Adjusted Reality

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

Page 2 of 167

Losing the blues.

I’m done with the Ironman blues.  Hello from the other side!

Finally this week I came out of the fog.  I remember what it was like to be doing all that training, but it doesn’t feel wrong to *not* do it.  I still get to ride my bike.  We hit the pool once and that made me a happy fishie.  I laced up my hokas this morning for their intended purpose, and it wasn’t far and it wasn’t fast and it was kinda hot but it felt good.  I’m going to try to keep it to 5 hours a week, give or take, but I think both my body and brain are ready to be a super casual recreational triathlete.

It’s a good thing too, because I signed up for a race!

We do this one every year.  Last year I was about 3 months into offseason, I just bought my new bike that week, and I was just a minute and a half off my PR and my second best showing ever.  This year… I’m going to go in again with no expectations and see what I can do.  Go play triathlon hard that morning.  Maybe not even with a watch. All hippie-like without data (but I like looking at it later so maybe not).

So, this week I start with the swim/bike/run – yes all 3 of them in one week.  Here’s the plan.  It’s super detailed.

  • Monday – ran 2.68 miles
  • Tuesday – ride TT bikes at the Circuit of the Americas track for ~2 hours
  • Wednesday – ride bikes with the BSS crew
  • Thursday – probably be dead from all the exertion plus I have gaming so *priorities*
  • Friday – swimming, maybe in the lake
  • Saturday – short brick at Lake Pflugerville (probably 10-15 miles on the TT bike + once around the lake)
  • Sunday – go die somewhere because obviously I’ll be worn the eff out

After these two weeks I may just hang my TT bike and hokas back up for a while again, or I may continue to play triathlon at this low level for the summer.  I haven’t decided yet.  I should probably lift some heavy things soon (like at least my own bodyweight) so we’ll see how I want to prioritize everything.

Last week I was about 2 for 3.  I actually did 4 things (3 bikes, 1 swim).  I got 10k steps on my fitbit every day (technically minus Saturday, because it counted steps for a 2 hour bike ride, and I only really *walked* 7k but details…).  I did not wake up and do stuff because a) my back really wasn’t ready and b) I realized waking up in the morning and going cold to do some stretching without a warmup was probably not the finest idea ever.


I assure you that the second panel did not turn into the third, although I have threatened before.

My adventures in nutrition can be summarized thusly – I did really well all week.  Then I went and rode bikes for 2 hours kinda hard on Saturday and hosted a party with lots of food so I ate and drank a lot.  Then I resumed normality on Sunday and here we are.

This week’s tally:

  • Weight: 187.4 (-1.6) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1732 (+17) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -838 (+35) calories
  • Macros: 56 (+2)g fat, 164 (-12)g carbs, 93 (+3)g protein, 23 (+1)g fiber

So, besides a little extra fat (still within the acceptable range), everything is going the right way regardless.

Last week’s goals:

Continue with Week one goals.  Track and maintain a deficit.  Water.  Try to keep the alcohol consumption to reasonable levels. – Check.  Saturday was a little out of hand but in the grand scheme of the week it all normalized.

Fruits and veggies. – Check.  I went back and could count at least 5 fruits and veggies every day.  Thursday was pushing it a *little* bit including celery from the wings we split but if you’re counting 5 average per day over the whole week?  Nailed it.

Protein.  – Better, but not quite 100g.  I went up to 93g from 90.  When I eat more, this is effortless.  With smaller calorie counts, this takes some planning and perhaps a snack with protein because I’m just not making it some days.

This week’s goals:

Continue with previous goals.  Track and maintain a deficit.  Water.  Try to keep the alcohol consumption to reasonable levels.  Five fruits and veggies per day.  This is a reminder to not regress.

Protein.  I need to watch this carefully.  On nights where I’m having some adult beverages I should skew towards things that are carb-light, and have quality protein and fiber instead to make my macros.

The tally.  Now that my appetite is back to mortal levels and I’m used to not having a food orgy every day, it’s time to START working on my diet quality (the word of this season is baby steps).  Not doing anything this week, except trying to make good choices.  Next Monday, I’ll add up my DQ score and see where it’s at in comparison to where I was a few years ago.


I did some things besides swim/bike/run/eat!  #offseason is glorious.

It’s so weird.  During periods of heavy training, I’m like, what the heck do I fill my life with on the weekends if it’s not either riding bikes for 6 hours or running 20 miles and then laying exhausted on the couch watching Netflix?  Just laying on the couch watching Netflix sounds rather dull without the bikes to tire me out first.

Then, I remember how awesome it is to have some spare mental and physical energy on the weekends.  It’s the worst when you’re recovering because you feel tired without the fun and endorphins, but then once that breaks… HALLELUJAH!

Here are the things I did this weekend:

  • Had two glasses of wine on Friday because I had calories left and I could.
  • Rode my bike with friends for 2 hours.
  • Went out to lunch.
  • Actually died on the couch for a while watching all the 2017 IMTexas videos to try to catch ourselves in them.
  • Picked up the house and prepped for the party.
  • Hosted 11 people and had a fantastic time.
  • Read a few chapters in the Big Yellow Book and finish section 1/3 (and some in my fiction book as well).
  • Did laundry and actually put it away the same day.
  • Cooked a BUNCH of batch meals – curry turkey with brown basamati rice and veggies, shepard’s pie, chili.
  • Went for a walk.
  • Watched a movie.
  • Painted some minis.

…and I was still in bed early enough Sunday night to wake up and run this morning and I feel refreshed and happy instead of overwhelmed.  Glorious!

My goals were:

Find a non-fiction book. – Check.  However, I had just started the new Argonauts book and I’m into it so I’m waiting until I finish it (certainly this week) to start reading How to Win Friends and Influence People (in the Digital Age) – figured I’d start with a(n updated version of a) classic.

Find office chairs.  Check.  600 bucks later, we both have seats we’re happy with that we can sit in for a while.  They’re worth it.  I sat in it to paint for about 2 hours and I didn’t want to die like I do in any other non-couch chair in the house.

Host people without stressing out. Check.  We spent maybe 2 hours cleaning and prepping simply because we effed up with the timing and didn’t schedule this on a cleaning service week, so next time should be even simpler.  There was plenty of food and drink without me going overboard.  We all had a blast playing games.  This will happen again soon.

Life goals, super check.  This week has a few more extra curricular activities, so I am picking one thing that will be a time commitment (Sunday), and the rest should be low hanging fruit.

Find a doctor and schedule a check up.  I have no idea why I’m putting this off.  Actually, yes I do.  This is definitely the year to get my blood drawn and I probably need to recover my account info for the login and the UHC website is confusing and blah blah blah.  Get over yourself and DO EITTT, woman.

Dance dance.  While the next two weeks I’ll probably err on the side of spending my energy doing triathlon stuff, I purchased a DDR pad a few weeks ago and I’d like to get it set up and working BEFORE I really want to use it (and get frustrated that I’m spending my play time getting it set up).

The Office, round 2.  Zliten thinks we can get at least through Step 3 this coming weekend in a few hours.  I’m cautiously optimistic.

And on that note, off to do all the things I can do with a brand new week!

 

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#projectoffseason (2017)

I meant to do one of these posts immediately after the Ironman, but it just sounded WAYYY too exhausting and overwhelming to even think about most of this stuff until about two days ago.

At least SOMEONE is using the tri bike!

Now, the haze is clearing and I’m adjusting to the fact that no, I don’t in fact have to train 15 hours a week and yes, that’s actually a good thing.  I have some energy back that doesn’t need to be carefully allocated to run/bike/swim/lift/recover/find food/work/minimal adulting.  I really enjoyed laying it all out there last year publicly (read: accountability) with #projectspring in 2016, and seeing what I could accomplish.  Without further ado, I give you – #projectoffseason (2017).


#1 – #projectraceweight is back.

Plates like this will probably NOT be happening very often for the next few months.

It’s one of my least enjoyable to-dos, but it’s necessary.  I was lucky to not gain anything after IM Texas, but I also didn’t LOSE anything during the training cycle (after gaining ~5 lbs over the holidays/mid-season break).  So, for the foreseeable future, the goal is to make the number on the scale go down in healthy ways.  I will track this weekly, and probably do a whole post on this in more depth at some point, but the main focuses are:

  • Find the point of activity where I can eat a sustainable amount of calories without bumping up my appetite to the next tax bracket.  This will take some experimentation, but it seems to be around 4-5 hours per week (depending on the intensity) + 10k steps per day.
  • Clean up my diet quality.  Last time I focused primarily on calories in vs calories out, and I will still do that, but I think I felt better (and kept a lower weight) when I dialed back the refined grains, fried shit, sweets, and (just a little bit) booze that went in my cakehole.  I’m not going crazy but I would like to make some strategic reductions on this stuff.

I’m not putting any numbers on anything just yet.  I’d just like to be a moderately active individual that eats mostly plants in recognizable form and animals not swimming in fat that sometimes eats fried cheese or too much whiskey or chocolate cake but not that often that weighs less than I do now.


#2 – House Projects

I expect more scenes like this.

With all this time and energy not used on running 20 miles or biking in circles for 6 hours, we can finally make some progress on the projects we keep putting off.

Office Space.  This is our big first focus and already in progress.

  • Step 1: clear out the junk actually IN the office.  That’s mostly complete, we need a few more hours max to fully check this off.
  • Step 2: Get the office set up as an office – two computers fully hooked up, get a bookshelf that doesn’t need to be propped up, moving the furniture where it’s supposed to be, proper chairs, move the sewing machine in, etc.  This is getting pretty close as well.
  • Step 3: clear out the closets and shelves so that we have storage space for things we need in there (and get rid of the rest/put things in the attic).
  • Step 4: decorate.  It would be awesome to put up a shelf and display game boxes for everything we’ve worked on instead of having them stuck in the closet.
  • Step 5 (ongoing): now that this room is fully set up, it can no longer be used as a junk room!  We will have to figure out where to put our crap immediately instead of just throwing it on the floor.

Kitchen Remodel.  Zliten’s parents have kindly offered to help us redo cabinets and some other stuff at some point.  We’re hoping to pick a few weekends in a row over the summer/fall if our schedules align that we can dedicate to this because it would save us a WHOLE lot of money instead of just crying “Ikea do it for meeee!”. I don’t expect to finish all this, but here’s the wishlist:

  • Fronts of the cabinets (if not the whole thing) and hardware and fixing the ones that don’t close properly.
  • Add storage where there’s this awkward butcher block and cabinet situation.
  • Change the color of the countertop (we have a kit we found on the side of the road for free!).   Maybe we’ll go marble/granite/whatevs someday but for now I just want it to not be ugly white formica that stains instantly.
  • Add a microwave over the oven instead of awkwardly in the corner that opens the wrong way (and that’s not dying).
  • Get those nifty rolling drawers for our lower cabinets so things don’t get lost in the back/corners.
  • Paint.  I like our kitchen wall color (green) but I might consider a lighter color for the cabinets than dark purple-y grey we have now.  Maybe light grey, maybe even white, maybe cherry stained wood to match the color of the floor… or maybe we’ll go black on the bottom and white on the top to match the counter.  We’ll consider our options.
  • To do all this we will have to completely clean out our kitchen drawers and cupboards, and we can work on paring down on what we have so it stores nicely instead of *just barely*.
  • Bonus round – build out a bar area by the beer fridge instead of our cheapie wire shelves that barely kind of work.

Shed.  We have a rule of no more new bikes until we get a new shed, and we really want mountain bikes so we can go play in the dirt with our team this year. 🙂  Also, getting our camping gear out of the workout room would really be able to make that room more useable.  We’re obtaining the pallets for the base soon, then we just have to spend the money and time assembling it (hey, we can save money AND get a good workout).  Looking at it, people who know what they’re doing take about 4 hours to assemble, so we’re probably looking at 8-12, heh.

Pain Cave.  It’s much better than it was as the junk room last year, but it’s been acting as bike storage with a treadmill that can be used if you shift stuff around and make room vs an actual workout room.  Once we get the shed, we can dedicate this room to have usable space to use the trainer, the treadmill, and maybe even an area to stretch/yoga.

Back Patio Remodel.  I highly doubt we’ll get this far this year, but next on the list would be looking into making our back patio a place we want to spend time again.  Also, once we complete this, we’ve said we’ll consider a hot tub which is some motivation to chew through this list!


#3- Side Hustle Stuff

Just need to remember this one when I’m faced with challenges…

I made some big pushes this year in learning new things and growing as a person, and now it’s time to take it to the next level and look at how I might turn this knowledge into practical things I can do to benefit others and put green pieces of paper in my pocket.  In no particular order:

Books. I have at least 3 book ideas knocking around.  Since one ended with “Ironman”, I have been kind of putting it off until I crossed the finish line.  No more.  Time to work on this. I set a very ambitious goal of having at least one self published book out by the end of the year, so here are my focuses:

  • Outline the book or books (try to focus on one to completion but I have a feeling I’ll end up at least starting all of them so I can jot down notes as I’m inspired).
  • Actually WRITE – I can crank out blog posts all the time but writing a story is like a scary monster to me right now.  Those muscles are a little weak.  Time to fix that!
  • Look into publishing options so I know what to do when the time comes.

Website. I feel like I did a pretty decent job fixing this one up as a personal site, but I still have some learning to do (or probably to outsource to my more technically minded Zliten so WE have some learning to do).

  • My goal with a business website would be to sell something where someone could purchase and pay for something securely without my input.
  • I need a way to allow people to subscribe to newsletters and updates and super cool free content and stuff.
  • And the biggie – I need to come up with a site plan, build the site, and generate the content.  But I know how to do that (it’s just actually doing it).

Business Plan. If I was going to ask people for green paper in exchange for services I can provide, how would I envision scaling it out to make an acceptable wage if it was my only source of income sometime in the future?  I don’t know much detail here yet but I know I have a lot to figure out.  Basically, what services would I like to offer directly to a finite amount of people at a premium (300$x10), and what can I do once and sell at a lower cost to an infinite amount of people at once (30$x100 or 3$x1000).

Marketing/PR/Social Media.  This is the part that scares me the most.  I have faith I can figure out everything above this line item.  My fear is I will build something I think is amazing and no one will come.  I feel like once I get more into this, I’ll have better goals but my initial ones are:

  • Step 1:  I know people get full degrees in this stuff and I don’t expect to be that awesome immediately, but I feel like some instruction that’s not tacked on as the last chapter of a sporty class might help me feel less clueless.
  • Step 2: Figure out what I need to know more about.  I’m hoping that once I am a little more informed on marketing as a whole, I can figure out what areas I need to study further.  If facebook followers and ads are very important, I want to learn everything I can about that.
  • Step 3: Put together a rough draft on what I would do to promote these services if it were time to pull the trigger.

Other related things.

  • I think it would be fun to do spin classes someday.  I’d like to look into what it takes to get certified to do that.
  • I am a wanna-be coach who has never been coached since age 18.  I think it’s important that I change that.  I want to look into picking up a coach for the next season and/or potentially doing some group workouts with coaches (like through Rogue Running) to experience the other side.
  • Continue to learn.  Read one non-fiction book per month about nutrition, triathlon, business, or marketing.

Sometimes cat has become more-often-than-not cat which means he needs his balls cut off.

#4 – General Adulting To Do List (or all the things I’ve put off while training for the Ironman).  I am actually pretty impressed at all the adulting I’ve already done this year because this list was a lot longer in January.

  • Fixing Wookie Cat.  Another feral seems to have adopted us.  He’s around enough that we can’t just ignore him.  It’s time for snip snip snip.  Luckily it just costs 20 bucks through the humane society and just takes a little time.
  • Wills.  At 38, I still think I’m immortal, but it’s a good idea that I plan for the impossibility that I’m not.
  • Doctor.  My doctor left our insurance plan and I’ve put off getting a new one because I want to find one I la-la-la-love (who understands athletes).  I’ve put it off for a year and a half.  I need to quit that.
  • Financial Planner.  I’d like someone to give us some expert advice into: a) where I should invest my money instead of a savings account? b) how I should invest this if I’m thinking of starting a business sometime in the future? c) am I ever going to be able to retire?

Of course #goplayoutside is on this list, for sure!

#4 – Fun/Random Stuff:

I want to train myself to be ambidextrous on the bike.  I’ve gotten so used to unclipping and putting my left foot down that I can barely do it on my right even WITHOUT clips now.  I’ve gotten much more comfortable with bike handling but this is definitely still my dirty little secret.

iFly.  We have passes from the last time we went many years ago we should use up.  It was SO FUN we bought discount passes for another two flights each but haven’t been back since.

Comedy tickets.  We have a bunch of them that expire at the end of the year.  It’s walking distance and they play every night of the week.  There’s no excuses here.

#goplayoutside – kayaking, swimming (the kind without a garmin), camping when we can find a little temperate weather, fishing, hiking, and all the other types of outdoor fun.  There are some very #austin places I haven’t been and I’ve been here a decade – Hamilton Pool, Enchanted Rock, Mount Bonnell, and Deep Eddy to name a few, and I’m sure I’ve got more to go if I made a proper list.

Domesticity.  Let’s not get crazy, but I’ve got a few clothing projects I’d like to do.  First, I have a few pairs of pants I’d like to hem/fix.  They are perilously close to getting donated instead so if I screw them up, oh well.  Second, I have some less-than comfortable boots and shoes and a TON of Hoka spare insoles.  I want to make them be friends.  I’m aiming low with this one.

Hosting people more often without it being a THING.  We used to have friends over all the time but for some reason now it’s become an ordeal and something we do about twice a year.  Similar to the crappy dinner party, I want to have a monthly game night potluck.  The house will be reasonably clean but not perfect.  We’ll make something easy for part of dinner but other people will contribute and there will be no pintrest-worthy spreads like we do for New Years.  We’ll sit around and play games and talk and enjoy having friends around and if you miss this month’s, no worries, there will be another.

Vidja games.  Now that I’m not so brain dead and have free time, I’d like to play more games instead of zoning out watching Netflix.  Having the office set up might help with that, but there’s also all sorts of PS4 adventure games and I bought a DDR pad and have unearthed my PS2 and that means super fun plyometric workouts as well.  Games!

I’m fully aware that this is a LOT OF STUFF and I don’t expect to check everything off this list if I want to keep my sanity and my job, but I felt like #projectspring was SO ambitious and I did a vast majority of it, so I figured, let’s do it again!  Cheers to aiming high and let’s see what amazing things I can tackle and how my life will change in the next few months as I really settle into being a semi-normal human being.

What’s at the top of YOUR to do list right now?

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Stahhhhhp!

Ironman blues have been a thing.  I hate to keep whining about it but this is my reality.  I think I’m starting to see the light but this last week I was definitely still in the tunnel.

Volunteering means: an excuse to ride bikes downtown, get a picture with the hi how are you frog, sport our #imtexas hats, and ask anyone with similar finisher gear “why the hell are you racing already”?

I just did not expect not to want a nice long downtime.  I really didn’t expect my brain to immediately want to start training again.  Of course, I knew that was body suicide (and a recipe for impending burnout), but I spent the last month trying to poke at being an athlete again.  I rode my bike for 90 minutes 4 days later.  I’ve swam in open water every week.  I even tried to do a (super short) splash and dash which was a huge, catastrophic failure.

You’d think vacation would be an excuse to relax, right?  Not us.  7 hours combined of diving and snorkeling.  Roatan was kind of chill but Costa Maya was mostly swimming in rough waters and Cozumel was drift diving which meant fighting some massive current and fighting for every picture.  We did 3 days on the stationary bike totaling almost 2 hours.  We were even talking about what training we wanted to do on the way home.

This last week finally, our bodies said STAHHHHP.  My back took the entire week to feel better, and Zliten got a righteous cold.  So, we took a full week off touching no swim bike or run (Saturday the 20th through Friday the 26th).  My triathlon this week has been sleep/work/read (in bed).  It felt really good to let my body crash after weeks of trying not to, and I think it’s a necessary part of the process.  However, it’s so humbling how much rest I actually need.

I finally rode my bike this weekend a bit, with the seriousness of a thousand comedians.  I really really really want to go swim around the lake this week but probably more because it’s warm vs wanting to really train.  I’m thinking that sometime within the next week or so I’ll make my running debut of a few miles slightly above walking pace, but not just yet.  And that’s where I am.   I feel that endurance deep inside there but it’s definitely not ready to come out and play yet.  And there’s no use in rushing it.

I will honestly say that this is the worst part of Ironman.  I may have gotten frustrated with some workouts and felt overwhelmed at times during training and worried about every little thing during taper but the waiting for your body to be your own again after the race is JUST MADDENING.  The waiting is the hardest part.  But my body gave me a great season, ending with a successful Ironman finish.  It did all I could have asked for.  So patient I will be.

Movement goals last week:

  • Unfuck my back – Check.  It’s at about 90%.  I think some of the muscles are still tight because it went so long without being properly adjusted but it’s better every day.
  • Do whatever feels good – Check. Nothing until the weekend and then some biking as transportation.  Got it.
  • 10k steps per day – Check minus one day and I more than made up for it the next day.

Movement goals this week:

Productive wakeups.  15 mins of yoga/stretching or easy bodyweight work before work every day this week.  I think I’m ready for this.

10k steps per day minimum.  Walks have been nice!

More if I’m ready… Optional, if I feel up to it: bike commuting as much as possible (since it goes from 4 to 10+ miles in a month when we move).  Bikes with friends.  Swimming in the lake.  But ONLY if my brain and body both agree.  If I need another week of sloth off, I’ll take it.


It was a 4-b weekend, bikes, burgers, brussels, and brats (and chicken and cauli-taters).

The internet and other reading has the universe sending me not-so-subtle hints about the need to refocus on diet.  My stasis weight the last two years or so has been about 10-15 lbs higher than it was previously.  The last two years I’ve focused on diet quality less, and during the IM training cycle, it was kind of a food orgy because my appetite/caloric need kind of scared me and it was overwhelming to try to beat it back without using junk food.

The good thing about the indefinite break from focusing on race performance is that I can really focus on my diet quality.  When I was maintaining a lower weight, I was much more focused on the quality of the food I was putting in my mouth.  Fast food was not even a consideration.  Something other than sprouted grain bread or corn/whole wheat tortillas was a splurge.  My carbs were more natural sources like corn and potatoes.  Desert was a few times a month, max.  I rationed my alcohol a little better and avoided beer like the plague.  I think this summer will be me working on getting back to there.

I spent the greater part of about 10 months really focused on my carb intake – i.e. trying to get it high enough to sustain my workouts.  Now that I’m not regularly doing multi-hour training sessions on back to back days, I don’t need a lot of that quick-burning fuel.  Some sources argue that to do the long distance stuff you don’t need a whole lot of that at all, but that’s another topic for another day.  While I think avoiding carbs is not the answer unless you’re doing it for a specific short term reason, I have been neglecting good quality stuff that makes my body happy.

It’s hard to do that when you come home from a long workout and you need FOOD NOW.  It’s hard to do that when you have precious little time to do food prep and all of a sudden you need to handle like 2-3k calories per day vs 1200-1500.  It’s hard when your stomach is telling you NO I’m done with fiber but I still need carbs.  The last one is the toughest and I’ll definitely have to figure out a better fueling situation next time my hours start ramping up.

I have a tally of this week:

  • Weight: 189.0 lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1715 calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -803 calories
  • Macros: 54g fat, 176g carbs, 90g protein, 22g fiber

Last week’s consumption goals:

  • Track food/weight and try to stay at least 500 under my calorie burn overall – CHECK.
  • Water Water Water – Check.
  • Detox a little – Check.

This week’s consumption goals:

Continue with Week one goals.  Track and maintain a deficit.  Water.  Try to keep the alcohol consumption to reasonable levels.

Fruits and veggies.  Since my appetite is back to normal human levels, I don’t need much beyond my 3 normal meals.  The VAST majority of my snacks should be unrefined plants.  I should be able to track what I consider 5 servings (which is probably closer to what the FDA would consider 10 servings – considering my lunch had at least a serving of veggies in my homemade soup and I had about 3 cups of salad on the side) per day.  Fruit with breakfast and as an afternoon snack.  Veggies with lunch and dinner and also as a snack.  This should help up my fiber a little.

Protein.  This shouldn’t be so low.  My goal is to make sure I get my allotted 100g protein per day.


It was such a chill week, the only other picture I have to present to you is me, not looking half bad.  Makeup, hair not completely crazy, a smile instead of crazy eyes.  I was twenty-six seconds away from pajamas, so, don’t get *too* excited.

I love long weekends.  I think if I could have three days off per week, I could really get my life together.  Too bad it only happens a few times a year. Anyhoo, the combination of the lack of training we’re doing plus the three day weekend made it feel amazingly long and wonderful.

We got to stay up too late one night.  We got to spend a lot of time relaxing in bed reading, watching movies, and getting lots of sleep.  We volunteered for the Cap Tex Tri.  We rode bikes three times.  We went on walks.  We cooked a bunch of delicious food.  We helped some friends with a moving project and had lunch. We got some errands done, made some progress on the office, hung some pictures, and did some other chores around the house without it feeling like it took up our precious little free time.  While we lamented this was the first Memorial Day in a while without a big ol’ cookout anywhere, we were able to do a lot because of the lack of that.

Last Week Life Goals:

  • Sleeeeeep.  So CHECK.  I averaged 9 hours per night (and probably more because it didn’t count my 3 hour nap on Saturday).  Apparently I needed that more than I thought.
  • Non-fiction reading. Check (however, I can only read a real paper book for so long when Zliten was like sleeeeeeeeep now, so I did a chapter per day before I turned out the light and read fiction books because I don’t have anything non-fiction loaded up there).
  • The office.  Check. We have two usable computers and desks now, the floor is mostly uncovered, and the table is moved from the guest room.  There’s still a lot more to do but STAGE 1: COMPLETE

This week’s life goals:

Moar books. The obvious thing after writing above – find a non-fiction book about business or marketing or badassery or something I want to learn about and buy it for my kindle.  Something I don’t feel like I need to maintain as a reference book but would be a good read.  Also, continue to work through the big yellow book, trying for a chapter a day.

Hostess without the mostess.  We’re hosting a game night potluck with our friends on Saturday.  My goal for this is to not overdo it like I like to do.  We’ve promised a (sort of) clean house, pork tacos, a veggie tray, and that’s it.  I don’t need to buy a bunch of alcohol or make 20 appetizers or decorate or do anything super fancy.  I’d rather get in the habit of hosting people at my house again without stressing about things being perfect and pintrest-y.

Seat-u-ation.  The next step for the office is to get us some chairs.  Mine got donated last year because it was about 15 years old, broken, and really dirty.  Zliten’s is *adequate* but not for multi-hour sessions.  We found the chairs we want at Office Depot for 280$ each.  This week we want to hit the discount store to see if we can find something cheaper (if not, bite the bullet and spend the money).

And that’s a lot of words about a short week.  So, let’s get on it, shall we?

Bikes to nowhere, adventure snorkeling, and local beers – Liberty of the Seas

I do love cruises, but they have a history of doing bad things to me.

In 2011, my back went out and I got a nasty cold.  In 2013, I injured my knee and I got a cold the last day.  2014 and 15 I did it to myself with a half marathon and marathon the day before the cruise. 2016 my body was totally healthy, but I discovered over spotty wifi in Belize that my company had done layoffs that day.  While I look forward to these vacations, I also am always wondering what bad thing is going to happen.  While it was annoying to have a cranky back through most of the vacation, it was definitely a MILD annoyance compared to some years…


Sunday’s drive was fairly uneventful minus a 45 minute stallout in traffic around Houston.  We got to the pier, everything seemed chill, we got in a short line to get on board and… technical difficulties.  Their internet was out so the security photos weren’t being sent up so things were taking a long time.  We got put in a line and then sent back to sit down and then another line and then as we got up to the end we were told to sit down again.  We’re on about hour 7 of not eating anything so we’re cranky and we decided we weren’t getting displaced in line again so we just stood there.  And stood there.  With heavy backpacks on… (foreshadowing…).

Finally we got on board and lunch (food was glorious) and went to the mandatory boat drill and since we were signed up for late dinner this time, we had a few hours to kill.  I asked Zliten what he wanted to do and he really wanted to hit the gym, so we rode bikes for 30 mins and stretched.

Then, we watched the boat sail away from the hot tub with some frozen mojitos.  This really started vacation.

We drank some wine and got dressed up for dinner.  Since it’s the same boat, around the same time of year, it seemed like the menu for the week was pretty much the same.  Last year, I had seafood spaghetti with oysters, scallops, and shrimp.  Guess what I had this year?

We called it an early night and retired back to the room to read books and sleeeeep.


Monday was our first day at sea.  We slept until we woke up without an alarm and still hit breakfast.  I kept these small and had a little corn beef hash (my cruise treat), some fruit, and a few potatoes.

We met my parents for cards and played a few rounds.  Then, we did another 35 mins on the bike and stretched before we got hungry for lunch.

The afternoon was for the pool, and a few drinks, and more lounging until we had to get gussied up for formal dinner.  We clean up alright.

After dinner, we headed up to the disco and spent the evening talking to random people and drinking a lot of Crown Royal on the rocks before some late night snacks and bed.


Tuesday was sort of a repeat of Monday, except a little less sleep and a weee bit of hangover that went away rapidly and my back felt SUPER out of place.  Fancy that, running around all evening in heels + lugging around a heavy backpack for hours + cruise chairs/beds not being super comfortable didn’t do me a world of good.

Anyhoo, we were up in time for a quickie breakfast of relatively the same thing.  Cards with the ‘rents.  Bike and stretch (and stretch and stretch and roll).  Lunch.  Pool.  Pretty sure there was a nap in there somewhere.  Dinner – one of my favorites from last year, crab cakes and cilantro cod.  Sleep early because the next day we arrived at our first destination!


Wednesday is when vacation really, for real starts for me because it’s time to go hit the beach for a few days instead of just look at it, but also it’s half over.  Boo.

Started out with a *slightly* larger breakfast since we were playing in the water all day.  We rode past this sweet lighthouse on the way to Tabatya Beach and then all of a sudden we were there.  This place was amazing, and I’m not even showing you the underwater photos yet.

We spent over four hours snorkeling the huge mass of reef (reefs?) around the beach.  It was everywhere.  I’ll do a play by play of all the fish pictures once I’ve processed them, but for now, you get THIS happy fish after those four hours, what sounds like a totally mundane but actually super amazing lunch of bbq chicken, rice and beans, and coleslaw.  And a mojito.

We hit a bar right at the port on the way back to have a few more drinks off the ship (read: WAYYYY less expensive) and enjoyed the view before we hurried back to play cards with the ‘rents.

This is my dinner face (and wearing one of my favorite necklaces to boot), but I didn’t stay up much after that.  I’d say I’m old but I’m really just a fish – playing in the water is ALWAYS going to win out over just about anything else ever and I had two more days of that planned.


Thursday was a little nerve-wracking.  This was the day that got ruined last year by work news.  However, it was a different port and we had different plans, so I was excited to try something new.  Speaking of something new, I found stir fried veggies at breakfast.  It sounded like an odd thing to eat in the AM but they were actually really frikkin’ yummy so maybe I’ll start making breakfast stir fries… hmmm.

We taxi’d out to a beach called Yaya.  Apparently you needed reservations, so a nice older gentleman escorted us to a different area called Carribean Life.  There were no lockers and we were a little nervous about leaving our stuff there, but hey, stuff can be replaced and adventures can’t, so off we went into the water.

This was not the most ideal place to snorkel.  We found some reef in the two miles-ish we swam, and saw some cool stuff like a giant pod of squid.  However, we spent maybe 20 minutes snorkeling and the rest of the time swimming (transporting ourselves).  Sometimes fighting some decent current.  Sometimes hurrying through boat lanes to make sure we didn’t get squished.  Adventure snorkeling!

After that, we were ready for refueling.  Local beer (Corona, LOL).  Pico.  Guac.  Chips.  Chicken tacos.  It was all really great and fresh.  There were ladies offering 20$ massages on the beach and with my back all sore, I took advantage of this.  She worked on me for an hour and twenty minutes.  I was super relaxed by the end.  And… I can say I got topless (very carefully without ACTUALLY exposing myself) on a beach in Costa Maya Mexico!

There was a swim up bar in a giant pool at the port, and I made Zliten get in with me for about 10 minutes.  Because there was a pool and I was there.  Next time, I’ll definitely take more advantage of it.

We played cards around 5:30 and then went kinda casual for dinner and after another sun baked, salt-crusted, fishy type day, we hit the hay pretty quick.


Friday was diving day!  Wheee!  We skipped breakfast so we could sleep in and still make our diving appointment.

We ended up the only two people signed up, so we had a private dive for cheaper than the ship prices.  Score!  And…we saw not one, but TWO turtles!  And lots of other cool stuff.  Day = made.

Our plan was to take advantage of Playa Maya, but we left the dive boat later than expected and the all-inclusive price wasn’t really worth the 2-3 hours we could spend there.  So, we hit Senor Frogs and had our first meal of the day: we split nachos, chicken tacos, and had giant margs and maybe a few shots poured in our mouths.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on deck and marveled that this is probably the most sober we’ve ever left Cozumel (read: not falling down), so we had a *little* more to drink to make up for it.

We fancied up for the last formal dinner.  Richard brought me two lobsters because he is awesome.

Then, we sort of flitted around the ship.  We lost 30 bucks in the casino SUPER quickly so we left.  We then hit the disco and actually danced this time!  We lost our seats from dancing so we went to a different bar and found a completely abandoned comfy lounge.  Then we found out bars were closing so we got munchies at the cafe and went to bed.


Saturday is always the saddest day at sea since you have to leave the next day.  We skipped breakfast again to play cards with the fam, hit lunch, and then decided instead of all the crazy things we wanted to do (gym! waterslides! mini golf! rock climbing!) we instead promptly took a 1.5 hour nap and then went and swam and read by the pool until it was time to play cards again.  I think I ended up with about a 7 and 5 record for wins and losses.  We all did pretty well trading off with the wins.

I honestly didn’t write down the food I ate as well as I did last time, but I do remember this amazing appetizer (that I didn’t snap a picture of) – scallops with chorizo in a cauliflower puree.  Sounds weird but it was amazeballs.  I got a tandoori chicken salad with yogurt dressing that was amazing, and we split a bunch of desert around the table and the key lime pie and cheesecake were the best!

After dinner we did the packing we had put off, picked up our formal pictures (for the relatives), read books and fell asleep.


Sunday was fairly uneventful.  We actually slept until the last possible minute to leave the room, splitting a protein bar instead of one last breakfast orgy.  I was kind of sad but also after eating ship food for 7 days I was kind of ready for something different.  We drove home, hitting a little rain but otherwise it was fine, picked up our leezard, grabbed some BBQ, and binge watched Kimmy Schmidt season 3 while sipping some high class tequila and orange soda dranks because VACATION WASN’T YET OVER DANGIT.

And then it was.  D’awww.  The end.

Once I process the other cameras pictures I’ll put up a fishy highlights post and add them here as well.

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Baby steps

I went and did things on a boat last week.

Let me show you how much it sucked.

And we’ll get to that, but now that today marks 30 days since doing THIS THING, it’s time to take baby steps away from being a slothy mc slotherpants.  It’s Monday, so it’s time for some goals up in here.  However, just like it’s a bad idea to go directly from tallying how many pieces of bread and butter you ate as an appetizer before your appetizer before your second appetizer at dinner (answer: a lot) to eating chicken and quinoa, we’ll be taking some time to get there from here.

Oddly enough (or not so oddly with the three days at the gym and then three days of between 2-4 hours chasing fish with cameras in the water), I seem to have stabilized around the same weight I was at before I left.  I think I’ve *finally* figured out how to not gain the 5-7 lbs typical on a cruise.  That doesn’t mean I’ve got all the answers to life because I’m still looking at about ~35 lbs I’d like to be rid of, but at least I haven’t doubled that in a week somehow.   Baby steps.

So, this week looks like kind of a slow start because these were a lot of things I was doing before.  At least kind of.  But for now, going back from *margaritas the size of my head* to *things that feel like normal healthy life* is plenty enough.  This is the week of baby steps.

You thought I was kidding right there. #senorfrogsdrinkingteam


Movement goals:

Unfuck my poor back.  On day #2 of the cruise my back started hurting and you wouldn’t have guessed it, but a bunch of whisky on the rocks as painkiller and traipsing around in heels all night did not help things.  Day 3-6 it was out of alignment and SUPER cranky when I was not horizontal (swimming or laying) or actively stretching it.  I have a chiropractor appointment today, but since it’s been out for a while, I expect it will not be immediately better and there will be some muscle carnage.  The focus of this week is to stretch and roll for 10-15 mins per day, and do anything else she wants me to do to make it happy.

Status quo.  In this light, I’m going to lay off the weights and running and anything serious for ONE more week.  I plan to ride bikes on Wednesday and maybe once more this weekend and swim as much as I can and MAYBE do some bodyweight stuff or yoga or something fun like playing in the lake later in the week if I feel better.  Or none of this if I don’t feel up to it.

10k+ steps per day.  Normally on cruises this is no problem at all but for some reason, we walked much less than normal (perhaps the back thing, perhaps our room was more conveniently located, perhaps I took my watch off sometimes when I wanted to look fancy so it didn’t count all my steps).  I definitely need to make sure this doesn’t fall off because this is a big part in weight loss when I’m not training as much.  Steps matter!

Fun fact –  it counts as training if you wear your IM shirt to the pool even if you don’t actually swim laps.


Consumption Goals:

On the record. I’ve finished my Ironman.  I’ve had some downtime where I enjoyed myself a bit.  Now, it’s time to get serious about trying to get down to *race weight*.  To this end, tracking food each meal when I eat it (not 2 days later) and daily logging on the scale starts TODAY.  This week, we’ll start with the goal to eat approximately 500-750 calories less than fitbit says I have burned.  If I do better than that, great.

Water water water.  At least 4×24 oz bottles before I leave work for the day.  I’m really bad about this if I don’t pay attention and I think on the cruise I lapsed on this pretty hard.  When beer and bottled water cost the same in Mexico….you know what I’m going to choose, right?

Detox… but just a little. Booze must fit into both the parameter above (calorie deficit goals) and below (sleep goals).  Let’s not go crazy with any further restrictions.  It IS Memorial Day weekend. 🙂

Beer 4$.  Water 4$.  I choose beer.


Life Goals:

All the shut eye.  I’m going to say 8+ hours of sleep a night is something I’ll put out there as a priority this week.  I’m feeling a bit run down after playing hard on vacation and my own bed felt SO AMAZING last night.  So, this week, I make sure I get lots of sleep.

Non-fiction reading.  While I’m relaxing in bed, I’ve got a few books I’d like to work on getting through (the big yellow Maffetone endurance training book, finally cracking something regarding online marketing and PR, etc).  For the next month, I probably need to hold off on reading more “marines in space” books even if they are actual physical paper books and not on my kindle.

The office.  I’m not saying we need to finish it, but so many other things hinge on getting this one space cleaned out that I want us to spend no less than *THREE* hours on it this weekend.  I would love to be able to move the table that’s been sprawled over the side of the guest bed for a year into there.

The kind of non-fiction reading I *don’t* want to do.  Seriously.  We’re a joke everywhere.

And while I have so many other things on my list (financial planner! doctor! hiking! comedy club! creating a business plan! book outline!), these are the things I’m willing to tackle this week.  Laying out ALL THE THINGS like #projectspring last year seems overwhelming and exhausting right now.  I’ll focus a little smaller and revisit the plan again in 7 days.

So I ask… what’s YOUR plan for the next 7 days?

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