Adjusted Reality

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

Month: June 2014

Gatorbait Tri

Maybe it’s a lot more about what goes on in the noggin’ than you realize.


I went into this race with just about the opposite outlook of last weekend.  I didn’t have any goal times.  Truly and honestly.  Sometimes I say that when I actually do have secret goals, but for this day I simply didn’t.  I just wanted to have a fun day.  I knew that I was definitely past my prime this season, and I just wanted to have a positive last day of being a triathlete for a while.

I slept an average of 10 hours per day this week and did one hour on the trainer, 30 mins in the pool, and a 30 min run.  I was trying to save every ounce of juice/motivation/oomph I had left.  Finally the day before the race I finally started feeling a little “oomph” again and excited for the race, which was a good sign.  I hadn’t felt anything like that since the X-50, so there’s that.


We drove up the afternoon before, got our packets (cool shirt – I have named it Gatorboobs), ate dinner at Denny’s (club sandwich, with whole grain rice and a salad – asked for no mayo, got extra mayo, was too hungry to send it back and ate it anyway), located the race site, drove the bike course (gorgeous! scary hill!), and then settled into the hotel to try and sleep.

I kinda had the shittiest night of sleep ever (the freeway was SO LOUD for some reason), but I still woke up feeling ready to rock (thank the dear fluffy lord for all that sleep I got this week).  Normal bathrooming, purple stuff for caffeine, a cliff mojo pb pretzel bar, and the show was on the road.

Transition opened at 5 and it was open racking, so while Zliten wanted to be there by 4:30am at the latest, we compromised and ended up there at 5:10.  Now, at 5:10 at Pflugerville, the place is frikkin’ hopping.  5:10 here – we were the fifth car parked and actually ended up as the FIRST TWO people in transition.


Well, considering we podiumed in overall transition punctuality, the rest of the race was gravy, right?

All the normal things followed – it’s sort of become an involuntary rhythm now.

  1. Bring most things to transition, rack bike.
  2. Bathroom
  3. Lay out transition stuff.
  4. Run warmup, take some pictures
  5. Bathroom
  6. Finish set up, dork around a bit
  7. NEW: test water to determine if I want to wear wetsuit.  Decide to go without.*
  8. At last possible moment, go back into transition and fill bottles (try to save as much ice as possible) and turn on garmin.
  9. Usually at the lost possible moment – this time, right before seeding – bathroom again.


*The water temp was 77, and it was the first time in the history of the race it was wetsuit legal. I waffled back and forth and decided to go without it. I never get hot in my wetsuit, but I don’t think I’ve ever swam in over 75 degree water, and they weren’t providing help out of the suit, so I figured the time I’d save would probably be eaten up getting the suit off. Not a lot of people wore them so I think I made the right choice.


Soon we were lining up and trying to seed ourselves and I tried to find around 2:15/100m (there was no signs).  I saw two other people in my age group in front of me, so I knew there were at least three of us, and knew who to look out for…  Soon, it was my turn and they took down my number and said “Ready, Set, Go”.  The lack of airhorn was kinda anticlimactic but I’m sure we would have gotten sick of airhorns every 10 seconds or so.


Time trial starts are the bomb diggety. Besides the running start into a very rocky lake (ouch ouch ouch), it was so nice and not washing-machiney even if they didn’t get the seeding right.


I felt very strong, though I spaced out during part of it and realized I was just going cruising pace during the middle. Oops. Passed a lot of people though. The only annoying part was the last ~200m, I was finishing the same time as the last sprinters, who were doing things like backstroke and breaststroke and swimming two wide talking to each other (???).

I thought I was closer to 32-33, but heard from people the swim was long. I’m ok with it. I left the water feeling warmed up and refreshed.

Swim time: 35:50 (2:23/100m) 3/5 AG


Did the big girl thing without my sandals (3 for 3 this year), and only regretted it a little once we got to the pavement.  Rolled only with my bike shoes, socks, helmet, sunglasses, and garmin – yeah, I took the time this time to put it on my wrist in transition.  I asked for the 910 for Christmas this year, which means probably end of the year tris I’ll chance taking this one in the water, I just don’t want to have to replace it right now.  Totally uneventful and quick.

T1 time: 2:03.  2/5 AG


This bike course was definitely not for being super fast. Quite a few decent hills, and one killer hill (called heartbreak hill). It was an out and back, so I figured what I have to struggle up, I get to bomb down later, right?


First 3 miles was really for spinning out the legs, then some good climbing miles 4-6, got up said evilevilevil hill (owowowow) without having to dismount and walk up (though I really wanted to – and I saw lots of people doing it), but I wasn’t prepared for just how shredded my legs would be after that. It took me the next mile or two to be able to handle shifting out of granny gears. The hill repeats I’ve done on the trainer definitely helped here, but I just can’t simulate 50% grade (not really) or whatever this crap was.


On the map and driving the course, the back half seemed easy, but I was flying a little less than I expected (probably due to shredded legs). I finished the killer hill at 13.3mph average (yeah…) and made a goal to get to at least 15 by the turn around. I only made it to 14.5.  And then… the headwind.  Oops.  Yeah, guess that super happy fun time bomb-the-second-half party was not going to happen to the magnitude I wanted.  Ah, well.

I alternated between head down and working and just in sheer awe of how damn pretty the scenery was on the way back. Stupid, stupid gorgeous. It was impossible to do anything but smile on that course even going up and down crazy hills.

When I finally got to the downhill, THREE cars pulled out in front of me, so I freaked out and rode the breaks down the first half until they were gone. I still got enough speed to scream like a little girl. I have yet to turn on my garmin again, but Zliten clocked 36.2 mph down it. Yikes.


I found myself really dehydrated through the bike. I drank my full aero bottle by mile 9, and finished my downtube bottle before 20. I ate half a pack of chews and just couldn’t fathom anything else that wasn’t liquid, so that’s the end of calories.  Definitely not enough.  I really need to remember to go for jelly beans when I can’t stomach anything else (since thats what I use as indoor bike fuel, I’m pretty sure I can get those down when nothing else works).

I was ready to be off the bike once I got to transition, but I was pretty happy with the ride. ~16 mph on a hilly course is not too bad for right now, I’ll take it.

Bike time: 1:32:27.  Official results clock me at 15.6 mph, but for 24.5 miles (as the race advertised, and my garmin got AT LEAST that much), it was 15.9.  Counting it. 4/5 AG


I’m not sure what wizardry happened here, because I actually had a fail – the bike racks were a little short, and had issues getting my bike back on it and ended up having to fiddle with that a bit.  Everything else went super quick though and I was out and running in no time flat.  No gravity there!

T2 time: 37 seconds!!!  1/5 AG


Got on the run and I had some legs, but not super fast ones. I decided not to freak out about what the watch was saying (high 10s) and just run. We started up a huge hill, then two dam loops.

Out was a flat but extremely rocky for the first half of the loop, down a steep hill, and then a long, gradual uphill to the turn around, and the the opposite on the way back – a gradual downhill which was a nice relief, but a steep uphill I walked both times. There was no point not to, I got winded power walking it, and then the relief of the flat again.


The scenery there didn’t disappoint. To one side was this gorgeous greenbelt, to the other, the gorgeous lake. When I could take my eyes off the rocks for fear of tripping, it made me happy to be running there.

I finished up two loops, holding a consistent pace. I couldn’t get my leggies turning over any faster, but I wasn’t dying to slow down. I was hoping I could do the last part a little faster and gain some ground there, so I just maintained.  I kept looking for the girls I had seen earlier in my age group – one was a little less than half a lap ahead of me, and I saw someone with a 39 on their calf blow by me the first lap and I couldn’t hang.  I figured at that point I was out of podiuming because if I saw two people in my AG that close, there had to be someone who had, like, already finished before I got off the bike.

Nutrition note: Had a half strength gatorade in my handheld and probably put down 3-4 cups of cytomax on the course (between my mouth and on my head). Cytomax is nasty but it kept me going.  I was super thirsty off the bike and finished my handheld by mile 1.25 and lost time because I filled up every aid station, but it kept me vertical and running consistent pace, so, it was worth it.  I had chews but couldn’t even.  Again, I should get this figured but I don’t think it was much of a factor unless I could get my stomach to tolerate a dose of caffeine early on the run, I didn’t feel HUNGRY or unfueled.

I thought the last mile was a loop around the parking lot, but it was a loop around the PARK – through grassy areas where we had to follow cones since there was no path. My poor little brain was so confused it was all I could do to not get lost, playing the game – where’s the cone, where’s the cone, where’s the cone? It was marked well – it was just the end of a 3 hour effort, y’know.  Once I hit the sweet pavement again I accelerated a bit and then I could see the finish and I passed a few people on the way and then we turned in and the finish line was there and I crossed and was SO HAPPY.


Run time: 1:02:28, 10:35/mile, 4/5 AG

They let me sit for a second (I couldn’t quite brain how to get my safety pin holding my timing chip on) and gave me a water and then another and then I went and cheered other people in until Zliten finished and we checked results and OMG I got my first podium in a triathlon in which I was not 3rd of 3 by like, an hour.


Total time: 3:13:23, 3/5 AG

Transitions count people!!! Also, it was definitely a close one for my AG placing.  1st beat me by 10 mins, 2nd beat me by 3 mins, and I beat 4th by 1 min (5th was like me at my first Olympic tri – over 4 hours). I could have fathomed being in any one of those spots depending on what sort of day I had, and I’m very happy with 3rd.  Love these tiny little races where I get to feel like I have a chance to actually race for a medal, heh!

Really, really happy with this. My goal was to go out and have fun, and I so did. Plus, I had a pretty dang good race result and even got a 3rd place to boot.  This was the perfect way to slide into offseason, feeling like I was completely and totally happy with the last race result, and no regrets about the day (or need for immediate vengence).  I kinda liked racing back to back weekends, and I’d consider doing it again.

And now… offseason.  I’ve been not-an-athlete for about 3.5 days now and I’m loving it.  The most strenuous thing I’ve done in the last few days is walk the aisles at Costco.  I know the hunger will come back, but for now, I’m enjoying being a normal human.

Plugerville Triathlon: A Little Bite of Unicorn

3 seconds.

That’s not a whole lot of time.  I mean, there’s the 5 second rule for food (which I know is not really a thing but it totally is when I drop something on the floor that I really want).  You might say “gimme 3 seconds” when you want someone to hold on.  Glad I didn’t give anyone 3 seconds today or I’d not be talking about a new PR.


All the other pictures besides this one of me waiting for the porta potties are on a realm which is named Notmyphone so excuse the wall-o-text for now.

I was not feeling all that great this morning.  My bar didn’t sit well in my stomach, the caffeine didn’t really get me up and pumped, and I just wasn’t with it and feeling excited.  I’ve turned around my mojo in the last few weeks with some rest and a little more speed, but I guess it’s not still recovered.

We got to transition super early and got an awesome spot right by bike out (yay open racking).  There was the normal dinking around setting up transition, hanging out in the car listening to music, potties, warm up run, more potties, warmup swim, national anthem, running into a bunch of friends, and then I was sending Zliten off in his wave.

I just couldn’t get excited.  I was yawning.  My stomach wasn’t awful, but definitely off.  I couldn’t stomach the idea of any pre-race nutrition like I try to do, so I skipped it.  I cheered Zliten out the swim, and then went and centered myself and tried to get jazzed about being at one of my favorite races of the year.  Finally, after forever, it was my wave’s turn.  I unintentionally positioned myself in the middle of the washing machine and decided it was fine and then it was time to swim.


Short swims are not my strength.  It takes me a while to get going in the water, but after about 200-300 meters, I do well.  For a sprint, that’s like half the swim.  So, my goal was to just try to put some hurt on the first half until it gets better.

I think I did alright at it, there was some touching feets and bodies and jostling for position but nothing obnoxious, and then all of a sudden we were halfway there and I felt pretty good.  I did have to avoid some breaststrokers and backstrokers, but felt pretty long and lean. There was some chop, but I’ve been through way worse, so I just made sure to get my breaths when I could.

I could have probably pushed the second half more but I was having some sighting issues into the sun, but nothing too bad.  I swam into shore until I touched, high knee’d out of the water, and was vertical and running before I knew it.  Sprint swims are weird and so short, it never feels worth even going into the water.

Swim time: 11:33 (17/41).

3 seconds better than 2012, 13 seconds better than 2012. Thought I might have a better swim in me, but I haven’t really been focusing on the swim so a few seconds better is a-ok with me. I’m convinced this is long – this clocks me at 2:19/100m, which is pretty much cruise pace for me and this didn’t feel like a cruise, and the best time in my age group was 1:51/100m pace. Yeah, pretty sure it’s long.


Did the big girl thing and went sans sandals.  It was mostly fine except a short rocky stretch that was thinly covered by astro turf, which I gingerly walk/ran.

I tried to go minimal this year.  No gloves, no sleeves (didn’t need them since it was in the 80s), and decided to try leaving my garmin in my bento box instead of taking the time to put it on.  Felt pretty expedient and got out and mounted without incident and got biking quickly.

T1 time: 2:15. (15/41)

Both 2012 and 2013 was 2:53.  Really, really happy to take almost 40 seconds off my transition time, and I didn’t find that gravity in transition the way I did at the x-50.


Got going, hit start on my garmin in the bento box, and tried to get it on my wrist. Fail. Wasn’t going to happen on the bike. I swear I’ve done this before but haven’t practiced it for a while so… whatevs. I tried a few times and it was just too crowded and too much going on, and I knew it was going to cost me some speed to tinker with it, so I just left it in the box.

So, yet again, I was biking blind. I can honestly say this time I think it hurt me without question. This race is challenging to bike – my wave goes off so late there are so many people to pass. Somehow, this year it wasn’t as bad – the people around me seemed decently polite and being in the third to last wave instead of second meant less people to dodge, I guess, but still – on your left about 100 times at least.

The wind was unfortunate – the longest stretch had the headwind. I didn’t feel like it was killing me, but it did definitely slow me down a little bit. I leapfrogged with some gals – attempting to be as legal as possible, but the course was so crowded it was hard. I never tucked right in behind someone with the intent to draft, but sometimes going around a corner or a car was coming, or a super fastie was coming through, and I had to get over and I definitely did not have enough bike lengths between me and other people, but it was impossible to do so.

I peeked at my garmin about 2 miles to go and it said 17.7. I was a little bummed because I wanted to hold 18s, but… it was not to be. I tried to resist the urge to hammer the last two miles and just tried to keep it steady – I didn’t want to kill my run.

Here was the worst part of the bike – I felt like I had to pee the ENTIRE time, and while I’m sure it’s a point of pride to pee off the bike in an Ironman, it’s probably inappropriate to do so in a little local sprint. Also, chews still sounded AWFUL and gatorade was turning my stomach (plus, putting fluid in on top of a full bladder was not working).

I wasn’t sure what to do, but since it was just a sprint, I figured the best bet was to just forgo any nutrition and just get to transition where I had a nice cold water bottle. THAT sounded pretty good.

Dismount went without note and I was over the line and going.

Bike: 47:58. (21/41)

2012 was 48:16, so that was better, but 2013 was 46:27. 2013, my garmin decided to fuck up and show me around a 15 mph speed, which made me rage bike and smash it. I wish I could have done a little more on the bike yesterday. Besides the fact that I just haven’t done a lot of outdoor riding this, I’ll also say that not having the garmin data didn’t help (could I have pushed more seeing my pace? probably?) and stomach issues were not helping.  Excuses, yes, but they are my excuses and I own them.


I stopped my garmin and shoved it in my tri top.  I racked my bike, got my shoes on, and our friend R that runs the transitions yelled at me and said “action shot!” so I gave him a thumbs up.  So, that probably cost me a few seconds but totally worth it (says the girl who was 3 second on the right side of the PR, might have been a different story otherwise).

This is the first Pfluger I decided to use my handheld (mostly for cooling purposes), so that took a few extra seconds and some time fucking with my garmin, but I got out pretty quick.

T2 time: 1:33.  (19/41)

Both 2012 and 13 were 1:19, so I lost 14 seconds.  However, I saved 38 seconds in T1 so it was a net 24 seconds in both transitions so I’ll take it.  If I could have ditched the handheld I could have saved time, but I felt like I needed the ice.


This was where I wanted to kill it. I got up the hill, onto the path, and found that my fast legs had stayed at home. I was struggling to stay around 10 minutes/mile. I didn’t freak out at first, I know I take some time to get going, but when I passed the first mile at about 10 mins exactly, I knew it was not going to be the day to run my best.

However, I wasn’t running AWFULLY. I didn’t feel like death, but I just couldn’t get my legs to turn over the way I know they can. The second mile was better, but then we turned into the wind, and I leapfrogged some girls in my age group, and I found myself just… lacking in the oomph department.

I finally came back to life closer to the finish line after someone in my age group passed me and I could see the finish, and I saw the time of day and knew I had to lay it down to PR. I found a little oomph I didn’t know I had, passing four people (two I believe were in my age group) and rolled into the finish and actually dry heaved into my finisher’s towel (all the chunks stayed down though, thankfully).

Run: 28:48. (21/41)

2012 was 28:07, and 2013 was 30:10 (but that was definitely due to my knee injury). I had figured a run PR was a no brainer with the way I’ve been running lately, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Pretty sure just a few calories of nutrition here could have made the difference, but I just couldn’t do it.

Finish time: 1:32:09. (19/41)

My best at Pflugerville in 2012 was 1:32:12, and I beat it by 3 seconds this year.  No question, if I hadn’t turned on the sprint about 200m from the finish, or even I had taken the time to put on my biking gloves, I would have been telling a different story about how I just missed my PR.  Today, I get to tell you about how I PR’d even on a not-so-great body day.

Did I want a better time?  Yeah.  I really was hoping for a sub 1:30, and I have the fitness to do so.  I’m kind of sad about that run, and a little grumpy about the bike.  However – I pulled out a PR.  I can never be upset about that, especially when my PR here 2 years ago was probably my shining crown jewel of a race that year for execution.

So, kids, this is a lesson: practice your transitions for speed and minimize when you can.  Some days, it will be the absolute difference between a good story and a bummer.

This week is just damage control – keeping the legs fresh and body rested, and I race again in 6 days to end the season.  Honestly, this one is just the icing on the cake.  I’ve never done it before, I have no time goals (yet), I just want to go out and have fun doing an Olympic that a lot of people have told me is awesomesauce.  If there is no fire that day to pound myself into the ground, I’ll be ok with that.

Smart and Fierce

I’ve taken a few cracks at 5ks over the years.  It certainly is not my best or favorite distance, but I do have a bit of love for it (although when I am in straight distance mode it’s definitely love/hate).  It was my first race distance.  You can pretty much run one every weekend and it takes very little physical recovery, so not having a good day at one doesn’t mean you paid a billion dollars and trained for months to be disappointed.  There is that thing about all the pain of a marathon condensed down into 20-some minutes which sucks but it goes away quickly when it’s over (unlike a marathon), so there’s something to look forward to.


Indulge my memory lane.

My first race (Feb 09), I wanted to beat 30 minutes.  I hit 27:48.  I was stoked, and hooked.

My second race (May 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes.  I ran 27:29 in the rain and was a little disappointed, but happy with a PR.

My third race (Aug 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes again, and ended up with 26:31.  A pretty good PR.

My fourth race (May 10), I wanted to beat 25, and I show 25:10 as my time.  However, I still question that this result (it wasn’t chip timed, I didn’t have a garmin yet, and both Zliten and I had some really incredible times) and honestly consider 26:31 my PR (until I beat it someday…).

Then I really started focusing on longer stuff.  I ran more 5ks, but never really trained specifically for them.  My results were: 27:51, 28:26, 29:16, 27:58, 29:44, and 29:46, from 2010 to 2012 (I ran no 5ks last year).

My triple brick times of miles in the 7s and low 8s got me questioning how close I was to my 5k PR, and I decided to go out and try it last week to disastrous results due to many factors and ended up with a result of 29:31.  This week, I decided to remove some of the crap that went wrong and see what I had.

I picked a course that was around the house, pretty flat, no gravel, a little earlier (though the heat was still a factor – high 70s and huuuuumid), and I felt way less burnt and tired.  Without the normal caffeine and buzz and other people at a race, I was able to pull out a 27:40 – which is right in the middle there of all my 5k results and almost 2 minutes faster than last week.  I’m ok with that.  If I could somehow pull out an 8:55 average this weekend, I would be more than stoked.

I’m feeling the inklings of that race hunger back this week.  It took two weeks of slack-assing (5.5 hours of training two weeks ago, 7 hours last week), but I’m starting to feel a bit of the butterflies about standing on that beach at Pflugerville and going to hurt myself real bad for about 90 minutes and see what I’m made of here and now. My running has gotten speedier and less labored this week without really trying, so that means a little bit of the funk has lifted, at least.

Hopefully taper this week (read: pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 2 weeks) will further send me into the race anticipation zone.  And yeah, I know if this is having to be forced, it’s time to end the season.  12 days and counting.

So, as for Sunday, it’s really hard for me to talk strategy, because there is only one way I’ll be happy – laying it all out on the line and PRing this race, and I’ve raced it well the last two years.  I’m ready for the unicorns and rainbows.  This is home turf, I know every inch of the course since I train there all the time, and I’m going out there to hurt.


Hurting on the swim means swimming strong and aggressively, not being afraid to get in a decent spot in the pack, and pushing through that suck that is swimming 500m fast.  I’ve swam around 11:30 both years, I really think I can beat that.

Hurting on the bike means pushing the flats FAST, trying not to lose too much ground on the hills, don’t get comfortable behind slow people (my wave is pretty late in the day and I spend the entire time passing people – confidence boosting, yes, but also is annoying). 18.1 mph is my best here (last year).  While I’d love to beat it, I also think it’s going to be a challenge to do (my watch kept reading 15mph erroneously, so I kept going faster because I was upset at it) so and I’m going to need to hammer this to do it.

Hurting on the run means staying cool (frozen handheld), and pushing that lap around the lake as strategically close to barf-tastic as possible.  I’m hoping to see a lot of 8s on my garmin, or at the very least low 9s.  28:07 was my best here 2 years ago (and if I remember correctly, it’s a little short of the 3 miles they advertise) and I think I can beat that if I’m smart and fierce.  I think today’s double brick runs of 1.67 miles finally helped me dial in 5k race effort so I don’t fizzle boom in the middle.

PRing also means quick transitions, so I’m trying to go as minimal as possible (no bike gloves, sleeves, etc, though I’m not ready to give up my socks or put my bike shoes on my bike just yet) to save time.  And I need to practice those this week so I don’t succumb to transition gravity like at the X-50.

Also, attempting to rest a lot, recover, ward off the tireds, not do stupid stuff like stay up too late or have too much fun.  Two more weeks.  Light, tunnel, and all that.


Eating stuff: After 2 weeks of tracking and caring, I’m back to eating a decent amount of good stuff.

  • In general, I’m eating between 1500-2000 calories per day (had one weekend day at 2600, oops, but baby steps).  This seems to be about perfect for ~7 hours of activity a week.  I’ll have to dial this down a bit (or just be more active in fun ways) during offseason, but it’s good for now.
  • Since my activity level is less, I’m counting grains a different way.  I’m using that category for grains/starches and counting a serving of potatoes, beans, or corn there too.  That way, I’m keeping the excess carbs that I’m not out torching to a minimum.
  • My weight seems to be stabilitized between 176 and 178.  I’m a little sad that I can’t seem to crack into and stay in the lower 170s, but all I can do is keep trying, right?
  • I did kinda screw up and get Costco Pizza, but I ate four slices of it over 2 meals, and I think I’m no worse for wear.  Pizza just sounded SO SO good!
  • Trying to cut back on beer and drink liquor instead.  I haven’t completely given up the Ruby Redbird, but I’m drinking it more sparingly.  It’s definitely saving me calories… and I’m finding less drinks gets me tipsier!  Win win! 🙂

Other stuffs:

I was prepared and ready to run my Savage Worlds story, but we didn’t have enough people that night.  Boo.  It’s ok, because I know I’m ready next time, and we got to play Zombie Munchkin instead.  Although I didn’t win.  Boo x2.  Or braaaaaaaains.


Celebrated National Running Day by 2 gorgeous post-dark miles after the trainer.  High temps are so much more tolerable without the death star in the sky.

Took one of my first post-Saturday workout naps.  Usually I’m way too riled up after, but a 5k time trial just knocked us both out.

Went bra shopping and somehow I went UP a cup size in the last few years?  Not sure how that happened… I expected to go up in the band because of swimming, but cup size?  Anyone want some boob?  Apparently I have plenty to go around…

Got to swim (both paddle around and laps) outside and it was glorious.

My gym cut their hours AGAIN, this time with no notice, and now they’re only open until 8pm on all weekdays and 4pm weekends.  This is the final nail in the coffin, it’s not if we’re moving gyms, it’s when (maybe time it just right to coincide with season starting again in August to save money).


Had a fun night out celebrating a birthday with friends at the Spider House.  We hung out with Bill Clinton the cat (which is what we dubbed him, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his name), and Peanut the Pug (pictured above).


And, now, we’ll take our smiley selves and try to get through the week happy, rested, and psyched for Pfluuuuuuger!

On the way, I have a volunteer appreciation dinner, a company boat trip, and a birthday party to navigate.  I often like to endure moderation in moderation, but race week is probably not the best week to throw caution to the wind there.


It Can’t Rain All The Time

As a moody, brooding teenager, The Crow was one of my favorite movies.  It had all the elements of awesome – sticking it to the man, industrial music, gothiness and leather pants, and lots of cursing.  However, the song I listened to on repeat often was It Can’t Rain All The Time.


I still get my gothy out sometimes, but usually it’s just Halloween…

I had a really, really terrible training week.  Tuesday was the perfect, perfect day to run and I had it scheduled but I couldn’t drag myself outside.  You don’t understand, it wasn’t laziness, it wasn’t just being tired (but there was that), it was like this mental block.  Best I could do was the trainer.  I got out for 4 whole miles Wednesday, and rode the trainer at night.  Actually felt like a training day.  Thursday, I got up and eeked out 6 miles (which were actually decent, but took FOREVER to get going) before I shut it down for the week again with the lack of motivation and just couldn’t face the pool, the road, even the trainer.

I figured I was saving it all for the weekend.  I didn’t even have anything lengthy planned, but a feat of strength speed – trying to see how close I am to my 5k PR.  Let’s just say it didn’t go well.  I’ve ran about the same pace in half marathons.  I made about five mistakes:

1. Lack of motivation to get up, like I had all week, put us outside starting after 10am, which Saturday meant no breeze and mid 80s.  I was sweating standing still.

2. Y’know that one day of the month where you have no energy and feel awful due to cramps and hormones and whatever?  Yeah, that was this morning.

3. Trying to PR at Lake Pflugerville is like running on quicksand for me.  I’ve learned to love the crushed trail for easy runs, but running fast on it, I feel like my feet are slipping every step.  They don’t grip it like pavement.

4. To add to the 80s and no breeze, this route has ZERO shade.

5. We forgot to hydrate properly before (it’s just a 5k, right?) and bring enough water.

I was a little bummed with the result, but the slight sensitivity I had all day to temperature made me realize that I’m glad I backed off a little.  I don’t need to burn it all on a training day and end up with heat sickness like I had last summer.

Instead of getting depressed about it, “It Can’t Rain All The Time” popped in my head and I realized two things:

One: 5k’s are great because you could feasibly race one every weekend and recover pretty quickly.  So next Saturday, I’m going to give it another go.  Closer to sunrise.  On pavement.

Two: While the 29:31 is up there with some of my worst standalone 5k race finishes ever, it would be one of, if not my best triathlon 5k split ever.  Considering I was already tired starting, and it was balls hot, it replicated the conditions quite well.  That provides some silver lining.


What’s a little more concerning to me is this lack of motivation and fixing it.

Me, sportily, I really and truly am about 1 week past where I need season to end and break to begin.  It’s hard to get up in the morning, hard to get on the bike or to the pool at night, and I’m dragging myself to training a lot of the time in the last few weeks (minus the last week where I just didn’t show up half the time).

The solace is that a) I feel good once I get going so I’m not physically over-trained (minus the 5k) and b) I only have this week and next week, which is a week for taper, and then two races and I get the break I need.  Light, meet tunnel.  I’m not having the overall freakouts (omg, how I am going to make it through all this), which is good, but there is a lot of half assing or skipping sessions.  The exception seems to be the trainer.  The only reason I’m able to make myself trainer with any intensity is that I can put on TV and convince myself it’s not that much different than being on the couch.

I’m pretty happy with the length I’ve been able to string this latest season along without more than a week break/second week easy after races (Jan 2013-now).  I’ve also measurable and solidly improved in all 3 disciplines.  It’s nice that I am really and truly just showing the signs of burnout now, but it’s definitely rearing it’s ugly head just a few weeks too early.

My focus these next two weeks is to get hungry to race again.  Right now I have to realize it’s not time to pile on the volume even though I want to cram just one more solid workout in before the races, before offseason, before I lose fitness, before whatever.  I’ve grown as much as I’m going to grow as an athlete right now without a little rain (rest).  However, I need to remember, it won’t rain all the time.

Switching Focus:

My plans for offseason are as follows…

1. Run 5k twice.  Fast, slow, outside, inside, whatever.  Put feet in front of the other fast enough not to be walking for approximately one hour a week split up into two sessions.  I really think a full month off running will do bad things and I’m scared of completely losing this nice base I have.  From what I have read – just a little is much better than none.

2.  Weights twice a week.  The other component to not completely losing fitness.  Lift heavy things, and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to hold back because I have to also do x workout after and then x in the morning.

3.  Probably not get up before work to do workouts much.  Aka – enjoy lots of sleep.

4. Be active a few other times a week, but do what sounds fun.  Kayaking, SUPing, ice skating, climbing, roller skating, walking to the store, whatever.

5.  Nothing that would qualify as long distance workouts.  Unless it is TRULY in the spirit of fun (a slow bike ride meandering around all day, etc).

6.  Cleaning up my damn eating.


Number 6 is key.  I know it’s not a true offseason if you don’t get a bit fat and lazy, but my eating right now is completely out of whack.  That was the first sign it was getting to the end of my motivational rope – the 4-6 weeks nothing has been off limits, in terms of food choices or portions.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much I felt like.

By and large, the biggest percentage of what went in my mouth was healthy food because that’s what I keep around and that’s what I like.  But slowly 90/10 slipped to 80/20… and then over Memorial Day weekend I forgot what vegetables and fruit tasted like.

It is time.  This last week, I tracked my food and assessed diet quality.  No rules, no limits, just step #1, being, actually be accountable for what I ate.  Honestly, it wasn’t too, too bad in terms of calories, but the diet quality left something to be desired.  Baby steps.  I’m going to actually get on the scale this week sometime to assess where we are with that as well.

I’m going to continue this until after season ends.  Then, I’m going to get all diet quality on this mother, but I’ll save that for another post.

And, for added randomness, I give you cool stuff May!

Racing Texasman in the blistering heat


I got to go see Warhorse care of Yelp and Texas Perfoming Arts.  It was spectacularly awesome!


Distance PR for outdoor swimming: 2.75 miles

Impromptu BBQ party and bush cutting and gorilla suit happy fun times (I love my random crew of people)


Birthday Crab Boil for our neighbor’s birthday!


Distance PR for outdoor riding: 70 miles


Had one of those nice long chatty, easy runs around the like where it feels like just a long walk with friends.  I haven’t had one of those in a while since I usually get antsy and push the pace.

Volunteering for Cap Tex Tri at the packet pickup was a LOT of fun.  Talking to all sorts of athletes – pro to newbies, and got a good dose of race energy.  So, so glad we didn’t volunteer the day of (it was pouring rain).


Having our friends from Denver in town over Memorial Day weekend kicked ass.  We got the gang back together two days in a row and played games, drank beers, ate good food, and had a blast.


New blender means a lot more blendy drinks.  This is a good thing (I think).


Lotsa good food, both batch cooked, and new Costco finds.

Talking to a bunch of teenagers about getting into the tech industry.  I love to talk, and they seemed geniunely interested about me sharing my experiences and wisdom gained in the last 13 years.

Game Jam! Work set aside 3 days for us to work on a side project, and I got to team up with my husband.  We never get to work together because of the married couple stigma, and we spent 3 days making a kick ass board game.  There are actually some pretty cool prizes for the winners, and it will be really cool to see what everyone did!


And, because it’s Texas, here’s the random wandering cow picture taken right outside the steakhouse.

With that, I’ll leave you – send me good mojo thoughts or leave me a comment telling me what you do to get your mojo back in a pinch!

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