Adjusted Reality

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

Month: July 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Ramblings on paralysis, perfection, dysmorphia, and self-sabotage

Let’s dispense with a lot of the tracking and formalities for the moment.  I’ll probably be back later in the week to do my normal recap because I like keeping track of that stuff, but for now, let’s focus on some deeper noodle-probing.

Did I sound a bit unbalanced last week?  Well, I was (am?).  It was super weird.  Consider yourselves my therapists while I lay down on the couch and babble for a while.

My husband and I get along really really really well, for many, many reasons, but one major one is that we don’t sweat the small shit, and when find that we do, we figure out what the problem is and fix it.  We both tell each other to “use your words” a lot.  I believe if you explain the reasoning behind why someone feels the way they do, even if you don’t agree, then you’re more apt to reach a compromise.  If you ask for what you want clearly, you’re much more likely to get it.  An example from yesterday, saying “I put this thing here” is less likely to get me to remember to bring it than “hey, here’s this thing, you are responsible for grabbing it when we leave”.  We’re all guilty of both sides, both being more vague than necessary and also not paying enough attention to infer someone’s requests from something that doesn’t directly smack you on the head and say DO THIS.

So, we’re typically great communicators and truly heated disagreements in our house are rarer than a blue moon.  However, this office thing is REALLY getting bad.  We can’t talk about it without both getting defensive.  His point of view is that it’s not a huge priority, we’ve been busy lately, how it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be, and our old office in San Diego was messy, so why does it matter if there’s crap on the floor and ten unused monitors on a table?  My counter is that we’ve prioritized other things and I just want to GET THIS DONE, about how if we half ass it I won’t want to spend time in it and it will become a junk room again in a few months and then he’ll be unhappy about it, and how I want at least a semi-uncluttered space to be creative.

We both have valid points.  Within minutes, the office would be technically usable, but there’s still a LOT of junk in it, and from previous experience, junk multiplies.  But, either way, why the heck does this bother me so much I get snippy every time we talk about it?  I’m not a neat freak.  It’s been this way for 10 years.  Why is it like rubbing salt in a fresh wound now?

I found this fantastic article about paralysis by perfectionism, and at first I was like “pssssh, that’s not me, I don’t expect to be perfect”, but it really hit home when I read it.

The office is a self-imposed roadblock to a lot of projects I want to start, one being writing my book.  I write alllll the time, but I can’t seem to make myself spend any time on this book, because, frankly, it scares the hell out of me.  Why? I’d say I have no idea, but I do.  I’ve had “write a book” on my To Do list half my life.  It’s one of those goals I hold on a (pretty ridiculous) pedestal.  I’m terrified that I’ll write a book and it will be rubbish, so I keep making excuses as to why I can’t start.

I feel like this one isn’t so hard.  Once I figured it out, I’m ready to conquer it because that’s just stupid self-sabotage.  I just need to put myself on notice and on a schedule.  Well, I’m committing to it, starting this week.  Booyah.  Go take a flying leap off a cliff, fear, insecurity, and getting in my own way!!!

Let’s delve deeper to murkier water.  I’ve been thinking about the online coaching business, and I actually came up with what I think is a BRILLIANT idea to set myself apart.  However, once I really thought about it, since it involves a lot of me in spandex where I can’t just pick still shots at the angle that makes me look good, my thought was “no effing way, not looking like I do now”.

Here’s the thing – I know I have some INSANE body dysmorphia going on.  I used to wear both glasses and contacts (not at the same time, silly, but switching off about 50/50).  Sometime in the last few years, the way my glasses are curved makes me see myself as a skinnier person in the mirror.  It’s to the point now where I only wear my contacts when I ABSOLUTELY have to because to me, I look 20 lbs heavier and even my go to favorite outfit looks awful so I have self esteem issues all day.

Then, just last week, it hit me.  “Contacts me” is how I look to everyone else, and that kind of makes me ill because I don’t like how she looks at all.  She’s my unflattering race pictures, she’s the group pictures on facebook that you go and untag yourself in, and the girl you see out running and biking and think “awww, good for her”.  She’s the girl that even looks terrible in my go-to slimming outfit.  I give her a break most of the time because she’s still the same badass that covered 140.6 miles in less than 16 hours, but in purely self-image matters, we are at odds with each other.  She can’t be me because I want to like me but I don’t like her and I really just don’t see that changing without weight loss, if we’re going to continue to be real.  It’s resolved by actually buckling down, and looking a little more like this.

Even without my brain playing weird tricks, I know I look like a reverse before and after, with the BEFORE picture being how I look now, vs me 6-7 years ago.  I don’t like how I look, I don’t feel comfortable in most of my clothes, and I knew it would take a while to decompress and stop acting like an asshole after Ironman, but three flippin’ months and I haven’t made a lick of progress (or, that is, I made a little in two months and then erased it all with six lazy days in the woods, which I think is almost worse). That’s just unacceptable to me.  I have to fight SO HARD for this and I’ve lost 3 months with nothing to show for it.

It’s one step forward and two steps back with these things.  I feel like Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill for eternity only to have it roll back down and smack it in the face – this is how weight loss has felt to me for the last 7 years.  That’s a long time to spend most every day working toward a goal and actually have it constantly getting WORSE over the years.  Let’s all agree that losing weight is the WORST.

I have a lot more mountains to climb that just my self-sabotaging nature that don’t have to do with my writing aptitude or lumpy body.  I have a veritable handful of unpublished posts laying out a lot of the things that make me uncomfortable (actually, let’s be real… terrified) about this whole process, about trying to put myself out there as a coach someday.  For an adrenaline junkie, for an Ironman, for someone who’s more than willing to get up on stage or get on camera in front of thousands of people, this sounds STUPID.  What on earth could I be scared of?

I’m comfortable at being a badass in the physical sense but some things that normal humans do naturally scare the hell out of me.

  • I’ll get up in front of thousands and talk or act before I’ll ask ONE person outside of my family for help (and even that takes work for me).
  • I’ll jump off a cliff into a lake, but I’ll cling like hell to a sure bet where I’m just comfortable with vs jumping into something new that could be AWESOME.  I’m ALLLLL about the evil I know.
  • I would rather swim bike and run for 16 hours straight than actually call a financial planner to figure out what to do with my money and find out if I can ever retire because I have to call and then go see another human that is going to ask me a lot of questions and I live in a state of constant decision fatigue so that will be hard.  And then, after all that torture, I am afraid I won’t like the result (haha, you have to work FOREVERRRRR!!!).

Yep, I’d probably choose to do every moment of that race over again right now completely out of shape versus most of the adulting left on my list.

At this point, I’d like to tell you how it all became happily ever after and the weight fell off and the projects got done and I stopped being scared of ridiculous things and conquered the world, the end.  But I’m afraid I’m not at the happily ever after.  Yet.  Last week’s To Do list is almost all still there, waiting for me, reminding me that I’m either lazy, or terrified, or both and the future is full of a lot of mundane BS that I have to get through.

However, at least now I’m aware.

I’m not being naggy and petty about the office for no reason.  I’m doing it because it feels like it’s standing in the way of my goals.  It feels like there is a mountain of house organizational menial type bullshit standing in between me and actually getting to work on what I want, things that will actually directly make progress on big long term scary goals.  And it’s frustrating me because I’m failing at something I can actually have some control over, versus something like my weight loss, which feel like the formula for success is 2+chicken=periwinkle blue.

Now, I have decisions to make about how I start chopping the wood and carrying the water here.  Either the way out is through, or I need to put the blinders back on, and find a little spot of zen in my chaos and get to it.

10 ways to make your day healthier (that you won’t even notice after a week).

We all want to be healthier, but it sounds super overwhelming at times.  Work out!  Eat twelve servings of veggies per day!  Don’t drink a case of beer!  Exist on only green tea and pure sunshine!  Who has time for all of that?

I hear plastic is full of fiber and low in saturated fats.

Well, if you don’t have time to make your own kombucha and grow your own organic veggie garden while running marathons daily, you’re not alone.  Here’s ten ways you can actually get healthier with a barely noticeable effort and time commitment in your day once they become a habit.

1. Here’s the biggie: get 8+ hours of sleep as often as you can.  If I’m sleep deprived, I’d rather sleep in than work out in the morning (as long as it’s not all the time).  Sometimes means you have to go to bed instead of finding out who’s going to die next while binge watching Game of Thrones, and that sucks, but you’re at your best when you get the amount of sleep your body needs to feel rested and awesome.  A lot of other things fall into place when you’re caught up on sleep.

2. Swap your easy carby breakfast for something with protein.  Switch your cereal and milk for cereal and greek yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey.  They take about the same amount of time to prepare – almost nothing – and you’ll feel a world of difference.  Huge protein and fullness boost.

Tip: Hate yogurt like my husband and want something else easy?  Grab a decent quality protein bar like a Quest bar (or the cheaper Costco brand) or make a protein shake.  My fave is Muscle Milk Strawberry with frozen strawberries and coconut milk.

Looks messy.  Tastes yummy and takes less than a minute to make.

3. Break like a smoker.  I’ve noticed the only people at offices actually take breaks are the smokers.  Be a smoker!  Except, don’t smoke, and take a walk.  If it’s too hot or cold, you can typically find a parking garage to walk and be sheltered from the elements.  Or pace up and down your hallway at work and make everyone nervous.  Breaks help your productivity, creativity, and if I walk at breaks and lunch for about 20 minutes a pop – I rarely have trouble hitting 10k steps in a day.

4. Water is Life. Use a 20+ oz bottle and aim to refill it 2 times before the end of the workday (and then once at home).  I am so terrible at water but it is super important so I make it a priority.  It decreases your appetite, improves your mood, fights fatigue, aids in proper digestion, its good for your skin, improves memory… basically, if you’re feeling a little off, chances are you’re dehydrated and you can improve your life with the proper amount of H20.  While the amount you need is variable, aiming for 60-80 ounces minimum during the day is key (and add more to supplement workouts).

Tip: if you spend a lot of time in the heat or workout more than an hour a day, you should replace your electrolytes.  If you generally work indoors and hit the treadmill for 20 minutes a few times a week, you’ll probably be fine with just water.  And if water just doesn’t sit well, try it with some lemon or lime or other fruit for some light flavor.

But… but… I put water in my smoothie… but then also tequila…

5. Walk the walk.  Instead of driving to McDonalds for some fast food or ordering delivery, spend some time outside and get some activity at the same time.  Pack your lunch and eat at your desk after you’ve worked up an appetite OR get healthy take out within walking distance (but you have to walk there and back).  Lunch is a great time to get some fresh air and activity without even getting too sweaty.

6. Hierarchy of snackings. Feeling munchy in the afternoon and want some candy?  First, try a cup of tea or some water.  A lot of time we’re actually thirsty instead of being hungry.  If that doesn’t do it for you, try some crisp veggies – carrots and snap peas are my fave, if you can’t eat them plain try with some hummus or low fat yogurt dip.  If you NEEEEED something salty try about 20 pistachios (in the shell, so you have to work for them).  And you know what?  Occasionally you need the chocolate.  If you can keep it to a square or two of dark chocolate (instead of a whole bar of milk), it’s practically health food because there’s antioxidants in that shit (though more in this case is not better – a dab’ll do ya).

Tip: here’s a chart for what your cravings are supposed to mean.  However, I’m going to call shenanigans on the alcohol one – when I want whiskey, I want whiskey.  Or to be independently wealthy.  But, at least immediately, whiskey.

Are chips tastier?  Sure.  But they also taste good and you won’t hate yourself after…

7. Feeling tired in the afternoon?  Instead of coffee or snacks, try getting up to take a 15 minute walk outside.  We’re not meant to be indoors as much as we are and some sunshine and activity (or at least being outside) usually will perk you up.  Yes, I’ve mentioned walks three times in seven tips.  You will be a happier, healthier person, and better employee, if you get up from your desk a few times a day and see daylight and move around a bit.

8. Don’t give up your favorite foods, but make them healthier.  For example, I love spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  Yum.  However, go to Olive Garden and get it and it will set you back about 1000 calories (and that’s BEFORE salad and crack breadsticks).  Even making it at home, you will probably use two servings of pasta because one serving of pasta looks really sad in anything but a kiddie bowl.  So, I’ll put that one serving of pasta, tomato sauce, and meatballs on top of some sauteed spinach in garlic and serve with a green salad.  As they say, you can have your pasta and eat it too (without gaining weight).

Tip: If you want to be extra awesome, try one of these healthier pastas.  But if that sounds overwhelming, one step at a time.  Add some veggies you like and think about that later.

Bacon cheddar onion pepper oatmeal breakfast muffins.  Almost as good as a kolache or breakfast sandwich…

9. Enact a bedtime ritual.  I typically use my foam roller for about 5 minutes and have a cup of sleepytime tea before I pick up my book and read until my eyes close.  You might take a bubblebath or meditate or something.  Whatever it is, it’s nice to have a ritual that signals your brain “ok, it’s time to go to sleep soon” that’s different from what you’ve been doing before (watching TV, surfing on your phone, fighting crime in a mask and tights, etc).

10. Try to stay away from screens as you wind down.  I used to watch TV to fall asleep and I’d sleep fitfully.  Now I read my (paperwhite) kindle to sleep and I generally fall asleep quicker, don’t wake up when the episode ends and have to watch another one, and sleep more soundly.  And I get to dream about aliens and lasers because I like to read pulpy sci fi.  Win!

TIP: Read something you enjoy but isn’t too exciting or makes your brain work too much.  I can’t really fall alseep reading non-fiction on subjects I’m interested in and sometimes I’ll just have to put the book down right before the exciting showdown because I know I’ll read until the end if I don’t.

All of these things at one time seemed completely overwhelming to me.  Who has time to take walks at work?  Water is yucky.  I don’t WANT all these vegetables.  I CAN’T fall asleep without the TV on.  These are things that I’ve said to myself over the years.  However, sometime if you give something a try for a week or two, it becomes a habit you look forward (or at least makes you feel good) to instead of dread.

Do you have a great healthy habit that doesn’t take much effort that I haven’t mentioned here?  Hit me up.

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Don’t call it a comeback

For years, this has been one of my favorite running power songs.  I mean, how can you not run a little faster and push a little harder, right?

Kapow!!!

I’ve never quite understood the lyric “don’t call it a comeback” though.  Yeah, I’ve been here (doing this triathlon thing) for years, but with the ebbs and flows of season?  Yeah, absolutely, I am staging a comeback right now.  It happens every year.  Goal race leads to sloth leads to dabbling in sport again which leads to the first weeks of a schedule.  Which is the epitome of a comeback, right?

I’ve been thinking about how to correctly mount this return into sport because for once, I’ve given myself the luxury of time.  My next goal race is January 2018.  My next long race is slated for October 2018.  I have the time to fix everything I need to fix and lose the weight and not worry about how it’s impacting my season for quite a while.  I just need to stop being an idiot and do it.

I think these things will help me be a better athlete in 2018.

#1 – I want to get strong.  It’s hard to do this during season.  It also takes my body a lot longer to be ready to get back to this after a goal race.  I figure a week or two and I should be good, right?  Not after any long race yet has this happened, and the Ironman doubly so.  My body only really started to feel healed during my camping trip, and before last week, it’s been about 3 months since I lifted anything heavier than 12 ounce curls, so I’m starting at stage 1 and not doing anything more than bodyweight for at least the next two weeks.  Then, I’ll actually set myself out a plan, like I was a licensed personal trainer or something and knew how to do this stuff…

#2 – I want to get my endurance back.  I’m really happy I kept some endurance with cycling, but my running and swimming are pretty… sub par right now.  I’m taking the Maffetone approach with my running right now and trying to stay under or at my MAF (max aerobic function).  142 is not a lot of beats per minute, and it’s frustrating to take walk breaks to calm your heart rate when you don’t even feel taxed, but I’ve been trying to keep with it.  I’m already seeing some improvement, because I ran 4.5 miles, and while they were super slow, I didn’t have to walk.  Apparently in 3 months if all goes well, I’ll have to run hard to get to that 142, and I’m super looking forward to it.

#3 – I want to fix my run.  My running has honestly gotten worse and worse every year since I started triathlon (my swim and bike have gotten better to compensate and still log PRs, but still).  Of course, first, I need to get some of my strength and endurance back first, but then it’s time to work on the marathon shuffle I have going on.  First of all, drills.  I need to do them.  Second, plyometrics.  I used to cross train with Dance Dance Revolution and I’m pretty sure it did amazing things for my run.  I don’t do anything hoppy jumpy anymore and those muscles are super weak.  Plus, it’s fun!

Run dance eat brick…

#1 and #2 are in progress.  Weights x2 week, trying to make my bike rides a little more effort and a little less cruising (for some of them), swimming more often than once a month, and some MAF runs.  And… a little of #3 simply because DDR is a lot of fun!

Last week:

  • 31 miles of riding bikes around work (2h30), 20 mins MTB
  • 1 swim, 1250m in 25 mins
  • 1 run, 4.5 miles in 55 mins
  • 1 brick of 10 mins/1 mile/10 mins/1 mile
  • 1x Oiselle Dozen, 1 short strength sesh, 2x DDR sessions

I missed one swim, but logged about 7 hours, and that’s plenty fine.

This week:

  • 3 bikes – work commute, riding back and forth to the pool, long ride up and back to my parents’ house
  • 2 swims, 1000-1500m each
  • 2 runs, 3-5 miles each
  • 2x Oiselle Dozen
  • 2x DDR sessions

Again, this doesn’t look like that much but it’s approaching 10 hours depending on how long we ride over the weekend.  So, it’s enough.


I like this picture because it looks like my cat is really interested in the sandwich (like she would be if I left it out).

Let’s talk about feeling fit and comfortable in my own skin.  I placed that picture from 2014 up at the top of this post because it was the last time I really felt fit.  Sure, I’ve completed a bunch of marathons and 70.3s and even an Ironman since then, and it’s hard to argue that you can spend 5, 7, or 16 hours doing a fairly grueling physical activity and feel unfit, but that’s really how I feel about the situation.

That picture represented the culmination of 2 very focused months where I improved my diet quality and trained very smartly and PR’d the crap out of my fourth half ironman by 23 minutes on a super-hot non-optimal day.  While I still wanted to take off some weight from the 173 I weighed there (and I still do, my ultimate goal is in the 150s), I felt good there.  I’m looking forward to liking what I see in the mirror and feeling strong and capable as an athlete instead of being out there IN SPITE of what shape I’m in.

I’m not doing a terrible job with the calories part of it (at least on average over the week), so obviously my body is cranky about my diet quality and I really need to step that up if I want to get some results, I guess.

  • Weight: 188.1 (+0.1) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 2000 (-65) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -872 (-35) calories
  • Macros: 62 (-4)g fat, 203 (+4)g carbs, 101 (+1)g protein, 25 (-4)g fiber

Not a bad week at all… except that weight.  Sigh.  It seems that my weight lags a few weeks behind what I actually eat.  A few weeks ago I spent the week in the woods with very little activity and drinking lots of beer and it’s finally catching up with me.  Hopefully after a few weeks of being good, things will go back to normal and keep going down from there.

DQ score: Monday: 11.  Tuesday: 27.  Wednesday: 19. Thursday: 13.  Friday: 18. Saturday: 4.  Sunday: 6.  Average comes out to approximately 14 (out of 32).  Not my finest week at all.  I’m succeeding at the veggies, doing decent at including more fruit, trying, but doing an inadequate job of including nuts in my life and also eliminating refined grains and fried crap, and ruining all the other efforts with alcohol.

But, the silver lining is at least I’m not doing things perfectly and not making progress.  I’m not making progress because I keep eating stupid crap.  I can at least understand that and work towards not eating less stupid crap.  I won’t lie, I’m really frustrated with my lack of progress, but it’s inspiring me to double down.  Maybe I wasn’t ready to commit fully, but now I am.  On top of all the good habits I’m trying to build with including more healthy food in my diet, I’m going to do these things this week:

  • No sweets (minus half a piece of dark chocolate as desert, even Matt Fitzgerald says that’s fine) except for one small piece of cake with the family on Saturday.
  • Measuring out my alcohol BEFORE I drink it and limiting it. I have a feeling that this is what’s holding me back and while I hate hate hate the idea of it, I guess I can temporarily not be a lush for a while to achieve some goals.  Sighhhhh.  I guess I will need to find another non-calorific stress relief outlet.  I hear exercise is great (oh wait…).
  • I can have maximum ONE other thing per day that negatively impacts diet quality.  If I’m going to have alcohol, then I can’t have cake or chips or white bread.  I will have two of those things on Saturday – guess what that means?  I need to have one other day where I don’t have ANY.

I’m putting that self-sabotaging part of my brain on notice.  We’re laying down the law here.  You’re not welcome here.


New dress and my compromise meal at Red Robin (no bun, lots of fries).

I looked at my To Do List and kind of freaked out because I hadn’t done any of it by Thursday, but then I did some things (not all of them) and it was all good.

  • Hosting people for our second game night while staying chill AF instead of being neurotic hostess. – YEP!  Had super lots of fun and on weeks where we have the cleaning service, this was almost no hassle.
  • More work in the office.  I’d be happy if we can get the in-office surfaces and the entire floor clean.  That would step #1 done! – NOPE!  We spent the hours we would have done this hanging out with a friend in a pool.  I am ok with the trade off.
  • Getting the DDR pad out in time for the party on Saturday.  – YEP!  I played twice last week (though no takers for a dance battle).  It was glorious.
  • I want to be in a lake at some point this week. EH… pool kind of counts.  I mostly wanted to be in the water doing something besides laps.
  • Clothes shopping.  All I want to wear lately are long dresses/skirts, so I’m going to get more of them so I stop wearing the same 5 over and over. – YEP!  I want to hit a few more places but I got a few new things.
  • Finish How to Win Friends and Influence People.  – YEP!  Started my second non-fiction book as well: It’s Never Too Late to Starup.

This week, I’d like to do more things.

  • We get the shed on Tuesday (yaaaaay!).  We’ll be pausing the work on the office this week and doing shed things:
    • Caulking the shed.
    • Painting the shed.
    • Get all the things that are supposed to be in the shed in the shed.
  • Doctor said my ears were waxy and could use a drain (TMI?), and then we both forgot about it.  I need to get my online stuff set up with the docs and contact her about when I can come in and get that done.
  • Finish the second half of the half chapter of the book that I started.  Talk about self sabotage – this isn’t hard, this is just intimidating me for some reason.  Dear Me, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY SOMETIMES, love and kisses, Me.
  • Bonus points: ANY work on the office we can get to.  This is now becoming a sore spot with both of us, which is stupid.  We just need to get it done.  Setting a goal to having this complete by the end of August, so we can cross this fully off the list and not speak of it again.

Once the office is done, the workout room should be pretty quick to follow, and then I can start tackling some of the other goals on my list that involve planning and writing and such and maybe take care of some of the other adulting stuff.  Sigh.  Accepting applications for a wife.  Duties include cooking healthy food exactly to my specifications, cleaning and decluttering the house, laundry, house projects I want done but I don’t want to do, not taking my spot on the couch EVER.

No takers?  Surprising.

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10 Camping Tips for People Who Are Not AT ALL Rugged

As I’ve said before, I grew up in a family who’s idea of roughing it was a hotel without an indoor pool.

Nature and I have only really recently became BFFs.  I always liked the IDEA of being outdoorsy, but not the reality.  While I’ll never lose my enjoyment of posh penthouse hotel rooms overlooking a sprawling downtown city center, I have also come to love being in the middle of nowhere as well.  Here are my tips for those of you who relate to the meme above but also secretly want to become a badass woodsy nature princess.

1. GET A GOOD TENT.  Even if you ignore everything else I say, DON’T CHEAP OUT.  Every time we are able to set up our 200$ REI tent in less than 5 minutes and watch other people struggle for over an hour, I thank my husband for not listening to me when I said “dude, why don’t you get that 40$ one that’s the same size?”.  If you don’t want to commit, you can rent a nice one from REI.  If you still don’t want to commit, borrow a crappy one from someone for your next trip and I guarantee you’ll be sold.

One of the telling things about how outdoorsy I am is that my best tent picture is actually from my backyard…

2. Double thick air mattresses.  People make fun of mine, and I’m certainly not at the rugged “backpack only hike in hike out” level, but it beats the hell out of sleeping on the ground.  PRO TIP: get something like this so that you’re not screwed if you end up somewhere without power.

3. Bring so many layers if it’s cold.  My first time in the winter, I just couldn’t get warm and I think I had on every article of clothing I brought simultaneously.  Conversely, in the summer, you’ll need WAYYY less than you think.  Bring a couple swim suits, a few super comfy things to wear, PJs, and you’re pretty much set for a week.

#hammocklife forever

4. Hammock.  I get tired of sitting in camping chairs after a while and it’s nice to have somewhere to recline.  I just bought a new one that has mosquito netting and while I can’t vouch for that specific one yet, that’s probably where you’ll find me on every camping trip for every moment until forever.

5. TP.  Even for improved camping with bathrooms.  Sometimes you don’t want to walk that far and the woods are closer.  Sometimes they’re out.  Sometimes you need something absorbent for a non-bodily waste related reason.  There’s no reason not to have a spare roll of TP in your car.

You see flowers, I see a nice field to pee in when that sun goes down… as long as I have my TP…

6. Improved camping.  Spend the extra money, it’s worth it.  Access to showers (even if they’re gross) and being able to plug stuff into charge if needed is great and not usually much more expensive – though they usually fill up quicker. PRO TIP: if you do find yourself on the primitive side of things and there are improved sites in the area, asking one of the campers there all nice like will usually net you use of their power to charge your phone, or the combination to the showers. 

7. Here’s the order to unload the car:  Tent, pump up and place mattress in tent, make the bed, THEN everything else.  It doesn’t work the other way if you have a tiny one. 🙂

8. The no-PTO-mini-vacay: go out Friday night (with enough time to set up before dark) and come back Sunday morning.  This is better than the “go to the woods for one night to get drunk and eat hot dogs” trip, you get a full day and night in nature.  You don’t get the three day effect, but this way you don’t have to take time off work and you also get almost a full Sunday at home to relax and unpack.

No matter how long you get to have this as your view, it’s soul-refreshing.  But I do recommend 3 days.

9.  The three day camping effect.  However, if you can swing it, something magical happens on that third day.  You feel lighter, unburdened, and probably more relaxed than you have in years.  You’ve forgotten your to do list, schedules, and the importance of the time of day, and day of the week.  You morph from worrywart and sufferer of decision fatigue to your cooler, more relaxed camper persona, who’s most pressing concern is whether to walk down to the water or continue to sway in the hammock.  It’s a chance to spend multiple days in mono-task mode which is a HUGE luxury for a lot of us and one of the most creatively refreshing things you can do.

10. Just do it.  You’re going to whine about all the gear.  It’s going to be too hot, too cold, too windy, or it might rain.  It’s going to seem like a lot of work and you may as well just stay home because you could get soooo much done.  But… go camping.  At least sometimes.  It’s good for your soul.  Your inner woodland nymph crying to get out will thank you.

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This is plenty.

Back to life, back to reality.  Plenty of things to catch up on, so let’s roll!

Unintentional planking cleavage and rainbow planks coming full circle last Thursday.

You’ll hear “it was my first week” a lot in this post.  While I always try to take care to not overwhelm myself with changes, a new start sometimes does provide the opportunity to change your routine a little more than normal without it feeling like a hassle.

Last week was my first week with a workout schedule that is not just a suggested whisper.  It’s not x-weeks until a big race, it’s not a build to anything impressive, it’s just time to start doing something more regularly than just whenever I feel like and hitting all 3 sports (and returning to lifting heavy things, even if those heavy things right now are my body).

Ironman has completely fubar’d my perspective, because in six weeks I’m going to ride a full century, and I’m still sticking with “not training for anything big”.  I suppose the difference here in perspective is that I’m training to SURVIVE it, not hit a number, not to swim before or run after, and I did it plenty of times earlier this year.  And it’s flat.

This weekend I rode 63 miles with about 3k of climbing, with the second half in feels like 100+ (and ended in actual 100+) temps and full sun.  While I was complaining a LOT about the heat, there’s still a little bit of Ironman left in my legs.  Besides the deathball trying to stomp on my lungs all day, my legs felt remarkably… fine.  This did not feel like a long ride.  If it would have been 70 degrees I would have been smiling the whole time and been ready to ride it all over again after.  I spent the next day completely active and I had no real residual fatigue.  I think I’ll be able to survive a few more hours on HHH day just fine.

First, though, in three weeks I’m going to race another sprint triathlon, and I do not have high hopes on having any sort of breakthrough performance, but I am open to it.  My joke is that to podium, I need to come off the bike in 1st place and hopefully not let more than two people catch me with my sloooooow run.  But that’s a pretty honest assessment of my fitness right now.  When I ride with cyclists, I feel like the low side of intermediate, but apparently that’s pretty good for recreational triathletes because I typically place pretty highly in my age group on the bike leg.  My running is no better than it was last month, it maybe even be worse if that’s possible, but my hope is that some residual endurance carries over from increased biking and helps out there.

That being said, here’s last week:

  • Run: 3 miles MAF run.  Skipped one 2-3 mile run.
  • Bike: 14 miles easy, 1.5 hour cycle class intervals, 63 mile El Diablo Poker ride
  • Swim: 1000m in the pool.
  • Strength: 2x Oiselle Dozen sessions (I’ll do these until they feel easy and then maybe start working with weights).

This doesn’t sound like a lot but it amounted to 9.25 hours.  That’s plenty.

This week:

  • Run: 1 hour run (as close to MAF as possible)
  • Bike: 2 rides.  Hopefully one with some sort of effort.
  • Brick: Bike/Run/Bike/Run at the gym
  • Swim: 1 x 20-30 mins, 1 x slightly longer because it sounds fun.
  • Strength: 2x Dozen

This is wayyyy less training than my brain says I should be doing but it adds up to 7 hours and that’s also plenty so we’ll just move on.


All the veggies.  All of them.

This week was a first FULL week of trying to do all the new things:

Since I no longer have my own mini-fridge at work, I’m packing my lunch into coolers.  While I was a little cranky at the extra prep time at home, I’ve been doing it while prepping dinner the night before so it hasn’t taken *that* long and it’s really convenient to not have to spend 10 minutes in the break room cutting veggies.

Part of that packing is a giant salad with all the veggies every day with avocado oil and vinegar dressing.  This is AMAZING, you guys.  I eat my lunch, whatever it is, a soup or a sandwich or something, and then for the rest of the afternoon I end up grazing on this thing.  Previously, I’d usually end up having some produce go bad, but last week it was all gone by THURSDAY.  This week I’m taking it a step further and making sure my salad has a full RAINBOW going on.  My salad today had romaine and carrots and cauliflower and purple cabbage and shaved brussels sprouts and beets and tomato and cucumber and green olives and goat cheese.  And I’m going to guess it’s about 6 cups of veggies total.

I’m also trying to push fruit and nuts as snacks.  I have a serving of fruit for breakfast, and sometimes, that’s all I’d have before.  I’m trying to keep around at least 2 other small fruits.  I’ve been starting on them as soon as I’m done with the giant bowl of veggies.  For some reason, I gave up nuts unintentionally, and I’ve reversed that decision.  These are now my salty snacks at work.  I have been working my way back with one serving per day and trying to get back to 2-3 some days.

With this, and my normal yogurt or smoothie for breakfast, I’ve not had to adjust my actual lunch and dinner that much.  I’ve been attempting to stick to whole grains instead of whatever sounds the best whenever possible, but I’m not trying to be a complete crazy-person about it.

These all seem to flow pretty naturally.  Somewhere further down the list is booze – bringing my intake closer to the recommendation of 7 drinks per week.  This one is tougher.  I can avoid cake and chips and white bread decently when I put my mind to it because it’s just food.  It’s a momentary pleasure.  Whiskey and wine are my stress relief.  Not my ONLY stress relief by any means, but definitely one of them.  If I could have only one vice, that’s it.  I was all proud of myself that I had cut back last week and then Sunday I had a few unplanned drinks and yesterday I stayed up until FOUR AM polishing off a big bottle of wine with my husband planning and dreaming about vacations.

This is probably a whole separate thing with deeper issues and feeling a little stuck in some areas of life right now.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all were brave enough to do all the things we wanted to do and damn the consequences?  It sounds so simple, but it feels like jumping off a cliff, and I think I’d be less scared of the ACTUAL THING than the metaphor.  That’s a whole book post in and of itself, but for now, I’ll just be happy that I’m eating healthier food and let this sleeping dog lie until I’m ready to wake it.

Anyhoo, here are the numbers:

  • Weight: 188 (+2) lbs <- this is a bit inflated due to TOM.  Earlier last week it was 186-187 but I instantly gained 3 lbs that are just coming off now.
  • Avg cal per day: 2062 (+251) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -907 (+225) calories
  • Macros: 66 (+8)g fat, 199 (+29)g carbs, 100 (+10)g protein, 29 (+0)g fiber

Suuuuper solid by the overall numbers.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to increase my good fats, so I’m not that worried about that number going up a bit.  Let’s delve deeper.

DQ score: Monday: 25.  Tuesday: 21.  Wednesday: 18. Thursday: 25.  Friday: 16. Saturday: 2.  Sunday: 15.  Average comes out to approximately 17.4 (out of 32).  Much better than before (which was 13).  This was three great days, three good/ok days, and one crappy day – but that crappy day was after a 4.5 hour ride.  *shrug*  I’ll take it.  A four point increase is plenty good for me right now.


Hot AF, but we got it done!

Zliten and I had some differing opinions about what’s left to do in the office.  In his eyes, the room just needed a few touches and it was ready to start being a room to do work.  In my view, it’s got the majority of a full weekend left before I could even BEGIN to concentrate on creating anything in there.  I think we’ve come to a compromise about what’s left to do and we’re hoping to tackle it in the next few weekends.

#1 – finish getting everything in the office that’s not supposed to be in the office proper – namely the leaning tower of bookcase, all the extra monitors, all the storage boxes, hats, other junk.

#2 – finish getting everything in the office that is actually SUPPOSED to be there – the sewing cart, the monitors in the right spots and getting rid of the old ones, etc.

#3 – clean out the closet – maybe not completely, but enough that we can store everything we need to in there and close the doors (and perhaps have a little extra space so the next time we acquire something, it will have somewhere to go instead of on the floor or cluttering a surface).

So, yeah.  Clean floor.  Closed doors.  I’ll call it done (for this offseason) and then we can move onto the next stage which is dedicating a certain amount of hours in there actually working on projects.

The shed comes in a week.  I’m SO excited for this, it’s been so long since we ordered it and a lot of tetris pieces fall into place once we have that storage.  Once it’s built, we can move all the random things we have in the workout room out to the shed and start setting that room up as well.  The dream of four useable bedrooms is within my grasp.  This means future offseasons can be dedicated to things that are much more FUN than uncluttering full rooms of our house… maybe… someday…

Last week, we did these things:

  • It’s finally bulk trash week, so we fully cleaned out our side yard and got the camper in it’s backyard home. Ahhhhhh…. we’ve wanted to do that for months!
  • We finished getting all the camping junk and the old office junk out of the garage so there’s space for the Xterra again.

This week’s goals:

  • Hosting people for our second game night while staying chill AF instead of being neurotic hostess.
  • More work in the office.  I’d be happy if we can get the in-office surfaces and the entire floor clean.  That would step #1 done!
  • Getting the DDR pad out in time for the party on Saturday.
  • I want to be in a lake at some point this week.
  • Clothes shopping.  All I want to wear lately are long dresses/skirts, so I’m going to get more of them so I stop wearing the same 5 over and over.
  • Finish How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I’m almost there!

And that’s plenty of goals.  I’m out.  Peace!

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