Adjusted Reality

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

Month: March 2017 Page 1 of 2

Protecting the hay.

It really is week by week here, folks.  Last week, I hit every training session and felt awesome.  This week, I’m securely on the struggle bus.  But hey, if things went great all the time we’d be terrible problem solvers, right?

Problem: too much of the left side, not enough of the right side to recover/soak it up (pictured, with a yogurt breakfast, was literally all I ate – oops).

But, since this is a recap of last week, let’s talk about the highlights.

Last week had my longest training day before the Ironman: approximately 9 hours and 40 minutes for a 2.7 mile swim (2.4 had me halfway across the lake), 112 mile TT ride, and an hour run of 5.4 miles.  I talked about it plenty here.

Last week had my peak training week before the Ironman: 16.25 hours.  I know some people who train 20-30+ hours for these races but this is definitely enough for me with a full time job and a life. 🙂

Last week I hit all my weekday workouts:

  • 2 weights workouts (at home)
  • 1 lunchtime swim for 1500m
  • 2 bikes: 1.25 hour endurance cycle class, 1.5 hour BSS ride
  • 2 runs: 52 mins, 90 mins
  • Total of about 6.5 hours.  It actually felt kinda light because the majority of my week was on Saturday, so it worked out nicely.

Normally, my A race of the season will get a 3 week taper.  Just because of how it’s working out, I’m looking at a very gradual 4-week taper.  I had more planned this week, but Monday’s workout just got straight scrapped, and Tuesday got changed from an hour run + kick ass cycle class to a 5k at a super slow pace and sleep intervals.

Although, I didn’t miss my BSS group ride.  Can’t do that.  #ridingbikes #goplayoutside

I’m the BEST at telling someone else objectively that they should back the fuck off when they’re exhaustipated and rest, a few missed workouts isn’t going to mean anything.  When it happens to me, the world is literally ending and how am I going to be ready to race 140.6 miles if I can’t manage to run for 2 hours on a random Thursday?  I have to separate the coach self and remember I’m not going to do anything good to myself by trying to cram all the 13 hours I wanted into this week, so early taper it is and my athlete (me) will just have to deal with it.

  • Monday: weights and swim 11 hours sleep (OFF)
  • Tuesday: hour run and cycle class 5k run at like 12:30 pace and 11 hours sleep
  • Wednesday: weights and 20 mile BSS ride
  • Today: 2 hour run AM 9 hour sleep and 1 hour run at lunch
  • Friday: maybe a work bike commute and maybe make up the weights with a very lazy core session but also maybe not any of that.
  • Saturday: practice Olympic race at Lake Pflugerville (just us, mock-tri style)
  • Sunday: riding bikes to and from Barton Springs (~2 hours) and an open water swim.

Coach says: I’m ready.  And the best thing I can do is to just protect all the hay that’s already in my barn even if it’s a week earlier than normal.

Life stuff:

My iguana is in her spring eating phase (which is A LOT) so we have that in common…

Let’s just get back to talking about food and macros and weights next week.  I haven’t had this in me.  I really do need to get back to it during taper to manage an increased appetite vs less activity though, I don’t want to gain the taper 5-10, please.

We did indeed get the cars inspected and register them.  My husband also woke up feeling super motivated the day after the long day (???) and went and purchased a new screen door and installed it.  I helped by napping, sitting in a chair reading instructions for like an hour, walking around the block, and then sitting inside on the couch because being outside was too much work.  I did batch cook food later though, so we ended up with some chicken tortellini soup (and Zliten did some green chili pork for tacos).

I missed out on some fun times with friends.  It’s an acceptable sacrifice for Long Day #2, and I’ve been a pretty decent human this cycle, but sometimes you can’t have it all.  I’ve loved the IM process, and I’ll be honestly a little sad to give up the long training… but I’m excited to when I can start saying YES to those kind of things again on the regular.

I’m not sure why this is relevant, but here’s an unrelated picture with 3 #ootds on a random 3-shower Tuesday.

This week, my goal is/was to get new shoes.  My bike shoes MAY make it to IM Texas, they may not.  Same with my Hokas.  In both cases, I need to at least start rotating in a new pair to have the option.  I have ordered the bike shoes.  For the run shoes, I still need to make it to the store (since I want to try out the new Arahis to see if I like them better than the Cliftons).  It’s looking tight for this week so it may have to get rescheduled but it’s good to have goals.

The rest of the week/weekend should be super fun.  Checking out a new place near work for dinner tonight, and game day at work tomorrow.  Then, a super long and exciting Saturday -after the mock tri we have a wedding, reception, and maybe another (different) party afterwards.  We’ll see how much energy we have to burn.

So, yep.  This week is about self care, protecting myself from burning down the barn, and letting the coach tell the athlete what to do instead of me just throwing tantrums.  Oh, and maybe a little fun along the way because that’s why we do this shit, right?

Long Day #2 – Being your own friend

I know there are many ways to skin a cat.  I’m not sure why you would want to, but this is what they say.  Maybe we should update this to something more pleasant.  There’s more than one way to eat a pizza?  More than one way to take a nap?  Think of the poor kitties everywhere.

Nachocat says… let’s get on with it, shall we?

Anyhoo, what I’m trying to say is the way I train is not the only way to train, obviously.  Many people find success in many different ways.  For example, many Ironman programs prescribe a weekly long run Saturday and ride Sunday.  That doesn’t work for me.  Doing a back to back doesn’t fit in my life and I don’t feel like grinding down my legs on Sunday every week would do anything but set me up for injury and burnout.  So, I cycle one long effort per week, two when I get a chance (for example, a 3 day weekend), and make up for it with plenty of mid-week volume.

However, I do not know how anyone, especially first time Ironman peeps, could be mentally and physically prepared without at least one of these long days.  They have been amazing, difficult, and hugely important days I’ll pull from when I toe the line April 22nd.

There are things you need to get used to.

First of all, I don’t do a lot of swim/bike bricks (pretty much… just in triathlons), and it’s usually no big deal because the quick dip in the lake (for up to half ironman race distance) feels like a nice wakeup and warmup.  Swimming an hour 30 in some choppy lake?  Big difference.  I felt a little more exhausted than I would have liked getting out of the water when I knew I had about 8 hours left.  I’ll have a small dent in my endurance when I get out.  I’ll have to be ready for that.

The whole endurance athlete thing is a lot of time in your own head.  To do this Ironman, you really have to learn how to be your own friend or you’re going to have a really interesting day with yourself.  I spent a lot of the swim being cranky at myself, my pace, my terrible sighting, and then when I passed the 4224 yards I saw my watch hit 1:31… and my time goal for the race is an hour 30. So, yes, MUCH slower than I swim in the pool, but I was doing just fine.  I tried to take that lesson on the bike with me and kept my head positive.

My legs typically feel awesome off the bike… for a little while.  I’ve done so, so, so many bike/run bricks and in practice, I generally get my legs rather quickly and run better and faster (to a point) off the bike then I do standalone without a warmup.  However, it’s always very mentally challenging to start a run after a long day already.  Both of my long day runs have started at night, which is good because I’ll be running into the evening.  However, both of my long day runs have started at night, which has meant they were cooler and I didn’t have to deal with starting a marathon in the late afternoon (I expect I may start running around 3:30 or 4) in the heat of the day.

Scenes from training from 8am to 9pm.  Yes that is electrical tape holding my bike bag on and it’s staying like that. 😛

I would recommend these long days to anyone training for an IM, I did one 8 weeks out, and this one was 4 weeks out.  They are supposed to be followed by a day off, which I have done, no problem, you really don’t want to do anything the next day anyway minus a walk to shake the sludge out.  They are also supposed to be followed by a rest week, which I have not done because the timing didn’t work out.  What I did (and will do this week) is take the first half of the week conservatively, for example, I just don’t feel up to my swim/weights plan tonight, so I’m going to eat dinner and go to bed instead.  I’ll rest up for longer efforts at the end of the week and the weekend (and follow THAT with a rest week).

At this point, I’m mostly set.  I think.  Perhaps.

I’ve figured out what I’m wearing for each sport.  I’ll be making two changes – bathing suit under wetsuit -> sleeved jersey and super padded bibs for the bike ->tri shorts and tri top for the run.  It will be some extra time but I’m super OK with it.  I’ve figured out where I need to aquaphor to not get wetsuit chafing.  I’ve figured out that I need to bring some butt butter to reapply every so often on the bike.  I *know* where I need to aquaphor on the run.

I’ve figured out some of my nutrition.  I actually OVERATE this long day on the bike and had stomach issues on the run where I felt nauseous and couldn’t eat.  This is fine for an hour, but not for 5-6+.  I think I figured out what went wrong.  Around hour 4-5, I put wayyy too much in the hatch too fast (two gels and my special needs reese mix plus some strong gatorades).  I was fine for the rest of the bike but I refilled my last bottle with water instead of gatorade and only ate one gel in the last hour and a half.  Result: I felt absolutely gross on the run.  I need to time things better.  It probably wasn’t too much food overall but too much at once.

The good news is I felt MUCH better once I stopped running, had a recovery drink (tasted EWWW so sweet but helped) and had cheese pizza, so I think some chicken broth would have solved things.  I need to figure out something that can break up the sugar buffet, even with my daily cake fueling consumption trying to train my stomach not to revolt, I need to break up the gels/blocks/gatorade with something NOT so sweet, I think.

I needed some breaks in the day.  I will probably get off the bike at an aide station here or there and definitely at special needs.  I will take care of what I need at run course aide stations and not feel guilty for not running through them.  I’ll try not to be an ass about it, because I’d really like to comfortably finish and I’d like to not look back on my time and think about what could have been, but it’s a long day.  If I need a few minutes somewhere to compose myself, that is OK.

Like my husband said, I’m pretty sure my endurance is not to be fucked with right now.  If it came out of my body, personified, and I saw it in a dark alley?  I’d run away screaming.  It’s absolutely insane how I’m able to persist right now.  Riding my bike at 16.2 mph or swimming at 2:11/100 yd is not impressive in and of itself, but I can do it for a damn long time.  I know it’s going to be a long day.  It’s going to be a difficult day.  There are going to be curveballs I can’t even anticipate right now.  However, I think I’ve done well to prepare myself to tackle this thing.

I have to remember that I put in the work and I rock… (badup, ching!)

I only have two things I couldn’t really figure out and need to do something about in the next few weeks.

Problem #1: I have not yet gotten to truly test IM day nutrition because I have not been able to get up early enough.  I’m not willing to sacrifice sleep to get up early.  This thing starts early.  I need to be less of a zombie before sunrise.

Solution: I need to start shifting myself more to a morning schedule.  This means, closer to the race, I need to give up my evening workouts.  I think in the second taper week, I’ll do the cycle class, the BSS ride, and then aim to do either AM or lunch training ONLY for the next week and a half.

Problem #2: I was super anxious the night before and kind of dreading this workout up until the part I actually got in and started swimming.  Even though the last one went REALLY well, I had figured it was a fluke and there was no way I was ready to put out this much effort in a single day again.  I was nervous about the lake swim since it was my first OWS since December (and really since October, because that was 400m in a warm saltwater lagoon).  I was nervous about 112 on the TT bike and that I hadn’t ridden long for the last two weeks and that I would forget how to do that.  My confidence needs some encouragement.

Solution: Well, I fixed some of it by just getting out and doing shit.  The second day went just about as well as the first, so it WASN’T a fluke, I have the fitness.  The lake swim, while I wasn’t thrilled with it at the time, was probably my best open water season opener yet.  I had a very successful, and reasonably comfortable (for smashing my crotch against a saddle for 7 hours) TT ride, even a little faster than last time.  I know by the time IM day comes I will probably forget that I remember how to do all this stuff and be nervous, but I can draw on the fact that I’ve done two long days and this is just going to be long day #3.

And… I mean, I’ve got an official badass medal.  So, I’m good, right?

The second part of this is harder to quantify and to do anything about.  I remember being about 90% excited and 10% terrified with my first 70.3.  Something happened in the years since then where I haven’t been giddy with joy on race day a lot.  I am really excited for this one.  I mean really, really excited.  For the last 5-6 years we talked about doing an Ironman by 40.  It’s here, it’s here, it’s really here, and my body is actually kind of ready.   They hay is all in the barn.  At this point, I just need to make sure it stays there and no one (read: ME) sets it on fire.

I joked to Zliten that I solved my burnout by training for an Ironman, but it’s really true.  My head has stayed in the positive MUCH more of this cycle than what’s usual, lately.  The experience of doing something so different, devoting myself to training for a few months and feeling OK if I’m putting other aspects of my life on the back burner, it’s been kind of magical.  I let up on the pressure of trying to have it all.  I didn’t want it all.  I just want this one thing and it’s really close.  I also don’t give two flying fucks what the clock says, as long as it’s within the 17 allotted hours, so there’s no stupid voice in my head saying that if you don’t hit x-pace, you’re unworthy.  I just want to officially finish.  Truly.

So, how do I prevent myself from waking up on race morning and my head going to the place where I’m not excited at all and just want to go back to sleep?  I need to train for that too.  I need to arm myself with all the positive thinking, the power songs that I’ll play while I get ready that morning, all the mantras, and I need to remember that this is my day, bitches.  The day that I’ve been picturing for years.  I will not allow myself to fuck it up with negativity.  I will celebrate the culmination of all my training, every step I’ve taken to get from that first mile I ran just to see if I could back in 2008, every one of my six half ironman races and six marathons, and every time I surprised the heck out of myself by pulling out a new feat of strength this cycle.

I need to remind 3-weeks-5-days-in-the-future-me to be brave.  You’re ready for this, physically and mentally, and it’s time to show the world.  Be relentless.  Eat the elephant one bite at a time.  Solve problems as they come up and move on.  Enjoy the day.  Hope the song that gets in your head for the whole bike is a good one.  Live in the moment, don’t think too far ahead.  Be your own friend and encourage yourself along during the day and don’t be a bitch.

And above all, savor every awesome and shitty and wonderful and terrible and painful and euphoric moment.  Because you only get one first Ironman race.


No Regerts

In retrospect, I should have known I was in a bit of trouble when I crashed into rest week at 9:30pm on Sunday night, finishing up my last to do – passing my Tri Coach test.  Sometimes I feel guilty about bitching that I have too much to do, because, really, at least 87.3% of my life is stuff that I really do enjoy doing.  I don’t dig ditches for a living, not even close.  I choose to triathlon in my spare time because I love it.  I appreciate that I have a great big circle of awesome people in my life.  I love learning new things.  Most days knowing that the busy-ness is a product of my own choosing is enough.

New kits and rainbow socks and bike friends and finally getting to ride outside after work and totally mediocre but wonderful-in-the-moment food.  Who could ask for a better Wednesday?

Once in a while though, even the good stuff gets overwhelming.

The rest of the week was alright, but Thursday, I felt like poop mentally and physically.  I’d been dealing with fatigue, which is actually kind of normal the first part of rest week, but it was lasting a little longer than I would have liked.  I was stressing about the events of my day.  Work was being… work.  I slept late because I was tired and that meant I’d be home super late and I’d be packing the camping stuff super late and it would be another day where I didn’t get to bed on time and I’d have no time to relax and blah blah blah blah.

So I did something I don’t normally do.  I cut my swim and weights that day.  Not attempted to reschedule.  Just cut.  I could not with the idea of squishing into my wetsuit and jumping into a freezing cold lake so I just didn’t.  I halfheartedly brought a change of clothes and the bands the next day to make up weights, but lunch came and went and we just DIDN’T.  So, apparently, I took THREE whole days off last week and I have NO REGERTS about it.

Then, I suffered through quite possibly one of the more miserable 10 mile runs I’ve done.  Most of it is totally on me but not everything.  It’s true, we stayed up drinking at the campsite until well after midnight, that’s on us.  The people making noise until wee hours, making it hard to sleep when we did retire?  That’s outside of our control.  The fact that I only brought one small bottle of half strength gatorade and ate two chews (not two packages, two chews) is on me.  The fact that the weather decided to be INSANELY humid and sunny?  Not my fault.

Pre-run smiles.  Post run I doubled over, hugged the AC in the car for about five minutes, and drank 3 full bottles on the way back to camp.  By the selfie in the fourth panel there had been food and beer, so smiles returned.

However, all these things combined to make it a good mental training run.  Zliten may beg to differ, but I dealt with all these issues with minimal whining considering the facts at hand, and made it back to the car without dying at a pace I would absolutely respect for an IM finish (11:45/mile).

It wasn’t all bad though.  Earlier in the week I had two LOVELY bike rides, and one of the nicest lunch runs in a long while.  Am I thrilled with under 6 hours last week?  Not really, but I think under the circumstances, missing 1.5-2 hours of training on a rest week isn’t the end of the world, and isn’t going to be the deciding factor on how I perform on race day.

  • Runs: 10 miles in 1:57, 5.4 miles in 1 hour
  • Bikes: 9.8 cruiser miles in 1 hour, 17.6 miles in 1:23 (BSS recovery ride)
  • Swims: none (missed 1 hour lake swim)
  • Weights: one ‘bells and bands workout (missed the second planned one)
  • 5.75 hours total

One more two week training block and it’s taper time.  This weekend is the last feat of strength – long day #2.  I’m really ready to find out how this one goes.  It’s the full distance swim (2.4 miles), full distance bike (112 miles), and hour run (/walk if needed).  I’m ready to get my second 100+ ride under my belt, test out race day fueling, and confirm with myself that I haven’t lost the ability to ride my bike even if it’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a more-than-half-a-workday ride.

Also, the forecast right now is 82/58 with full sun.  The last long day just happened to fall on a nice, crisp day.  This is more like what we can expect race day, so it will be good to be out in it.

  • Runs: 1 hour lunch run, 75 minute run, 1 hour run (long day)
  • Bikes: cycle class, BSS recovery ride, 112 mile TT bike Shoal Creek loops (long day)
  • Swim: lunch pool swim (DONE), 2.4 mile lake swim (long day)
  • Weights: one down already, one to go!
  • Total: 15.25 hours as projected.

Life stuff:

This is from last year but all the things are kind of the same except the weather was too hot for hats and scarves.

Going camping (especially party camping with a giant group of people) is an interesting choice for an IM training block.  If I was looking for pure recovery in the sense of the word, I was barking up the wrong tree.  Two days of drinking with a really dehydrating 2 hour run in the middle of it.  33k steps.  Dealing with that lovely time of the month in the woods (and the exhaustion that comes from it).

However, I’ve been feeling a little bleh mentally, and I am much better now, thank you.  My soul is refreshed.  I spent two nights playing in the woods, sans phones and screens, and experiencing fun things.  It’s almost as if I had a little mini-vacation.  The best thing about camping close to home?  We were back well before noon on Sunday, and I got to have the lovely day of napping and watching Star Trek, so it almost felt like a long weekend.

Luckily, yesterday was both super restful AND also productive.  The house is pretty well picked up and the camping stuff is put away.  After realizing that my few green toes that still had polish on them that matched my St Patrick’s day outfit were actually left over from Christmas, I made some time to fix that and also fix my caterpillars brows.

Besides one non-negotiable to do this week(getting both the cars inspected over lunch and paying registration), my goal is to eat, sleep, work, and triathlon.  This isn’t for forever, but I really do need to mind my rest and recovery and stress levels if I want to be successful at this. I’ve been skirting the line lately and now it’s time to go back to ignoring the world for a bit. Everything else needs to go on hold.

I tracked my food Mon-Thurs, and then went camping.  Back to it today, but that also means no useful metrics.   Same with weighing.  I weighed twice, and with those weights I was 0.4 lbs down (187.2), but that’s not weighing REGULARLY.  I’m going to keep trying, and I’m happy I’ve made it this far without saying “fuck it”, but for some reason I’m subconsciously rebelling against it.  I don’t know what to say except brains are weird.

Either way, it’s clear to me that my body is not capable of losing weight during Ironman training with the attention to detail I’m willing to put into my diet and tracking it.  That’s ok.  It was a long shot to expect it.  I have gained a lot of muscle, a lot of endurance, and a healthy respect for this distance of racing.  I can work on the number on the scale (and maybe not eating cake daily) after the race.

Ironman brain got me like… (Friday Random Musings)

It’s Friday, I’ve had half a brain all week, so how about some random thoughts for lunch, hmmm?

Ironman brain got me like…

I go between feeling utterly exhausted and having pops of energy that actually surprise me.  Oddly enough, the energy pops seem LESS likely on the recovery weeks, it’s like my body realizes that it’s tired when it gets some rest, heh.  Except the longest of the long workouts, that volume almost doesn’t seem to matter, though.  My energy levels seem to be based on a) how much sleep I’ve had, b) if I’m hungry or just kind of hungry (because full isn’t really a thing right now), or c) how MENTAL my day was.  My body’s completely adapted to the increased training.

I had a theory at the beginning of this that if I threw enough fuel at it, and prioritized recovery, I’d succeed at this whole Ironman thing.  So far, outlook good.  I have no idea what will transpire at the race, but at this moment in time, I’m happy with the training I’ve accomplished and how I’ve grown as an athlete preparing for this thing.  I’m sure after the race I’ll be like “NEXT TIME I’M RIDING 100 MILES EVERY WEEKEND FOR 3 MONTHS IF I EVER DO THIS AGAIN” or something.  But, where I plant my flag today, I’m pretty confident I have the fitness to at least crawl across that line.

I’ve kind of crawled into a training hole for a few months and I’ve actually liked it.  I feel like during the last few cycles, I’ve tried to “have it all” by not losing my social life and still staying up late more often than I should and stressing out about not neglecting other things in my life.  This four months was about Ironman.  We prepped our family and our friends.  I think we’ve actually been better social animals than I’ve expected but then there’s the thing that neither of us could be arsed to throw ourselves a birthday party that involved coordinating other humans besides ourselves.

Still have a lot of smiles through this season and I’m not even faking it!

I’m feeling a lot less burnt out than I was last cycle.  I say this even having taken a “mental health day” yesterday from training.  Not often do I just scrap the day completely, but I really just needed a day to come home, pack up the camping gear at a reasonable hour, and then just sit and watch TV and read for a while.  I thought I needed sleep, but really, I needed an evening to relax.  However, my outlook as a whole is still very positive.  I’m excited for my next training session and next week.  I’m not dreading everything.  I was worried it was a sign of burnout, but sometimes you just need a damn day off.

I suppose the summary of the situation is I feel really dang prepared while also feeling nervous about not having enough any open water swims yet, and feeling like I should be on my bike more because I haven’t done a long ride in… oh wait, that was only two weekends ago never mind.  IM brain in full effect.

I’ve been thinking beyond a bit lately as well.

Where my days will probably look a little more like this…

I’m absolutely going to treat my self for the first couple days after the race.  A conservative estimate on my calorie burn that day will be about 7k calories.  Historically, after a new distance, my stomach is shot.  I’ll be prepared with the normal easily digestable stuff (watermelon, beer, mac and cheese, potatoes, chips, etc) if all I can do is limp back to the hotel room the day of, but I remember after my first 70.3, I flipped back and forth between “I’M SO HUNGRY” and “I’M SO SICK”.  Even though my stomach has been super awesome lately, I expect that to happen again.

So, that means, I’m likely going to be a few thousand calories short April 22nd.  I’ll have fun making a dent in those the next few days.  However, I’m going to try to return to vegetables and fruits a little quicker than I have in the past and dig less of a hole to start climbing out of when I focus on weight loss soon after.  Think of controlled splurges vs SHOVE ALL THE THINGS IN MY FACE.  And if it’s more of the later, some of those things should be broccoli and blueberries.

Long term, I’m still uncertain as to the shape of the rest of the year.

I KNOW want to get strong again.  Quite by accident, but when I started running, I had come off a few years of strength training at least 3x week with at least semi-heavy weights.  In other words, I had earned the right to run.  I feel like I’ve been cheating that right as of late, and y’know what?  I run slower than I used to, probably with worse form.  I’d like to fix that, like REALLY fix that.  I’ve put bandaids on it figuratively with doing some bodyweight/lighter weights this cycle, and literally with a #hashtag KT taped on my back every Saturday for my long session of the week, but I’d like to get rid of that thing where my literal ass muscles give out before my endurance.

I also know that whenever I’ve successfully lost a decent amount of weight, I’ve been lifting 3-4x a week.  So, that kills two birds with one stone.  My goal is to find that sweet spot in activity level where the weight actually goes down (too little or too much, it’s hard to control my eating).  I don’t feel like I need to shun running, biking, and swimming completely like I did last year when I hated everything.  However, I won’t run for a while when it’s not perfect, I’ll probably not ride my TT bike for a month or two at least, and swims may be a 50/50 chance they will be with a snorkel and camera instead of a mileage goal.

Or maybe I’ll just ride around town with a 15 lb kettlebell like Zliten did that one Sunday.  Although there will be a lot less of those CARBS than there are now…

Zliten likely has to have a non-emergency type procedure done at some point this year, which will mean during that recovery time, I’ll be on my own.  Movement has become part of life so I’ll still do *stuff* but the timing of that will definitely impact at least one of the races we normally do over the summer.  I’ll have to decide if I want to fly solo or just skip things entirely.  Either way, there will be some last minute sign ups or just a mellow summer without a whole lot of bib pinning.  And after 10 months of planning and working towards this Ironman, I’m totally OK with either.

It seems like a shame to let all this crazy endurance waste away, but that’s exactly what I plan to do.  I mean, I’m sure I won’t lose it completely because people will occasionally want to go play bikes all day on a Saturday and I won’t have a training plan so of course we’ll go.  And a beautiful day will pop up and we’ll go run until we’re too tired to run any more.  However, it won’t be like the reality I live in now, where 7 hours of training or a 13 mile run is totally appropriate for a rest week.

By the fall, I’m hoping that that will sound crazy to me, but running a somewhat close to 25 minute 5k won’t.  Endurance seems to come pretty easy to me.  I will have built back from almost zero to IM in the span of two four month blocks with a two month break.  Endurance builds with showing up and logging the hours.  Speed does not.  It takes something more.  I appreciate the people who can be fast and go long at the same time, but I’m not there (yet or maybe ever).  And I’m looking forward to trading in the long dull ache for the short sharp one for a while.  It’s always good to have new pain.

Enough day dreaming.  I will go play in the woods at the Ren Faire this weekend and I’m always afraid I’ll come home too exhausted but I also know that I typically come home feeling refreshed.  And then, next week it’s on.  One more feat of strength.  But, we’ll talk more about that next week…


Ironman training is cool, my new diet, and time change zombies

There’s always one of those weeks (or more) during a training cycle where you feel like everything is just a little out of reach, and you’re failing at everything even though you’re not really and doing just fine.  This was one of those, but I think I hung on alright and now it’s rest week so… YAY!

When you see bluebonnets at mile 19 of 20, you have to stop and take a selfie because… spring.  Not because you want a lil break.  Not at all…


Last week I had 12.5 to 15 hours (depending on a few things) planned, and I got… 12.5.  I hit all the sessions I needed to, I skipped the optional commute I had planned on Friday, and all the bikes were a little shorter (a few minutes here and there, but it adds up).

However, I kept everything else on plan.  Two swims, one over 3k, done.  Two weights sessions, done.  An hour lunch run, done.  My last long run, exactly 20 miles?  Done and done.  I won’t begrudge not being overzealous on the bike since I hit everything else on the nose.

The twenty miler was a whole lot of interesting.  First of all, we got another 60s and rainy day which I love, so I had that going for me.  Also, I’m in awe of the true cardiovascular fitness I have right now.  I’ve never finished a 20 mile run and not felt tired.  Sure, my glutes were cramping up at the end like they normally do.  Someday I’m going to be strong enough that my backside isn’t my running limiter, but that’s not this cycle. Spoiler alert: going to work on this for the rest of the year.

However, if I could have switched out my butt for a new one, I would have been fine to keep going.  I was barely breathing hard.  It felt like a short workout because it was under 4 hours.  I didn’t need to flop on the couch for the rest of the day and not brain, I needed about an hour and then massive amounts of food, and I was pretty much fine.  By the evening, I was walking normally and the next day my legs felt pretty much fine for my recovery ride.  If you told me I had another long run tomorrow I’d probably be alright with it.  Ironman training is cool. 🙂

Run, swim, pancakes.

Today starts recovery week, and I’m happy for it, but more because of the mental break than the physical.  My body feels fit and ready for more, but I’m a little mentally exhausted.  Less hours and a weekend out of town shall hopefully set that right as rain for the last push before taper.

Plan is:

  • Hour run, 13 mile run
  • BSS recovery ride, hour easy ride
  • One lake swim (if the weather/schedules cooperate, otherwise back in the pool)
  • Two weights sessions

Should roll out to about 7.5 hours of very little intensity.  It’s a little run heavy but I don’t plan on bringing my bike camping, so it is what it is.  It’s all mostly going in the same tank at this point.

Life Stuff:

Sweaty trainer ride, my yummy dinner, and my fabulous new diet care of Punchbowl Social.

I’m excited for the time change… once about a week or two passes.  I love having the extra daylight after work to go bike, and lake swims are now an option… and we don’t always have to pack a headlamp to go run after work.  Also, just the sunset being later makes me happy.  I love when it’s 9am and still kind of light.

Here’s the thing though – I was just barely clawing my way to the point where waking up at the 7-something wasn’t sheer torture, and 6-something very very very occasionally is an option.  Now I’ve lost that hour.  Just getting up for work at the normal time today felt eaaaaarly.  At this point the options are a) aggressively try to switch my sleep schedule and deal with being tired for a week or two or b) embrace the PM stuff.  Since IM training already has me like a zombie, I’ll probably go with B most days.

Speaking of zombie – everything is crazy night now.  I feel like I can handle work being crazy with a normal training load.  I feel like I can handle IM training when work is just normal.  However, both of these at the same time + 3 social things + trying to finish up tri coach school = no time no time no time for anything, and CERTAINLY no brain.  Pretty much my days last week were a) train a lot b) have a revolving door of people outside my office all day and c) eat dinner at like 8:30pm and then try to relax for a few minutes before going to bed.

This was my aaaaaaaaaaack face by Friday morning.  And then Friday was super aaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Like I said, my body is holding up like a champ so far, but my brain is barely hanging on because a lot of this stress is mental (though as we know, stress is stress is stress).  What did that mean for last week’s to dos?

I didn’t track food.  I got through lunch on Tuesday and then all of a sudden it’s now Monday again.  I know, I know.  I’m just going to have to write it off at this point and start again today.  I was super tempted just to say fuck it and pick it up again after the IM, but I’m not going to.  Even if it’s spotty, it’s better to keep trying.  This week, being a rest week, means my appetite will be much higher, most likely, than my actual burn.  I will have to watch it with the calories.

My weight average last week was 187.6, which is technically down a little (0.4) since two weeks ago.  Considering it’s birthdaymas, I’m fine with this.  The battle between IM Training vs all the cake seems to be in a stalemate.  That’s better than one of the other alternatives.

Good news: I DID take my Tri Coach test yesterday and I PASSED!  I won’t brag about my score because I definitely didn’t get an A, but dang, that was super hard.  Some of the questions made me feel like they were trying to trick you into the wrong answer rather than testing your knowledge.  Some I think actually were just incorrect or had two options that were both correct (example – ideal run cadence is 90 – two options on the test were 85-90 and 90-95).  I was a little butthurt about it last night, but today I’m just like… whatever!   I passed.  That’s all I needed to do.  I’m done!  And now… I sit on this and do nothing until after IM Texas.

Since yesterday was the only day I had to actually do stuff, a bike ride/errands and the test took priority.  I finished at 9:30, ate dinner, and went to sleep.  I did not do my toes or brows.  I’m ok with it.  Maybe this week, but probably not.

Because… this weekend, we’re going camping!  So, the to-dos are:

  • Work on getting the Xterra packed with camping stuff as early as possible so we’re not scrambling at midnight on Thursday night.
  • Make it to Academy to get Zliten some boots.  With all the rain lately, it’s likely camping will need more than just regular old shoes.
  • Do awesome birthday celebration things with Zliten tomorrow since it starts his section of birthdaymas!

And, on that note, off to conquer the week!


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