Adjusted Reality

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

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Jack’s Generic Sprint Tri – All Was Given

Taking time off from triathlon is always a leap of faith.  What happens when you go back?  What if you forget how to race?  What if you suddenly suck at it, or it’s not fun?  What if you have so much caffeine that you suddenly blast off into outer space?  These questions and more will be answered in this post…


Jack’s Generic two years in a row has proved that #offseason over summer is a really great thing and five weeks is definitely not long enough to lose enough fitness to care about.

It was a clash of things over the week:

  • Rested legs vs lack of training. (obviously)
  • Crappy sleep during the week vs AMAZING race night sleep. I was at over 4 hours slept debt for the week against my 8-per night minimum, but I fell asleep at 7:45 and slept almost 9 hours Saturday night.  Unheard of race day sleep!
  • Obsessing over the race vs not even thinking about it.  It really didn’t hit me I was racing until I picked up my packet.  I didn’t lay my stuff out until after dinner on Saturday.  I didn’t type up or think about goals for it.
  • Being underfed vs being a few lbs lighter.  I had been at the lower calorie range for the last few weeks, but I was ~5 ish lbs lighter than when I raced last season.

My enthusiasm wasn’t all there this week.  Just like last year, I wondered “why the hell did I sign up for this race?”, because who races well after 5 weeks of slacking?  But, Saturday, I felt a twinge of “yay race” when I picked up the packet.  Coupled with the amazing sleep and the fact that I ingested the proper amount of caffeine on race day morning (see above), I was peppy and happy and had the thought that I was just ready to go for racing hard, whatever that happened to be that day.

Pre race stuff: ate kind bar (going to switch over to more carbs, but I haven’t tried it before AM workouts yet so stuck with what I knew), had purple stuff, set up transition, pottied a few times, ran about half a mile with strides and WOW my legs were feeling great, got kicked out of transition because it was time to go, got a warmup swim, and then stood on the beach with Zliten and B and M and waited for our time to jump in line for the time trial start.



Due to the massive amount of Hydrilla in the lake, they skipped the normal course and bushwhacked the nature through this weird out and back.  I can’t thank Hi 5 Race Productions enough for doing this – it would have been AWFUL to race through as it was.  However, this resulted in a lot of dodging people going my way because the course was very narrow, not to mention avoiding stray swimmers coming toward me that were off course.  No head on collisions, but there were a few close calls.

Besides playing crazy swim taxi, I felt pretty strong, passing people left and right, and I got passed maybe… once. I slowed down a little bit coming back. It was into the sun and I didn’t have a good judgment on how gassed I really was without training lately so I tried to stay… moderately gassed. 🙂

Swim was a little long, my time was 1:52/100 yard for 550 meters on the garmin – not my best, but under the circumstances, I felt like it was a good swim for me.

Swim time: 11:14/500m.  6/20 AG, 47/152 gender, 105/283 overall. 1:27 faster than last year. Very happy with the placement and the amount of time I took off from last year!


Long run over the rocky beach, and my feet just don’t love that, so all these people I passed on the swim went right by me. Ugh.  Once I got to concrete I picked up the pace and got to my bike and didn’t fumble too much.

T1 time: 2:49.  7/20 AG, 42/152 gender, 104/283 overall. 4 seconds slower than last year.  Eh, whatevs, close enough.


Got going on the bike and cooked it as hard as I could and sipped my gu brew because I was REALLY thirsty.  Going to have to figure out how to tote around liquid when my start is an hour and a half after transition closing.

My goal was to just rock the bike as hard as I could since I knew the run would be miserable no matter what. I fell in (legally) behind this chick that was going right about my speed for a while, then passed her, then looked for the next person who was going about my speed, rinse and repeat.

The first 5 miles I took down real quick – I was close to 20 mph and thrilled about life and it was hard but I was fighting the good fight. However, the wheels started to come off (figuratively, not literally). I started losing the battle to race hard.  I was feeling like I just didn’t have enough juice. I felt kind of nauseous. I was slowing. It was either give in, or take the chance on making things worse in the gut and try rocket fuel. So, rock and roll, I put down a caffeinated gel.

It was a good decision. In a mile or two my stomach settled. I felt like I had a little more to give. While it was a crowded course, I didn’t have too much trouble with people. I tried to ride aggressively as much as I could, but I think this is really where I felt the 5 weeks off more than anywhere. My power numbers vs effort will come back but it was definitely not quite where it was in June.

The power readings were absolutely USELESS during a sprint when you are just riding as hard as you possibly can the whole time, but gave me some nice stats for later: 171 HR AVG (92% of max), 83 cadence (decent with some coasting), 49% L/51% right balance, 157W avg, 161W 20 min power, 173W normalized power.

Bike Time: 43:09/12.9 miles.  4/20 AG, 29/152 gender, 104/283 overall. 44 seconds faster than last year. While I may be a little *meh* on the particulars of the bike, it’s solidly my strongest triathlon leg now in the rankings and I definitely gave all I had to give today. Looking forward to more work over the next 8 weeks to be able to give more.



My legs were a little wobbly getting out of the pedals but I made to back to my rack and changed without too much fumble or delay.  I decided hell to the yes on a frozen bottle, which makes T2 a little slower to navigate, but I believe it may have saved my race.

T2 time: 1:38.  10/20 AG, 60/152 gender, 124/284 overall. 8 seconds faster than last year.


It was hot, my legs were pretty gassed, and I spent the entire time just hanging on the best I could. The pace was not pretty but I tried to just concentrate on effort. I worked the pace down little by little, and kept an eye on the overall time.

After the first mile, I calculated that I had an overall PR in me, but I had to be careful. Racing in August in the feels like 90+, I know myself, and I know I can blow up and do stupid things like walk during a 3 mile run.

So I tried to find that line, that inch before the explosion, and just hang onto it as tightly as possible. I rode that wave, just chanting to myself “You’re strong, you got this”, over and over and over for at least the last mile and a half.  Looking ahead brought me out of the trance I was in, so I looked directly in front of my feet most of the time.

At about a quarter mile to go, a lady with a 60 on her leg passed me and I was like… aw hell no, so I found another gear and followed her into the finish.  I couldn’t pass her but I stuck to her like glue.  The finish video is hilarious, I look like I’m stalking her but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Stats: 177 HR AVG, 186 MAX. That’s 96% and 101% of my max HR, btw. There was truly nothing more I had to give on this run. Just like the bike, I’m excited to see how this shapes up once I have more to give.

Run Time: 29:31.  These gains I’m making racing the swim and bike harder and faster are slowing my runs down a little but if I’m PRing overall every race, it’s acceptable collateral damage.  My worst placement of the day, but I’ll take it: 10/20 AG, 60/152 women, 156/283 overall. 44 seconds slower than last year.


Overall time: 1:28:18 (1 min 34 sec faster than last year). 5/20 AG, 41/152 gender, 118/283 overall. Top quarter both AG and gender, and top half overall.  I actually beat all these these guys this time, which is NEVER a given!

By FAR, my best placement in a triathlon. If I would have been able to find 2 more minutes on the course, I could have placed 3rd, but I can safely say I did not have 2 minutes anywhere today and raced my ass off.  I found the floor of my pain cave and dug it a little deeper.  I’ll be happy to take this stuff into the next training block.

After the race, I spent the day eating everything in sight, and went to bed around 8:30 to read and fell asleep around 9.  I still feel a little brain-dead today, but not that sore and like some great sleep-healing went on last night.

Now, that I’ve had one last romp with the short stuff, with the 90 minutes of speedy pain, we start the volume build towards SIX HOURS OF PAIN at the end of September. 🙂

Lake Pflugerville Triathlon Recap

Some days you have that little extra something special, and some days, all you can do is execute on your training and roll with the punches.  I was missing a little bit of fire from the beginning but sometimes that resolves itself. Today, it lingered. But, you play the cards you have on race day, and I didn’t have a bad hand, just not a royal flush.


But really, I think the root of my issues were a little more biological.  I spent Friday outside in the lake which was fun, but probably not 100% the best race prep.  I didn’t sleep well the night before.  I have been cutting calories a bit over the last few weeks.  I spent the three days before at a higher calorie count (around 2000 per day), but it might not have been enough.  My husband decided to make our caff drink half strength for some reason because he thought I didn’t want any and I didn’t realize until we were on the road.

And… honestly, after a clearer head today and writing this all up, it’s so clear there wasn’t really something magical that was wrong with me, as I had convinced myself there was during the race.  I ate breakfast at 4:30am (kind bar and coconut water) and my wave didn’t go off until after 8:15, and I consumed approximately 1.25 scoops of heed and one gel until I hit the finish line, around 10am.  That’s just not enough.  When I get on the bike in a sprint feeling hungry, it’s not a good sign.

On the flip side, I’m saying all these things about something that was actually a pretty good breakthrough for me, overall.  And it’s hard to be taken seriously bitching about a PR, which I’m not.


I did not get a chance to do a swim warmup due to a long porta potty line, but I was pleasantly surprised it felt slightly crisp (79 degrees w/no wetsuit feels nice to me). It was my first wave start (not TT) in a year, but I felt like I handled it decently and didn’t get stuck behind anyone, and didn’t have to beat anyone up to get in position.

Oh my, the nature, though. The first and last ~100m were to the surface with hydrilla. It was a fight. I figured I was going to end up covered and tangled in it, will be interesting to see the swim out pictures to see if I had any extra… erm… jewelry. The rest of the time I felt like I was swimming strong, I didn’t sit behind anyone going slower, I kept a fairly smooth stroke, I kept the effort honest.

My watch shows about a 1:56/100m pace for .36 miles (580m). That’s pretty good for me in open water.  I’m pretty happy with this. 23 seconds better than last year, which was my previous PR, and there was significantly less nature. Win.

Swim time: 11:10, 8th AG/27, top 3rd overall.


I feel like I’ve had solid transitions here at Pflugerville the last few years and this was no exception.  I was curious why it took me a little longer and then realized that they expanded the parking lot, so transition was bigger.  It was a difference of 9 seconds, so no worries there.

T1 time: 2:24


I got on the bike and got going and could not get the heed in my system soon enough. I tried to find that insane effort I’ve put in the last two races and it didn’t come right away, but I just did my best to get to work, drink my drink, and pass all the people (except the few on super bikes that passed me).

Then, around mile 4… it started to POUR. At that point, my head got all negative.  The roads were in awful conditions in places (good old Pflugerville roads…) and I felt like my biking sucked today and actually had the thought that I was hoping they would pull us from the course because of the weather (what?) and then after the 3 sisters hills I realized I needed some caff and calories, stat. I worked on a salted watermelon gu over the next few miles and eventually things got a little less emo in my head.

It rained on and off, people actually were fairly courteous on the bike and exchanged friendly banter, and I held about 22 mph on the nice long 130 frontage road stretch. Then, as we were turning in, the sun started to come out. No, no, no, no, NO! With the humidity, if it turned sunny, it was going to feel like a billion degrees on the run.  I also had to slow for an ambulance almost fully blocking the street.

I forgot to do the “spin easy” thing into transition but it all worked out since I hadn’t ripped my legs off that ride anyway. Considering the rain, and the fact that I had to bike a little more cautiously than normal, and how I was feeling, and all that, I still pulled out a PR (from 2 years ago, actually, which was before this year, the hardest I had ever ridden my bike in my life) by 25 seconds.

Bike time: 46:03, 6/27 AG, top half overall.


Since I had to hold back a bit on the bike, I was a lot less spent than expected, so I made my way through this quickly.  Even with a bigger parking lot, and a completely SOAKED transition, I took 3 seconds off last year.  Win.

T2 time: 1:30


This is where the wheels fell off, kind of. The steep hill out of transition was so muddy I slipped down it a few times. That didn’t help me mentally to start off.  I got out on the run, and I couldn’t get my legs to turn over.   There was no reason.  It had stayed cloudy, so it actually wasn’t too hot (though humid as fuck).  The rain had actually made the trail feel LESS slippy to me.  I just could not will my legs to go any faster.  I tried not to panic, and just to roll with it and work into the effort gradually, because sometimes my first mile just sucks.

I tried to consider another gel in the first mile but it sounded revolting, and for some reason in my head I was worried about wasting it if I couldn’t get it down? (more race brain) so I just tried to get through my bottle of heed as quickly as I could, though more of it probably went on me than in my mouth. I just wanted it to be effing over. That’s all that was through my head. Get to that finish so I don’t have to be running anymore.  One more tiny little loop around Lake Pflugerville until I can get with the offseason.

I tried to pick it up a little in the second half, especially when I realized that a 1:30 was still in reach if I put on some gas.  I succeeded, a little, because I negative split each mile, but it was… lacking. I gave all my oomph on the home stretch and cramped on both sides of my ribs. That was new. Joel said I looked REALLY rough running it in (I can’t wait to see those pictures if they caught my face), but I was soooo close to that 1:30. It ticked over before I crossed, sadly, but it definitely helped me not to quit fighting along the way.

Run time: 29:21 – 15th/27 AG (bleh), middle 3rd (but bottom half) overall.  My second worst run at Pflugerville (my PR is 28:07, which was from 2012).

Total time: 1:30:30 total, PR by 1 min 39 sec from last year’s 1:32:09.  Zliten still holds the Lake Pflugerville Tri course record at 1:30:08 from last year, but I got close!


This was me jumping for joy here 3 years ago, and yesterday, I did over 2 minutes better.  I’ve been consistently 1:32-something the last few years so while I could have had a better day, this still is progress. 9th/27 AG, 89/290 gender, top half overall. While none of my performances were great in and of themselves, really, I was able to put together a fairly solid race to show that I’m a few feet ahead of where I have been the last few years, which have been feeling like a game of inches, especially with this race.

Now, 5 weeks of offseason. I am so ready.  Physically, I feel like I could get back to training tomorrow, and mentally, it’s kind of hard to accept that I don’t have to put together a workout schedule until the last week of July, but I know it’s for the best and once a few days go by, it’ll totally be the new normal not to be swimming, biking, or running all the time.

Jack’s Generic Sprint Triathlon – A Breath of Fresh Air

Sometimes it feels like coming home.


This triathlon was a breath of fresh air.  At the end of the season, I had trouble getting really excited or inspired for races.  I had all these expectations, heavy with a season of training and fatigue, and even when I had a pretty darn decent race, I felt disappointed.  I was lucky to end my season on a real high note, and go into offseason feeling blissful, redeemed, satisfied…

…but then there is a whole uncertainty about taking 5 weeks off.  I mean, I ran 6 miles a week and did some weights (that was my one offseason homework assignment to myself).  I biked ONCE because I wanted to watch the tour de France and it felt wrong to do so from my couch.  I did a lot of laps around the lazy river at the water park and splashed around in the ocean a lot on vacation, but I didn’t swim a yard in a pool or a lake.

I felt like an idiot signing up for this one, the week I came back to training.  Why would I do this when I’m obviously not at my full potential?  I’ll probably be exhausted from trying to get back in the swing of things.  I’ll probably just be overwhelmed after this at all the work I have left to do in 8 weeks to put in a good effort at Kerrville.  And… this race and I do not have a great history.

But, yesterday, I got all excited.  It didn’t matter that I hadn’t biked outside since June 21st (and 3 times inside, less than 3 hours total over 6 weeks).  It didn’t matter that I’ve swam less than 2 miles (and all open water, but still).  It didn’t matter that I’ve just pittered around doing lazy 5ks whatever pace I felt like.  I had some race enthusiasm!  It was really nice!  I wasn’t just faking it until I got going!

The goal of last week’s training was to just do enough to feel like we were back into it, but stay fresh for the race.  Ran 10 miles, did 45 easy miles on the trainer, and swam twice in the lake, for about 1.5 miles.  I felt good, my legs felt fresh, but I was really uncertain about what I had to give.



The swim was changed to an out and back because of major hydrilla overgrowth (they had gone in with snorkels and machetes and cleared a path for us, how nice).  It was a time trial start, so when it was my chance I ran in, dolphin dived (sorta), and started passing people.  Sighting was a challenge, and it was harrowing being worried about getting in a head on collision.  A sprint swim always feels like I’m just getting started when I get out.  Swam until I touched fingers (almost ran into a volunteer), swam a little further, then up, out, and across the beach I went.

Swim time: 12:43 for 500m – 13/29 AG, 65/183 Gender

I felt like I was swimming decently, and while this time in and of itself is really, really slow for me, this also includes a fairly long beach run.  There was a question of whether it was a little long too.  Whatever.  I’m happy with it.


The normal Pfluger run from beach, around the path, down the stairs, to transition.  The difference is that this time it was NOT open racking, and I was pretty much on the opposite side I like to be on (very close to swim in, far from bike out).  I did my thing and clip clip clip clomped out, mounted, and was on my way.

T1 time: 2:46 12/29 AG, 60/183 Gender.

A little longer than I’d like, but the whole clomp clomp thing across a whole parking lot.  Someday… I’ll do the shoes in like a pro.  Someday…



I had ZERO expectations for this. But, I got riding, I was feeling good, keeping high cadence, and I just decided to smash myself as best I could. I just wanted to see what was in these legs, and damn the run, I’d get to that when I got to it.  And I actually had more than I expected! I maintained over 20 mph the first 2 miles, over 19 the first 4, and then I hit the wind.  I spent miles 4-10 fighting the wind, the hills, and dodging the noobs on the mountain bikes riding in the middle, and trying to stay out of the way of the dudeholes on their zipp wheelies, I slowed to 18s and then 17s.  The miles ticked past quickly even though I was pushing myself, I did my best just to hammer.

I lost pace all the way to 17.1 mph but knew I’d get some love soon.  While Pflugerville wind sometimes blows at you from all directions, this was not one of those days. Once we turned and got the tailwind I breathed a sigh of relief to not be fighting the wind (and got some nice flat miles), so I saw awesome paces like 23 mph, and I just kept cranking.

I did make the mistake of tucking in behind a slow guy too early, and had to stay there so I didn’t make a dick move to dart out in front of him right before rolling into transition.  While I wasted a few seconds there, I was hoping it would help my legs on the run, having a quick little break.

Bike time: 43:54 – 7/29 AG, 40/183 Gender

I kept the exact same pace as the last race on this course – when I was primed for racing, and even specifically training for shorter courses. I can’t even… I’m just thrilled.  I did the BEST overall in the bike course when I expected to do the worst.  Rested legs for the win!

…and I beat this guy on the bike.  He normally eeks out a few MPH more than me (at least short course, longer courses it’s a toss up) but I beat him by about 1.5 minutes.


He had a really good race though and beat me over a minute on the run, so there’s that.


Dismounted as normal, had an close encounter of the T2 kind with another guy cutting in front of me going to the other side of the lot, but found my way to the rack in one piece.  I had a few issues, I was a little shell shocked from hammering the bike, also the run all the way back down the parking lot in the clip clip clips took a while, but I was off and running pretty quick.

Transition 2: 1:47 – 13/29 AG, 85/183  Not my best, but not my worst.  My worst placement of the day, oddly enough.


I was REALLY shelled from the bike but I just kept willing my legs to turn over as quickly as I could make them. I don’t think Hokas were doing me a service here on the slippy trail but they also probably helped my legs not fall over. Honestly – I made the call to wear them because they already had my quick laces.  That is how seriously I was taking this triathlon yesterday.

Stayed just about 10 minute miles for the first two – the leggies just wouldn’t go faster. I ran behind, and then eventually passed a really fit looking guy (looked like he should have been running 7 min miles but he was just clipping along at my pace).  I just worked on keeping him in my sights and I finally found a gear that was slightly faster. I thought he would see himself getting chicked and pass me right back, but I kept the lead in our unofficial, undocumented competition of two.  Solid.

Then, I saw my friend Brian up ahead and just reeled him in over about half a mile. After the last turn onto the home stretch, I caught him and grunted a hello, and passed him. He found HIS next gear and said he would try to hang on, then passed ME back. I tried to hang to his pace, but I had nothing left. The legs were at max capacity.  I let him go and he finished about 10 seconds before I crossed the finish.

Run Time: 28:48 12/29 AG, 70/183 Gender

Exact same split as Pfluger. When I was really trying to push my 5k pace in training.  Again, I can’t even. I’m incredibly happy.


Total time: 1:29:56.  I have nothing to compare it against.  2012 was a different course but same distances – I beat that time by over 10 minutes today.  It’s my best total time in a regular sprint to date, so I’ll celebrate a PR.  Why not?  Wheeee!

I’m so excited to finally break 1:30, and jazzed to have placed in the top 1/3 (almost top quarter) of my AG and Gender (7/29 and 48/183 respectively).  It’s also nice to break the curse of JGT.  If I had a bad race this year I may have packed it in on this one (even if it’s at my fave venue).

I don’t race again until my 70.3 in Kerrville in 8 weeks, but this is a nice little boost of confidence to keep me motivated to get back there.  Even though I’m happy with my sprint distance performance and didn’t lose any speed at the short course – I definitely have some endurance to recover.  Cheers to the next 8 weeks!  Nose, meet grindstone.  Break’s over, it’s time to put in the work!

Plugerville Triathlon: A Little Bite of Unicorn

3 seconds.

That’s not a whole lot of time.  I mean, there’s the 5 second rule for food (which I know is not really a thing but it totally is when I drop something on the floor that I really want).  You might say “gimme 3 seconds” when you want someone to hold on.  Glad I didn’t give anyone 3 seconds today or I’d not be talking about a new PR.


All the other pictures besides this one of me waiting for the porta potties are on a realm which is named Notmyphone so excuse the wall-o-text for now.

I was not feeling all that great this morning.  My bar didn’t sit well in my stomach, the caffeine didn’t really get me up and pumped, and I just wasn’t with it and feeling excited.  I’ve turned around my mojo in the last few weeks with some rest and a little more speed, but I guess it’s not still recovered.

We got to transition super early and got an awesome spot right by bike out (yay open racking).  There was the normal dinking around setting up transition, hanging out in the car listening to music, potties, warm up run, more potties, warmup swim, national anthem, running into a bunch of friends, and then I was sending Zliten off in his wave.

I just couldn’t get excited.  I was yawning.  My stomach wasn’t awful, but definitely off.  I couldn’t stomach the idea of any pre-race nutrition like I try to do, so I skipped it.  I cheered Zliten out the swim, and then went and centered myself and tried to get jazzed about being at one of my favorite races of the year.  Finally, after forever, it was my wave’s turn.  I unintentionally positioned myself in the middle of the washing machine and decided it was fine and then it was time to swim.


Short swims are not my strength.  It takes me a while to get going in the water, but after about 200-300 meters, I do well.  For a sprint, that’s like half the swim.  So, my goal was to just try to put some hurt on the first half until it gets better.

I think I did alright at it, there was some touching feets and bodies and jostling for position but nothing obnoxious, and then all of a sudden we were halfway there and I felt pretty good.  I did have to avoid some breaststrokers and backstrokers, but felt pretty long and lean. There was some chop, but I’ve been through way worse, so I just made sure to get my breaths when I could.

I could have probably pushed the second half more but I was having some sighting issues into the sun, but nothing too bad.  I swam into shore until I touched, high knee’d out of the water, and was vertical and running before I knew it.  Sprint swims are weird and so short, it never feels worth even going into the water.

Swim time: 11:33 (17/41).

3 seconds better than 2012, 13 seconds better than 2012. Thought I might have a better swim in me, but I haven’t really been focusing on the swim so a few seconds better is a-ok with me. I’m convinced this is long – this clocks me at 2:19/100m, which is pretty much cruise pace for me and this didn’t feel like a cruise, and the best time in my age group was 1:51/100m pace. Yeah, pretty sure it’s long.


Did the big girl thing and went sans sandals.  It was mostly fine except a short rocky stretch that was thinly covered by astro turf, which I gingerly walk/ran.

I tried to go minimal this year.  No gloves, no sleeves (didn’t need them since it was in the 80s), and decided to try leaving my garmin in my bento box instead of taking the time to put it on.  Felt pretty expedient and got out and mounted without incident and got biking quickly.

T1 time: 2:15. (15/41)

Both 2012 and 2013 was 2:53.  Really, really happy to take almost 40 seconds off my transition time, and I didn’t find that gravity in transition the way I did at the x-50.


Got going, hit start on my garmin in the bento box, and tried to get it on my wrist. Fail. Wasn’t going to happen on the bike. I swear I’ve done this before but haven’t practiced it for a while so… whatevs. I tried a few times and it was just too crowded and too much going on, and I knew it was going to cost me some speed to tinker with it, so I just left it in the box.

So, yet again, I was biking blind. I can honestly say this time I think it hurt me without question. This race is challenging to bike – my wave goes off so late there are so many people to pass. Somehow, this year it wasn’t as bad – the people around me seemed decently polite and being in the third to last wave instead of second meant less people to dodge, I guess, but still – on your left about 100 times at least.

The wind was unfortunate – the longest stretch had the headwind. I didn’t feel like it was killing me, but it did definitely slow me down a little bit. I leapfrogged with some gals – attempting to be as legal as possible, but the course was so crowded it was hard. I never tucked right in behind someone with the intent to draft, but sometimes going around a corner or a car was coming, or a super fastie was coming through, and I had to get over and I definitely did not have enough bike lengths between me and other people, but it was impossible to do so.

I peeked at my garmin about 2 miles to go and it said 17.7. I was a little bummed because I wanted to hold 18s, but… it was not to be. I tried to resist the urge to hammer the last two miles and just tried to keep it steady – I didn’t want to kill my run.

Here was the worst part of the bike – I felt like I had to pee the ENTIRE time, and while I’m sure it’s a point of pride to pee off the bike in an Ironman, it’s probably inappropriate to do so in a little local sprint. Also, chews still sounded AWFUL and gatorade was turning my stomach (plus, putting fluid in on top of a full bladder was not working).

I wasn’t sure what to do, but since it was just a sprint, I figured the best bet was to just forgo any nutrition and just get to transition where I had a nice cold water bottle. THAT sounded pretty good.

Dismount went without note and I was over the line and going.

Bike: 47:58. (21/41)

2012 was 48:16, so that was better, but 2013 was 46:27. 2013, my garmin decided to fuck up and show me around a 15 mph speed, which made me rage bike and smash it. I wish I could have done a little more on the bike yesterday. Besides the fact that I just haven’t done a lot of outdoor riding this, I’ll also say that not having the garmin data didn’t help (could I have pushed more seeing my pace? probably?) and stomach issues were not helping.  Excuses, yes, but they are my excuses and I own them.


I stopped my garmin and shoved it in my tri top.  I racked my bike, got my shoes on, and our friend R that runs the transitions yelled at me and said “action shot!” so I gave him a thumbs up.  So, that probably cost me a few seconds but totally worth it (says the girl who was 3 second on the right side of the PR, might have been a different story otherwise).

This is the first Pfluger I decided to use my handheld (mostly for cooling purposes), so that took a few extra seconds and some time fucking with my garmin, but I got out pretty quick.

T2 time: 1:33.  (19/41)

Both 2012 and 13 were 1:19, so I lost 14 seconds.  However, I saved 38 seconds in T1 so it was a net 24 seconds in both transitions so I’ll take it.  If I could have ditched the handheld I could have saved time, but I felt like I needed the ice.


This was where I wanted to kill it. I got up the hill, onto the path, and found that my fast legs had stayed at home. I was struggling to stay around 10 minutes/mile. I didn’t freak out at first, I know I take some time to get going, but when I passed the first mile at about 10 mins exactly, I knew it was not going to be the day to run my best.

However, I wasn’t running AWFULLY. I didn’t feel like death, but I just couldn’t get my legs to turn over the way I know they can. The second mile was better, but then we turned into the wind, and I leapfrogged some girls in my age group, and I found myself just… lacking in the oomph department.

I finally came back to life closer to the finish line after someone in my age group passed me and I could see the finish, and I saw the time of day and knew I had to lay it down to PR. I found a little oomph I didn’t know I had, passing four people (two I believe were in my age group) and rolled into the finish and actually dry heaved into my finisher’s towel (all the chunks stayed down though, thankfully).

Run: 28:48. (21/41)

2012 was 28:07, and 2013 was 30:10 (but that was definitely due to my knee injury). I had figured a run PR was a no brainer with the way I’ve been running lately, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Pretty sure just a few calories of nutrition here could have made the difference, but I just couldn’t do it.

Finish time: 1:32:09. (19/41)

My best at Pflugerville in 2012 was 1:32:12, and I beat it by 3 seconds this year.  No question, if I hadn’t turned on the sprint about 200m from the finish, or even I had taken the time to put on my biking gloves, I would have been telling a different story about how I just missed my PR.  Today, I get to tell you about how I PR’d even on a not-so-great body day.

Did I want a better time?  Yeah.  I really was hoping for a sub 1:30, and I have the fitness to do so.  I’m kind of sad about that run, and a little grumpy about the bike.  However – I pulled out a PR.  I can never be upset about that, especially when my PR here 2 years ago was probably my shining crown jewel of a race that year for execution.

So, kids, this is a lesson: practice your transitions for speed and minimize when you can.  Some days, it will be the absolute difference between a good story and a bummer.

This week is just damage control – keeping the legs fresh and body rested, and I race again in 6 days to end the season.  Honestly, this one is just the icing on the cake.  I’ve never done it before, I have no time goals (yet), I just want to go out and have fun doing an Olympic that a lot of people have told me is awesomesauce.  If there is no fire that day to pound myself into the ground, I’ll be ok with that.

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.


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