Adjusted Reality

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

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August and then everything after…

I’ve got a lot going on this month, so instead of the weekly thing, I wanted to lay September out for the month.

Here’s what happens when I get lazy with instagramming for a few days.  You get the picture version of a training (and junk food) montage.

So, let’s get on with it, shall we?

In August, I rode bikes.  A lot.  It was my highest cycling month since January with almost 400 miles (and unlike January, it wasn’t cheat-y trainer miles because I rode mostly outside and my trainer is now HARDER than outside so…).  I ran and swam very little, but enough to remember how to move my arms and legs the right way, sort of.  I raced a triathlon and felt better about my performance than the same course back in June.  I rode 100 miles and was pretty happy with life after.

In September, I plan to be a *little* more balanced.  On the weekends, I still have rides planned but most of them say MEDIUM length (aka – 40-60 miles – which is medium in my life right now, heh).  Now that I proved 100 is doable, I feel like I just need one more long one a few weeks out of the next 100 and I’ll be fine as long as I keep the volume about the same.  I built some great bike base when I didn’t feel  like doing much else in the way of training this summer, and I’m pretty sure the next time I build to race a half ironman or ironman, that experience will help me out.

But… it’s time to change it up a little bit.  I have one more sprint triathlon Sept 23rd.  I should probably make it a point to run more than 12 miles and swim more than 3 in September, unlike August.  I still plan to bike more than the other sports, but maybe at least pretend like I’m a triathlete again, sorta kinda.

Last week I rode bikes for about 3 hours (in one shot), played DDR for about an hour, and then the last hour was split between a run and a swim.  It was a good recovery week after the 100 mile ride.

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

  • Runs: lunch run (probably about a 3 mile lake interval run), 2 mile brick run (chasing the faster people on my tri team)
  • Swims: sadly, with everything else, I only have time for one and it’s already done (unless I squeeze in another one while camping).  I’ll change this up the next week.
  • Weights: new program x2 (back to it after a week break), some DDR if I can work it in
  • Bike: 35 mile bike adventure Labor Day, 25 mile bike commute to/from work Tuesday, 12-ish mile brick bike Wednesday, 50-ish mile ride at Granger Lake on Saturday.
  • 11-ish hours as planned

So, yeah.  You can see where my priorities lie.  I am having fun riding bikes and I know in the next few months I need to shift to running if I want to make 3M Half Marathon my A race.  While that sounds like the worst thing in the world to me right now, I also know as soon as the temps drop I will be out there loving running and biking will be a little less awesome when I have to wear 20 layers and still can’t feel warm.  But also it might be still as awesome and I’ll see how things go.

Kind of secretly healthy.  Would have been healthier if they weren’t out of every single wheat bun at the grocery store ><.

August was rough for various reasons.  I actually had a few really good weeks in spite of it but there was work overtime (with catered food) and camping and one week where I just couldn’t even with any sort of effort for anything.

Here’s the wins – I’m eating much healthier than I was before.  While I still put things in my mouth that are negatives on the Diet Quality scale, I’m eating much more of the things that give me points like more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and nuts.  I’m slowly attacking the fact that I eat like a human garbage disposal on the weekends with strategy (pre-made salads/easy access veggies that are appealing, keeping pistachios like EVERYWHERE so I can eat them as a salty snack, etc).  I started making some progress with the booze calories and then I think my inner child twenty-one year old threw a tantrum with all the other diet cleanup I’m trying to do, so it’s one step forward, two steps back there.

But I think I’m ready to take another step forward, so here’s my goals for September:

Actually measure out the drinks I want to have when I’m home and try to stick to them.  I plan every-effing-thing else, and maybe that’s tipsy-me rebelling against stick-up-her-butt me, but just the act of setting aside a portion helps when I can make myself do it.  Just like taking a serving of chips or ice cream or anything else and having that instead of just allowing yourself to consume from the container, it’s all about portion control.

Continue to work on what I put in my mouth on the weekends.  I have done better with this and I feel like this is starting to be a habit, but definitely needs another month of focus.  I’ve done much better with veggies, but fruits and nuts can get ignored in lieu of junk food and whole grains sometimes become refined.  There’s some room for this but doing better is always a good goal.

Abide by the deficit a little more strictly.  I’ve had a few weeks with a pretty small deficit, and it’s proven that people tend to completely underestimate their consumption when tracking.  So, if I want to make progress here, I need to eat less than I am currently.  I make slow progress when I stay close to -1000 on fitbit (which seems to work out closer to -500/-600 on the garmin).  Hopefully, not going quite as crazy with the 70-100 mile rides will help me not want to eat small cities at mealtimes.

Here’s the numbers from last week.

  • Weight: 188.8 (+0.9) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1839(-743) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: 998 (+431) calories/Garmin average deficit: 621 (+454)
  • Macros: 58 (-23)g fat, 190 (-54)g carbs, 107 (-2)g protein, 28(+3)g fiber

DQ score: Monday: 26.  Tuesday: 26.  Wednesday: 21. Thursday: 24.  Friday: 25. Saturday: 8.  Sunday: 21.  Average comes out to approximately 21.5 (out of 32).

Overall… better.  The scale is still punishing me for my transgressions over the last two weeks but so far it’s looking better for this month if I can keep myself out of trouble and build up some momentum.

Because I am a data nut, here’s the averages from the last month.

  • Weight: 187.3
  • Avg cal per day: 2082 calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -820 calories (per fitbit, don’t yet have a month of garmin data)
  • DQ Score: 20.9.  A whole month on average over 20!  Yessss!

All in all, it’s a decent month although the top number is not going anywhere fast.  My goal is to beat these numbers in September and hopefully see some progress. Also, hopefully with a monthly average, I can actually see WHAT it takes to make that first number drop.

Four usuable rooms people.  The dream is alive! (ignore the dust)

I’m seriously proud of what I have been able to accomplish here.

My big goals were:

  • Finish the office to the point where it’s usable (DONE)
  • Paint and put everything in the shed that’s supposed to go in the shed (DONE)
  • Finish the pain cave to the point where it’s usable (DONE)
  • Write 4 first-draft chapters of my book (DONE)
  • Read two non-fiction books: How to Start Up and Daring Greatly (first one DONE, second I’m saving for later)

Other little accomplishments:

  • Got my e-chart set up for my doctors office which took faxing things and calling people and other adulting.
  • Started the inital prepping for our kitchen remodel.
  • Made myself sort of a girl again with plucked eyebrows and a self-pedicure
  • Saw some movies in the theater that I REALLY wanted to catch instead of whining about it later and saw Rob Schneider at the comedy club.
  • Had some friends over for an impromptu smallish game night.
  • Successful camping trip to Wichita Falls!

Whew!  I feel awesome about August considering I crashed into it feeling like a train wreck.  Amazing how marking some big things off my to do list, and making a prioritized list by month completely helped my sanity.

So, it’s September!  New month, new list.  Honestly, after the last few months of chores and getting the house in order, I think we deserve a little reprieve from that stuff.  I was getting close to burning it down so we could start over, y’all.  I’m glad I didn’t, and I’m happy it’s done, but it was a pretty close call.  So, we’re focusing elsewhere for the month.

  • TWO camping trips.  Since we had to cancel our family trip to Port Aransas because… well… it’s kind of not there anymore… (we’ll try again in the spring) we decided to go to Granger Lake instead for a long weekend to unwind.  We’ve both been rather prickly lately with the last month of craziness and three days in the wilderness without to dos, screens, technology, and frankly, much talking, sounds like the cure.  And then, camping for Kerrville… we’re staying two nights just for a sprint race, so most of the trip is also about chilling out and having fun.
  • Office.  Actually using it.  Now that the office is set up, we need to dedicate time to actually working on projects.  Here’s what I’d like to accomplish:
    • Three more chapters in my book.  I’m giving myself a little leeway because I’d like to make some strides in other things (below).  But, if I’m really rolling, I’ll try for one a week again and go for four.
    • Website functionality.  Investigate setting up site subscriptions, and payment options.  I feel like these are the last two things I need to learn to be able to set up a professional looking website.  I may outsource this one to Zliten or at least ask him to help me.
    • Side Gig Plan.  Start thinking about in what manner I would trade little green scraps of paper for things that I do.  What services would I provide?  What are appropriate prices?  What can I offer that can make me passive income (like stock training plans)?  What am I willing to do actively (like coaching a client one on one)?

Other stuff:

  • Dr. Appointment to drain my ears.  I’m not doing overtime anymore, so it’s not quite as annoying to get there during business hours and it would be nice to know if my ears are super plugged or my husband just mumbles a lot.
  • Two more Non-Fiction books.  One triathlon or memoirs type non-fiction book, and one about business/marketing/etc.  I haven’t picked them out yet – any suggestions? Hit me up in the comments.
  • Wills.  This should be fairly easy and cheap to set up online and then my parents will stop bugging me about them.  Also, it’s a good thing to do because I do ride my bike and dive 50 feet underwater and swim in lakes where people beat me up while I’m trying not to drown and I also abide by the 5 second rule liberally so it’s not as if I completely avoid risks in life.

I have a lot of other fun stuff planned too, like hosting game night, going to two others, celebrating some birthdays, and all sorts of other things I’m forgetting right now!

This week’s to do list:

  • Try to nail down our kitchen remodel and give someone green papers in exchange for it.
  • Identify the 2-3 non fiction books I want to read this month and buy them.  I’ll have a decent amount of reading time on the camping trip so I hope to have them queued up and ready to go!
  • Chapter 5.  It’s started, but just barely (about 1k words)  Finish it and start the next if there’s time.  Spend some time doing this in the woods!
  • Camping!  This will be trip #3 in the pop up.  Hopefully this one will be easier to pack for and less stressful.
  • Wills.  Zliten has already started to look into this, perhaps we can get this one taken care of!

I’m hoping to get all this done, but it may be ambitious with camping.  We’ll see!

PSA: If you’re looking for a way to help with the craziness happening in the Houston area, we sent some supplies on Amazon.  I liked this option because I know 100% of what I paid for this went directly to something that was needed in shelters.  Consider this option if you have a few $$ to toss their way and don’t know what to do.

Everything is not awful!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last week’s totals:

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

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

This week’s plan:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, that’s quantity.  How was quality?

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

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

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

Look at this beautiful usable room!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




A little sunshine…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last week:

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

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

This week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last week’s goals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t call it a comeback

For years, this has been one of my favorite running power songs.  I mean, how can you not run a little faster and push a little harder, right?


I’ve never quite understood the lyric “don’t call it a comeback” though.  Yeah, I’ve been here (doing this triathlon thing) for years, but with the ebbs and flows of season?  Yeah, absolutely, I am staging a comeback right now.  It happens every year.  Goal race leads to sloth leads to dabbling in sport again which leads to the first weeks of a schedule.  Which is the epitome of a comeback, right?

I’ve been thinking about how to correctly mount this return into sport because for once, I’ve given myself the luxury of time.  My next goal race is January 2018.  My next long race is slated for October 2018.  I have the time to fix everything I need to fix and lose the weight and not worry about how it’s impacting my season for quite a while.  I just need to stop being an idiot and do it.

I think these things will help me be a better athlete in 2018.

#1 – I want to get strong.  It’s hard to do this during season.  It also takes my body a lot longer to be ready to get back to this after a goal race.  I figure a week or two and I should be good, right?  Not after any long race yet has this happened, and the Ironman doubly so.  My body only really started to feel healed during my camping trip, and before last week, it’s been about 3 months since I lifted anything heavier than 12 ounce curls, so I’m starting at stage 1 and not doing anything more than bodyweight for at least the next two weeks.  Then, I’ll actually set myself out a plan, like I was a licensed personal trainer or something and knew how to do this stuff…

#2 – I want to get my endurance back.  I’m really happy I kept some endurance with cycling, but my running and swimming are pretty… sub par right now.  I’m taking the Maffetone approach with my running right now and trying to stay under or at my MAF (max aerobic function).  142 is not a lot of beats per minute, and it’s frustrating to take walk breaks to calm your heart rate when you don’t even feel taxed, but I’ve been trying to keep with it.  I’m already seeing some improvement, because I ran 4.5 miles, and while they were super slow, I didn’t have to walk.  Apparently in 3 months if all goes well, I’ll have to run hard to get to that 142, and I’m super looking forward to it.

#3 – I want to fix my run.  My running has honestly gotten worse and worse every year since I started triathlon (my swim and bike have gotten better to compensate and still log PRs, but still).  Of course, first, I need to get some of my strength and endurance back first, but then it’s time to work on the marathon shuffle I have going on.  First of all, drills.  I need to do them.  Second, plyometrics.  I used to cross train with Dance Dance Revolution and I’m pretty sure it did amazing things for my run.  I don’t do anything hoppy jumpy anymore and those muscles are super weak.  Plus, it’s fun!

Run dance eat brick…

#1 and #2 are in progress.  Weights x2 week, trying to make my bike rides a little more effort and a little less cruising (for some of them), swimming more often than once a month, and some MAF runs.  And… a little of #3 simply because DDR is a lot of fun!

Last week:

  • 31 miles of riding bikes around work (2h30), 20 mins MTB
  • 1 swim, 1250m in 25 mins
  • 1 run, 4.5 miles in 55 mins
  • 1 brick of 10 mins/1 mile/10 mins/1 mile
  • 1x Oiselle Dozen, 1 short strength sesh, 2x DDR sessions

I missed one swim, but logged about 7 hours, and that’s plenty fine.

This week:

  • 3 bikes – work commute, riding back and forth to the pool, long ride up and back to my parents’ house
  • 2 swims, 1000-1500m each
  • 2 runs, 3-5 miles each
  • 2x Oiselle Dozen
  • 2x DDR sessions

Again, this doesn’t look like that much but it’s approaching 10 hours depending on how long we ride over the weekend.  So, it’s enough.

I like this picture because it looks like my cat is really interested in the sandwich (like she would be if I left it out).

Let’s talk about feeling fit and comfortable in my own skin.  I placed that picture from 2014 up at the top of this post because it was the last time I really felt fit.  Sure, I’ve completed a bunch of marathons and 70.3s and even an Ironman since then, and it’s hard to argue that you can spend 5, 7, or 16 hours doing a fairly grueling physical activity and feel unfit, but that’s really how I feel about the situation.

That picture represented the culmination of 2 very focused months where I improved my diet quality and trained very smartly and PR’d the crap out of my fourth half ironman by 23 minutes on a super-hot non-optimal day.  While I still wanted to take off some weight from the 173 I weighed there (and I still do, my ultimate goal is in the 150s), I felt good there.  I’m looking forward to liking what I see in the mirror and feeling strong and capable as an athlete instead of being out there IN SPITE of what shape I’m in.

I’m not doing a terrible job with the calories part of it (at least on average over the week), so obviously my body is cranky about my diet quality and I really need to step that up if I want to get some results, I guess.

  • Weight: 188.1 (+0.1) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 2000 (-65) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -872 (-35) calories
  • Macros: 62 (-4)g fat, 203 (+4)g carbs, 101 (+1)g protein, 25 (-4)g fiber

Not a bad week at all… except that weight.  Sigh.  It seems that my weight lags a few weeks behind what I actually eat.  A few weeks ago I spent the week in the woods with very little activity and drinking lots of beer and it’s finally catching up with me.  Hopefully after a few weeks of being good, things will go back to normal and keep going down from there.

DQ score: Monday: 11.  Tuesday: 27.  Wednesday: 19. Thursday: 13.  Friday: 18. Saturday: 4.  Sunday: 6.  Average comes out to approximately 14 (out of 32).  Not my finest week at all.  I’m succeeding at the veggies, doing decent at including more fruit, trying, but doing an inadequate job of including nuts in my life and also eliminating refined grains and fried crap, and ruining all the other efforts with alcohol.

But, the silver lining is at least I’m not doing things perfectly and not making progress.  I’m not making progress because I keep eating stupid crap.  I can at least understand that and work towards not eating less stupid crap.  I won’t lie, I’m really frustrated with my lack of progress, but it’s inspiring me to double down.  Maybe I wasn’t ready to commit fully, but now I am.  On top of all the good habits I’m trying to build with including more healthy food in my diet, I’m going to do these things this week:

  • No sweets (minus half a piece of dark chocolate as desert, even Matt Fitzgerald says that’s fine) except for one small piece of cake with the family on Saturday.
  • Measuring out my alcohol BEFORE I drink it and limiting it. I have a feeling that this is what’s holding me back and while I hate hate hate the idea of it, I guess I can temporarily not be a lush for a while to achieve some goals.  Sighhhhh.  I guess I will need to find another non-calorific stress relief outlet.  I hear exercise is great (oh wait…).
  • I can have maximum ONE other thing per day that negatively impacts diet quality.  If I’m going to have alcohol, then I can’t have cake or chips or white bread.  I will have two of those things on Saturday – guess what that means?  I need to have one other day where I don’t have ANY.

I’m putting that self-sabotaging part of my brain on notice.  We’re laying down the law here.  You’re not welcome here.

New dress and my compromise meal at Red Robin (no bun, lots of fries).

I looked at my To Do List and kind of freaked out because I hadn’t done any of it by Thursday, but then I did some things (not all of them) and it was all good.

  • Hosting people for our second game night while staying chill AF instead of being neurotic hostess. – YEP!  Had super lots of fun and on weeks where we have the cleaning service, this was almost no hassle.
  • More work in the office.  I’d be happy if we can get the in-office surfaces and the entire floor clean.  That would step #1 done! – NOPE!  We spent the hours we would have done this hanging out with a friend in a pool.  I am ok with the trade off.
  • Getting the DDR pad out in time for the party on Saturday.  – YEP!  I played twice last week (though no takers for a dance battle).  It was glorious.
  • I want to be in a lake at some point this week. EH… pool kind of counts.  I mostly wanted to be in the water doing something besides laps.
  • Clothes shopping.  All I want to wear lately are long dresses/skirts, so I’m going to get more of them so I stop wearing the same 5 over and over. – YEP!  I want to hit a few more places but I got a few new things.
  • Finish How to Win Friends and Influence People.  – YEP!  Started my second non-fiction book as well: It’s Never Too Late to Starup.

This week, I’d like to do more things.

  • We get the shed on Tuesday (yaaaaay!).  We’ll be pausing the work on the office this week and doing shed things:
    • Caulking the shed.
    • Painting the shed.
    • Get all the things that are supposed to be in the shed in the shed.
  • Doctor said my ears were waxy and could use a drain (TMI?), and then we both forgot about it.  I need to get my online stuff set up with the docs and contact her about when I can come in and get that done.
  • Finish the second half of the half chapter of the book that I started.  Talk about self sabotage – this isn’t hard, this is just intimidating me for some reason.  Dear Me, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY SOMETIMES, love and kisses, Me.
  • Bonus points: ANY work on the office we can get to.  This is now becoming a sore spot with both of us, which is stupid.  We just need to get it done.  Setting a goal to having this complete by the end of August, so we can cross this fully off the list and not speak of it again.

Once the office is done, the workout room should be pretty quick to follow, and then I can start tackling some of the other goals on my list that involve planning and writing and such and maybe take care of some of the other adulting stuff.  Sigh.  Accepting applications for a wife.  Duties include cooking healthy food exactly to my specifications, cleaning and decluttering the house, laundry, house projects I want done but I don’t want to do, not taking my spot on the couch EVER.

No takers?  Surprising.




Open mouths and open wallets.

Ah, THIS week.  This one happens every #offseason.

Energy+enthusiasm-a training plan to apply it to = open mouths (and open wallets).

The fatigue from the season is finally gone, and it’s like a curtain being lifted from my eyes and I see ALL THE THINGS I can go do and it’s overwhelming in a good way.   I’ve gone from thinking ALL I wanted to do was jump back into IM training because everything else in life seemed so crazy to hoping I have enough time before I start training seriously again so I can tick all the amazing things I have planned off my list.

This week, I would consider my first one back into being a recreational triathlete.  I did five days of training (4h30m), I followed a loose plan, and I even did a brick workout.  It feels like nothing and everything at the same time.  90 minute bike rides are plenty right now, though I will need to start ramping this up soon through the summer to do a 100.  20 minute swims and 3 mile runs are also plenty, and since I’m *NOT* planning on doing any long races, they can be enough for a while.

Tuesday, I rode bikes on an F1 racetrack with hundreds of my closest friends.  You would think of a racetrack as a flat surface, right?  Nah.  It has a killer hill right off the starting line, and a steeper, longer one just after that.  That day, it was right into the wind.  Lovely.  However, there was a flat back straightaway section that was SUPER fun to cruise at 28 mph. We did six loops (totaling about 22 miles), taking the cheater way to skip the hill every other time, and then headed home.

Saturday, we were going to ride and run at the lake, but poor sleep the night before (and frankly, a lot of the week) made us miss our alarm and snooze.  Instead, we rode the trainer and ran around the neighborhood.  I haven’t been on the trainer since… my birthday, I think, and I forgot how challenging it was.  I couldn’t really handle it for the 4-5 hour rides, but now that I’m doing shorter ones, I think I’ll make some improvements by being able to push myself.  Once I get some aerobic base back.  Let’s not talk about the 2 mile run after at 11:09 min/miles at a heart rate of about 170 bpm.  Sigh.

Last week:

  • Monday – ran 2.68 miles
  • Tuesday – 22 bike miles in about 90 mins
  • Wednesday – 17 bike miles in about 80 mins
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – off
  • Saturday – 30 mins on the trainer (about 7.5 miles) + 2 mile run
  • Sunday – 1000m swim in about 19 mins.

This week I race… so I’ll probably do approximately the same stuff as last week and then see what there is in this little tank of mine right now.

  • Monday – ran 3.1 miles (37 mins, further and faster than last week)
  • Tuesday – brickie workout ~1 hour (maybe bike 20 mins/run 1 mile/bike 20 min/run 1 mile
  • Wednesday – BSS ride
  • Thursday – off
  • Friday – 20-30 min pool swim
  • Saturday – 15-20 min lake swim
  • Sunday – Pflugerville Tri! (500m swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run)

This will be over FIVE hours of training/racing y’all.  I’m not sure if I can handle it. 🙂

I always want to start this food/nutrition weekly update section with, well, last week was a shit show.  And then I add up the numbers and they are not so bad and I’m making progress and it’s just that unrealistically, I did not eat only chicken and celery all week and also unrealistically, I did not lose 10 lbs.

  • Weight: 187.8 (+0.4) lbs
  • Avg cal per day: 1753 (+21) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -970 (+132) calories
  • Macros: 43 (-13)g fat, 181 (+17)g carbs, 102 (+9)g protein, 27 (+4)g fiber

The weight went up a little, but there are two important mitigating factors here.  1. I haven’t seen anything over 187. something for a week now, which means I’m stabilizing, which is a sign that if I don’t fuck it all up, I’ll drop a few lbs soon. 2. It’s that TOM, which also means if I don’t fuck it all up, I will drop a couple lbs once I lose the bloat.  So, if I can manage to eat all the veggies and not all the chips, I might make some progress.

Healthy food!  Yay.  Almost all pre-prepared?  Meh.  Close enough.

Other than that, the numbers look GREAT.  I maintained almost the perfect deficit that’s still within the healthy range.  I’m still in the lower tax bracket with activity, so my appetite is doing just fine.  My fat is down, my protein is back in the normal range, and so is my fiber.

Let’s attempt a diet quality score now, shall we?

Monday: 24.  Then it goes downhill.  Tuesday: 18.  Wednesday and Thursday: 16.  Friday: 13. Saturday: 10.  Sunday: 9.  Average comes out to approximately 15 (out of 32).

I won’t belabor the point (if you want the deets, check the link), but you give yourself points for veggies, fruit, whole grains/complex carbs, dairy, and nuts/seeds.  You subtract points for booze, sweets*, refined carbs, fried food, and fatty meats.

Looking back at previous years when I did this, I actually am doing better on the weekends than I was before (it would go in the negatives sometimes), but I had better quality food during the week when I tracked this previous.  So, why not both?  So, my goals this weeks:

Previous weeks goals: water, tracking, fruits, veggies, maintaining macro balance (protein, fat, fiber).

Incorporate more fruit and nuts into my day.  These are things that were low on my positive points list, but I need to add them slowly to figure out how to do it without increasing my calories much (since I’m not snacking a lot, I don’t have a *lot* of things to replace with them).

Carb conscious.  Be conscious of areas where I’m eating refined carbs and make a plan next week to switch them to whole grain/complex carbs.  I don’t want to go crazy and chuck out things in my pantry, but I will switch over when I need to replace them.

I’ll try the tally next Monday and see how I’ve fared.

Let me tell you a story about adventure.  On Friday, we realized that we had some unplanned time off because of moving offices and the Independence Day holiday, so for 2 days of PTO, we have a 6 day weekend.  While we have plenty of things at home to keep us occupied, of COURSE we’re going to go out of town.  Then I started looking at options.  We thought maybe we’d try going somewhere super north like Vermont or Boston, but those flights take up most of the travel days.  Then we looked up Boulder to go play bikes and it was just about as expensive (though less travel time).  But… I was really close to pulling the trigger anyway.

Then, I made the comment that camping sounded just as fun but gosh it’s hot in Texas.  Could we rent a camper?  Spoiler alert: it’s stupid expensive.  Like nice hotel expensive.  So no.  Then, I made an offhand comment about wondering how much they cost to purchase.  Fast forward through a weekend of researching everything about them, driving to a RV mall to check out a new one, driving to the middle of nowhere to check out a used one on a super cute farm with chickens and goats….

And as of about 1pm today, we’re the proud owners of a JayCo 2008 pop up trailer with AC.  For about the cost of two modest/average continental USA trips, we’ve now got a mobile hotel room!  And, because of a cancellation, we were able to secure a spot for six days at Krause Springs over that weekend.  I’m SO flippin’ excited, everything (so far) has fallen into place nicely, so I feel like this was meant to be.

So as for the previous goals…

  • Find a doctor and schedule a check up.  I had something written up here about excuses and whining and how I’d found someone but hadn’t called, but while I was writing this, I put on my big girl panties and while that SPECIFIC doctor was leaving, I have an appointment with at least someone that lists running when not injured as one of their hobbies. I felt a connection with that. 🙂
  • DDR Pad.  Nope.  Spent the weekend doing other things.  This didn’t even register on the radar.
  • Office.  Nope.  I technically had the time on Sunday, but we had been running around like crazy all weekend, so we watched a movie and painted minis and read books instead.  No regerts.

What we DID do besides make completely impulsive purchases that will result in awesome adventures:

  • Bought a shed.  CostCo had this roadshow thing with a great looking shed for a great price, and that even included delivery and installation.  At this point, besides being there when they arrive and leave, and painting it within a month or so after they install it, this one is almost off the list.  Yay!
  • Got a hitch installed on the Xterra.  This was on Zliten’s to do list for other reasons, but it’s a thing we have done now (and needed to bring the trailer home).  Check!
  • Started talking in real terms about the kitchen remodel.  We have gone over the list with Zliten’s parents, and we’re looking at scoping things out to do things over two weekends at the end of July or mid-August.
  • Non-fiction.  It’s hard to fall asleep reading non-fiction (or at least these particular ones), so I’m alternating.  I’ve read about 3 more chapters in the big yellow endurance book and I’m about 20% through How to Win Friends and Influence people.

This week will be sort of pop up centric, and we can’t do too much other stuff because of the race, but here’s my list.

Pop up stuff.  We need to get it under the insurance, registered, and get it to at least it’s temporary storage (right now it’s parked on the street which is NOT where it will stay).  Additionally, I’m sure there’s about 1000 other things we’ll discover we need so those To Dos will go under here.

Finish the shredding in the office.  It’s not as much as I intended to do last week (and didn’t), but it’s a step in the right direction.  And if I start, I might do more if I’m not exhausted after the race.

Pick one of these.  #1 – Get the DDR pad set up.  #2 – Do more kitchen remodel research.  Neither of these should involve standing on my feet much, so they can keep me busy on Saturday since I don’t have a packed day.

Between the shed, the pop up, and the kitchen remodel, we REALLY need to stop #projectoffseason because it’s so expensive.  Triathlon is pricey, until you compare super motivated triathletes during #projectoffseason who turn their attention to something else with the passion of 1000 fiery suns. At this point, once the general adulting and renovations are coming to a close, the year should turn more to side hustle and fun stuff, which are a little less WE SPENT HALF OUR MONTHLY SALARY THIS WEEK and a little more adventures and learning.

If not, we’ll just have to put a 70.3 on the plan at some point simply to keep us out of trouble. 😉



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