Adjusted Reality

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

Month: February 2016 Page 1 of 2

Five Days

Aaaaaah, it’s marathon week.  At this point, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.  The hip issue is slowly becoming less of one.  I’m a little worried about the lack of training but at this point, the hay is in the barn.  Nothing I can do now but lace up my shoes and go run 26.2 miles (and probably a little more since I think the course is long).

Two cool things about it already:

I have one of the best bib numbers ever: 1111.  Isn’t that lucky?

Also, Zliten and I joked that at least we’d have a shot at winning our own name divisions – and we’re the only ones with our first names.  So, all we have to do is finish to win.  I’ll tuck that away for around mile 22.

Just a few more very short workouts, lots of sleep, hopefully not much stress, and we hit the road Friday at noon.  It’s all happening!


You know it was one of those weeks when the post-long-run beer selfie is the closest to a training picture you have…

This week was weird.  Monday and Tuesday were the shittiest training days I’ve had in a while.  Monday I explained in detail here, but Tuesday was the aftermath.  Zliten convinced me that the treadmill would be better for us to tempo, and I decided to give it a try.  For me, it was not.

My hip was still feeling gross and it just had no power.  The constant speed of the treadmill was not working for me.  I tried to get started running about 3 times and gave up within half a mile each time to go roll, stretch, and the last time, have a small hissy fit outside about it.  The good news is that it was so cold and windy, that tantrum was short lived, and I decided that at least I was getting my fucking steps in for the day and walked at 2% incline at 3.5 for about 30 minutes.

Thursday’s run still had my hip feeling a little weak, but I was able to complete a 4 mile run with some speed segments in it, and things felt pretty great after.  I also started to figure out the new normal with how my body is right now, and do some strategerie on how to pull the best run I can out of these legs.

The first thing is not to try to keep up with anyone or anything.  Trying to keep pace with my husband is an exercise in frustration right now, so I’m not going to do it.  I will let him go at any time I need to.  If I’m having a good day, I might catch him later and get to motivate him through the last few miles, perhaps.

The second thing is that during this race, more than any other race I’ve ever done, I need to watch my form.  I cannot slump or I will cramp SO EARLY.  I need to stay easy up the hills or I will cramp SO EARLY.  I need to keep my cadence high and strides shorter, especially if my hip is cranky.

The third thing is to let go of any expectations.  The watch can say anything it wants, the time that passes can be anything it needs to be, I just want to let go and run through the woods for 5 hours, give or take.

Here’s the breakdown from last week…

  • Monday: hour 45 min easy group ride with BSS (weather permitting), core
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, .5-1 mile cooldown a little running, a lot of walking, and a whole lot of tantrum throwing
  • Wednesday: swim at lunch, core PM
  • Thursday: 3×1600 (9-9:30 min/mile) with 400m recovery, 1 mile warmup and cooldown 4 mile fartlek
  • Friday: off, core
  • Saturday: 10 mile run, last 5 at race pace.
  • Sunday: riding bikes, either inside or outside for at least 20 30 mins + core + long sunset walk

And here’s the plan this week:

  • Monday: run to the track, 4×400 with 400 recovery in between, run home, core
  • Tuesday: 20-30 min trainer ride
  • Wednesday: 3 miles at marathon pace, core
  • Thursday: 15-20 minute swim
  • Friday: off, some walking to keep the legs loose
  • Saturday: 26.2 baby!
  • Sunday: offseason begins!

…and while I’m getting pretty excited to race in FIVE DAYS, I’m also pretty pumped for my offseason plans.



A delicious picture of noms in progress…

Let’s keep this short.  I’m doing ok with my (fairly relaxed) goals, but the scale is definitely not going anywhere.  I’m alright with this, because in a couple weeks, this section of my life will be in focus and I’ll start chipping away at those numbers on the scale.

You can only have so many hards at once, and once training takes a back burner, this will become my main project. Tracking 100% of the time (yeah, even on weekends), and much more stringent calorie goals.

  • Track as much as I can.  100% is great.
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.  I think this should just be the motto for the year.
  • Try not to eat like an asshole.  Balance in all things.

For now, though, you get a story about my backyard.

We’ve owned a well loved grill and smoker for about 8.5 years.  It’s actually so amazingly seasoned that even just grilling something would make it taste as if it’s been lightly smoked, which is AWESOME.  We’ve been holding off getting a new one as long as we could, because it’s a lot of work to break it in, but the hole in the old grill got so bad it wouldn’t heat up… so we now have this lovely thing of beauty pictured above.

Zliten is attempting to put it through it’s paces, so we had a meat-a-ganza on Saturday.  There was a giant piece of brisket, a rack of ribs, chicken breasts, and some habenero chicken sausage.  The chicken and sausage were instant hits, and we learned some (delicious, delicious) lessons on how to make the ribs and the brisket better.

For the week, I have some great meals – chicken, chicken sausage and cauli-taters, shepard’s pie with brisket, ribs with (light) blue cheese and (not light) bacon potato salad, and I made zuppa toscana to go with salad.  We’re set.

The theme of this week is: don’t do anything stupid, which includes eating and drinking.

  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes or calorie counts.  Booze also goes away for the week around Tuesday or Wednesday (and obviously keeping the consumption responsible if I do choose to imbibe on race week).
  • Eat like a normal human until Thursday.
  • Have a nice big (non-spicy, carb heavy) meal on Thursday night (the night before the night before, which also happens to be my birthday!).
  • Come up with a plan for Friday (the day before) for optimal carbing up.
  • Whatever we want after the marathon for a few days (I may be making my list because it is indeed my last hurrah for a while). 🙂



My goal in life is to have this much attitude.  Or, shall I say… catitude?

This week, it’s all about continuing the mellow.  I mean, all I had for this last week was…

  • 8 hours sleep most every night
  • Keep it mellow – do the relaxing thing instead of the crazy thing if faced with a decision.

And I pretty much nailed this.  I think I may have slept 6.5 hours Thursday night, but I made up for it with a zero alarm weekend and solid 10 hour sleep nights both Friday and Saturday.  We had a super relaxing but productive weekend.  We stayed in, we grilled, I read an entire book on Saturday, we binge watched Fuller House Sunday, but I also got a bunch of chores done and have more than enough food for this week since it’s a short one.

Let’s keep it going:

  • 8 hours sleep every night (no exceptions)
  • Dinner with family on Tuesday night.
  • Be boring all week, including my birthday.  There will be plenty of time to play after the marathon.

And with that, it’s time to go back to making my way through the week. I’m kind of excited and ready for it to be race day, but I’m also excited about every extra day I have to get amazing rest, fuel, and hip healing mojo before I race.  It will get here soon enough!



On Cycling Humble Pie

This has been a trying week so far inside my brain.


Monday, Zliten really really really really really wanted to join our new team for a group ride.  My original plan was for us to run, and I wasn’t sure how my hip would react to clipping in and out a lot on the bike, but I also know that I always want to pass on those rides because I don’t feel comfortable doing them and the only way I’ll get better is to practice.  So I decided I would put on my big girl panties and give it a go.  This is usually a good thing.


Unless it’s not.

My hip was not only aggravated by the constant clipping in and out, but it’s the leg I push off automatically at stops, so every time I went to get started I got a jolt of pain.  I tried to switch to the other leg, but it felt so weird I couldn’t do it.

Add this to the fact that we were riding in rush hour traffic with a group of 14 other experienced cyclists who don’t ride like triathletes… triathletes generally ride single file and give each other room.  Cyclists ride in packs.  Even without a wonky hip this scares the shit out of me, but it was too much on Monday.  I backed out after about 5 miles (before we went down a big hill I knew we’d have to come back up) and the ride back wasn’t as bad, but that’s because I knew where I was going and it was only me and Zliten.

Let’s add to this the huge ding on my pride.  Over the summer, I was both (relatively, for me) fit looking and pretty kick ass on the bike.  I placed 4th out of 20-some people in one race.  I held a 19.5 mph for an Olympic course.  Now I’ve joined this team and their first impression of me AT BEST like “awwww, the new chubby girl is trying so hard to ride her bike” and at worst “crap, I hope that shitty biker doesn’t show up and fuck up our group rides, she doesn’t belong here”.  I want to shout from the rooftops that they’re seeing my worst right now and I’d be hiding away until I suck less, except Zliten wants me just to expose all my warts.

2014-09-27 16.24.12

On the way back I bitched about it and said I was going to just take up aquathlons and quit biking.  However, the answer is more along the lines of “the way out is through”.  I am seeking Ironman in about 14 months.  The only way you successfully Ironman is to bike a lot.  The best way to bike a lot is to have a group to ride with.  So, I need to figure this shit out.  I need a three step wart removal plan.

First, no riding outdoors in clips until my hip is COMPLETELY healed.  This has to go away and the only way for me to do that is to stop poking it.  I’m going to have to poke it a little with running until March 5th, so after that, I need to wait until there are no such things as twinges and it feels awesome doing everything else first because this made it feel worse than anything.  If he wants to go ride outside, I’ll let Zliten do his thing and I’ll do mine.

Second, my big problem is I’m not comfortable with the move of a) unclipping one leg b) leaning the way and putting one leg down to stop.  I unclip both, that way, whichever way I land, I won’t topple over.  It works on closed courses or places where there are barely any stops with few people.  It’s batshit crazy in a group in traffic.

I need to take my bike somewhere soft (grass behind the track by my house, perhaps) and do that thing where I practice this move over and over until it’s second nature.  Every day.  For like, weeks.  100 reps per day on each side, or whatever makes sense.


Third, I just don’t ride outside enough, and it’s because there is nowhere around our house that lends to a good workout.  During tri season I probably ride outside 3 times a month, and during offseason… please.  My bike mostly stays indoors from October to March.  I’ve ridden it 3 times since Kerrville outside and for February… that’s actually probably some sort of record.

There are a few ways to get at that.

a) Trainer rides should have a warmup or cooldown of a few miles in my neighborhood.  Even if it’s just 10-15 mins riding around the house, it is better than nothing, and then I can attack the real workout inside.  I do have a decent course for short hill repeats that only has a few stops, not as pure as indoors, but it would work occasionally as a short workout day.

b) Pack up the bikes in the AM, and drive them out where it’s good to ride after work.  We now have a GREAT lighting setup, so we don’t have to worry about coasting in just a little after sunset.  We’re visible.

c) Once I feel a little more like the bike is an extension of me, rather than this completely foreign appendage I just want to throw in the ditch because it confuses and frustrates me, I need to be at all the group rides I can.  And I need to push myself to get there as quickly as I can because that is where I’ll really get confidence (and get better at the actual moving faster part of biking).

I suppose the moral of this story is sometimes you have to take the long way around even if you see a shorter path.  For my previous endeavors – to become a triathlete, even to improve and make my bike my strongest leg last year – I was able to cheat and not learn how to be a good all-around cyclist.  I coasted by (badup CHING!) with poor handling skills because I spent all the time increasing my speed/power.  However, we’re coming up on a fork in the road where I have to decide to either continue on or buck up and change.


I’m going to have to do a lot of cycling to get to 140.6, it’s the leg where I need the most endurance work.  I’ve almost doubled the swim distance and can easily swim at or above it.  I’m about to run my 6th marathon in just over 3 years.  Marathons aren’t easy, but I’m at least competent at covering the distance.  My best cycling effort outdoors is 70 miles – that’s 32 less than the race distance.  It is obviously where I need to spend most of my time in the next year.

The question is – do I want to cycle with a group of people that will motivate me or keep doing it on my own with no one to push me?  Do I want to spend hours and hours riding outside in the sunshine or hours grinding away on my trainer/in spin classes?  Do I want to feel comfortable in races and riding with a group, or do I want to continue to feel a little bit of apprehension every time we pack our bikes up to go somewhere?

I think the answer is obvious.  I have probably the most to gain in triathlon by becoming a better cyclist than concentrating on either of the other two sports right now.  However, running isn’t scary.  Swimming isn’t scary.  Biking is right now.  I need to change that.  This is my plan.

1 week 5 days

For some reason, until TODAY I’ve been able to put the marathon in a box and tell myself it was pretty far away.  Now that the countdown is at ONE WEEK and some change, I have to face that it’s coming up right soon here.  I’m actually feeling *better* about it than I was last week, and I’m not entirely sure more time to waffle around about it would be a good thing, but still.  Marathon imminent.  Freakouts ensue.



#tfw you just finished a long run and your brain isn’t quite right.

Last week, I hit all the sessions, but I had to make a sub on Thursday and skip the speedwork due to crankyhip syndrome.  It ended up being the right call for many reasons.

  • Monday: core (day off cardio)
  • Tuesday: 5 miles of speedwork: 6x800s around 9 min/miles, 400m recoveries
  • Wednesday: 45 mins trainer ride, core
  • Thursday: 4-5 miles of tempo work (between 9:30-10 min miles) easy 1.7 miles, 30 mins easy spin
  • Friday: 30 min lunch swim, 20 min trainer ride, core
  • Saturday: 16 mile run (ready to flake on this if my hip starts feeling bad), no slower than 11:30 min/miles (also ready to compromise pace if needed).
  • Sunday: 32 min combo outdoor, trainer ride

I’m pretty content with how it turned out.

The good:

I was able to complete my last long run for 16 miles.  I whined and complained my way through the end of it, but to be fair, I was dealing with some mad blood blisters, not my favorite weather (70 and DRIPPINGLY humid), and my music died 4.5 miles from home.  It was slower than I would have liked – the first four miles averaged 12:20s, and the rest were between 11:30-12.  However, I came away with a solid, slow long run and I’m not feeling my body or soul crushed by it.  Which is pretty much how I wanted to go into taper.

I was able to knock out a good speedwork sesh on Tuesday even though I really had no want after a long staycation weekend of food and drink.

I NAILED rehab and prehab this week.  I stretched and rolled almost every day, and I hit the 3 core sessions with at least 20 mins of solid core-only work.

I hit my 3 other days of cross training.  Other weeks I’ve been flaking on one of them.

The bad:

My hip wasn’t able to handle 2 fast sessions so close to each other (Tuesday night and Thursday morning) *or* my hip is just not handling mornings well (as evidenced by my super slow first 4 miles on Saturday).

I did flake on the pool this week and rode my bike instead, due to laziness about getting to the gym.  I want to get there at least once this week!

Overall, even though the middle of last week, I’d tell you the world was ending, I feel like it was a pretty positive one on the bookends.  My hip is not 100% but I feel like some of the changes I made last week with how I’m sitting both at work and at home, how I sleep, being deliberate about both my run and walking strides, all the rehab and stretching… it’s helping.  I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m seeing the light through the branches.  That 16 miler in which I was no worse for wear after really helped things.

I’m kind of in a state of taper already, but, hey, it’s time to OFFICIALLY call it that.

  • Monday: hour easy group ride with BSS (weather permitting), core
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, .5-1 mile cooldown after work
  • Wednesday: swim at lunch, core PM
  • Thursday: 3×1600 (9-9:30 min/mile) with 400m recovery, 1 mile warmup and cooldown (at lunch?)
  • Friday: off, core
  • Saturday: 10 mile run, last 5 at race pace.
  • Sunday: riding bikes, either inside or outside for at least 30 mins

Every day goals:

  • Stretch, roll, ice.  There is no reason I can’t do this at night while watching TV.
  • Call any sessions that feel bad (either tone down the intensity or just take my ball and go home).  The hay is in the barn.  All I can do at this point to fuck things up further is a) get into bed and not leave it until next Saturday morning or b) try to cram in last minute training that I shouldn’t.  I am so much more likely to do b), especially when I feel like I missed the mark some weeks, so I need to watch it.

This is kind of the week that can make or break me. I need to make smart decisions.  The end.



Gotta love how my picture is of the snacks and the wine.  I promise the whole front half is produce!

While I don’t feel like it was a complete fail, my goals definitely didn’t work for me here.

  • Track 100% of my food and try to stay in range.
  • Weigh at least once
  • Use up leftovers this week
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.

I keep tracking until Friday and then missing the weekends.  I don’t really even have an excuse this time, I spent plenty of time with my phone and laptop over the weekend.  I think it’s partly knowing that a month from now this is going to be the main focus, and I’m giving myself a little break.  It’s also partly frustration at zero progress even though I should be making some with the math.  I can’t bring myself to get on the scale because the number isn’t going anywhere.

It’s affected my mood over the last 6 months.  I feel fluffy and frumpy.  I don’t really like putting on clothes.  While I’m not a complete angel, I also eat relatively healthy and per fitbit, most days come in about 500 calories over what it says I burn.  Per the nutritionist, I shouldn’t have put this much weight on this fast eating the way I did.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I also don’t feel like there’s much I can do until I kick this thing into high gear next month, so I’ll keep doing the best I can without driving myself insane.

Let’s keep it super simple and gentle:

  • Track as much as I can.  100% is great.
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.  I think this should just be the motto for the year.
  • Try not to eat like an asshole.  Balance in all things.



You know you’ve made it when you have a specially lit gallery wall of one of your most favorite (still alive, not 100000$ per piece) artists!

I’m starting to already think about the spring and the offseason, and while I’m a little apprehensive about the food portion (calorie deficits are not bad once you get used to them, but a BITCH to initiate), I’m super excited for the life part.

It’s actually going to take some intentional thought to adapt to being a normal person during the spring.  Over the summer is easy – any hours I can are spent at a lake or waterpark.  Can’t really do that *too* much before Memorial Day… I need to take some time and really decide what sort of normie I want to be, otherwise I’ll go to my default of couch + netflix even though I have energy to do other stuff.

I may already have tons of plans and a post brewing on that one, but it’s not time yet.  Blinders back on.  Race in 12 days.  Focus focus focus.

  • Gaming Thursday
  • Lunch and hanging art lights on Saturday with Zliten’s parents (our Christmas present).
  • 8 hours sleep (most) every night.

Done and done and done.  I think I had 7 hours Thursday night but close enough. I love our new wall and it is so handy to have an electrician in the family.  It makes me think about the (lack of) skills I would have in the zombie apocolypse.  Then again, I’m pretty good at solving problems and telling people what to do and getting them not to kill each other.  I guess that’s pretty important.  There will always be uses for management.

This week (and next week) are all about the mellow.  I want to make sure I give myself the best chance for success at this race and that means rest and recovery.  I don’t even really have much to put here, but let’s do it:

  • 8 hours sleep every night
  • Keep it mellow – do the relaxing thing instead of the crazy thing if faced with a decision.

And, that’s about all she wrote for the weekly recap.

The Hip Chronicles

Sometime around January 18th, I remember thinking… hmmm, my hip feels a little cranky after today’s run.  I should keep an eye on that.  Today is February 19th, and we’re just starting to see the light.


Which means I’ve had to do more of this than I’d like.

Things I’ve done since then:

Week 1: attempted to ignore it and still continue to run every day, but much lower mileage and easy pace.  It was still very minor and I figured it would go away quickly.

End of week 1: race a half marathon and be completely and totally exhausted after… hip was a little cranky to start the race but felt ok during and after… til the next morning.

Week 2: Took the week COMPLETELY off running, just 5 hours of biking and swimming (clocking my longest swim evar with 7300-ish meters, woo!).  Saw the chiropractor and she affirmed my decision to give it a rest for this week.  I felt good about being conservative with my hip and by Sunday, it felt pretty healed.

Week 3: Decided to move to the 3-day per week training run program.  Hip slightly cranky to start each run but feels alright during and after – I complete an easy 4 miler, a life-affirming 4 mile tempo with 1 mile warmup/cooldown, and a darn decent 18 miler, as well as some cross training.  Felt like things were getting back to normal.

Week 4: Hip doesn’t feel great to start this week.  I made it through the run on Monday and still by Thursday my hip hates me.  I see the chiropractor and she pokes and prods it again and says nothing serious is wrong, it’s core instability and this is the weird way it’s manifesting.  At first I find it hard to believe, but then I realize a) how many times I’ve put “do the dozen” on my weekly list and failed and b) biking outdoors and swimming both help core and I’ve not done much of either since October.

The prognosis is: no more than 5 miles at a time every other day, and core work every other day for 10 days before I try a long run.

This week, week 5, it’s Friday.  I’m now 4 weeks and 5 days from the first twinge and I STILL had to cut a run short yesterday morning. The good news is that I’m re-evaluating everything in my life and sorting it into two categories – is it good for the hip or bad for the hip?  I’m making changes to the way I sit at work, at home, sleep, and I’m being thorough about warmup, icing, stretching, and rolling.  Totally things I should be doing anyway but it being at the forefront of my mind will hopefully help me not slack on this stuff again.  Just finally today I’m feeling the fruits of my labor here.

The bad news is that in the last 4 weeks I’ve had miserably low running miles and things have gone from meh to bad to ok to worse to hopefully improving but not great yet.  To be fair, until about a week ago, we were just playing the wait and hope it will go away game, but it’s definitely not encouraging to have babied it this much and still be having issues.  I’ve ran 7 times in the last month.  That’s not much for marathon training season.


My big run this block, and the last time I was really, like, *smiles*

So, I’m kind of irrationally terrified and my brain goes stupid places when that happens.

Terrified that since a medical professional said nothing is really wrong, that I shouldn’t just be pushing through this and training normally.  If it might not be healed by the marathon, I might as well be better trained, right?

Terrified that maybe something is really wrong and even running a few times a week is doing bad things.  I really want to do this marathon, but not at the cost of being laid up for months.

Terrified that on so little training, even if I am feeling healthy March 5th, it’s a bad idea to run this race.

Terrified that somehow I subconsciously wanted to get injured so this race has an asterisk (excuse for not doing well).  “Well, I didn’t PR but I’m just happy I was able to run with my hip.”  That kind of shit.

Terrified that being physically weak will make me mentally weak during the race.

It just boils down to being terrified I’ve done the wrong things and am going to do the wrong things.

I can’t change anything about what I’ve done.  Maybe if I would have cut the streak a week early and stayed off of it the week before the half marathon?  Maybe if I wouldn’t have raced so hard?  Maybe if I would have made strength work a priority?  Maybe if I hadn’t gained weight?  Can’t do a damn thing about any of those things now.

What I can do is wake up every morning and decide to make the best decisions I can with the information I have.  Yesterday’s workout call was to run easy and short and bike and stretch and roll instead of a 5 mile tempo.  So far, that call seems to be a good one considering how things are feeling today.

Today’s work call was to take a lot of walks and try not to stay at my desk for too long without a break and for the love of all that’s dear and fluffy, sit like a normal human being in a chair.  Today’s sleeping call is to try to do whatever the heck I did for the last two nights, because I woke up without pain (legs curled up instead of one sprawled, I think).

Also, while I still can be terrified, I’m trying to keep in my head advice I gave to someone else yesterday: the body doesn’t forget that easily.  I’m not laid up flat on my back.  I’m still running some miles, and running them pretty fast.  Over the last 4 months I’ve put together some nice weeks of training.  I just have to take this one home a bit more conservatively than I would like.

The other awesome thing is that I care.  I’m pissed I’m not running.  In November, I may have just been tempted to just say fuck it and walk away.  I do actually want to start this race.  I would like my 6th shot at a marathon PR.  I care about getting to that finish line and getting my stupid medal and t-shirt and all that jazz.  That’s something.







The Hard Stuff and Staycationing

Another week down, and 2 weeks 4 days to marathon Saturday!  Eeps!


This marathon season has been just so completely and totally weird.  The first part, my mind quit on me.  I’ve never had that happen so early after offseason.  I’ve been over and over this, but it’s one of the worst feelings in the world to have your body be fit and healthy and fine, and your mind is just gone.  I hope never to have to go through that again.  I’m still not all there but I’m seeing promise.


The middle was a regroup and a lesson in consistency.  I can’t say I found mad, wild, passionate run love like I did last year, but that’s probably because I spent 3 of my 4 weeks solely on the treadmill due to allergies, and had to have it more planned out because I took Zliten along for the ride.  However, I did find the reinforcement that running doesn’t have to be an event where the stars align, and that’s really what I was going for this time.

This last portion of training, my body is revolting after it’s been completely healthy for the last year.  I’ve had it checked out twice, and my chiropractor confirms that it’s nothing serious, but my hip is hurting like a bitch.  It feels the absolute BEST about 2-3 miles into a run until the end, feels great for a while after, and then after some moments to a day of inactivity, it starts feeling crappy again until I warm up for the next run.

My rehab from last Thursday to next Saturday:

  • 5 miles max running per day, no more than every other day.
  • Core work 3xweek to strengthen the muscles around the area
  • Bike, swim, walk as much as I want

So, the schedule this week looks like this.

  • Monday: core (day off cardio)
  • Tuesday: 5 miles of speedwork: 6x800s around 9 min/miles, 400m recoveries
  • Wednesday: 45 mins trainer ride, core
  • Thursday: 4-5 miles of tempo work (between 9:30-10 min miles)
  • Friday: 30 min lunch swim, core
  • Saturday: HOPEFULLY 16 mile run (ready to flake on this if my hip starts feeling bad), no slower than 11:30 min/miles (also ready to compromise pace if needed).
  • Sunday: 30-60 min swim/bike

I’m a little cranky about the sheer lack of mileage I can do right now, but my saving grace is that I’m doing the hard stuff.  Most of my miles feel like the END of the marathon, not the beginning.  It’s not hard to hold 11-something pace for an hour, it’s actually quite enjoyable to me.  Holding 11-something pace for 5 hours actually feels horrible by the end.  Trying to hold 9:30/mile for a little under an hour simulates that much more closely without all the accumulated fatigue.


Trainer, trainer, trainer… since I can’t run run run all the miles.

I’ve thrived on half marathons using the less-is-more type of training philosophy, and though I feel like doing a whole marathon training cycle on it is a mistake, ending with it seems to be alright.  When every run has hard parts, I won’t toe the line March 5th expecting it to feel easy.  Because it won’t.  And I still can conquer it.

Here’s how last week went:

  • Monday: 55 min spin after work at home
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 3×1 miles @9-9:30/mile, .25 miles between each recovery, 1 mile cooldown before work or at lunch
  • Wednesday: 30 min swim at lunch
  • Thursday: 1 mile warmup, 5 miles tempo pace (9:30-10 min/miles), short cooldown at lunch 30 min swim at lunch
  • Friday: 30 min swim at lunch off
  • Saturday: 20 mile run, no slower than 11:30 min/mile by the end 2 hours of cycling, both outside and trainer + 45 mins of core + 5 mile tempo
  • Sunday: off (will be active that day hiking, but nothing formal) easy 25 min bike ride outside

I skipped one run due to chiro orders, and switched other stuff around but I made it work.

I’m not feeling terribly confident this week will go as planned due to my janky hip, but I’ll roll with it.  I’m past the deadline of being able to drop to the half, so 26.2 miles any which way they come is the goal!


We did a trial run of a “stay-cation” and it was mildly successful.  The part that was WILDLY successful was trying out new restaurants, hitting up old favorites, and cooking awesome food for ourselves that we normally wouldn’t. I don’t think I went batshit crazy on the calories but I don’t think I was maintaining a giant deficit either.

  • Track all my food and stick to my macros/calorie range (-500 w/activity)
  • Weigh a few times this week
  • I’m not going to specify an amount for booze but it needs to not compromise my a) calorie count b) sleep schedule (oops Thursday night) c) workouts

Two out of three ain’t bad, right?  Even though I didn’t track, I can DEFINITELY say that Sunday and Monday were probably a little more high calorie than they should have been, but life will go on.  My last weight was 187 on Friday, which probably won’t stick, but at least my pants don’t feel like they’re cutting off circulation.

Some of my favorites for the weekend:


Sunday lunch was chicken and veggie pho at my favorite pho place.  It’s one of my favorite meals out – it’s so absolutely filling for the calories and who doesn’t love chicken soup!  I avoided it for a while because I react negatively to something in the broth, but this new place is 100% no body hurts!


Sunday, we cooked our traditional Valentine’s Day meal – bacon wrapped filet and lobster on the grill, with loaded baked potatoes and sauteed brocollini.  It’s one of my favorite meals of the year.


We opened up the pretty good stuff to drink with it too.  I had been saving it for a PR but I’ve been iffy on whether I actually want champagne after races nowadays and love is a good thing to celebrate.  I figure that I’ll get myself another bottle if I really want it.


Monday, we went to lunch at a new (to us) place called Taco Flats.  The food was excellent, the vibe was laid back and fun, interesting conversations were eavesdropped, and who doesn’t love a beer with lunch on a Monday?


We put together some panchetta, peas, light alfredo sauce, rosemary parmesan, and fresh noodles to make an amazing pasta dish Tuesday night to close out the long weekend.  And, we may have grabbed some fro-yo for dessert!

This week, just the basics:

  • Track 100% of my food and try to stay in range.
  • Weigh at least once
  • Use up leftovers this week
  • Booze cannot interfere with bedtimes, calorie counts, or workouts.

It’s a pretty short week with today being my first workday, so I’m just trying to get back into the swing of eating like I’m not on vacation.


Due to a few reasons, we took the weekend a little slower and less exciting than we expected.  While I’d say it’s a mild fail in terms of having a really cool staycation, sometimes you have to roll with the punches and do shit like go to two opening weekend movies and hang out on the back patio reading and drinking beer in the sunshine rather than go on an epic hiking and downtown adventures.

  • Happy hour at Copper Lounge Thursday impromptu chiropractor appointment Thursday
  • Eat pho with friends Saturday by ourselves Sunday since plans changed, walk drive to a movie matinee (Deadpool) and dinner out Saturday
  • Go to Enchanted Rock another movie (Zoolander 2) and grill up a great dinner Sunday
  • Do something touristy downtown on Monday Have a super great taco lunch and then drink beer and sit on our patio reading a book until sunset on Monday.
  • Do absolutely almost NO chores starting Saturday morning until Tuesday (darn you, dishes and laundry).
  • Get 8 hours of sleep (almost – oops Thursday) every night

My energy level was definitely a little lower than expected, and maybe it was a good thing.  I tend to push myself when I’m out of town to live it up to the fullest since I only have a limited time to soak up a city/culture/etc, and sometimes what I need to do on a break is chill the fuck out for a day and read a whole book.  Especially in this sort of beautiful backyard atmosphere.


My poor confused plants…it’s February…

We also got really into a stupid food truck show, and came up with a play-at-home challenge while watching Iron Chef.  Instead of eating real dinner Monday, we challenged each other to make a snack in the kitchen using something close to the secret ingredient.  Considering our kitchen was anything but well stocked, it was a test in creativity.  Some lessons learned included: flax kinda works for an egg wash, but not that well, don’t get distracted when trying to just lightly melt something in the oven, and oatmeal can get REALLY sticky in a pan without enough butter.

I also spent a lot of my mornings read/napping in bed, which is the epitome of vacation to me.  So, life is good.  We’ll plan the hiking and the other stuff another springy day when I’m feeling less like I want to curl up and sleep for a week.

Back to reality this week.  There’s not much of the week left so we’ll keep it simple.

  • Gaming Thursday
  • Lunch and hanging art lights on Saturday with Zliten’s parents (our Christmas present).
  • 8 hours sleep every night.

I keep thinking that I should put more stuff here but I’m actually doing pretty well with my winter goals so I’ll leave it be.

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