Adjusted Reality

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

Month: October 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Three days and taper crazies done right.

Taper crazies:

oct27-1

#yesmyfacefrozelikethis

I think I’m doing taper right because I am super anxious this week.  I’ve been giving myself plenty of rest time (frankly, I’ve been trying to convert all the time I would normally be training to either be in bed reading or sleeping) and I am just kind of… full on sleep.  I’m at the point where I feel like I’m losing. precious. fitness. every. single. day… so let’s fire up this party already and get this race going before I can barely do a sprint tri, yeah?

… considering I know that I raced VERY WELL on almost no training, my rational brain knows this is crazy.  I think I probably feel like normal humans – I have free time because I’m not spending 11 hours a week running, biking, swimming, or lifting, and I’m not completely fatigued from training.  But I feel this weird combination of excited! terrified! ready! tired! relaxed! anxious! weird! not normal! at the same time.  I haven’t really felt this way for a race in a while.

Quick wrap up of what I’ve done since peak because if I do well at this race, I’ll probably look back at this post and go… HOW DO I MAKE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN?

oct4-7

One of these things helps physical recovery, the other helps MENTAL recovery.

3 weeks out: 6.5 hours (not intentionally)

  • All the sleep and food.  Cut some sessions to get extra rest.  This made it an exponential taper but I think that worked out better for me.  The other option would have been to take a rest week in peak somewhere (I needed it) and peak a week later.  If I feel stale at the race, I’ll probably go with that next time but I don’t regret it at all right now.
  • Mostly medium length sessions with speed intervals.
  • Long workout: a really solid 30 mile TT interval brick followed by a 10k at race pace

2 weeks out: 6 hours training

  • Mid-week I started to come around and felt pretty rested (FINALLY).  I resisted the temptation to bolster the schedule and instead just did the weekday scheduled stuff to the letter.
  • Endurance cycle hills, race pace OWS in the wetsuit, another swim and easy bike with the BSS crew, and a nice speedy 3 mile race pace run after 2 mile warm up.  Felt like I NAILED IT.
  • Weekend bike went to crap with a flat tire (though I got changing practice!) but rocked a 4 mile race pace run after rolling home.
  • Ate to my appetite, trying to keep the food mostly healthy (fruit veggies proteins whole grains, yadda yadda), but there were treats in there for sure.  I know I’ll wish I tracked through this taper cycle but I just can’t even right now.  Weight is holding steady at 180-182 so there’s that.

Race week:  … I might be at 3 hours by race day?

  • Continuing to eat to my appetite, pushing a balanced healthy diet at the beginning of the week, skewing towards (low fat) carb-tastic things later in the week.
  • Spending as much time in bed as possible reading.
  • Doing things to keep the legs loose.  30 min runs and swims with pickups, quickie brick, one day I didn’t really feel like doing my trainer ride so we walked instead probably at the same intensity I was planning.
  • Trying to keep work from killing me.  I’m not dead yet.

If this prep gets me to the start line feeling all springy and awesome like the feelings I’ve been flirting with this week, I may be ready to actually attack this race in a way I haven’t done in years.  Here are my goals.

Apr4-2

Back in April, we started the swim distance challenge, which lead to my longest open water swim in September of 4500m (or just under 3 miles).  I almost didn’t participate because of offseason and all other manner of bullshit, but I’m really glad I did. 

Swim:

I would say I felt like my swim this cycle was STURDY, but not particularly speedy.  And then, as I sat down to write this, I got back from one of my fastest (if not THE fastest) pool swim in my life (1:44/100m AVERAGE – with warmup and cooldown).  Well then, maybe there’s something in the tank after all!

Either way, sturdy or speedy, it’s the first 40-ish minutes of a 6 hour day.  No matter what happens, I’m not going to let it wreck my day.  I don’t even really have any secret goals here, really.  Would I like to get under 40?  Sure, but ONLY if that pace matches the level of effort I’m willing to put out.  As long as I get out of the water with all my parts in the right place (I have three male waves coming up right after mine), I’ll be fine with the day.

Specifically during the swim, I want to keep my brain focused on the task and not daydream.  I swim better when I keep my brain engaged.  Also, as odd as it sounds, I need to make sure I don’t sight TOO well, so the men after me won’t be as tempted to swim over my head.  I’m willing to do some combat during swimming but lead pack guys are really freaking mean and punchy.

Aug30-15

It was really hard to find a picture of me and a bike this cycle (sarcasm) but I think riding up the Colorado National Monument was one of the best, worst, and most humbling rides this training cycle. Every ride after that has been “well, this is easier than riding up a mountain”.

Bike:

This is another place where I’m not trying to put weird pressure on myself and ruin my day because I’m a little behind some arbitrary number.  My best pace in a half is 17.2 mph.  Last year I was holding about 18.5 mph, I think, before my crash at mile 50.  I did Kerrville at 17.5 mph this year (for one loop, not two), and that was being cautious as fuck in the rain with so much left in the tank for the run.  This course has more climbing.  I haven’t done a whole lot of training that would help me accurately predict what I’ll do on the new bike on Sunday, and I’m ok with that.  Surprises are fun.

So, I’m going to ride bikes.  With the new bike, the new course, and my new directive to maybe save a little freaking energy so I don’t die on the run, I have no clue.  If I had to throw a dart at the wall, I’d aim for somewhere in the 17 mph range.  But rather than chase a number on the bike computer (watts, HR, speed, etc), I feel like I have pretty well honed what a long ride feels like that I can run off of well (though I do have numbers in mind for those to judge if things are SUPER off, they won’t rule the day).

I want to stay in aero as much as possible though I will cut myself slack if I don’t feel 100% comfortable.  Whatever happens, it should be an improvement on Kerrville’s 25% of the time shitshow.  I want to push up the hills like I know how and try not to burn a billion matches but know I can burn some.  Most importantly, rubber side down and keeping that rubber in tact!

Apr18-2

I don’t have a lot of running pictures, but this one is pretty symbolic.  It was April, I was just getting over my hip injury and mental fuckery, I was 15 lbs up, and running a few miles at 11:30/mile was hard.  I’m glad April me stuck with it even if it took quite a few months for the fitness to come around.

Run:

There’s no getting around it, it’s going to be a hot day.  Why didn’t I do the half at Kerrville this year?  Oh right, the only way we got great temps was the pouring rain… and my fitness wasn’t there yet.  I digress.  88 degrees and sunny is NOT my ideal half marathon conditions, but that’s what the day is handing me.  I will be handing it salt pills, hydration, calories, and my both my middle fingers.

The good thing is I have trained in this.  I’ve done race pace in hotter weather and hillier conditions off bikes, it’s just about pushing that race pace into the second hour and draining the tank and not giving up when it gets hard.  This is my race to spend the dollars and not ask for change.  It will be fun to see how much cash I actually have on hand right now.

This is the only place I’m really targeting a pace and finish time – I’d like to hit a 2:15 (10:18/mile).  This is a pretty sizeable ask right now off a 56 mile bike in the hot sun.  But I think I can get in the zip code if I don’t let my head get in the way.  I just need to stay in the moment.  There have been plenty of runs where at mile 1 or 3 I had NO idea how I was going to make it through and then, guess what, I did, usually speeding up at the end.  I need to focus on getting to the water station and the end of the path and the end of the loop and finish this part of the road and then all those little segments will add up to 13.1 (hopefully) respectable miles of running.

kerrville

Kerrville had it’s challenges, but it was the first triathlon run in quite a while I feel like I just nailed.  Runs since have been showing similar promise.  I’m hoping to feel this happy when I cross the finish line Sunday.

Overall:

I keep adding up what the day might look like for me, and I think a super great day will be around 6:15-6:20, and a good day will be right around a PR (6:30-ish).  I think my two biggest obstacles for getting in that range are any potential flat tires/mechanicals/etc on the bike (the road is pretty rugged) and issues dealing with the heat on the run.  The first one I can’t really control, the best I can do is just bike smart, but the second I can fight.  Barring any of that noise, I think I can turn in a solid time.

No matter what happens, if I keep my head in it the whole time, I’ll be proud of completing a successful, if very different, 70.3 cycle, and conquering this course for the first time.

sept26-4

Hi my name is Zliten and I always have to make race week interesting! (from recent memory: one kidney stone procedure, one ankle roll at warmup, and now a dislocated rib).

Zliten update:

The rib seems to be just out (dislocated and put back into place), rather than cracked.  I’m sure there are great doctors out there but all we’ve run into is “here’s the painkillers, just take those and zone out for a couple weeks” when we get injured.  Sigh.  Not what was needed here at all.

The chiropractor has worked her magic and while he’s still in a decent amount of pain, he’s feeling a lot better and pretty sure he’ll at least start the race.  His wave is absolutely last in the water, he’s planning on swimming very slowly and very carefully, the bike shouldn’t be that different but he’ll not be uber fast charging up or down hills, but the ratio of run to walk is the big question mark.  We’ll see!

The fun thing is… I could finish upwards of 3 hours before him, if I have a really good day and he just makes the cutoff.  I’m hoping it won’t be such disparity, but I’m going to be prepared like I’m taking my toddler self for an outing – snacks, drinks, a place to sit or blanket to lay on, a change of clothes, etc.  I just have no idea at that point whether I’ll want to go cheer everyone on and be a part of the rest of the race, or not.  As long as the race goes well, I’m perfectly ok being the completely spent weirdo sprawled out on a blanket in the grass reading, napping, and maybe whimpering a little while stuffing fritos in my mouth.

And if I am, I’m sure I’ll be instagramming the fuck out of it.  Wish me luck!

Save

Selfishly ignoring an unfortunate series of events.

Holy crap, six days people.  This time Sunday, I’ll be racing.  It’s getting real.

oct24-2

We’re going to have to talk about this sub-50 degree bike riding thing.  I may need a bike parka and facemask.  Or to HTFU a little…

First of all, let’s address the unfortunate series of events this weekend.  Zliten + Benadryl + something slippery on the bathroom floor = a fall that definitely injured and maybe hairline fractured a rib.  We have to go with that diagnosis since the doctor at the emergency care clinic yesterday (and the radiologist today) didn’t actually see a crack anywhere on the x-ray, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.  He’s still not completely writing off starting the race, he’ll try just a little run/bike/swim later in the week and see if he can tolerate it, and if so, he’ll start.  But, it’s definitely not the start to race week that we were hoping for.

At this point, I need to get a bit selfish.  Obviously I’m going to take care of Zliten, but I need to get my mind out of the place where I’m moping for him.  He was feeling super fit and was looking primed to have a great race, now he’s playing the DNS/DNF/or just finish game.  I need to remember that *I* did not crack my ribs, I am (so far) just fine.  By the middle of this week, I need my head on straight and psyching myself up to rock this race.

Last week’s training went fairly well.  I hit a little under 6 hours due to a flat on the bike – I planned for just enough time to hit my workout, not to spend 15 minutes changing a tire.  The good news is that I got practice changing my tire, and if the law of averages works out, having one 8 days out means I won’t flat at the race.  Hopefully.  It did shake me up a little, because I am very clumsy with that sort of thing, but I think I may be able to manage it even if SAG doesn’t come help me.

Besides feeling nervous about my new bike, flat tires, and the rough parts of the Austin 70.3 course, I feel pretty calm and powerful about everything else.  I surprised myself with a pretty great race pace OWS last week.  My run fitness seems to be on point.  Overall, I feel pretty fit, sturdy, and rested.  My head is on straight, I think (minus the Zliten rib thing)

Last week:

  • 2250m wetsuit OWS at race pace.
  • Endurance Cycle – lots of little hills (75 mins)
  • 1200m swim with faster bits and BSS recovery ride
  • 5 mile run w/3 at race pace
  • 1 hour 27 minute TT ride with pickups + 5 mile run with pickups 4 mile race pace run

oct24-1

Riding bikes at night all lit up and blinky with the BSS crew.

This week:

The days may be a little out of order but here’s what I’d like to do this week to keep my legs snappy.  The bolded ones are important, the others are totally optional if I’m feeling fidgety.

  • 2250m wetsuit OWS at race pace, if this is later in the week, maybe closer to 1500m race pace.  Hopefully tomorrow though…
  • Little brick – 20 mins on the TT on the trainer, 2 mile race pace run.  This is probably perfect for Zliten to decide whether he can race, so we’ll save this one for Wed/Thurs.
  • 3 mile shakeout run with pickups.
  • Easy trainer with spinups OR a commute.
  • 750m wetsuit swim the morning before the race.

Let’s talk about this though…

ugh

Guys… guys… guyyyyyys.  It’s (going to be) the second to last day of October.  We are 2 degrees off the record high of 90 that day.  My race starts at 8:15, so I expect I’ll be starting the run just after noon, in the feels-like upper 80s, and it will just get worse from there.  I’m going to need to remember I trained in this, and while I was hoping for a cool day to make the run faster for me, I’ll just have to brute force it with salt pills, lots of hydration, and force of will.  My best 70.3 run thus far was also on a hot day, so I just need to keep with it.

I’ll probably be back later this week to word-vomit a little more about race prep and squishy feelings and all that, but for now, I’m just going to get with my Monday and try to enact a bubble around myself this week and keep myself as calm as possible.  I can give a shit about things next week.  Not this week.

Austin 70.3 – The Nutrition Plan

It’s all crazy busy around here, but what’s new?  Thankfully, taper week 2’s lighter workout schedule is coinciding well with some work deadlines so it feels only slightly insane.  Someday, I’ll figure out how to stagger my big races with work obligations, but that is not what’s happening in this particular October 2016, my friends!

oct21-1

However, runs and swims and bikes are keeping me sane and smiling and taking selfies.  So, there is that.

Anyhoo, it’s 10 days to Austin 70.3.  I’ve done the long rides, runs, swims, and brick.  I’ve practiced race pace.  I’ve lifted weights to build muscle to support all the abuse.  I’ve indulged in my recovery boots A LOT.  I’ve eaten all the fruits and veggies and carbs and lean protein that stokes the fire (and let’s be honest, the pizza and cake and beer that ALSO fuels the workouts).

We can easily spend time badgering ourselves for things we’ve lacked in training (hello, all those missing swims where I just couldn’t drag my ass to the pool or lake), but one thing I think I’ve done right is practicing nutrition for the big day.  It’s been one of my downfalls in the past, so I wanted to make sure I came into this cycle really trying to nail down what has caused me issues.

  1. I get soooooo sick of gels and blocks.  During a long hot race, my stomach is always gross by the end and sometimes I’d rather chew razorblades at hour 5 of 6 instead of put another gel anywhere near my body.
  2. I die in the heat way more than the average bear.   I’m pretty sure this is all electrolyte balance (at least, the component I can actually do anything about with fuel).
  3. I’ll convince myself that I don’t need the last gel to save money.  This is total race brain.  Who wouldn’t spend a buck fifty TO LITERALLY SAVE YOUR RACE YOU SPENT HUNDREDS TO ENTER?
  4. Sometimes I make this detailed race nutrition plan and just throw it out the window because, again, race brain.  It’s almost easier for me to run than eat in the final minutes of these things.

So, we practice running, biking, and swimming.  If we’re smart, we practice transitions (free speed!).  This cycle, I’ve done my best to also practice nutrition and try new things.  I’ve eaten something close to my pre-race meal before all my shorter races and long workouts.  I’ve nailed down how to get myself up in the morning for early workouts (caff gel on my bedside, works every time).  I’ve experimented with different types of fuel besides just Cyborg Boob Milk and cubes o sugar jelly (blocks).  I’ve tried different types of sports drink.  I’ve also experimented with how I fuel after.

Aug2-3

I have yet to try something like this as mid-ride bike fuel with a run after, but can we all agree that this is SO much better than a gel?

So, what did this little guinea pig find out?

Don’t fuck with what works: the day before the race

  • Whatever for breakfast, within reason.  The normal yogurt/cereal.  Sometimes a bean and cheese taco.  Sometimes just a bigger and early lunch.
  • Swimming in the morning the day before a race is the best.  Fuck shakeout runs, they always make me feel weird.  Swimming feels amazing during and makes you feel good all day.  I know it’s not nutrition but hooray for swimming!
  • Lunch: turkey sandwich on white (less fiber – good)
  • Snacks: as I find yourself even MILDLY hungry – low fat high carb snacks like pita/hummus, pretzels, fruit (especially watermelon), maybe some jerky or nuts but mostly caaaaarbs.
  • Dinner: chicken or steak, mashed potatoes or rice, and a salad.  As all day, skip anything fried (save it for after the race) or spicy.

Fuck with what doesn’t work: race day

I’ve tweaked this a lot this year, but here’s what I’ve arrived at as the race day plan.

Upon waking: a caff chew or 2 and a cliff nut butter bar (~250 calories).  Since I’ll probably be waking up 3+ hours before my wave goes off at 8:15 am, I don’t want to burn my energy jittering too early, but this will help me get up and not drag ass.  Also, I’ve found that a little protein + fat help me stomach carbs better first thing in the morning.  Regular cliff bars?  Queasy.  Fill it with nut butter?  Happy tummy.

From waking to wave start (~150 calories): bring a disposable water bottle so I can sip sports drink and water until the race start.  I’ve started so many triathlons dehydrated until I remembered this stupid simple trick.  Caff gel about 30 mins before, enough time to go poop if my stomach gets wonky, and making sure it doesn’t *really* kick in until the back half of the swim.  Also, electrolyte tabs.  With a high of 82, it’s not AS critical as a hotter race, but I’m not taking any chances.

Jan27-2

I’m always really ambitious with my gel packing but never follow through.  I’m sure I ate one, maybe two of those tops for a 2 hour race.

Bike nutrition: English muffin with cream cheese and bacon, coconut date rolls, and a pb filled cliff bar (~500 calories solids, ~200? calories liquids).  It’s a departure from the carb only existance I’ve done in other races, but I’ve trained with it and it makes my tummy and brain happy.  I’ll have a few traditional gels as well in case the fit hits the shan, but I don’t plan on using them.  I’ve felt so much better coming off the bike after real food.

As for liquid, it doesn’t really seem to matter what it is as long as it’s got electrolytes in it and it’s not too concentrated.  I’ll start with two tanks of iced gatorade and then switch to the gatorade endurance that’s on the course, just keeping an eye on how it hits my stomach to see if I need to dilute it.  I’ll also have some electrolyte tabs if it’s feeling hot.

Run nutrition: 3 gels + whatever gatorade I can shove in my face. (~300 solids, ~200? liquids). On all my bricks lately, I’ve been putting a gel in my mouth during miles .5-2.  I won’t deviate from that.  If I feel awful, I’ll open it and take it super slow, knowing sometimes it settles my stomach if I force it down.  I haven’t had that issue in training in quite a while, so I’m hoping all goes well.

I’ve ended all my longer bricks thinking I’d need fuel soon to keep it up.  So, I think the plan will be mile 1, 5, and 9 for gels.  I’ve never gotten 3 gels down during the run leg, but I did during a 14 mile run this cycle.  I’ve never regretted taking a gel near the end of a race, but I have regretted NOT taking one.  I’ll pack two non-caff and one caff, and I’ll either take the caff at (preferably – since I’ll get the most benefit out of it) mile 1 or 5.  I need to remember that I have the next day off, so if I am up late jittering, the PR will be worth it!

I will probably drop my run bag the day before (it’s optional, but will save a lot of hassle), so I’ll probably start with either an empty handheld (to fill at an aid station), or bring a warm bottle of gatorade to dump in it.  One will make my run slower, one will make my transition slower.  If we get great luck with the weather, I may just leave it, but it would have to be a pretty cool day for me to do that.  I’ll have electrolyte tabs in my handheld and I’ll probably take some at the beginning of the run as insurance (unless I just took them on the bike).

sept19-1

The cravings vary, but this is a pretty frequent post race one.

Post race:

I have been REALLY REALLY good about getting stuff in my face pretty quickly and not getting to the point of fading. In the past, I’ve slacked on this, either in the name of saving calories for later or just being lazy/unprepared.  I feel so much better when I eat something right away, no matter what it is (though I feel the BEST when I end with the recovery shake).

When I end at home, I mix up said shake and get on acquiring or making food within the hour.  When I’m not home, I’ve made it a point to end at a gas station or in proximity to somewhere I can at least get some cold coconut water and make sure I eat something quickly.  At races, I’ve just been eating whatever food is available.  At kerrville, the tacos were kind of yucky, but down the hatch they went anyway.  The same will happen here – whatever’s available, I’ll eat it.

This will kick off a little mid-season break, so it’s not as vital as during peak, but there’s no reason for me to intentionally make myself feel shitty.

If I can stick to the plan, I’m looking at ~1600 calories down that hatch before and during the race, and I’m certain that’s the best I will have ever done.  If I can follow the plan (barring major extinction level gastrointestinal events), I think I may just find myself at the finish quicker (and happier) than ever before.

oct17-3

Then, I can get on with the business of sipping some of this and not moving much from my couch for a week if I so choose!

What’s your most decadent post race or post workout craving?  Trying to dream up what I get to put in my face for late lunch on the 30th. 🙂

Saving myself from myself.

This week, nothing went according to plan and honestly, it worked out really well for my sporty pursuits.

oct17-1

Proof of training, and taper crazies.

I’m somewhat flexible. I typically plan a *little* aggressively in terms of training, so I don’t freak if I miss one of my 10-12 sessions per week that’s just sort of volume filler.  Missing a 2 mile easy run is not going to make or break my race.  Occasionally, it will be something bigger, and if it’s for a good reason, I’ll get over it.  The gauge is typically if I’m willing to eat dinner and go to bed while it’s still light, the relaxation is more important than the training.

However, this week, everything just got kinda fubared with work and life and stuff.  I missed an open water race pace swim.  It was planned for Monday and I could not fit it in the rest of the week, not for lack of at least half-heartedly trying.  I missed said 2 mile run, a weights session, and cut a killer bike workout to a “slightly harder than easy” and shortened it… after already intentionally cutting a bike workout.  The original plan was 9 hours, modified plan 8 hours, and I got in… 6.25 hours.

I’ve been dealing with some major fatigue (see above said crawling into bed before the sun sets… this has happened a handful of times over the last two weeks).  Stress is stress is stress and things aren’t exactly calm around these parts.  I’m still at the point where I’m conquering workouts I can get to, but the amount of eating and sleeping I’m doing to just pretend like I can even right now is not normal.

On Thursday morning, I was able to execute an 8 mile half easy, half race pace run without an issue. When I went to bed Wednesday before sunset, I was not 100% sure if I was going to even start it.  On Saturday, I rode the same course as a month ago, and pulled down more power (10-15W+) and faster speeds (.5 mph+) with way less effort (HR 5-10 bpm lower).  It was about 10 degrees cooler, but still.  It was a pretty significant jump in 4 weeks.

I also had an “intensity TBD” 6 mile run on the plan after the bike. Considering my fatigue lately, I didn’t really want to dig too far down in the pain cave to get this done, but miles 1, 2, and 3 ticked off at 10:30, 10 flat, and 10:22 just concentrating on my cadence, so I stuck with it and finished with a nice 10:12/mile average.  It was warm (feels like almost 90), but not HOT, and I wasn’t completely cooked at the end.  With more fuel, liquid, and the promise of a week off after, I could have probably put another 7 like that together.  I was actually holding my legs back a lot of the time to keep this pace because they just wanted to go.  It felt FUCKING great after months and months of lacking run fitness to just nail this one to the wall.

2012-2

I am definitely ready for the race that makes me feel like THIS after.  I’m due.  I’m doing everything I can to get myself there open for THIS experience.

While all the studies I’ve read say an exponential taper is not necessarily the best, that’s what happened this time and so far, it’s working out.  The cool thing is that I’m feeling my legs and brain come around a lot quicker, so my confidence is much higher than normal.  With two weeks to go, I’ve usually had at least one nervous breakdown and I’m thinking “how the eff am I going to do a 6 hour race when I feel like shit doing a 30 minute run”?  This time, I’m holding my legs back at race pace.  I’ll take it.

So, the key now, is volume down, and keep the intensity.  Here’s the plan for this week:

  • Monday: race pace 2250m (3 quarry loop) swim.
  • Tuesday: endurance cycle class
  • Wednesday: ~1500m pool swim (with some fast segments) + BSS recovery ride
  • Thursday: 5 miles w/3 below race pace
  • Saturday: 1 hour cycle, 1 hour run, both easy with race effort segments

It’s not a whole lot (about 6.5 hours), so I’ll be pretty iffy about skipping anything here because there’s not much filler.  If I had to skip anything in terms of not adding much to the training, it’s the BSS recovery ride, but I miss my peeps.  But, it’s the first to go if the fit hits the shan.

Life outside of training might be summed up with “what doesn’t kill you makes you tired”.  I’m eating a lot – negative 1000 calories is the furthest thing from my mind right now.  If I’m hungry, I’m putting food in my face.  I’m doing my best to make it quality food, but let’s be honest, it’s not all veggies and brown rice.  Every 3-5 hour Saturday workout leaves me starving for about 2 days.  Yesterday’s eats were ridiculous.  I ate tons of fruits and veggies and good stuff, but I also ate a churro and two servings of ice cream.

oct17-2

Compromise.  Delicious, delicious compromise.  Normally the lack of veggies would be a point of contention, but I had already had strawberries, plums, corn, onions, green pepper, and carrots that day and met my fiber goals.

While I’m super not concentrating on losing weight or dieting right now, I am doing these things:

  • Easy access to fruits and veggies means I eat more of them.  Literally having to cut up salad or peel a piece of fruit may mean I’ll go “nah” and eat something else sometimes.  The barrier to entry on this stuff needs to be NONE.  Buying bags of baby carrots and snow peas, cut up watermelon, or grab and nom fruit like apples is key.  This is not the time to work on habits.  It’s time to make doing the right thing as brainless as possible.
  • Hydration.  I’m getting my daily intake of water and also trying to make sure I interject more electrolytes into the mix because I seem to be running low lately (running and biking in the “feels like 100000” definitely causes this).  When I’m drooling over coconut water or would crime for some watermelon or can actually tolerate nuun in my water bottle at work or start adding salt to pre-packaged foods, I know I need to be doing that stuff until things are too salty and watermelon is just another fruit and not my secret lover.
  • Trying the healthy things before the craving.  I was craving pizza so I made pizza bread at home w/turkey pepperoni and lowfat cheese, and the craving was satiated.  I was craving sweets more than normal last week, so first thing I’d try was fruit, or a quest bar, or a protein shake.  Sometimes that would do me.  Sometimes, I still wanted the sweets and I’d indulge.

The plan up until the race is simple and one I’ve been using for a while.  Eat fruits and veggies.  Hit my protein and fiber goals.  Don’t go overboard on the fats.  Let my activity level and appetite dictate the carb intake.

In about a month, I’ll be back to stage one, doing all those normal things.  Weights.  Tracking food.  -1000 calories.  Training less specifically, doing things more things as they sound fun (let’s go ride bikes with people all day Saturday!) and less structured workouts that are super duper business time important for an imminent race (30 miles of intervals w/an hour race pace brick run during the heat of the day when I’ll be racing).  Letting my life dictate what training I have time for, not vice versa.  Probably not sleeping at sunset.  Probably not waking up before sunrise unless there’s a huge twinkle in my eye about what I’m doing in the dark.

oct17-3

For the next two weeks at least, the goal is to treat this stuff like a responsible adult and not a frat boy.

So, it’s taper week two.  Time to continue to walk myself off the ledge of overreaching, store up some of the energy and confidence that comes with not being beaten down and having legs that might be considered *snappy*, and trying to keep from losing my mind over everything.

Save

Social Media 101

For those of you who have been reading pre-April 2016, you know how much attention I paid to maintaining this site and publicizing it – exactly ZERO fucks were given.  This page looked like crap, sometimes triggered malware warnings, and was all sorts of broken like a bike that you left in the shed six years ago and forgot about.  I had zero social media pages associated with it, and the only thing I would do is occasionally post a link to it in my fairly inactive twitter account that has less than 300 followers because I realized that’s how *I* found blogs but that’s it.

Apr15-3

Time to metaphorically bridge the gap between being a complete social media dunce and maybe figuring out how to find my people.

During #projectspring, I actually spruced the place up to take it into the ’10’s, it looks nice on mobile phones for the most part, and I updated the content of the static pages.  So, I have this nifty new page that has about 100-200 hits per post and got a comment every so often.  I was pretty fine with that until I decided I wanted to teach myself how to use social media to market things.  Right now, I don’t really have a product to sell, but I do have a lil ol’ space where I talk about triathlon and food and life and post selfies and it might be fun if I had 2 or 3 comments instead of 1.

I never intend to make this particular space about selling anything, but I’d like to know how to market myself elsewhere in the future.  Since this year is about learning new things and diversifying myself, along with learning how to be a personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, and a triathlon coach, I also would like to figure out how I’d let people know about all that and maybe someday take their green paper for some service that I would provide.  I have utter confidence in my ability to provide a quality service.  My biggest fear, however, is that someday I’ll decide to make the leap, and no one will dance at my party.  I’ll build it, and no one will come.

So, I’m going to see who shows up to the dance floor when there’s no pressure of me making a livelihood on it.  This will either prove that with proper activity and marketing I’ll get the audience I need, or prove that it’s just as effing mystifying as I think it is right now, and my panic is justified, and I need to figure out how to sell out a stadium before I go through all the trouble of building it (how many different metaphors can I mix today?).

sept7-3

Biggest fear: my party will look like bike check in at 10am.  Empty, empty, empty.

My first step was creating all the social media pages and giving them a unifying theme, along with my blog.  I’ve enjoyed the rotating header pictures, but I also really like having a solid LOOK that screams Adjusted Reality whenever you go to an AR related page.  For now, the cover photo is the Colorado National Monument we climbed on two wheels, and my profile is one of my favorite pre-ride selfies… one of the only ones without sunglasses since it was a grey day.  I look happy, and while I have no makeup or anything on, I don’t exude grungy athlete.

I imagine those things may change as I go on other adventures and take a billion selfies on Instagram, but I’ll make sure they all change at the same time.  I originally wanted to do a “collage” type thing, but Zliten partway talked me out of it, and also the size difference between headers on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus meant a lot of work and tweaking and frustration.  So, I just went with the mountain look for now.  I’m pretty sure once I return from Florida, there will be a winter ocean theme.

I’m in the middle of step two right now – populate the pages.  The last thing I want to do is create a bunch of pages, put up a “hello world” post on each, and then start asking people to like them all naked and content-less.  So, I’m giving myself a month to post regular content to all these sites:

I’ve never created a Facebook or G+ Adjusted Reality account before because I didn’t know what to do with it besides link my blog posts.  For now, I’m trying to post on each about once a day on the weekdays.  Content is/will be… a mix of links to my own blogs as I write them, the better pictures from Instagram, links to other stuff that interests me, sharing links to races I’m doing, or cool shit going on in Austin, and occasionally just some random thoughts.

kerrville

Probably stuff like this for Facebook and G+.  Probably not the blurry picture of my garmin on the way back from the pool or yet another bowl of Fage 0% and cereal.

Twitter and Instagram… I’ve already been at for a while.  Twitter, I started as my personal account but it’s more tied to this blog than my real identity, so I’m keeping it.  This is where you’ll see all sorts of shit, including random deep thoughts like “butterflies are the cheerleaders of the insect world”.  Insta… I’ve actually found I’m decent at it.  I love taking random photos and I’ve gotten better at the hashtags and when I do the right things I’m getting ~75 impressions and ~25 interactions.  Of course, insta is the HARDEST one to actually link back to the blog.  That is a thing I need to get better at.

I avoided Pintrest for so long, but I actually am kind of loving it.  I have yet to actually go down the rabbit hole of surfing others stuff, but I created four boards in Pintrest that kind of categorize my life: triathlon, food, adventures, and scuba.  Every so often, I’ll go through my blog/insta and pin stuff that’s relevant if it’s a decent quality picture.

I’ve been at this for about a few weeks.  I want to give it about a month or so, and then I feel like I’ll have enough content.  If I bring someone there, and they’re interested in my particular brand of crazy, they have enough to scroll down and see what I’m really about.

If you’re here already, I would love if you would clicky clicky on the links above on the social medias that you frequent.  If you dig, follow/like/etc me and I’ll follow you back if you’re not a bot.  If you have any feedback on things you would like to see, or things that you like to do on your social media accounts that are awesome and you’d like to see more people do, I’d definitely be into hearing about it. Help a n00bie out!

Aug15-2

Next steps, follow and interact with other people on social media without feeling like a creeper.  Obviously, as you can see above, this may be a challenge.

Step three – follow all sorts of people that look interesting and interact!  I’m really bad right now about seeking out cool people to follow.  I’ll follow people who follow me and don’t look like they’re overtly selling something I’m not buying (or are obviously bots), or people I know or “know” (either IRL or through blog reading).

And then… interact with said people more on social medias.  I consume content all the time, but I don’t always react to it.  For some reason, I feel like a bit of a creeper being like “hey, you have no idea who I am on the twitters, but here’s a comment about the thing you posted”.  I’m getting better at liking and hearting, but I know I think comments are so much more awesome when you have something to say.

I know in my rational brain it’s not creepy, and I enjoy getting comments from people I don’t know, but for some reason, I feel like a creeper.  It’s not like I’m saying creepy things like “nice bike kit pic, I want to wear your skin like a suit”, or something equally Silence of the Lambs, it just feels weird to even say “nice bike kit pic” to a complete stranger.   Getting over that and talking to people I don’t know online is part of step three.

Step four – advertise.  A little. After I’m pretty sure I’ve done all I can on my own, and have established a pretty good routine and have extended my circle and comfort zone a bit, I’m going to enact the final stages of the plan – play with the lowest level of paid ads on the mediums that make sense.  I felt SUPER cheesy about even considering this before, but it’s no longer narcissism (here, let me pay money to get people to read my blog I make nothing from just to make me feel good).  If it was my living wage on the line, I need to know how ads work and what sort of views I can get with the lowest level of spend.

I have some other future ideas – I’d like to branch out to doing video content (YouTube), streaming (Facebook Live, Twitch), and maybe even start selling some bite size stuff on Fiver, but that’s definitely Social Media 201 for me.

Is talking about this shit taboo?  It’s definitely “how the sausage is made” stuff, but I’m quite fascinated by it, as an interested beginner sticking toes into the social media waters.  Making the pages felt great, watching my views/interactions increase with my #hashtageusage on Instagram is cool, and it’s been fun trying to thing about… “hmmm, what should I share with (a few people in) the world today?”.

Aug15-1

Come to Adjusted Reality for the sweaty selfies, stay for the random pictures of mannequin heads in cars. 

What’s the one thing you’d want to tell a newbie that’s looking to move beyond a soapbox to stand on, towards creating a brand?  I know some of y’all out there are super smart about this stuff.  The “contact me” link and comments section below are arms wide open, welcoming suggestions, tips, feedback, and all that jazz.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén