Adjusted Reality

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

Hills and Hell

…but since every race I do can’t be pancake flat, I need to get better at them.  For some reason, I love challenging myself with speedy track workouts and 5k tempos at the end of 10 mile runs, but increasing in elevation?  No thanks.  It’s easier for me to increase my pace from 10 min miles to 8 min miles than ascend a 3-4% incline at 10 min miles.  That’s pretty bad.

I know plenty of people who rock the hills so I asked on twitter what the deal is with outside hill repeats.  I mean, do you REALLY just find a random hill and run up it over and over?  @TriciaRunning and @libbyruns confirmed that yes, it is that simple (and these ladies are certainly experts), so this morning I found myself driving 3.5 miles (10 mins) to get to a confirmed quarter mile stretch of street that I love love love going down on my bike coasting at about 20-25 mph.  Today, my cross to bear was running as fast as I could UP it.

I parked my car at the bottom, set out my water bottle and towel right there, jogged around the block a few times to warm up, and once I was ready, I blasted up that hill.  It was pretty brutal.  I haven’t pulled the data off the garmin for elevation change but suffice to say if this puppy came about 10 miles into a half, I’d consider walking it.  I then turned around, walked a bit to catch my breath, then jogged down it.  Grab water at the car, head back to where the road dead ends, and repeat 5 more times.

Each time up the hill sucked.  Looking at my garmin was painful so I just attempted to go as fast as possible.  My hill repeats averaged out to about 9:20 min/mile pace.  I think I’m too heat acclimated to use the 20% rule anymore, but even if I just give myself a 10% boost, that’s about 8:25s going up a wicked hill.  You rarely find a hill in any normal race that really doesn’t level off for a bit after .25 of a mile, at least around here.  It’s usually up and down, or at least up and flat.  What I need to practice is RECOVERY.  Figuring out how to adjust my pace after hitting the flats so I both recover, but don’t slow to a crawl.  It will just take practice.  So I’ll be out on that hill, like a dork, at least once every couple weeks.

Picture above unrelated to hill running, but you can definitely see me working the biceps with two drinks.  Yay yelp, I love your parties!

Nutritionist A Go Go:

Friday was my follow up appointment and guess what?  I gained another pound! I’m 5 lbs up, but definitely smaller.  Less to pinch, and the pants I’m wearing right now wouldn’t zip a month ago (and now they’re comfy and don’t even make me have a muffin top).  She said that while she was hoping to see loss by now, she’s not completely surprised.  Mesomorph bodies like me can like to hang onto the adipose (bad stuff produced by excess sugars in the blood) longer than normal, and since I build muscle easily, I’m building muscle much quicker than I can shed the fat (hence the pants fitting better but extra weight on the scale).

She asked said to give it another month and I should almost CERTAINLY start seeing progress.  Case in point was one of her clients, same body type as me, took 8 weeks and saw no progress and then after 16 weeks she had lost 30 lbs.  I’m ok being patient.  The energy, and the visual results are enough to keep me going.  I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing.

That being said, we’re both a little wary about the weight gain and want to curtail it.  So, my new… challenge… (we’ll stay positive and not say HELL) is this new portion “worksheet”.  Let me just get to it:

1-2 servings legumes
Beans, lentils, hummus, etc.  1/2 cup is one serving (1/4 cup for hummus) I’ve been eating on average, probably a serving every other day.  So it’s time to up the beanage…

Unlimited veggies and fruits
Pretty much anything in the produce section, I can have it in mass quanities.  Exceptions – carrots, corn, potatoes, pineapple, banana.  Pineapple and banana in moderation (as long as I’m not eating a pineapple a day or multiple bananas – I’m good).  The rest covered below.  She said probably don’t go beyond 5ish servings of fruit a day, but we both agreed that probably wouldn’t be a problem.

0-1 servings corn/potatoes/carrots (otherwise known as Veggie B)
At the most, eat one of these every other day.

3-4 servings concentrated protien
This is beef, chicken, fish, pork, greek yogurt, milk, most cheeses, etc.  3-6 oz of meat = 1 serving.  1 oz of cheese, 16 oz milk, 1 cup greek yogurt.  There are also some tofu and tvp and tempeh stuff listed here, but I don’t really go for that stuff so I ignored.  This is about what I eat generally in a day (maybe a little more on some days with cheese/jerky snax)

4 servings of plant oil/olives, canola mayo
1 tsp oil, 1 tsp mayo, or 8-10 small olives.  This is a challenge for me and after analyzing what I eat I decided to get some fancy yummy olives to snack on.  I <3 olives a lot, so this is not a sacrifice of any kind for me…

1-2 nuts and seeds
At first, we had 1 down here, but after looking at my habits, she bumped me up to 2.  I eat a lot of nut butter with breakfast, and have nuts as a snack.  When I said nuts are my new chips, she decided I could have more.

0-1 dairy
These are the non-protein-y dairy products like cheddar cheese, regular (non-greek) yogurt, buttermilk, etc.  I imagine ice cream would be here too 🙂

1 grain
Here is the kicker.  I can have 1 grain per day.  That is, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup pasta, 1/2 cup buckwheat, amarnith, barley, etc.  My one saving grace – I can have 2 small or 1 large low carb tortilla.  I would buy stock in these companies now.  I informed her that this is the one category I will DEFINITELY cheat on once a week and she’s fine with that.

So, on a normal day, this might look like this:

workout fuel: milk (1/2 protein)
breakfast: greek yogurt (1 protein) w/apples and pb (1 nut)
lunch: turkey, bacon, cheese (1 protein and 1 dairy), and coleslaw (1 oil) wrap (1 grain) and side of veggies (1 veggie b – my mixed veggies have carrots and corn)
dinner: ribs (1 protein), beans (1 legume), coleslaw (1 oil)

This is what I have left over for snacks: 1 legume (which will likely be hummus), veggies (I’m stocked with snow peas, celery, and broccoli for dipping), fruits (raspberries, pears, apples), 1 nut (10-12 almonds), 2 oil (a mess of olives), 1/2 protein (a small piece of jerky)

So, it’s not as if I’m being left to starve.  However, it will take a little getting used to – bumping up the oils and beans and decreasing the grains.  I’m hoping lowering the grains THIS low is temporary.

Sorry if I’m all food all the time here lately, but this has been a crazy process and I want to make sure it’s well documented.  Hopefully it’s interesting to someone else out there.  Let’s end the post with my workouts and other interesting things I did this weekend…

Last week:

Thursday: full body weights (morning), 9.56 miles inside ride in 30 mins (lunch)
Friday: off (work interfered, doh!)
Saturday: 35 mile bike ride
Sunday: off
Monday: 1.15 mile run (warmup), crunchtime class, 30 mins hills (9.15 miles)
Tuesday: 10 mile run with 5k “kick” at the end (1:53 – last 5k around 31 mins)
Wednesday: off

This week:

Thursday: 2000m swim in 35 mins, 30 mins full body weights
Friday: hill run – 4 miles (.25 mile hill avg 9:20 pace), 1600yd swim after work (bonus swim!)
Saturday: off
Sunday: 30 mile bike ride
Monday: 30 min ride, 1 mile tempo run, crunchtime
Tuesday: 11 mile run with 5k “kick” at the end
Wednesday: swim + weights

Three cool things I did this week:
1.  Normally Friday nights are relax and early to bed, but we decided to rearrange our weekend and go out instead.  It’s awesome that the closest bar to our house is also the one where everyone in the video game industry frequents, and we ended up with a group of about 20 people.  Also, there was a 6 foot tall rasta banana there.
2.  Today, while the temperatures topped 110, we spent hours out in the heat at the hot sauce festival.  I threw caution to the wind and ingested quite a few non-sanctioned corn chips, but all in the name of sampling a bunch of awesome salsas, quesos, jellies, and sauces.  Zliten and some friends tried a sauce that was 7.2 million scovilles and y’know the cartoons where smoke comes out of someone’s ears and their eyes pop out of their head?  Yeah, kinda like that.
3.  I’m out of cool things so I’ll share two more interesting things – I tried a bacon flavored gumball.  It tasted like medicine.  I also went and got blood drawn to make sure everything is totally ship shape on the USS Quix (yes, I’m watching Star Trek on netflix, why do you ask?).  They took a billion vials and I used it as an excuse all day for everything.  I HATE needles and honestly wasn’t looking forward to it, but it’s never as bad as I expect.

Well, time to nom nom nom on some lemon pepper mahi, asparagus, and maybe a little rice since I haven’t gotten any grain on today, get together food stuffs for tomorrow, put away laundry, and pass the fuck out (7:30 am wakeup + out in the 110 degree sun a lot of the day + 30 mile bike ride = tired puppy).  I’ll try to be more prompt in posting my weekly progress, but no promises.

What’s one cool thing you did this week?


Year of the Triathlete


Ping Pong

1 Comment

  1. Great job on the hills in that crazy heat! Maybe you didn’t go as fast as you wanted but holy crap 110 degrees?! And the hot sauce festival sounds right up my alley:)

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