Adjusted Reality

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

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 162)

Second verse, same as the first…

Whew, what a week.  I’ve been trying to put this one together for four days.  I sort of feel like this is one of those COPY PASTE weeks, nothing crazy new and innovative, so let’s just get on with it so we can get back to life, liberty, and the riding bikes, yeah?

My Saturday was better than your Saturday.

Second verse, same as the first… bikes are rocking my world and I actually kind of appreciate my commute now on bike days because it’s a great way to wake up in the morning and unwind in the evening.  The only time I really get *over* biking is on the fourth hour of six hours of riding when it’s over 100 degrees and I need fuel badly.  And then, after a quick stop, I perk up just fine and it’s time for more bikes.  Yay bikes!

Swimming is my procrastination sport right now.  It’s so easy putting off actually going to the gym with extra hours at work so I didn’t go.  At all.  I figured out the way to fix it is to make myself go in the MORNING and I’ve already gone once this week and even did some (simple) sets, so that’s an improvement already.  My paces are definitely not where they were, and my body feels… clunky… in the water, but it felt nice to be doing it.  I know it just takes me about a month of going regularly so hopefully this week is the start of that.

It feels weird to be taking the minimal approach with running, but my average paces were in the 8s and 9s last week (let’s hush that it was 2 miles total).  I’m not sure how long I’m going to give myself at this low volume, but I’m enjoying the fact that I can actually run fast again!  Hopefully this translates to fast and LONGER once it’s time to train for the half.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the luxury to run so little so I’m enjoying it, especially because it’s hot as balls out there.

Soon, I need to start lifting heavier objects than myself.  It’s definitely getting easier and I’m doing this in the right order per my personal training training, but if I want to GET STRONG I need to lift some iron.  Or at least some rubber (use the bands).

Last week:

  • Ran 2 miles
  • 1 stretching, 1 DDR, 1 strength session
  • About 10 hours of riding bikes (185 miles)

For a total of about 11.5 hours.

This week’s plan is much more balanced:

  • 2 swims (1 done)
  • 2 bike commutes (1.5 done, and I don’t have *too* much choice but to complete the other 13 miles unless I take an Uber home ;D)
  • 1 run (DONE)
  • 1 brick workout
  • 2 weights (DONE)

7-8 hours planned (so it should feel like a rest week, heh).


Proof you can find something non-reprehensible for Chinese food!

Food.  Oh food.  I’ve made some strides here but it’s my Kryptonite with a capital K.  I was talking with someone this weekend and how UNFUN it is to lose weight with restricting eating vs being healthy and active.  Bah.  Can we just train for Ironman again instead of this crap?

I’m frustrated and not seeing a lot of progress here, so let’s just run the numbers and move on.

  • Weight: 187.4 (+0.2) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 2158 (+293) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -719 (-269) calories
  • Macros: 79 (+21)g fat, 219 (+25)g carbs, 107 (+0)g protein, 32(+5)g fiber

As you can see, it is not my finest week.  Quality numbers below.

DQ score: Monday: 27.  Tuesday: 26.  Wednesday: 32. Thursday: 20.  Friday: 22. Saturday: 4.  Sunday: 26.  Average comes out to approximately 22 (out of 32).

Well, here we go.  First perfect score (Wed).  Actually six really good days and a Saturday that included a lot of junk food.  Because what I put in my mouth seems to take about 3-4 weeks to reflect in my body, I’ll get back to you next month on how this is working… but I’m actually pretty happy with how the averages worked out.


Look at my pretty pretty pain cave! 

Here’s where everything is roses – I’m actually doing really well at making progress with my To Do list.  Y’know what helped?  Making a monthly plan for the rest of the year with the big items.  When I keep freaking out about all the things I haven’t done, I can remind myself that it’s slated for another month and it makes me feel immensely better.

I’m two chapters down in my book and into my third.  I am super excited about this.  Forcing myself to write, and not just write, but write THIS an hour a day has been a great exercise in just fucking starting something.  I have no idea if it’s any good, but even if it’s bad I’ve written about 13k words of bad and any writing is good writing for a rough draft and practice.

I’m worried that it won’t be terribly interesting to anyone or have a broad enough appeal, but I also remember I spend a lot of time reading about military things (because they happen to be in space), which I’m not inherently interested in, in and of itself, but put it on a spaceship, and give it some action and snappy dialogue?  I’m in.  So, the goal is to write it all out and THEN decide if it’s interesting enough for someone who isn’t me.

The light is at the end of the tunnel with the office.  I think giving up the idea of it being PERFECT and just settling for it to be relatively organized and useable was a great decision.  We’re at the point where we have just a few tasks left to call it done.

  • My jobs this weekend: organize the bookshelves, sort out the hats (doesn’t everyone have a hat wall in their office?), and shredding
  • Husband things to do: store the cables, figure out a solution for the file cabinet being full, go through his last bag o crap, put things on printer desk on corner shelf.

At that point, we just need some help hanging a whiteboard and then the office is now… an OFFICE!  And the dream of four usable bedrooms is realized!  And we can move on from house organization crap for the rest of the year.  Is there more to do?  Always.  But I’m so done with it for a while.  Next offseason.

Now the biggest To Do with these rooms is to continue to use them on an ongoing basis so they don’t become places to dump junk again.

And I did these other things:

  • Plucked my caterpillars and gave myself a pedicure.  I is a girl again instead of a hairy beast with claw-toes.
  • Finished How To Start Up which was actually a FANTASTIC read and I feel like I actually have more specific directions with what I need to think about and learn going forward.
  • I looked up cabinet organization, and there’s a lot of really cool stuff at various prices.  At this point, I’m going to need to really think about what size my cabinets will be, and what needs to go where before I jump on anything, so that might actually be kitchen 2.0.  Or at least further in the planning.

What’s on tap this week?

  • Finish the office.  Finish. the. office.  It’s awesome to be able to say that.  Let’s see if I can check it off next week!
  • Chapter 3.  Third verse, same as the first!  I’m picking them not in chronological order, but in order that I feel like I have something to say.  So, at some point, this will get harder.  Or I’ll just keep writing it and it will flow and be done and I’ll be the first writer ever to write a book draft with no writer’s block.  Yep.  I’ll ride that wave of naivety happily until it comes crashing down.  Yes, indeed.
  • Download and start a new non-fiction book.  The one I had on my list next is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and it’s hardcover price for the kindle.  I’m having a block on spending 15 bucks for the book in digital form.  Either I’m going to get over it and buy it, buy the paperback instead and deal with it being paper (harder to read in bed which is where I read most of the time), or move onto something else.
  • Shopping!  I happen to have to be at the Domain for a birthday party, so I’m going to head there a little early to see if I can find anything new and exciting to put on my body.
  • Put together a weights plan for the next month.  I’m past the foundational fitness part of the year and I should move onto a bit of hypertrophy (actually lifting slightly heavier things than myself).

So, my question to y’all is: Daring Greatly/other Brene Brown books – a must read or overrated?  Do you have something else I must absolutely read first that is life changing?  Hit me up in the comments.

Everything is not awful!

I feel like the mojo is flowing a bit.  I can’t really put my finger on it exactly what changed from “OMG EVERYTHING IS AWFUL” a few weeks ago, but I’ll take it.

Bike commuting is serious business.  Oh wait, no it’s not.

Training feels back to normal-ish.  No, I’m not hitting every session I want to, but it’s about prioritizing right now, and the important stuff is the bike.  I’m training to survive 100 miles on it two times in the next three months, and also, it’s the longest leg of the triathlon so therefore the most important.  I’ve spent about 6.5 hours cycling per week in the last month.  I’m having the most fun with it, so we’ll call this my cycling year.

That leaves 3.5 hours or less to try and cram in weights, running, and swimming, because I’m trying to not dip into double digit training hours too often.  Especially this month where I’m also putting in extra hours at work.  Don’t want to send myself to the looney bin for no reason, but DANG it’s hard to do all the things.

I’ve been riding long about every other weekend.  This keeps things fun because riding bikes all over is super awesome, while also preventing being stressed about having to spend all day EVERY Saturday dedicated to bikes like during IM training.  I’m hoping that a year of longer rides under my belt will make it easier to ramp up for the next 70.3+ race, and I can definitely say this is the first year that the idea of riding 60-100 miles every 2-3 weekends for the next few months doesn’t sound extremely daunting.

I’ve gotten to the point where running a few miles doesn’t quite feel like death anymore.  Instead of doing the normal thing I do at that point, which is pile on the miles, I’m stepping back and doing the opposite.  I want to do quick half miles and miles off the bike.  I want to do intervals where I bust ass on the treadmill and recover on the bike so I don’t have the opportunity to run with bad form.  I want to run at paces that encourage efficency and good mechanics, not force me back into the marathon shuffle.  I want to sub in Dance Dance Revolution for some run time to build back the muscles that do hops and jumps and make my feet move quickly.  It’s a weird leap of faith but my running is SO back at square one I almost have nothing to lose.

Swimming, we’ll be BFFs eventually.  With work moving, it’s no longer a viable strategy to go at lunch and with extra work hours, it’s really hard to drag myself to the pool at 7:30pm or 7:30am.  I’m trying to make it once a week, and from now on, make some of it count with a little speedwork even if it’s just aqua-fartleks in the lake (that sounds even dirtier than running fartleks).

Last week’s totals:

  • 2 bike commutes – 3h45 for about 50 miles
  • 1 open water swim – 16 min/800 yd
  • 1 30 min dozen + some weights session
  • 1 quickie brick (10 min bike/1 mile run/5 min bike/.5 mile run)
  • Jack’s Generic Tri.

6.5 hours total.  Story of my life: wanted to do one more swim and run, but either lost motivation, energy, or willpower.  It’s all good.  We’ll call it a mini taper.

This week’s plan:

  • 2 bike commutes (ONE DONE) + a ~80 mile long ride Saturday
  • 1 quickie brick (DONE)
  • 1 pool swim with some toys and speed sets
  • 2 strength sets (ONE DONE)
  • Try to run a little mileage anytime I get a chance.  Even if it’s half a mile.  Just to practice my stride.

The bike miles are going to take up most of my training time this week and that’s totally alright.  Next week will be more balanced.


Last week has been brought to you by the letter B – bourbon, bowl of veggies, and bikes.  Much more of the bikes and bowls than the bourbon…

This is the first week I can really say that I feel like I’m hitting my stride here as well.  Since it’s still the part of the process where I’m establishing habits, I’m just going to repeat my August goals here:

  • Eat a giant rainbow salad every day (even weekends) to get my four servings of vegetables easily.
  • Eat fruit and nuts as snacks instead of crap (and on weekends, BEFORE I reach for anything that’s crap).
  • Aim to get my diet score over 20 every day (even on the weekends).
  • Measure out my drinks BEFORE I drink them at home.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I PUT IN MY MOUTH ON THE WEEKENDS.

I was not perfect, but I was much, much better than I have been in years.  Let’s roll with the numbers and see how I did.

  • Weight: 187.2 (-1.5) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1865 (-226) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -988 (-26) calories
  • Macros: 58 (-20)g fat, 194 (-8)g carbs, 107 (+1)g protein, 27 (-5)g fiber

There was a little guestimation on my part here.  My fitbit decided to die Sunday and also I got a little lazy about tracking food over the weekend, and the length of time is inversely proportional to the amount of little bites of food here or there that I remember to track.  Also, interestingly enough, garmin runs my calorie burn for the day about 400 lower than fitbit, consistently.  So, I’m thinking that being just a little over 1k deficit on fitbit is probably no big deal and I bet with the way I actually lose weight, the garmin numbers are more accurate.

So, that’s quantity.  How was quality?

DQ score: Monday: 30.  Tuesday: 25.  Wednesday: 24. Thursday: 26.  Friday: 24. Saturday: 19.  Sunday: 13.  Average comes out to approximately 23 (out of 32).

I’m super excited about all this.  When you focus on eating good food all day it’s pretty easy to get these up numbers up there.  I’d like to thank giant mixing bowl sized salads for keeping my veggie count up, popcorn for being an awesome whole grain snack, and alcohol for understanding we need our boundaries.  We can still be friends, I just need a little space.

This week’s goals are try to do as good or better than this week.  So far, it’s looking solidly in that zone.


Look at this beautiful usable room!!!

I just want to give myself (and my husband) a huge freaking fistbump about our accomplishments this week:

  • Second coat of paint and trim on the shed. (DONE)
  • Put all the things in the shed that need to go in the shed. (DONE)
  • Clean up the workout room now that the only thing left in there is workout things.  (DONE)
  • If I have not heard back from the doctor by Friday call and get my internet chart thing set up. (DONE)
  • Spend at least 5 hours focused on my book this week.  (DONE)
  • We also squeezed in some fun stuff – gaming with friends and we saw TWO movies (Wonder Woman and Valerian) before they left theaters.  They both rock.  I recommend!

I didn’t touch the shed myself but I did other chores to free up Zliten to be able to work on that, so it works and I’ll count it.  There are probably other things we can find to go in it, but all the things that were in the way are now in there away.  We took about an hour on Saturday to finish the Pain Cave and it’s now awesome and useable (did our first workout in there yesterday and I’m loving it).  Now, it’s time to focus on the office.

I got my e-chart set up and realized I really don’t have time with work and training this month to make it into the doctor’s office during business hours without it being a huge drag.  So, I’ll set up an appointment for sometime next month when I’m working less.  Still, I put my big girl panties on and called and now never have to talk to anyone ever again!  Wheee!

Most importantly, I finished the rough draft of one full chapter of my book.  I’m actually probably the most excited about this.  If I can keep up the momentum, I’ll have a full rough draft done in 3 months.  That wouldn’t suck at all.  Obviously, I’ll still need to edit it and then figure out what the heck to do with it, but we’ll let winter me figure that one out.

So, let’s roll.  What’s on tap this week?  Because I have an entirely jam-packed Saturday planned (80 mile ride, social bike party, comedy show), I know I need to keep this reasonable.

Body maintenance – I need to pluck the caterpillars, and redo my toes.

How to Start Up – I started this book and I am SUPER excited to read it but it’s not something I can fall alseep to.  I need to carve out some time that’s not 30 minutes before I need to be zonked.

Remodel research – I keep saying I want “Ikea Style” cabinet organization.  I should look into exactly what that means and costs.  I should probably consider the rest of the plans as well.  October will be getting here sooner than we think, and it’s pretty much our window to get this done this year.

Chapter 2 – I’m hoping to have the same progress – another chapter’s rough draft – done this week.  The ball is rolling and I’d like to keep it moving along!

Office – we’re going to hit it hard next weekend, because it’s either then or over Labor Day and I want to reserve September for FUN STUFF because it’s been a summer of chores, feels like.  However, bonus points to any work we can get done this week.  If I can manage to keep Sunday’s other to dos to a minimum, we can get a little done here.

And now, time to stop writing about doing things and go do things.  Novel concept, eh?  What is YOUR absolutely most pressing thing on your TO DO list?

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Jack’s Generic Sprint Tri – All I do is pass pass pass no matter what…

Three and a half months after IM day, my body is finally starting to feel like it’s ready to do just a *little* more than play triathlon.

But just a little.

At first I had no expectations, and figured it would just be a repeat of the lack-of-fitness-show in June.  Then, this week, I was able to hold some 8s on my garmin for just a little while on a run, and my brain clicked over to perhaps believing that there was maybe possibly something in there.  But still, no expectations.  Because half a mile at 8:24 and 3 miles on gravel after killing it for 40 minutes on the bike are definitely different animals.

I pretty much did the normal stuff the day before.  Panera for lunch, a movie (Valerian – it’s super fun – go!), a pre-race swim, packet pickup, and then we picked up meats from Stubbs for dinner to go with mashed potatoes and veggies.  We were on our feet a *little* more than we would for a B or A race and finished up some chores so we could completely relax after the race.

Saturday was an awesome day and also it enabled us to completely slack on Sunday after the race without feeling guilty about it.  Win!

I didn’t sleep amazingly – fell asleep around 10-10:30, and woke up from about 12:30-1:30 for absolutely no reason.  5am came pretty early but after some green tea and peppy music, I felt pretty great.

We got to the venue a little later than expected and ended up parking at the end of Egypt, but luckily we had our handy dandy cart to haul our gear and BSS had a team tent at which to drop off our non-transition stuff.  We did the quick version of setting up transitions, skipped the warmup run due to time (would have had plenty of time if I had a second pair of shoes, which would have been NO problem with the team tent, I’ll remember that next time).  We hit the porta potties and missed the 3 minute window for the warmup swim.  0 for 2 on warmups.  Oh well.  I probably walked a few miles that morning, and that’s plenty fine for me.

After cheering EVERYONE ELSE into the water, I lined up with the caps that were my color.  I thought I was in the first third, but after people filtered in from the sides, I was probably bringing up the last third.  D’oh.  Also, as it was my turn to go, I realized I didn’t have my watch set for multisport, so I ducked behind a few more people and got it set up and then I was running into the water like I was on the set of Baywatch and my race started!

Swim:

My lack of paying attention screwed me here.  I ended up running into the water and passing people before I even started swimming.  Then, it was just like body body body bodies everywhere.  And a lot of them were either not swimming even remotely fast or breast stroking or side crawling.  Yes, it was totally my fault for not having confidence in my swimming abilities and also not paying enough attention to the lineup, but it sucked to be dodging people doing the backstroke before the first orange buoy.

Once things cleared up a bit, I felt like I was doing alright, just about like I had at Lake Pflugerville, but I looked at my watch about 2/3 through and it was 8 minutes in.  Not great, but I was finally going with the current so I didn’t worry about it.  Then, I got caught behind a gaggle of really slow swimmers near the exit chute and I was actually literally stopped for a while waiting for people to move.  That sucked, but there was no way around except REALLY wide or over people, and I’m just not that much of an asshole.  I took it as some time to breathe and rest, but it really did tank my swim time/pace.

Not my absolute worst here but definitely sucks that I was a full TWO MINUTES slower than last year.  For the record, my garmin registered almost 600 yards, which is 2:15/100m which is more like what I felt like I was swimming.  Seeing how much I had to dodge people, I’m really going to blame my positioning for most of it but some of it admittedly was fitness.

In summary, I need to have confidence that my swim is better than I think it is relative to other people and also it’s time start doing sets and drills in the pool again.  For realsies.

Swim – 12:34 for 500m – 2:31/100m (17/39 AG place)

T1:

Because I was so… rested coming out of the swim, I actually PR’d my T1 at this race.  At this point I really think the only way I could get much faster here is to improve either my actual running speed or the speed I’m comfortable running barefoot.

T1 – 2:42 (15/39 AG place)

The aftermath.  Barely got down any liquid, but that’s probably ok on a ~40 minute bike.

Bike:

And then I got to the mount line.  And there were literally 20 people crowded there trying to clip in.  My sub-par swim, starting so far back, and being in the last wave had messed up my positioning here too.  I’m not the best clipper-inner, but I’ve been getting better so I confidently walked one step over the mount line on the LEFT side away from everyone, clipped in easily, and then went about dodging everyone else wobbling away down the street.

After the swim, I was not about to get stuck behind people.  I tried not to be a jerk about things, but I had this song in my head by mile .5 (with the lyrics “all I do is PASS PASS PASS no matter what”).  The great thing is that it’s a huge confidence boost to zoom past hundreds of people in the first few miles and get passed maybe 3 times by dudes on the Olympic with 7% body fat on bikes that cost twice what mine does.  The not-so-great thing is that it was due to my placement, not my awesomeness.  The worst is that I spent probably half the first five miles over the double yellow line.  Sorry, but I’m not sorry.  I wasn’t the only one doing it and there was no way around it.

After fighting the wind and crowds, there was a nice tailwind section where my speed climbed and climbed and I saw 20 mph average right as we turned back into the wind up a hill.  I decided I my goal was to keep from losing more than 2 mph as long as I could without spiking my heart rate too much.  We got one more nice tailwind down a hill (wheeee!) and then turned into a wall of wind (ooof).

I got down into aero as teeny tiny as possible, and then found the BIGGEST guy going right about my speed.  I did my best to stay legal on the crowded course, but I’m convinced I still got some drafting benefit even the required 5 lengths behind with his size.  I wasn’t keeping the 19-20 mph I was before but I was holding 16-17, and slightly uphill and into the wind?  I’m happy with that.

My garmin read 18.5 mph average on the actual moving parts once I unclipped and rolled into transition, and I will absolutely take it.  I felt very confident and capable on the bike, even though I’ve only ridden it twice inside since the last race.  Not my best on the course but I think my second best.  One of these days I’ll crack that 20 mph average, but maybe not at Lake Pflugerville for a while with the hills and the wind.

Bike: 42:45 –  18.1 mph (7/39 AG place)

T2:

Luckily, it was not as crowded on the way back into T2.  I did my thing with the quickness and was out on the run with no fumbles.  Best here by 6 seconds!

T2: 1:30 – 14/39

Run:

I got out and running and… while it felt terrible it didn’t quite feel as terrible as last time.  I didn’t want to concentrate on pace, I just wanted to concentrate on quick feet, like my really great run on Friday, so I switched my watch to my cadence and heart rate screen.  It stayed at 176 (88 cadence) and 172 HR and I just could not shove it up any more. So that’s where we lived.

The first mile ticked off at 10:53, and while that in and of itself was not terribly impressive, it was about a minute faster than the first mile six weeks ago and my legs felt significantly less like lead bricks.  Someone in my age group passed me and I considered trying to go with her, but she was moving VERY quickly and I just didn’t see it happening.  Yet.  Maybe by Kerrville I’ll have the mojo to run someone down again.

The second mile was about the same as the first and then all of a sudden we hit the wall of wind.  Again, just like the last race, I felt I was running standing still, but with signficiantly better stride.  I knew the wind was rough when my last mile was the slowest paced.  My garmin showed the course SIGNIFICANTLY short, but my Garmin also has a habit of sandbagging me, so I’ll say while this definitely was slower than 9:58/mile pace, it probably wasn’t the 10:56/mile my watch showed.

Run – 29:55 – 9:58/mile (20/39 AG placement)

One day we’ll get a full team picture.  This was not that day.  Photo care of team captian Claudia!

Total time: 1:29:29.  (10/39 AG placement)

Here’s the skinny.  If you want to bump up your placement, get better at the bike.  The average of 20+15+7 is certainly not 10 but since I did well on the bike, that’s where I placed.

Also, there was some majorly stiff competition.  I would have needed to place 10th OVERALL of 186 women to snag third in my age group.  I placed 43rd, so top quarter, at least!   I was in the top half overall both genders.  Oddly enough, if I would have stepped up and did the Olympic, I’m pretty sure I would have snagged 3rd out of 5th in my age group, from times that I’ve posted recently.  Ah well.  No regerts, right?

I’m definitely not back at peak form but I’m showing improvement.  And that’s what’s important.  I’m going to stick with my bike focus, because it seems to be both improving my bike and also improving my overall endurance without all the pounding of running.  I’m also sticking with playing Dance Dance Revolution plyometrics because it seems to be helping my running form.

Obvs, these guys do not need the plyometrics because they have the HOPS and also they both had pretty great days!

While I’d like to actually run more, I think it may actually be helpful to run less and let my legs forget the marathon shuffle.   I have run almost nothing (about 22 miles) in the last six weeks, but I improved my run by over 2.5 minutes on the same course.  And, swimming.  I have no idea why I’m not into it right now, but one sport has to be the red headed stepchild, and I’m sorry, swimming, you’re it.  I really do need to focus a bit better when I do get to the pool, but at this point, I’m going to ride bikes and hope for the best.

Super thanks to all my Bicycle Sport Shop teammates, it’s always a blast to race with you!  I mostly signed up for this race because FOMO, and had a pretty solid day.

 

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A little sunshine…

Now that I’ve spent some time pouring out some of the negative, let me put a more positive spin on things.

Y’know what doesn’t suck?  My commute is now an excuse to ride bikes for 1.5-2 hours instead of drive for 40-50 mins. 

I always forget what it’s like to be a person and not just an athlete training for an event after months and months of doing that.  While it’s a lot of work, it’s also very simple.  Checking off the training schedule, eating every five minutes, and maintaining the rest of my life to the point where my friends and family don’t feel completely abandoned and my job doesn’t fire me.  There is a zen in ignoring every ‘effing thing else in the world.

One thing I need to face is that I’m kind of sort of training again even though I don’t feel like it.  Doing workouts to just survive a century ride and sprint triathlons don’t feel like much in comparison to earlier this year, but when I add everything up, two out of the last three weeks have been approaching double digits and this week will likely be the same. 9-10 hours a week is actually equivalent to the beginning of 70.3 training (this is just much less intense).

So, here’s some sunshine.  My legs are starting to come back, y’all.  Definitely on the bike.  I’m generally stuck to my husband’s wheel again like glue and urging him to go faster if I don’t pass him (except on steep hills where I’m convinced he has a hidden motor somewhere).  The swim and the run are just showing inklings of improvement from rock bottom, but it makes sense because I’m mostly abandoned them to bike and work on strength.  We cannot be good at everything all the time.  I’m looking forward to retraining my legs for speed but first I had to recover, and now I need to build my endurance back.  Working on it!

I race this weekend, and I’m not even going to bother with a long, drawn out anything.  My goal is to have fun with my friends and teammates and enjoy maxing out my heart rate as much as I can for about 90 minutes, because I haven’t had that luxury in a while trying to stick close-ish to MAF heart rate.  We’ll see!  I have no expectations because I’m not really swimming, running, and I haven’t spent much time on my tri bike.

Last week:

  • Running – 8 miles, all approximately 12 min/miles at MAF HR
  • Bike – 100 miles on the dot – one work commute of about 24 miles, and one hot hilly long ride of 76 miles.
  • Swim – 1600yd around the lake in about 34 minutes.
  • Weights – 1 double dozen (2xall the other exercises except the 55 pushups), 1 DDR session

Seriously, I’m listing this out and can’t believe it’s over 10.5 hours, but it is.

This week:

  • Two bike commutes
  • One double brick workout (10/1/10/1)
  • One pool swim, one lake pre-race swim
  • 2xweights
  • 1xDDR
  • Race!

This is looking like about 9 hours.  One of those swims is in jeopardy if it keeps with the raining tonight, but I’m good with it either way.


The rule is: anything eaten while working out does not count negatively against diet quality.  I’m not sure Matt Fitzgerald anticipated athletes biking for 5.5 hours fueling only by fast food and pizza. (by the way, that temp wasn’t even the hottest part of the ride – which was 106 feels like 110)

Let’s start with the nubmers and go from there…

  • Weight: 188.7 (+0.6) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 2091 (+91) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -1014 (+142) calories
  • Macros: 78 (+16)g fat, 202 (-1)g carbs, 106 (+5)g protein, 32 (+8)g fiber

Besides the weight going up and the fat bomb over the weekend, the other numbers look ok.  The deficit is definitely harder to manage when you’re doing stupid things like 5.5 hour long rides.  I was 2000 in the hole on Saturday and then 2000 over on Sunday.  It actually worked out pretty well overall though it made me reaaaaaal cranky about my weight Monday and Tuesday.

DQ score: Monday: 26.  Tuesday: 25.  Wednesday: 24. Thursday: 20.  Friday: 26. Saturday: 10.  Sunday: 13.  Average comes out to approximately 20.5 (out of 32).

Hey, look at this, this is WAYYYY better than what I was doing.  What I need to do now is to bump up those weekend numbers a little more with good nutrition before I subtract the points for the inevitable alcohol and junk food splurges, but this is a good start.

There’s a least a little sunshine here.  I’m frustrated with how I look and feel and the number output on the scale, but I do know that last year I needed like a month of true consistency before I saw any results, so I will stay at it and be patient.  My goals this month:

  • Eat a giant rainbow salad every day (even weekends) to get my four servings of fruit and vegetables easily.
  • Eat fruit and nuts as snacks instead of crap (and on weekends, BEFORE I reach for anything that’s crap).
  • Aim to get my diet score over 20 every day (even on the weekends).
  • Measure out my drinks BEFORE I drink them at home.  It honestly worked SUPER well when I did it.  I just got lazy and didn’t do it on the weekend and then had more than I expected.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I PUT IN MY MOUTH ON THE WEEKENDS.  Sigh.  This is my downfall.  I can be perfect all week and once I’m not on a routine schedule, it all goes to hell in a handbasket.  There’s obviously some wiggle room for fun food and drinks on days where I burn 5000 calories like Saturday but also that means I have more than enough calories to get in all the good stuff before I spend the remainder on booze and junk food.

Are you sensing that weekends are my downfall?  Now that my weekdays are pretty rockin’ with the fruit and veggies and whole grains and nuts, I just need to bring the plan to Saturday and Sunday too.

This has to has to has to has to has to work.  I can’t even figure out how if I ate this well consistently and minded my calories to keep a deficit like this through August, that I could not start taking off weight unless the universe is absolutely and truly against me.


I call this one “Works in Progress (and a cat)”.

Dear me.  You have five months until the end of the year.  Stop stressing about the to do list so much.  Love, me.

That week where I wake up and realize I should be a well rounded person is always fun.  Especially when I’m trying to do it while work is being extra demanding and I’m in denial that I’m actually training again for just a little 100 mile ride (yes, I know I’m ridiculous).  So, while I want everything to be just done already I’m trying to take a step back, look at the big picture, and chill the eff out.  It may only last a few days, but I’m feeling better about things right now so we’ll go with that.

Let’s talk about the start of last week though.  We purchased a shed from a road show in Costco.  It was an amazing deal, the lady who took our order was super nice, and assured us they installed on weekends and it would be about a week or two.  When the company called to schedule, they absolutely DID NOT work weekends, and it would be almost two months.

THEN the morning of the shed install, they were supposed to be there at nine.  9:20 rolls around, and my husband calls and the guy hasn’t even shown up to work yet to pick up the materials to build the shed.  And they are in San Antonio, over an hour away.  When work was a 10 minute trip this would be no big deal, but now that it’s 25, we could not just run home to let them in.  Instead, we arranged with work that we would come in later and spent the morning cleaning out the office and the office closet.  It actually worked out fine, but it was quite stressful at first.  I just don’t understand how someone would think it was appropriate to be 2.5 hours late and not call.  Sigh.

Last week’s goals:

  • Caulking the shed (DONE).
  • Painting the shed (first coat, still need to do the second and trim).
  • Transport all the things into the shed that are supposed to be in the shed (in process but not done).
  • Getting my online stuff set up with my doctor (in process, I’ve sent the fax twice with no response, so I suppose the next step is to call).
  • Finish the second half of the chapter I started (didn’t even touch it).
  • Bonus points: office work (YES! due to that impromptu morning at home care of tardy shed installers, we actually got two hours of work done on this)

So, since last week was obviously too ambitious, my goal is to finish that before I move onto more goals.

  • Second coat of paint and trim on the shed.
  • Put all the things in the shed that need to go in the shed.
  • Clean up the workout room now that the only thing left in there is workout things.  Doesn’t have to be perfect, but the floor should be clean and there should be room for the treadmill and two trainers.
  • If I have not heard back from the doctor by Friday, actually use the phone and call and find out what’s up.  If I have to use the phone, also inquire about my ears and when I might be able to get in one morning.
  • This is already in progress, but my goal is to spend at least 5 hours focused on my book this week.  1h45 down!  Then, I can sort of plan how long it should take me based on what I get done vs my plan.  Specifics should help me stay motivated versus just the general “I should work on my book at some point for some random amount of time”.

Notice the office is not even on this list.  I think if I can knock the workout room and the shed off my To Do list in one fell swoop this weekend (which is absolutely reasonable), I will feel much better about life and the office work can resume next week.

The next few days are filled with fun stuff too – tomorrow our game night resumes for the next chapter after some downtime, and Friday we have tickets for one of the last showings of Wonder Woman (yay, finally!).

What’s the most awesome thing you did in the last week?  Tell me your accomplishments and cast some more sunshine on my day!

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.

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