Adjusted Reality

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

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8 reasons why being a prissy pants and a triathlete don’t mix

Triathlon is super fun and awesome, but it’s definitely not a world for someone who doesn’t like getting dirty.  Here are eight things you’ll have to get over if you want to triathlon.

A lovely long row of porta potties is a triathlete’s best friend around 6am race day…

#1 – Porta potties. You’re going to have to use them at some point.  They may not be QUITE as bad as the ones baking all day at an outdoor music festival but by the time the gun goes off, they’re usually pretty, erm, full and usually out of toilet paper.  Also, there’s not generally a place to wash your hands after.  That’s what the lake is for.

#2 – The gauntlet of urine, aka, the swim.  Speaking of the lake, the open water swim is definitely not for the weak of heart.  Besides the fact that you’re going to get hit, kicked, and shoved, you’ll also probably (accidentally) drink some of it.  And people have been peeing in there all day.  You might be swimming in a slipstream of pee at any point.

About to go swim in a lake with a non-zero amount of pee in it and I’m doing just fine, thanks!

#3 – Public indecency.  You’ll have to stick your hand down your pants to apply something called Deez Nutz or Hoohah Glide or Butt Butt’r before you bike and depending on how long you’re riding bikes, during it.  You’ll learn what a snot rocket is and how to properly do them without (regularly) getting boogers on yourself.  In the Ironman, you’ll get buck nekkid to change in front of hundreds of people in the changing tent.  If you have any modesty, go ahead and throw it out the window right now.

#4 – Anti-beauty queen. If you washed your hair every time you worked out, it would fall out.  So, get ready to accept SWEAT as a valid hair product.  Also, since you’re going to be showering at the gym (and at work) more than your house, you’ll need to keep your beauty routine short and to a minimum.  People will probably recognize you better with wet hair than dry hair after a while.

Laying in a park eating a cold cheese sandwich about 50 miles into a bike ride.  This is fine.

#5 -Jack’s utter lack of give-a-shit about appearances. You’ll get to the point where you just DO NOT CARE what you look like to anyone else.  Goggle eyes and looking like a drowned rat coming out of the swim.  Pain faces on the run.  I’ve laid down on the side of the road and shoved food in my mouth a non-zero amount of times in the last year.  You’ll walk into a restaurant sweaty in your clippy cloppy bike shoes, and full kit for a meal and a beer (though it helps to have your whole team with you there).  You’ll learn to own your spandex proudly even in inappropriate places.

#6 – Body problems.  You are going to have a lot of conversations about peeing, pooping, stomach aches, blisters, saddle sores, crotch pain, chafing, road rash, and probably other disgusting things that I haven’t even thought of.  I happily use the bathroom behind the bushes if need be.  Also, the likelihood is that sometime in your career, you’re going to poop your pants.  It’s not happened to me yet, but I’ve had a LOT of close calls so it’s probably going to happen someday.  I’ve made peace with this.

These will absolutely replace your Jimmy Choos.  Or in my case, the Shoe Carnival sale specials.

#7 – Say goodbye to cute shoes.  Heels will not be worth it anymore.  I have so many cute shoes that I just look at and sigh while I choose to wear either running shoes, flat super padded sandals, or flat boots on the daily because I cannot be arsed to walk around on sore and tired legs in anything that doesn’t feel like a pillow giving my feet a hug.

#8 – “She gets too hungry for dinner at 8”. Yep, Frankie is right.  It’s hard to coordinate meals with other people.  I need to eat, I need to eat a lot, and I need to eat right now, and I’m not going to be polite about it.  If you mess with any of these things, we’re probably going to need to have some words and you’ll see my nasty side.  Also, I’m going to be probably be picky about how healthy it is.  I want a giant side of vegetables, some whole grain options, and some protein that isn’t covered in a bunch of fat.  Unless I want the opposite of those things.  And that can flip at any moment depending on the weather, my training, or my whim.

The one thing I will never just “get over” though?  The early morning wakeups.  This priss needs her beauty sleep.

What have YOU given up for sport or fitness?

Ironman Vocabulary

I’ve trained for marathons and 70.3 races, but Ironman training is just a whole different animal.  I’ve even learned some new vocabulary words in the last month or two that I’d like to share with y’all.

Ready for a night on the town couch.

Swim pajamas – the clothes you wear either to or from swimming (or both) because you can’t be arsed to put on real clothes

Day off – just a 30 minute spin or swim.  And a weights session.  Oh, and stretching and foam rolling.

Light day – just a 30 minute spin, weights, and an hour easy run.  And stretching and foam rolling.

Doubles – two workouts a day, or a light day.

Triples – ah, that’s more normal (three workouts in a day).

Proof I don’t always wear race tees and spandex.

Dressing up – not wearing ALL spandex today

Really dressing up – my hair has no sweat in it since I have showered last, and I may or may not have actually brushed it.

Really, really dressing up – I have traded in my chapstick for lipstick.  The effort may or may not have killed me.

First snack – the snack you get while you’re making your real snack that will hold you over until your meal is ready.

Snack – something that other people would probably consider a meal, comes between first snack and mealtime.

Low Carb – only eating one source of carbs at a meal (a sandwich) instead of 3 (spaghetti with garlic bread and a brownie for dessert).

An appropriate amount of carbs during IM training… (just ignore the fat content…)

Second Meal – when you finish your dinner and track your calories and realize you need a whole extra meal or you’ll be in super huge calorie debt.

The window – the 30 minutes or less between your workout and eating.  Don’t fuck with the window.  Don’t fuck with a triathlete who is approaching the end of the window.  Best case: you’ll get snapped at.  Worst case: your finger will get snapped off.

Hangry – Hell hath no fury like a hungry triathlete.  Do not pass GO, do not collect 200$, go directly to a place which has calories available to consume.

Priorities – Having the energy to bike for 7 hours does not mean I also have the energy to leave the couch after or the next day (unless it’s for a recovery ride).

Recovery – The excuse I’m giving you as to why I’m not cleaning the house right now or going to your thing that does not involve swimming, biking, or running, and is really far away from my couch.

Workout room – A place to put all your triathlon gear.  Includes tri bike, road bike, cruiser bike, seven different helmets, ten bike tubes (some are flat and YOU TOTALLY WILL PATCH THEM LATER), a bike pump, a broken bike pump you haven’t thrown away yet, a smart trainer, a backup “dumb” trainer, a slightly janky treadmill that’s better than nothing in a pinch if there’s lightning literally striking your house repeatedly so you can’t go outside, a bunch of abandoned weights, all the bike tools, five pairs of leaky goggles that ARE JUST FINE IN THE POOL until you remember they really aren’t, 200 swim caps from races, four different single earplugs, three old backup garmins (that aren’t charged), two pairs of clip on aero bars, four yoga mats, three foam rollers, ten different flashy run and bike lights for night workouts, four wetsuits, and this nifty massager thing that you used once in 2012.

…and this is the AFTER picture, believe it or not…

Cooldown (optimal) – some easy effort for 10 mins and then 10 mins of stretching

Cooldown (time crunched) – walking to the shower still sweating and half assed stretches at your desk later.

Cooldown at a race – getting your medal, limping to the nearest curb, falling over and crying a little while trying to drink Gatorade.

D: <- this is the only caption I have for this face.

Fashion – look how my socks match my kit! See also #sockdoping

Shopping spree – ordering new running shoes a new bike kit and that really cool garmin you’ve been eyeing for months.

Shopping spree (alternate) – signing up for all the races.

#sockdoping – legal performance enhancing benefits via cycling in cool socks.

Laundry – one basket for workout clothes, one for regular clothes.  The workout clothes one fills up first, always.  Related: bike trainers make great extra drying racks.

Poor Death Star… so abused…

Optimal race hotel – close enough to walk to the race and has food and a bar within a block, aka limping distance.  Required: fridge and microwave for pre-race food and post race leftovers to eat when you wake up hangry again at 3am.

Pre race food – obnoxiously picked to be the perfect blend of carbs, protein, and has been tested and perfected over many many years to sit well in the stomach.

Post race food – my body is a fucking dumpster and I will fill it with EVERYTHING I can from the finish line to the restaurant to the bar to snacks later.

HTFU – my crotch hurts but I’m still getting on my bike for a recovery ride the day after a century because I hate my private parts and want to punish them.

#mfw riding bikes for a month straight.

Pain Free – nothing NEW hurts on me

Niggles – I’m three workouts away from a stress fracture

Injury – an appendage is LITERALLY off my body

Tired – this my normal condition daily on a good day

Exhausted – a little more tired than normal, aka, week 2 of a 3 week training block.

Knackered – I cannot understand how to make sense of the world and function right now, or most of week 3 of a 3 week training block.

Sore – Stairs and curbs are the mortal enemy of my soul.  Walking is hard.  Can you bend over and retrieve this sock for me?   …I better go for a swim/spin/easy jog to stretch things out.

1200 Calories

Listening to music tonight and got inspired…. sung to the tune of 16 Tons.  The #projectraceweight struggle is real, yo.  Enjoy!


Ohhhhh, some people say diamonds are a girl’s best friend

But a dieting woman would give it all for a fried chicken tend’

Chicken and gravy and a side of mashed

My mind is weak but hips are strong


You eat 1200 calories and what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in calorie debt

Pizza hut don’t call me cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to My Fit Foods


I woke up to a light greek yogurt breakfast and the sun didn’t shine

I counted ten thousand steps that I walked in a line

Grilled chicken and rice for lunch and veggies in a bowl

I skipped cake day, oh bless my soul


You eat 1200 calories and what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in calorie debt

McDonalds don’t call me cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to My Fit Foods


If you see me comin’ better step aside

Some other people didn’t and some other people died

I’m mad as hell and hangry as a bear

I’ll cut a bitch and I don’t care


Cuz I ate 1200 calories, and what do I get?

Another day older and deeper in calorie debt

Taco Bell don’t call me cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to My Fit Foods


Wax on, wax off.  Chopping the wood and carrying the water.  Keepin’ on keepin’ on.  That is all.  Happy weekend!


Diaries of a madwoman – day 1 of #projectraceweight

I know things will fall into place soon.  I know it gets easier…  routine, inertia, and all those types of things.  But the first few days of trying to limit calories are always ridiculously horrible and hilarious.  So, I present to you… the day 1 chronicles of #projectraceweight.


Spaceship!!! I mean raceweight!!!!

Upon waking: yeah! Time to start #projectraceweight, I’ve only been thinking about this for months.  LETS GET IT ON!

Morning – hey, I’m too busy to do anything but eat this 100 calorie greek yogurt (with a 5 day old spoon from my last yogurt that’s still sitting at my desk, yeah, I know, I’m gross).  That’s probably a good start, right?

Mid-morning: why am I biting people’s heads off and feeling irrationally angry at things?  Oh, right, I only had a 100 calorie yogurt for breakfast.

noon-thirty: turkey sandwich is LIFE.  Veggie pasta salad is EVERYTHING.  I’m sorry for the things I thought when I was hungry.  I love eating food.


Sadly, not publix.  But like, kinda the same.  With sprouted grain bread instead of magic bread.  And no magical pickles.  Ok, not the same at all. 🙁

2pm: well, fuck, why am I hungry already?  Well, knew this was going to happen for a few days.  Let’s get some decaf chai.  Yummmm.

3pm: gum is good gum is good gum is good gum is good gum is good gum is good.

4pm: why did i eat the stupid cheese on my sandwich?  That’s 70 calories, like half the can of soup I’m staring at wishing I could put in my mouth.  I wonder how many calories are in tin?

4:30pm: I ate a healthy breakfast and lunch.  Why aren’t I skinny yet?  119 days and 1 dinner to go.  Sigh…


This is the appropriate sized salad for me right now…

5pm: gum is good gum is good gum is good… fuck, it’s getting stale. *pleh*

5:14pm, 5:21pm, 5:22pm, 5:22:30pm, etc: is it time to go yeeeeeeeeet?

5:25pm: break down and grab my blackberries.  Some of them taste like they’re about to turn bad.  Wonder if a stomach bug would help me get to race weight quicker.  Decide to pick around the obviously bad ones as a compromise.

5:45pm: whyyyyyy do I have to do an errand after work?  I want to eat dinner noaaaaw.  Who’s idea was it to give up snacks?  (sigh, ME)

6pm: if the bike guy takes any longer I might go lick someone’s tires.

6:30pm: this is the best chicken I’ve ever tasted in my life.  This yogurt caesar isn’t so bad either.  I love food.  I love food so much.  This is one thing I have going for me, I love healthy food so at least I don’t hate what I’m eating.  That would be horrible!

6:45pm: I have more calories, and I’m still hungry, so another chicken patty and 10 (count them) tater tots as a treat.  Besides needing a dash more fiber, my macros are spot on without explicitly trying *throws the rockstar horns*.

7pm: ok, 1250 calories.  Done for the day.  I’ll put some lemon and stevia in this water and pretend it’s vodka and I’m sipping it on a beach somewhere, already done with this.


Yep.  Totally the same, except on my couch, from a water bottle, no booze, and no ocean to play in.  Totally the same.  (Not the same at all)

8:30pm: fuck it, let’s go to bed so I can’t see the kitchen anymore.

8:45pm: proudly put two stars on the calendar, one for me, one for Zliten, signifying that we made it through #projectraceweight day one, successfully

Today, I’m here with coffee in hand and a slightly bigger breakfast, and I’m back to the start.  1 day + 1 meal down, 118 and 2 meals to go.  Let’s get it on, day 2!

A Tale of Two Rocks

I love presents with stories.  I especially love giving them.  Anyone can buy something from a store, but something that takes some effort, or an explanation, or both, is usually my favorite.

Let’s back up to October, in Bonaire.  Every dive site is marked with these yellow painted rocks and it’s a big thing there.  We loved the rocks and mused to ourselves that our house needed to be an honorary dive site.


Then, life got all busy and we never did anything about it, but I always kept it in the back of my head that it was something I wanted to do for Christmas.  Once I finalized the plan to take eleventy million days off in December, I figured it would be no PROBLEM to get it done.

Then, you start really thinking about the logistics.  I mean, Amazon doesn’t deliver a giant rock.  That’s usually my go-to.  But there are rocks all over, right?  How could you not find a rock?  My conscience also dictated it needed to be an unintentional rock.  It couldn’t be a piece of a path or in someone’s garden.  Something piled and left somewhere on public-ish property was the only fair game.

Armed with the address of a landscaping company in case of ultimate failure, and some tips from the internet on where to find free rocks, I set off last Friday to figure this out.

Step one was a trip to Lowes.  I walked up with my paint samples and told the nice gentleman at the counter that I was painting a rock.  After getting a strange look, he advised me that I should wash the rock, use primer (which I had at home), and he set me up with the paint most likely to stay on the longest.  Solid.  As long as I could actually find the rocks, I was in business.

Then, I went on a run with a purpose.  I started at my gym, which has a jogging loop around the lake which used to be a QUARRY (internet tip #1 for finding free rocks).  I figured I’d find what I needed in 2 seconds.  I even parked in the back and had a large backpack to haul it away.  One 1k loop around and everything was either a) intentionally making a path b) too jaggy or c) too small.  Curses.

I set off thinking that the cut through between the hospital parking lot and the neighborhood I usually run in at lunch was full of rocks.  Nope.  Nary a pebble.  Still great for trail runner stops but I guess I was peeing on twigs, not rocks.  Ah well.

I spent the entire run rubbernecking all around looking for freaking rocks, oogling peoples gardens and park paths.  I headed a mile down the street to look for rocks by the train tracks I always cross over.  Just right before that, I found this random large pile of rocks on the corner.  I found a few that would possibly work, but headed across the tracks to scout further.

No dice on the railroad tracks, but I headed up the street and encountered internet tip #2 – construction.  I found this rock that was incredibly jaggy on one side, but perfectly flat on the other.  Ok, I can’t pass that up.  I heft the boulder on my shoulder (I’m guessing it was ~30 lbs?) and carry it halfway down the street and deposit it near the road by a tree.

I’m actually about a quarter mile from my office and I want to stay the HECK out of there, so I turn around to go scope out the other rock pile again.  I find a good specimen, hoist and haul that one to the road for pickup (not far, like 50 feet) and then jog the couple miles back to the gym as quickly as I can, I’ve worked hard to locate these rock and don’t want anyone to… take them?

Luckily no one else wanted perfectly plucked rocks, and I went back and picked them up, put them in the back of my car, and trasported them home.  I carefully washed both sides of my rocks, and I didn’t have much time to do anything else, so I covered them up in the side yard.

Monday, once Zliten went to work, I dug out all our paint stuff and found brushes, a stir stick, the primer, but no paint key.  Eh, screwdriver works well enough, I get the primer open and stir it.  And stir it.  And stir it.  It’s super clumpy still.  I take one stroke and try it on the rock and… it’s a rock.  With tons of bumps and crevices.  So it’s fine.  Whew!

I figure I might be able to knock this thing out in one day since the primer says it dries in one hour.  After coating this rock with white primer, I went inside and magnanimously gave it TWO hours, and DRAT!  It was still wet.  Two more hours later, it was dry enough, but Zliten was on his way home.  So, I flipped it over, splashed the primer on the second side the best I could, and just as I was going inside, the garage door started to open, and here I am in paint clothes with a brush.

I yelped, ran and hid the brush, and excused myself to the bathroom (to scrub scrub scrub and quickly change) and he was none the wiser.  The only thing I forgot to do was put back a brewing bottle and a bottle of grain alcohol we hide in the garage some some dumbass doesn’t saddle up to our bar and pour a drink with it.  Zliten noticed, and I joked that I got really drunk and sobered up really quick.  He let that one go.

One day down, two more to go.  I officially told him the side yard was off limits for a few days, which piqued his interest, but I threw him off talking about tools and things I might randomly build.  This was not in my nature, but I’ve taken on weirder hobbies, so again, it was let go.  Whew.

Tuesday morning, the fucking rocks were still not dry.  They were in the shade and not getting any breeze under the covering.  So, I changed into paint clothes, and hauled them into the main yard to sit in the sun.  Finally, after baking in the sun all morning into the afternoon, they were ready for their coat of yellow paint on side 1.  I moved them BACK to the covered area in the side yard, painted them, and checked them right before sunset – they were still very wet.  Curses.

I’m now hoping that one thick coat will do it, because I’m out of time to keep flipping these things over and over.

Yesterday morning, I went to the rocks and OF COURSE the yellow is still soggy.  So, again, I change into paint clothes and drag the rocks out into the main yard again, into a spot that got the most sun.  I went out for a run, came back, and yaaaaaaaay, they had dried.  Amazing what some sun can do.  I flip them over and paint them and cross my fingers the sun bakes them quickly so I can finish and give them to Zliten tonight and don’t have to haul the fuckers back to the side yard for one more night.

The 80 degree Austin temps might suck for running, and be a little unseasonable for Christmas, but you know what they’re great for?  Drying yellow paint on rocks.  Around 4:30, I checked, and they were totally dry enough, so I got the black paint to do the numbering and lettering.  I got a bit of a scare when I couldn’t find a small brush, but after digging for it, I found one that was small enough.


That dried quickly enough, and since we planned to be outside and grill dinner last night, I knew that I had to give it to him right away.  I threw a dropcloth over it as he was coming home and as soon as I had an opening in the “how was your day” chatter, I was like “present”?  I dragged him out to the backyard as it was getting dark and told him to “unwrap” his present.

He was totally surprised and love it.  Probably the most effort I’ve ever gone through to give a present, but I’m not pissed at it at all because it was an adventure the whole way, made a great story, and was mostly EFFORT intensive, not going around to a bunch of stores looking for something to buy.

And with that, you’ve come to the conclusion of my tale of two rocks.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and all that jazz to you and yours.

Question of the day: what is the most unique present you’ve ever received or given?

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