Adjusted Reality

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

Tag: Food (Page 1 of 22)

October Wrap Up, November Goals

I like to do shit.

Sometimes that shit is riding my trainer outside the bike store with my teammates blaring music at all the restaurants nearby.  The obnoxious tomatoes ftw!

Goals are, like, my drugs (or anti-drug? or maybe we could with a far more appropriate analogy and say I live for them? …nah).  I love to make them, I love to plan them out, I love to conquer them, and I love to say, “what’s next?”.

I spent the first four months of the year plugging away at a single goal called Ironman.  Then, after a little bit of recovery, I took the blinders off and have been plugging away at a million smaller goals.  Century ride, check!  Getting faster at running short distances and fixing my running form?  Kinda check.  Writing a book?  Getting to the halfway point.  Four usable bedrooms, check!  Twenty million other things I typically ignore during training for a big event?  Either check, in progress, or on the plan.

While I’ll have some days where I feel a little overwhelmed, normally I’m super excited to be progressing towards things I want to do. And then, like late last week, my brain and body pretty much decided that it was time for a complete stop in the way of some MAJOR lack of mojo and heel pain that wasn’t just a twinge.

I committed to waiting until my heel is pain free for 3 days until I run on it.  Even today I’m not quite there yet (close but no cigar), but I think that means the earliest will be next Monday IF I have no twinges this weekend.  I am so frustrated that I’ll be getting a late start preparing for 3M but I’m going to trust that these things happen for a reason.

I had an unplanned day off on Monday and I wanted to do all the things and it was gorgeous outside so I should have ridden my bike everywhere.  Except, I slept until 11 (over 12 hours of sleep).  I read my book in bed and dithered around the house and finished writing a chapter in my book and couldn’t muster any sort of give-a-shit so I rode the trainer while reading more of ROAR (which I have since finished and highly recommend to anyone who is not just a tiny man).  I haven’t done a weights session since early last week.  I haven’t made it to the pool.  I might ride the trainer again sometime this week but it’s also just as likely I’ll sleep in instead.

I feel like I’m letting precious time and beautiful weather slip through my hands.  I feel like I’m in the worst shape of my life for this season (because I’m usually in the best shape right about now).  You’d think I’d feel rested after riding my bike twice in a week and getting lots of sleep but I’ve felt like a frickin’ zombie all day so of course that makes me reconsider resting to begin with and maybe I should just suck it up and muddle through…

“No,” the universe says.  “Hard. Stop.”  It’s not screaming yet, but it’s also not whispering.  And using it’s stern voice.

While I’m trying to discount what I’ve done over the summer/fall as “just having fun”, I averaged 2/3rds of my IM training volume (~30 hours per month from July through October, vs ~45 hours per month from January through April).  Thirty hours per month is actually fairly close to my average 70.3 training volume.  Whether I like to admit it or not, whether it really feels like it or not, even if it was “just” for 3 sprint triathlons and 2 century rides, I just went through a training cycle.  And I need some faffing off time.

I hear you, universe.  No need to yell.  I’ll give you a little more time.

I’ll sum my October totals here:

  • 1000m swim (1 swim)
  • 20 miles run (6 runs)
  • 318 miles biked (17 rides)
  • Weights – 7/8 planned sessions (the last one last week)

Almost 30 hours total.  Even though I feel like I haven’t done much, the numbers don’t lie that it’s 1 hour a day average.  I deserve a little break.

November goals:

  • Swim at least twice.
  • Give myself the rest of this week off and then resume strength training next week and make 8/8 sessions.
  • Allow my heel to heal and then gradually ramp up running, however long that takes (I have 12 weeks until the race, I’d rather train for 8 of them healthy than 11 of them with a hurty heel).  When I do start again, err on the side of more sessions vs big mileage.  3×3 days a week at lunch and then more miles on Saturday is better than 2 longer runs.  My body is used to the 3 mile runs.  It’s not used to much more and yes, an hour lunch run right now is going to feel like a long run until I get some more miles under me.
  • Cycling is now my support sport.  Trainer rides, commutes if I can get up early enough to get mostly home before it’s stinkin’ dark, warmup and cooldown for long runs… I expect it to be my worst mileage month since June and that’s totally fine.

Priority is: 1) healing then running 2) weights 3) cycling 4) swimming (sorry swimming, you’ve been last on the list for a while).  If I can only get to the first part of #1 and #2 in this month, I’ll be a little disappointed, but OK.

Scale/food

I have paid so much attention to this week’s food, the most related picture I have is our D&D costumes.  I mean, my name technically is FORK, but…

Here’s another place where the not-quite-end-of-year-but-close burnout hit me.  But I think it’s working out alright.  I’m actually making some real progress here and it’s encouraging.

I stopped tracking my food around October 22nd and haven’t really restarted yet.  Because of that, it’s just about impossible for me to guess what my overall stats were for October.  However, I didn’t stop weighing at least.

  • Oct 1-7: 185.1 avg
  • Oct 8-14: 186 avg
  • Oct 15-21: 185.7 avg
  • Oct 22 – 28: 184.6 avg

So, I’m looking at 185.3 as my average for the month of October, which is -2.1 lbs from my average last month.  My clothes are fitting better and I was literally walking around yesterday in my underwear asking my husband if he thought the elastic went out (and no, I’ve just lost some belly fat, since my others fit the same way).  The good news is it’s continuing to drop… right now is that lovely wonderful TOM and I’m still averaging less than I was last week.  Momentum is on my side, finally.  Just in time for the holidays.

How do I stay sane and not eff things up and gain 7 lbs like I did last year?

Simplify tracking – only the bad stuff.  I am going to have a hard time tracking calories and diet quality next month with camping and a launch and a remodel and all sorts of other shenanigans going on.  I was trying to figure out how I can still keep myself on the wagon but also not stress myself out and I think I’ve figured it out: only track my negative diet quality points/calories.

If you think about it, it’s actually perfect.  Hopefully, my laziness will take over and if I realize I have to track the fun size snickers and I don’t have to do anything if I eat the apple, I’ll go the way of less resistance.  I’m good at eating the good things.  The meals I cook are all roughly similar amounts of calories.  I’m actually pretty decent at eating the right amount if I eat mostly the good things.  So, hopefully, this will be a low stress way of making sure I stay on track.

They are holi-DAYS not holi-MONTHS.  On Halloween I had 2 ciders and ate a few fun size pieces of candy.  I still have a handful of heath bars left over which I’ll dole out to myself as treats throughout the year.  Thanksgiving is delicious, but I’m not a leftovers gal, so that one is really just about that day for me as long as I don’t bring home half a pie or anything (and if I do, it goes directly in the freezer in bite size portions).  Christmas is a little trickier because we celebrate both Eve (neighbors, ourselves) and Day (family) with food-heavy traditions, but again, it’s two DAYS.

So, in November, I’m committing to these two things:

  • Eating like a normal healthy human being on all days except for Thanksgiving. Even if it’s take out during the kitchen remodel (I’ll get healthy takeout).  Even while camping.  Even when I come up with excuses.
  • Log everything I eat that’s not on the Diet Quality positive points list (sweets, fried, refined grains, massive amounts of calorie laden sauce, super fatty meat, alcohol).

Life

I’ve been told to be myself unless I could be a unicorn, so for Halloween proper, I was BOTH!

Summary – things got done.  Not all of them.  I probably need to narrow my focus a little bit going forward or I’m in danger of getting overwhelmed of OMG ALL THE TO DOs.

  • Writing:
    • Take my old outline and make sure that it’s all absorbed in the new one. (CHECK!)
    • Write at least two chapters.  (DONE!)
    • Bonus: finish the one I started last month and got stuck on. (NOPE!)
  • Reading: Finish A Demon Haunted World (60% – I’ll keep plugging away but it’s hard to read all at once).  Read The 4 Hour Work Week (Saving for December) and You Are An Ironman. (CHECK!)  To be fair, I started and finished ROAR! by Stacy Simms, which I planned to read this month.
  • Wills:  Actually do this! (NOPE, sigh)
  • Business plan/website: NOPE! I literally have a document with eight words.  It’s becoming clear to me that I need to focus on one thing at a time, and my focus right now is the book.  This officially goes on the 2018 plan unless I get a hair up my hiney over Holiday Break.
  • Clean off all the bedroom surfaces.  I was about to make excuses and then realized how close I was so I got up and did it.  At least, on my surfaces and shared surfaces.  I will just ignore the ones on my husband’s side of the bed like I normally do. 🙂 (DONE!-ish)

In November, pretty much the primary focus will be on the kitchen remodel.

Pack up the kitchen between now and November 13.  The goal is to do one box per day.  That should give us more than enough time without getting us overwhelmed and give us the opportunity to go through what we have and get rid of some stuff instead of shoving shit in boxes willy nilly.

Get the cabinets Nov 11.  We plan to rent a trailer and then our cabinets will live in the garage until they are ready to go in the house.

Figure out the counters.  We bought slabs of granite and have since reconsidered being so cheap about it because our counter shape is pretty custom and we’ll already be saving an insane amount of money doing the rest ourselves so we’ll splurge on having someone do the counters.  We have one estimate for about 3 grand, I want to price a few others to see if that’s reasonable.

Figure out the cabinet colors.  These came unfinished, so it’s actually up to us to pick out exactly what we want.  I really liked the ones we got the estimate for, so I’ll probably try to find the slightly off white for the top, and a dark grey/almost black for the bottom (but I also want to nail down the countertop color before we buy them).

Pick out the backsplash and decide if I want to change the wall color.  I love my apple green kitchen walls but I keep thinking about possibly going red, or turquoise.  Even if we stay with the same color, I definitely want to repaint since it’s been 10 years.  Then… we’ll decide what backsplash would go with or if we even have enough place to put a backsplash where it will be worth it.

Purchase an above-the-stove microwave.  I am so ready to have a microwave that doesn’t take 20 minutes to cook something frozen, but we didn’t want to buy a new one until we remodeled.  So, so, so soon.

Look at the actual remodel process like a race.  It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, I’m going to get cranky about stuff, but the finish line is worth it.  And, we have some pretty awesome and experienced people on our team (Zliten’s parents).

Other productive stuff:

Read books.  Finish Carl Sagan, finally.  Read 7 habits of highly effective people.

Write book.  I think I can commit to two more chapters OR one chapter and finishing the chapter I started and didn’t finish.  I think it’s probably time to start at the beginning with chapter 1, but whatever I’m motivated to write at the time I sit down will totally work.

Non-productive fun stuff:

Camping!  Heading out to the woods this weekend with some friends.  Of course, we picked a weekend in November as they’re not really warm weather people… and the highs are looking like upper 80s.  D’oh!

Comedy.  If we can make it out, we have SEVEN admit-2 comedy tickets left that expire at the end of the year.  To be fair, some of the shows we’ve seen have not allowed us to use the discount passes, but we should probably try to use some of them (and drag along some friends).

Tri Series Party.  It’s always awesome to celebrate a great season and sometimes get cool prizes!

…and that’s a wrap.  Time to go eat healthy food and be productive to start out the month on the right note!

October Goals and Goals and Goals

Hello world!  How are you?  I am fine.

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

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

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

Training

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

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

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

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

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

Totals so far this month:

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

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

Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Averages for the month so far (through Oct 17)

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

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

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

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

Life Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have done things that are not just werkwerkwerkwerk too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Day on Two Wheels

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

One of a kind and always late…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor Zliten and his unlucky tires lately!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proof!

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

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

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

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

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

September wrap up, October goals

Noticed the lack of weekly check in posts?

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

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

September Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

October high points:

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

September Food

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

In like a lion, out like a blerch.

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

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

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

So, what did I want to do in September?

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

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

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

September Numbers:

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

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

What’s on tap for October?

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

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

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

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

September Life Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

Turtle Home Voyage #3 – Granger Lake

Last weekend, we were supposed to head to Port Aransas with the family for a weekend beach trip.  However, Port A really doesn’t *exist* right now, so we’re going to postpone our trip and go in the spring.

Here’s the highlight reel.  You can see everything here.

We had an extra day off work already booked, so we decided to take Turtle Home north instead of south and spent three days at Granger Lake.  The week before was extra hectic and stressful but once we pulled into our spot, I almost immediately relaxed because we had most of the campsite to ourselves.  The twenty-six slot section we were in had *maybe* 5 people at max over the weekend.  One happened to be right next to us, but she barely left her motorhome.  It was incredibly exactly everything I needed to destress.

Since Saturday was going to be quite a long day, we took Friday night easy.  We set up camp, and then cooked up a feast: steak, potatoes, and all the leftover veggies I had in the fridge.  So, so, so good.  Probably one of the best camping meals I’ve ever had.  We had a few light beers with dinner but went to bed around midnight like good kids.

But not before we got to see the spooky moon!

We had a day full of plans for Saturday – a bike date with Matt at 10am, and then lickety split, drive the hour up to Temple to hit up a sale to get our kitchen renovation supplies purchased, and spend some time with the fam.  Once we did some mental math on the store’s closing time and driving time, we realized we didn’t have time to ride the 40-50 miles as planned.  So, we went out for 30-ish-but-speedy in mind.

Once we hit the road, we found the wind was out to play.  I suggested we attempt another paceline because that worked REALLY REALLY well at HHH, and it was super nice to have three of us, which meant one mile of WORK and two miles of slight recovery.  We were able to keep a pretty nice speed and had some fun enjoying bikes on fairly empty country roads with light traffic.

We hit a turn and we made a puppy friend.  At first I was a little freaked out because you never know if dogs will be nice or aggressive, but thankfully, he just wanted to trot with us while we pedaled.  Sadly, this road was utter crapola, full of gravel and potholes and uneven, so we decided to turn around and do an out and back course instead a loop.

We also got to try out our anniversary presents.  Zliten picked us up these… walkie talkies… for lack of a better word, that attach to our helmets.  Spoiler alert: they rock my world.  Instead of spending most of our ride time shouting “WHAT” and “I can’t hear you” and “what did you call me? oh wait, you said turn left up here not you have a big rear”, we can just chat to each other like we were riding side by side.

Chipmunk to grey squirrel… can you hear me now?

Once we turned around, we hit this AWESOME tailwind.  We kept up our paceline and our speed climbed almost as fast as the temperature.  There was a (closed) bar that had sodas for sale on the honor system in a cooler out front, so we stopped and instead of a gel, I enjoyed the tastiest 1$ berry Fanta EVAR.  Biking in the country leads to fun discoveries!

We decided we had just enough time to roll up and down the Granger Dam road (adding about 6 miles), so we took some pictures at the Granger sign (as you do) and then time trialed our way back.  We spaced ourselves out every minute and busted ass down the dam road without drafting.  Strava says I got 7th place female and I know I held between 21-23 mph on my road bike, so I was pretty happy with life.  Yay bike fitness!

We quickly showered and changed and shoved turkey bacon avocado bagel sandwiches in our faces while driving and subsequently got a little lost on the way up and went about 15 minutes out of the way.  It worked out though, we found our people and our place and found out they were open later after all.  Whew!  After a jaunt around the store and a little wait, we met with our designer and finalized our cabinet order, added some granite slabs for the counter top (we shall see how that works out… but the difference in cost was 400$ vs 3000$, so we couldn’t pass that up) and some hardware and we got an INSANELY great deal.

We still have to buy some things and then also pay for it with blood, sweat, and tears, though Zliten’s parents are going to help us with a LOT of the work because they have done two kitchen redos now and are AWESOME.  I believe we still need to pick out paint, some tools to actually be able to cut granite, a backsplash (if we decide to do a backsplash and not just paint), a new kitchen faucet, a microwave with a stove vent, and probably about 20 other things that will come up, but the first big step is DONE!

Then, we went to a mexican restaurant, and I got a chicken fajita plate which was pretty yummy!  They had all sorts of salsas, which came in handy for the amazing breakfast tacos the rest of the weekend.

Oops.

We had planned to make an elaborate chicken, rice, veggies, and campfire bread feast that night, but we weren’t super hungry and were kind of exhausted so we just attempted to cook the bread as an experiment and I made some camping punch.  The punch worked out great.  The bread did NOT.  Ah well.  The guts actually were delicious but the crust was too burnt, so we’ll try it again next time for about half the cooking time.  We supplemented this void in our stomachs with dutch oven avocado oil popcorn and one tiny half smore because… camping.

I spent the evening listening to classic rock, watching the stars, and switching off reading my non-fiction Calm the F*ck Down – The Brave Triathlete sports psychology book and my Star Force space dinosaurs fiction book.  It was exactly everything I needed to, literally, calm the f*ck down after the last month and a half of CRAZY.

We stayed up way, way, way too late and subsequently stayed in bed until almost noon reading.  We started the day with a walk around the campsite and some amazing breakfast tacos with bacon, potatoes, onions, peppers, and cheese. Our ice had melted, so we hit the store for that and a few other things.  On the way back, we finally took a moment on the side of the road to poke one of the cotton bales on the farmland we had been eyeing all weekend.  Yep – even packed in tight, it’s still fluffy!  It felt just like a cotton swab.

After re-provisioning, we inflated the kayak and hit the actual LAKE part of Lake Granger.  We had planned to go all the way out to the dam (which was a couple of miles away), but once we got out of the little inlet area to more open water, the wind started to beat us up, so we just paddled in a big circle instead in the more protected water.  We mooed at cows on the shore and bopped each other with paddles and enjoyed the clouds dancing for us with the sun and we even found a lucky hat that we fished out of the water.  We logged a little over two miles of arm and shoulder work in about an hour.

For late lunch, we grilled up these ridiculous Sausage Slammer things.  This amazing abomination consists of cheddar cheese stuffed in a jalapeno stuffed in sausage with bacon wrapped around it.  We had one each and had to save the rest because we felt our hearts threaten to explode if we continued, but they were so, so delicious and decadent.

Om. Nom. Nom.

We had time for one more activity before dinner.  I had originally thought about blowing up the tube and floating in the water while my husband fished, but I felt like being a little more active.  I put on pants and shoes and took a hike by myself.  The way out was a lot slower because I stopped to take pictures of damn near everything.  I found an armadillo friend who was a little shy.  I saw lots of dragon fly sex.  I found my way to the haunted bridge in the pretty afternoon sun that makes it glow.  It was ultimately awesome.

The magical forest of scared-y dillos and bug shagging.

Stew was on the docket for dinner.  It’s an amazing meal… but it takes a long time.  Fortified from fatty fat slammers earlier and some beverages, we were plenty patient and the stew took a few hours, but it was worth it.  So much better than the crockpot.  Cooking on fire is the BEST!

Fire makes food magical… and look pretty for pictures too!

However, after two days of cooking on fire… the next morning, I had a headache the size of Texas.  I’d make the joke that it can’t be because of all the carbonated malt beverages the night before, but I know my body and it was an unreasonable pounding in my head for the amount of hops and barley soda consumed.  Either way, the best cure for a headache is water, so we pumped up the tube and Zliten attempted to feed the fish with worms while I floated back and forth between two trees and watched the clouds.

We dithered around and made another batch of breakfast tacos and packed up our things a little bit.  We almost lazed out, but we found a little patch of motivation and took off on our bikes around noon.  We decided to just circle the campsite since I didn’t know if I felt like riding one mile or twenty, and the end result was 6 miles in about 25 minutes before we stopped simply because we needed to vacate the premises.  My headache was still in force, but cycling didn’t make it worse, and everything is better on bikes.

Long weekend home away from home. 

We left the camp a little after the 2pm checkout, but it was so desolate no one minded.  After an uneventful drive home, we spent the rest of the day couchified and unpacking and doing ALL THE LAUNDRY.

While I will not claim much involvement in helping beyond moral support, over the weekend, my lovely husband fixed the outdoor shower, the hot water, cleaned the water tank, the outdoor light, switched out the propane tank, and probably a few other things I’m forgetting.  At this point, the only thing that needs to be replaced is the battery, and the rest of the purchases are then just upgrades or toys!

Camping totally makes the week before and week after a little hectic.  There’s a lot of gear and prep and unpacking and you are absolutely away from your To Do list so you’re not making forward progress.  I didn’t even get to writing, which I totally could have and maybe should have since I’m now behind on my book.  Every so often though, it’s fun to say “fuck it” to your responsibilities and it’s SO WORTH IT to have those days where you’re just playing outside and the evenings where you’re disconnected from (most) technology and really focused, present, and in the moment.

I can’t wait to go again next weekend.

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