Adjusted Reality

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

Month: July 2011

Happy July (Already?)

Otherwise known as 2011 is half over.  Argh!  It has certainly flown.  So, as we’re at a halfway point in the year (again, how did that happen so fast?), let’s evaulate our progress on 2011 goals, shall we?

1.  First and foremost, I need to get a handle on my free time.  I spend most of my weeknights just dorking on social media because it’s easy, I haven’t had a chance to look at it all day – and then all of a sudden it’s bedtime and I’ve done nothing.  I’d like to start with a goal to not have my nose in my lappy all the time.  I’d like to make one weeknight per week a reading night (no laptop after dinner), and 1 day per week gaming (again, no laptop after dinner).  I need to accept that I don’t need to read EVERY tweet or facebook update if I don’t have time.  I love keeping in touch with people, but if they care that much, they can @ me or tag me.

I’ve done better.  I spend a lot of time dorking online, and I haven’t been the best game player.  However, I have definitely taken down more books this year than I have since I was in college, and if you only count “for fun” reading, probably since I was a young teen.  I’ve sort of cut time by no longer reading blogs through my reader, but just waiting for the links to appear on twitter.  If you have a blog that is awesome and stuff, add me on twitter – @quixotique.  Also, I like to say random stupid stuff sometimes…

2.  Race goals –

-I’d like a new half marathon PR (goal – 2:05).  I’d love a sub 2 hour, but improvement is all I care about
I haven’t done a half this year.  Planning on a half in October and one in January so we’ll see.

-I’d also like to feel that I could run 10 miles at any time (do at least 1 double digit run per month)
Decided to back off on this, to test the theory about my appetite being very very connected (also, having a back injury for about 2 months on and off didn’t help).  I get a lot less RUNGRY, but I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those “pick at my food” types.  Picking the distances back up now for a fall half though, so I may just finish the year this way…

-Do another sprint and olympic triathlon, PR at least 1
Decided to not do an olympic this year, and I’ve already SMASHED my sprint paces, with one more chance later this year to obliterate it even more.

-I’d like to attack my 5k, 5 mile, and/or 10k PR
This did not go so well.  No 10k or 5 mile yet, and the only 2 5ks have been slow.  If I can FIND a 10k, I’ll PR the shit out of it, but haven’t raced one in over 2 years (not since my 3rd race ever)

-Do a trail half marathon/duathalon in one weekend
This would be not smart to do with a road bike.  Instead, I’m doing a sprint tri and half marathon within 8 days.  I believe this sufficiently proves my badassness for the year.

-Do each workout in the new tri training book at least once
I’ve been training shorter, so I’ve been slacking on this book.  However, it might be worth picking it back up once a week or so.  I’ve gotten through just about all of the off season workouts, but haven’t done many of the tempo/speed ones.

-Do a destination race outside Texas (any distance)
Probably not going to happen now.  We had picked Portland, but due to time constraints, we’d barely have enough time to spend 2 days in the city, which is not worth the plane ride/fare.  There is a small chance we *might* be able to do one in NOLA, but we’ll see.

-Adapt these as I see fit next year… the goal is mainly to get better at the distances I’ve do
I’ve done a billion races this year.  It’s been fun, but when you’re racing once every few weeks at the minimum, it’s hard to get good quality training in.  The latter half of the year, I’m spending being more choosy.  One tri, one half, a 5 miler, and MAYBE a 5 or 10k that I’ll take seriously, but that’s it!!!

3.  Weight Loss/Maintenance goals – get down to and maintain 150 by summer. Once i get down to 15o, never go above 155… that will allow me to fit in all my clothes, still have flexibility to gain a little during race training that I can easily lose after, and once I get there, feel super fit, awesome, and hot while not being a weight I have to only eat celery to maintain.

Yep, I’ve been stuck here too.  This is why I’m seeing the nutritionist this week.  I’m kinda pissed at myself that I’ve made literally ZERO progress in 6 months, but it’s a huge sign that I NEED HELP. Hopefully when I look back at the end of the year this will be a big check mark.

3b.  Continue with strength training, yoga, and things that don’t immediately contribute to torching tons of calories or race training but definitely helps build definition, makes me look thinner, and most importantly, helps me improve my race times.

Doing well with strength lately…although I always and still feel like it cuts into my valuable cardio time.  I’d love some advice from the peanut gallery – what do you feel is the minimum time commitment to strength training to keep an endurance athlete going? Don’t care so much about being ripped or visible muscles or upping weights – just to keep myself strong and fit and injury free.  1 hour per week? 2?  I’ve been averaging somewhere between the 2, focusing on 1-2 body parts per day for about 30 mins, cramming as many reps and exercises as I can in as fast as possible. 🙂  Have not wanted to go back to Yoga or weights class since I hurt myself in both.  Call me gun shy.

4.  Continue with my job in the same position at the same company continuing to improve, grow, and become a better producer capable of handling more things with more ease.  I have much more specific goals here but that’s about all I’ll say publicly.

Keeping my head above water here even with things being crazy busy, and learning the ins and outs of being a good boss, manager, and balancing the creative with the logical.  I’m not going to be perfect in a year, but it’s a process.

5.  More one liners:

-Smoke less.  Continue to allow smokes only with alcohol, and I’d like to get to the point where I can take it or leave it.
Getting there.  I can do a beer or a few glasses of wine, or 1-2 drinks, but not all night.  Someday.

-Less hangovers.  I hate getting one of my weekend days eaten being laid out on the couch.  I just need to quit just BEFORE that switch flips where it’s on like donkey kong and all of a sudden it’s 10am and I feel like death warmed over.
Giving up diet soda REALLY helped here lately, vodka with soda water makes me rarely have issues the next morning.  Sometimes when I *really* try it does though.

-Pay off the car (January), pay off Zliten’s college loan (August), and continue to meet our savings goal of 1k per month.
Car is now my own.  We may not have the loan paid off by August, but definitely by the end of the year.  We’ve actually just about already hit our savings goal, and have actually rolled some of it into higher interest investments.  Doing great here.

-Visit one new city I’ve never seen before.  Denver? NYC? Seattle? Portland?
While Portland isn’t panning out, I guess I can say I’ve visited Roatan, Honduras and Belize City, Belize, as well as Houston (not exotic, but still new to me).  In December, we’ll hit Montego Bay, Jamaica.  These are all new!

-Begin one new major house renovation.  Failing that, start planning and budgeting for it and establish a timeline (windows, bathrooms, counters, etc).
We are totally pricing out windows right now.  We’re considering options – aka replacement (cheaper) or new (more expensive, but don’t screw up our full wall view that made us fall in love with the house…)

-Find something that makes me happy that is not goal oriented.  Some people knit.  Not to be the best knitter and to make x scarves per week and improve by March to be onto stripes instead of solids, but simply because they enjoy the act of it.  Same with Zliten and reading.  I’d like to find mine.
Hmmm.  Right now, life is making me happy.  I’m not sure exactly what I was aiming for here, but I think the thing that makes me most happy is having awesome adventures with my Zliten.

-Continue to do things that frighten/excite/challenge me (like trapeze lessons or flight lessons) and continue to pick out of the hat – the whole life goal of one truly memorable thing per month.
Flight lessons next month. 🙂  No hat picking, but definitely don’t feel like I’m lacking here.

So in summary, doing a great job with a lot, but still have major progress to make in some areas.  I’m pretty sure these things start with making #3 a priority.  So, time to really do that.

How are your resolutions/goals for 2011 going?  What do YOU need to focus on in the next 6 months?

Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of…

Happiness, or at least trying not to threaten folks with too much bodily harm at work.  Seriously, I’ve threatened stabbing someone’s eye out, choking, brandished a knife at someone, and promised beatings.  And that’s just today.  No, I’m not a prison guard or FBI agent, but I AM a Producer… I guess it’s just a day in the life.

So yes.  Busy.  Out living, not writing about it.  Here is a quick and dirty of my happs:

Foodie food food food:

Made myself track the last two weeks.  Realized that DUH, I’m not losing because I’m eating like an asshole again.  Working on rectifying that.  Last two days have been pretty good, working on continuing that trend.  Still going to see the nutritionist sometime next week, have to convince her that I don’t normally consume about a bag of chips over a weekend and enough alcohol to inebriate an army.  Well, at least the first one… more on this of course as I meet and greet with the lady who will attempt to relive me of a major burden for the last two years and hopefully remove my head from the wall which I have been banging it upon.

Wake Up Sleepyhead!:

Have been attempting the morning workout thang.  It’s being a little challenging, as now work is starting to encroach on the mornings some days (really?  do you HAVE to schedule me a 9 am interview?  my schedule is not THAT booked…), but I’m determined to make it work.  While I REALLY hate getting up in the morning, it is REALLY nice to get it over with before work (though admittedly right now they’re both about the same amount of capital REALLY) and it gives me more time at night.   Not sure how exactly that works but I like it.  Also, it eliminates the uncertainty.  No matter what happens during the day to make me stay late at work or I have ninja-insert-into-schedule-right-after-work plans, I can get down with it, since my workout is diggity done.  Tomorrow is really a test, because I’ve got to be up and out by like, 7:30.  This may sound late to some of you, but it’s the middle of the night to me.  I have a feeling it’s fucking with my mood a bit (negatively, see stabby comments above and eeyore like facebooks and tweets), but hopefully that will subside soon.

Also, along with this, is more outside time.  I was really beating myself up on my sad, sad paces on runs, but I found lots of evidence to support that you need to lower your expectations.  They said in the temps I was running in – to add about 20%.  Guess what, it was just about exactly 20% more than a really fast paced 5-6 miler would be for me.  My two summer mantras will be “Base is more important than pace” and “It IS that hot and you ARE running that slow.  It’s ok.”

Mostly, uh, because I’m a dumbass and signed up for THIS half marathon and am also targeting THIS sprint tri.  As an A race.  8 days apart.  Either training the long runs with everything else for the swim and bike will be AMAZING for my endurance and I’ll PR like crazy, or I’ll crash and burn.  I had success last year training up my run to almost half marathon lengths during tri season, but that was for an olympic.  I’ll be running a 12 one weekend, a sprint tri the next, and then a half, so no real taper time.  While the sprint is an A race, the half is ABSOLUTELY not.  I’d just like to finish at a respectable pace.  If I’m feeling great on race day, maybe I’ll race it, but for this one, I am really doing it for the t-shirt.  I mean, it says that I run for champagne (and chocolate).  Um, hello, race tradition!

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted:

Vacations are falling into place.  While I keep threatening to hop a plane to a desert island this week, we will be doing just that in December to Jamaica (Montego Bay).  5 days of all-inclusive resort with food, drinks, water sports, land sports, white sandy beaches, and most importantly, just me and my Zliten.  We were going to do Portland in Sept., but after researching, we just don’t have enough time to really do it justice (flights there and back would take up the majority of a day, and I want more than 2.5 days in a new city for the price we’d pay).  Likely, we’ll do NOLA again as we HAVE been there, it’s driving distance (or if we can get a really good deal, a VERY short flight), and will be a good long weekend away.

2012 is actually now settled too.  Cruise with my parents early in the year (either back to the same ports we went to last time, or more Jamaica), and we just found out our friends are getting married ON A FRIKKIN CRUISE TO ALASKA in Sept – we’re so in.  So 3 trips out of the country!  Woohoo!  2013 is tentatively some sort of really long cruise with my rents for my dad’s 80th, so we’re thinking that we may actually do our planned honeymoon in Italy and Greece for our 5th anniversary. =) When you have the money you don’t have the time, when you have the time you don’t have the money, indeed.

It’s Friiiiiiiday, Friiiiday:

Well, almost.  Plans this weekend include Judah Frelander at the comedy club, a bike ride, and that’s about it for now.  What’s on your agenda?

Planz. I has them.

Now that spring races are over, it’s time for a long summer’s nap.  Sorta.

It’s about that time in the ATX when temps reach 100 and don’t quit (which means morning workouts start at a stifling 80+ and humid and it just gets bananas from there), which means – time to lay off the races for a while.  Or at least attempt to.  I am trained up to primo endurance for sprint tris, and since I don’t plan to do any Olympic distance this year, I can just coast with the distances.  Push paces and speed and work on my nemesis – hills, but I’m feel comfortable doing what I’m doing.  Now just work on faster.

Next Planned Race: Oct 1 – Kerrville Tri (Sprint – 500m swim, 15.5 mile bike, 5k run).  Goal is to improve upon paces again.  Super goal would be adding 1.5 miles on the bike and beating my 1:40.

Then, things get interesting.  See Jane Run got on my radar and I listed it as a possible race.  I’ve wavered back and forth, doing it, not doing it, doing the 5k… but a promise of being able to bail to the 5k at the last moment (because this awesome deal makes the half cost 37 bucks!!!), a freaking SWEET race shirt I really want… I think I’m going to have to do it.  This will be the weirdest race combo ever – 8 days separating a sprint tri and a half marathon.  And the tri is an A race.  Now, I have no expectations of a PR at the half mary, and it will be an interesting experiment.

Then, the actual building to actually race long distances…5 mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving.  Looking for a winter 10k (it still bugs me I’ve only ran one, and I LOVE the distance).  3M as my goal race.  Then… I said I’d never do the Austin Half again, but I may or may not do 2012 but IF and ONLY IF I am pacing someone who has asked me POSSIBLY to help them with their first half.  And these plans may or may not change due to a cruise planned sometime in Jan/Feb.  This is all very far away though…

There are a lot of 2012/2013/2014 type far reaching plans I have too, but it’s way too early to talk about them.  Suffice to say, I R crazypants.

This summer though, I have goals:

-Under 160 by the next tri.  I’m seriously SICK AND TIRED of this extra weight.  Nutritionist appointment underway (week of July 11th is the first one) and I’m going to do this FO REALZ.

-Learn how to wakeboard (a coworker friend person is supposed to teach me)

-Learn to fly a plane (at least the first lesson, which I have paid for)

-Lots of fun outside time.  Lakes, kayaking, biking/walking for fun, not for pace (ok, some for pace, but not every workout).  Hit the veloway with the bikes.  Hit lots of other random places up with bikes.  Lots of open water swimming just to stay in practice and enjoy our lakes.

-Keep up with weights, so I can resume selling two tickets to my gun show!

Dragging Ass:

The last week has been jam packed with excitement and…stuff.

Saturday – Went for a 10 mile ride outside around the house.  Then, decided at the last minute to do another 10 mile ride down to the Keep Austin Weird 5k and festival (to which we had recieved 2 free entries, thanks Yelp!!!).  Then, the 5k at 7pm in the 95 degree heat and sun.  We walked it.  Was NOT going to race it in the hot weather and after 20 miles on the bike.  It was a GREAT experience and next year, when we don’t have the free passes, we may just come down to the course and watch the costumes.  It was an awesome time.

Then, huge transportation fail.  We had planned to either ride or bus back if it got too late.  It was on the edge of dusk and we don’t have lights (yet, definitely on the list to get now), so we decided to bus.  First bus had two bikes on it already.  Next bus never came.  Finally, an hour later (and keep in mind we had biked 20 miles, walked 5k, and hadn’t eaten since 1pm and it was after 9), we called a cab and asked for one that could handle our bikes.  Cab was on it’s way, got the confirmation, and then… nada.  Two more busses came by.  Called back, and the dispatcher said that the cab didn’t see anyone there and we were like… HELLO, and then waited a bit longer.

Finally at 10pm, I put my foot down and we walked our bikes down the street and got some dinner and a drink and unwound a bit and decided to deal with transport later.  We ended up calling a good buddy who retrieved our bike rack from our house, and came down and got us.  Sigh.  Transportation fail.  After that frustration, we ended up home finally at 1am, and errr, started drinking.

Sunday: Let’s just say I was a bit worse for wear this day after Saturday’s events.  Then, on little sleep and feeling like super craptastical, we headed back out in the heat for a ball game.  By the time the game started I was feeling better, but it went kinda long and we didn’t get home until 11:30.  Was a blast though.  I definitely got my vitamin D last weekend!

Monday was a busy day at work and back to the gym for 30 mins of hillllz on the bike and a particularly brutal crunch time class.  Tuesday was our head honchos and our localization partners in the office at the same time, plus a brutally hot 5 mile morning run and laundry and cleaning.  Yesterday was more meetings and work and heticness and weights and about a mile swim, and then we spent all night researching vacations and have booked our winter vacay – 6 days all inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica!  Woot!  I’ve been told I need to come back with a shirt that says “Jamaican me crazy” so it’s a mission!

Then, today, on top of more crazy meetings and 2 interviews and such at work, we ducked out over lunch and refinanced our mortgage (I had a 2 hour free window in the day and it took 1.5 hours).  However, now we are paying a little more a month (think giving up your once a day starbucks habit 5 days a week, or one decently nice dinner and a few drinks per month), and with rates as low as they are now, we’ve converted from a 30 year to a 15 year.  Double woot!  Seriously, if you bought your house more than a few years ago, go at least check it out and see – this was an amazing surprise!

That being said, a hill/sprint 4 miler was on the program tonight, and I am just… mentally and physically drained.  I decided to take tonight off and just relax and read, and hit the track tomorrow AM for some 400m repeat goodness.  I owe myself some weights but I’ll work those in sometime before Monday.

This weekend, plans are – Saturday – 2 hour bike ride up north, then lunch and the day with my parents, and then grillin’ and chillin’ at the house later.  Sunday, more bbq fun at our friends T and V.  Thinking this may be the morning I work those weights in.  Monday – …nothing.  Glorious nothing.  I have some easy food to make for lunch and an asian feast to make later.  We have some video games to play, and movies to watch.  The goal is to not leave the house and veg.

Speaking of, time to stop yip yapping and read.  More about the KAW 5k soon, as I have some epicly cool pictures.  What awesome plans do you have this weekend?  If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?

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