets for 60 bucks.  I cringed, but bought tickets for Wicked for 70$.  It’s like, if I’m sitting it a seat, it’s worth WAY less than if I’m moving my seat.

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5. You’ve ever thought “I wish there were MORE calories in this food” or “holy crap, fitbit says I can eat THAT MANY calories?”

It was REALLY hard to eat back enough calories on Wednesday and Thursday without beer.  2500-3000 calories is a LOT for a weekday!

6.  You spend your one day off after a huge training block spectating a marathon and think “I kind of want to go for a run”.

This one was Zliten.  We were cheering for the Austin Marathon yesterday, and he turned and said this to me.  We didn’t ACTUALLY go run, but kinda wanted to after seeing all the awesome runners powering through mile 18.

7.  Your favorite winter Olympic sports are skiathlon and the longer speed skating events.

I just can’t identify with those high flying sports anymore.  I can, however, feel for the guys and gals collapsing at the end of the cross country ski course, and maybe feel a little jealous that I don’t get to do that at the end of my races too.

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8.  You have the best brick run of your life on your 15th hour of your training week.

I’ve talked a lot about my epic week, but I had some great training capped off with a 40+ mile ride (my first outdoor one of the year) at 16 mph, and a spectacular 5 mile brick run after @ 10:20 pace, with me just totally enjoying the run and all smiles during it.  I was totally stoked about this all day.  Strong work on a beautiful day.

9.  Your recovery week is ONLY 8.5 hours of training.  That’s not much, right? 🙂

How To Manage Food Consumption Without Going Batshit Crazy

Hi folks!  Today’s topic comes from @kimretta on twitter.  Say hi to Kimra! (HI KIMRA)

She asked me a few weeks ago: “How do you track your food without wanting to punch an eye out?  Nothing makes me want to eat more packaged food than tracking, which is probably not the point…”

Calorie counting.  My best weight loss frenemy.  I have found it to be about 100% true for me that if I’m not tracking, I will not lose weight.  I’ve found a pretty high correlation to being in peak training season and gaining weight UNLESS I track my food, especially for run-focused stuff like marathon training.  I do *ok* at not eating like a complete asshole when my activity level isn’t too high or too low, but again, never to take of the precious ell bees, just to maintain where I’m at.

My “eat-watch” is a little broken.  I’m pretty sure it always has been.  If you locked me in a room with only carrots, I’d find a way to overeat on them.  I am the person that obsesses over the chips bowl at a party even if I’ve eaten proper dinner.  I can eat back a 20 mile run in one meal, and then shove beer and cake on top of it and be still scouting for my next victim meal.

In my world, there are a lot of miles and a lot of food.

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My body lacks the normal human response known as “full” until I’ve completely overeaten, and it doesn’t matter whether I eat carbs or protein or vegetables or what.  It’s actually WORSE when I eat less carbs – carbs make me feel full as long as they’re part of a balanced meal, where when I eat a bowl of veggies and protein I’m like… ok, where’s the rest of my dinner please?

When I first started tracking I freaked out that I might have to do it for the rest of my life.  After quite a few years or so of doing this I’ve realized that I’ll have to do it for the rest of my life in these situations:

1. If I am currently at a weight and would like to be at a different one.  I cannot do that intuitively.

2. If I am either in peak training OR doing ZERO training.  My brain has no idea how to normalize that hunger vs the amount of calories I should have in those two situations.  I’m like a fish out of water, or a cat IN water, just to give you a proper visual.

For right now, I am trying to take off some weight, so I am tracking.  Every day.  Every bite that goes into my mouth.  And it’s just a thing I do, like shower, brush my teeth, check facebook, etc.  It doesn’t drive me completely and totally crazy.  Let me try and examine why.

1.  I know it works.  After many false starts, I have been able to lose and maintain that loss (for the most part) with keeping track of my calories.  I have not found any other way that works for me.  Bitching about a problem I have a solution to (and not doing it) does me no good.

2.  I’ve only used sparkpeople.com.  I find their website easy to use and I’m kind of over it 7 years later, but I used to REALLY dig getting my spins and points and trophies.  I’m not sure if any of the other sites are better or worse, but if you hate what you use, try Spark.  This is an example of what it looks like.

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3.  I used to get stressed out about exactly how many calories were in things.  Seven years later, I realize that an estimate is probably good enough.  If you go out all the time, this might be more of an issue, but finding a hamburger at a chain place (with all the calorie counts online) that’s similar to the burger I got at the local joint works for the once in a while I do it.  It works best if you really try to find something similar.  For example, the giant half-lb thick burger that, say, Chilis makes, is not the same as a McDonald’s hamburger.  It’s about 4 times the size and calories.  So, when you’re eating off the grid, you just have to be HONEST with yourself what your food looks like.

4.  I work a computer desk job and have my laptop/phone/tablet around pretty much at all times, so it’s not a big inconvenience.  It’s just another website/app I need to visit a few times a day.  If you are reading this right now, chances are you have the time to track your food during the day.  Seriously.  You’ve already spent longer reading this than it would take to track your food.  Make the commitment that you’re going to do it for at least a month, and just *do it*.  After dinner, if you forget to track during the day, sit down and log what you had.  It’s about as annoying as flossing – you’re spending more time bitching about wanting to do it more regularly then it takes to just do it.  It’s all about making it a habit.

The more time consuming process is planning out meals and batch cooking.  Once that’s done, tracking is really, really easy.  Assuming you’re looking to expand into this arena, read on.  If that’s TL;DR – just go to sparkpeople.com and set up an account and commit for a month and see if calorie counting works for you.

**I receive no compensation, it’s just that Sparkpeople changed my life.**

Here is the more complicated part – food planning and batch cooking.  I started planning our meals a few years ago, when I realized I was wasting a lot of money on food that I didn’t eat because I forgot I had it, or it was missing other components to make a whole meal, and ended up eating out a lot more than I had planned/should.  Since then, I’ve made out a meal plan for the week, and a grocery list from that meal plan.

I assemble a plan of what we are going to eat for the week, around Thursday or Friday the week before, in a spreadsheet in Google Docs.  I get Zliten’s buy in on the plan before I make the list (or not, but that’s at my own peril for food tantrums).

I include workouts in here, plus notes on anything else that’s going on for the week.  I omitted that column in the picture, but it says things like “lunch with the parents” or “game night” or “Yelp party” and stuff so I remember social obligations and don’t plan to make an elaborate meal when I have to be across town an hour after work ends.

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Then, I make a grocery list of what I need to make the foods for the week, cross referenced with what’s in my pantry (or sometimes my memory of what’s in my pantry, in which case I err on the side of overbuying, so sometimes I’ll end up with lots of extra cans of tomato sauce or beans, but that’s ok).  Then I add things like snacking fruit and veggies, stuff for breakfast, consider if I need any other snacks like nuts or I’m out of bread or tortillas and then ask Zliten the same questions for his staples.

I use the OurGroceries app, and it has changed my life.  Hello networked grocery list.  I can be at home on the couch, and Zliten is at Costco, and I can add stuff to the list for him in real time.  More often, we can divide the grocery store and conquer and meet back together without wondering who got what, and get the shopping done in half the time.  I also try to make it a habit to add anything to the list that I run out of right away, for example, we ran out of tartar sauce last night, so I just added that.  I don’t need tartar sauce for anything this next week, but it’s best to get the condiments and staples I expect to be there replaced right away.  This is what my current list looks like, and will also show up on my phone and Zliten’s phone as well.

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As for timing, I grocery shop typically on Friday nights after work.  It’s the one weeknight I know I don’t have any workouts, I get out of work pretty regularly at a decent hour, and usually stores are pretty chill then.  Also, we usually go out to lunch on Friday, so I’m feeling indulged and not deprived, so I don’t want ALL THE THINGS.

I’m in the happy position where I don’t have to bargain hunt.  I’d rather splurge on good quality food, exactly what I want, exactly the brand I want, instead of being less than happy and turning to takeout. On average, we spend ~900$ on food and drink for 2 adults in a month.  We could probably do better, but it is what it is and I will cut corners elsewhere before this.

So, I get the food.  Friday night, it typically just goes in the fridge.  We usually have some sort of adventure to get up to on Saturday morning, and all that standing during cooking is not = relaxing.  Somewhere between Saturday afternoon and Sunday night, I batch cook.

Depending on the level of difficulty – it take about 2-3 hours (with periods of waiting, not 2-3 straight hours in the kitchen).  I try to not do completely from-scratch recipes that have fifty steps – I did that once and was completely unenthused when I was still cooking 8 hours later.  Those are the things I will save for meals out or special occasions.

Once I’m done, I do three things:

  1. Divide it up into about 6 portions (depending on how much I’ve cooked, I usually aim for about 3 meals worth each, and cooking 2-3 meals sets us up well for the week).
  2. Freeze anything I’m not going to eat before Wednesday that next week so it doesn’t go bad.
  3. Put any new (or significantly different) concoction into sparkrecipes.  This slight pain of having to input it initially is mitigated by the fact that any time I eat that food forever, the calorie, fat, protein, carb, fiber, whatever count is right there.  Enjoy some of my chicken tortilla soup recipe for an example of what this looks like.

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So, now, I am set up for the week to be able to, instead of having to add tomatoes and noodles and two types of veggies and two types of meat and two types of cheese each day I eat lasagna, I just add one serving of lasagna.   It’s fab!

But, you say, that’s great and all, but my life doesn’t go according to plan!  Things go wrong!  Schedules change!  What if I don’t feel like another turkey/tuna/sunbutter sandwich on Thursday?  Well, here’s the list after…

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As you can see, some things have changed (and I actually forgot to alter Tuesday as well, as I did not have that for dinner, I had fish burgers and oven fries because I neglected to make the pasta salad).  I had the nutritious dinner of grilled chicken and vodka (not vodka sauce, just vodka) on Thursday.  I got up too late that day to complete my workout and only did half and never made it up.  We changed run days over the weekend due to weather.  And this one is actually pretty tame, some weeks the end doesn’t even look like the same week at all.

Life happens.  You have to roll with the punches.  But having a plan helps you to react differently.  Say, I ended up with an unexpected lunch date out on Tuesday.  Without the plan, I’d know I ate food out that I wasn’t supposed to, and missed a run, but I’d have no idea how to best absorb that into my week.  With this plan, I would change what I was going to eat Tuesday for lunch to Friday (since I had planned to go out anyway) and do my run then as well.  No sweat, and nothing missed – just rescheduled!

And, I suppose, that’s “How to manage food consumption without going batshit crazy 101”.  Any questions?  There won’t be a quiz, but hopefully this might help you if you’re flailing in this area of your life.

Stats, Charts, Graphs, Lists, and Numbers – January 2014

So, here is that normal, weekly, boring, number-y post I was doing once a week.  I like them to look back on, but perhaps they are not appropriate as a weekly (and sometimes my ONLY weekly post).  So, this year, I’m doing a month recap of training, eating, weight, etc etc.  If you’re not interested in the minutae of my life, come back for the next one.

Sweaty Stuff:

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48 run miles – 8 runs – 10 hours

This is weeeeeaksauce, but to be expected when I was tapering for a race, then took a zero week the week after, and then fell down while unintentionally ice dancing on a particularly painful curb.  I’m back up to my 20 mile base this week and hope not stray from it (except, uh, upward) for a while.

217 bike miles – 8 bikes – 9 hours

These are all trainer miles.  I keep trying to get outside, and the weather/plans/other lame excuses keep derailing me.  I suppose it was ambitious to think I’d get outdoor riding in January, but I’ll just have to keep trying to push myself out the door on the weekends.  However, I have gotten acquainted with sufferfests, which makes me happy in a sick, sick way.  They have made for some quality trainer rides besides long, slow miles.  This is about what I expected in terms of volume, and I also expect to more than double this for February.

9 swim miles (14k and change meters) – 8 swims – 5.5 hours

Considering how low of a priority swimming is for me right now, I’m happy I got this done.  The last week of the month, I swam FOUR times (only 3 are in this count because the last was on Feb 1) and swam for at least 1.25 miles each time!  I really enjoy the longer swims, and have gotten Zliten on board with them too, so more of this.  It’s really not that big of a time commitment to spend an extra 30 in the pool (since there’s all the overhead of getting into and out of the pool and hot tub and showering and drying off and stuff), so, yeah.

2 weights sessions – 1.5 hours

Yeah.  I have been lazy lazy on these lately (to be fair, the week before the race and the week after were planned off, but I missed quite a few other sessions).  Twice a week, even if I have to squeeze it in at home, barring injuries (and during injuries, doing what I can).

Total sporty-spice hours – 26.  Average of about 50 mins of training per day.  I’m satisfied with that for the “low season” (not quite off season, but close-ish).

Races: 3M.  I give this one about 3/5 stars.  I didn’t hit my time goals or make a new PR, and I’m really upset at my heel for causing me problems, but I didn’t completely blow up.

Body condition: 3/5.  I had the heel thing during the half, and the back thing from falling, and allergies plagued me a lot this month, but the first half of the month was pretty stellar.  Hopefully I’m on the mend and February is better.

Mental game: 4/5.  I keep getting worried that I haven’t taken enough time off, but my head feels pretty sharp and as long as I keep the schedule periodized (read: rest week every so often, shifting the focus back and forth from the different sports), I think I’ll be fine through the early part of this year to kick butt and take names.  Progress is really motivating to me, and I’m seeing a lot of it.

Food/Scale/Kitchen Stuff:

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January was a rough month for me, at the beginning. I dragged my ass getting back into eating like normal healthy me, and it took until the last week of the month where I finally threw a fit and said no sweets, no chips/crackers/crisps/etc, nothing fried, and no refined grains.  ONCE a week I am allowed a treat of some sort.  I’ve been doing this for a week and a half now and I feel much, much better.  I’ve actually posted a weight lower than my lowest for Jan already in February, so there’s that.

I did get back into batch cooking hardcore, so that’s happy.  It’s necessary to have food at the ready when you get home from the pool at 9pm at night.

Scale: low weight – 176.2.  high weight: 182.4 (I had 3 weird days after the race in the 180s that made no sense – hello race inflammation!)  I did not track my weight super regularly, so I need to get back on that daily.

Calorie Counts:

Week 1

feb6-1

Avg Calories/DQ: 1762/23

Scale High/Low: 180.0/176.2

Week 2

feb6-2

Avg Calories/DQ: 2080/17

Scale High/Low: 179.4/177.4

Week 3

feb6-3

Avg Calories/DQ: 2008/17

Scale High/Low: 182.4/177.4

Week 4

feb6-4

Avg Calories/DQ: 1979/21

Scale High/Low: 180.2/176.8

Not my finest deficit totals, but I tracked every day (even if I didn’t want to) and each week showed a deficit total.  Can’t sneeze at that.  Also, definitely see that when I eat cleaner, I eat less calories (even if I feel like I’m eating a ton).  Funny how that goes.  Hoping to ride the wave of momentum into February and see some numbers in the low 170s on the scale.

Best food I made:

Healthier Zuppa Toscani

Seriously, this stuff is like crack to me at olive garden, and I think the version I made here at home was better.  This is on the regular rotation fo sho.

Other things I batch cooked this month:

I’d give myself a 3/5 in this arena.   Definitely less than that earlier in the month, but I’ve turned it around and have some momentum.

Goals and Stuff:

feb10-3

In January I tried out a conversational approach, which was nice and all, but it helps me more to have a list.  Also, Zliten poked fun at my thinly veiled list, so I’ll just add this stuff here and we won’t try to put lipstick on the pig, as they say.

PR 3M: Nope.  It just wasn’t my day.  However, I got close enough (within 2 minutes) to be pretty happy with where my run fitness is right now, and I gave it all I had that day, so there is that.

Keep Loving All 3 Sports: Yep.  I have a feeling I’m in for a big slap in the face when I actually take my bike outside to ride, but runs are going well, and I’m increasing my swim distance like woah and loving that.

Plan the race sched/Register before things go up in price: I’m registered for 5 of the first 9 races, and have the deadlines for the price increases in a spreadsheet.  Check!

Jump back on the healthy eating bandwagon: Check.  It took me longer than I’d hoped, but I’m riding along, shouting “get along, lil doggies”.  Or something.

Weigh less than 179: hard to really get an average because I was spotty at keeping track, but I’d call the average I keep seeing is 177.  So yes, less.

Get the house back in order: sorta.  It got ordered, and then out of order again when I hurt my back.  Zliten did remind me that it’s better than we used to be, which is totally true, so, win.

Replace the front door and clean out the car: got an estimate on the door and it’s ridiculous.  You need a fucking permit and inspection to replace a door?  Bullshit.  Debating on paying it anyway just so we can be done with it, or hiring a friend of a friend to do it for a lot less (but more hassle).  Car is done (not in January, but hooray for delayed posts making me look more productive than I am!).

Enjoying a social month but not so much I want people to go away: Check.  I relished the Tuesday night dinner and show, the weekend full of plans, and all the parties and fun stuff because as of this week, it’s becoming apparent that we have to pick and choose our outings now that training is ramping up.

Social media blackouts on Wednesday/Sunday: I was awful at this.  I did… ok earlier in the month but honestly forgot about it in the later parts of January.  It’s Wednesday as I type this draft, and I’ve looked at social media twice.  Oops.

I’d say 2/5 here.  I either half assed or missed a lot of these, hopefully my track record is a little better this month!

And speaking of… a few bullet points about next month:

  • Hit my training hard in February.  Ramp up the bike miles and intensity, ramp up the swim miles, and maintain 20 miles per week running.  This is a big block of build for me.
  • Weigh less than 177 when February is over.  How I do this is stick to the plan of one treat meal per week, continue to batch cook, and eat enough good food to fuel my training.
  • Figure out the door, and also clean out my vanity area.  The top is totally covered with products I either never or rarely use.  I need to get it organized and purge.
  • Finish my Savage Worlds story and draw out the maps.  Looks like I’m up next so I’ll probably have to have it ready by the end of this month.  This is one of those things I’m just a little intimidated by, so I just need to make myself do it.
  • NO SOCIAL MEDIA on Wednesdays and Sundays.  It’s seriously bad when I’m asking myself to only give up TWO DAYS of it a week and I fail.  I need to take that time and do shit like finish up my story instead of look at people’s random photos and take quizzes on what Once character am I? (Charming – if you must know)
  • Decide what we’re doing for our birthdays (in town) next month and invite people before we go on vacation.  Get Zliten his birthday presents.
  • Quarterly maintenance (redo toes, they’re flaking, nails, brows).  Also, time for a haircut… I need to see my homies at Birds sometime this month before vacation.
  • Keep taking a picture (or a picture collage) a day.  It’s been nice to be able to look back and have a visual diary of sorts.

And with that, let’s keep moseying our way through February.  I may not be minding the cold all that much this year, but it doesn’t mean I’m not craving the sun!

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