Adjusted Reality

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

Month: December 2010

Week #1 – Remembering the Suckage

So week #1 has come and gone.  I now remember why I abandoned all this crap.  I’d like to say that everything is coming up roses and the scale has gone down every day and I stuck to my workouts and life is lovely.  However, I can’t.  I am now remembering how much it sucks to be good all week and gain 3 lbs because of the time of day you ate and keep weight on and feel bloated and be REALLY CONSCIOUS OF IT because of the scale and not know why it happened.  Seriously, I’ve felt unnaturally bloated for a few days and I’ve done nothing out of the ordinary (including salt) and it’s not that time where it’s normal.  And then there is…how much easier it is on the weekends to ditch a workout if you’re not training for anything.  This was definitely a week of awakenings.

That being said, officially I am down 0.2 lbs (167.2) for the week, since I’m taking the lowest weight all week.  I will hold onto that and work on making great strides for next week’s progress.

I tracked my food all week and kept things pretty much under control, but I did track Saturday after the fact and I might have forgotten stuff, and can’t be 100% sure how much alcohol I consumed Friday since I wasn’t pouring my own drinks, so there is that.  But all in all, I’m pretty jazzed that 1500 calories felt downright normal most days.  While I may have wanted more some days, it was more mouth hunger and wah I want some ice cream type hunger rather than real, belly hunger.

I will definitely not be listing out each week’s worth of food or anything, but here is the averages for anyone that wants to play along at home.

Avg calories in: (food intake tracked +100 per day for error)1633

Avg calories out per day: 266 (oh well, will do better this week)

Avg net calories per day: 1367

Current calorie burn per day (as calculated by a website): 1541 (what I burn in a coma) x 1.2 (the modifier they suggest as a sedentary, non coma person) =1849

Average calorie deficit per day: 1849 – 1367 = 482 (just under 1 lb deficit)

However, I’m not 100% confident that my body is normal like that.  I think since I got myself into distance running I’m more efficient – which means it’s harder for me to lose weight.  I’m still trying to figure out what the ratio is where I can eat and lose without starving myself.  I was losing before on 1200-1500 but that makes me crazy. 1200 is not enough food.  It makes me wanna hurt people.  1500 feels more normal.  However, we know how much success I’ve had at this as of late – the weight doesn’t like to come off unless I really want to eat my arm off.  I figured that might reconcile itself once I stopped the crazy workouts, so we shall see.  I am just coming off a wild 10 month ride, things might just take a few weeks to stabilize.

What I can do is adhere to my workouts a bit better.  I know, right?  Me?  Slacking?  This is what happens when I’m not training.  I did great early in the week, but Thursday I had to workout on a break from work, so I couldn’t stay as long as normal (20 mins cardio, 25 weights).  Friday I took off because I was just needing a rest, and said it was ok, because we had a lot of activity planned this weekend.  Friday nite, I forgot what it was to drink on a lower calorie regiment and hurt myself Saturday, so I didn’t do jack or shit.  The nice long bike ride or swim planned?  Nah.  I barely left the couch.  Then, Sunday, we had so much to make up for errand-wise, we just didn’t have time – I was literally out shopping from 10am til 6pm, then dinner, and it was already too late by the time my food had settled.  Oh well, this week is another opportunity.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: arc trainer HIIT for 30 mins (about 1.5 miles) (400 calories), arms and back (194 calories)
Tuesday: swim HIIT for 30 mins (about 1 mile) (477 calories), legs and abs (194 calories)
Wednesday: yoga (60 mins) (188 calories)
Thursday: bike HIIT for 20 mins (5.15 miles) (279 calories), arms and back (152 calories)
Friday: off
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Total: 1864 calories, 80 mins cardio, 85 mins strength, 60 mins yoga

This week I want it to be more like:

Monday: running HIIT for 30 mins (about 3 miles) (400 calories), arms and back (194 calories)
Tuesday: swim HIIT for 30 mins (about 1 mile) (477 calories), legs and abs (194 calories)
Wednesday: yoga (60 mins) (188 calories), arms and back (194 calories)
Thursday: running HIIT for 30 mins (5.15 miles) (279 calories), legs and abs (194 calories)
Friday: outside bike ride (600? calories)
Saturday: off
Sunday: off
Total: 3370 calories, 210 mins cardio, 120 mins strength, 60 mins yoga

I’m frontloading the week because I’m out of town this weekend.  I was looking forward to a nice, long, relaxed mid day run because I’m off in the afternoon before my plane, but I realized that a) I only have about 2 hours to get ready (which is essentially a run and a quick shower) and b) I’ll be drinking at the holiday party the night before.  So let’s call it a bike ride outside instead and it will still be lovely.  I miss my bike.  Long run next week.  Let me tell you though, since I already technically completed this week’s running sprints…god I love wearing myself out on the treadmill in 30 mins.  1 minute sprints getting up near my all out mile pace are fun.  And yes, I know I am a sick puppy.  I’m looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.

Moving on, the official weigh ins…

Starting: 167.4
Last Week: 167.4
This Week: 167.2 (-0.2 this week/-0.2 overall)

It’s not much, but it’s the right direction.  So I’ll take it.

I’m not sure I’ll continue with this level of granularity, but I might.  It can help me, but it might make for boring reading material.  So, what do you think?  Are you a healthiness voyeur and want to see all the messy details, or would you rather just a 1 paragraph summary while I go on to talk about something else?

This post’s pictures have been brought to you by Christmas and Iguanas.  Can you tell which ornament in the tree is only PRETENDING to be an ornament?  She’s really cute how careful she is in the tree, and she’s only broken one ornament so far, but she looked so sad about it, I couldn’t be mad at her.  Of course it was my Runner Girl one – looks like we’ll be making a pilgrimage to Runtex when they get them in.

What’s Next?

Last year around this time, I started training for my second half marathon.  I had spent the summer doing whatever workouts I fancied (and just had finished the 30 day shred) and got back to seriouspants running training.  After that, I never really quit.  I let up a little during the spring, but as soon as May hit – I was 100% into it and didn’t stop for 6 months.

I started a year ago around 155 lbs.  Let’s just say I’m a little above that.  I’ll be popping champagne when my weight again starts with a 15.  Racing is NOT a great way to lose weight.  Training hard makes you eat hard.  I *know* I could mitigate this by obsessively tracking my food, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.  I feel like I am deserving of being able to eat whatever the heck I want when I run so much.

However, that gets me into the trouble I’m in now.  Needing to lose about 17 lbs.  I don’t necessarily feel fat or like I look bad, but I’d like all the clothes in my closet to fit again and I know I felt both slim and strong right around 150.  I’m good with getting back there and hanging out for a while and seeing if that’s where the Quix-innards are the happiest.

The goal is – 1 lb per week.  There are 12 weeks until my cruise.  I would like to be 12 lbs lighter by then.  I spent 3 months training like a fiend for my olympic tri and half marathon.  I can spend 3 months concentrating on my eating habits, working out like a sane person, counting calories, and getting my arse on the scale again.  It’s just another training regiment.  That’s what I’m telling myself.  It’s hard to get FREAKING PUMPED about meeting my calorie goals or FEELING POWERFUL about keeping my workouts to 30 mins cardio, 30 mins weights most days the way I did completing a training run on pace or doing a new, harder, longer brick workout than the week before.

But… I’ve already lost 1.8 lb from my first weigh in Monday.  I know it will get harder from here, but I’m up for the challenge.

The rules:

-As I said, doing this for 12 weeks.  Goal is 1 lb per week.  I’m starting at 167.4, so I hope to be no more than 155.4 when I have my sail away cocktail.

-I tend to fluctuate like a mofo, so each Wednesday will be my official weekly weigh in.  That weight will be the lowest weight from the previous week.

-Still trying to dial in the exact calorie count.  I seem to be doing well with 1500 on the weekdays when I pay attention to the crap going in my face.  I’ll probably allow 1 or 2 days per week with a little more, try to stay around 1600-1700 on average.  If I stop losing weight I’ll go a little lower.

-Not going to get too hung up on macronutrients or obsessive over the quality of my food.  I generally eat good stuff.  I know that I can eat more and feel better if I eat healthy stuff.  If I choose to eat some crap, I just have to keep it in my calorie range.  And suffer.  and since I don’t like to suffer, I will generally stay away from crap.

-Through December at least, we are going to do at least 2 hours per week of weights.  30 mins x 4 times per week this week.  Alternating body parts.  Next week – probably a class to change stuff up.

-Cutting the cardio in half (or more).  30 minutes x 3 days, and 1 day of long cardio (bike ride, run, etc).  I’m allowing one day of cardio bliss so I can potentially keep up some endurance.  The 30 min sessions will be mostly HIIT.  For example, I did the arc trainer Monday (3o mins of 1 min max speed, 1 mins recovery), and swim sprints Tuesday.  If I’m going to cut my cardio time, it’s going to COUNT.

-Yoga.  Gonna try to make it to the Wednesday class each week or try out a weekend one.  This is not counted in cardio or strength.  If I can’t make it to class, at least do some at home 1 day per week.

I think that’s enough to feel sufficiently crazy challenged in the next coming months.  Instead of some shiny medal or a new PR – I’ll be able to fit in my pants.  And I’m good with that.  Considering the goal has an end date (I’m not going to continue on this forever), that will help me get there.

Any weight loss tips?  Anyone else try to take off weight in off seasons?  Hit me up in the comments.  I’ll be back on Wednesday with my first week’s progress.  Hint – I’ve lost at least 0.2 lbs (167.2 today) so that’s a good sign!

2010 Race Season: Did I Do All That (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2.  Part 1 is here.  This is where it gets crazy.  Keep in mind I did SIX races in THREE months, the last THREE in a span of 11 days.

Race #6 – Sweet and Twisted Tri

August 21 – Spicewood, TX – 500m swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run – 1:51:36

After the gladiator games PR, my heel felt worse than ever – so I rested it a bit, got new shoes, and things took a turn for the better.  I built my way from being kind of exhausted just biking 12 miles OR swimming 500 meters to being able to do the full distance (and more) by this time.  I picked this race because it seemed like a good race for a newbie and it was.  I was literally shaking I was so nervous at the start of this race but the small starting waves made me feel pretty comfortable swimming.  Everyone encouraged me on my heavy ass schwinn getting up the hills (as they passed).  They handed out cold towels halfway through the run, and mimosas after.  It was a great experience – I’m not sure I’ll be doing this race again next year, but it’s only because Zliten and I are going to do a tri together – and this one is girls only.

Race #7 – Casa Superhero 5k

September 21 – Austin, TX – 5k run – 27:51

This was a race that was sponsored by work – which is the only reason I decided to do it.  A free 5k?  Of course I’m there.  However, at this point of my training, I was in no condition to PR.  Or even get close.  In fact, I had thought I was going to just jog it with some of the people at work, especially because I had done a particularly hard workout the day before, but when I heard the race starting, I went for it.  I came in with my worst 5k time ever, but hey, I ran in costume!  And work donated money for kids!  One of our coworkers came in top 10 overall, one I didn’t even know ran beat me (but just barely), and Zliten ran with someone who was doing their first race and they came in around 40 minutes.  I’d consider doing this again next year – it was 3 miles from the house!

Race #8 – TX Tri

October 3 – Canyon Lake, TX – 1500m swim, 26.2 mile ride, 5.9 mile run – 4:04:36

Well, this was the one for all the marbles.  Since I decided to ditch my marathon goal for the year, I wanted to find something worthy of taking that place.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I was super proud of completing my first sprint tri, but it didn’t feel like that big of a challenge.  I had more in me.  So I endured the crazy long workouts (biking 25 miles and running 10k? that’s just what I do before I get on a plane on Saturday, heh) and got to the starting line of this feeling fairly confident (at least, once they lifted the 10:30 am curfew for being off the bike course).  I rocked the swim (just that week I finally figured out freestyle).  I struggled through the hellish bike hills, even had to get off and walk a few times (I wasn’t the only one), redeemed myself on the run (minus a few walk breaks – the bike just about killed me) but completed the HARD course only 4 minutes slower than my goal.  And, being that there was only 3 athenas registered… I got a sweet 3rd place medal!  I may not do this one again, but I think there will definitely be another olympic tri in my future next year.  After a LOT more bike training.

Race #9 –Rock and Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

November 14 – San Antonio, TX – 13.1 mile run – 2:08:08

After wanting revenge on the half I completed 10 months (to the day) before this, I decided I would try again in the fall.  I figured, even though I had 6 weeks in between the tri and the half, I would have enough endurance that I wouldn’t need a full 12 weeks.  However, I totally forgot that I would be totally wasted the week after the tri and need 2 weeks to taper, so I was left with 3 weeks to train.  Also, I was just BEAT mentally and really regretted signing up.   I just wanted to rest.  I powered through, and finally by the last week, I made the transition from just endurance slogging through miles to endurance with some “get up and go”.  I’m really glad I did it because it was a great experience, and a significant PR.  I ran strong the first 10 miles, and though I slowed the last 5k, it seems reasonable to learn how to train myself through that (rather than the last two, where I fell apart the last HALF of the race).  I would consider doing this race again.  It wasn’t the prettiest course, but it was fast, fairly flat, full of supporters and aide, and face it, San Antonio is close.

Race #10 – Warrior Dash (2)

November 20 – Cedar Creek, TX – 3.2 mile adventure/mud run – 45:51

The warrior dash was so popular outside Dallas, they decided to have one near Austin.  We had so much fun at the first one, we decided to do this one as well.  It was 6 days after my half so I had no expectations.  Zliten and I were in various throes of sickness (he getting over it, me just getting it), so we took it super slow.  We walked whenever we felt like, ran when we could, took it easy over the obstacles, and just enjoyed the race.  Just like before, after we got our medals, we got some beer and cheered people on at the finish line.  Grand fun.  Zliten said we will for sure be doing one of these next year, and believe me, not complaining!

Race #11 – Thundercloud Turkey Trot

November 25 – Austin, TX – 4.54 mile run – 42:55

I was full on sick from the time I woke up Sunday after the WD until I woke up this Thursday morning, but thankfully my nose had unstuffed, my throat was blessedly no longer sore, and had no chest component to this cold, so I felt GREAT.  It was like 75 and humid that morning, so I didn’t have to worry about catching a chill.  However – I definitely felt that my lungs were the limiting factor, not my legs like normal.  I ran mile 1 and 2 hard, but had to slow down in the middle to what felt like about 10 min/miles (I let Zliten have custody of zee Garmin for that race).  I was STOKED when I crossed the finish with what looked like a HUGE PR, but then later I found out the race course was short.  Like almost half a mile short.  The police had directed us the wrong way!  I ran a respectable time for my third race in 11 days and getting over a cold with 9:27 min/mile pace, but I was really hoping to come in under 9 minute miles.  Oh well.  Next year.  Zliten thinks that we’ll make this one a tradition.  He finished this as his longest race ever with a time of 53:57!  Woohoo!

It was a heck of a year.  Right about the time I finished the first race in February, I got my (unofficial, then official a few months later) promotion.  I worked more, and work took a lot more out of me mentally and physically, so it was definitely more of a challenge to put what I did into training this year, but I don’t regret a minute of it.  I got faster, and also got much more comfortable with distance running/endurance events.  I tried a lot of new things (adventure races, duathlon, triathlons) that maybe I wasn’t immediately amazing at (read: sucked at), but I had a hell of a lot of fun training for and completing.  I feel much more comfortable identifying myself as a runner, an athlete, and not want to giggle or say just kidding or sorta after.  Athletes do 11 races in a year.  Athletes do 2 triathlons and a half marathon in 3 months.  Just because I don’t have 10% body fat or run 6 minute miles doesn’t mean anything!

And now I sit in the afterglow.  I’m already exploring my options for things to do next year.  I want to do a 15k or 10 miler since I’ve never raced that distance.  I definitely want to do a sprint tri (with Zliten!!!) and an olympic tri.  I want to do a destination race (Hawaii? San Diego?  Seattle?) somewhere.  I want to find a great, fast, flat 5k and 10k I can open up and burn rubber.  Exploring what sort of bike races are out there.  Maybe even my epic feat next year is that back to back half marathon Saturday/camp overnight/duathalon Sunday.

In the short term though?  December is for rest and recovery.  Sane workouts.  Lots of short, HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio sessions.  The return of yoga.  Showing Zliten the ropes of (and getting back into) strength training and weights.  No serious race training until spring.  Getting outside to run and bike on nice days because it sounds like fun.

This week started the next chapter of my adventure, which I will discuss at length, to your dismay I’m sure, in my next post.  Stay tuned.

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