Adjusted Reality

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

Month: January 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

And I would ride 100 miles… but maybe not 100 more…

Saturday, I hit one of the major milestones for the Ironman.  I rode my bike for 100 (.3!) miles outdoors.

All the things that saved my life on Saturday and one that didn’t help.

It was windy as shit all day.  It was cold.  There we mishaps and tantrums and we didn’t exactly pick the path of least resistance and it took pretty much from sun up to sun down (7h16m of actual cycling), but we did it.

We started out just before 8am, and spent a few hours doing Shoal Creek loop intervals on the TT bikes (12-13 if I remember correctly).  It was low 40s and windy, so I had a base layer, a short sleeve jersey and sleeves, a long sleeve jersey, and a jacket on, not to mention two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, and my fleece lined long bibs and I was still definitely not warm.  No layers were shed in the 2h45m/42 miles we rode.  However, the win here was that I rode this long on my TT bike outside, spent a lot of time in aero, and felt more comfortable on Death Star than I ever have.  If we were smart, we would have just kept going for 58 more miles there, but as you will see, we are not intelligent individuals.

We quickly stopped at home, I lost the long sleeve jersey but that still left THREE layers, and I spent the entire time we were home in my big sweatshirt over everything, pretty sure I would never feel warm again.  Cycling in the winter is weird.  In the same weather as I would be in short sleeves within a mile or two running, I couldn’t put on enough jerseys.  Freaky.

The next leg involved a commute north to meet up with a group ride.  This particular journey takes about 30 minutes on my cruiser bike, and we left ~35 mins before the ride, so we figured we’d be just fine.  Well, not when you’re biking directly into the wind.  We approached the meetup spot, and saw the group take off the other way.  We tried to catch up… and then I got a flat.  Like a serious one where a piece of glass made a pretty decent gash in my tire.  I was about to sit down on the side of the road and throw a tantrum but I found my big girl pants just in time.  I helped Zliten patch and change it (one of these days I’ll do it myself but we didn’t want to wait 30 minutes on me bumbling through it) and we rolled on.

The group ride was a ~36 mile ride on Jollyville to 360 to Bee Cave to the BSS store and back.  While this probably means nothing to most of you, this route is a) actually riding on a busy freaking highway for about 8 miles and b) while it’s not the absolutely hilliest 36 mile route you can take in Austin, it’s not far removed from it.  Oh, and c) 10 of these miles were primarily uphill and directly into the wind, when we were at about ~60 miles already into the day.  I couldn’t get myself to eat during that period (struggling with fatigue and the wind, I was swerving just trying to get at my bottle for hydration), and I was bonking a bit.  Thoughts on this stretch:

  • I can just drop to the other 70.3 in Texas in April and then I never have to ride this long ever again.
  • I should take up knitting instead.
  • That ditch looks nice, I think I want to go lie down there.
  • That’s a pretty lake, I kind of want to drive my bike into it.

Flashback to the first day I ever tried to ride 100 miles.  I made it to 70.  I felt like this.  Can’t say I felt much different at certain points on Saturday…

So, that’s how *I* was doing.  Cheerful Mr. Zliten was like “pretend it’s a false flat!” to which I grumbled about all the other pretending he could do.  We saw our group leave the store just about when we got there, but I needed to replace my busted tube and spent C02 canister, plus lay on the ground for a bit and eat Reeses Mix and revive myself from the dead, so we committed to the trip back solo as well instead of immediately turning around and rolling back with them.

Between the calories and the break and the wind at our backs and the elevation generally going downward in a roundabout way (still up and down but longer downs and shorter ups), I perked up on the way back.  It was still rough, but I had a better attitude about it, even if sometimes I’d be riding up a hill and I’d think “I ran a whole half marathon 6 days ago at a faster pace than I’m climbing this hill”, but the closer we got back to civilization, the better I felt.

Zliten tried to say “hey, let’s stop really quick and say hi to the group and then just finish things up” to which I said “PIZZA” with a pouty face.  So, at mile 86, we stopped for about 30 mins and had a quick sit and chatted with the group and inhaled a small cheese pizza and then got back on the road.

The food saved my life (can I get a cheese pizza delivered hot to Ironman Texas bike special needs?) but was not setting well in Zliten’s stomach, so I pulled a lot of the of the last 14 miles (it was totally my turn anyway).  We got in some extra miles by doing one more Shoal Creek lap on the way home.  We both marveled that we had been on our bikes in the same spot about 9 hours ago starting the day and it seemed totally fitting to end there.  We pulled into our driveway at 100.3 miles and crashed HARD.  I had 8-ish hours of sleep that night and over 5 of those were deep sleep, and then I still took a 2 hour nap the next day after the arduous task of eating lunch.

Reflecting on this ride both makes me feel proud, accomplished, and closer to the goal of Ironman, and also terrified.  This was hard.  I mean, there were mitigating factors as to why this ride was probably harder than the ride on race day will be, but it was still REALLY FUCKING HARD.  We talked about running a mile off the bike because we’re idiot triathletes and when we got home we were both like…. NOPE.  The siren song of a warm shower and the couch and beer was too strong.  In 12 weeks I’ll have to still run a marathon after riding this plus 12 miles.  It also took over 7 hours.  I’m really hoping that my whole ride will take less than 7 hours total and I have to add 12 more miles.

However, I have to remember that my first metric century, it took me 5 hours and 15 minutes I collapsed in a heap on the curb for a bit before I could actually function again.  Two years later I did it in 3 hours and 45 minutes and then ran a few miles after.  I could barely walk for days after my first 20 mile run and now I’ve done probably more of them than I can count on my fingers and toes and I’m generally able to function, if not run easy, the next day if need be.  I still have 12 weeks to make 100 miles closer to the comfort zone.

This will be the last week of the trainer like evvvvryday.  So, perhaps, my Instagram pictures will get a little more interesting.  Maybe.

This week was sort of a 6 days of rest week, 1 day of OMG, which pushed my totals to 11.75 hours of training.  Kind of not a rest week in terms of hours, but every other day besides Saturday was short and easy, so I feel like I’m ready to get back to some intensity.  We’ll see if that holds true through the week, but for right now, I’m just trying to feed the beast and let it rock.

Jan 23-29 training:

  • One 20 minute 1200m swim
  • 2 Oiselle Dozen sessions
  • About 10 hours of bikes, bikes, and more bikes
  • I’m getting pretty good at this, but worth mentioning – stretched, rolled, or used the legs daily.  Usually rolling.  I’ve got a good routine down.

This week we’ll be a little more balanced.  I’m trying to frontload the week with the efforts so I can rest up because I have a 6 hour looped bike race/ride/thing on Saturday and I’d like to put as close to 100 miles into the day as possible.

  • One long run (2 hours/10 miles or more if we can) and one hour run, maybe another short run somewhere in here if there’s time
  • 6 hour ride, one endurance rides video, and some commutes/easy spinning.
  • One long swim (1 hour/3000m or more), one lunchtime swim
  • 2 Oiselle dozen sessions, or the gym if we can make that happen one day
  • Stretch, roll, legs – pick at least one every day.

My bike streak ends tomorrow.  I can’t begin to express how much I think it’s helped me, but I also think that my ass really could use a break from being smashed against a bike seat once every 12-36 hours, and I’d like to drop a little bit of the weekday bike volume and replace it with some running and swimming.  I haven’t had a full day off since December and I don’t *really* feel like I need one yet, but it’s nice to have the option.

I’ll talk more about February goals and my next block’s intentions later, but I’m going to call January’s bike focus a success.

What, don’t you all wear your bike kits with boots? (Tuesday in the life…)

And in the normal goal/progress/stuff… last week:

I did Chapter 13.  This week, it’s Chapter 14.  This week is a little longer and more involved so the goal is to finish but I may need to split this one into two weeks.  After this, there’s only two more sections and then I can prepare for my test!

I did some social media stuff but I was busy and it was not as much as I would have liked.  This week, I’m prioritizing the triathlon chapter, but if I can finish that, I’ll carve out some time also search out more peeps to follow and like and interact with.

I tracked my calories for 2211 average each day with -784 deficit.  My ratios were 119g protein, 69g fat, 23g fiber, and 261g carbs per day.  Again, I need to eat a little less fat, a little more carbs, which is always a challenge for me.  Also – oddly enough, I was low on fiber.  That never happens!  I’ll have to watch that this week.

My average weight was 189.1, which is a gain of .1 lb.  It was looking good for a little while (I was down to 187 and falling), and then I’ve gone up 4 lbs after the ride with rehydration and inflammation and all that jazz.  However, this last week, my body fat measurements have dropped about 2-3% from the weeks previous, so that’s something!  Still 9lbs to go back to 70.3 race weight.  It’s going to be a hard fight while training, but I’ll keep chipping away at it.

I drank 12 beers.  Tomorrow ends my beer only embargo but I think I’ll still count my drinks through IM training season just to stay accountable.  I can’t wait to have some nice whiskey on the rocks or some french red wine though…

Rest and recovery and sleep are going well.  Oddly enough, when you don’t drink like a fish and stay up late and prioritize recovery and eat (mostly) good food, you actually feel good.  Who knew?

We followed through on the eye appointments and bike fits last week.  I’d like to say we cleaned out the cars, but we didn’t.  We had post work appointments every day after work except for Thursday, and over the weekend, the bike ride wiped us out more than expected and we were lucky to get through the normal chores yesterday, let alone anything on top of that.  I’ll be honest, I don’t see it happening this week.  I think I may need this week just to get through normal life without an extra to do.

And that I shall.  Off to get through the rest of my Monday!

We have arrived at the first stop.

Ahhhhh, rest week.

Well, not quite…. because…

This is the week in which I have scheduled EVVVVVRYTHING else in my life that I’ve had to ignore for the last few weeks.  Oops.  Seriously, it’s crazy.  Bike fit for me after work Monday, bike fit for Zliten after work yesterday, ride leader class today, eye doctor appointments Friday, and somewhere in there I need to get across town at lunch to exchange a holiday present.

It’s a good thing I feel pretty good.  I really thought that I would be a little stubby bloody pulp of a human by now with how I was feeling halfway into this block, but I ran a pretty successful half marathon on day #21 and did a lot of good work on days #1-20.  I’ve had zero days off, the lightest day has been JUST a 30 minute trainer and I’ve only had 4 of those so far.

Doesn’t everyone wear makeup when they meet their bike trainer for the first time?  No?

First block stats (Jan 2-22):

Bike:

  • Longest bike: 4.5 hour trainer (1/14).
  • Long bikes: 2.75 hour trainer, 3.75 hour trainer, 4.5 hour trainer
  • Total bike time: 23.25 hours (451 miles, though that doesn’t mean a ton because… trainer)
  • Biggest bike accomplishment: getting more comfortable on my TT bike (making it 4.5 hours without having to change bikes).
  • Biggest IM fear: I have not yet ridden 100 miles outside or the equivalent on the trainer (6+ hours).  Not even close.  I’ve got a lot of work to do in the next few weeks because I feel like I’m behind the 8 ball here.

Running:

  • Longest run: 13.1 miles (3M half, 1/22)
  • Long runs: 11 on the treadmill, 6.3 on the treadmill (had to cut it short), 13.1 outside
  • Total run miles: 43 (8 hours)
  • Biggest running accomplishment: running a pretty solid 2:13 half marathon on super tired legs, and still feeling like I could have gone further.
  • Biggest running fear: how the eff am I going to do a 20 mile run in the same week that I’m also doing long bike rides?  (eh, I have a little while to figure that one out…)

Swim:

  • Longest swim: 3000m (1/11)
  • Long swims: 3000m, 2100m, 1500m
  • Total meters: 8575m (8370m adjusting for our funky 24.4m pool) – 2.75 hours swimming
  • Biggest swim accomplishment: 3000m in under an hour directly after a 75 minute run.
  • Biggest swim fear: this is the sport I’m the least concerned about, but I’m concerned that I will make it TOO background.  I don’t care if it’s not that fast, but I need 3850m to feel EASY and to do that I need to make sure I’m swimming 3k+ per week even if it’s grey and cold out or I don’t want to.

Weights:

  • 5 sessions/6 planned
  • 1 session heavy weights in the gym
  • 4 sessions Oiselle Dozen

Totals:

  • Week 1: 11.25 hours
  • Week 2: 12 hours
  • Week 3: 12.5 hours

All in all, I’m happy with what I accomplished with block #1.  I promised myself I would stop and take stock of where I was at each rest week before I finalized the next segment, and here I am, doing that.

First of all, rest week #1.  I’m still riding 30 minutes daily.  I also am planning to get a really long ride with a short brick run Saturday as my only actual workout.  And then I have a 30 mile social ride I wanted to do on Sunday.  I want to swim once to make sure I remember how and run once because biking every day has made me love running more.  I also need to stay good on my strength training twice a week.

…and then somehow I’m at 12 hours again.  Well, crap.  Back to the drawing board.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 😛

Eat and lift and eat and run and this is life…

Last week:

I feel decent about running last week.  I ran 23 miles total (5.25, 3, 1.75, 13.1) and I actually feel pretty great.  I actually *added* some miles I hadn’t planned to do (3 easy) instead of a swim.  I made the comment on Monday that I don’t hate running, I just hate running inside all the time.  Since the air is only trying to kill me a little lately, I’ll suffer some allergy symptoms so I can not hit the ‘mill for every run.

Friday, I switched to a new bike trainer and instead of crazy high mileage, it’s crazy low.  So instead of spinning easy at 20 mph, I’m spinning easy at 8mph.  I mean, bike trainer miles mean nothing anyway, and it’s stupid, but it’s an ego hit and disheartening watching the miles accumulate sooooooo slowly at a much higher power reading.  I know it will make me stronger but blehhhh.

Scheduling commitments and exhaustion meant I cut my long ride to 2h45 hours Friday night, went directly to bed for 8 hours, and then woke up immediately and rode 45 minutes + 20 minute brick run.  I had hoped to do 5 hours total, not 3.5.  Missing this ride really hurt, but I had ZERO way to make this up and I just had to make the best of it.  70% is better than nothing if those are the two options.

Swimming last week was a fail.  I swam once at lunch, but just couldn’t drag myself to the pool for my long session later in the week.  If nothing else, I need to long swim earlier in the week so I don’t skip it.  Swimming in the winter is the worst, at least motivation-wise (once I’m at the pool, it’s great, but getting there is hard), but it needs to be done.

I went to the gym on Monday all excited about doing heavy weights and actually approaching things sanely with lighter heavy weights… and I still was sore for days.  Oddly enough, you lose specific strength if you only push around your bodyweight.  I still got my 2 sessions in (one more dozen later in the week), but I’ll be sticking to the lighter heavy stuff until I’m not limping two days later.

Why am I not losing weight… what could the answer be? BUSTED.

Other stuff:

Last week I did Chapter 12 of my triathlon class.  This week is Chapter 13.  Only 3 more to go after this!!!

I spent some more time connecting to people on social medias – my twitter feed is 10x more awesome now, my instagram remains awesome, I’m still ignoring personal facebook for the most part, except I posted that I had a new page… and I got 5 likes.  LOL.  Apparently no one I know IRL cares about triathlon stuff.  Oh well, no worries. 🙂  This week, I’ll do more stuff like this and try to learn more stuff.

Last week I tracked my calories for 2100 average each day with -990 deficit.  My ratios were 102g protein, 67g fat, 34g fiber, and 241g carbs per day.  While I’d like to bring those carbs up and fat down, I’m pretty impressed with my deficit (and doing it while still feeling fueled and not hungry).

Last week, my average weight was 189.0, which is a gain of 1 lb.  I’m totally bumming about this, but I know it’s because a) that TOM, b) 3 weeks of training inflammation c) the allergies and the occasional bad sleep isn’t helping.  Ah well. All I can do is keep at it (and SPOILER: I’m already down a bit from here so it’s not all a crap sandwich).  I know changes take a few weeks to hit my body and hitting my deficit like that above will make some changes eventually. 9lbs to go back to 70.3 race weight!

Last week I also drank 13 beers.  I appreciate what beer only has done for me, but I’m DEFINITELY ready to go back to wine/liquor now that my imbibing habits are back to normal person from holiday/frat boy status.  Beer has so many caaaaaaaaaaaalories.  Even IM training doesn’t make up for it.  One more week from today.

My sleep was much better last week.  I mean, I would love to be getting 10 hours a night with all this training, but I’m pretty sure I clocked at least 8 on average and I wasn’t waking up in the middle of the night, which is helpful.  I’m hoping if I make good on this whole “rest week” thing, I can really bank some sleep for the next block.

Last week’s to do was clean out the cars.  We didn’t do that.  BUT, we did donate all the bags of clothes from our closet clean out to Goodwill.  So that’s something.  This week, we’ll aim for the car cleanout thing yet again and follow through with our bike fits (done!) and our eye appointments (Friday).  I have no idea why we’re procrastinating the car thing.  It will take like 30 minutes.  Sigh.

I’m hoping this week is all it’s cracked up to be, and I don’t do stupid shit like train for 12 hours, because I’m tired, y’all!  Someone be my conscience and tell me to rest even though I’m super nervous about this race in approximately 88 days or 2112 hours or 126,720 minutes.  Yipes!

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3M Half Marathon – hold onto your hat! #upwindtodowntown

Right after running 3M in 2016, I signed up again.  It’s seriously one of the best chances I’ll ever get for a PR – it’s in January, so it’s 99% likely to be gorgeous weather for running, and it’s net downhill which makes it fast (they call it #downhilltodowntown).  Every year I sign up, I’m like “this is when I’m going to take a crack at that 2:07:xx”.

Pre-race, the ever important porta potty stop and huddling for warmth with a few thousand of your closest runner friends.

Then, every year, I realize that January is not really my month.  I’m either deeeeep into marathon training and fatigued or this year, very undertrained and also deeeeeep into fatigue having finished a 3 week block of the highest volume I’ve ever done.  I’ll probably early sign up for it again, and say the same thing.  I actually think next fall/winter I might just concentrate on halfs and see if I can get faster but something will inevitably come up.  But it’s still a fun race that everyone does so I don’t mind showing up and seeing what happens so much.

Let’s talk about how untrained I am to run a solid half marathon.  If this was a cycling race, I’d be golden.  Swimming?  Probably a little better off.  However, in the last 3 months since my 70.3 I have run a 10 miler and two 11 milers, but ZERO of the miles in any run have been speedwork, and my total mileage is about 100.  Yeah.  My normal weekly mileage this time of year is more than my currently monthly mileage.  Yeah, I’m riding all the bikes, but still.

The point of this big long depreciating diatribe?  I lined up with only two goals yesterday morning: 1) work hard but still be able to get up and train today and 2) if at all possible, try not to get a personal worst at this race, which meant I needed to beat 2:27. Any of the outdoor runs I’ve done lately have been paced slower than that so that was actually a consideration.

It was a SUPER pretty day for running… except for the 25+ mph wind gusts… #upwindtodowntown

We started with the 2:15 pacer since that seemed like a reasonably hard goal right now, and ran with friends until they decided to take off and go a little faster.  I took in a caff gel right away over the first two miles, and stopped at an aid station to wash it down.  It was so windy, my hat blew off and I had to chase it, and then I had lost them.  I figured that was the last I would see of anyone and it wasn’t even mile 3.

Let’s also talk about how Zliten and I respond to rest.  He takes months off running, he runs amazingly (even better than during training).  He is the epitome of a low volume runner.  I take more than a week off running regularly and my legs forget how to run.  It will be MONTHS until I feel like I’m a competent runner since I took a fall break.

I ran harder trying to catch up, and finally I saw Zliten running alone.  He was wearing a red shirt, which was the same color as this year’s race shirt which EVERYONE was wearing, so it was hard to pick him out.  I was looking for Matt, the shirtless guy in the kilt, who was slightly more unique.  I asked him what happened and he said he wanted to race with me instead.  Awwww.  I’m not sure if he was fatigued or just being nice, but I decided I would take it!

We clipped along at 10:30-ish pace – he stopped to use the porta potty and I kept running but slower, so he could catch up (and he did within half a mile).  I found that the 10:30-ish pace was just a hare past comfortable, so I kept letting Zliten get a little bit ahead and then put on the gas to catch up.  Around mile 6 that was getting tougher so another gel went down the hatch.

Spoiler.  We all finished.

By mile 7, we took a turn (more) downhill and that gel started doing it’s thing and I started feeling good, so we sped up.  We passed the 2:15 pacer and started talking finish times and we figured we’d put as much time as we could into the 2:10 pacer and see how close we could get to catching them.  Actually doing it was kind of an impossibility without me running my 5k pace for 5 miles at the end of a half marathon (which would take all the pixie dust and magic in the world), but I said I’d be ok holding the sub-10 pace we were but it was business time, no talking.

I shoved my headphones in and we went fishing.  I actually felt really good until about mile 10, which is where the hills start going the other way.  Zliten loves the hills and runs faster on them, so I spent that period fishing for him, I’d let him get a little ahead on the way up and catch him on the flat.  At that time, I started moving from actual words to grunts, except I told him I hated his face and legs for going too fast, so I’m pretty sure I was the best running companion ever.

However, I stuck with it.  Every time he ran ahead, I asked myself if I had that gear and was I willing to shift into it, and the answer was always yes.  This is a good thing.  I’m not exactly sure how much slower I would have finished if Zliten wasn’t towing me, but I am certain it wouldn’t have been faster.

Rainbow legs followed Zliten’s stupid (lovely) face and legs.  Thanks Zliten for your face and legs!

We found the last uphill right to the finish and crossed the line together at 2:13:40 (just slightly above top half in my age group).  It’s my 5th best half (out of the 14 I’ve ran) and I expected to be much slower, so I’ll take it!  Hooray for aerobic capacity crossing over between sports, because I *know* this is not because of my run training.  The best feeling is that even though this is my fastest and longest run in months, I feel like I had more distance in me (though more speed? not really).  One of these days I actually will spend a cycle trying to crack open that PR, but for now, I’ll get on with rest week and keep building that cycling for Ironman Texas.

The rest of the day was for mexican food, some beers, using the puffy massage legs, napping, and watching movies.  I’m loving the post-race nap tradition and I feel pretty decent today to get on with my training, so I can check off both my goals for this race.  Win!

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10 years and 5 top tips for healthy new years resolutions

Ten years is a really long time.  I keep saying “it’s about a third of my life” because I still THINK I’m about 30, but I’m getting closer to it being a fourth.  Still a long time, regardless.

2007-1

I don’t enjoy dredging this picture up every January but it proves a point.

Anyhoo, about ten years ago, I barely fit into size 24 jeans.  Walking around my apartment complex or across my tiny work campus was a WORKOUT.  I drove the mile to work because “I would get sweaty” or “there’s a hill”.  A marathon was something you did watching a lot of a TV show.  A triathlon was eating pizza, drinking whiskey, and working or playing games at the same time.

While I was proud of my work accomplishments, I had given up on the rest of my life.  I figured that I wasn’t young anymore, so I had missed my opportunity to do something fun for fitness like I did as a kid.  Hello, I was in my MID TWENTIES.  Who thinks that?  I thought if I wanted to lose weight I needed to do the elliptical (ho hum) and lift weights (bleh) and eat low carb (HATE).   I would stick to this stuff for a little bit, then I’d get bored and have no overlying goal besides wanting to hate myself a little less, and get frustrated and quit.

However, a decade ago my New Years resolution was to lose weight, and it actually stuck!  I’m down a small human from where I was ten years ago and I’m fit, active, and competitive (sometimes) in triathlons.  However, there are days, weeks, and months where I’ve felt like an utter failure at it.  I’ve gained weight back.  I’ve let myself get so far off the strength training wagon I’ve become weak, imbalanced, and injured.  To be a little nerdy and quote Alfred from Batman, “Why do we fall?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”  I’ve learned that the key is lifting yourself up over and over and over.

Change is uncomfortable, and you’ll occasionally revert back to comfort and then feel frustrated about it.  You’ll have a bad day at work and scarf down a burger and a beer and feel a bunch of guilt about how weak you are.  You’ll get sick or busy and get out of the workout habit and berate yourself for not sticking to it.  The scale will, for NO GOOD REASON, go up one week and you’ll want to cry and say FUCK IT, my best isn’t good enough, I guess I deserve to be fat now.  I have done ALL THIS AND MORE and yet, still, here I am.

Odds are, you have a health or fitness related goal for 2017.  Since it’s coming up to that pivotal time where you’re either going to quit when the going gets tough or persevere, here’s my 5 top tips for actually succeeding with a health/fitness related New Years resolution.

jan9-2

Instead of being too busy to work out because you have all the errands, don’t drive there – get a cheapo commuter bike and some storage (my bike was 200$, my storage cost less than 100$, bike adventures instead of sitting in traffic – priceless).

1. Work the goals around your life, not your life around the goals.  Are you not a morning person?  I’m not either.  Setting a goal to wake up at 5am to work out every day is PROBABLY not the best first step.  Try finding 30 minutes a few times a week that makes sense for you.  Use your lunch break.  Take 30 minutes out of your social media or TV time.  Stop at the gym on the way home from work.  If you have trouble getting out of the house, find workouts you can do inside (treadmill, trainer, videos, active video games).  Maybe it IS the mornings, but if it’s not, don’t force it.  Find the time you are MOST likely to work out and do that.

2. Have lofty goals but take realistic steps.  Want to lose 100 lbs?  Awesome.  Set that really scary number aside and concentrate on losing 5 lbs this month.  Or better yet, use process goals, like tracking your food and steps and eating 500 calories less than you burn daily as measured by fitbit.  You can’t lose weight just by wanting it really hard, you have to go through a process to do it.  I know – I tried for MANY YEARS to just want to lose weight as if it was magic.  It may be a little mystifying, but I guarantee you, the more you quantify your actions, the more success you’ll have.

3. Have an ultimate (quantifiable) goal.  Wanting to be skinny or get fitter is admirable, but hard to quantify.  What’s your motivation for wanting it?  Do you want to fit into a pair of jeans?  Do you want to be able to play soccer with your kids?  Do you want to run your first 5k?  Once you identify this, figure out those incremental steps to get there and make a plan and set a date.  As they say, a goal without a deadline is just a dream.  For the 5k example, you may say you’re going to follow the Couch25k program (giving yourself a few extra weeks just in case) and sign yourself up for a 5k in 3 months.  This means you can’t just say “someday”… someday is in 12 weeks – get to it!

4. Be gentle with yourself if you falter.  Progress is not linear.  We are human.  The aforementioned bad day burger and beer, missing workouts, and scale being a fuckwit WILL happen.  Let me shout this one.  IT IS NOT INDICATIVE OF YOU BEING A WORTHLESS HUMAN BEING.  However, why do we fall (because we all fall)?  To learn how to pick ourselves up again.  After the burger and beer day, wake up in the morning and eat a healthy breakfast and go sweat a little.  After missing a week of working out, get back to it.  If the scale is not cooperating, keep trying, because the other option is giving up and I guarantee you, this is not a good alternative.  Sometimes we vacation off the wagon, and that’s fine, but we should live ON it.

5. Celebrate when you succeed.  Did you lose 15 lbs and your jeans are loose?  Fuck yeah!  Go buy yourself a new pair that fits and looks good.  Even if you’re not at your goal weight.  Even if you have to go to the thrift store to do it.  Just because you are not at your vision of perfect yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the little steps along the way.  Progress should be should be met with a hearty fist bump, not a sigh about how far you have left to go.

In ten years, some things have not changed.

sept19-1

Yep, this is still a thing…

Sometimes I’ll eat like an ass just like before.  I love me some french fries.  I still have pizza and whiskey nights in my life.

I still hate the elliptical.  And I constantly fall off and restart on the weights bandwagon.

Right now I’m cranky about barely fitting into some of my jeans.

However, when I eat like an ass, 99% of the time it’s because I’ve just finished a super long workout and I can justify the calories.  I may hate the elliptical, but I love to swim, bike, and run.  And the jeans I’m cranky about?  They’re half the size (or less) than in 2007.

So, there are some things that HAVE changed.  And while 2007 me and 2017 me are very different people, it was through very gradual evolution every step of the way.  2007 me would have balked at my current workout schedule and many other things that are just part of my normal life now.  But 2007 me DID find it acceptable to do 20-30 mins cardio and 15 minutes of light weights three times a week, and track my calories.  And then it evolved from there.

If 2007 me could do it, 2017 you TOTALLY can.

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In and out of the big tired hole – 14 weeks to go

By the middle of week I got into a big tired pit of despair.  But I’m doing much better now.

Jan16-1

#mfw I haven’t slept through the night in 4 days.  Thank goodness this was the morning after the last time I woke up at 3am… ><

It makes sense.  It’s been two weeks of throwing myself in the deep end of Ironman training.  There was no gradual ramp up this time.  I spent two months of doing whatever the eff I wanted (some week’s 10 hours, some 4, and mostly exploring on my bike), and then all of a sudden it was schedules and 11+ hours a week and having to hit numbers and putting some sort of effort into things and it’s been a shock.

Also, the mold and cedar are conspiring against me and hitting me hard, right where it hurts.  We’ve had a week of BEAUTIFUL weather, perfect for playing outside, and the air has been poisonous.  It hurts my soul.  Also, for the first half of the week (until Thursday night), I woke up around 3am unable to go back to sleep for an hour or two, which is SO not normal for me.  I’ve read most of a book series, which is great, but on this volume of training 6-7 hours per night is not even remotely enough.

The good news is January is half over, and after I cross the line of 3M on Sunday, I’ll have arrived at my first rest week.  14 days down.  7 days of training left to go until rest week.  14 weeks left total until race day.

If Einstein is correct and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, I’m doing things pretty sanely (and I’m sticking with that story, yup!).  My schedule’s all switched up and it’s not like “yup, it’s Saturday I’m always going to be doing X thing I’ve been doing every other cycle/year”.   I’m not taking days off, I’m pushing active recovery with easy spins and swims to get more volume and with great care, it seems to be working.  I am actually finally for reals being diligent about stretching, rolling, and using the puffy boots for recovery, like a good triathlete.

Things will probably change a little more towards the traditional when the air stops trying to kill me, but for right now, I’m enjoying the novelty of difference.

Jan16-2

I <3 night swimming even if my face doesn’t show it.  Especially an hour of it.

Last week:

  • Runs: 6.25 in 73 mins (long run cut in half), 1 mile off the bike in 10:32.
  • Bikes: 81 mins cycle class with zone 2/3 constant cadence changes, 4.5 hours long trainer, 30 mins ridden every other day
  • Swims: 1500m gentle speedwork, 3000m long swim
  • Weights: 2 dozen sets
  • Stretched, rolled, or legs every night

I hit everything else I wanted EXCEPT I cut the run miles in half and only did a mile of speedwork (though off a 4.5 hour bike I think it should count at least triple).  Ah well.  January is about the bike first and foremost.  Total training was 12 hours.

This week’s goals:

  • Runs: 3M half marathon, 1 hour easy
  • Bikes: cycle class, 5 hour trainer, 30 mins easy spin every other day
  • Swims: 1500m speedwork, 3250m long swim
  • Weights: 2 sessions, since its a race week, definitely not heavy lifting after mid-week
  • Stretch, roll, or legs every night

Specifically, my goals for 3M are a little more subdued than I expected when I signed up.  I figured I’d have a little more run volume under my belt and taper at least a little for it (nope and nope).  I am going to show up and see what happens, but if my legs don’t have an effort, I’ll just treat it like a supported long run.  I’m open to magic pixie dust, of course, but I’m also going to be realistic.  Priority #1 to be able to wake up and train the next day.  That probably means flirting with a personal worst here.  And that’s TOTALLY ok.

Jan16-3

Life lately – food, bike, trying to look less like a scrub since I cleaned out my closet and actually know what fits…

As for all the other things I’m tracking:

Last week I did Chapter 11 for my triathlon coaching class. This week I’ll do Chapter 12.  Only 4 more weeks to go after this one.  If I keep up with my progress, I’ll be certified by my birthday!

As a bonus, I also spent a little time updating this site (added links to FB, Pintrest, and G+, and updated my race results), got rid of a bunch of people I’m no longer interested in following on twitter, and added some interesting health/fitness/triathlon folks.  This week, I want to continue this trend to shift my feeds over to awesome active adventurey stuff.  Are you reading this?  Do you participate on a social media I have linked above?  Let’s connect!  Use the links up there or drop your name below in a comment and I’ll find you.

Last week I tracked my calories for 2134 average each day with -700 deficit.  My ratios were 111g protein, 63g fat, 32g fiber, and 243g carbs per day.  I didn’t do too badly, but I had slightly better ratios last week (-50 calorie deficit more per day, less fat, more carbs), so I’ll try to aim more that way.

Last week, my average weight was 188.0.  I don’t have a comparison yet of how much I’m losing per week (I will by next Monday), but I started the week off at 188.5lbs which is about 1 lb down from what I started last week.  However slow it’s going is fine because I can’t do anything further at this volume of training. 8lbs to go back to 70.3 race weight!

Last week I drank 13 beers (I found these and are counting them as “beer” as well).  I am going to stick with it through January, but I just really don’t like beer that much, it’s a LOT of calories compared to other alcohol, and miss a good whiskey on the rocks or glass of red wine.  However, I know this is necessary so I’m not talking about missing a good BOTTLE of whiskey/red wine, and I can already feel less alcohol affecting me more.  Shrink little tolerance, shrink away, become moral again instead of superhuman!

My sleep sucked last week.  It’s really not even my fault.  When allergies wake me up in the middle of the night, I wake up later, so I have more to do later at night, finishing my workouts and dinner in the 9-10pm range, so I don’t go to sleep until 11, and then it happens again.  This cycle actually made me not ride long Friday night, sleep almost TWELVE hours, and while I was cranky about plans changing, I felt like a new person at 9:30am on Saturday morning.  I so needed it.  I was able to start today off with a morning spin so I have high hopes it will be better this week.

Last week’s to do was clean out the cars and put inside Christmas away.  Christmas has left the building, but instead of the cars, we decided to make some progress on the office yesterday.  We’ve got about 90% of like six years of shredding done, and the front half of the office is cleaned out and no longer is a maze of boxes.  It was a moment of clarity when we started working on it that I realized we CAN INDEED do it a little at a time and maybe even finish it before the Ironman, it doesn’t have to be done in one weekend.  We just have to keep at it.  Small steps to accomplish an intimidating task.  DUH.

And just keep at it, I shall. Just about 6 days until rest week starts.  About 11 more workouts.  About 144 more hours.  I can do eeeet!

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