Adjusted Reality

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

Month: January 2019

Check check one two….

Hi everyone!

For various reasons, life is doing a me a crazy right now, but it looks like it will all resolve itself by the end of January, one way or another.  For now, I’m going to make this a quickie check in post and save the more involved topics for later.

I’m doing my best to take care of my health in ways that I haven’t been motivated to do in months, marking the transition from #offseason to #preseason.  I’ve cut back on booze.  I’ve been tracking my food and eating more veggies.  I’ve tried to rest, however, between allergies, things weighing on my mind both heavy and exciting, and also my body just not used to being rested (either fatigued from workouts or being an idiot), I’ve been having difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep.

I’m seeing wild variances in my weight on days where I sleep and don’t sleep well, so hopefully once things calm down and my training normalizes, I’ll start seeing some progress.  I am familiar with the process, my weight is a general collective summary of what I’ve done in the past month or so, and I still have weeks of holiday eating to temper with Snap Kitchen and a reasonable deficit.  My weight is settling in around 167-173 (post long run vs morning after eating a larger late dinner), so I’m not too far gone from where I was when I last raced.  All in all, I’m about 2-3 lbs up from Waco weight in 2 months, which is still on average about 18 lbs down from this time last year.

On a day by day basis sometime I feel like this puppers, but overall, it’s peace and I know progress will start soon if I am patient and persistent.  I need to keep tracking my goals and I’ll get there.

Also, I haven’t started the year this light since perhaps 2010, so that’s had some interesting effects on my training.  I’ve run less times since October 28th than I can count on both hands, but I’ve settled into a nice place where 10:30/mile, give or take, is my happy easy pace.  I did 10 miles there the first weekend of January and it felt like a warm hug, at least a warm hug with some muscle soreness.  My legs are lacking the strength and base to sustain a lot of miles right now.  I’m currently pursuing a crash course to meet the minimum goal of finishing a half marathon, but for each run I undertake, I seem to be as good as I once was.

On Saturday, I did all sorts of stupid shit.  First of all, the week before the race, I ran my longest training run, clocking 12 miles.  My Clifton 1s arrived a few days before, so I took on those miles in brand new shoes, which is a HUGE faux pas.  Nevertheless, with a new playlist, mind addled with WAY too many things on it, and squeaky kicks, I started to pound the pavement and found that my turnover and cadence felt AMAZING and the paces on my watch agreed.

At first, I started to pull back when I saw myself running 9 minute miles, but then I decided to have some effing confidence and stick with it.  While I won’t try to fool myself and say the entire run was easy peasy lemon squeezy, it certainly wasn’t race effort and I ran the 12 miles approximately at my half marathon PR pace, y’know, the one I’ve been trying desperately to crack since November 2010.  I spent the first half in my head working through all the various things rattling around up there, and then the last half, I let the effort surpass those mental machinations.  By the time it got hard I was so close to the end, I just stuck with it and even negative split that mother.  It was one of those magical runs that gives you the tingles when you think about it.

I’m excited to toe the line this weekend and see if there’s a second effort in there in that same zip code.  Instead of the hot and humid we had last year, the pendulum has swung the opposite direction and it should be one of the coldest mornings on record (in the 20s, possibly feels-like-teens with windchill).  I know that when I’m running, I’ll be fine, I just have to prepare properly for pre- and post-race layers.  I have no expectations on the time on the clock when I finish but I do have a little more optimism than I did a few weeks ago about heading into a race so undertrained. 

There have been swims, there have been weights (once a week each), and I did conquer a FTP (functional threshold power) last week.  My previous measurement right in the thick of training mid-summer last year was 179 watts.  Considering that test was probably the last speedwork I have done as I was ramping up for a half ironman, I absolutely knew it had faded a bit.  I decided to aim for 160 watts, and I ended up with an FTP of exactly 160 watts, knowing I could have pushed harder.  I’m pretty chill with a loss of 19 watts considering it’s pre-season.  I’m hoping that next month, my watts will be above my weight because their trajectories should be bisecting each other soon.

I’ve spent the majority of the rest of my free time focused on some nerdy shit.  I’m finished off a fantastic Sci Fi book series – Space Team – at least until more are written, which inspired me over the break to write a choose your own adventure (they’re a bit out of order but the text is there) in the same style and possibly explore penning something longer form as well.  I’m marathoning a fantastic show called Critical Role, where voice actors play Dungeons&Dragons, and I’m hooked.  I’m currently reading some books in the Lit RPG classification (books where tabletop role playing game players end up IN the game), previously Creatures&Caverns and my current books are Spells, Swords, & Stealth

I’m also leaning into the ridiculousness of my Bard character in OUR tabletop game.  I’ve started writing session recaps in my character’s voice (which is fantastic writing practice and just plain fun to do), getting really into the story’s investigations like woah, and just coming up with clever and crazy shit.  It’s amusing me to no end, and anything that makes me smile this much is something worth doing in my book.

I’m 100% eyes wide open that this is an escape into fantasy land because real life feels kind of heavy right now.  I wrestled with it for a while, but I’ve got no shame following this path because it feels like something I should do.  In the last few months, I’ve become more engaged in my writing, enjoying “costuming” myself, and I’ve picked up music again.  I feel like some of the ludicrous things I do and plan to do during these sessions are also great exercises in confidence, taking risks, and practice in asking forgiveness not permission, which will be key in some other things I need to conquer this year.   

Actually, screw forgiveness as well.  I don’t need to be sorry for the things that I am.  I just need to forge ahead and let things fall in my wake as they may as long as my conscience is sound. 2019 is about telling the haters in my head, those negative evil voices that say that I’m taking up too much space in the world, telling all that noise and nonsense to kindly take a long walk off a short pier.

January Goals

Monthly goals are back.  And there was much rejoicing for TWO bullet point list goal posts in a row!

Disapproving me is disapproving (probably because I’m riding my bike inside *grumble grumble*).

I promise I’ll get to some more interesting stuff soon, but I definitely need to be accountable for some habits I’m trying to break and new ones I want to create, so that means I need to shout it out loud on my little soapbox here.

Sporty Stuff:

I’m racing twice.  Weird, huh?  I’m entirely unprepared for both of them, but it will be fun to toe a starting line again after months away from competition.  I’m racing 3M Half Marathon Jan 20th and my goals include 1) showing up and 2) seeing what happens.  I plan to go out rather conservatively and see if I can pick it up during the second half and negative split even though the second half goes up.  The next weekend, I’ve got the Lifetime Indoor Tri.  There, my goals will include 1) swimming as hard as I can 2) biking as hard as I can 3) trying not to throw up until after the run.  I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with the pain place once again.

In terms of training, I will be ramping up the hours a bit, but not a ton.  

  • Weights: one per week this month.  After I’m done racing, in February, I’ll move this to twice a week or maybe even more, but for now, ramping up the running and remembering how to athlete a little is taking prescient.
  • Running: long runs every Saturday until 3M.  Shorter runs 1-2 times a week.  After 3M, move to shorter faster stuff, including a test – either threshold or fast mile – at some point later this month.
  • Biking: short stuff this month, mostly inside.  Next month I’ll take it outside again but with long runs and racing I just don’t see that happening in January.  And, I’ll do an FTP test tomorrow to see where I’m at after 2 months of slacking *grumble grumble*.
  • Swimming: will keep up my once a week swim but it won’t be much of a focus.  I’m so happy to have an indoor pool this year and I want to continue to make use of it and not go weeks or months without a swim as is normal this time of year.  To keep in the testing spirit, one of these will include a 300m and 100m time trial.
  • Recovery: stretching and rolling at least twice a week each, actually breaking the boots out a few times a week as well.  Generally, I should be doing at least one of these things a day, on average.

#projectraceweight

It’s time to set this party train into motion!  Or, well, actually, the anti-party, considering my goals.  January is for being boring and it’s actually kind of a relief after a few months of dietary recklessness.

  • Snap Kitchen is what I’ll be eating pretty much all month.  I plan to do a little batch cooking (probably one soup per week) and some Perfect Fit meals as well for variety and because Snap is sort of expensive, but I’m actually quite enjoying returning to their meal plans after a break.  I love my mostly pasta + chicken strips diet (and I know it works)!
  • 1500 calories most days.  More on Saturdays and/or days when I do a long workout (-500 to -1000 less than what I burn on those days depending on my appetite).
  • No whiskey January.  While I’m not trying to go dry or anything crazy like that, I do need to step things down a bit.  I’m giving up whiskey on the rocks (and whiskey altogether), and I’m aiming to have drinks only on Saturdays unless there is a good and social reason to do so another day.  So far, so good!
  • Weigh and measure.  Get on the scale at least four times a week to get a good average for the Trendweight going again.  Track my food every day.  Check diet quality once a week.  Try not to judge where I’m at right now, just watch the trend.

I will not assess a goal weight for the end of January but I will say that I’d like to weight less the week of Jan 28th than I do this week.

Other stuff:

I don’t want to stress myself out too much while remembering how to human again after offseason and the holidays, but I’ll pen a few goals here.  Mostly, goals of the indoor variety because the world is trying to kill me right now with allergies.

  • Pick one organizational thing – either cleaning/organizing the pain cave OR the media shelves – and complete it by the end of the month.
  • Read Daring Greatly.  It’s been on my list for a while and I keep hearing it’s life changing.
  • Crack open MY book and find the places I truly didn’t finish (notes like STUFF ABOUT THINGS GO HERE).  Then, load it on the kindle and begin to read it.
  • Finish the D&D 5e player handbook cover to cover.  Start catching up on Critical Role so I know WTF people are talking about.
  • Earn some levels in both my games.
  • Play the piano at least 30 mins a week.  This habit is starting to fall off and I don’t like it. 

Basically, this month I want to start the long, slow, climb back to being a motivated, productive human.  The drive is there, but the habits don’t quite flow like water yet.  I hope that being my normal follows-a-training-plan-and-eats-like-a-healthy-human self doesn’t feel weird anymore by January 31st.

2019 Goals and Directions

When you have a really successful year that you’re quite happy with, it doesn’t make any sense to throw the baby out with the bathwater and change it all up.  To be perfectly honest, the refrain of, “second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse” will be frequent in this post and that’s a GREAT thing.

However, as someone who isn’t content to rest on her laurels, there are obvious improvements to be made even on the best of years.  Let’s dive in, shall we?

Racing/Training:

For the year I planned to have in 2018, I nailed it.  I loved the shorter, more focused training (both per session and per week).  I enjoyed the stability that weight training and proper recovery afforded me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the ability to podium multiple times this spring and qualify for Nationals.  So, I’m going to do that again.   Yes indeedy, the plan is to do a bunch of short races in the Spring with the goal to get as high on the podium as possible each time and head to Cleveland again in August, but only if my husband and I can BOTH qualify this time.

I’ve had a nice long 10 week offseason where I’ve let it all burn to the ground and it’s felt flippin’ fantastic after some fits and starts with learning to let go.  Tomorrow starts pre-season.  This schedule is slightly different from last year but rejoins it in the spring.  Whereas in January 2018, I was focused on building to a half marathon personal best, my focus THIS winter is purely base building.  I will be running the same half, but my only goal is to survive it, not PR.  This means regular weight training, a moderate amount of base miles, a little speedwork but not much, and getting back to regular testing (100m/300m for time, FTP tests, either run threshold or fast mile tests).  Once spring hits, we’ll shed the volume and train more like we did last year (more fast stuff).

As for racing, I am already signed up or plan to sign up for these races:

  • 3M Half (Jan 20)
  • Lifetime Indoor Tri (Jan 27)
  • Some sort of 5k in late March/early April to test my fitness
  • Possibly the St Patrick’s Day Tri in Dallas
  • Maybe a time trial cycling race if one fits on the schedule
  • Texasman (May 5)
  • Wincrest Freshman (June 8)
  • Lake Pflugerville (June 16)

I’ll probably put a few other triathlons on the calendar between March – June.  I want to race a lot again, but probably no more than two weekends back to back in a row, and I have a 10 day vacation planned in April so we’ll see what happens. 

As for the fall, I *think* I want to do a 70.3, but I’m not sure which one.  There’s my perennial Kerrville, and I’m going for sure, but not certain what distance.  There’s Waco, and though a bad taste still lingers in my mouth from that race, the fact is that it’s close in proximity and the timing is perfect.  There’s Oilman in Houston in November, which I’ve never done and always been interested in trying out.  There’s also Indian Wells in December, which is interesting as well, though the timing kind of sucks and it’s a plane flight.  

The long term goal is to do another full Ironman in 2020.  It’s looking like it will probably be Texas because it’s convenient.  Besides swimming in the sh*tcanal, I like the course, especially if we can maybe refrain from 25 mph winds on the Hardy Toll Road this time, and the time of year (late April) is perfect.  With the weather and my work schedule, training for anything longer than a half late in the season is NOT optimal. 

I also just found out that I’ll be part of #teamnuun in 2019, and I’m super stoked to rep something I’ve been using for many, many years already!  Definitely more to come on this as we get more deets.

#projectraceweight:

After eight years of a swing and a miss here, I finally found some success.  I lost over 20 lbs and (for the most part) kept it off.  I weighed in at 169.5 this weekend, so while I’m probably up just a little from holiday indulgences, I’m well within my goals for concluding offseason/holiday eating. 

As of January 2nd, I’m back on the #projectraceweight train.  I want to see 150 lbs reaaaaaaal bad this year, and for the first time in forever, it’s really within my grasp.  I just have to do exactly what I did last year.  For posterity, that is:

  • Track my calories regularly.  Stick to 1500 most days, 1-2 days closer to 2000 +/- depending on activity level (if I do a long run/bike/race, I’m going to eat a little more).
  • Keep an eye on my diet quality.  I probably won’t be as anal with this all year as I was in (early) 2018 because, honestly, quantity is my biggest problem.  However, I need to be checking every once in a while to make sure I’m right around that 20 mark. 
  • Continue to alternate batch cooking and Snap Kitchen/other healthy prepared meals.  I will honestly probably lean on Snap for most of January and then alternate a bit, but having someone else do the cooking and portioning helps me a lot.  We got takeout SO MUCH LESS than any other year because of this and we both lost weight.
  • Quit drinking like a frat boy It was fun to let loose for a while, but it’s time to reign it back in for season again.

My goal is to hit 150 or a little less by the end of the year and evaluate if that’s my happy forever weight or see if I should push on further. 

Personal Growth:

I need to learn how to be okay with failure.  I’ve found the root of a lot of my hangups rest on my subconscious convincing me that I don’t want something, not because I don’t want it, but I’m scared to try and fail.  This year is about taking chances with the full realization that I may fall flat on my face in some endeavors.  This is the year about eating the sacred cows instead of keeping them on their pedestals. 

And to save myself the trouble of trying once and failing and giving up, I’m also making part of the resolution to FAIL the first time (or two) and still have the courage to pick myself up, dust myself off, and try again.

  • Before the end of 2019, I will send at least THREE pitches out to a publisher about my book. 
  • Before the end of 2019, I will pursue at least THREE other writing opportunities – whether it’s writing for another site, a contest, just something that gets my work out there.
  • Before the end of 2019, I will ask at least THREE people for guidance and mentorship on writing, business, social media, marketing, photography, or something else I’m dying to learn but don’t know much about.
  • Before the end of 2019, I will submit my photography for at least THREE opportunities/contests.
  • Before the end of 2019, I will apply for at least THREE brand ambassadorships/sport opportunities (one down already!!!).
  • Before the end of 2019, I will pursue at least THREE opportunities to get Adjusted Reality social media profiles (probably instagram) shared by a more popular profile.

While I’ve got more detailed goals I’ll share on a monthly basis, I’ve decided 2019 is the year where I stop getting in my own way to get the things I want.  If someone else decides I’m not worthy, that’s fine, it’s just not going to be ME any more.

Hobbies:

These have kind of gotten out of hand but I love the chaos, so I’m not going to quit doing anything.  What I am going to do is stop giving myself crazy goals that stress me out.  Obviously my writing and my photography are the exceptions, which I’ve covered under personal development, but it’s worth a mention below there’s a lot of creativity and adventure to be had this year (so stop wasting time on excessive social media and too much Netflix, woman!).

Camping – go camping at least three times outside of our race trips.  We have one planned in Feb, and our usual July 4th trip, so this means at least one other weekend for funsies.  I’d also like to go at least one new place that will lend itself well to pretty pictures.

Vacations – besides camping, our current plans are a 9 day cruise in April, either Cleveland or some other out of town triathlon over the summer, and TWO weeks in Bonaire.

Gaming – read the entire D&D player handbook and expand my knowledge there, continue to get into and enjoy my silly Bard character who seems to also be a vehicle for self-discovery, for reals reach max level on the games I work on by the end of the year, play more games for research even if I just spend an evening checking them out, and host at least a QUARTERLY game night with friends (and take the opportunity to play more at work during off hours).

Painting – I’m roadblocked here, and I’m not quite sure why.  I want to finish my fish before it’s a year old, start another one, and then do it as often as it’s fun.

Music – I LOVE that I’ve finally picked this up again.  I learned a Christmas Song (Carol of the Bells), and I’m still working on another one with actual singing as well (Colorblind).  I have the next one picked out as well, but I’m not letting myself go ADD on music.  I want to focus on one song until I can play it without errors and pauses.  I want to post at least one “performance” publicly (aka, a video on Youtube/Facebook/Insta) because the idea of it scares the shit out of me.

Videos – I miss doing my one take videos.  I want to do a few more of these as the inspiration and motivations strike.  My husband and I actually talked about making some sort of very short film (not a one take) at some point, so perhaps we’ll focus on that as well.

Writing – While above I’ve focused on non-fiction, I’ve had a BLAST exploring fiction and different writing styles and voices as well.  I definitely want to continue to do.  I wrote a sci-fi adventure over the holiday and also have been writing in my D&D character’s voice.  Moar of this, and I think I have some ideas for opportunities to indulge in this.

Photography – continue to take every opportunity to take footage and work on my editing.  Continue to learn photography and editor techniques.  I want to get back on the horse and submit more stock photos to the sites where I’m accepted (and learn more about hashtagging and how to make them more visible for sales).  I’d also like to set up an online gallery that’s not just my facebook page.

Cycling Adventures – I want to continue to have some rides where I put my camera in my jersey pocket, and venture out on two wheels with the only goals being pretty pictures and beautiful things, not watts.

And last but not least… adulting.  It’s literally three things and a small monthly organizational project and some of them simply involve paying someone to do a thing.  I CAN DO THIS!

  • Financial planner.  For reals.  We will pay off our house soon (about 2 years) and we will have some decisions to make at that point.  We need some guidance.
  • Replace our garage doors.
  • Tear down the bush in the backyard and replace the fence.
  • Pick one manageable-sized organization project each month and do it.  The pantry took like an hour and irked me for 6 months before I did it.  The initial list is:
    • Pick up the pain cave room and fix the broken bike racks
    • Go through our closets and pack up/donate the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore
    • Organize the movie/game racks
    • Finally sell and move the giant terrarium that takes up a corner of our living room
    • Organize the office
    • Etc, etc.  Continue this with one a month all year knowing the projects will need to be reaaaaally small during 70.3 season.

In summary, my overall goal is to build on the courage, confidence, and worthiness I started to cultivate in 2018.  2019, you’re looking pretty awesome already, let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

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