Ah, February.  A very transitional month.

Am ready to retire this hat and scarf for the season, kthx.

You are not January, with it’s complete suckiness, but you still have some crappy parts.  You have Valentine’s Day, but you also have allergies.  You have some first peeks at spring, but you also have freezing cold and windy reminders that it’s not there yet.

But, it isn’t all bad, because it leads to March, one of my favorite months, where it really feels like the year gets going.

Sporty Stuff:

Lift all the things.  And apparently, wear all the red.

I have really really really enjoyed lifting weights.  I’ve talked about it a bit this month already so I won’t belabor the point too much, but I feel like I’m making good habits, building some good strength (especially in my posterior chain which is a notoriously weak spot in my body), and hopefully setting the stage to translate what I’m doing this month into speed and power in triathlon.

February has been basic hypertrophy.  I’ve been doing 3 sets of like 6-8 reps of your standard compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and the like, with other isolated exercises to support those efforts.  It’s been fun to work the weights up and I’m now deadlifting and squatting over 100# and the bench press is getting close (but my arms are just not quite as strong as my legs).

February has also been the month of the bike.  Not because I’ve done a TON of biking, but it’s ALL I’ve done.  It’s just hard to get to the pool without a race looming.  I’ve intentionally laid off the running (though I finally ran a little off the bike this weekend and it was… okay…).  But I have been doing cycling, and towards the end of last month, I’ve actually have been doing intentional workouts that I planned ahead of time with power targets.  I really miss tooling around for hours outside but this is the kind of stuff that’s going to make me a better sprint distance cyclist.

I think I have my season figured out. (Bold font means I’ve already plunked down the monies)

  • March 31st – No Label Sprint Tri in Katy, TX
  • April 8th – Rosedale Ride
  • MAYBE: April 15 – Tri Color Super Sprint in Fort Bend, TX.
    • Not signed up for this one yet because it’s 3 weeks of races in a row and would need at least a half day PTO on Friday to get there and to packet pickup, but it looks fun (and like a field I might be able to place in).
  • April 29th – Texasman Sprint in Denton, TX
  • May 6th – Rookie Super Sprint Tri
  • MAYBE: June 3rd – Playtri Sprint Tri in Irving, TX
    • Not signed up because this would make another 3 weeks in a row, and it’s a far drive, and it’s not near anywhere to camp, but I could potentially succeed in this field on a great day.
  • June 9th – Wincrest Freshman Tri in San Antonio, TX
  • June 17th – Lake Pflugerville Tri
  • MAYBE: July 15th – Waco Tri (recon for the possible 70.3 course)
  • MAYBE: Aug 11-12 – Nationals.  If we go.

However, the plan after Lake Pflugerville is to take a few weeks of R&R and then start really hitting it hard for Cozumel 70.3 and mayyyyybe Waco 70.3.

So, what does that mean for March?

I will continue to lift, and lift heavier until the week of March 26th.  While it’s not exactly the most perfect preparations for the first race, I think it will pay dividends for the rest of the year.  For the next three weeks, my goal will be to lift at the weight where I can do 2-4 reps max.  If I get to 4, it’s too easy and I need to increase the weight next round.

After that, my goal is to continue to lift at the 8-12 rep range 1-2 times a week through the rest of the season with weight increases, like, every few weeks.  Or every month.  This is enough to maintain my strength gains and maybe eek out a little more without impeding my swim/bike/run workouts.

I will continue with the same sort of bike workouts I’m doing now.  While I really miss riding with the team and I also miss riding outside, I think doing these 30-60 minute rides with hard intervals and specific power targets will help me figure out how I should ride these sprint races (though I’m sure I’ll have to do SOME outside riding…).  I’m pretty sure that I will be able to blow my Kerrville Sprint effort out of the water by the time season rolls around.

I will slowly reintroduce swimming and running.  Just enough to be comfortable to swim 300m hard in the pool and run a fast 5k on bike-tired legs.  I do not plan to do much volume here – probably 1-2 swims a week max (10-20 mins max) and a 30-45 minute run and a shorter run off the bike each week.

It will be interesting to see how a March triathlon works – it’s quite early in the season to actually be competing – but I’m interested to see how things go.  Maybe somehow I’ll qualify for Nationals and then I’ll race the rest of the season pressure off!

Nutrition:

I love tacos.  I especially love mostly organic, pretty healthy, positive diet quality homemade comfort food tacos.

I think I’ve gotten these down:

  • Eat good food, lots of plants, lean protein, whole grains, etc.
  • Skipping cake day some of the time is not the end of the world.
  • My body is not a bender robot, I do not need alcohol all the time to survive.

I actually feel pretty excellent right now in terms of (lack of) fatigue and mental faculties and give a shit and actually wanting to be a productive and interactive member of society, so I think I’m going in a good direction.  I could nitpick that sometimes I forget to eat fruit and nuts for my snacks and eat other stuff instead, and occasionally I’ll go out to eat places that don’t offer whole grains and so I indulge in *shocker* rice noodles or flour tortillas, but it’s definitely the exception and not the rule.  Whiskey is now a condiment, not a food group.  Establishing.  good. habits. is. happening.

What I haven’t gotten the hang of:

  • Eat 1600-1800 calories average.

And this is the one that matters to see the scale go down.  The last week (pre-birthday celebrations) I’ve actually done better (1778 calories average over the last 7 days), but it takes either being IMPECCABLY nitpicky with what goes in my mouth OR going to bed kind of hungry (and sometimes both).

  • Calories AVG: 1898
  • DQ AVG: 21.4
  • Weight AVG: 185.3

A little too much food, but mostly good stuff.  I am going to surmise that my weight is probably down a little from January (since I don’t have the greatest data) but not enough to feel like YAY I LOST WEIGHT yet.

Luckily, this month, I will pick up my activity – just a little bit – for two reasons.  One, it won’t be so farking cold and air won’t be trying to kill me, so I have no excuses not to get my 10k steps per day.  Two, I will be upping my cardio a little bit with some added swims and runs, so if I can keep my eating the same, maybe I’ll see some changes in the scale.

I will aim for the exact same goals because I think they’re doing good things for me:

  • 1600-1800 calories average per day
  • 20+ Diet Quality

That’s it, that’s all!

Life:

February felt suuuuper short.  We got some things done but it felt like we were at maximum capacity without getting stressed out about doing shit.

We did put up the last piece of trim in the kitchen, but we totally spaced getting help hanging the cabinets when we had friends over this weeknd.  Hopefully we can grab another pair of hands to hang the cabinet soon.  It’s the only thing blocking the garage being cleaned out, and then we can cease remembering the stress of remodeling and move on with our lives with our gorgeous and oh-so-worth-it kitchen!

I guess the pantry is on March’s list.  Oops.  Like I said, February was too short!

I finished Chapter 9 in my book.  I only have 10 and 15 left.  I’m so excited!  Everything is coming together… at least for the first draft.  Then I have to read it and face how incoherent a book written out of order will be and how much editing work I have ahead of me.  However, I will definitely let myself celebrate Draft 1 complete when it happens, because that’s better than I’ve ever done before!

I read the Startup of You and it got me all thinky.  I definitely have some new things to think about in terms of my 2018 resolution of not being a self-centered asshole, or to look at it a more positive way, strengthen my network by being a helpful, nurturing, and approachable individual.  Then I read Runner’s World – Train Smart, Run Forever, and pretty much nodded along with it, because it’s how I’ve been leaning towards for this year’s training.  It’s a great resource for someone interested in a low mileage but still productive and cohesive training plan.

I made a video!  Wooohoo!  I can’t wait to make more!  But… it was 35 minutes.  I’ll have to work on the rambling. 🙂  I’m stoked that I went from super intimidated by it to super excited for it just by doing it once.  Sometimes that’s all it takes, I guess!

I remade the earring I lost, I did not break out paints, but I did play a lot of games.  So, about fifty fifty here.

Biking outside has been problematic for various reasons, and I’ve actually resigned myself to the fact that trainer time is actually more productive and better for me right now.  I’m looking forward to some happy fun outdoor group rides with friends though.  Soon.

Again, I feel like the order of this month is more of the same.  I feel like my year is on a pretty good trajectory, it’s just been a little slow to get going (which is ok… we don’t have to run at maniac speed all the time).

March’s To Do list:

Finish the stupid garage.  Really and truly.

Organize the pantry.  Like Nike says, Just Do It (this will take like, an hour or two max).

One more book chapter.  Chapter 10.

Two non-fiction books.  One business and one sporty (TBD).  I have a backlog of both so it shouldn’t be too hard.

More videos!  Record at least one that’s coherent and no more than 10-15 minutes by the end of the month (if not weekly).

Yesterday, I went from “I have no idea what I want to paint” to “OMG I have fifty ideas of what I want to paint” by surfing through my own photo references.  Then, to avoid more decision paralysis, I let Zliten decide which one I should do first.

And it is… **drumroll please** sunset at Salt Pier (without my silly face).

I laid out the line drawings and then completely covered it up with paint (doh – ill skip that in the future) for the first layer.  So, the goal this month is to complete a painting and start #2, whatever that will be!

March holds a lot of cool things that I’m really excited for, and it feels like the year is really beginning now.  Yay!

What’s your favorite month of the year?

 

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