Vacation was amazing and awesome and beautiful and typically, there are two ways I come back from a break: refreshed and ready to go, or longing to be there or anywhere else. Sadly, I’m in the second category. Spending a week playing outside (ie, not locked in a windowless box 8+ hours a day) made it really really really hard to want to go back to work. I’m not sure what to do about that besides endure the ride through the harsh comedown and continue to work on my goals without suffering a nervous breakdown from a whole lot of too much and not enough at the same time. So, that’s where I am.
It’s not all bad (actually, mostly not-at-all bad), so let’s go over some of the highlights, shall we?
This weekend was brought to you by the word BIKE.
On Saturday, our goal was to log some major miles on the TT bike in Pflugerville. Because we missed a few running opportunities last week (running is SO HARD in summer because morning or treadmill or heatstroke), we decided to host the first unofficial Labor Day Pflugerville duathlon with a field size of two. The distances were either 3 or 3.1 mile runs, depending on which gender you were representing sandwiched around a 31 mile bike ride.
Things started out a little hairy. My plan was to run easy the first loop, and then hit it harder after riding, which I vocalized. My husband went out like a rocket instead (I only rolled my eyes at him a little – love ya dear!) and I just kept telling myself I was doing me this run, not trying to keep up.
Love this guy, but running with him is a challenge…
After a quick change and two adjustments to my cleats to fix a problem, we were off and riding… and sadly, my love of riding at Lake PF is starting to wane. It was super traffic-y the way we started, the roads have degraded to such poor conditions you sometimes HAVE to just ride in the middle of the road for your safety (and cars have to deal, no matter how much they want to honk and be impatient). And then we had a truck blow a stop sign which made me have to slam on brakes coming down a hill (where I had right of way and no stop) and Zliten came inches from wrecking into my tire. Fucking trucker asshat.
Then we got to the quieter section, and things got better. By the end of the ride, I was actually having a good time, was in a good mood, and actually excited to run even though it was super hot. I might actually be able to do 56 miles on this bike in this weird funky aero position at the end of next month (ack) and 112 miles in April (double ack!).
And, I have to brag since it’s been about 6 month since this happened… on the second post-bike lake loop, I had a pretty great run in the heat and beat my pace by over 1 min/mile and also passed Zliten. He admittedly had died in the heat, but still. Little victories.
After food and a quick lazy river stop, we hightailed it to a keg and pool party. Sounds very college, but our host won a contest at one of the local breweries, so it was at least a classy keg party! We bike commuted there, planning to leave around sunset, and then because beer and friends and safety and stuff, we got a ride home and picked up our bikes the next day.
Bike check in station. The view sucked.
While I didn’t actually ride bikes Sunday, I volunteered at Tri Rock bike check in on Sunday morning/afternoon. For 4 hours, I got to help people get to the right place, answer a lot of newbie questions (<3), and generally walk, stand, and sweat a lot because it was feels like 113 when I left. After that, we took our TT bikes in for a tuneup and they got a quick little spa day. After a late late lunch, we ran errands and dropped the TT bikes off and picked up our cruiser bikes from the party, and on the way home, we grabbed a beer with friends we haven’t seen in a while.
By 7:30pm Sunday, we had been home a total of 5 minutes the whole weekend, and I’m pretty sure we had been constantly caked with either sweat or chlorine for 2 days. The shower was magical. But… then it was Labor Day. No work, no one out on the roads in the morning… you just HAVE to ride bikes, right?
So, we did just that. We jumped at the chance to ride the Austin IM 70.3 course during this perfect window of calm. It was beautiful. It was hot. Country roads and streams and greenery! But… country roads mean chipseal, and some roads were so rough I thought I was going to pop fillings. There were some awesome roads to just cruise on. However, most of it was pretty hilly (I think… 2k of climbing in 53 miles seems like a decent amount to me…). I went back and forth between I LOVE THIS COURSE! and I WANT TO GET AN UBER HOME! I ate and drank enough, I think, but I forgot my electrolyte tabs until 2 hours in, and on a sweltering day, that was a mistake.
Still in <3 with the course at this point.
Generally the first time I ride a course I suck at it and then next time I’m better. If nothing else, I got that out of the way before race day. I want to come back and ride it a few more times so I can anticipate all the crappy parts and enjoy the good ones. I also want to come back when 53 miles is not a SUPER LONG RIDE. So I guess I have to ride more bikes. Oh darn.
Beyond the bikes, the rest of the week felt like this.
The best I can do at life right now is to fail a little bit (instead of a lot) at everything so nothing is completely neglected.
A couple more weeks and it will be cooler. A couple more weeks and it will be cooler. A couple more weeks and it will be cooler.
Cases in point below:
- Haven’t seen our families (who would probably love to see us every week) since Aug 5th. We have one weekend window on the 17th of this month and then maybe one more until Thanksgiving. I’m sure they think we’re shitty kids, but our retired parents just don’t quite understand how busy everything is and that once a month IS us making shit shift around so we can prioritize them.
- We prioritized social stuff last week and weekend, and it left me feeling exhausted. I need to watch out for this, or I get in my “burnt out and hating people” mode and social stuff becomes a chore. However, if I swing too far the other way, I have major FOMO depression and feel like a terrible friend. It’s a huge balancing act being just enough of a jerk but not too much.
- There’s some stuff that needs to be handled differently at work, and I’m yelling my ass off about it, but I have a feeling it will need to fail before it gets attention. I’m trying to come to terms with it, but it’s hard to have to actually watch something probably go up in flames before it can be fixed.
- I’m missing about 1-2 workouts a week. Considering I plan about 10-12 sessions per week, that’s not the end of the world. It’s just hard to have to just mark out my yahtzee week after week. Prioritizing weights and cycling, and the fact that it’s summer and I love swimming, has typically meant that running gets the short end of the stick lately.
- And guess what sport feels the most iffy right now? Yeah. I keep telling myself that once it gets a little cooler I can run at lunch, and running at lunch means I can get in a lot more miles more easily… but hopefully it’s not too little too late for Austin 70.3. I’m 8 weeks out and my weekly mileage is about 10-13 and my long run is 6. Yeah. Not ideal.
- I can’t seem to figure out the waking up before work for workouts either. I mean, I know what the problem is – I just can’t go to bed on time. I even tried setting myself a bed time daily last week and I’m missing it sometimes by 4 hours when I say “fuck it” and need some extra downtime awake.
- My house is a flippin’ mess, we haven’t completely unpacked from vacation, there are boxes everywhere now that we’re trying to clean out the office, I can’t seem to get my ass in gear to batch cook right now, and I need to accept this is going to be how life will be until after the IM in April.
- I took 3 weeks off class as of today and realized that if I just let myself, it would never get done. So, I made myself a schedule with the max I think I can handle per week without going insane… and it takes me through February. Sigh. I was hoping to be done WAYYY quicker than that.
- While I am happy the scale is continuing to decline, I’m at about 1-2 lbs a month. This involves actually tracking and TRYING to stay -1000 calories under what fitbit says my burn is (and, like the theme, fail just a little).
So, as you can see, there’s a lot going on in my life to fail at! I guess you might more positively frame that as progress and not perfection, but I’m feeling salty, so we’re not going there, okay? This is truly and simply how August and September usually go around here. Utter chaos. Every year. I just finally found a way to put the exact feeling into words.
What am I going to do about it?
I’m going to eat all of this in one sitting. Oops.
I’m going to attempt to stop worrying about this shit that doesn’t matter. It does not matter if my house is not in order (except the 1-2 days a month where it does and I’ll deal with that then). Work is work and it will be what it will be. I will do what I can to change things while I’m here, but try to keep my mind away from the things I CAN’T.
Think really hard about social invites. Is it someone special to me I haven’t seen in a while? Is it going to be super fun? Is it going to stress me out with my other obligations? Let that answer be the guide. If the answer is no, make future (even if it’s a month or two out) plans to try to tell the people I really care about know they are loved but life is just chaos. For example, I have an opportunity that I REALLY want to jump on next weekend, but I know it will leave me ragged. So I have to adult and say no to it.
Keep plugging away on the things that need plugging. Two class modules a week. Eating good stuff and not too much bad stuff because even if it’s slow, it IS working. Hitting as much training as my mind and body allows and not sweating missing an easy 3 mile run if life gets in the way. Go to fucking bed when I’m supposed to sleep.
And the big thing – forgive myself when I fail just a little bit at some of these things, because I know I’m doing the best I can right now. I’m not lazy or unmotivated, just overwhelmed. And failing just a little still means progress, so there’s that.
Let’s end this with a few short goals for this week. They’ll look familiar if you’ve been around here much.
One goal – trust that my body knew exactly what it wanted the day we got back from vacation and eat lots more of this stuff.
- Hit my training the rest of the week as much as possible.
- Running: 8-10 mile long run, relay race (short fast run)
- Swimming: 4500m distance challenge lake swim
- Weights – 2 sessions. One gym, one home (less intense).
- Biking – recovery ride tonight, more miles this weekend if possible.
- Try to stay at -1000 calories per day according to fitbit (which I’m going to actually guess is more like -500 calories for me), eat 5 fruits/veggies per day.
- Go to sleep when my schedule says go to sleep. 9-10pm is the goal most nights.
- Read all my Sports Nutrition course material this week (it’s only ~55 pages).
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
NOTE: it’s all small stuff. 🙂