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?


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.