Adjusted Reality

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

Month: January 2017

Lifetime Indoor Tri – Brush that rust of your shoulder

We found out a buddy of ours was doing his first triathlon at the Lifetime Indoor Tri, so we reswizzled our plans and decided to end our first week back with a good solid effort.


Team kit = reimbursement for the race. 🙂

There was zero taper for this, in fact, I was pretty darn wiped from over 10 hours before I even woke up Sunday morning.  I wasn’t going into this as a “this is a test of my athlete worth” mindset at all.  This was a hard effort to kick off IM training and to support a friend, that’s it that’s all.

It’s a good thing because I bungled a lot of the setup and things and went into both the swim and the bike frazzled.  But overall, I’m pretty happy with the day.

It started with sleeping in a *little* longer than I had hoped (I was up really late on Friday and my sleep schedule was a little wonkified).  We got there with enough time but I farted around too much in the locker room, I guess, because I got to the pool and got rushed to a lane and was still putting in my earplugs with 20 seconds to go.

I didn’t get my garmin started properly, and I was stuck with whatever music popped on my swimp3 player (and it was EVERY SLOW SONG from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack).  Zliten and I were sharing a lane and he started pulling away from me, but I know I go through 3 stages on a hard swim:

  • 0-2 mins – let’s do this
  • 2-5 mins, I suck at swimming and I want to throw my goggles
  • 5+ minutes – ok, hit my stride and I can do this

This was no exception, and at 5 minutes my form came back and I felt less like a flailing fish, and I got half a lap ahead by the end.  Sadly, I ended up at 19 laps, which if it was a 25m pool, is pretty darn slow for me, especially at a *effort* – for example, yesterday, I swam 1:50/100m over 30 mins and I wasn’t close to redlining like I was Sunday.  Ah well, we’ll never know if it was me or the pool. 🙂

Swim: 10/32 – 40 points

This time, I remembered how hard it was to put on a sports bra while wet, so I wore it under my swim suit.  That was a good decision.  I actually got out before Zliten but I waited for him and we walked up together and they were like OK, get your bikes set up go go go go and I did.

I got going and tried to start up my phone with my kick ass turkey trot playlist… and since I haven’t used it since then, for the life of me, I couldn’t find the music app.  I asked Zliten but he didn’t remember either.  I spent the first 5 minutes cycling looking for my playlist and cursing (sorry random guy next to me), until I finally gave up and listened to Spotify.  I had to keep hunting and pecking for songs on my Most Played playlist.  I listened to Rise twice, Dirt off your Shoulder three times, Bad Habit twice… but it worked better than nothing.

As a product of being a little angry and also all the bike training lately, I was able to push a decent amount of watts and ended the 30 minutes with 10.4 miles.  I figured there was NO WAY I beat Zliten but he only got 9.1.  I actually went back and looked at 2015’s results and I would have been 1st place female overall by far with that bike so I’m pretty stoked.  Oddly enough, if you focus on something, you get decent at it.  Who knew?

Bike: 1/32 – 51 points

We had a little break getting set up on the treadmills and Zliten helped me find my playlist.  Whew.  I was honestly looking forward to this part the least.  If I’ve neglected something the most, it’s been run speed.  My plan was to start at 6.0 and go from there.  I started… and 6.0 was actually tough.  Ugh.  And then my playlist failed after one song.  Let this be a reminder to check your equipment before every race!

I’m might have had a little boost if I wouldn’t have had to expend the mental energy dealing with my music, but let’s face facts.  Last week, I’ve did a 11 mile run and an almost 4 hour TT bike ride, my longest swim in a while, plus a bunch of other stuff.  My run game is not especially strong right now.  I hung on and ended with 2.08 miles in 20 minutes (9:36 pace), and my heart rate was at 175-180 which is my redline heart rate, so I did all I could.

Run: 9/32 – 32 points

It was a solid hour of sprint triathloning, and great way to kick off tri training, and the start of a great day.  I came home, and ate all the things, and actually even passed the heck out for an hour after stretching and rolling.  Appropriately enough, I dreamed about biking.

And… after waiting for 3 days for results – I got 3rd overall!  I’m pretty excited about that, and it proves that the bike matters the most. 🙂


This month, this week, right now.

There’s really no getting around it, January is a great time to reset your goals and figure out who you want to be.  It’s not that other times of the year are BAD, but look at it this way:


This is January kind of summed up in one picture.

  • We’ve come off a few days/weeks/months of debauchery.  We have had our proverbial mardi gras, and we’re actually physically and mentally ready for lent.
  • Everyone is doing it.  It’s fun to be surrounded with a bunch of positive people who are actually motivated and working towards bettering themselves – even if it’s just for the 2-3 weeks that the average resolution lasts.
  • It’s no secret that I think January is the worst month, but come on, you have to agree.  There are no super fun holidays, the outdoors are out to kill us in one way or another (cold or allergies), it’s dark all the time, and it’s just lame.  You have to bring your OWN positivity to January if you want to be happy.

Even though I don’t think it’s the only time for a fresh start, it’s a perfect time for one.  So, here’s my month, my week, and my right nows.  Let’s start broad and work our way down.

This month:


A new word that’s in my vocabulary this month: swim pajamas (ie, clothes to change into after swimming at night so I don’t have to put real ones on)

  • Make progress in my triathlon coaching class.  I’d like to finish this and pass the test by my birthday (or at least my birthday month), so get through enough class to adhere to that timeline.
  • Create a training plan for this month and follow it.  Whatever, whenever sessions time is over, it’s time to be more specific and more precise.
  • No wine, champagne, or alcohol.  Beer is allowed in reasonable quantities that fit within my calorie range.  Even though I’m mostly on the 0 level of nicotine e-cig – so it’s mostly hand-to-mouth habit and a little flavor at this point – don’t do that as stress relief or appetite relief at night.
  • 30 minutes of cycling per day.  Instead of run streaking, I’m bike streaking this year.  The benefits I can see so far are: more bike volume, more time on my TT bike even if it’s just in 30 minute increments, 30 mins is doable in the AM without a crazy alarm but also establishes a habit, and it’s easy to do inside because the air is trying to kill me.
  • Eat good food, mostly, and track it.  I haven’t gone off the deep end this year and threw out all the sweets and chips or said 0 sugar for the month or anything.  I just want to go back to what I know works for me and feels good.
    • Track all the food.  Weigh every day starting January 9th (giving myself one week of eating like a human before I have to face the scale).  I WANT METRICS.
    • 5 servings MINIMUM of fruits and veggies per day.
    • Aim for -500 to -1000 calories according to fitbit as hunger dictates (some days, I had zero problems with -1000, some days,  -500 was a stretch).
    • 20-30g protein per meal, smaller amounts in snacks to equal about 100g per day.  40-60g fat, incorporating plant sources like nuts.  25g fiber.  Carbs vary per activity level.
  • Racing  – apparently we have the itch to go do all the things, because we’re committed to three in the next month or so.  All of it is totally great and kosher to compliment IM training, so I’m all for it!

This week:


This week I reminded myself that you get beans and rice and chicken and tortillas after 11 miles on the treadmill.

Enough of that.  A little overwhelming, right?  Let’s break it up into just the weeklies…

Last week I hit about 90% of the training I planned:

  • 30 mins of cycling per day – 100% done!
  • 1 longer swim (40+ mins) – 100% done! (2050m in 41:30)
  • 1 longer run (10+ miles) – 100% done (11 miles in 1:59:40)
  • cycle class and a long trainer ride (3-4 hours) 100% done!  3:45 for 80 miles on the trainer
  • Lifetime Indoor Triathlon (10 min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run) – 100% done! (still waiting on results)
  • 2 weights sessions – 50% – missed one day because my body was worn out
  • Stretching, rolling, or massage legs every night – 85% – missed one day

This week, I plan to do (this should look fairly similar):

  • 30 mins of cycling per day
  • 1 lunch swim and 1 longer swim (50 mins)
  • 1 gentle speedwork session 3-6 miles and  1 longer run (12+ miles)
  • cycle class and a long TT trainer
  • 2 weights sessions
  • stretching, rolling, or massage legs every night

Last week I did Chapter 10 for my triathlon class.  This week I will do Chapter 11.

Last week I tracked my calories for 2200 average each day with -750 deficit.  My ratios were 115g protein, 55g fat, 32g fiber, and 278g carbs per day.  This week I will continue to do the same thing.  While I’d *like* to adhere to that -1000 more strictly, it’s training suicide to not eat when I’m hungry.

Last week I did not weigh myself.  This week, I started the week at 189.4, and I need to lose 9 lbs to get to where I was last season (the good news is EVERYTHING is working against me today, so that number should come down organically this week).  This is goal post #1 for weight loss, I’ll reset again once I get there.

Last week I drank 11 beers.  This week I’ll aim to do the same or less.

Last week, I got decent sleep, but my schedule is still off from vacation so it was later than I’d like and not a full 8 hours every night.  The goal this week is to be asleep by 11pm every weeknight and get 8 hours every night (baby steps).

Last week’s to do was get an appointment for the eye doctor and take down outside lights.  We did both and the appointments are on 1/27.  This week’s to do is to clean out the cars and take down our tree (I know, I know, I just *couldn’t* this weekend, it was entirely too sad).

Right now:


I’ll treasure any of these #goplayoutside days I get in January and be happy instead of pissed off so many of them are inside.

Still a little too big picture?  Well, this is what I’m doing right now to accomplish those goals:

  • Stay the #^$@ off facebook.  I made the conscious choice to log on and dork for a bit at home while watching TV last week, and I found myself unrelaxed, unproductive, and not having moved from the couch an hour and a half later.  Bad juju.
  • #goplayinside – Rather than being depressed about it, I’m accepting that pretty much all workouts will be indoors for January and any sessions I get outdoors are a total bonus. This is where I’m suffering right now, and this is ok.  I’ll appreciate playing outside more once I can.
  • I’m going to count down the days until recovery week just like I count down the seconds on a difficult bike interval.  Since I’m pushing the volume on the weeks leading up to it, I’m making sure they are pretty dang mellow.  I am currently 14 days from recovery week.  Tomorrow I’ll be 13.  And once that’s done, I’ll have block #1 of 3.5 under my belt.
  • Focus on consistency.  Aristotle is so right – we are what we repeatedly do.  Patience, persistence, and good habits.

And with that, I’m off to kick Monday’s ass!  Have a great week everyone!

What I did on my winter vacation

Between December 7th at 6pm and January 3rd at 9am, I was on a (saving my PTO pennies, company funded) sabbatical of sorts.  Obviously, the first week was a little more exciting than the rest, but I was still left with 18 days when I stepped off the plane back to little ol’ Austin.


I would like to say I figured out how to be bored, but I’m not sure if that’s possible for me.  At no point did I crave work or routine for the sake of having something to do, because I have this MASSIVE backlog of one-off things I’d like to accomplish.  And then there’s the things I like to do repeatedly (run, bike, swim, read, play games, etc).  However, I will say that I’m pretty excited to be eating healthier food and tracking, because I’m fairly sure there’s a subcutaneous water balloon in my stomach.  That’s the ONLY explanation.

What I did learn:


25 miles and 6 hours of errands around town. 

There’s just almost nowhere I can’t go on my cruiser bike, and not having company is no excuse.  I biked to some kinda sketchtastic areas in rush hour and never felt unsafe or unable to handle myself.  Cheating and using sidewalks in places where traffic is stupid is just sometimes how I’ll have to roll.  And that makes all the difference between me riding bikes and not riding bikes in some cases.

I figured out a completely productive way to procrastinate.  I do really well alternating between passive and active things.  For example, I was able to alternate sets of the Oiselle dozen and studying for my triathlon coaching class (and I’m more than halfway done, wheeee!).  Really, doing anything on my computer and then alternating with doing a quick chore worked out well.  However, I need to come to a stopping place with the brain work before I do the other thing.  When I get interrupted in the middle of it, my productivity gets worse.


Running into the sunset happened at least twice though…

I put together a lot less running miles than expected (just a little over 20 in the 2 weeks).  The weather was just so much warmer than normal and I was much more motivated to go on bike adventures than running ones.  Am I going to pay for that going into IM training?  Possibly.  But we’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Hello beautifuls…

Food, glorious food!  We thought about going out to dinner Monday night, because it was the last day of vacation, but couldn’t think of anything we wanted besides a nice home cooked meal of mahi, rice, and veggies.  I made some oatmeal muffins (above) for no-fuss breakfasts over break.  I think we hit up pizza like 3 times and I perfected my spaghetti sauce recipe (needs FRESH garlic and olive oil).  I hit my favorite Vietnamese place twice, I found my new favorite Italian sandwich, tried out a new salad place, and a new kebap place (both, sadly, I like my old places better, but you have to try new things).  And, December means grilling weather in Texas, so that happened!


75 degrees on Christmas eve?  Um, yeah, we’re going on a holiday light ride.

We got Christmas as fuck up in here.  While the weather outside was delightful (I spent it in a tank top), we got in the mood with Christmas light rides with friends, all the silly little presents for each other (and some not so silly, hello new watch buddy), and our traditional Din Ho dinner with the neighbors on the Eve and lasagna with the family on the day of.  I still can’t quite bring myself to take the decorations down.  Soon.

I spent at least one day doing absolutely nothing productive and it was totally wonderful.  And yes, I had to schedule it.

And now we’re to January, which is the worst month ever, but we’ll get through it together, right?  I’m hoping to manage my vacation time a little better next year, but if not, I can’t deny that another December fun month doesn’t sound appealing…


2017 Goals, Habits, Practices, and To Dos.

In triathlon class, we learned the law of facilitation for motor learning –  when an impulse passes through a given set of neurons to the exclusion of others, it will tend to do so again, with less and less resistance every time.


Hopefully less resistance in the neurons to more resistance in the training…

On a larger scale, that means to become the person you want to be, you need to create the habits you want to form by working towards it relentlessly.  I’m ready to kick off this year with determination, focus, and relentless pursuit of my goals.

However, another thing we were reminded of in class is that overtraining is bad.  So this relentlessness will be tempered with patience.   I need to remember that muscles are built in recovery, and metered constant progress is better than a big push and then fizzle boom burnout with a long period of just trying to figure out how to give a fuck again.  Stress is stress is stress and I thrive with a certain amount and cave with too much of it.

Rather than seasons like 2016, I feel like this year has two parts, before IM Texas and after.  Pre-April 22, it will be mostly diet, training, and rest/recovery goals.  Beyond that, it will be a little bit of #projectspringencore, with more weight loss, personal projects, and personal growth goals.

So, let’s start with the big goal of the year…

2017 A Race – IM Texas


I will be doing this for a long long long long long long time.

This week, I start official training for IM Texas.  Not that I’ve been sitting on my ass eating bon bons (ok, not ALL the time at least), but this marks the return to a schedule and plan.  I’ll definitely detail this more in the coming months, but the general goals for the lead up are:

  • Lots of bike volume with some effort.  I need to get comfortable spending the majority of a workday on my bike and I also need to do enough weekly miles to support that.  Spin classes, commuting, trainer, or outdoor – I need to be riding my bike most every day.  And that’s what I plan to do for January – bike streaking, at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Maintain two swims per week like I always plan to do, however, one of them now needs to be my LONG swim, which will start creeping up from the normal 30 to ~90 minutes by peak.
  • Weights twice a week.  I’d love to say these will both be heavy sessions in the gym but I know with time constraints, I’ll be happy with two bodyweight/resistance sessions with heavy lifting when I can.
  • Running… this is the tricky part.  I need to train to be able to cover 26.2 miles on ~3 running days a week, and working up to a long run of marathon distance the same week I’m also biking long.  I plan to build the bike volume first but I want to do at least two 20 milers at the same goal pace and run/walk intervals I will do at the race.
  • Recovery as a priority.  Stretch, roll, massage boots – at least one of these every evening.  Don’t be stupid about sleep.  Have enough recovery weeks to keep myself in one piece and sane.  Sit my butt down once in a while and not try to do all the things all the time.
  • Put enough (and not too many) good things in my mouth to appropriately fuel my workouts.  Appropriate protein (20-30g per meal and some more with snacks) spaced throughout the day.  Quality carbs before, and simple carbs during (if appropriately long/hard), and after workouts.  Transition more fats to plant based food (nuts/olives/avocado) from animal fats.  And… track everything from TODAY until race day.  Yep.  I want a full cycle on the books, even if some days aren’t pretty or I have to track 3 days later.


…hopefully I can look this happy (and be this upright) at the finish on April 22.

My goals for the race itself?  To finish under 17 hours.  That’s it, that’s all.  Oh, and to have fun.  I’m sure I’ll have some pace goals closer to the race and a more reasonable prediction when I’ll finish, but I will be 100% happy with my day as long as I cross the finish line at 16:59:59 or before that.  If I decide to do another one of these, I can worry about times and stuff.

In the lead up, I will be racing a half marathon (3M), and are considering some early season events like a 6 hour bike race, a 10 mile run, some longer charity rides, and hopefully a tuneup tri somewhere so the first race in six months isn’t 140.6 miles long.

As for the rest of the year, I don’t know exactly what it will hold.  We’ll probably race Lake Pflugerville Sprint (on zero/minimal training) because we do every year.  There will probably be other Sprints later in the season and maybe Austin 70.3 but maybe not, or maybe do a bunch of charity rides or race cycling TTs or open water swims or something, and absolutely none of these decisions will be made before May.

I have ZERO PR goals this year.  If I happen to do that, awesome.  If not, NBD.

Habits and Practices to Start NOW…


2016’s habit was to bike everywhere.  And now we bike everywhere!  Look at those beautiful neurons connecting….

This next section are things I’d like to work on year round.  They’re not to dos, they’re not goals, they’re things I’d like to incorporate into my life.

  • Since vacation, I’ve stayed mostly logged out of facebook and twitter.  It has been UNBELIEVABLE for my stress levels and productivity and enjoyment of the moment.  I don’t believe that I’ll completely stay a social media hermit, but I want to limit the hours per day I used to spend catching up on social media and put that towards other things.  I do think I’ll keep my phone logged out and pay more attention to the GROUPS I’m in than my general timeline.
  • I want to make it a habit to stop rushing things.  I tend to convince myself I don’t have enough time to do something and end up fumbling with it, sometimes taking me longer, and always stressing me out.
  • One random thing I’d like to take the time to do right is to wash my fruits and veggies.  I am notoriously bad about doing this, and it makes no sense to prioritize eating organic and healthy food when I’m ingesting all the other crap that’s made it’s way on my food from picking to the store.  I’m saving somewhere between 5 seconds to a few minutes by not doing this and it’s stupid.
  • I will be returning to calorie counts, weighing, and watching my ratios.  It’s time.  Obviously I will have a decent calorie bank because I will be in training, but it won’t be the free for all it’s been lately.  I don’t have a specific weight loss goal for this year, but I’d like to weigh less than I do right now.
  • I have an insane alcohol tolerance – my genes, being an endurance athlete, and the fact that I have a lot of practice contribute to this.  That means I can drink and carouse the night before and still show up to work, my workout, and life.  My body recovers like a MOFO.  However, it’s a lot of calories, it can’t be that great for me even if I feel fine, and it tends to keep me up late which DOES impact my recovery.  I’m not going crazy, but my goal for January is no wine, no booze, no champagne.  That leaves beer.  I don’t love beer a lot.  I can generally drink a few before I’m over it.  That means I’ll either learn to love beer or I’ll calm my shit with the drinking.  I’m hoping for the latter, but we’ll see!  February 1 and beyond?  TBD.


This one works for both beer and recovery.  And it was a great Halloween!

What’s Next?


While I don’t feel like my next career step is as imminent as last May when the big work shakeup happened, I also realize now HOW FAR AWAY I am from ready to launch a business and how much I need to learn if I want to do it some day.  This year is a year of learning, certification, set up, and baby steps.  I have no idea if this will be my livelihood in six months or six years or never, but I feel like I need to get ready to fly because you never know when life is going to push you off the cliff.


  • Finish my triathlon coaching class and pass the exam
  • After IM Texas, start researching some sort of part time or volunteer opportunity that will help me get some sort of experience.
  • Continue to work on my social media plan for this blog as practice.
  • Read some business books and other triathlon training books instead of JUST my pulpy sci fi.

Set Up

  • Write a business plan and figure out who I really want to reach and the services I want to provide.
  • Create a website with all the bells and whistles it needs.
  • Start writing some book notes

(Big) Baby Steps.  By the end of the year I want to:

  • Have a website ready to go that can take people’s money and provide a service.
  • At the very least, start providing a small service via fiverr or something similar to test the waters.
  • Have a published book (even if it’s just self published).

These are SUPER ambitious goals and may be more of a two year plan, but if you shoot for the moon, you’ll at least end up among the stars, right?

Other Stuff


I don’t really have a great and exciting picture that encompasses TO DO LIST, so here’s a pretty picture of Austin at night that I took…

Below is essentially the beginnings To Do List for the year.  I’m sure I’ll add to this as the year goes on, but it’s a start!

Let’s start with the fun stuff:

  • Continue to game bi-weekly with friends.  Maybe even host some low key game nights on weekends with other friends to play card/board games.
  • Be able to list at least 20 games I played on multiple occasions (or finished in one sitting) by the end of 2017.
  • Vacations!  Besides going out of town for Ironman, we plan to do the same cruise in May with my parents, probably a trip to Reno/Tahoe for my 20th reunion (???) in August/Sept, and considering a liveaboard dive trip in the winter (failing that… Roatan? Bonaire again?).

Little stuff:

  • Hem/fix a few pairs of pants.
  • Clean out both cars
  • Take my existing extra hoka soles and cut them and put them in my less comfortable shoes.
  • Appointments
    • Find a new doctor and get an exam
    • Financial planner
    • Bike fit
    • Eye doctor appt and exam (my frames are SOOOOO scratched)

Bigger Stuff:

  • Clean out and renovate the office.  We were hoping to get to it over holiday break, but it didn’t happen.
  • Figuring out a place to store (or a new home for) this other gaming table we have that is currently threatening to impale anyone that sleeps on the left side of our guest room.
  • Make the workout room a proper pain cave with a TV, computers and monitors for Zwifting
  • Figure out a more permanent solution than boxes and a blanket in a closet for the leezard (though she seems ok with it).
  • As long as our financial situation seems stable, picking a renovation project (kitchen, patio, etc) and do it.
  • #projectspringencore – weight loss, playing outside, oh my.  But I’ll get to these goals once we’re on the other side of the IM Texas finish line.

I feel like there’s other stuff I’m missing, but that’s what the rest of the year is for!  Let’s do this 2017 thing!






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