Adjusted Reality

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

Tag: Food (Page 1 of 27)

January Goals

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

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

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

Sporty Stuff:

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

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

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

#projectraceweight

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

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

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

Other stuff:

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

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

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

2019 Goals and Directions

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

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

Racing/Training:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#projectraceweight:

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

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

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

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

Personal Growth:

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

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

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

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

Hobbies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Recap – Finding my Courage, Confidence, and Worthiness

On the heels of a completely epic 2017 where I consistently felt overwhelmed, my biggest goal for 2018 was to do LESS, with focus, purpose, and intention.

#2018bestnine – apparently y’all like bikes, bolts, and selfies with unicorn pants.

In some areas of my life, I succeeded wholeheartedly.  In others, I got waylaid, distracted, or found hidden insecurities keeping me from my goals.  The good news is that it lead me to a lot of soul searching that apparently I needed to do en route to the things I want to accomplish long term.  I feel like I’ve used my words a lot lately, so I’m honestly going to try to keep this one short (er than normal).

While it’s a 3rd, and not a 1st, and I got passed right at the end, I still think this might be the race I was the most proud of this year (Texasman).

Racing/Training:

My big scary goal was to qualify to Nationals and find myself on some age group podiums.  This year, I qualified twice, getting first place in my age group (and third female overall in one of those instances), and hit the podium two other times for 3rd place.  Then, later, I wanted to PR my half ironman and go sub-6:30 in Cozumel.  I went 6:28 on a rather tough day.

Most of the year was just flippin’ phenomenal, and I put together some solid swimming, biking, and running time after time at races.  I had a few spectacular blowups (3M, Nationals Day 2, Waco 70.3), but in the grand scheme of things, the highs were SO MUCH higher than the lows.  It was a stellar way to close out my last year in the 35-39 age group.

How did I accomplish this?  By training so much less than I have in years and years, but more specifically than normal.  Also weight training, massage, rolling, stretching (strength, flexibility, and recovery) played a huge part.

Getting dressed in the morning is much more fun when your clothing fits.

#projectraceweight:

I started 2018 at 188 lbs.  My low weight for the year has been 165.0.  I cannot be more stoked about my progress.  Whatever needed to click finally happened after eight years of things being out of sync.  Before I get played off the stage, I’d like to thank Snap kitchen and portion control for the success.  While I did my best to eat good food, I always come back to the fact that 1500 calories of pizza will do the exact same thing to the scale long term as 1500 calories of carrots.  Diet quality is huge with how I feel, and my energy levels, but as they say, abs are made in the kitchen. 

Also, I’d like to make sure and thank my appetite this year for being a homie.  Most training cycles, I couldn’t eat enough, ever.  First of all, learning to live with “no longer hungry” instead of full helped a lot, as did hitting that appetite thermocline around 170-something lbs, where I just stopped needing (both physically and mentally) so much to eat.

My favorite fish. 🙂

Personal Development:

A year ago, I wrote about wanting to enjoy human connection a bit more.  I had thought it was about being less of an asshole.  It’s not.  I’m not an asshole (I don’t think, and even if I am, it’s not actually the problem I actually wanted to solve).  While I didn’t show up to everyone’s social event (there’s a few I missed that I still feel crappy about) and didn’t all of a sudden become a people pleasing social butterfly or anything, and sometimes I would rather dig through a boatload of documentation before I get up and ask someone a question, I think I was able to foster and find human connection where it mattered.

This year was about finding my confidence and courage.  I found the beginnings of worthiness.   I also found, while digging in my brain, questioning why I do the things I do when they are counterproductive to my goals, found out that I have a lot of really weird subconscious insecurities that drive me to avoid things I want.  At some point, my asshole brain figured out that if I actually figure out the problem is that I’m scared of something, the challenge is ON I will grab that bull by the horns and do it anyway, so it convinces me I *don’t* want it or want to do it.

Just being conscious of that fact has elevated my training, my racing, my #projectraceweight progress (yep, turns out, my idiot grey matter was plotting against me on that one too), and a million billion other things that I’ve tripped over this year, squinted at quizzically and said, “REALLY?  COME ON!” and gone forward with anyway because they were absolutely MORONIC things on which to be hung up.

While it’s still sometimes a fight, and I still find myself puzzled that I’m actually scared of so many stupid things, at least I’m working on conquering this.  Earlier this year, I wrote down in a scratchpad, “Think of all the things I could do if I didn’t let fear stop me.  If I just hit each roadblock, and instead of stopping and pouting because it was a little hard, intimidating, or scary, just strategized about how to get around them and to the next checkpoint.  Think of where I could be then!”

I don’t see myself as a timid person, but I’ve definitely found that in the past, I’ve been meeker than I’ve given myself credit for, but much less so in 2018.  A work in progress, for sure, but it’s better than being in denial.

The wheels started turn, turn, turning this year (in some areas).

Self Enrichment:

2018 was the year that I was looking to either become or make huge strides towards becoming a published author. 

I like my notes here so much I’ll share them: Book complete!  Started editing!  Read a book on the industry!  Got freaked out and still haven’t returned to it after ignoring it for more than 6 months. D’oh.

It’s not all bad.  I did finish an 88k word first draft, and I know a lot more about the book publishing industry than I did this time last year (which was, like, nothing).  I’ve also spent a lot of time delving into other forms of writing.  I’ve been writing a little fiction and even a little poetry, and it’s been a lot of FUN! Finally, I’ve found that when I’m properly inspired, I’ve found my writing voice again rather than just throwing some words on a page, which has made me immeasurably happy.

But, about the book specifically, once it became real, it started to freak me out.  I found out that I’ve got two HUGE hangups here.  I’m confident in my ability to produce the work, even work that will make me proud.  However, I was intimidated by the amount of thoughts and feeling I would be sharing with people who know me IRL (the faceless masses, I’m fine with, but people who I might see at a party or at work freak me right out), and second, that I might write it, and it might be amazing, but no one will read it.

I made some strides in the first category by being a little more open on Facebook later in the year to test the waters, and I didn’t die!  Hooray!  However, I still have to figure out how to handle the second thing at some point because I will be an author someday and I hope to sell more than 10 books.

And, as always, here’s the lists:

Just occasionally I can look super serious.

Adulting:

  • Wills – done
  • Financial planner – not yet (I definitely have some hangups here, and I’m not sure why)
  • Fix our occasionally around kitty stray – nope (he disappeared for a while, and is not really around enough anymore for him to be “ours”)
  • Organize our entertainment center and pantry – nope and yep! (I swear, the first one will happen in January, it will take less than an hour)
  • Build leezard a lounging platform she can’t knock her plate off – not done (but I did just clean that room, so, that’s something)

Two of my very favorite things this year: diving and photography!

Fun stuff:

  • Resume monthly-ish game night with friends in February. – not to the letter, but in spirit.  We did a few game nights at home, some at work, and sort of unrelated, I’ve really gotten more into D&D this year.
  • Camping!so much.  Love the camper.  Can’t wait to see more amazing places in turtlehome!
  • Making videos – I did quite a few early in the year and then stopped.  I’m doing a lot more filming with work now, so that’s something, but I haven’t done much at home.  However, I’ve gotten REALLY into photography and photo editing, to the point where I’ve actually sold three copies of the same crab on stock photo sites, which I didn’t even mention here, so, let’s just say this hobby has kind of morphed?  
  • More video games.  – Yes during the winter, then not again much the rest of the year.  January is almost here and I usually end up gaming a lot then…
  • VacationsCruise in May, Krause Springs Camping in July, Cleveland in August, Cozumel in October, and Fredericksburg Camping in December. I appropriately traveled.
  • Painting – I made one and started another.  Oops.  I really fell off this over the summer and never picked it back up.  Too many hobbies, not enough time, but also, I need to let go of the fact that even if I don’t produce amazing art, it’s still FUN!
  • More bike adventures.  While my original intention was playing on the cruise bikes, which I haven’t ridden much this year,  I’ve really enjoyed playing bikes with my camera, adventuring with my bestest bike buddy and taking pictures of cool stuff.
  • Posting more interesting things besides weekly recaps – getting there, especially later in the year when I found my voice and a little fire in my belly again.  While I love a good recap and they’re not going away, my writing gets stale if all I write are status reports.
  • Crafting.  I did some beading, but I have yet to break out my sewing machine, but that’s okay.   So many hobbies, so little time.  

2018 was a lot of things, but one constant?  Bikes.  Always bikes.

This was one of my favorite years yet, and a great way to close out my thirties.  As always, I try to sum up each year with three words, and it wasn’t even difficult this time.

Courage.  Confidence. Worthiness.

While I can’t say I mastered any of these things this year, I am hot on the trail, madly pursuing them into 2019.

Waco 70.3 Pre-Race – The Precipice of the Unknown

It’s race week!  Again!

Four days out, I’m finding the emotions and the machinations to be different this time.  For various reasons, anxiety as of right now has overshadowed the excitement, and uncertainty has replaced the utter SWAG I had last time.  That’s fine, that means I REALLY CARE about this, and while my sneaky little soul is trying to hide this by manifesting it in a million other things right now, I appreciate this feeling.  If the spark is there, I can fan the flames towards excitement in the next few days.  Fear of failure is much closer to courage to try than the typical unbridled apathy I’ve found in racing for the last few years.

Feeling all the things and practicing being brave has been a little tiring – literally – I haven’t been sleeping as well as normal.  Giving a crap is weird and squishy and while some of the side effects are unwelcome, this is some positive personal development.  I hope I find some peace on the other side of the finish line on Sunday.  However, now that I have been practicing things that scare me a little to get comfortable at courage, I have a few OTHER things in play that I’m going for, so I may just sit here constantly reverberating like a nervous chihuahua until my heart explodes.  Stay tuned.

My head and my heart also haven’t had enough time to forget how much these things HURT.  Cozumel took every ounce and the only reason I actually still existed afterwards was massive amounts of caffeine until the epic crash crash crash that literally incapacitated me.  I intend to start a little slower on both the bike and the run, but my intention is to put forth the same or more effort OVERALL.  It’s fun to be all confident about seeking the man with the hammer… once.  While that’s what I want with all my courage this time, part of my heart feels like it’s just pure masochism to thrust myself into that fire walk again so soon. 

Also, this whole “giving a shit” thing also comes with the baggage of wanting to race well in front of people I know.  I’ll be on the course with a TON of BSS teammates and some of the Wattage Brigade.  While logic dictates they’ll be wholly absorbed in their own races, there’s the performer in me that wants very badly to do well on the closest thing to “home court” right now.  I also want to show myself that PR’ing in Cozumel wasn’t a fluke.  This race has the potential to have perfect conditions (as in NOT AS HOT AS THE CENTER OF THE SUN) and the only thing that would hold me back is my head, heart, legs, or lungs.

Putting aside sports and racing psychology – the race conditions are also incredibly uncertain.  I’m told we’ll know tomrrow if we have a swim or not, currently the water is dookie brown, fast flowing, and full of debris.  The current transition area is underwater.  I don’t know if I’ll be racing a 70.3, a 69.1, a half marathon, or just heading up to Waco to camp and drink beer for a weekend.  I know what to do – I need to be prepared for anything and everything and stay adaptable, but between the unknow and the constant crappy weather, it no longer feels like triathlon season in the slightest and another reason my excitement is waning.

Here’s the good news – the legs and lungs part of the equation seem to be willing.  The sludge I was experiencing post-vacation is mostly gone.  While it’s been PULLING TEETH to get myself to train, when I show up, the magic happens.  In the last week, I’ve PR’d my 1.2 mile swim and ran an 8:36 mile off a race power (read: not easy) bike.  This does not suck.  As long as I can summon the motivation to strap on my armor and pick up my axe, the odds seem to end up ever in my favor.  I’ve had no spectacular blowups, which I kind of expected on the way back to being whole after Coz, just solid days pushing the numbers I’m aiming for without too much strife in my grey matter, at least during.  It all feels so much less magical than last time, but the foundation is there.   That’s a big building block in the confidence to try again.

So, the order of the week is rest up.  Psych up.  Show up.  Make the magic happen!

For the record – here’s all the gory details I’ll want to look back on later.

Oct 15-21 training.

  • 35 min and 30 min race power trainer practice
  • Fastest swims in a while – 1:55/100m at the longer Lifetime pool and 1.2 miles in about 38 minutes. 
  • 1 hour race pace run (5.7 miles)
  • 1 hour race power bike/5k faster than race pace brick (9:30/mile)
  • One kettlebell session

Oct 22-28

  • One bodyweight session with a nice long stretch and roll
  • Short brick (20 min race power/1 fast mile)
  • Pre-race swim/bike shakeout (if we swim, if not… meh)
  • RACE!

Nutrition plan:

  • Friday night camping food: hot dogs and a carbtastic side
  • Saturday breakfast: bean and cheese breakfast tacos
  • Saturday lunch: turkey bacon guac bagel sandwich (trying for a little more calories than normal)
  • Saturday dinner: grilled chicken, baked potato, pre-made salad
  • Race breakfast: two caffeine beans, earl grey tea, english muffin with sunbutter and honey, coconut water, watermelon, sip on gatorade before the race
  • Race day nutrition on the bike: caff gel ASAP and every 45 mins (alternate caff/non caff), gatorade handoffs at every bottle stop (or as necessary depending on the temperature).  Cocktail of salt pills and 303s halfway through (possibly one more dose of salt pills near the end depending on the weather). 
  • Race day nutrition on the run: One more cocktail, probably about mile 3, bring a caff gel, non caff gel, and a pack of spearmint blocks, and try to consume at least two of them.  Take in all the gatorade and coke (yeah brown ponyyyyy!) possible for that sweet sweet sugar and caffeine high!

Race plan:

Feet up as much as possible Saturday, get to the race EARLY Sunday since parking is up in the air and I’m in one of the first waves.

Swim the same effort I dialed in on Saturday.  Just an inch past comfortable.  Concentrate on either finding some space or some slightly faster feet.  To do that, I need to have confidence to seed myself properly (for a race like this, probably not front pack but at least first half) and concentrate on long, relaxed strokes.  Around 40 minutes would be ideal, give or take depending on the conditions.

Transition 1 I plan to roll the same as Cozumel.  Wetsuit off, helmet, glasses, shoes, go.  This is a single transition race, so I should save some time not having to bag everything up.  The goal is motivation for quick locomotion without pure seething rage, like last time.

Biking during this cycle, all my really successful training rides involved a slower start and then chasing a power number.  They also involved elevation, pace, and effort changes, not a constant effort.  I’ve got a plan to make sure my race goes this way as well:

  • Hour 1: 130-ish power.  This should feel like holding back.
  • Hour 2: work up to 140 power average.  This should feel like a good ride.
  • Hour 3: try to work up to 150 power average, if it makes sense.  I don’t want to be gassed at the end, but it is allowed to feel like work at this point.
  • Every 15 minutes, stand up (or at least sit up) and push out 30-60 seconds of 200-250 power if I haven’t had to do anything similar recently.
  • Also, be advised that my power is not 100% dialed in, it’s my first season really tracking it, so perceived effort can trump this, especially in the later miles.  It’s a target, not the arrow.

It would be nice to break 3 hours, but I’m not going to tank my run to do it.

Transition 2 is lava.  It will be slower than T1 because I have to put on socks and tie my shoes, but the goal is a minimal amount of time of effing around.  Socks, shoes, race belt, hat, go.

Running has been going well, but is always the wildcard.  My one confidence building workout didn’t do quite so much as I was hoping, but it was a nice, solid, race pace double digit run off a not-so-easy bike.  So, I’m going to start this one a little more conservatively than Cozumel.  Frankly, the first trek up the hill on the way out, I plan to sandbag myself a little bit.  I find when I PUSH UP THE HILL SUPER HARD it bites me in the ass later, so taking a little extra time on the way up the first time based on how I feel may pay divedends later.  I plan to ENJOY THE HECK out of running the downhills and push THOSE fast.

I want to run the whole thing as long as it’s the fastest means to the end.  The marathon I ran every step of the way was a proud accomplishment, but not my fastest.  However, if I’m just steadily jogging 12 minute miles, I know that suuuuuuuuper sucks for me and I’ll get more out of myself if I strategically alternate walk breaks and faster running (Coz average, with LOTS of walking, was 11:30-ish).  Plan A is to start out running 10:30-ish minute miles and stay there (or speed up) until death or the finish line.   I’d like to see approximately 2:15 here, whatever that looks like.

Overall, that looks perilously close to 6 hours with some decent transitions.  I know total time was REALLY motivating in Cozumel, so I will probably switch there sometime in the second lap and work on busting ass to hit the closest even number.  I would be over the moon if that even number I was striving to beat was 6:00:00.

I’m not entirely sure why race weeks also end up being the craziest in work and life, but this one hasn’t disappointed in that regard.  I’m more than looking forward to wrap up doing about 20 different nerve-wracking and brave things (we are what we repeatedly do) and spend the 36 hours before the race in the woods, in the peace and quiet.

Last time, I needed to bring all the noise.  This race, I need some quiet, to center myself, and to prepare myself to race once more with renewed feeling.  I know in my heart, if I do it right, I’ll toe the line with my heart, head, legs and lungs ready to do battle, I just need to spend a little time in bubble wrap to get myself there.

Forward

For now, I’ll skip over the vacation parts of vacation.

Spoiler: it involved SO MANY TURTLES!!!

Believe me, it was epic, and I posted some tales on Instagram when my phone decided that it would hold a charge and also connect to wifi (which was rare).  My soul feels very recharged after a week under the water and in the sun, and the amount of pictures I have to process and edit is both daunting and exciting and I can’t wait to share them.

The transition was quick.  Sunday at 1pm I was hanging out in a hot tub in Mexico.  Monday at 9am I was back in the office.  Monday at 6pm, I was in the gym throwing around kettlebells.  Less than 48 hours after my plane landed, I was (barely) holding race power on the bike and trying to shake the sludge out of my legs with some faster running.  If I’m going to race Waco, there’s no rest for this triathlete.  Y’know, besides that week where I had a very heavy training load (10+ hours underwater, more weight training hauling tanks and gear) but absolutely no specificity.  And actually, not pushing too too much because that would be counter-productive.  Let’s just say, back to a (sane) training schedule I went!

I’ve never raced two long races this close back to back, so this is a new, fun experiment of ONE (ok TWO since my husband is also doing these crazy things with me) that could fail miserably or perhaps produce race day magic. Considering my success with a lot of back to back racing weekends earlier this year, I’m hoping for the latter!

This Tuesday was a lot different than last Tuesday.

Here’s where I’m at right now:

  • Officially, I should be back in taper.  I had planned to do a little more last week, but it actually worked out to be about 6.5 hours.  This is fine.  I’m a little cranky I skipped my wetsuit swim but everything else went well.
  • Back in June when I laid out the full season’s training plan, I set October 13th to be a CONFIDENCE BUILDING workout.  I knew I’d have ONE shot to rectify whatever was the biggest chink in my armor at Cozumel, and I’d tailor the workout to that.  Two weeks out, I’m not going to be building much endurance, so the purpose of Saturday’s workout was 100% mental.  That workout was a 1 hour trainer ride at race power (result was a little low but also my power meter kept dropping out :P), and then a 2 hour run at race pace (a shade under 10:30/mile for eleven and a half in conditions not dissimilar to Cozumel – hot and muggy with a few sprinkles).  I haven’t done any longer runs off the bike and that may be part of what broke me on race day (and, also, the ridiculous heat, but let’s focus on the things I can control).
  • How I feel right now at this moment: a little sludgy, both mentally and physically.  I definitely feel like I just raced and gave it a lot but it’s coming around.  I’m confident I’ve got what I need under there, but I’m just not SHARP right now like I was before Cozumel.  Maybe that’s good.  I expended a LOT of nervous mental and physical energy that I had in excess over the three weeks of taper last time, maybe this cycle I’m destined to be calmer and have things come together at just the right time.

Here’s what I feel like I could improve from the last race (and what I’m doing to fix it):

This is the last wetsuit pic I have… from 2016.  I own 3 and I don’t like any of them, really…

I had too much time on my feet before the race.  We had originally planned to get to Waco Saturday morning, but now, we’re taking a quarter day off work on Friday and plan to get there in time to hit packet pickup, mayyyybe athlete briefing, and set up the camper the day before the day before.  In theory, all I should need to do on Saturday now is drop off my bike and do a practice swim, and the rest of the day is lounging in and around the camper.  Pefect!

I will get up early enough race morning to not be rushing to the swim start in the back of the line.  I swim about 40 minutes for this race, that’s where I need to seed myself.

This swim will likely be a wetsuit swim, and I take a little bit to get used to swimming in my sausage casing.  I will be hitting a lake at least THREE times before race day (even if I have to swim in 50-something degrees air temperatures).

The elevation change for Waco is about 1k feet over the 56 mile bike.  Still very flat, but not quite pancake like Cozumel.  I need to work out a schedule to have some forced intervals in there (with easier sections) so my legs don’t get stale.  Maybe 1 minute 200+ power, 1 minute ~100 power every 15?  I also plan to go out a little more conservatively – every training ride I would start at lower power and build over the three hours.  I’m going to make that my goal (build to 130W hour 1, 140W hour 2, 150 or as close as I can hour 3 or something like that) instead of heading out of transition like a rabid squirrel on speed.

The run is a little hillier – double the elevation gain of Cozumel – though it’s hard to be as flat as FLAT.  There are two longer hills.  My goal is to NOT WALK ON THESE HILLS.  If I want to walk, it’s gotta be on the downhills.  And I feel stupid walking downhill, so perhaps with this mentality and some luck with the weather, I can goad myself into running the whole damn thing finally.  There will be a lot of people I know at this race, and I plan to ask them to literally BERATE AND YELL AT ME if they see me walking.  I don’t want encouragement or kind words, I want to be told to SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP and GET A FUCKING MOVE ON.  I doubt I’ll get that because most people are really nice, but hopefully the FEAR of it will motivate me.

A week back from Cozumel and I feel like I’ve lost most, if not all, of the crappy inflammation and water weight.  I think, somehow, it all came off during Saturday’s run (I felt the extra weight hauling up some of those hills for sure), because since then I’m *about* back to where I was before I left (168-170).  Two more weeks of tracking calories and Snap Kitchen mainly and hopefully I can race Waco slightly lighter than Cozumel.  I’m super excited that my race prep will be 100% my own food cooked from the camper grill, that should help things immensely! 

While I wish two days of carb gluttony before the race helped me, because it’s SUPER FUN, I’ve never seen any sort of success with it, so I’m planning just to eat like a normal human with a few extra snacks (fruit, crackers, almonds, etc) the day before.  I think any benefit I get with slightly-more topped off carb stores, I lose with a super gross sloshy stomach and extra weight on race day.  I may look back on this in 3 years and do this…

…but it’s my current strategy.  So I’m documenting it.  I work differently than other humans, and I’ve accepted this.  My best 70.3 previous to Cozumel (2014), my only carb sources for the season were corn and potatoes the day before and I didn’t eat to excess.  I’ve found I tolerate some whole wheat now as well, and brown rice is back to being a homie, but I don’t plan on going crazy, just my normal sprint plan (normal breakfast, turkey sandwich on wheat for lunch, grilled chicken with potato and salad for dinner) plus extra snacks to be like 2000-ish calories vs 1500.

So, this week, I has plans.

  • Two weights sessions (today and Wed)
  • Four trainer rides practicing the progression to race power (today, tomorrow, Wednesday, Saturday) 30-60+ mins
  • One pool swim (tomorrow), one lake swim (Saturday)
  • 8 mile run race pace (Thursday), 5k brick run off the bike faster than race pace (Saturday).
  • Stretch  or roll every day.
  • Track food – 1500 calories most days with 2-3 slightly higher (due to workout load).

The unicorns and Wattage Cottage sock doping will get me through.  I hope.

Two more weeks of triathlon season.  While I’m not itching to be a lazy slob and sit on my butt, I am really excited for a few months of the plan pretty much saying “lift weights and do whatever else you feel like for the cardios” for a while.  Just 13 more days of holidng it together and being good, and then one more massive, herculean effort at another 70.3 PR to go!

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