Adjusted Reality

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

Month: November 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

Hurling turkeys, bike adventures, and all the holiday things.

Right now, I’m in the proverbial second half of the 70.3 run, or the last 10k of the marathon – survival mode.  I decided to pool my vacation days for almost a month off in December, which will be AWESOME once it gets here, but very stressful getting everything ready to go enjoy that.  Light.  Tunnel.  Getting there.  But, since I have a spare moment, I wanted to write about a few things I’ve been up to.

nov29-3

Hurling turkeys isn’t as bad as it seems…

Since we weren’t running a marathon like normal, we signed up to do the Thundercloud Turkey Trot downtown Austin.  25k people registered = 25k people in traffic going to exactly one spot, so we finally made good about our idea to cycle down and back.  It took approximately 75 minutes to do that and I’m pretty sure it would have taken longer to drive, sit in traffic, park, and do the reverse once the race was over.  And… bikes!!!

The ride was a little chilly on the way down, but with gloves, three layers on top, and leg warmers on the bottom, I survived, which is good recon for longer rides in the winter.  This is new territory, folks!  It was a nice, chill, mostly-downhill 8-ish miles there as a warmup, we got the benefit of bike valet which meant a bag check (when the race wasn’t offering it), and we had plenty of time to tinker around before lining up.

My goal was to race this as hard as I could, because, why not?  I lined up, was feeling my music, and crossed the start ready to play parkour with a billion other people.  I did that up the first (pretty much mile long) hill, and hit low 9-something once my garmin beeped the first split.  I felt kind of terrible but in that “I just ran really fast up a hill” way, and had faith that when the course flattened out, I could catch my breath a sec and rock it out.

Once the course flattened out, instead, I got hit by the worst cramp I’ve ever had.  I’m still not 100% sure if it was girlie time fun or something bad I ate fun, or just a twisted amalgamation of both fusing together to cause me agony, but it was ROUGH.  I convinced myself that “fuck it, I had less than 4 miles left, race through it”, but soon after I started feeling dizzy and dizzy is not something we ignore.  I pretty much stopped in the sea of people (sorry, I hate when people do that), and started shuffling.

Thankfully Zliten had caught up and found me just as I was pulling over to the side.  I sat for a bit, searing pain and dizziness not letting up.  I convinced myself I needed to get up and walk to the aid station, so we started… and then I had to pull over on the side of the road and be sick.  This is not only the first time this has happened to me during a race… but I’ve never hurled during a workout either.  But here I was, mostly collapsed on the side of the road, heaving into the grass.  I pretty much thought I was going to die.

Zliten and the nice officer right there (sorry guy!) kept asking me if I wanted medical.  I couldn’t envision going anywhere but that little patch of dewy grass right then, I said no and kept allowing more my breakfast to rejoin the earth.  Oddly enough, after whatever needed to work itself out of my system was gone, I sat up and everything felt, like, magically better.  We tried walking and it was fine.  Once we were up the hill and to an aid station for some liquid, I said we should try running again.

I certainly didn’t break any records with the rest of the race, but we clipped along at a 10-something minute mile chatty pace.  I felt like my brain was packed with a little cotton by the end, but I really think I just needed some calories since I was really and truly empty.  One hour, four minutes, some seconds official race time – for 1 great mile, 1 terrible and terribly long mile with about a 10 minute break and some walking, and 3 joggy miles.

After the race, we hung out with our friends for a while, and then we rode bikes home (uphill) and had a wonderful turkey day with family eating all the things and playing cards.  It was a total blip on the radar, about 15 minutes of sheer agony, but totally not a day-ender.

In retrospect, it’s great Ironman training.  I’m sure that at some point, something will be wrong with my digestive system during that 14-17 hours.  I’ve never had my stomach go THAT rogue on me before, but it’s a situation I’ll be prepared for if it happens.  In general terms of discomfort, everything in that moment was terrible.  I not only didn’t want to finish the race, but I wanted someone to come pick me up and carry me to a car and drive me home at that point.  Then, less than 10 minutes later I was walking, and then, less than 20 minutes later, I was running comfortably.  It’s about managing the dark spots to get back to the bright ones, no matter how dark they feel in the moment.

nov29-2

Granger Lake bike adventures…

It’s been a month since I rode anything of distance or consequence, and we got an invite to ride bikes around the Granger Lake area, so it was time to get reacquainted with evilbike and friends.  Zliten, Matt, and I took off from his in-law’s house before 9am and rode into the wind which was somehow coming from every direction (as it tends to do in the Texas country).  We took turns pulling and chatting and got a little lost (extra miles!) and enjoyed a morning of bikes.

It was a super pleasant ride.  Once we got used to the blustery day and got a little warmed up, the layers I had on were perfect (jacket, sleeves, short sleeved jersey, bibs with leg warmers).  We stopped a few times to get pictures of things and eat snacks and stash layers and stuff.  We flew down the nice flat dam road at 20+ mph for fun, but that was really, by and large, the only EFFORT (captial E) we made that day.

It’s nice that 60 miles is not the edge of my fitness right now.  The edge of my comfortable fitness, sure.  My quads had a bit of that long ride sting.  My hands were shot from chipseal.  But honestly, I was more concerned for Matt being late to his Thanksgiving meal (which ended up delayed until SEVEN THIRTY, so no worries about rolling in just before 2pm) than dying to get off my bike.

I did the stupid shit I do the last quarter of small group rides where I speed up and think I’m pulling everyone but end up dropping them and having to wait because slowing down at the end of a bike ride LITERALLY MAKES ME DIE INSIDE for some reason.  Joel and I raced down a 30 mph street trying to beat the speed limit around 50 miles in.  I intentionally fell off the nutrition at the end so I would fade a little but with proper fueling I think I would have been up for more.  I think I’m mentally and physically ready to start pushing the kind of bike mileage needed to train for the Ironman and that makes me happy.

nov29-1

We need a little Christmas, like right this very minute…

Normally, I’m a big fan of keeping the holidays kind of low key until real close to the day of.  No Christmas shit until after Thanksgiving, and frankly, since we normally head to Florida the day after turkey day, it’s a while until we’re fully ensconced in the holidays.

This year is different.  I feel like we really need it.  Like *I* really need it.  So, we bought wrapping paper 9 days ago and I didn’t even flinch at the massive set up at Big Lots.  We set up the star showers the night before Thanksgiving.  I’ve got most of my shopping done already and a lot of it wrapped.  We have our lights and tree up, and it’s halfway decorated (and the iguana has already broken ornaments).  We’re watching the shows we normally watch during the season.  It all feels so right.

The great thing about it being the holiday season and in the 70s?  Holiday light rides.  We spent an hour winding down every street in the neighborhood looking at lights.  We may or may not have gotten in the spirit ourselves as well (see above for the setup).  I’m aware we’re ridiculous and make zero apologies and give zero fucks.

And… such is life.  Back to the push of the last few miles productive days of the race year.  I know I’m going to finish survive, I just need to keep my head in the game and get there.

 

Thankful, then and now.

2016 seems to have been a pretty trying year for everyone.  Beloved stars died.  I mean, really beloved, ones that were iconic across generations that hit hard, one right after another.  We suffered through a nasty election season with a crazy plot twist at the end.  More me-centric, I had some really rough races, big shakeups at work, and have had to really push myself to grow a bit after some harsh realizations about stagnation.  I probably have had my share of alcohol this year to wash down the bitter taste of many things.

However, let’s look at the bright side.

thanks1

Still wear hoops and chokers.  Not THAT much has changed.

I just renewed my passport, and here are my pictures, a decade apart.  In 2006, I was at my highest weight (probably about 265 lbs?  I dunno – I didn’t really frequent scales at the time…).  I was working 100 hour weeks and probably making just over a third of what I do now.  I barely fit in a size 24.  Running was something I would do only if chased, I hadn’t been on a bike since probably age 12, and I got tired walking around my apartment complex.  I always loved swimming, though.  That’s something that never changed.

At that point in my life, I would have been thankful for a job opportunity that challenged me and let me take a crash course in video game management and direction, one that would help me learn how to do it on a much larger scale later.  I worked the hours I did because I loved it.  Like, with a passion of ten thousand fiery suns.  Just like Icarus, though, fly too close to the sun and your wings melt.  My wings would melt within 6 months of that passport being issued, and passion turned to resentment when I started looking elsewhere to live and be employed.

oct4-1

The difference between this picture and the one above it is totally camera angles.  And a 110 lb weight loss, of course.

I would have been thankful for Zliten.  He also looked a mess (he is SO happy to get rid of his passport picture too), but we were a mess together.  At that point, we had talked about getting married and I was for it eventually, but I wasn’t into a whole big wedding thing looking as I did then.  That, plus the actual size of the jeans I had to buy, kick started my weight loss efforts just two months after I got that passport.

I would have been thankful for living in beautiful San Diego with perfect weather and beaches and sun.  I can’t deny that it’s the most PERFECT place I’ve ever lived climate-wise, and I miss the ocean and the wonderful balance between humid and dry you can only get in a lush desert beach area.  However, 2006 loved the IDEA of outside, but in practice, as you can see from my pale skin, I spent most of my time indoors.  At that weight, it was hard not to be a sweaty betty even just walking around, and as anyone who lives in a tourist beach town with regular weekday job hours will attest to, if you can’t play hookey to go to the beach, it’s typically not worth the hassle.

I would have been thankful for the awesome Mexican food.  The combo plate with a fried beef taco, cheese enchilada, rice and beans and the iconic red sauce you can’t find anywhere around here.  I still miss that stuff sometimes, but Austin is pretty much the capital of TACO so there’s a lot of choices, even if I still dream about the gas station with the taco shop near our apartment.  There was alsoTogos and the sandwich nazi and the deli and some other places that probably wouldn’t hold up in reality but still were favorites in my mind.

sept7-3

I get to live within 10 miles of here!  I mean, that doesn’t suck…

Flash forward ten years.  I still can’t believe it’s been that long.  Next June, Austin will house a decade of my life, which is the longest I’ve lived somewhere since I grew up in Chicago-land as a kid.  While I dream about living nearer to the ocean, living somewhere a little more runnable in the summer (Oregon, Seattle?), somewhere a little more bike friendly (Boulder) and escaping somewhere tropical in the winter (Florida, Bonaire?), I can’t put my finger on anywhere else I’d pick for a permanent home at the moment.

I am thankful for Zliten.  While I’m thankful for many, many things about Zliten, I’m particularly thankful that we became completely different people together.  We went from eating, sleeping, and living video games above all else to finishing multiple marathons and 70.3 races, and if all goes well, we’ll be Ironpeople in April.  He may have not been super thrilled when I started doing run races (it’s so eaaaarly, we both said, when we had to be at my first 5k for a start time of ELEVEN AM), but eventually he wanted to see what the fuss was about and got hooked (maybe even more than me).  We are very changed people, but thankfully, we changed and grew together.

I am thankful for my house, most days.  It’s called Casa De Jank because a 50 year old house definitely isn’t a dream to maintain, but it’s OUR weird house with character that is full of clutter and crazy art and drawings on the walls and a smiley face painted in the bathroom from when we moved in and never painted over it.  It may need some love to fit into our half-the-houses-have-been-flipped-in-the-last-five-years neighborhood, but we’ll get to that when it’s time.

Apr25-1

I may HATE the color of the brick, but I love a lot about my house (and life) here in Austin.

I’m thankful for Austin being this really cool, relaxed, friendly city, for the most part.  When questionable men aren’t yelling and throwing things at me on my bike and when the traffic isn’t RIDIC, of course.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite places I’ve lived because of the people.  Everyone wants to be your friend.  I’ve never been around groups of people that were more inclusive “yep, the more the merrier”, all the time. and really meant.  I love it!

I am thankful for racing.  I’m coming up on my 100th race soon, and you don’t pay to do something a hundred times that you don’t love.  Once I lost all the weight, I knew I needed *some* reason to continue to go to the gym and continue to be a reasonably healthy person and not gain all the weight back because whiskey and french fries are awesome.  I can balance my miles logged vs my tacos logged and try to maintain some level of stasis.  Also, for some reason, I thought once I left high school and college behind, there was nothing out there for adults to indulge their competitive sides.  Totally not the case!  I love the atmosphere, I love the challenge, I love the training, and I love the friends I’ve made doing it.

jacks1

Team we Tri’d.  Or Team Tri.  Team Race All the Things. 😉

I’m thankful for many other things, but I’m also thankful for having a job, even if it’s been crazy lately, so I need to cut it short(er than I normally would).

And I am thankful that I get the chance to continue evolving as a person!  Life is cool!  Who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll look like when I renew my passport next, but I’m looking forward to spending the next 10 years finding out.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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Save

The obvious response.

Last week was one that just felt so OFF.  Different.  Weird.  I mean, there was this election thing that kind of rocked our world, but on a more localized (aka – me) scale, it was still a weird week.

nov15-1

This is how weird it is y’all, I wore makeup.  And used a straightener.  Gasp!

The weirdest thing (locally) that happened?  I was out playing bikes yesterday afternoon on my cruiser, and I passed a dude with a bunch of stuff on a bike.  I’m in this GREAT mood because sun + endorphins + bike = happiness, so I say “isn’t it a beautiful day to be biking?” as I passed him.

Your normal response might be “hello” or “sure is!” or maybe a “meh” or just ignore them if you’re in a bad mood, right?  This gentleman’s normal response was to throw the contents of his drink (beer, I think) at me.  He missed, which I’m sure made him angry, so he started cussing at the world.  Realizing my presence angered a drunk guy and I was solo, I figured I should probably hightail it out of there in case he started throwing other stuff since he had a lot of ammo.  Normally it’s cars chucking things at cyclists, not other cyclists, heh.  Nevertheless, I’ll add this to my list of cycling achievements.

nov15-2

How adorable is this collage our club captain put together? <3

One of last week’s goals was to start tracking my food and making healthier choices and start considering maintaining a deficit again, and I did pretty good on Monday.  However, Tuesday through Sunday?  Not so great.  We celebrated all the triathlon things with our club and then our series finishers, and triathletes are a group of people that generally like to indulge. So there were fried foods and beer and tacos and chips and cake and brownies and wine and it was wonderful.

I also found my appetite is STILL not back to normal when Zliten and I ate the entire giant fajita-for-two plate and a whole bowl of chips on Friday night without feeling overly full.  My stomach has moments of feeling normal, and then I’ll go and have two full servings of dinner.  It’s frustrating, because I am OBVIOUSLY not maintaining enough activity for it, but the last thing I want to do is stunt my recovery by starving myself.  Baby steps.

The good news is that activity is coming back into my life fairly effortlessly.  The weather last week was amazing and I felt and continue to feel that good kind of antsy where I just want to get out and do stuff.  No surprise, my activity is skewing towards running as it tends to do in the fall.

I ran 3 times last week, because I wanted to – 4, 6,  and 7 miles.  No mileage or pace plan, just ran until I felt like I was done or I had to be somewhere.  My average easy pace seems to have come down to about 10:50-ish now that it’s not a million degrees outside and I imagine that will just get better with even lower temps and more running.  Maybe this week I’ll put something spicy in there to test out my legs, but if I’m not ready, I’ll just run.

nov15-3

Fall running makes me feel like dis.

Everything else was less than expected and that’s totally fine.  I rode my cruiser bike for about an hour but neither of my other serious business bikes.  We planned to do the 25 mile Tour De Donut, but the 6am Sunday wakeup call made us roll over in bed, look at each other, say “NOPE” and then go back to sleep. I did a weights session at the gym on Monday that had me sore until Friday, so I skipped the second session of the week.  I intended to swim at some point, but Zliten’s evil rib has earned him a no-swim mandate for another week, and it’s really hard to motivate to get to the gym myself.

Does that sounds like a lot of excuses and wankery?  Absolutely.  And that’s TOOOOOTALLY fine at this stage.  Pushing a rigid schedule year round is a recipe for burnout for me and while sometimes I want to be there, I am not yet.  I’ve got that little voice in the back of my head telling me my bike and swim endurance is going to shit on my break, but I’m successfully telling it to shut the hell up.  I’ve got plenty of time and I also have a few big rides and swims planned in the next two months, plus I can’t imagine I’ll lose my run base when it’s all I’m really motivated to do.  So there, stupid voices!

This week’s goal is to continue the baby steps.

Workouts:

Two weights session, stressing bodyweight/lighter weights.  Oddly enough, when you take a month off lifting, you can just go resume what you were doing.  I did one Oiselle Dozen last night, and I’m much more reasonably sore than last week, so I’ll follow up with another strength session of some sort later in the week.  Once I’m not a member of the walking dead after doing that regularly, I’ll resume throwing around heavier things.

Running, obviously.  I plan to run Saturday morning and I’d like to see double digits but only if my body wants to go there.  I’ll go out for some other jaunts as I can, probably in the mornings because we’re a little warmer this week (in the 80s).  It was nice to have fall for a few days!

Jul5-2

Don’t worry, there won’t be a shortage of bike commuting selfies ’round here.  I’ll just probably be wearing a little more. 🙂

I bike commuted yesterday and it’s the best.  I think I’d like to do that at least one more time this week.  I’d also like to get out and ride Evilbike, but that might be beyond the babysteps for this week.

Swimming…. eh… if I can make it there.  Once Zliten is off rib-rest, we’ll get back to it.  It sounds nice on my body and maybe one of those lunches where it’s 80 degrees I’ll get motivated.  But maybe not.

Food/Drink

I had really been indulging the last two weeks, and I can see the effects.  Last week, I barely slept through the night – I would wake up around 4am and have to read for somewhere between 30 mins and a few hours before I could fall asleep.  My weight is up from about 180-182 to 183-185.  I can’t see any way that I legit took in over 10k calories more than I burned in 2 weeks, especially with an enhanced metabolism for some of that, but my jiggly water retaining belly says regardless, my system is out of whack.

nov15-4

Steeeeeeamy.  Get in my belly (and make it jiggle, apparently).

This week, I’m taking a pass on alcohol, mostly.  I’m giving myself the option to have a few Saturday, but I’d like to have a good majority-of-the-week of detox before that.  My liver has been a trooper, and it needs a rest.  My tolerance is pretty wicked right now, so it takes a lot (and a lot of calories) to catch a buzz.  I took a mental recovery break for the last two weeks and indulged.  Now it’s actually time to let my body recover and treat it nicer so it doesn’t break down.

While I’m not going to go nuclear on my diet (eliminating alcohol for a week is enough of a shock to the system, heh), I am trying to push for more fruits and veggies and less junk, and for fucks sake, track my food.  I got through half of lunch yesterday and failed at the rest.  It’s all about making things a habit and this one has fallen off.

Life Stuff:

The motivation to start cranking on the to do list is still not there.  That’s alright.  I’m kind of enjoying being social, I’m kind of enjoying my lazy weekend mornings and early evenings curled in bed voraciously devouring this new book series, Metal Boxes. Besides work, I don’t have a lot of the have-tos right now, and I’m trying to calm my shit about the “shoulds”.

nov7-2

I *should* relax in my hammock is appropriate though.  Maybe chill on the beer though and drink some tart cherry juice to CALM the inflammation instead of encourage it.

Eventually I need to start being a responsible adult.  I need to find another doctor for a check up since mine left my network.  I need to make an appointment with a financial planner.  I need to clean my car.  I need to get going on my social media strategies and triathlon coaching.  But, I need to be READY to do that shit and I’m not mentally there yet.

This week, I’d simply like to get my new passport photo.  It’s expired, and I need to get it dealt with soon because I’ll be out of the country in May.  It will be really refreshing to get a new picture, as my old one was at my highest weight of 265 lbs and doesn’t even look like me.

Otherwise, I have plans to see two movies, we gamed with friends last night, and we have plans to introduce some of the family to virtual reality.

And that’s plenty.  Off to one of those movies (Arrival), I’ll let you know how it is!

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Understanding.

Ow, my head.  Ow, my country.

nov9

Let’s start off with the fact that I’m not terribly political.  Maybe that’s part of the problem, but it is what it is.  I vote (in every election, not just the big ones) and I do my best to get a least general grasp of whom or what I’m voting for.  However, I’m a big believer in freedom and choice, so I’m not terribly evangelical about turning people to my side, I want them to inform themselves and make their own decisions.

I went home on Tuesday expecting the election to be called fairly early and get a good night’s sleep.  Instead, I watched, with decreasing sobriety, into the wee hours of the morning, as small margins gave way to electoral votes which gave way to our senate, house, and president turning  red.  For someone who believes in personal freedoms, choice, and equality, this felt like a disaster scenario.  Previously considering the possibilities, I figured if somehow the white house skewed republican, a democratic house or senate (or both) would at least keep things in check.  This is not the case.

I said that I didn’t know who we were anymore.  I still don’t.  I mean, your world really is who you surround yourself with.  Besides a few spots of red, my social circles are deep dark blue through and through.  It’s a huge wakeup call to me that apparently, this does not represent approximately half of the country I live in.  I’ve been searching for the answer, and the eternal optimist I am, I feel like the only answer is understanding and perseverance.

My hope is that while there obviously are some people who were fired up by a candidate who was overtly racist, sexist, and just plain crude, this is not the majority of that population.  I will continue to believe that in general, people weighed the platforms they both stood on and chose the one that aligned with their beliefs, and in some cases, that happened to be Trump.   I was not in love with Hillary, but at the end of the day, the things she supports (and the Democratic party support) are more important to me than who she is as a person.  I can’t fault someone on the other side for feeling the same way even if I really really want to, because that would be hypocritical.

I think we are all fighting for a lot of the same basic things, but somewhere along the way, we’ve become the Montagues and the Capulets.  I played along, and felt very US vs THEM during the eletion.  However, faced with this reality in the light of day, America has not dramatically changed overnight.  Just like there is no version of modern America that would tolerate Obama taking their guns away, there is also no version of modern America that’s going to tolerate Trump rounding up everyone with different skin or that likes to bump uglies with someone unconventional and putting them in a prison camp.  We are many, many, many steps from any of that.  Not that we COULDN’T get there, but it’s not going to happen all of a sudden next January and it won’t EVER unless we let it.

We’ve spent two years with the message “vote for your party’s candidate or the world will explode” shoved down our throats, and after being fed the line for so long, we start to believe it.  And with it comes the sentiment that the opposition just wants to watch the world burn.  Instead, we need to realize that roughly half the country holds some different opinions and has different priorities that may seem crazy to us, but I can’t imagine 48% of our country is legit crazy.  The best way we all win is to compromise.  The way we lose is continuing to shout “racists!” and “babykillers!” at each other over the proverbial wall we’ve built between us.

To really turn a nation upside down, you need the VAST majority of the people to believe in it.  While the electoral collage worked out for Trump this time, it looks like the popular vote went to Hillary.  That’s the majority of the population who are not going to stand for regression of anyone’s rights.  That’s the majority of the population who are on the side of equality. That’s a whole shit ton of people. We will stand together.  We will not go quietly in to the good night because of one decision.

My hope is that it’s much more and the numbers actually confirm it.  I can’t believe voting Trump and being a decent human being are mutually exclusive.  To do my part, I’m trying to understand the facts of what Trump really actually stands for and not let fear or emotion get in the way.  Some of it will obviously be bullshit I don’t agree with.  The stupid Mexico wall is just stupid and amassing a giant military sounds like a boy being eager to win at having the most toys, and he wants to pay for them both by getting rid of inefficiencies?  Yeah, why didn’t we all think of that!  We could all be have insurance and college tuition at a reasonable cost if we had gotten rid of unneeded inefficiencies!*facepalm*

However, his health care platform doesn’t actually creep me out on paper.  I tried to read the words without bias, and I realized it made some sense.  Health care costs are really insane.  I mean, really INSANE.  Like, second rent on a small apartment insane for two healthy adults to get basic coverage.  What we have right now is not the answer.  While 6 weeks paid leave only for mothers isn’t nearly as much as Hillary was fighting for, it’s better than what we have now, which is JACK and SHIT, which is crazy for a country that considers itself a leader of the free world.  In the decision whether or not to have kids – cutting our income in half or less was ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY a major concern and I’m not alone.  Maybe if we can get SOMETHING in place, we can improve it in the future.

My hope is that this spectacle is now, for the most part, over.  The candidates have to put on a show to get elected, and Trump got the highest ratings.  Now, the makeup and the costumes come off, and it’s time to see who Trump as a president really is.  I have all the hope that it’s going to be different than Sideshow Trump.  We fell in love with Barack Obama on the left because he preached hope and change and then after a while, complained that it wasn’t ENOUGH change.  This is the exact reason the right embraced Trump – they want to stir shit up like we did 8 years ago.  Anything but the status quo.  Let’s elect the wildcard and send him at the government to take down the man!

Funny thing is… once you BECOME the man, you find out there’s usually really good reasons why we do a lot of the things the way we do them.  Not to say constantly evaluating the process isn’t important, but I remember as I climbed up the ranks of the game industry, I was going to do things WAY DIFFERENT when I was in charge.  I definitely try to BOSS in a way that employee me would like to work for most of the time, but I also know that sometimes you have compromise to get the sausage made even if it makes idealistic you feel a little icky about it.  He really comes off as being naive and thinking that he’ll have a lot more power to mandate a bunch of shit once he sits in the chair.  Not quite, buddy.  That’s called dictatorship.

So my goal today, and going forward, is to understand.  For my sanity, I have to believe there is a legitimate Republican viewpoint that is rooted in something besides racism, fear, and greed, even if I can’t really see that right now, and I’m going to continue to do research.  I reserve the right to back away at any point and say “nope, y’all are bat shit crazy” and start continue to look into buying a place in Bonaire, but I have to try.

However, at this point, I’m here for a while, unless things start really going the way of Afghanistan, and I can’t believe that would happen.  And if I going to fight against that, and not flee, I believe the first step is to be a little kinder and more patient with each other.  If you need to be the change you want in the world, this is where I start.  I see people who are lashing out incoherently and I feel all their feels.  I really do.  But, I have to approach this rationally and realize that there indeed are at least two reasonable positions on most arguments, even if you can only agree with one.  I will stand up for what I believe in, but I also will do my best to form opinions based on facts, not fear.  If someone opposing me has done that as well, I have to respect that.

I’m no revolutionary, no activist, no political leader.  In fact, I’m probably only this riled up because I’m on a break from serious running, biking, and swimming.  However, I feel like my soapbox wouldn’t be an accurate reflection of my brain if I didn’t spend some time sorting through these strong feelings we all are having right now, and figuring out my path forward.  And my path will include logic, reason, kindness, and compassion.

EDIT: And of course, no thought is original.  This blog probably summed it up more coherently than I could.

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Recovery

Last week was all about recovery and doing all those things you don’t get to do on busy training weeks.  I read and napped in my hammock for an afternoon.  We spent almost the entire weekend playing video games.  I ate and drank some things I generally wouldn’t touch.  It was glorious!

nov7-2

Day after the race?  Tons of hammock and beer repeats.  I still may have been caffeinated at that point.

Physical recovery:

I’m going to give props to both my new boots and all the weight training I did this cycle.  While I was not ready to go out and do it all again the next day or anything, I had very little muscular issues in the days following the race.  I wasn’t toilet sore, I didn’t have issues with stairs, I would say if I *had* to, I was ready to go for an easy jog by Tuesday, or definitely Wednesday.

However, as it’s been manifesting lately after races, I was this weird unreasonable amount of the *tireds* for days.  It took me three days to finish the laundry because it was a herculean effort to do that.  The rest of the stinky triathlon crap stayed all around the house until SATURDAY.  I expended my last ounces of *give a shit* at the race and was fresh out for the week, and that’s TOTALLY fine.

We rode bikes with the BSS crew on Wednesday, and while I started the ride wondering why I was taking precious time away from sitting on my couch and eating food, the ride itself was great.  My legs certainly did not feel snappy, but it was nothing unlike how things felt during peak weeks.  I felt better after and I continue to feel pretty good since.

nov7-1

Vidja games.  All weekend.  Looking like VR dorks.

Mental recovery:

Having a good (but not perfect) race is interesting.  Mentally, I am READY TO GO but I know if I jump back in 100% right now, I’m going to arrive at Ironman in April weak and burnt out. I need some of that time to lift heavy things without caring how sore it makes me, and time to play bikes, running, and swimming.

Y’know, those kind of workouts where you plan a 6 hour trainer movie marathon on a shitty weather day where you order delivery pizza in the middle or do the Tour De Donut instead of a serious long ride.  Or you head out the door with your shoes on and run somewhere between 3 and 17 miles without a planned route at whatever pace your feet carry you and maybe there’s a stop at the swing set in the park in the middle.  Or you see how many laps you can do in the lake before your arms fall off while it’s the perfect wetsuit weather for a little while longer.  And also, sometimes these plans will fuck right off for laying in my hammock reading or the right happy hour invitation.

Adventures and activity, rather than checking boxes.  That’s the goal for a while.

My plan was to take the next 2 months and allow myself to train according to feel.  I’m sticking to it.  At this point, I expect I’ll do enough long stuff to keep myself in enough shape to kick off a for-real training plan in the new year.  12 weeks + taper is a REALLY long time for me to follow anything strict, and I need to go in hungry for it.

So, basically, I’m really excited about the next cycle, and I need to make sure I save my eager self from myself by sticking to the plan.  I’ve done that gung ho thing before and it doesn’t end well.

nov7-3

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.  The LIGHT version is 800+ calories.  I made up for that fact with housing two bread baskets.

Gustatory Recovery:

I haven’t been going hungry.  Let’s just state the obvious.  I know the FIRST rule of recovery… and actually most things triathlon… is to shove food in my mouth when I’m hungry.  I have not failed to do that (and have probably succeeded a little too well, but that’s ok).  If I was a better person, it would have been all the veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, etc.  However, the words second dessert, alcoholic, and fried have definitely been in my vocabulary.

I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten the bulk of it out of my system, and by Friday, I was already at odds – I was totally ready mentally to start eating less food after a few days, but my appetite was like “nope, we’re going to eat this ENTIRE giant veggie sandwich and chili in the matter of 3 minutes and then we’re going to rumble a few hours later”.  Well then.

I operate on a normal ratio of about 80% healthy, 20% splurge.  The ratio was reversed last week.  Back to the norm this week.  There is NO possible way that I’ve actually gained the 4 lbs the scale says in one week, so it’s time to shift the balance of what I’m made of from bourbon and french fries to salads and coconut water.

nov7-4

After riding my bike for 90 minutes at 12 mph, I made sure to eat enough fried food to outweigh the health benefits.  Whew!  Almost did something crazy on rest week.

What’s next?

This week is a gentle emergence from hedonism.  The dish of leftover Halloween candy isn’t getting thrown out or anything, but knowing that it has to be tracked and balanced with the rest of my intake should keep me from raiding it excessively.

Mid Season Break Week 1:

  • Two heavy lifting sessions.  These are the most important sessions of the week.
  • Two bike rides, two runs, one swim if it works out.  Nothing with any effort besides the runs, and that’s if I feel up to it.
  • Tracking the food again.  No judgies on the amount because my appetite will still be coming down, but we need to quantify it again.
  • 10k steps per day.  I don’t care if I hit any training, but I need a baseline of activity.
  • Five fruits and veggies servings per day.  This tends to keep the rest of my day on track.
  • Absolutely no writing up training plans for next year even though I’m super excited to do it.
  • Check some stuff off the big “do this stuff once season’s over” list.

It’s Monday.  Let’s do this thing (and today, that thing is weights and a nice long walk)!

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