Adjusted Reality

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

Month: June 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Too much adulting, running away to the woods…

This week was *probably* the closest to a normal human adult type week I’ve had in years.  I didn’t like it at all.

Super serious workouts this week when this was the second most intense effort I put out.

Ok, there were some parts that were nice but it felt really weird.  I think I’m going to have to go run away and play in the woods for a while to make up for it.  Good thing I have plans to do just that this weekend.

Normally the workout section of my weekly recaps are big and detailed, but this week can be summarized with one sentence: I rode bikes for about two and a half hours.  Not very far and not very fast.

A few more words: I rode moutain bikes with coworkers and had a blast almost dying 20 thousand times on the beginner trails.  Note to self: ride mountain bikes more to assess whether the threat of death by rock or faceplanting into tree is real or percieved.  The rest of the week was my big red cruiser and bikes on the way to eat fried food and drink beer or bikes around the neighborhood dropping off books that were previously gathering dust to little free libraries to hopefully be enjoyed by someone else.  So, all sorts of super serious training.

I was super busy during the week and I can’t lie, I had thought about killing it with some training over the weekend.  However, my arm REALLY hurt from the tetanus shot and I stubbed my toe REALLY hard on my kettlebell Friday night, to the point where I wasn’t 100% sure it wasn’t broken and standing sucked.

Ok, ok, universe.  I’ll chill the fuck out.  I hear you.

This week, I’d like to get as many of these tests done as possible:

  • FTP cycling test (DONE)
  • 100m and 300m swim
  • 1 mile run test (max speed)
  • 3 mile MAF test (how long does this take at ~142 bpm HR)

If one or two had to go into early July I’m sure it wouldn’t be the end of the world but it would be nice to get some metrics.  I plan on doing these in controlled environments (trainer, treadmill, pool) to keep variables like elevation, activity pausing, temperature, etc, to a minimum.  I have four days before I go camping and I have four activities.  I think that will probably work out to get at least three of them done.

Then, while camping, the goal is to hike, bike, or run every morning before it gets hot and spend the afternoons playing in the lake.  That’s about as training plan-y I’m willing to get.


My dietary/scale type goals are going well and not so well at the same time.

It’s been a lot like this lately.

In the win column:

  • I saw a 182 on the scale for the first time since October (though it was an anomaly).
  • I’m feeling much happier with the way I look right now than I have at any point this year.
  • I think the new dietary changes I’ve been making have contributed to this and it’s incredibly encouraging to have a direction that actually seems to be working.

In the… not as win column:

  • I’m not all in yet.  I’ve been eating up leftovers which include things that are on the negative diet quality points.  I ate takeout twice on Sunday and both of these had refined grains.  I let my husband talk me into a giant non-whole wheat pasta meal last night (and felt crappy after).
  • Doing all this tracking is tedious.  It’s gotten to the point where tracking my food is pretty rote, but adding up the diet quality and metrics is getting tiresome.
  • I’m not magically 150 lbs yet.

I’m taking the next two weeks off, for the most part.  I’ll track my food while I’m not camping but I doubt I’m going to do it while I’m in the woods.  Thus, I’ll have incomplete diet quality scores for two weeks.  So, I’ll just resume all this silliness on July 10th and really go for it.  After a taste of how I was feeling (and how the weight is actually starting to come off), I’m sure it will be easy to be motivated to get back to it quickly.

However, I have data from last week.  Let’s see the damage.

  • Weight: 186 (-1.9) lbs <- this is GREAT but it also seems to reflect the weeks past rather than this week.
  • Avg cal per day: 1811 (+35) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -682 (-263) calories
  • Macros: 58 (+1)g fat, 170 (-13)g carbs, 90 (-3)g protein, 29 (+2)g fiber

DQ score: Monday: 16.  Tuesday: 9.  Wednesday: 5. Thursday: 26.  Friday: 22. Saturday: 5.  Sunday: 8.  Average comes out to approximately 13 (out of 32).

Yep.  Craptastic.  I did some really good things with incorporating healthy stuff in my day but ruined it with a bunch of fried food, refined grains, and beer.  There will always need to be room in my life for those things, but maybe just a little less while I try to take down these ~20 lbs I’d like to see gone.

And my doctor at my check up reminded me that more than 7 drinks in a week increases the chance for liver issues.  Ughhhhh.  My first thought was “you can pry my whiskey from my cold dead hands, lady!!!”  But, it would be good to figure out how to approach that number a little more closely most weeks without ruining my life (before it pickles my organs, apparently).

These are all things I will take super seriously starting the second week of July.


Last week was a doozy.  We did all the things.  It was exhausting.  We were productive over the weekend, and then we kind of crashed.

Turtle home!  It’s so much bigger on the inside…

Done:

  • Pop up registration
  • Trial run (I did literally neither of these things but took care of other things like groceries and errands and cleaning and getting poked with needles while Zliten was doing them so… win for both of us?)
  • Finished the shredding in the office.  And, as I said, we cleaned out the paperbacks on our bookshelf and donated them.  Baby steps.  The office may indeed get done this year!
  • Pick a weekend for our gameday potluck.  It’s on in about a month!
  • Bonus: measured the cabinets and discussed options for the kitchen with Zliten’s ‘rents.  They are SUPER AWESOME and are helping us with a lot of it and gave us some nifty ideas about moving around the pantry and they even gave us an estimated cost for the cabinets which seem super duper reasonable.  Will the kitchen or the office get done first?  Dum dum dum dumm…

Not done:

  • DDR Pad.  I stubbed my toe so I wasn’t *really* motivated to do this and didn’t get far enough into the office to find all the PS2 stuff anyway.  I *do* want to get this one done so I can have it set up for our next game night.

This week is a little different.  Before Thursday, the To Do list is:

  • Get all the things ready for camping and then get to the campsite and set up before dark and then exhale a sigh of relief because it’s been a lot of work to go on our maiden turtle home voyage!

Then, when we’re camping, we have all sorts of things we want to do but may or may not do any of them.

  • Every morning before the sun is too evil, we want to mountain bike, hike, or run.
  • Afternoons when it’s so hot we can’t even will be spent in the springs or the pool.
  • Other than that, we have all sorts of arts and crafts and stuff we’re excited to do including…
    • Painting minis
    • Painting our own camping mugs
    • I will for really real spend some solid QT starting my book.
    • Games!  We’ve got a really long game a friend loaned us we’re looking forward to trying and the normal dice games and Oregon Trail and stuff.
    • Get through the Big Yellow Endurance Book and How to Win Friends and Influence People and maybe start the next non-fiction book as well (as well as whatever fiction I decide to read).

Perhaps, if I’m inspired, I’ll write up some business plan stuff and plan out other book ideas and other things I haven’t thought of that will come to me on day 4 in the woods with no work and no internet.  However, I need to carve out some time for sitting in a chair with a beer quietly looking at a campfire or the stars, so I need to manage my own expectations on how many productive things I want to do vs how much time I spend staring off into space.

Pendulum swingin’

Perspective is such a weird thing.  Three months ago I was training like 12-15 hours a week.  Now, getting in 5 hours is a stretch.

Although, new mountain bikes and pretty trails (not actually pictured because I was too busy trying not to die) help things along a lot.

When you’re in the thick of a big build, you’re like, how on earth will I fill up this time?  If I don’t ride bikes all Saturday, will I be so bored?  Will my butt fuse itself to the couch?  The answer is: not so much.  I ignore so much of life when I’m triathloning a lot, and then when it comes back into focus… I realize how “normal” people feel.  How sometimes it’s challenging to prioritize workouts over real life stuff.  When I’m training, that’s just how it is – it goes work, triathlon, and then EVERYTHING else.

Right now it’s like work, to do list, appointments, social events, fun stuff, playing bikes with people and then the rest of triathlon.  As it should be right now, because #offseason.  However, it’s been two months and I think I’d like to see what a few weeks of focused, specific (while still minimal) training can do.  It will be a balance of still prioritizing other stuff but the time I spend training will be a little less playtime and a little more structured.

The first thing is to get some metrics.  Before the end of this month, my goal is to measure all these things:

  • 100m swim
  • 300m swim
  • 3 mile MAF run test
  • 1 mile all out run test
  • VO2 Max garmin measurement (run and bike)
  • Cycle FTP test

I tried to pick things that seemed doable each month but also usable metrics.  The FTP test is a good hour long cycling workout.  The MAF test is actually a pleasant run pace, not like a 5k race.  The 1 mile run should be short enough to not need a ton of recovery.  I considered a 1000m swim test but I end up putting those off a lot so I picked the shorter distances (since I’m doing sprints anyway it’s more applicable).

I love swimming.  I love swimming fast (not pictured here but whatevs).  But I do not love swimming fast for a long time.

The challenge is that this week and next week are cray-cray (as the kids probably don’t say anymore).  My goal will be to get the FTP and probably one of the run tests done this weekend, and the swims and other run test will be next week.  I’m sure once I start lifting I’ll have other metrics I want to do there, but for now, until my cranky pirformis is 100%, there we are.

Last week:

  • Monday: 5k run in 37 mins
  • Tuesday: 40 min work commute (7.5 miles)
  • Thursday: Double brick at the gym (10 min cycle/1 mile run x2)
  • Friday: 15 min easy trainer spin (3 miles), 20 min swim – 1025m
  • Saturday: 13 min swim – 1 Pflugerville loop
  • Sunday: Lake Pflugerville Tri (500m swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run)

So, you see, the frequency is up there, but the duration is not.  It feels good to get a little movement every day, so it works out.  None of this has felt overwhelming, nor should it, at 4.5 hours.

This week is definitely scheduling workouts around life with a lot of ?.

  • Tuesday: mountain bikes with friends at lunch
  • Wednesday: rode bikes to volunteer party.
  • Rest of the week: ???

Since this is the week of social things and appointments and errands, it’s either early morning or late late night some days for stuff and it’s offseason.  So, nope!  I’d love for this to be my return to structured training, life has said NAH.  So, I’ll roll with it as best I can.


I’m really deep down the rabbit hole right now reading about healthy eating for athletes.  I wrote up about 2000 words just on Maffetone’s nutrition theories, but honestly?  No one probably wants to read that but me.  So, I will attempt to be as brief as possible in the summary of how I’m applying it to my life last week and this week.

Right now it’s a balance around here.  Lots of the top right, but some of the bottom right as well.

We always start with the low hanging fruit around here, so here’s what I’ve been trying for:

  • More fruit, smaller pieces of things that are more varied (instead of a pint of blueberries in a day, a small apple, 1/2 cup blueberries, and some grapes).  The variance is so I get more diverse nutrients.  I’m also going to try to vary the fruits I eat per week so I don’t get in the rut of eating blueberries with breakfast and an apple as a snack for 3 months.
  • Nuts and seeds.  I cut these out of my diet to get more of my calories from carbs and/or cut calories, but I definitely miss them.  After reading about ALL the health benefits, they are back.  I’m aiming for a serving or two per day.
  • Honey instead of stevia in my breakfast yogurt.  While Maffetone said the jury is still out on stevia, in general, sports nutrition literature generally poo poos any sort of artificial sweeteners.  It will be a harder fight to completely eliminate them from my life (diet soda as a mixer for booze, light sports drinks for when I want electrolytes without all the calories), but I can start here.
  • Green tea instead of coffee.  I’ve finally increased my caffeine tolerance to the point where this isn’t too much for me and made the switch.  I have had one cup every morning for the last week and haven’t feel jittery, but just felt up, alert, but even all day.  I think I’ve found my morning beverage!
  • A big salad per day with olive oil and vinegar.  What’s a great way to increase my veggie consumption?  Have a giant bowl of them as a snack!  I’m also trying to branch out from my lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion salad and I’ve been also bringing shredded carrots, asparagus, celery, and broccoli for it this week.  I’ll try to change up at least two things in it per week to vary the nutrients.
  • Chewing my food.  This has been an eye opening experience the last week.  Did you know that if you don’t chew your food properly, you get less nutrients out of it?  I guess it makes sense, but it’s never hit me that way.  I’ll chomp down once or twice half-heartedly and then swallow while I’m shoveling the next bite in.  I tried to take the time to chew my food last week and found out a few things.
    • It’s not just bullshit, chewing your food and eating slower actually DOES satiate your hunger quicker.  I was fuller on way less food.
    • It is a habit that needs to be encouraged.  Unfailingly, I will start wolfing my food down and then have to stop myself and remember to chew the rest of the meal.
    • Some foods are delightful to chew – fruits and veggies taste better, imo.  Potatoes fluff up nicely.  However, meat, generally, is NASTY to chew well.  I really am a vegetarian in a carnivore’s disguise because I love the taste of well seasoned meat… but when you chew it well, you actually taste the actual meat flavor.  Except maybe chicken and mild fish… I don’t really like the unseasoned flavor of meat.  At all.
  • Carbs.  Mostly complex ones.  Beans, potatoes, corn (homemade popcorn, corn tortillas, etc), brown rice, whole grain bread, pasta, etc.  I am never ever going to be able to completely avoid refined grains, but they should be a small part of my week.

One big salad a day, just like my iguana…

So, here we go.  How did things go last week?

  • Weight: 187.9 (+0.1) lbs <- it was that time of the month so this is practically a loss.  I’ll take it.
  • Avg cal per day: 1776 (+23) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -925 (-45) calories
  • Macros: 57 (+14)g fat, 183 (+2)g carbs, 93 (-9)g protein, 27 (+0)g fiber

DQ score: Monday: 14.  Tuesday: 9.  Wednesday: 25. Thursday: 22.  Friday: 21. Saturday: 21.  Sunday: -1 (race day).  Average comes out to approximately 16 (out of 32).

I can definitely see what’s up here.  Monday I wasn’t really concentrating on the new rules.  Tuesday I wasn’t either and had some alcohol.  Wednesday – Saturday, I did a pretty good job.  Not perfect, but I’d be happy if I could replicate that most days right now.  Baby steps.  Sunday was race day, which meant junk food and drinks.  I actually think I did decently in terms of not being a complete jerk with the food – for lunch I consumed one slice of pizza and a salad, and for dinner we had a baked rigatoni dish with extra broccoli and chicken, but with the alcohol and lots of refined carbs (and not much else), the score went ker-splat.  That’s fine.

As we get through this week of all the social party type events and eat up our leftovers with refined grains, I think I’ll be able to raise this score a lot in the coming months with a little time and attention.  However, it is a BITCH to sift through your food like this.  Like wayyyy more than counting calories.  I won’t do this forever.  Once I’m reasonably happy with my score (bringing it up to the low to mid 20s on average), I’ll stop counting it every week.


I’ve been excited to let the pendulum swing the other way for a while, concentrating on being a normal human but this week it is really really on the other side.  Social engagements (because this is my SAY YES season) and appointments we’ve been putting off comprise most of the weekdays this week.  So, it’s busy busy busy!

Super excited to actually go use this thing instead of just running errands about it and spending money on it.  Next week…

So, how did I fare last week?

  • Pop up stuff.  Some of it.  I got it insured,  but Zliten tried to do the registration and he was missing a piece.  We tried to get it into the backyard to set it up and the gate was 4 inches too small.  We did get all the accessories we needed (we think) to go with it, so at this point it’s just making it official and making sure everything is ship shape.
  • Finish the shredding in the office.  Nope.  It will go on the list this week too.  This is the curse of the office.  We do a little to the point where it’s not a complete disaster, but it never gets finished.  Hopefully we can break the curse this year.
  • Do more kitchen remodel research.  Well, I definitely confirmed I want two tone cabinets (white on top, dark on the bottom), found replacement glass racks for the wonderfully 70s built ins we have over the bar, and determined kind of hardware I want.  That’s something.  At this point, this is on hold until we decide WHEN we’re doing it (finding two weekends in a row that won’t negatively impact summer racing goals) and then we’ll get into it more seriously.

Instead of things that kept us off our feet on Saturday, we test rode and purchased mountain bikes.  Considering this was on the big to do list as well, I’ll call it a wash.  Also, earlier in the week, we saw a coworker kill it in the Pirates of Penzance opening night.  It was super nice to be able to do stuff like that.  Offseason!

This week, I may have to cheat and put down a few more than three things, but we have a super mellow weekend planned so it should work out.

Pop up registration.  (this is actually done thanks to my awesome husband!)

Trial Run.  We need to set up the pop up, run all the things (water, power, etc) for a little while, and make sure everything is working properly.

Finish the shredding in the office.  This is now becoming the “clean out the car” of the season.  I really just need to do this, if for no other reason than to make some forward momentum progress.

Get the DDR pad set up.  Since I’m not doing a lot of formal training this week, it would be REALLY nice to have this as an option to do whenever at home in the AC.  This is also my present for getting the office done.

Pick a weekend for our next friends game day.  It was super fun and I don’t want the tradition to die.

The contrast to that mellow weekend is an insane week.  We’ve had/got:

  • Contractor fixing the fence yesterday morning
  • Yelp Elite event Tuesday evening
  • Cap Tex Volunteer event last night
  • Doctor appointment this morning
  • Gaming tomorrow tonight
  • Doctor for Zliten tomorrow morning

Plus, we’re hitting a big milestone this week at work, so it’s been rather hectic around there as well.  Is it the weekend yet?

Lake Pflugerville Tri – shallow wells, walls of wind, unreasonable ambulation

Let’s be real: I don’t love racing in offseason.

Generally, during offseason, my race helmet is reserved for protecting me from falling off the couch.

Especially THIS part of offseason where I’ve just mostly finished being broken, and I haven’t yet had time to build anything yet.  Ironman took a lot of physical recovery time, and I’m still working with some muscles that don’t exactly want to do what they should yet.  I’m working with a brain that’s starting to warm up to the idea of being a triathlete again, but I also am struggling with the motivation to put together 5 hours of training in a week.  And this is all totally fine until you throw a race into the mix.

I like to toe lines when I feel fit and fiery.  I like to stack my training, block by block, to create my fortress.  I like to dig my well real deep.  My tendency is more towards building a skyscraper that topples over or hitting a water pipe while digging too low, and not that overtraining is good, it’s not, but I really enjoy trying to find that edge.  Right now, my well is about two inches deep and my foundation is just starting to be built again.  Be this as it may, it’s Lake Pflugerville, which is my husband’s favorite race, and a lot of the BSS team would be there.  So, in the interest of fun, camaraderie, and showing my lack of fitness to hundreds of people, I was in to play some triathlon!

We did the normal things you do the day before: pre-race swim, packet pickup, eating a turkey sandwich for lunch and chicken, rice, veggies, and a salad for dinner.  We watched a movie.  We practiced transitions in the living room while packing up our stuff.  Oh, and we test rode about 5 different mountain bikes and came home with one we found on SUPER closeout sale.  What?  You don’t do that the day before a race? (oops)

Food and bikes, the stuff of life…

I couldn’t sleep too early (my brain just doesn’t shut off at 9pm these days), but I slept SOLIDLY when I did for about 7 hours, and waking up wasn’t too hard.  I ate half a sunbutter jelly sandwich on wheat toast and drank a coconut water en route to the race.  All the pre-race things went as planned, except one weird moment about 20 minutes before my wave started where I felt super sick for about 3 minutes and then magically it passed.  I was just about to eat my caffeinated gel before that happened and I abandoned that plan and stuck it in my tri top for later.  I may be kind of underfed right now, but the last thing I need to do is shove too much in my stomach when it’s already doing flip flops.

Swim:

I made my way over to the beach, and in moments we were in the water, and I actually did a good job positioning myself near the front.  I found some feet for a while but then they were going faster than I wanted, so I ended up in fairly clear water for most of the way out.  Some people were talking about the chop, and I’m usually the first one to complain about notice those things, but I didn’t.

Except for the sighting mistake on the way back into the sun that landed me almost in the middle of the lake, this one kinda went like clockwork.  I passed lots of different colored caps and I swam into the beach as far as I could.  I nailed the effort, every year I swim something with an 11 in the beginning, the best 11:10, the worst 11:40, and this one came in at 11:38 which is fine.  6/11 AG.

Ouch ouch ouch ouch pebbles hurt my princess feetsies (picture care of our tri captain, Claudia!).

T1:

Also, pretty much like clockwork.  I didn’t have any weirdness or fumbles, but I can tell offseason has made me a little more tenderfooted than I’d normally be around this time of the year, so I was a lot slower than normal running barefoot.  I was a little slower than my worst at 2:57 (by 4 seconds), but I also didn’t get the normal pimp spot right by bike out.  *shrug*

Bike:

We got going and I drank gatorade and sat up the first mile because the roads are extra super crappy and then noticed my speed.  I was holding 22 mph average.  This made me ecstatic until I remembered that I’m not *THAT* strong of a cyclist and if I was flying sitting up pushing almost no power, the back half (majority) of the course was going to be a bitch.

A girl and I were riding together (legally) and she kept going straight at a completely unmarked/unmanned corner and I followed her, and then two people behind us yelled at us to turn around.  While it might have only taken ~30 seconds, it totally killed my momentum and we both swore about it for a bit as we u-turned into WHOOOOOOSH!  A wall of wind.  Ugh.

Instead of worrying about pace I started paying attention to my heart rate and it was staying around 165 average, which is probably just as high as (or higher than)  I’d like it to be.  My level of effort was probably a little below I know I can race a sprint at, but since I’m relatively untrained right now and my heart rate is pegging itself very very quickly, I decided to be safe rather than sorry.

And honestly, it’s not like I was on a pleasure cruise.  The effort felt hard, but I know I’ve pushed that race harder.  And I know I’ve held more than the ~150 watts doing it.  I found another friend to ping pong back and forth with on the back half of the course, and Ironman has forever distorted time for me because it was all over in a blink of an eye and I was dismounting my bike while I wondered what happened to the rest of the ride.

The good: 3rd in my AG/11.  I got in a really good pocket where I had very few complaints about the course being crowded and people being annoying which is normally the majority of my race report on the bike here.  Also, I only got passed by ONE of my BSS teammates, and it was almost near the end of the bike.  The bad: my heart rate was higher than watts, and this is a pretty weak pace for me.  Not my worst, but not my best.  And I should be crushing my previous bikes with my new TT bike.  Total time was 44:47, which is technically a PR, but the course was shorter by a mile, so it doesn’t count.

T2:

Everything here also went like clockwork.  It’s 4 seconds slower than my worst at 1:46, but also, I was not in a primo spot on the rack.   We slept in a bit instead.  I’m going to say 30 extra minutes of sleep vs a few seconds in transition for a D priority race was worth it. 🙂

Before, during, (no, not me running, but it’s representative of a thing I was doing) and after.

Run:

Here’s where the problem with offseason racing is for me.  I made the decision to give myself some time away from running to really let myself heal up after the Ironman, and long-term-me won’t regret that at all, but short-term-me is going to be VERY whiny about it.  My run fitness goes so downhill so quickly if I’m not training, it’s why I never quit running for more than a week or two MAX during offseason, and I know it’s going to be a long road back.

I didn’t even feel super gassed after the bike, but I got out on the run and someone had stolen my legs and replaced them with these funny appendages that wouldn’t move correctly and took a lot of effort to ambulate at any reasonable pace.  Normally on sprint runs I’m cursing 10 minute miles and willing the garmin to show me 9s (and occasionally 8s), today I was lucky to shove the pace under a 12 minute mile.

I ate a gel right away since I couldn’t even with that while fighting the wind on the bike, and gave myself some time to let my heart rate settle to race effort, but the first mile split was 11:52, and my heart rate was staying pegged at about 174.  At this point, that’s what I have to give, so I switched my display to just heart rate and cadence (which, of course, is also in the toilet at this point) to make sure I kept the proper effort (and also so I stopped seeing paces for the effort that made me think I was back running in Veil at 8k feet).

The wind was so strong yesterday that it actually affected me on the run, about a mile and a half in, I felt like we were running into a wind tunnel and I really really wanted to walk.  On an effing sprint.  I didn’t, but my pace combined with a headwind almost made me feel like I was running in place for a while.  With only a little break, that wind continued to the finish of 3 miles in 32:34, or the pace in which I normally can jog an easy 5k, or 8th/11 in my AG.

We couldn’t manage to get a picture of the entire team contingent but here’s a bunch of us (picture stolen from Frank, our vice captain).

Total time: 1:33:44, for 5th in my age group out of 11.

On the surface, it’s not bad.  I got 5th last year.  I actually placed better in the bike this year.  I expected to tank the run (not quite as bad as I did, but still) so that was no surprise.  However, I had wayyy less people in my age group (11 vs 21 last year), so it’s a top quarter result last year vs top half (barely) this year.  To add insult to injury, this is the Jack’s Generic course.  I did 1:26 on that last year.  This year, I would have been second in my AG and finally podiumed.

However, I spent my pennies on Ironman this year.  I got to the finish and earned my M dot.  I have to cut myself a little slack on not PRing the crap out of things eight weeks removed from that.  That’s not how I work.  I know this, but yet, I’m still letting it frustrate me a little bit before I get over myself in a day or two.

I think the most fascinating thing as a student of the sport and also the most frustrating thing as a highly competitive person is that my husband DOES work like that.  He rocked out a great performance of 1:26-something and had his best AG placement so far (5th as well).  He beat me on every leg (even the swim by a few seconds).  At some point I hope things tip back to my favor (by me improving, not by him sucking more, heh) at least once in a while, but it’s cool to see him climbing the ranks in his age group to the point where he has his eyes on the podium someday soon too.

At the end of the race, I had resolved not to race Jack’s Generic in August.  Why suck at something repeatedly when you can just NOT go? However, after consideration, I think I have an opportunity to put myself into a petrie dish and do an experiment since it’s the exact same course.  I’m not willing to train a LOT over the next 7 weeks, but I am willing to focus.

What if I start going back to cycle class and doing more structured rides with other goals besides #happinesswatts and take FTP tests so I actually have an idea what sort of watts to hold? What if I actually do the running drills and do speed work and work on my turnover even if I don’t run much more than 10 miles a week?  What if I actually take my toys back to the pool and do drills and actual sets instead of just paddling?  What if I actually incorporate the plyometrics workouts in my week like I know I should?  In 5-7 hours per week max, can I get back to a performance which feels respectable?  Good, even?  It might be fun to try and see what happens even if I’m not really ready to go all in on anything just yet.

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Pflug and the rest of the season

I’m going to go play triathlon this weekend, and I’m not quite sure what to think about it.  But, I’m 8 weeks out from the little race I did at The Woodlands, so I should be ready to get back on the horse for a little gallop, right?

Neeiiiighhhh?

I’d discuss this weekend’s specific race goals but there aren’t any, really.  I am going to go swim, ride, and run as fast as I can without fainting or puking and collect my freezy pop at the end and sit in the lake and be at peace with whatever happens because #offseason.

Now, here’s where I contradict myself.  I think the thing I care about is the bike.  I’d like to think I may do okay since I *have* been riding a little bit, enough that those muscles should remember what to do.  I also do have a benefit this year over every other year – they’ve switched the waves to have the women go first, I take off somewhere in the middle vs almost last.  So, if I show up and somehow feel awesome with race day magic, I am set up for success.  Or maybe to at least beat Zliten for once *grumble*.

Since it’s been a while, here’s where I remind myself of what it takes to do a triathlon that doesn’t take a full day to complete.

Pre-race:

  • I will need to remember to practice transitions a few times this week.  At the IM, I took 10-15 minutes and made full changes.  Not this time.  The least amount of stuff possible in the shortest time possible.
  • Pre race food the day before – bringing my calories back up to flush (or close) vs less than I burn.  I definitely feel the calorie deficit working its magic – both in how my clothes are fitting (yay) and the lack of fuel for training (boo).  My plan is normal breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, and chicken/potato/veggies and a salad for dinner.
  • Pre race swim.  This has become a tradition and I <3 it.  Probably will accomplish this at Lake PF after packet pickup (or before, depending on how early I’m up) so I can check out the lake monster (hydrilla) situation.
  • Breakfast will probably be a tried and true sunbutter jelly sandwich and some coconut water.  I’ll bring either blocks and some nuun or just a gatorade to sip on for hydration and calories between then and race start.

This race is also the best and hard to skip because of all the friends and teammates that show up. 🙂

During the race:

  • I’ll position myself at the front-ish of the pack for swimming since I’m typically about top quarter/third out of the water at this type of race.  I need to remember than yes, even if I am a little untrained, I do swim faster than my average age group fish.  I’ll keep an effort that is challenging but not anywhere close to redlining.  I’d rather save some energy here and put more into the bike.
  • Transitions are quick and focused.  Sock, sock, shoe shoe, glasses, helmet, and go.  Shoe, shoe, shoe, shoe, visor, frozen bottle (it’s supposed to be killer hot), race belt, go.  Don’t need anything else for ~40 minutes on the bike or ~30 minutes on the run.
  • The bike is going to feel like sucking wind for 40 minutes, sprint races always do, and that’s ok.  Keep pushing anyway.  I have zero watts metrics or any idea how fast I’ll ride but I know where my heart rate can hang and I expect it feel like death, but hopefully enough unlike death that I can still find my Hokas afterward.
  • I have zero confidence that holding anything back on the bike will help me here much on the run, so I don’t plan to do it. I expect a run personal worst and that’s not being self-depreciating, it’s being honest.  If I can hold 10:30s for 3 miles right now after a bike ride, I will be shocked and amazed.  However, I’ll go out with the goal of getting to the finish line as fast as humanly possible so I can plant my overheated butt back in that lake.  I know where my HR is just shy of redlining but can stick it out (around 175 bpm) and I’ll just watch that to make sure my brain isn’t making shit up about being tired while my heart is actually just at 150 bpm.

My best is 1:30:30 (2015).  My worst is 1:40:37 (2011).  I’m going to start with the goal to go sub-1:30 but I’ll abandon that as soon as it doesn’t make sense (really, the bike will tell the tale) and see if I can come in somewhere sub-1:40 at least if all goes to hell.


As for the rest of the year, I am still maintaining that I will not put any more A races on the schedule.  Ironman Texas got the one and only slot for 2017.  Nevertheless, I also am ready (kind of) to go play triathlon and bikes with LOTSA friends a bit so it was time to start thinking about putting some things on the schedule before I spend the entire year paying late registration fees to jump into things at the last minute.

In concert with Zliten, we put together a scale of how much we care about each race.  A is obviously your most important race, B is kinda important but not the MOST important, and C is kind of a training race, something you’re not going to taper for.  We added the D category, which would be a race where you’re almost completely untrained but show up and toe the line anyway.  Obviously, like any convoluted grading scale, there are minuses and plusses for various and arbitrary reasons.

Look how awesome I am, just beating this guy who is probably twice my age…

Bold = signed up or definitely planning on.  Italics = possibilities

Lake Pflugerville – D (6/18).  We do this one every year and it’s Zliten’s favorite.  I am counting this as a D for the fact that I’ve swam less times than I can count on one hand and I’ve run approximately 9 miles since 4/22.

El Diablo Poker ride – C (7/15).  This is not a race, but a team ride, and this is training for HHH100 below and also motivation to ride bikes longer than 25 miles a few times beforehand.

Jack’s Generic – C/D (8/6).  Eh.  Maybe.  I either need to volunteer here or race for the TX Tri series completion so *shrug*.  On the pro side: lots of friends doing it, it’s my sprint PR from last year on minimal training (so it’s not exactly a hard one to crack), and I have to either work packet pickup the day before or be there anyway.  Con side: It’s hot, not sure I actually want to train even that much just yet, I could save money by just volunteering if I’m not going to take it at least semi-seriously, I might want to use this weekend to redo the kitchen instead.  I think I’ll take stock again after Pflug and see if there’s fire in the belly.

Hotter than Hell 100 B- (8/26).  This will solely exist on the schedule to keep me doing a few long rides over the summer so I can complete this one and not totally die.  I’ve always wanted to do it and this summer is about bikes (not 70.3s like normal).  It’s a B simply because I’m training FOR it (since it’s long), but I honestly don’t care how fast I finish it as long as I stay #rubbersidedown.

Kerrville Sprint Triathlon B+ (9/23).  This one is MY favorite and I’m overjoyed at an opportunity to race the sprint again.  It was one of my fastest bike splits WAYYY before I had any business riding that fast.  I think I could, on a day full of unicorns and rainbows depending on how things are going, possibly podium given the finish times and what I’m capable of, if I’m interested in training again for this race (otherwise it will be super fun anyway).  At the very least, I’ll really go for it here.

I think that’s plenty of things to keep me out of trouble over the summer.  After that… *shrug*.  I’m not doing Austin 70.3 for SURE this year (have a conflict) and I don’t want to do anything that long anyway.  My next A race I’m planning on is 3M half marathon (stupid 2:08 PR is GOING DOWN Y’ALL) and I’ll probably put my eggs in that basket from Oct-Jan.

What’s on your plan for the summer?

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Open mouths and open wallets.

Ah, THIS week.  This one happens every #offseason.

Energy+enthusiasm-a training plan to apply it to = open mouths (and open wallets).

The fatigue from the season is finally gone, and it’s like a curtain being lifted from my eyes and I see ALL THE THINGS I can go do and it’s overwhelming in a good way.   I’ve gone from thinking ALL I wanted to do was jump back into IM training because everything else in life seemed so crazy to hoping I have enough time before I start training seriously again so I can tick all the amazing things I have planned off my list.


This week, I would consider my first one back into being a recreational triathlete.  I did five days of training (4h30m), I followed a loose plan, and I even did a brick workout.  It feels like nothing and everything at the same time.  90 minute bike rides are plenty right now, though I will need to start ramping this up soon through the summer to do a 100.  20 minute swims and 3 mile runs are also plenty, and since I’m *NOT* planning on doing any long races, they can be enough for a while.

Tuesday, I rode bikes on an F1 racetrack with hundreds of my closest friends.  You would think of a racetrack as a flat surface, right?  Nah.  It has a killer hill right off the starting line, and a steeper, longer one just after that.  That day, it was right into the wind.  Lovely.  However, there was a flat back straightaway section that was SUPER fun to cruise at 28 mph. We did six loops (totaling about 22 miles), taking the cheater way to skip the hill every other time, and then headed home.

Saturday, we were going to ride and run at the lake, but poor sleep the night before (and frankly, a lot of the week) made us miss our alarm and snooze.  Instead, we rode the trainer and ran around the neighborhood.  I haven’t been on the trainer since… my birthday, I think, and I forgot how challenging it was.  I couldn’t really handle it for the 4-5 hour rides, but now that I’m doing shorter ones, I think I’ll make some improvements by being able to push myself.  Once I get some aerobic base back.  Let’s not talk about the 2 mile run after at 11:09 min/miles at a heart rate of about 170 bpm.  Sigh.

Last week:

  • Monday – ran 2.68 miles
  • Tuesday – 22 bike miles in about 90 mins
  • Wednesday – 17 bike miles in about 80 mins
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – off
  • Saturday – 30 mins on the trainer (about 7.5 miles) + 2 mile run
  • Sunday – 1000m swim in about 19 mins.

This week I race… so I’ll probably do approximately the same stuff as last week and then see what there is in this little tank of mine right now.

  • Monday – ran 3.1 miles (37 mins, further and faster than last week)
  • Tuesday – brickie workout ~1 hour (maybe bike 20 mins/run 1 mile/bike 20 min/run 1 mile
  • Wednesday – BSS ride
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – 20-30 min pool swim
  • Saturday – 15-20 min lake swim
  • Sunday – Pflugerville Tri! (500m swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run)

This will be over FIVE hours of training/racing y’all.  I’m not sure if I can handle it. 🙂


I always want to start this food/nutrition weekly update section with, well, last week was a shit show.  And then I add up the numbers and they are not so bad and I’m making progress and it’s just that unrealistically, I did not eat only chicken and celery all week and also unrealistically, I did not lose 10 lbs.

  • Weight: 187.8 (+0.4) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1753 (+21) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -970 (+132) calories
  • Macros: 43 (-13)g fat, 181 (+17)g carbs, 102 (+9)g protein, 27 (+4)g fiber

The weight went up a little, but there are two important mitigating factors here.  1. I haven’t seen anything over 187. something for a week now, which means I’m stabilizing, which is a sign that if I don’t fuck it all up, I’ll drop a few lbs soon. 2. It’s that TOM, which also means if I don’t fuck it all up, I will drop a couple lbs once I lose the bloat.  So, if I can manage to eat all the veggies and not all the chips, I might make some progress.

Healthy food!  Yay.  Almost all pre-prepared?  Meh.  Close enough.

Other than that, the numbers look GREAT.  I maintained almost the perfect deficit that’s still within the healthy range.  I’m still in the lower tax bracket with activity, so my appetite is doing just fine.  My fat is down, my protein is back in the normal range, and so is my fiber.

Let’s attempt a diet quality score now, shall we?

Monday: 24.  Then it goes downhill.  Tuesday: 18.  Wednesday and Thursday: 16.  Friday: 13. Saturday: 10.  Sunday: 9.  Average comes out to approximately 15 (out of 32).

I won’t belabor the point (if you want the deets, check the link), but you give yourself points for veggies, fruit, whole grains/complex carbs, dairy, and nuts/seeds.  You subtract points for booze, sweets*, refined carbs, fried food, and fatty meats.

Looking back at previous years when I did this, I actually am doing better on the weekends than I was before (it would go in the negatives sometimes), but I had better quality food during the week when I tracked this previous.  So, why not both?  So, my goals this weeks:

Previous weeks goals: water, tracking, fruits, veggies, maintaining macro balance (protein, fat, fiber).

Incorporate more fruit and nuts into my day.  These are things that were low on my positive points list, but I need to add them slowly to figure out how to do it without increasing my calories much (since I’m not snacking a lot, I don’t have a *lot* of things to replace with them).

Carb conscious.  Be conscious of areas where I’m eating refined carbs and make a plan next week to switch them to whole grain/complex carbs.  I don’t want to go crazy and chuck out things in my pantry, but I will switch over when I need to replace them.

I’ll try the tally next Monday and see how I’ve fared.


Let me tell you a story about adventure.  On Friday, we realized that we had some unplanned time off because of moving offices and the Independence Day holiday, so for 2 days of PTO, we have a 6 day weekend.  While we have plenty of things at home to keep us occupied, of COURSE we’re going to go out of town.  Then I started looking at options.  We thought maybe we’d try going somewhere super north like Vermont or Boston, but those flights take up most of the travel days.  Then we looked up Boulder to go play bikes and it was just about as expensive (though less travel time).  But… I was really close to pulling the trigger anyway.

Then, I made the comment that camping sounded just as fun but gosh it’s hot in Texas.  Could we rent a camper?  Spoiler alert: it’s stupid expensive.  Like nice hotel expensive.  So no.  Then, I made an offhand comment about wondering how much they cost to purchase.  Fast forward through a weekend of researching everything about them, driving to a RV mall to check out a new one, driving to the middle of nowhere to check out a used one on a super cute farm with chickens and goats….

And as of about 1pm today, we’re the proud owners of a JayCo 2008 pop up trailer with AC.  For about the cost of two modest/average continental USA trips, we’ve now got a mobile hotel room!  And, because of a cancellation, we were able to secure a spot for six days at Krause Springs over that weekend.  I’m SO flippin’ excited, everything (so far) has fallen into place nicely, so I feel like this was meant to be.

So as for the previous goals…

  • Find a doctor and schedule a check up.  I had something written up here about excuses and whining and how I’d found someone but hadn’t called, but while I was writing this, I put on my big girl panties and while that SPECIFIC doctor was leaving, I have an appointment with at least someone that lists running when not injured as one of their hobbies. I felt a connection with that. 🙂
  • DDR Pad.  Nope.  Spent the weekend doing other things.  This didn’t even register on the radar.
  • Office.  Nope.  I technically had the time on Sunday, but we had been running around like crazy all weekend, so we watched a movie and painted minis and read books instead.  No regerts.

What we DID do besides make completely impulsive purchases that will result in awesome adventures:

  • Bought a shed.  CostCo had this roadshow thing with a great looking shed for a great price, and that even included delivery and installation.  At this point, besides being there when they arrive and leave, and painting it within a month or so after they install it, this one is almost off the list.  Yay!
  • Got a hitch installed on the Xterra.  This was on Zliten’s to do list for other reasons, but it’s a thing we have done now (and needed to bring the trailer home).  Check!
  • Started talking in real terms about the kitchen remodel.  We have gone over the list with Zliten’s parents, and we’re looking at scoping things out to do things over two weekends at the end of July or mid-August.
  • Non-fiction.  It’s hard to fall asleep reading non-fiction (or at least these particular ones), so I’m alternating.  I’ve read about 3 more chapters in the big yellow endurance book and I’m about 20% through How to Win Friends and Influence people.

This week will be sort of pop up centric, and we can’t do too much other stuff because of the race, but here’s my list.

Pop up stuff.  We need to get it under the insurance, registered, and get it to at least it’s temporary storage (right now it’s parked on the street which is NOT where it will stay).  Additionally, I’m sure there’s about 1000 other things we’ll discover we need so those To Dos will go under here.

Finish the shredding in the office.  It’s not as much as I intended to do last week (and didn’t), but it’s a step in the right direction.  And if I start, I might do more if I’m not exhausted after the race.

Pick one of these.  #1 – Get the DDR pad set up.  #2 – Do more kitchen remodel research.  Neither of these should involve standing on my feet much, so they can keep me busy on Saturday since I don’t have a packed day.

Between the shed, the pop up, and the kitchen remodel, we REALLY need to stop #projectoffseason because it’s so expensive.  Triathlon is pricey, until you compare super motivated triathletes during #projectoffseason who turn their attention to something else with the passion of 1000 fiery suns. At this point, once the general adulting and renovations are coming to a close, the year should turn more to side hustle and fun stuff, which are a little less WE SPENT HALF OUR MONTHLY SALARY THIS WEEK and a little more adventures and learning.

If not, we’ll just have to put a 70.3 on the plan at some point simply to keep us out of trouble. 😉

 

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