Adjusted Reality

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

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 165)

October Goals and Goals and Goals

Hello world!  How are you?  I am fine.

My many moods this month – happy, frustrated, and unicorn.

Busy as hell, but hanging in there… how is it already past the midpoint of October???

Let’s do one of these update thingees because it feels like I need a little more accountability than just checking in once a month.  So, let’s kick the tires and start the fires!

Training

What? You don’t wear bright red lipstick when you run?

I can sum it up with this: lotsa bikes, back into weights, zero pool time, and running is happening but I’m building slower than I’d like.  My knee was hanging onto some sort of a super mean grudge for a few weeks after the race, but it’s feeling pretty good now (and now my heel has been cranky this week… sigh… always something!).  I was able to do some running, and while I’m not back to that nice 9-min mile pace, it’s still in the 10-min mile with good form range so I’ll call it a win.

I’m willing to sacrifice whatever voodoo I need to do to the diety of knees and running to get everything ship shape by early to mid November, when I plan to start the half marathon training plan for REALS.  However, until then, the goal is to:

  • ride bikes a lot and ride 100 miles for Livestrong this weekend with all the BSS team peeps
  • do weights 2x week
  • ignore swimming as much as I feel like
  • ramp up my run miles a liiiiittle bit so I can start my long runs in November closer to double digits than a handful of times around the track.

So far, so good.  Things get a little more real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot next month, but um… while I have big goals it’s just a half, so while it’s a lot of uncomfortable work, it’s not a big time commitment.

Totals so far this month:

  • 225 bike miles (if I literally don’t ride my bike again until November, which is absolutely not the plan, this will be 325 after the 100 this weekend – big cycle month for me!)
  • 15 run miles (which, unless I don’t run again this month, which is also not the plan, I will have my highest run month since April, sad as that is)
  • 0 swims.  I’m hoping to break that record this week, though.
  • On track with weights so far – 2x week for the first three weeks.

Total training so far: about 22 hours at this very moment right here.  On track to be WAYYY over 1 hour per day average, so it’s been a pretty awesome month for me!

Food

After a long and hectic day, mother effing Jason’s Deli to the rescue for mass doses of veggies, fruit, and whole grains.

October is the first month I really have positive things to say about this arena.

While my progress is still slow AF, I will definitely be posting a loss of a few lbs for October (unless I fall face first into a vat of halloween candy, which I am attempting to avoid).

I have been doing better at tracking right away.  I haven’t been paying as close attention to my deficits as I could/should, but I have been doing a decent job at things working out on the average.

I have done a better job at not eating like a complete asshole on weekends.  Spending a little $$ at the grocery store on easy, premade healthy foods I actually want to eat helps here a lot.  My weekends are not completely stellar, but they’re not the junk food orgy they used to be.

I started taking Turmeric capsules, which really really helped flush out some of the inflammation I’ve been carrying.  My weight dropped a few lbs within a week and on a day to day basis my stomach feels flatter.  However, I’m not sure it did anything for my husband so ymmv.

Booze consumption feels like it’s back down to normal levels.  Even with life being stressful right now.  So, I’ll call this a win and not nitpick at it.  Some people like to splurge and relax with a Starbucks milkshake coffee, some people like cake, I like whiskey.  All these things are fine in moderation.

Averages for the month so far (through Oct 17)

  • Calories: 1912
  • Deficit: 720 judged by Garmin (my Fitbit stopped working mid-month)
  • Weight: 185.5
  • Fat: 63
  • Carbs: 179
  • Protein: 103
  • Fiber: 26
  • Diet Quality: 18.6

I’m going to say everything is in fairly good order there.  I’d like that diet quality back over 20, and I just need to focus on these things:

  • Nuts as a snack.  I’m decent on most workdays but at home on weekends?  Forget it.  I reach for something else.
    • To fix it: getting a bag of almonds to keep at home and putting them directly on the counter.
  • Making sure I eat my fruit daily.  Some days I’m good, some days I skip it as a snack.
    • To fix it: weekdays: setting myself an Outlook reminder to eat my fruit; weekends: something similar, maybe low tech, like putting a post it up on the fridge and marking it off.
  • I’ve been letting sweets creep in a little more than I have been over the summer.  A bite of cake here, a little ice cream there, a little bit of chocolate from a candy dish there, but it all adds up.
    • To fix it: Cut this shit out unless I REALLY want it and it’s not just idle snacking.  This should be weekly-ish, not daily.

Can I improve the average up to 20 in the next 11 days?  I think it’s a challenge!  Hopefully, a challenge that will help me make more scale progress.  I’m thrilled with 2 lbs lost, even thought it’s slow AF, it’s going in the right way, noticeably, so I’ll keep at it.  About 4 lbs to go until I am back at the weight I raced Austin 70.3 last year, and then I’ll set more goals from there.

Life Stuff

We’re not gonna pay… we’re not gonna pay… for PRESS PASS RENT TICKETS!!! (thanks Yelp!)

I’ll be honest, I’m a little burnt out from GOALS and GOALS and GOALS everywhere, but hey, I want to get stuff done, it’s the price to be paid.  I know I have a rough November to get through with a product launch and then a kitchen remodel, but it will all be worth it and December is a lot of time to relax and enjoy life.

But, it’s still October.  Let’s focus on the present.

  • Writing: One chapter down, one to go.  I still need to revise the outline, and haven’t touched the chapter I got stuck on.
  • Reading: Carl Sagan is a prolific wordsmith.  I got 50% through the book and had to put it down for a while.  I am about 50% through the triathlete book and it’s pretty decent.  Apparently I’ve been told the 4 hour work week will drive me nuts, so maybe I’ll save that one for December when I’m off work. 🙂
  • Wills: Eh… not yet.
  • Clean off bedroom surfaces: I’ve started!  It’s in progress.
  • Website/Business plan: well, I started a document.  It literally has three lines in it, but it’s created.  I think I need to focus on the book first while I’m motivated to do that, and if I find myself at my desk procrastinating the last few chapters, I’ll work on this to get something productive done.

So, I’ve got essentially one week and two more weekends to make progress.  Time to regroup and focus my efforts.

  • Writing: take some time tomorrow (because all I have to do is packet pickup, no major workout) and start with the outline and then see how much progress I can make on the next chapter.
  • Reading: keep at it! Finish the triathlete book, finish Carl Sagan, and scope out two more November books (since I’m saving the 4 hour work week)
  • Clean off the surfaces: I’m going to try and take 10 minutes every night before bed the rest of this month and see if I can knock it out, rather than trying to do it all at once.

Wills… well, I’m obviously procrastinating this one.  I’ll give this one about a 50/50 shot at being on my To Do list next month, if I’m being honest.

I’m going to add “start packing up the kitchen” to this list as something to do in the next 30 days.  We start remodeling in a month.  Instead of scrambling to do this the weekend before, we can do it more slowly over a month.  I’ll let you know how this new *not procrastinating* thing goes for me! 🙂

We have done things that are not just werkwerkwerkwerk too.

We celebrated our anniversary at Trulucks.  Because we are old (and more importantly, we rode 80 miles that day), we were back home before sunset though!

We saw Rent with the nifty press passes from Yelp.  It’s one of my favorites, and I’m so stoked I got to go!  All the songs have been in my head this week…

Kona party!  Every year that we’re in town, we spend the day watching the Ironman World Championships and last Saturday was no exception.  I expected them to kind of be boring and it was so not the case!  I also now want a pouch in my tri kit to store my random crap, but it probably wouldn’t work out that well for me because I am not 2% body fat like Patrick Lange.

We actually got out to ride on dirt this month!  And it was less scary than the last time!  I’m hoping we can make it our sometimes-Sunday thing and conquer the super easy trails in Walnut Creek Park.

It’s been a super hectic, but super fun first half of October.  I’m hoping to buckle down a little bit on the To Dos even with a lot of work stuff coming up, but I also have a lot of fun stuff planned, so if I can survive, it should all work out just fine!

What cool plans do you have for Halloween/October/Fall/etc?  I love to hear about fun stuff!

 

A Day on Two Wheels

I finally dragged my eyes open at around 8am, which was unfortunate, as we had envisioned getting on the road closer to 7 or 7:30.  I rolled over and texted my Mom, “Woke up late, story of my life, will be there closer to noon-ish.”

One of a kind and always late…

Most triathletes, cyclists, and all around sporty-spice people are early risers.  I have friends who often end their runs before the sun comes up.  I am in bed until the sun comes up unless it’s an absolute necessity.  I’ve gotten to points where I have regularly been able to wake up in the 7am hour, but as soon as I take a break my normal body rhythm goes directly back to waking up as close to 9-10am as I allow it.

My husband and I both plodded out of bed to do our respective pre-bike things.  This morning, since I was groggy, I pretty much walked around in a fog forgetting how to be a human, and he did just about everything – filling our bottles, finding the helmets, and pumping up the tires.  We trade off being the one who can actually function before noon and today was not my day.

Finally, we had all our ducks in a row and coasted out the driveway a few minutes before 9am.  The air still had a little refreshment in the wind gusts, in the shade at least, but I could tell that would be short lived.  Our neighborhood was still pretty sleepy itself, with just a few people setting out to take their dogs for a morning stroll, and traffic seemed to be following suit.  It’s a refreshing change from 9am on a weekday, when everyone out and about is cranky because they’re probably late to work, these people are most likely out to start a day off of shopping, or brunch, or something somewhat enjoyable.

We were heading north that day for two reasons.  First, our plan included an 80 mile ride, and my parents’ house is exactly 38.5 miles from ours.  Second, Austin City Limits music festival was downtown (about 10 miles the opposite way), and with the thousands of natives and visitors partying it up down there… you either go embrace it or stay the hell away.  Since we weren’t doing the former, we wanted to avoid it like the plague.

To go north from our neighborhood, there are two decent options – either up Metric, which has hills but they aren’t steep, or up Steck-o-slavakia (as the Strava segment calls it), and you get the climbing done with straight away and all at once about a mile and a half into your ride.  Metric is the most direct route, but Steck leads to Rudy’s breakfast tacos, so of course, that won.  We huffed our way up and meandered through streets and parking lots until we turned into our favorite bike breakfast place.

Here’s the thing.  I eat pretty healthy most of the time.  However, I’ve made the agreement with myself that anything I eat during a bike ride doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things.  The bonus of this?  I can now eat almost anything on the bike.  Real food is so much tastier than dumb old gu gels, and I knew the time for those would come later, so I enjoyed the heck out of the peppery bar-b-que sauce, salty beef, and soft warm flour tortilla.  I enjoyed it quickly, because, as we slept in, we were behind schedule.

Because Jollyville Road is essentially the northern bicycle promenade area, we saw at least three other group rides coming or going.  Even if we were riding solo ourselves today, it was awesome to be part of the haphazard mid-morning cyclist’s parade.

Eventually we turned onto Parmer Road, which ended the point of the route in which we needed to pay attention to directions.  Get to Parmer, go straight for 30 miles, that was it.  Easy on the brain, except when you turn into it and WHOOF the wind hits you.  “Nothing as bad as Ironman day,” I thought, and we started our trek north.

Sometimes cycling is filled with amazing sights and sounds and fresh country air.  Sometimes you pick the most convenient route, and the sights are cars, roads, and more cars, the sounds are horns and road noise, and the smells are dead armadillos and skunks.  Either way, the sun was shining, we were outside, and riding bikes, so life wasn’t so bad.  We ate a gel, we stopped at Sonic for a Powerade bottle fill, and while the traffic thinned out, the weather took a turn for the steamy, and the constant construction started.

Poor Zliten and his unlucky tires lately!

I know that the crews were probably much more pressured to make progress on the driveable parts of the road, but the bike lanes were a mess for miles.  Often, they had deep grooves, were blocked off, had loose gravel spread over them, or had tons of debris.  Even with the obstacles, we were making good time until two miles from our turn, Zliten told me to stop and we examined his mostly-flat tire.  The construction debris had claimed a victim, and whatever it was put a decent size hole in his tire as well as flattening his tube.

You know what makes the best tire patch? An empty GU wrapper.  And I had one, sticky and ready to go.  We patched up his tire, well, he did as I watched and gave moral support, changed the tube, and we were off.

As we pulled into my parents’ driveway, the clouds really started to roll in.  It was right about noon (without the flat, we would have been a little earlier, which may have been the first time in my life), and my bottles were empty, so it was nice to get some water, snack on some fruit, soak up a little air conditioning, and chat with the family for a bit.  All too soon, it was time to head out, back on our steeds, and get to the second half of the ride.

Thankfully, the clouds continued to layer themselves on top of each other, and most importantly, the sun.  We made a quick stop at the Sun City gas station, for a really expensive-but-totally-worth-it Gatorade to fill our bottles, and we looked at each other.

“Ok, let’s go home!”  I exclaimed, as if home was not 40 miles and a few cities away.  The great thing about an out-and-back route is you already know what you’re in for.  The wind, thankfully, was mild but mostly at our back.  The construction wasn’t as bad on the other side of the road (bad, but not that bad).  The clouds held their cottony-soft selves together, for the most part, and kept the sun from frying us too much, and the hills that were killer two months ago just didn’t seem that bad.

Once we returned to civilization, we stopped at McDonalds for more fuel – I got a cheeseburger and split a medium fry with Zliten, who got some nuggets.  It was not the best burger I’d ever had in my life, but two packets of salt went on the fries and my not-a-happy-meal-because-the-toy-sucked did it’s trick.

Some people may wonder how we spend hours and hours on bikes.  I like to say it’s quality time, but honestly, before the last month, it was quality time but also a lot of shouting at each other because it’s hard to hear in wind and traffic.   I was extremely happy that my husband is impatient with gifts and we’ve had our anniversary present, always on walkie talkies that attach to our helmets.  At first, I thought it was kind of silly, but now I don’t know how I got by without them.  Having reasonable-decibel level communications makes bike rides with my husband about 80% more happy.

Proof!

As we turned off Parmer and back into town, I found myself almost sad that our ride was coming to an end.  Two years ago, I can’t imagine anything but being overjoyed that I could stop riding on the road because it was terrifying.  A year ago, 80 miles was well beyond my comfort zone.  I rode 74 at a charity ride, which was the longest I’d been on a bike at that point, and I was pretty shell shocked after.  Today, this ride was a long training ride for sure, but totally within my capabilities.  Putting together 20 more miles, or another hour and change (our average pace ended at 15.7 mph), did not seem beyond our capacities.

About 4 miles from home, we heard shouting out of a white Jeep.  “Uh oh, cyclist haters…” I thought, until I recognized them yelling our names.  It was two of our teammates!  I think I realized in time to wave, but I was so focused on getting home.  As I did mental calculations, I realized the small shortcut we took earlier was going to short us on miles.  I’m not a complete stickler for even numbers, especially on the bike, but the longest training runs/rides?  I like seeing the number!  So, we meandered around the streets surrounding our house and finally pulled into the driveway, both of our garmins reading eighty point something.

There’s an order of things after a bike ride.  Usually, it’s worthwhile to go directly to the shower.  You’re sweaty, smelly, and gross.  It’s worth the five minutes to get clean.  Then, liquid.  Both hydrating (water) and dehydrating (beer).  Then, food.  Even though we had reservations at Trulucks for the second part of our anniversary day in two hours, the half turkey sandwich in the fridge didn’t stand a chance.   Then, the couch and some TV.  And more water.  And beer.

I was dressed up for all of two hours before climbing into my PJs.

Fifteen minutes before our reservations, I pried myself off the couch and made myself look presentable, and we had a super relaxing, super nice crab (and butter) feast.  We considered lingering at the bar after, but our drinks at home are just as good and cheaper, so we were home before dark.  Such is the wild life of a triathlete.

A map and a plan for the next 15 months…

Let’s talk about the last mile of Kerrville again since I’ve uncovered some new facts.  If I would have been able to hang onto 3rd place that last mile, not only would I have placed in my age group, but because there were more than 25 finishers in my age group (29, actually), I would be going to Nationals in Cleveland in August.  OMG.

I’m smiling because I didn’t know yet…

While I keep harping on the run being my weak point, and obviously, if I could have run about 45 sec/mile faster overall that would have done it, there’s other things that happened imperfectly that could have tipped the scales in my favor.  If I wouldn’t have had to wait at the exit wall of the swim.  If I was faster at transitions and did the things the people who win do like clip your bike shoes to the bike ahead of time and do flying mounts and dismounts.  If I would have pushed harder on the downhills on the bike and been paying attention to my average power being a little lame even if the speed was good.  There are a lot of ways to make up 1 minute 47 seconds and not all of them are running related.

All in all, I’m about 15% bummed but 85% stoked.  I’ve never been this close before which means I’m getting better.  Also, this year, post Ironman, I trained pretty much with the whatever-I-feel-like plan.  I mean, to get better at sprint triathlons, you should ride your bike (road, not TT) everywhere at a random pace, lift weights, ignore swimming, and run about 3-5 miles a week, right?  That’s the path to success… said no coach.  Yet, I almost pulled it off.  What could I actually do when I, like, actually *tried* to train like a shorter course triathlete?  I’m excited to find out.

But first, something completely different.

This race again!

My next A race is 3M Half Marathon.  Honestly, right now, I’m less than excited for it because running right now is not my favorite, but I know that will change once the temps cool down and I get some miles under me and my knee cooperates.

I have found some success at running less but faster to actually knock out a pretty decent 5k off the bike, so I’m going to continue that methodology into the next season.  Here’s the thing.  I can totally run 13 miles.  The muscle memory is there.  Right now, it would be a miserable endeavor, but I think I could probably jog it in about 2h30 or less if the weather didn’t suck.  However, that’s not what I’m looking to accomplish.

I am rolling the big scary goal of sub-2 around in my head again.  I really went for it one year (2010) and my runs were looking awesome and on pace until I caught a chest cold on race week and was happy to be able to even race that day and jogged it in at 2:19.  Since then, I’ve never done a full training build for a half marathon, they’ve been races I jumped into for funsies, to hang with friends, as training runs for something longer, or to take a crack at my PR but not specifically trained for them.  I’ve hit 2:08 twice, and if I put my mind to it, the 2:10-12 range is not too challenging for me to hit without specifically training for it.

This year, I’m clearing the runway and going for it once again.  I’m about 30 lbs heavier than I was back then, but I’ve also got a lot of endurance and muscle and experience and maybe that will tip the scales the right way.

Now, the plan is, how do I get from about 2:10 to 1:59:59?

A) I need to continue to teach my body good running form.  That means no marathon shuffle.  I’ve found I can maintain proper form and also go as easy as about 10:30/mile.  I’ll have one of those runs per week that’s as relaxed as possible but still with good body position (and also drills during it).  These can be hilly or flat, but the goal is still the same (run easy with good form).

B) I need to remind myself how to run fast and strong.  I will have a diet of intervals, hill repeats, and tempo runs.  I’ll alternate through these and do one per week.

C) I need to improve my run endurance.  I will alternate through one of these per week – long run (shorter + faster), long run (longer + slower), long bike (40-60 miles, to maintain endurance and minimize pounding).  When the run miles are low, I will supplement with some cycling as well so my Saturday workouts probably won’t be less than about 2-3 hours.

So, that’s my 3 runs.  Here’s how I’ll supplement them with cross training:

Weights.  I would love to say that I’d be lifting heavy here but I don’t think I have the time to make the transition without affecting my running.  So, probably continue with bands and DDR for plyometrics.  I may try to split this up more than I do now and do 15 mins x 4 mornings so it’s less of a session and more of a habit, but it also might not get done that way instead of taking 30 mins over two lunch breaks *shrug*.

Bikes.  I will not be putting Death Star and Evilbike away this year, though I’ll be riding them a *little* less than last year.  I plan to keep up with at least one work commute per week, and I would like to have one shorter speed session, but we’ll see if this plays nice with running.

Swim.  My body thanks me if I can make it to the pool once a week or at least every other week.  Even if I’m not really trying to train swimming right now, it loosens me up and my body complains if I spend too long out of the water.

In practice, what does that look like?  Early November might be:

  • Monday: 4 miles of hill repeats at lunch, PM weights at the gym
  • Tuesday: bike commute
  • Wednesday: 40 min AM bike speed trainer session, easy hour lunch run
  • Thursday: weights (bands at work)
  • Friday: AM swim
  • Saturday: 10k run on flat roads, goal is sub-10 min/mile pace, warmup on the bike for 15 mins, easy ride after to round out the time.
  • Sunday : off

This is a 7.5-8 hour week.  Totally doable.  Even when the runs get longer, this should never top out beyond 9-10 hours, which is my normal volume right now.  I think it will work out well.

Double the distance, double the crazy eyes?

Looking out a little further into 2018, I plan to do an ill-advised 12 hour bike race with my teammates that I know I won’t be trained for on the 3rd, and then take February and probably the first part of March to do whatever I feel like (though I do want to take this cycle to go lift heavy and I’ll need to do SOME efforts to burn off birthday cake).

Then, I’d like to take a crack at a bunch of sprint triathlon podiums and Nationals qualification.  It’s my last year in the 35-39 age group, and those 40 year olds are serious competition!  While I’m not going to get too detailed this far ahead, here are some rough thoughts:

  • I’d like to do a bunch of races (yeah, I know, who am I, the girl who’d rather train than race) so if one sucks, it doesn’t matter.  Probably once every 2-3 weeks for a few months.  There’s a bunch of early season triathlons within a 3-4 hour drive and that means we get to use turtle home more.  Win win!
    • The one I’m most excited for is Play Tri – it’s SO flat!
  • I am actually going to swim!  While I probably won’t do long sets, I want to get my form back (and more importantly my time back) to where it was last year.  This means sets and drills in the pool.  Maybe even consider a month of masters’ swim (but its so eaaaaaaarly) to get my butt kicked.
  • Training with power on the bike.  I held 20 mph on the bike and did really well in my age group and my power was a measly 150 watts.  I know I can push harder than that for 40 minutes, but I know from experience pushing harder than that takes practice.  I’ll need to actually spend some time on the trainer or reasonably closed courses out of traffic and work on some TT intervals with actual power goals for workouts.  And, while this is a simple one, it’s taken me over a year to do it – I need to add the AVG POWER field to my race day garmin fields so I can see it during the race and not be surprised by it.  Durrr.
  • Hopefully I’ll have some nice run fitness at this point that will be balanced between speed and endurance.  During this season, I’ll cut the endurance part and go back to less miles and moar faster like I did this year.
  • Probably back to lighter weights at this point.  Or at least maintaining what I’m at without being super sore for workouts.
  • If I’m looking at a few minutes being the difference between achieving a goal or not, I need to do all those things that the really good triathletes do:
    • Invest in a swim skin.  Of the 40 of so of these triathlon thingees (not to mention splash and dashes) I’ve done, I think maybe 5 of them have been wetsuit legal.  I will get much more wear out of one of these then almost anything else I could buy to improve my swimming.
    • Actually practice doing the things the faster triathletes do in transition.
      • Work on my barefoot running speed.  Like, actually go run on the sidewalk/in the yard.
      • Practice transitions with my bike shoes clipped in already.  This is going to involve me doing some dumb looking shit in my front yard and riding around my block a bunch of times trying to get my feet in tri shoes without getting hit by/hitting a car.  Not to mention the hilarious attempts at flying mounts and dismounts.  I should probably film this…
      • Find a pair of shoes I can run at least 3 miles in without socks.  I actually think my Sauconys might fit the bill but they’re getting old so I will need to replace them.  Maybe also try some racing flats?
  • And, as much as I get so cranky about it and it’s the worst (I’d rather suffer through an 8 mile treadmill tempo run, 1000 meter swim test in rough open water wearing my wetsuit for the first time in 6 months, and cycle class with 20 minute intervals and then heavy lifting all in the same day), each lb I take off in a proper and healthy way gives me about 2 sec/mile of free speed.  So, if I could manage to take down 10 lbs, I could get one minute off my 5k without training.  I need to remember this when I think about saying “fuck it, let’s eat a giant plate of french fries”.  More french fries = less Nationals.

As for the schedule, it’s so far out, but for funsies, let’s do the first week in March:

  • Monday: AM swim (100 warmup, 500 drills, 5×100 fast on 2:00, 100 cooldown), lunch weights
  • Tuesday: bike commute – AM faster (at least 180 power average on the power cal), PM recovery
  • Wednesday: AM swim (300 warmup, 200 fast/200 steady, 150 fast/150 steady, 100 fast/100 steady, 50 fast/50 steady, 25 fast/25 steady,  100 cooldown), PM team brick (average power on the speed loop – 175+, pace on the 2 mile run sub 9:30)
  • Thursday: lunch weights
  • Friday: AM/lunch run (4 miles steady)
  • Saturday: Ride to and from BSS social ride, 3 mile brick run off the bike at home (sub-10 min/miles).
  • Sunday: off

This is only about 8.5 hours so there’s room to grow some of the workouts even if I want to keep to 10 hours a week or less (which wouldn’t be a problem to go over every once in a while).

Always great to race with friends and teammates!  I’m already looking forward to tri season next year.

My last race of the early 2018 season will probably be Lake PFlugerville Tri, and I’ll take my usual 6 weeks off between that and Jack’s Generic.  However, this could change a little if I do qualify for Nationals (Aug 11) – but those are scheduling chickens I will count and shuffle around when they hatch.

The next build will probably be to Ironman Cozumel 70.3.  If for some reason that falls through, there are about a million other 70.3s in the area around that time (and I might consider doing 2 of them if I can space them enough apart – it would be AWESOME to have two cracks at the distance on the same build).

As a self-check on recovery, I’ve given myself some breaks (6 weeks in Feb/March, 6 weeks in June/July), and I don’t expect I’ll roll directly into marathon training (no interest, at least right now) in October like I have previously, so I expect I’ll have a lighter load (or at least less serious one) the last month or two of 2018.

It’s weird to consider that you have the next 15 months of your life mapped out, but I tend to do better with a map and a plan than just sailing around aimlessly.  I’m excited to get started!

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Eight is not enough

Today marks the day of eight years since we did the “I do” thing in Vegas with our friends and family.

Let’s not mention that our actual relationship would be a moody, petulant high schooler quickly approaching graduation.

Among all the normal life things like cleaning out bedrooms, launching updates at work, studying for certifications, celebrating holidays, and all that, there were some major highlights in year eight:

We became one with the ocean for 8 days in Key Largo.

We become Ironpeople after many, many months of training.

We spent more water time in Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan.

We bought turtle home and spent the summer camping everywhere.

It consistently surprises me how all the years live up to each other.  I’ll think about the last year  together and think, “ok, this has to be it”.  The pinnacle of awesomeness.  But, instead, it keeps getting better.  Magic!

I mean, we are not perfect people.  Far from it.  I make him drive EVRRRYWHERE because I hate it and make completely over-the-top plans that sound awesome but are actually crazy that he has to talk me down from and I make him handle about 99.9% of the phone calls in our relationship.  He brings me junk food when I’m trying to be good, is like a cranky toddler some mornings, and somehow always beats me in races now and sometimes whines incessantly about putting away laundry.

However, we’re imperfect together and that’s perfect.

If I could give advice to myself at year one, or frankly, anyone embarking on a long term relationship, I would give these tips:

#1 Try each other’s THINGS.  I never thought I’d be into working in video games for a living.  He never thought he’d be into sports.  I resisted Dungeons&Dragons for years.  However, I trust my husband enough that if he enjoys something, it’s gotta be worth giving it a try.  Oddly enough, most times, we end up with a shared interest.  Or not.  He questions my music tastes and I question his movie tastes sometimes.  However, even if it’s one and done, you gain a little understanding about each other.

#2 Be straight.  Not mean, not even brutally honest, but if there’s a thing I want or want to do or am feeling, I tell my husband and vice versa and we do our best to accommodate each other.  Being psychic doesn’t work for us.  Playing the “figure out what’s wrong” game doesn’t work for us, no one has time for that shit.  I am never “just fine”, I’m either awesome or I’m going to tell you what’s bothering me.  If I am grumpy about the office being messy after it not bothering me for 10 years, we figure out what the actual problem is and fix it and life goes on.

#3 Be better about the way you give up control.  This is a simple one.  Eliminate the words “I don’t care” from your vocabulary.  Especially if you do.  But even if you don’t want to make the decisions there are other ways to say it.  “Can you decide today?” is good.  “I am so exhausted and have insane decision fatigue, can you suggest some places that sound good to you?” is better.  “I trust your judgement” or “I leave this decision in your capable hands” is great.  Also, “we’re going to In-N-Out and you’re going to split fries with me because I don’t want a whole order” is pretty good too if that’s what you want (see #2).

#4 Never go on your honeymoon.  My dream eight years ago was a European trip to Italy and Greece.  In my wedding thank you letters for the cash gifts, I let everyone know that’s what I was saving money to do.  I’m sorry I lied.  I have not yet set foot in Europe, but instead, after my interest turned to scuba diving, I’ve visited almost all the islands in the Beach Boys’ song Kokomo (though I have no desire to visit Indiana).  So, when they say “the honeymoon’s over”?  Nope.  Haven’t gone on it yet!

The next year promises to hold some amazing things.  Together, we’ll test our relationship and remodel our kitchen (and then hopefully stop effing with the house for at least a year).  Then, we take off to paradise again for a week underwater before we celebrate the holidays with friends and family.  I’m excited/scared to chase his stupid legs as we both attempt to smash PRs at 3M half marathon in January and then race all sorts of shorter triathlons in the spring.  We have family vacations planned in the spring.  We’re looking at racing outside the country in the fall and spending anniversary #9 underwater again in Cozumel.

It’s all sorts of exciting and it’s amazing that we get to do all this together.  Cheers to 8 years, and to 80 more because triathlon will keep us alive forever, right?

September wrap up, October goals

Noticed the lack of weekly check in posts?

Well, I’ve been crazy busy during the week and out of town a lot of weekends, so I kind of dropped them.  I think I liked that, because while they’re helpful to me, I feel like they’re kind of boring content.  So, I think I may keep that up except in times where I really need the accountability.  However, I need to keep track of things so I’ll be doing that internally and wrapping up each month because… that’s how we roll here.

So, September was an interesting one.  Lots of playing out of town in the woods, but also, chipping away at some goals even if I didn’t quite meet my ambitious standards.  I’m at peace and excited to start a new month with a refreshed map and plan.

September Training

Some of the best training sessions this month were spent in my BSS tri top.  Or Zliten’s when I forgot mine…

After a heck of a lot of bike miles in August to prep for Hotter’n Hell, I definitely needed a little break and more balance.  So, that’s what this month was all about… and also finally being able to race-race (instead of just have a hard workout) at Kerrville Sprint.  I’m finding out that really going all out at a sprint works you just as hard (or harder, in this case) than just riding 100 chill miles.  Intensity, people.  It’s no joke.

  • Swimming: 4 miles or about 6500m.  More than August.  Swimming was just not a priority for me this year after IM Texas, and I did enough not to get completely rusty for sprint tris.
  • Biking: 289 miles.  86 less than last month but I didn’t have a century ride or any training rides over 60 miles, so it makes sense, and is actually pretty impressive in that regard!
  • Running: 17 miles.  Yep, technically up from 12 last month like I wanted.  I would have more, but I gave myself the week off after the race to heal my wonky knee, which seems to be healed (knock on wood).  Game on.
  • Weights/DDR: 4 sessions.  Oops.  Need to fix this.

Total = 27.5 hours.  My first thought was… eek, kind of pathetic, but that’s almost an hour a day.  My brain is warped.

For October, I’m reverting back to August and the bike all the miles training and resume weights training plan.  I’m hoping to run a *little* more than previously, but I’m willing to concede on any swimming now that tri season is over.  It’s good cross training for me but I can let it slide this month.

October is also probably the last entire month without a specific training plan.  November starts the ramp up for 3M and I want to be a little more specific with my training since I have big scary goals there.

October high points:

  • Need to do a 80 mile ride (Oct 7) to prepare for Century #2 (Oct 22) and maintain a pretty good bike volume (like August).
  • Back to 2xweek weights, work in 10-15 mins DDR at least once a week
  • A *little* more running.  I’d like to get back to about 10-15 miles a week by the end of the month to build a lil base for half marathon training.

September Food

This sums up September’s eating.  It’s not as bad as it looks, but it’s definitely not the pinnacle of healthy consumables.

In like a lion, out like a blerch.

Here’s some truth talk: weekends are the best for just about every other reason, but they SUCK to try to stick to a healthy diet.  Especially while camping, or while hosting parties, or when you’re out riding bikes for 12 hours.  Here’s more truthiness: just because your knee is cranky post-race and you’re taking a few days off does not mean your appetite will go down.  In fact, you have more time to get yourself into trouble with interesting food and more opportunities to drink wine.

I asked my husband to remind me when I’m whining in a week or two about how I’m not making any progress it’s because I’m not doing the things that make the progress.  I’m eating to maintain my weight right now.  In fact, last week, I was eating to gain weight, when you take the fact that even DIETICIANS tend to undertrack themselves by about 250 calories per day.

However, the last five days or so have shown progress.  Strange, huh?  My weight just jumped down about 2 lbs on average and it’s being less swingy than normal.  I don’t even know… I will more than take it but sometimes my body is a huge troll.

So, what did I want to do in September?

Actually measure out the drinks I want to have when I’m home and try to stick to them.  I did this *some* of the time.  It’s actually starting to feel like a habit instead of an annoyance.  However, two camping weekends made this rough.  I’m not one to get much of a hangover and I had two killer ones on the two mornings we drove home from camping.

Continue to work on what I put in my mouth on the weekends.  Honestly, this hasn’t been *too too* bad.  I had a run of a few weeks where I had no nut butters or pistachios at home and didn’t break into anything else and ate crap for salty snacks instead.  I was about 7/9 on the weekend days on getting good nutritionally sound food in my mouth and that’s actually pretty awesome.

Abide by the deficit a little more strictly.  Here is where I did amazing week 1, eh week 2 and 3, and have sucked ass through a straw in space the last week of the month.   This really is the key.  I’m going to need to get back to this.

September Numbers:

  • Weight: 187.4 (+0.1)
  • Avg cal per day: 2023 (-59) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -840 calories Fitbit (+20)/-475 garmin
  • DQ Score: 18.2 (-2.7).
  • Macros for the month
    • Fat = 63g avg
    • Carbs = 197 avg
    • Protein = 110 avg
    • Fiber = 30 avg

I’m kind of amazed that my deficit got better, but also, I’m going to guess that I had significantly less accurate tracking data because I was often tracking the weekends days later.  *shrug*.  I think I may move over to tracking calories on the Garmin since the fitbit seems to be overestimating what I burn because I regularly maintain a 1-2 lb per week deficit and as you can see, I’m losing about 1-2 lbs every 3 months. 😛

What’s on tap for October?

Goal #1 – Increase tracking accuracy.  Like I said, lots of these weekends I was tracking Friday night through Monday morning on Monday evening (or worse).  My goal this month is to track at least 2-3 times per day, even on weekends.  If I can’t make myself open the calorie tracking app for some reason, I will text my husband with what I ate so I can remember to log it later.  Oddly enough, when I have to log things, I consider them more carefully.  Funny that.

Goal #2 – Sticking to deficits more carefully.  Let’s try this again.  This goes hand in hand with above – I need to know how much I can eat per day.  My goal used to be 1200-1500 calories per day depending on activity to lose weight with a few days closer to 2000.  Looking at my Garmin calorie burn, that’s not too far off.  1200 on completely off days.  1500 on easy 1-hour or less days.  Reference my burn for anything else beyond that.  Looks like longer bike rides earn me about 2-5k (25-100 miles).  We’ll see how the longer runs affect me on the garmin.

Goal #3 – Portion control with the sauce.  This is starting to become a habit but worth mentioning again.  Set aside what I intend to consume for the evening.  Consume that.  Be done.

Hopefully I can make the numbers all go back the right way next month.  Let’s be honest, I didn’t try very hard in September.  My overall goal is to actually TRY HARD in October.  I think if I actually mind the numbers I might do well and be able to stop talking about the same bullshit I have for the last seven years.  Dieting is the worst.  THE WORST.  I just want the pain over with so I can get to race weight and eat lots of healthy food and a little junk and maintain and be happy.

September Life Stuff

This is a bridge to the next section. (Ha!)

September was super fun and decently productive, though after the pinnacle of producitivty which was August I had some lofty goals.  Here’s what I wanted to do and if I did it, started it, or just ignored it:

  • TWO camping trips.  Yesss!  I do feel incredibly happy and relaxed even with work craziness because we played in turtle home a lot.
  • Office.  Actually using it.  NOPE!  Funny thing, when you are out of town 3 out of 5 weekends… you don’t exactly have time to do that kind of thing.  I got no website/business progress.  I started ONE chapter and haven’t been motivated to finish it.
  • Dr. Appointment to drain my ears.  DONE!  That was a big ball of wax, literally.
  • Two more Non-Fiction books.  Brave Triathlete DONE (and I actually want to re-read it… I feel like it needs another go to fully absorb it), and Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World has been started.  Luckily, I think this is one I’ll be able to read and fall asleep to, so it should go quick.
  • Wills.  In progress.  We’ve looked into it but have not finalized.  This will have to carry over.
  • Remodel.  We bought and paid for all the major stuff!  At this point, we need to pick out paint, a backsplash, and probably buy a few more things as they come up but we don’t have *too* much to think about until it’s time to pack up the kitchen!
  • Actually learned how to be a designer again.  One reason I’ve been so busy and my brain has been unable to fathom doing creative work is I’ve been doing some at work to help out!  Thanks to my awesome husband who has answered the majority of my stupid questions this month about the idiosyncrasies of this particular editor.

October should be a little more mellow.  We are in town all month except for one night away for a wedding on the 28th.  We have plans every weekend but most of those plans are with ourselves (anniversary and annual Kona Trainer Party).  As the weather turns a little cooler we’ll be less obsessed about funinthesunnnn and maybe the office will look a little more appealing.

  • Writing: I have written a lot, and now I’m realizing I was having a lot of trouble getting motivated because I needed structure.  So, the first thing I did on Oct 1 was write a working outline.  I organized the chapters that had full rough drafts into a document (and it’s 112 pages, so that’s something!) I also wrote the prologue and started the epilogue.  I feel MUCH more motivated and directed now.  Things I want to do this month:
    • Take my old outline and make sure that it’s all absorbed in the new one.
    • Write at least two chapters.  I was going to say Chapter 1 and Chapter 15 (the last) previous to this outline, but now that I’ve restructured, the last ones are going to be the most fresh and probably flow the quickest and I might as well continue to pick low hanging fruit.
    • Bonus: finish the one I started last month and got stuck on.  However, I’d rather wait to unstick myself until later if another part of the book is flowing.
  • Reading: Finish A Demon Haunted World.  Read The 4 Hour Work Week and pick one triathlete memoir, since that’s kind of what I’m trying to write.  I added a BUNCH of them to my wish list on Amazon so I’ll be ready to grab one when I’ve finished the other two.
  • Wills:  Actually do this!
  • Business plan/website: I kind of want to leave this open for what I have time/inspiration to think about, but by the end of the month I’d like to have a working document that’s at least in progress.  Even if it’s a google doc with a few lines in it, it will be a start!
  • Clean off all the bedroom surfaces.  It’s starting to annoy both of us and should take an hour, maybe two maximum.  We’re going to need a sanctuary once we start remodeling next month!

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