Adjusted Reality

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

Month: May 2018

Now appearing in real life, sort of…

I exist!  Really I do!

Not just a figment of someone’s imagination that was left in Mexico somewhere, nope, nope, not at all!

While I still have so many hours of photo editing, which means the vacation isn’t yet COMPLETELY over, I have had a nice gentle return to reality (thanks to my team at work, you did a GREAT job giving me plenty of time to catch up and reacquaint myself with choices slightly more serious than the lido deck or the promenade).  So, I suppose I should announce here that… IM BAAAAACK!

A few random thoughts from the trip while I make the pictures pretty…

Great vacation weather > shitty vacation weather > no vacation.  However, when some of your activities are based upon light and visibility, sometimes shitty vacation weather puts a damper on things.  Especially when the ocean in Roatan decides to attack you instead of being nice, when you were looking forward to it most of all, but more on that later. ><

Wind nor rain nor crappy visibility nor currentous waters will not keep me from my fishies though!!!

A fantastic way to make sure you don’t gain weight on vacation is to develop a minor stomach bug at the end of it (thankfully, just enough to have a slightly upset stomach, not enough to ruin my vacation).  Seriously, the scale today said 1.2 lbs lower than I weighed the day before I got on the boat, and my appetite is definitely what it was before, if not lower.  I’m definitely not loving the not-100% feeling that I’m feeling but I’m trying to find the silver lining here… 🙂

Going on vacation with family members who’s main goal is to eat all the food makes not eating like an asshole YOURSELF a challenge, but one that I did not completely fail.  One that I didn’t completely succeed at, for sure, as referenced by the midnight pizza one two nights, and the unfortunate discovery of bags of potato chips freely given at the deli counter, but obviously, I didn’t gain back all the weight I lost since March like I feared I would.

Coral rash sucks, but sucks more for the coral. 🙁

One thing that helped was the gym was SUPER nice.  Unfortunately our schedules didn’t sync up with any spin classes like we hoped, but they had nice new cardio machines and a boatload of kettlebells which I used every day we weren’t in port (and port days included between 1.5-3 hours in the water so I wasn’t completely slacking there either).  While you can’t out exercise a crappy diet, you can at least account for a few beers or extra bread and butter with dinner with some activity and I did my damndest.

And finally, I’m not entirely sure if there’s anything more relaxing than a massage on the beach after a few margaritas listening to the sound of the rain.  If I need to go to a happy place in the future, Costa Maya will be in my arsenal. 🙂

Moar later.  For now, I’m reacquainting myself with vegetables and gentle workouts (my body is not quite ready for anything ass kicking yet) and opening up the calorie tracker for the first time in a few weeks and stopping by Snap Kitchen on the way home for easy peasy healthy food to get me through to the weekend when I can make some of my own.  Life.  And back to it.

The Short Version

My brain is already on vacation.  I didn’t race last weekend.  I did some training.  I ate food.  Life is hectic.  There’s my blog.  Have a good week!

*smirk*

Ha, gotcha.  Even though I don’t have huge big adventure stories, it won’t stop me from blathering about mundane life things.  #sorrynotsorry  Best advert for a blog post ever – I have nothing amazing to talk about but here’s 1600 words anyway!

I took a day off after Rookie, and then attempted to get right back on the horse.  It kind of worked.  I have to remember that even though I didn’t get a lot of training hours in the last few weeks, I did get two KILLER speed workouts racing at maximum capacity racing back to back weekend.  I had to pull back my intentions a little and remember that QUALITY really trumps quantity for me unless I’m moving up to a new distance.  And then it still probably does, but I need to push volume for the sake of my confidence.

My two key sessions last week were our team brick and a cycling FTP test.  On the brick, I was happy with my bike (best paces and powers yet on the potato chip speed loops), but my run was a little MEH.  I was not ready to push it 3 days after racing so I backed off and sat on that comfortably uncomfortable perch in the pain cave and coasted in at 9:30s.  Saturday morning, I was super dreading the FTP test and put it off as long as I could… and it wasn’t that bad.  That probably was part of the problem – I’m not sure I nailed the effort, since I had some juice at the end of the 20 minute all out segment, and came up with a slightly disappointing number: 172 (2.16 watts/kg).  I thought I *had* to be at 180 at this point.  Oh well, metrics are metrics and I’ll try this again monthly – it’s a great workout!

The color coordination is strong with this one. #sockdoping #wattagebrigade

Last week’s totals:

  • 1 weights – oops.  I need to ditch the excuses (cranky glute, busy, ran out of time, lazy, etc) and JUST DO THESE!!! Argh.
  • 2 swims – about 2500yd/40 min (1 drills session) – see, now that it’s warm all I want to do is swim, this was no problem to get done
  • 2 bikes – about 30 miles/1h50 min – brick bike + FTP test
  • 2 runs – 6 miles/1h5 min – one miserable heat training lunch hilly run + alightly less miserable brick run

Total – a little under 5 hours.  Less than planned. Oops.  This week’s plans are:

  • 3 weights – poooossssibly two of those kettle bell sessions vs actual lifting because I don’t want to poke my glutes too hard, and one core sesh.
  • 2 runs – brick run and a run that will be an hour long/6 miles/until death (whichever of these seems like a good stopping point)
  • 2 bikes – commute (yay fun bikes) and the brick ride (yay fast bikes)
  • 2 swims – though one is planned to be in a hotel pool which may or may not be successful or long but it’s getting done, darn it!

Looks like about 6 hours give or take.  At some point I’ll need to start ramping up a *little* for Cozumel but for now this volume seems to be working so I’m sticking with it!

Another thing that seems to be working is #projectraceweight.  Trendweight and I are friends again.

And see, my (interim) goal weight (165) is back in the realm of summer 2018, instead of two years from now!

Now that I’m getting the hang of this, I think I’ve noticed the trend that two weeks of the month I’ll make awesome progress and two weeks (that super fun week where Aunt Flo moves into town and the week after) I make little to none.  So, at the very least, I can be less frustrated because it’s a TREND.  Even factoring in weeks where I’m stalled out, I seem to be back on track to maybe actually keep this party train going into 160s-town.  That’s exciting!  And then, since I actually know what I need to do to make it happen, I plan to hop on again next offseason and follow it down a bit more to 150s-ville, for the first time in almost a decade!

For now, I’ll celebrate that I officially have pretty much undone all the damage that crazy high-carb/calorie program the nutritionist suggested (finally, almost 3 years later).  I’ll throw 10 parties for that!

Here’s the last two week’s numbers:

Apr 30-May 6

  • Average calories in: 1845
  • Average calories out: 2195
  • Average diet quality score: 21.2
  • Average deficit: -350
  • Average weight: 178.2 (-1.4)

May 7-13

  • Average calories in: 1699
  • Average calories out: 2300
  • Average diet quality score: 23
  • Average deficit: -601
  • Average weight: 176.1 (-2.1)

A few data caveats to fend off any “well, actually…” comments:

  • My average weight here is from my GARMIN scale.  My TRENDWEIGHT above pulls from my FITBIT scale, which weighs on average about 1 lb higher (though it varies day to day, this morning it was 2 lbs higher, the other day it was lower. :P).  And yes, I’m going to keep metrics from the lower one because it helps my self esteem, thankyouverymuch.
  • The calorie burn/deficit is from the GARMIN devices, not FITBIT.  I think the Garmin devices are a little conservative vs the Fitbit WAYYYY overestimating (it makes sense why I couldn’t lose weight for so long, even when using the -1000 per day setting).  For example, Monday May 7th, I did no formal exercise but got about 11k steps.  Fitbit has me burning 3.2k calories that day.  Garmin has me burning 2.1k.  Garmin’s definitely closer but may be sandbagging me a little.

Now, I need to make sure and not fuck it up when I go on vacation.  I keep saying it (mostly to drill it into my own head when I’m presented with all the food I can eat 24/7), but honestly, I think the big thing is to control my QUANTITY first and quality second.  I’ll live for a week if I don’t get my macros correct but I could really make the scale angry by eating too much, even if it’s mostly healthy.  For example – if I’m craving pizza, I’ll get a slice and a salad for lunch.  That’s acceptable.  What is not acceptable is eating a full breakfast, then lunch, then a slice as a snack (and then a salad because I’m feeling guilty and should eat something healthy too), then dinner.

My only goal is not to gain weight.  Wish me luck!

So freaking close to thissssss….

Speaking of vacation, I swear, it takes forever to get ready for it, and then it’s over in the blink of an eye.  But hey, at least I’m almost ready!  Sunday was MY DAY to do all the things to get prepared and I did *most* of them including a self-pedicure, tweezing the face caterpillars over my eyes, grabbing some of my things out of storage that had gotten bigger and longer again (yay!).

I also spent a bunch of hours reading the manual and playing with my new camera.  I was getting really stressed and snippy about it (sorry husband of mine) because I felt intimidated by it.  It’s got so many professional type features and I’m typically a point and shoot type gal.  However, after a few hours, I think I can work the basic operations and know generally what all the modes and settings mean and I’ll get better with it as I have more gorgeous things to put in front of it.  And, if every shot is not the most perfect-est on my first outing, that’s ok, I’ll have more opportunities to get pretty pictures in the future.

So at this point, I still have a few To Dos but I’m feeling less crazy.

Yesterday, I got a massage.  I think it was enough to calm the pain in the ass (literally) and the slight niggle moving around my heel/ankle still, but I’m on watch to see if I need to get into the chiropractor too (I have one real window on Thursday to do it).

I’m debating on a haircut.  I actually am not minding it long in my normal human life.  This actually didn’t take too terribly long to produce (though longer than I will spend on my looks about 355-ish days of the year which is approximately 30 seconds):

But I know I tend to say that until I get it cut and then wonder how I dealt so long.  I also know on vacation my hair is constantly wet and that could get annoying.  I may see if I can find a window of time to hit up the Bird’s to get a real snip snip or I may just have my husband give it a trim, ignoring the layers I usually get, or I may leave it.  My mother reminded me that she travels with scissors (though I certainly don’t trust HER with them as she’ll give me a bowl cut or something like this), and my husband reminded me that they have a (rather pricey) salon on board.  I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seat as to what I do so follow along on Instagram for the final verdict, hehe.

I’m sure I need to pick up a few odds and ends as I pack and find things like I don’t have any travel shaving cream, make sure I have enough books downloaded on my Kindle so I don’t run out of reading material, make sure things like my camera manual and video plan are loaded onto my travel laptop since there’s not going to be much internet around, but I think I’ve done the majority of the things.

So, of course, off to do all the OTHER things.

Rookie Tri – I am one with the fourth

This race felt very different.

See the tent?  Home turf.

First of all, the positives: not having to drive many hours to get there, not having to spend the week before packing and getting ready, racing with the team (support, camaraderie, team tent to drop our stuff at), and things feeling a little more low stress.

However, that also came with a less restful night of sleep – trying to lay down at 8pm without that nice loud camper fan to block out all the noise and make the bedroom area 65 degrees was NOT really successful.  Then there was the urge to do more productive things since I had more free time, which I fought and won, but it was hard.  And, the fact that I need some introvert time before the race and that’s more difficult when you have like a million friends racing.  Poor me, I know.  But there are things to consider.

The day before was fairly typical.  I had Panera for lunch, and homemade grilled chicken, baked potato, and veggies for dinner.  We took all that time we weren’t driving and popping up the camper and went to see Avengers, Infinity War.  Woah.  That escalated quickly.  The only thing I was a little iffy on my decision making skills was that I participated in a 45 minute spin + weights class (meant to just do a spin class), but I totally sandbagged it, so I don’t think I was any worse for wear.  I got a lake swim in, though it was kind of terrible due to a wardrobe malfunction (let’s just say my Coeur top’s built in bra is no longer useful), but it felt nice to be in the water.

It wasn’t the best night of sleep ever, but it certainly wasn’t the worst, and I was up with only a little prodding from my alarm at 5am and did all the normal things – earl grey, english muffin with sun butter and honey, and two caff jelly beans.

And, we played the hell out of this on the 15 minute drive to Decker Lake.  Apparently, this is Race Day 2018 song.

The morning was also very typical except the race started at 8am instead of 7 like the last two, but we arrived just as early.  I definitely noticed my muscles getting tense with all the standing around waiting.  There may be something to the strategy of skating into transition at the last minute, though I’m pretty sure doing that intentionally would cause other types of stress.  I WAS able to steal away for about 10 minutes before the start and close my eyes and get myself all pumped up and ready to go.  I’ll need to make sure and do that every time – this really helps my mental game vs being all social butterfly and then stumbling into the race before my thoughts are collected.

And I needed time to make really ridiculous faces.  (thx Jim Hungerford for the pic!)

Swim:

They sent us off two by two every two seconds, and even with that many people, it actually did seem to work to alleveate the congestion.  I was pleased that the entry was pebble-y this year and not rocky like I remembered it in 2015 (or maybe my feet have just HTFU’d a little?) so I ran in until I felt the water hit just below my knees and dove in and kind of sprinted a little since I had some space.

I didn’t do a great job holding good form or position (though I did think it a few times and self corrected until I got hit by the next breaststroking person).  I did also get my goggles knocked halfway through, and my right eye was half full of water.  But when you have less than 150 meters left, you just deal with it and keep that eye closed mostly and keep pushing to the finish.   The home stretch was nice, I was just finding my stroke and then I was up and on the carpet and vertical.  This is how all these short swims go.

Swim time: 6:21 (2:07/100m) – 4/15 AG.  While on paper this time looks sucky for me, it’s a beach start with a run in and then a run out.  It’s my best here by 50 seconds, and for a 300m swim, that’s significant.

T1:

I stashed my sandals once again and took the extra 5 seconds to put them on.  This transition area is notorious for those annoying little sticker burrs and it was well worth the time for insurance.  I jogged up the hill and found my bike and had no issues with the gear change.  I did play it cautious and carried my bike out of transition instead of rolling it, which actually lost me a little time.

T1 time: 3:06 – 5/15 AG.  I’m not sure I’d do that carry-the-bike thing again, but other than that, I’m pretty happy with 3 minutes to run up that huge hill and through the large transition area.

Coming in hot!  Literally.  It was warm! (thx again Jim!)

Bike:

This is where I’ve been crushing it lately in races and I went out to go blow by a bunch of people.  But, because this is Austin, I actually had the experience of people whizzing past me as well.  That was weird, lol.  My teammate Kari came by me at a million miles an hour right about mile 2 on the bike (after starting at least a few minutes back) and I knew I was definitely in a different race.

It was 150 feet more gain over 5 less miles than last Sunday, and the hillier a course gets, the less I have the advantage.  Even though I’m strong on the bike, I am fairly beefy which means more to drag up hills, which matters more the steeper they are.  I held to my plan to just keep pushing and not let myself get stuck behind someone going slower than I was capable.  There were a few times I tucked back in behind someone and caught my breath, but it was always to regroup and pass them after the next hill/turn/etc.

This course has two notable hills – Carnage and Quad Buster.  Carnage was actually just about as bad as I remember, a downhill section to a sharp right turn that heads immediately into a steep hill.  I remembered to downshift to easy gears and still had to jog it up out of the saddle for about 30 seconds.  Quad Buster looms ominously around mile 10, you go up a hill before it and then as you descend it looks like it stretches straight up into the heavens.  However, with the momentum I got (even with some jerkface passing me just to ride his brakes right in front of me ><), I found that hill reasonably… fine.  I had to shift to easy gears and I was a little out of breath after but I did not feel worse for wear.

There’s one last eff you with a hill directly into transition (we don’t baby our Rookies in Austin), and then you’re back!

Bike Time: 36:34 – 18.4 mph – 5/15 AG.  On one hand, my placement was a little disappointing, and my speed was a little lower than I hoped.  However, 2nd-4th off the bike’s splits were 36:15 – 36:32, with the age group winner at 18.9.  Also, I had a power best of 198W normalized.  That doesn’t suck for me.  Plus, my average heart rate was 164, which means I did a pretty good job at pushing the bike, but not to the point where I screw my run.  So, overall, I’m ok with this.

T2:

One oops here: I ran down the wrong rack and had to duck under it with my bike.  Thankfully, I have a tiny bike that fits under the rack so it only cost me a few seconds vs having to run entirely around.  I was in and out rather quickly otherwise and on the run in no time.

T2 time: 1:20. 4/12 AG.  Missed first by 9 seconds.  At least I’ll console myself with the fact that there were so few bikes back on the racks it was hard to tell where I should have been?  Also: duuuuurrrr.

Run:

I’m not much of a soft and uneven surfaces type runner (give me track over cross country ANY DAY), but generally I do well here.  Then, we got flooding and they had to completely change the course.  The front part of the park flooded.  The back part has massive hills.  So, when I saw us heading immediately back there, I groaned.  Right.  It’s going to be one of THESE runs.

I had followed a girl with a 36 on her leg out of transition (in my age group), and I huffed and puffed over her shoulder, drafting for at least a quarter mile (sorry).  I couldn’t quite pass until I summoned some extra oomph and I went by her expecting her to respond… nope.  I passed someone!  And it stuck!  It was exciting!

At that point, I was running to not get caught and I kept the heat on.  I thought to myself at one point, “Wow, self, this feels absolutely bloody terrible” and then followed up with, “Good!  A two mile all out run should feel just this terrible.”  I tried to console myself that I was less than fifteen minutes from sweet, sweet relief.  I saw some of my teammates coming the other way that I expected to be finished already and figured I was doing really really well.

And then I got to THE HILL.  I’m sure it isn’t as bad as I remember, but at mile 1.25 of a 2 mile all out run, it looked like a black diamond ski run.  I felt my quads burning on the way down because it was steep and rocky and then we turned around and went up.  I tried to run the whole thing but I actually walked for about 30 seconds at the steepest part.  Then a girl with a 35 on her leg just BLASTED past me like a freaking mountain goat.  I didn’t have any sort of response to that, but I at least started making with the running motions again.

I always look forward to running the last bit on the road and noticed that sadly they had used that space for parking this year, so the entire thing was uneven grass.  That 8:30/mile pace I really wanted to hold was just untenable that day, but the effort was there as I busted my ass towards the finish line hoping I wouldn’t collapse first.

Run time: 18:37 – 9:19/mile.  6/15 AG.  While it’s my lowest placement it’s not by much and my heart rate average at 175 shows me I was doing the absolute best I could (that is absolutely my redline).

Overall: 1:06:00.  4/15 AG.  Girlfriend that busted by me on that hill (running 6:49/mile average) took third by 40 seconds.  While I’m questioning whether I had an extra 40 seconds on the bike I could have found somewhere, because I know I didn’t have it on the run or swim, I really feel like I gave yesterday all I could and there were just three faster ladies than me out on the course.  The Rookie Tri is always very competitive in the veteran category, and I’m stoked to have placed so high in my age group.  You can’t always stand on the podium… is something that I’ve said no other year because it’s not something that happened to me often… so I’ll be happy that I had the chance the last two races and that I was so close this time!

All in all, I had a super fun day.  I’m so excited that so many non-triathlete BSS people came out to cheer and/or heckle us!  It was awesome to have teammates around and hang out and drink beer recovery drinks and eat tacos and otherwise enjoy the morning in ways that we couldn’t in a town four hours away by ourselves.

And, of course, it was super great to take really awesome pictures such as THIS as a team:

Accepting captions for this one in the comments. (thx Jim!)

As much as I like racing, I’m super ready to spend a month regrouping with my training.  It will be nice to not be a bag of inflammation every seven days (like I am today!), and then have one more back to back weekend of racing in June before the season shifts again to longer stuff.

April showers bring May flowers…

Guys, it’s been a pretty good month around here in Adjusted Reality land.

Two for two on podiums so far!

First, let’s talk triathlon and training.  Something is clicking around here and it’s really incredible after a few years of, let’s face it, funk, I’m seeing some improvements!  I’m going to give credit to a few things:

Weight training.  I’ve taken steps to actually do things to strengthen my weak spots instead of just ignoring them and wishing they would be better.  While I already feel my motivation to lift waning these days, I need to stay on it.  There can’t really be another explanation as to why all of a sudden my stride has returned, and as long as I don’t do dumb shit like lift too heavy and strain things, it does wonders for keeping me stable and healthy.

Flexibility/Recovery.  In previous cycles, I knew I should stretch and roll and do all that shit regularly, but I never put it together how it would directly really help things like my triathlon finishing times.  Increased flexibility in my hips and my shoulders gives me a more efficient running stride and a more comfortable and stable aero position on the bike.  Actually bucking up and rolling my ITB and calves instead of thinking about it and then not doing it because that shit hurts when it’s tight has helped ease some of my little niggles and be able to train better.  It’s a war with myself daily to do these things but I’m starting to win it more often than not lately.

Specific training. On one hand, it’s been a relief.  Doing like 5-6 hours a week of training actually makes it easier to be a human person.  Having my longest workouts be in the realm of 1.5 hours means I have much more time to relax and pursue other hobbies instead of just dying on the couch in my non-triathlon recreational hours.  On the other hand, it feels weird that I’m getting better at running, biking, and swimming by not doing much running, biking, or swimming, but I’ll take it.  The hours I am putting in are quality over quantity and at least for the sprint distance, it’s working well.

My monthly numbers are fairly pathetic:

  • 24 miles run
  • 188 miles biked
  • 7000m swam
  • 6 weights sessions
  • About 24 hours total

However, I stood on top of the podium March 31st and on the third step last weekend, with significant bike and run PR paces/watts/efforts.  I think it’s proven that what I’m doing right now is working, so I’ll keep at it.  I race this weekend again, so the last two weeks have been light, even for my reduced schedule.  I’ll take a day or two to recover after Sunday and then it’s back to it!

I haven’t followed the three per week weights schedule I set out to do last month, but I did hit 2xweek on non racing weeks and 1xweek on race weeks.  I really just need to find the motivation to add the extra core session in and not call it something I’ll do when I have time (which is never).  After Sunday, I don’t race for a month, so I plan to redouble my efforts for May and stick to the 3xweek plan.

See, proof I have been swimming!  Googgly eyes and everything.

Showing up to the pool has improved since the weather has gotten warmer, but I haven’t been doing anything but just swimming.  This month, I will plan at least 1 swim per week with some sort of focus besides going back and forth until my watch reads an acceptable number.  I also need to get in the open water at least once every other week, more if I can.  The water temperature is no longer an excuse!

After a nice month of my ankle being cooperative, last week, it randomly started talking to me again.  It held just fine for the race, but something is not right.  I was being lax about wearing my insoles and real shoes (*grumble grumble*), so I’ve started doing that again as well as rededicating myself to my ankle rehab exercises (they take like, one minute to do but it’s easy to forget).  That being said, I’m keeping my running to short, fast jaunts until it’s been pain free for a while, but I would like to reach an hour/6 mile run by the end of the month, since I need to start considering building some endurance for September and my run takes the longest to do that.

My heart wants to go play bikes with the team on all the lovely group rides and fun outings they’ve had lately and commuting and going on adventures.  My head is keeping me focused on specific workouts that are shorter, include pain face, and more often than not have a run follow up.  I’ve got about a month and a half until my last sprint race this season, and until then, I’m endeavoring to try to get my head to win the battle at least 75% of the time (but playing bikes is a necessity for life, so that will happen sometimes).

Pizza has happened once since the start of #projectraceweight, if I went out with the team it would happen more often. 😛

Speaking of being a bit of a hermit (sorry Team BSS, it’s not you, it’s totally me), the other half of the equation here is that I’m actually making some gosh darn freaking progress on this whole #projectraceweight thing.  However, I know myself.  I’m really bad at temptation and quite honestly, for the temporary period of time that I’m doing this shit, it’s better for me to pretend that pizza and beer don’t exist anymore.  Sure, I could do the rides and then just go home (and when my training starts to include some workouts that say “ride bikes for more than 30 minutes”, I will).  Sure, I could go hang out and drink water.  But I know myself.  It’s better right now to take myself out of the equation entirely.

So, here’s where I’m at.  I am on temporary notice.  I have put myself in the corner on timeout.  Because I have been an asshole with food for a few years, I have to not be an asshole with food for a few months, even though it is fun and social and happy and I work out so I deserve it and all that stuff people say (including me) but the scale does not lie that I do not deserve as much as I have partaken.

See, I can sabotage myself just fine without anyone’s help, thanks.  Over the last two weeks, trendweight has gone from “hey, you’re doing great and will be at your goal weight in June” to “hey, you’re kind of sucking at this and you’ll be at your goal weight in November 2020”.  I royally fucked up my calorie intake while out camping.  Like, consumed more than DOUBLE the amount of calories than my normal daily goal without even trying because I ate a bunch of snacks instead of a real meal.  Lesson learned.  Eat the food right away even if you don’t want it or it’s not exactly what you want or it’s not super healthy or you’ll eat a million times more later.

For the next few weeks, I am trying to be EXTRA good before vacation.  I don’t really have a goal, but I’d like to see what two weeks of being angelic can do for me.  I need to be careful right about now.  My clothes fit.  I’m looking better in race pictures – my first thought about these was that I looked really buff instead of the usual *BARF*.  This is right about the time where I get complacent and subconsciously say, “good enough”.  I want to not do that this time.

The good news is that my weight is starting to trend down again, and even with the TERRIBLE eating on Sunday, being good the rest of the week saved me.  Sort of.

  • Average diet quality: 21.5
  • Average calories in: 1926 calories (this is where 3700 calories on Sunday really tanked me)
  • Average calories out: 2310
  • Average deficit: -384
  • Average weight: 179.6 (back exactly where I was two weeks ago)

However, the nice thing is that over the month, I maintained at least a 21 or more Diet Quality score on average, and I have lost approximately 2.2 lbs, which does not suck.

It helps me to list out the challenges I foresee each month, so here’s May’s:

Vacation.  The plan is simply not to GAIN weight, and being reasonable with my portions.  I’m not tracking anything. I know how to do this, I just haven’t come off 9 weeks of dieting before so I need to keep my hair at least not COMPLETELY let down.

  • Eat a reasonable QUANTITY of food.  I need to continue to eat to the level in which I am either just not hungry or satiated.  Not overly full or uncomfortable.
  • Breakfast OR lunch as a full meal, with a snack size for the other meal.
  • One plate and one soup bowl at the buffet that includes a good amount of vegetables/fruit.
  • At night, the hair will be slightly more down, but I plan on one appetizer not three, ordering whatever I want for my main dish, and either skipping it or a few bites of desert is plenty unless it’s amazing.
  • As for alcohol, I’ll probably indulge in like one fruity drink and then stick to my normal whiskey on the rocks, vodka soda, or the occasional glass of wine or light beer.
  • And, while I’m sure there will be a slip up or two in there, no surfing the buffet or late night food when I shouldn’t be. 🙂

But, it’s vacation, so this is absolutely going to happen and I won’t stress about it.

Navigating a reasonable calorie intake after the Rookie Tri on Sunday.  I plan to eat whatever food is there as recovery (since they usually have delicious tacos) and have pre-made salads and easy, reasonable calorie-count food for the rest of the day I just need to pop in the microwave.

Game day.  This hasn’t been too difficult lately.  I’ve been eating a snap kitchen meal ahead of time, which actually works out because the food has time to settle before I start shoving snacks in and then get a stomach ache from being too full.  I’ll just bring my own pistachios to much on and share and mostly ignore everyone else’s contributions.

Movie/Lunch day with work.  Trying to decide which one item on this list would either be the most healthy (I mean, hummus and veggies are obvious but that’s not a MEAL) or whether I just want to splurge and make sure it’s most of my calories for that particular day.

My goals when not on vacation:

No dessert besides my nightly square of chocolate.  People be making it hard around here lately but I’m staying strong.  Just saying NO is getting easier as I’m making progress.

As close to 1500 calories average as possible.  Sometimes this means I should eat slightly less than 1500 to compensate for days when I eat more.  This is starting to actually become a possibility, my stomach is getting trained that this is plenty of food to thrive on if I eat all healthy things.

Diet quality as an important but secondary goal.  If I want to eat something slightly reprehensible, I just need to make sure I work it into my daily goal of 1500 calories.

I need dis.

Man, this is getting long already.  In terms of life stuff, I kind of halfway failed at everything but made some progress.

  • I started a painting but didn’t finish it.
  • I read Operation Ironman and about 60% of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published and the book thing started stressing me out a little so I kind of put it on hold until after the last race, thus preserving my give-a-shit.
  • I finished my first draft of my book!  And then, I have completely ignored it ever since.  And will continue to do so until I get back from vacation.
  • I made two new videos on healthy breakfast ideas!  I wanted to make 3 but at least I did something.
  • Our garage is now clear and we’ve been parking in it since April 14th.  Feels good man!

I’m definitely hanging on by a thread right now, I really need me some vacation, so I’m going to make my May list a little fluffier:

  • Get myself ready for vacation.  That means a haircut, tweezing the brows, and a self-pedicure.
  • Go through my too-small clothes the week before the cruise and see if it’s time to dig some old favorites out!
  • Finish my publishing book and read another athlete memoir (maybe more since I’ll be on vacation but I also should escape into fiction as well).
  • Get lots of footage on vacation in beautiful places that I can put together as video.  I want to actually have a PLAN for this before I go otherwise I won’t do it.
  • Read the manual and learn all the settings for my new camera.
  • And most importantly… RELAX and enjoy some time chilling the eff out.  If I can fit it in my busy schedule.

I’ll go back to the adulting next month.  Maybe.

A long drive for a little race – Texasman Sprint Triathlon

It’s funny to travel about three times as many hours as you plan to race the next day, but that’s what we did for the Texasman Sprint.  No regrets.

We really enjoyed doing the X-50 four years ago and when I looked at the results last year, I had a good chance of placing in my age group, so we decided to make the trek.

The day before, we traveled 4 hours to Dallas to get our packet and then another hour+ to the campground, but thankfully, it was fairly uneventful.  I ate typical pre-race food except for fried chips with my usual turkey sandwich at lunch because they were the option that was there.  We both enjoyed what we had but on the way out, we wished we would have just stopped at any one of the 100 Subways we passed on the road instead.

Since we were camping less than a mile away from the race start (another reason we wanted to do this one), after we got the popup set up, we took a quick cruise around and down to the lake on our TT bikes and a very short warmup swim.  I was debating on a wetsuit because I am a cold water wuss.  While the lake was… refreshing at first, it was fine when I got going and it wasn’t worth the hassle, even with wetsuit strippers.  We both slept really well pre-race, and since we were so close to the start, we were able to wake up MUCH later than normal (5am for a 7am start, OMG).

I had the normal breakfast (two caff jelly beans, earl grey tea, sunbutter honey wheat english muffin) and did all the normal pre-race things like setting up transition and using the porta potty and squinting into the sun on the sandy beach cheering Zliten off since he was the first wave and then all of a sudden six minutes later it was my turn!

Swim:

My first open water swim in at least six months was Monday last week, with that short follow up the day before the race, so I had very little in terms of expectations for this.  It was the first mass start I’ve had in a while (beach start, all the women started at the same time).  I was not super excited about that for the swimming reasons, but I was because I would have a decent idea where my standing was in the race.  When the air horn went off, I ran in until my body fit into the water and then started paddling towards the first buoy directly into the sun.

I noted early on that there was a heck of a lot of combat for it being a little local sprint in the middle of nowhere – but then I realized I was going way off course and these ladies were actually doing me a favor trying to shove me closer to the buoy line.  Oops.  I could have been a little more efficient on the first third of the race, but once I could see again, my stroke relaxed, I focused on form, and I felt really strong swimming it in.  I also felt a little nauseous but sometimes that’s how these things go.

I paddled until I could barely fit my body between the bottom of the lake and the water and then stood up and ran through the arch to transition.

Swim time: 10:12 for 500m (2:02/100m).  4/12 AG.  During the race, I was grumpy about the swim but after reflection, I’m happy with this.  My times should improve organically as I stop ignoring swimming as one of the sports that triathlon includes, as well as wasted time with sighting issues.

T1:

In my last race report here, I chided myself for taking a long time in T1, and I remember it being a decent hike, so I did my best to be expedient.  I did, however, stash some sandals because the parking lot was so chip seal-y it hurt just to walk on, let alone run.  A lot of people did the same and it was super worth it.  I had zero hiccups and was on my bike and riding quickly!

T1 time: 3:20.  2/12 AG.  I’ve been working on shaving these down and I’m just fine with this.

Bike:

I came out of the water 10th overall (I had no way of knowing this) but I had convinced myself I was way far back overall and I needed to bike all these mother effers down.  So that’s what I set out to do.  One note, they were not putting ages on your calves at this race, and at first I was like, “how do I know who do I need to pass” and then I answered myself with “well, I guess… everyone”.  So, the goal was to pass everyone.

It was incredibly chip-seal-y, but I kept myself busy looking for the small patches of smooth road and aiming my tires there.  They asked us to stay on the shoulder as much as possible since the roads weren’t closed, but there were miles that between getting by people and the condition of the shoulder, I just rode in the road.

The course was just 8 miles out, 8 miles back.  Right around mile 5.5 I saw the first place guy, and I occupied myself with counting so I could tell Zliten what place he was in if it was good.  Then, I realized I’d get to see what place I was in as well.  I counted 16 men before I saw him, and only one girl (she was flying).  Then, just as I approached the turn around I saw about four more right ahead of me.  My goal, then, was to catch them all before transition.

They didn’t make it easy.  I kept passing guys but it took me almost six miles to reel those ladies in.  When I did, I tried to make sure I had the energy to decidedly passed and keep the heat on.  Then, as we approached transition, one girl pulled up right in front of me and turned around and apologized for passing this late in the race.  I told her I thought we were second and third or third and fourth and she was excited.  We dismounted at the same time and I think I crossed the line before her, if not, it was super close (either way, I had a faster bike time so *shrug*).

Bike time: 51:00.  18.9 mph.  1/12 AG (actually, 3rd best overall for women, I think only the overall winner and the masters winner beat me).  Super happy with this one since it was WAYYY hillier and just as chip seal-y, if not more.  168W average/186 normalized is the best I’ve done in a race so far.  I <3 bikes and they seem to love me back lately.

T2:

As we crossed the timing mat, I heard the volunteer watching bike in say, “3rd woman in, 4th woman in, 5th woman in…”  That was pretty neat to be at the front of that.  I wanted to try and keep my lead on the pack as long as I could so I very quickly and efficiently transitioned and actually beat everyone else out.

T2 time: 1:07.  2/12 AG

Run:

As cool as it was to be rolling in 3rd place overall, it lasted less than two minutes.  My legs did not want to run quickly right away, especially going uphill, and two ladies blew past me running faster than my legs could fathom.  Ok, I was in 5th.  Less than a mile in, another girl passed me, but she wasn’t going THAT much faster, so I kept a target on her back and kept trying to reel her in.  When we were on flats or downhills I made progress, but on uphills she just kept getting further away (this would be the subtitle of my memoir if it was about running).

I saw my husband a few minutes before I hit the turnaround and waved, and after I started the run back to the finish, I noted that I had someone about a minute behind me but she was running about my pace so I just pressed on.  I spent all my attention on reeling in the girl in front of me, and by the time I could hear the finish, she got closer but she was really giving me a run for my money.

Then, with a quarter mile to go, this crazy fast girl with legs full of fire just BLOWS past me.  Like, there’s just nothing in my legs that could even come close to answering what just happened there (looking later, her run was a smoking 21-minutes for a 5k).  I think I lost it mentally there a little bit, I mean, I was still racing my ass off to the finish, but girlfriend ahead of me I had been following all race pulled away and then I saw Zliten cheering me in and in a super #pathetic moment I actually went toward him which was the wrong way at the finish line around the chute (durrr), and then made my way back and I was through and done.

Run time: 28:12. 9:06/mile pace. 6/12 AG.  So much conflict.  I’m disappointed I couldn’t pull out the pace and the feeling I had in my run earlier in the week.  I’m disappointed that I couldn’t open up my stride as much (.96 vs 1.02, which means nothing to anyone except me).  I’m disappointed that I couldn’t reel anyone in and also that I just got literally CONFUSED when asked to surge at the end.

However, this is my fastest sprint pace yet (for a 5k-ish run).  This was not flat and I ran this faster than the flat race a month ago.  3rd-5th on the run in my age group were less than 20 seconds/mile faster than me, when normally, that gap is huge.  I’m happy that I was at least attempting to run strategically in terms of competition in the race, which seems to keep me from the Bad PlaceTM in my head.

We stood around for about an hour waiting on results.  I knew I was 7th overall, but since there were no ages marked on our legs, I had no idea who was in my age group or not.  I figured I had a good chance at a podium but I was still kind of bopping around nervously eating watermelon and chewing my fingernails.

Total time: 1:33:28. 3/12 AG.  7th overall (out of 43.  teeeny race was teeeeny).

First place was the girl who blew by me with a quarter mile to go (finished 49 seconds ahead of me) and the one I couldn’t catch (36 seconds ahead of me).  We were the 35-39 podium.  I’m certainly satisfied with that.

While the run is still my sticking point, it’s getting better.  I am excited to keep working on running the crazy paces and obsessing over my cadence and stride length and my arm swing and all the strength and flexibility work that makes that possible.  However, this weekend, I race again, and my ankle has been randomly annoyingly cranky, so for the next few days, it’s all about keeping the body loose with some activity and all the rolling and stretching and seeing what I can do on Sunday.

This one coming up is a much bigger race, and thus, I’m less likely to podium.  However, I’ve been through the calculations vs last year’s time and on a great day I could maybe knock someone else off that third step.  I need to have a decent swim, efficient transitions, bike like I stole it, and find those run legs I know are there.  So, that’s what I’ll aim to do!

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