Adjusted Reality

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

Tag: olympictri

Gatorbait Tri

Maybe it’s a lot more about what goes on in the noggin’ than you realize.


I went into this race with just about the opposite outlook of last weekend.  I didn’t have any goal times.  Truly and honestly.  Sometimes I say that when I actually do have secret goals, but for this day I simply didn’t.  I just wanted to have a fun day.  I knew that I was definitely past my prime this season, and I just wanted to have a positive last day of being a triathlete for a while.

I slept an average of 10 hours per day this week and did one hour on the trainer, 30 mins in the pool, and a 30 min run.  I was trying to save every ounce of juice/motivation/oomph I had left.  Finally the day before the race I finally started feeling a little “oomph” again and excited for the race, which was a good sign.  I hadn’t felt anything like that since the X-50, so there’s that.


We drove up the afternoon before, got our packets (cool shirt – I have named it Gatorboobs), ate dinner at Denny’s (club sandwich, with whole grain rice and a salad – asked for no mayo, got extra mayo, was too hungry to send it back and ate it anyway), located the race site, drove the bike course (gorgeous! scary hill!), and then settled into the hotel to try and sleep.

I kinda had the shittiest night of sleep ever (the freeway was SO LOUD for some reason), but I still woke up feeling ready to rock (thank the dear fluffy lord for all that sleep I got this week).  Normal bathrooming, purple stuff for caffeine, a cliff mojo pb pretzel bar, and the show was on the road.

Transition opened at 5 and it was open racking, so while Zliten wanted to be there by 4:30am at the latest, we compromised and ended up there at 5:10.  Now, at 5:10 at Pflugerville, the place is frikkin’ hopping.  5:10 here – we were the fifth car parked and actually ended up as the FIRST TWO people in transition.


Well, considering we podiumed in overall transition punctuality, the rest of the race was gravy, right?

All the normal things followed – it’s sort of become an involuntary rhythm now.

  1. Bring most things to transition, rack bike.
  2. Bathroom
  3. Lay out transition stuff.
  4. Run warmup, take some pictures
  5. Bathroom
  6. Finish set up, dork around a bit
  7. NEW: test water to determine if I want to wear wetsuit.  Decide to go without.*
  8. At last possible moment, go back into transition and fill bottles (try to save as much ice as possible) and turn on garmin.
  9. Usually at the lost possible moment – this time, right before seeding – bathroom again.


*The water temp was 77, and it was the first time in the history of the race it was wetsuit legal. I waffled back and forth and decided to go without it. I never get hot in my wetsuit, but I don’t think I’ve ever swam in over 75 degree water, and they weren’t providing help out of the suit, so I figured the time I’d save would probably be eaten up getting the suit off. Not a lot of people wore them so I think I made the right choice.


Soon we were lining up and trying to seed ourselves and I tried to find around 2:15/100m (there was no signs).  I saw two other people in my age group in front of me, so I knew there were at least three of us, and knew who to look out for…  Soon, it was my turn and they took down my number and said “Ready, Set, Go”.  The lack of airhorn was kinda anticlimactic but I’m sure we would have gotten sick of airhorns every 10 seconds or so.


Time trial starts are the bomb diggety. Besides the running start into a very rocky lake (ouch ouch ouch), it was so nice and not washing-machiney even if they didn’t get the seeding right.


I felt very strong, though I spaced out during part of it and realized I was just going cruising pace during the middle. Oops. Passed a lot of people though. The only annoying part was the last ~200m, I was finishing the same time as the last sprinters, who were doing things like backstroke and breaststroke and swimming two wide talking to each other (???).

I thought I was closer to 32-33, but heard from people the swim was long. I’m ok with it. I left the water feeling warmed up and refreshed.

Swim time: 35:50 (2:23/100m) 3/5 AG


Did the big girl thing without my sandals (3 for 3 this year), and only regretted it a little once we got to the pavement.  Rolled only with my bike shoes, socks, helmet, sunglasses, and garmin – yeah, I took the time this time to put it on my wrist in transition.  I asked for the 910 for Christmas this year, which means probably end of the year tris I’ll chance taking this one in the water, I just don’t want to have to replace it right now.  Totally uneventful and quick.

T1 time: 2:03.  2/5 AG


This bike course was definitely not for being super fast. Quite a few decent hills, and one killer hill (called heartbreak hill). It was an out and back, so I figured what I have to struggle up, I get to bomb down later, right?


First 3 miles was really for spinning out the legs, then some good climbing miles 4-6, got up said evilevilevil hill (owowowow) without having to dismount and walk up (though I really wanted to – and I saw lots of people doing it), but I wasn’t prepared for just how shredded my legs would be after that. It took me the next mile or two to be able to handle shifting out of granny gears. The hill repeats I’ve done on the trainer definitely helped here, but I just can’t simulate 50% grade (not really) or whatever this crap was.


On the map and driving the course, the back half seemed easy, but I was flying a little less than I expected (probably due to shredded legs). I finished the killer hill at 13.3mph average (yeah…) and made a goal to get to at least 15 by the turn around. I only made it to 14.5.  And then… the headwind.  Oops.  Yeah, guess that super happy fun time bomb-the-second-half party was not going to happen to the magnitude I wanted.  Ah, well.

I alternated between head down and working and just in sheer awe of how damn pretty the scenery was on the way back. Stupid, stupid gorgeous. It was impossible to do anything but smile on that course even going up and down crazy hills.

When I finally got to the downhill, THREE cars pulled out in front of me, so I freaked out and rode the breaks down the first half until they were gone. I still got enough speed to scream like a little girl. I have yet to turn on my garmin again, but Zliten clocked 36.2 mph down it. Yikes.


I found myself really dehydrated through the bike. I drank my full aero bottle by mile 9, and finished my downtube bottle before 20. I ate half a pack of chews and just couldn’t fathom anything else that wasn’t liquid, so that’s the end of calories.  Definitely not enough.  I really need to remember to go for jelly beans when I can’t stomach anything else (since thats what I use as indoor bike fuel, I’m pretty sure I can get those down when nothing else works).

I was ready to be off the bike once I got to transition, but I was pretty happy with the ride. ~16 mph on a hilly course is not too bad for right now, I’ll take it.

Bike time: 1:32:27.  Official results clock me at 15.6 mph, but for 24.5 miles (as the race advertised, and my garmin got AT LEAST that much), it was 15.9.  Counting it. 4/5 AG


I’m not sure what wizardry happened here, because I actually had a fail – the bike racks were a little short, and had issues getting my bike back on it and ended up having to fiddle with that a bit.  Everything else went super quick though and I was out and running in no time flat.  No gravity there!

T2 time: 37 seconds!!!  1/5 AG


Got on the run and I had some legs, but not super fast ones. I decided not to freak out about what the watch was saying (high 10s) and just run. We started up a huge hill, then two dam loops.

Out was a flat but extremely rocky for the first half of the loop, down a steep hill, and then a long, gradual uphill to the turn around, and the the opposite on the way back – a gradual downhill which was a nice relief, but a steep uphill I walked both times. There was no point not to, I got winded power walking it, and then the relief of the flat again.


The scenery there didn’t disappoint. To one side was this gorgeous greenbelt, to the other, the gorgeous lake. When I could take my eyes off the rocks for fear of tripping, it made me happy to be running there.

I finished up two loops, holding a consistent pace. I couldn’t get my leggies turning over any faster, but I wasn’t dying to slow down. I was hoping I could do the last part a little faster and gain some ground there, so I just maintained.  I kept looking for the girls I had seen earlier in my age group – one was a little less than half a lap ahead of me, and I saw someone with a 39 on their calf blow by me the first lap and I couldn’t hang.  I figured at that point I was out of podiuming because if I saw two people in my AG that close, there had to be someone who had, like, already finished before I got off the bike.

Nutrition note: Had a half strength gatorade in my handheld and probably put down 3-4 cups of cytomax on the course (between my mouth and on my head). Cytomax is nasty but it kept me going.  I was super thirsty off the bike and finished my handheld by mile 1.25 and lost time because I filled up every aid station, but it kept me vertical and running consistent pace, so, it was worth it.  I had chews but couldn’t even.  Again, I should get this figured but I don’t think it was much of a factor unless I could get my stomach to tolerate a dose of caffeine early on the run, I didn’t feel HUNGRY or unfueled.

I thought the last mile was a loop around the parking lot, but it was a loop around the PARK – through grassy areas where we had to follow cones since there was no path. My poor little brain was so confused it was all I could do to not get lost, playing the game – where’s the cone, where’s the cone, where’s the cone? It was marked well – it was just the end of a 3 hour effort, y’know.  Once I hit the sweet pavement again I accelerated a bit and then I could see the finish and I passed a few people on the way and then we turned in and the finish line was there and I crossed and was SO HAPPY.


Run time: 1:02:28, 10:35/mile, 4/5 AG

They let me sit for a second (I couldn’t quite brain how to get my safety pin holding my timing chip on) and gave me a water and then another and then I went and cheered other people in until Zliten finished and we checked results and OMG I got my first podium in a triathlon in which I was not 3rd of 3 by like, an hour.


Total time: 3:13:23, 3/5 AG

Transitions count people!!! Also, it was definitely a close one for my AG placing.  1st beat me by 10 mins, 2nd beat me by 3 mins, and I beat 4th by 1 min (5th was like me at my first Olympic tri – over 4 hours). I could have fathomed being in any one of those spots depending on what sort of day I had, and I’m very happy with 3rd.  Love these tiny little races where I get to feel like I have a chance to actually race for a medal, heh!

Really, really happy with this. My goal was to go out and have fun, and I so did. Plus, I had a pretty dang good race result and even got a 3rd place to boot.  This was the perfect way to slide into offseason, feeling like I was completely and totally happy with the last race result, and no regrets about the day (or need for immediate vengence).  I kinda liked racing back to back weekends, and I’d consider doing it again.

And now… offseason.  I’ve been not-an-athlete for about 3.5 days now and I’m loving it.  The most strenuous thing I’ve done in the last few days is walk the aisles at Costco.  I know the hunger will come back, but for now, I’m enjoying being a normal human.

Smart and Fierce

I’ve taken a few cracks at 5ks over the years.  It certainly is not my best or favorite distance, but I do have a bit of love for it (although when I am in straight distance mode it’s definitely love/hate).  It was my first race distance.  You can pretty much run one every weekend and it takes very little physical recovery, so not having a good day at one doesn’t mean you paid a billion dollars and trained for months to be disappointed.  There is that thing about all the pain of a marathon condensed down into 20-some minutes which sucks but it goes away quickly when it’s over (unlike a marathon), so there’s something to look forward to.


Indulge my memory lane.

My first race (Feb 09), I wanted to beat 30 minutes.  I hit 27:48.  I was stoked, and hooked.

My second race (May 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes.  I ran 27:29 in the rain and was a little disappointed, but happy with a PR.

My third race (Aug 09), I wanted to beat 26 minutes again, and ended up with 26:31.  A pretty good PR.

My fourth race (May 10), I wanted to beat 25, and I show 25:10 as my time.  However, I still question that this result (it wasn’t chip timed, I didn’t have a garmin yet, and both Zliten and I had some really incredible times) and honestly consider 26:31 my PR (until I beat it someday…).

Then I really started focusing on longer stuff.  I ran more 5ks, but never really trained specifically for them.  My results were: 27:51, 28:26, 29:16, 27:58, 29:44, and 29:46, from 2010 to 2012 (I ran no 5ks last year).

My triple brick times of miles in the 7s and low 8s got me questioning how close I was to my 5k PR, and I decided to go out and try it last week to disastrous results due to many factors and ended up with a result of 29:31.  This week, I decided to remove some of the crap that went wrong and see what I had.

I picked a course that was around the house, pretty flat, no gravel, a little earlier (though the heat was still a factor – high 70s and huuuuumid), and I felt way less burnt and tired.  Without the normal caffeine and buzz and other people at a race, I was able to pull out a 27:40 – which is right in the middle there of all my 5k results and almost 2 minutes faster than last week.  I’m ok with that.  If I could somehow pull out an 8:55 average this weekend, I would be more than stoked.

I’m feeling the inklings of that race hunger back this week.  It took two weeks of slack-assing (5.5 hours of training two weeks ago, 7 hours last week), but I’m starting to feel a bit of the butterflies about standing on that beach at Pflugerville and going to hurt myself real bad for about 90 minutes and see what I’m made of here and now. My running has gotten speedier and less labored this week without really trying, so that means a little bit of the funk has lifted, at least.

Hopefully taper this week (read: pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last 2 weeks) will further send me into the race anticipation zone.  And yeah, I know if this is having to be forced, it’s time to end the season.  12 days and counting.

So, as for Sunday, it’s really hard for me to talk strategy, because there is only one way I’ll be happy – laying it all out on the line and PRing this race, and I’ve raced it well the last two years.  I’m ready for the unicorns and rainbows.  This is home turf, I know every inch of the course since I train there all the time, and I’m going out there to hurt.


Hurting on the swim means swimming strong and aggressively, not being afraid to get in a decent spot in the pack, and pushing through that suck that is swimming 500m fast.  I’ve swam around 11:30 both years, I really think I can beat that.

Hurting on the bike means pushing the flats FAST, trying not to lose too much ground on the hills, don’t get comfortable behind slow people (my wave is pretty late in the day and I spend the entire time passing people – confidence boosting, yes, but also is annoying). 18.1 mph is my best here (last year).  While I’d love to beat it, I also think it’s going to be a challenge to do (my watch kept reading 15mph erroneously, so I kept going faster because I was upset at it) so and I’m going to need to hammer this to do it.

Hurting on the run means staying cool (frozen handheld), and pushing that lap around the lake as strategically close to barf-tastic as possible.  I’m hoping to see a lot of 8s on my garmin, or at the very least low 9s.  28:07 was my best here 2 years ago (and if I remember correctly, it’s a little short of the 3 miles they advertise) and I think I can beat that if I’m smart and fierce.  I think today’s double brick runs of 1.67 miles finally helped me dial in 5k race effort so I don’t fizzle boom in the middle.

PRing also means quick transitions, so I’m trying to go as minimal as possible (no bike gloves, sleeves, etc, though I’m not ready to give up my socks or put my bike shoes on my bike just yet) to save time.  And I need to practice those this week so I don’t succumb to transition gravity like at the X-50.

Also, attempting to rest a lot, recover, ward off the tireds, not do stupid stuff like stay up too late or have too much fun.  Two more weeks.  Light, tunnel, and all that.


Eating stuff: After 2 weeks of tracking and caring, I’m back to eating a decent amount of good stuff.

  • In general, I’m eating between 1500-2000 calories per day (had one weekend day at 2600, oops, but baby steps).  This seems to be about perfect for ~7 hours of activity a week.  I’ll have to dial this down a bit (or just be more active in fun ways) during offseason, but it’s good for now.
  • Since my activity level is less, I’m counting grains a different way.  I’m using that category for grains/starches and counting a serving of potatoes, beans, or corn there too.  That way, I’m keeping the excess carbs that I’m not out torching to a minimum.
  • My weight seems to be stabilitized between 176 and 178.  I’m a little sad that I can’t seem to crack into and stay in the lower 170s, but all I can do is keep trying, right?
  • I did kinda screw up and get Costco Pizza, but I ate four slices of it over 2 meals, and I think I’m no worse for wear.  Pizza just sounded SO SO good!
  • Trying to cut back on beer and drink liquor instead.  I haven’t completely given up the Ruby Redbird, but I’m drinking it more sparingly.  It’s definitely saving me calories… and I’m finding less drinks gets me tipsier!  Win win! 🙂

Other stuffs:

I was prepared and ready to run my Savage Worlds story, but we didn’t have enough people that night.  Boo.  It’s ok, because I know I’m ready next time, and we got to play Zombie Munchkin instead.  Although I didn’t win.  Boo x2.  Or braaaaaaaains.


Celebrated National Running Day by 2 gorgeous post-dark miles after the trainer.  High temps are so much more tolerable without the death star in the sky.

Took one of my first post-Saturday workout naps.  Usually I’m way too riled up after, but a 5k time trial just knocked us both out.

Went bra shopping and somehow I went UP a cup size in the last few years?  Not sure how that happened… I expected to go up in the band because of swimming, but cup size?  Anyone want some boob?  Apparently I have plenty to go around…

Got to swim (both paddle around and laps) outside and it was glorious.

My gym cut their hours AGAIN, this time with no notice, and now they’re only open until 8pm on all weekdays and 4pm weekends.  This is the final nail in the coffin, it’s not if we’re moving gyms, it’s when (maybe time it just right to coincide with season starting again in August to save money).


Had a fun night out celebrating a birthday with friends at the Spider House.  We hung out with Bill Clinton the cat (which is what we dubbed him, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his name), and Peanut the Pug (pictured above).


And, now, we’ll take our smiley selves and try to get through the week happy, rested, and psyched for Pfluuuuuuger!

On the way, I have a volunteer appreciation dinner, a company boat trip, and a birthday party to navigate.  I often like to endure moderation in moderation, but race week is probably not the best week to throw caution to the wind there.


It Can’t Rain All The Time

As a moody, brooding teenager, The Crow was one of my favorite movies.  It had all the elements of awesome – sticking it to the man, industrial music, gothiness and leather pants, and lots of cursing.  However, the song I listened to on repeat often was It Can’t Rain All The Time.


I still get my gothy out sometimes, but usually it’s just Halloween…

I had a really, really terrible training week.  Tuesday was the perfect, perfect day to run and I had it scheduled but I couldn’t drag myself outside.  You don’t understand, it wasn’t laziness, it wasn’t just being tired (but there was that), it was like this mental block.  Best I could do was the trainer.  I got out for 4 whole miles Wednesday, and rode the trainer at night.  Actually felt like a training day.  Thursday, I got up and eeked out 6 miles (which were actually decent, but took FOREVER to get going) before I shut it down for the week again with the lack of motivation and just couldn’t face the pool, the road, even the trainer.

I figured I was saving it all for the weekend.  I didn’t even have anything lengthy planned, but a feat of strength speed – trying to see how close I am to my 5k PR.  Let’s just say it didn’t go well.  I’ve ran about the same pace in half marathons.  I made about five mistakes:

1. Lack of motivation to get up, like I had all week, put us outside starting after 10am, which Saturday meant no breeze and mid 80s.  I was sweating standing still.

2. Y’know that one day of the month where you have no energy and feel awful due to cramps and hormones and whatever?  Yeah, that was this morning.

3. Trying to PR at Lake Pflugerville is like running on quicksand for me.  I’ve learned to love the crushed trail for easy runs, but running fast on it, I feel like my feet are slipping every step.  They don’t grip it like pavement.

4. To add to the 80s and no breeze, this route has ZERO shade.

5. We forgot to hydrate properly before (it’s just a 5k, right?) and bring enough water.

I was a little bummed with the result, but the slight sensitivity I had all day to temperature made me realize that I’m glad I backed off a little.  I don’t need to burn it all on a training day and end up with heat sickness like I had last summer.

Instead of getting depressed about it, “It Can’t Rain All The Time” popped in my head and I realized two things:

One: 5k’s are great because you could feasibly race one every weekend and recover pretty quickly.  So next Saturday, I’m going to give it another go.  Closer to sunrise.  On pavement.

Two: While the 29:31 is up there with some of my worst standalone 5k race finishes ever, it would be one of, if not my best triathlon 5k split ever.  Considering I was already tired starting, and it was balls hot, it replicated the conditions quite well.  That provides some silver lining.


What’s a little more concerning to me is this lack of motivation and fixing it.

Me, sportily, I really and truly am about 1 week past where I need season to end and break to begin.  It’s hard to get up in the morning, hard to get on the bike or to the pool at night, and I’m dragging myself to training a lot of the time in the last few weeks (minus the last week where I just didn’t show up half the time).

The solace is that a) I feel good once I get going so I’m not physically over-trained (minus the 5k) and b) I only have this week and next week, which is a week for taper, and then two races and I get the break I need.  Light, meet tunnel.  I’m not having the overall freakouts (omg, how I am going to make it through all this), which is good, but there is a lot of half assing or skipping sessions.  The exception seems to be the trainer.  The only reason I’m able to make myself trainer with any intensity is that I can put on TV and convince myself it’s not that much different than being on the couch.

I’m pretty happy with the length I’ve been able to string this latest season along without more than a week break/second week easy after races (Jan 2013-now).  I’ve also measurable and solidly improved in all 3 disciplines.  It’s nice that I am really and truly just showing the signs of burnout now, but it’s definitely rearing it’s ugly head just a few weeks too early.

My focus these next two weeks is to get hungry to race again.  Right now I have to realize it’s not time to pile on the volume even though I want to cram just one more solid workout in before the races, before offseason, before I lose fitness, before whatever.  I’ve grown as much as I’m going to grow as an athlete right now without a little rain (rest).  However, I need to remember, it won’t rain all the time.

Switching Focus:

My plans for offseason are as follows…

1. Run 5k twice.  Fast, slow, outside, inside, whatever.  Put feet in front of the other fast enough not to be walking for approximately one hour a week split up into two sessions.  I really think a full month off running will do bad things and I’m scared of completely losing this nice base I have.  From what I have read – just a little is much better than none.

2.  Weights twice a week.  The other component to not completely losing fitness.  Lift heavy things, and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to hold back because I have to also do x workout after and then x in the morning.

3.  Probably not get up before work to do workouts much.  Aka – enjoy lots of sleep.

4. Be active a few other times a week, but do what sounds fun.  Kayaking, SUPing, ice skating, climbing, roller skating, walking to the store, whatever.

5.  Nothing that would qualify as long distance workouts.  Unless it is TRULY in the spirit of fun (a slow bike ride meandering around all day, etc).

6.  Cleaning up my damn eating.


Number 6 is key.  I know it’s not a true offseason if you don’t get a bit fat and lazy, but my eating right now is completely out of whack.  That was the first sign it was getting to the end of my motivational rope – the 4-6 weeks nothing has been off limits, in terms of food choices or portions.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much I felt like.

By and large, the biggest percentage of what went in my mouth was healthy food because that’s what I keep around and that’s what I like.  But slowly 90/10 slipped to 80/20… and then over Memorial Day weekend I forgot what vegetables and fruit tasted like.

It is time.  This last week, I tracked my food and assessed diet quality.  No rules, no limits, just step #1, being, actually be accountable for what I ate.  Honestly, it wasn’t too, too bad in terms of calories, but the diet quality left something to be desired.  Baby steps.  I’m going to actually get on the scale this week sometime to assess where we are with that as well.

I’m going to continue this until after season ends.  Then, I’m going to get all diet quality on this mother, but I’ll save that for another post.

And, for added randomness, I give you cool stuff May!

Racing Texasman in the blistering heat


I got to go see Warhorse care of Yelp and Texas Perfoming Arts.  It was spectacularly awesome!


Distance PR for outdoor swimming: 2.75 miles

Impromptu BBQ party and bush cutting and gorilla suit happy fun times (I love my random crew of people)


Birthday Crab Boil for our neighbor’s birthday!


Distance PR for outdoor riding: 70 miles


Had one of those nice long chatty, easy runs around the like where it feels like just a long walk with friends.  I haven’t had one of those in a while since I usually get antsy and push the pace.

Volunteering for Cap Tex Tri at the packet pickup was a LOT of fun.  Talking to all sorts of athletes – pro to newbies, and got a good dose of race energy.  So, so glad we didn’t volunteer the day of (it was pouring rain).


Having our friends from Denver in town over Memorial Day weekend kicked ass.  We got the gang back together two days in a row and played games, drank beers, ate good food, and had a blast.


New blender means a lot more blendy drinks.  This is a good thing (I think).


Lotsa good food, both batch cooked, and new Costco finds.

Talking to a bunch of teenagers about getting into the tech industry.  I love to talk, and they seemed geniunely interested about me sharing my experiences and wisdom gained in the last 13 years.

Game Jam! Work set aside 3 days for us to work on a side project, and I got to team up with my husband.  We never get to work together because of the married couple stigma, and we spent 3 days making a kick ass board game.  There are actually some pretty cool prizes for the winners, and it will be really cool to see what everyone did!


And, because it’s Texas, here’s the random wandering cow picture taken right outside the steakhouse.

With that, I’ll leave you – send me good mojo thoughts or leave me a comment telling me what you do to get your mojo back in a pinch!

Wanderlust and Waning Focus

This post goes all over, you have been warned. 🙂

I have had so many different travel-related webpages open on my browser in the last few weeks.  These include…

  • An all inclusive dive resort in Roatan, Honduras
  • A groupon for New Zealand + Fiji
  • A Bahamas diving video
  • Stuff on tours in Peru, Bangkok, Costa Rica, probably other places I’m not thinking of.
  • Trips to Europe – London/Paris, Italy/Greece, etc
  • Stuff for our Portland/Rockaway Beach/Santa Barbara trip in a few months
  • Potential cruises out of Florida in December after the marathon
  • Potential trip to South Padre island instead of one of those exotic places in October.

I’ve got some serrrrrious wanderlust right now for some of this.


The problem is I’ve been to some stellar places already and want to go back, too.  It is seriously not fair that there are so many cool places around the world to check out and so little vacation time, and some of them take sooooo long to get to (Australia, I’m looking at you :P).

I love my job, I love my house, I love my life, but I think if I had the opportunity to pick up and go travel for a year and could do something productive with my time (write a travel blog/book? take pictures and sell them? host a tv show at remote locations? find something that I could work at remotely?), and could survive monetarily, Zliten and I would just go do it.

I’m sure it is partially that tri season is winding down for the year and it’s close to offseason.  I didn’t feel the need for it until about a week ago, when I realized that I’m pretty tired mentally and my body is taking longer to come back from this race than the others this year.  I definitely have one more quick sharpening of the knife in me to try and bust out some PRs at the Sprint and Olympic distance next month, but I’m really glad I’m taking a month off after to refresh the energy and motivation stores.


I’ve been able to prolong this season quite a bit because I have been smart about taking time off after each major race, but it’s finally catching up with me in some not so good ways.

I’ve lost motivation in the dietary department, I have definitely given into the junk food lately, and while it’s not majorly manifesting on the scale just yet, it will if I don’t quit this shit.  I’m not tracking calories and I’m not tracking diet quality, and that means I ate things like pizza and breadsticks and cake and not-whole-wheat tortillas and chips and dip this weekend, not to mention a double digit amount of drinks over Saturday and Sunday.  I am finding it easier to eat crap because I’m not accountable.

I’ve found this week that I’m finally, actually curious about my calorie intake again instead of not giving a fuck, so I think after memorial day I’ll be back on the straight and narrow.  I was giving myself through the end of tri season, but I think I’m going to be ready sooner.  I definitely didn’t want this junkfoodarama to overlap with the off season where I’m not doing much, lest I see the scale jump.

However, waning motivation does not mean a lack of training.  I’m still pretty motivated there after a week of slackitude after the race.  Since we have some time in between the last race and the next one, we wanted to try two “feats of strength” in terms of distance.

1. Swim 5k in open water.

I’ve swam just over the iron distance before (2.45 miles) last year but we wanted to do a full 5k/5k (swim then run).  I kept about a 40 min/mile pace pretty solid and felt fine, but I saw Zliten head in before the last short lap I needed to do so I called it at 2.75 in about 1h 54 min.  Personal distance record!  We were short on time so we did not run.  I wasn’t too pooped right after, but I felt a deep tired for the rest of the weekend from it (this was 6 days after racing the x-50, so that was probably part of it).


2. Bike 100 miles outside.  I’ve done 110+ miles on the trainer twice, but have yet to ride more than 64 miles outside.  We got going, and my legs were just shredded from the get go from the first week back at full volume.  We stopped at 55 miles to take a rest and I ate so much food (a whole orange, half of a sandwich, and so many cheetos – and I had been fueling on the bike with blocks) and got back on the bike – it was hot, we were miserable, and we agreed that a personal distance record was enough, we didn’t have to hit the 100, so we called it at 70.  I was not prepared to hurt that badly to get to triple digits.

So, while we’ve gone further than we have before (yay!), we fell short of both goals (boo!).  It was for the best.  I’ll have to keep chipping away at riding my bike a long time and maybe rest a little more before the next attempt – I’d done about 7 hours last week already and was sort of sore and tired already going in, so that didn’t help.

I’m not dumb enough to try to go run super long like 20 miles (talk about some serious recovery time, especially since my comfort zone is only around 10-13 miles), though we do have plans to “run long” with a friend who was flirting with the 20 mile distance, I’m also prepared to cut it any time after 10 that I feel like I would be overdoing it to go further. I hope.

I’m spending this one last week of volume  (20 miles running, about 5k swim, ~125 bike miles, and 2 weights sessions), and then next week decrease the volume a bit and up some intensity to prepare for shorter, faster efforts.

The rest of the weekend (besides the epic bike ride) was for relaxing.  Zliten and I spent the day ordering a pizza, watching triathlon videos, hanging on the patio when it cooled off, drinking beers and blendy drinks, watching Rocky Horror around midnight (it had been a while) and then (a little drunkenly) singing unofficial karaoke.

Sunday, we did slept in and did chores and then went to our next door neighbor’s house for a crab boil.


It was as spectacular as it looks, and it was a great way to wind down the weekend.

In other news – I got to give a talk with some other folks here at work to a group of girls who attend a technology focused school.  It was really bizarre to squish my 13 years of industry experience into a little 5 minute introduction (and, um, most of the other folks took the not telling their life story route, so mine was WAY the longest, what can I say, I like to talk).  It was also really cool being able to impart some of the knowledge I wished I had, like:

1. Go ask for what you want.  Be bold.  If people brush you off, go ask more people.  Be polite, be patient, but keep telling people what you want to do and asking for help getting there.

2. Negotiate your salary.  Don’t take the first offer if it’s lower than you want.  Men tend to negotiate.  Women tend to settle.  There is usually a range of salaries for positions, so it’s rare that it’s their final offer.

And also sharing how it used to be a big bummer for girls in the industry, like when i first got my first job, I got gawked at a lot.  It was really cool to be a part of, and they seemed pretty interested, and not just because we gave them cookies, so it was a great Friday morning.

So, what’s up in the future tense?

The one last feat of strength (speed?) we have left is to go run a standalone 5k sometime between now and before the Lake PF tri.  I KNOW Zliten can PR his (his half marathon pace is speedier than the last 5k he ran), and I’m probably pretty close (26:31 is mine from YEARS ago, the best I’ve done recently is 27:58, and that was in 2012), so we’re going to give this a try (probably just on our own, not a race).  Mcmillian thinks I can at least get close to a PR with my most recent mile time (and that was off the bike), but we’ll see.


Got some good new food from Costco that is rocking my world.  I know prepared stuff is not as good as cooking myself, but that whole waning motivation thing… yeah.  The fish burgers, the chicken skewers, and the veggie/quinoa bowls are fabulous.  I’m just trying to not eat them too fast.

This week, I’ve taken down about 50 quality trainer miles on the bike, 3 fast running miles (but lots more planned this week), and as of this evening, I’ll have finished my two swims and weights sessions for the week.  Besides some more spinning when I can fit it in, the rest of the week is about my love right now, running.  I’m ready for it to swing that way.  I did such a good ab workout I’ve been playing the “cramps or ab soreness” game where I have to ice my lower abs at night to fall back to sleep.  Bleh.

This will be a busy 3 day weekend.  Saturday, we plan to do said long run with a friend and then go hit up Barton Springs for either a real swim or just an “ice bath” paddling around.  Then, we’re traveling down south to hang out with some friends, and the agenda is smoking pork belly, beer, and wine.

Sunday, we volunteer at packet pickup for the Cap Tex Tri (which we’re NOT doing) and then we’re hosting a BBQ with our friends from out of town and expect to make use of my new blender for margaritas, eat tacos, sing karaoke, and play some cards against humanity.

Monday, I think we’ll try to get some trainer time, but other than that, I expect to do jack and shit.  Looking forward to a lot of fun this weekend!

…and I think that’s all the random I got.  I’ll be back soon with, uh, probably more random.

Question: if you work remotely, what do you do?  Is it full time regular (aka, with benefits, PTO, like working in an office) or contract/part time?  Where would you most like to work remotely from?

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