Adjusted Reality

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

Month: September 2011

It’s Go Time

It’s that time I’ve been looking forward to/dreading/anticipating since June – it’s just about go time.  The last key workout is behind me with a race pace brick this morning, and a few really short workouts to keep the legs loose, a wee road trip, packet pickup, and then… time to see what this ol’ bod has in it.

Training for a back to back sprint tri and half marathon has been a challenge, but a fun one.  I can even say it’s been pretty much super!

First of all, I’ve trained up for this half running about twice a week.  Who trains twice a week?  Someone who also is doing a bunch of biking and swimming, that’s who.  Either this will be awesome, or a horrible mistake.  I know I’ll get through it – I did just about 13 miles two weeks ago, but I certainly want to do it faster than 2.5 hours. Now I know I *have* to eat something on a double digit run, and it will certainly be cooler running then, but it will be interesting to see HOW much faster…

Also, who does double digit runs training for a sprint tri?  Actually… that was pretty smart.  I made sure that each long run had a “5k kick” at the end.  Whether or not it was actually fast timewise, I made sure it was at hard effort (some days when it was pushing 90 degrees by then, it was a hard effort to just maintain pace).  I was worried about doing more of these type of workouts and less outdoor bricks, but my faith was restored with last Monday’s race pace brick where a 9:20 pace 5k run right off the bike felt good.  I ran a 9:31 pace 2 miler today (without music even) and it was hoooooooooot.  I could potentially KILL this tri’s run portion if my head is in the game and I leave myself just a little bit in reserve off the bike.  I just need one of these on my head to control my thoughts…

But now, it’s time to taper.  It’s coincided well, I usually taper 2 weeks for a half and 1 for a sprint (insert sprint tri in place of 8 mile long run over the last weekend before, but it works).  I peaked the run mileage 3 weeks before instead of 2 but I had a much better run last week even if it was 3 miles shorter, so I’m good with that.  Time to do really short speedy workouts the next two weeks, stay hydrated, stay loose and make sure to stretch, ice the back if it even hurts just a weeee bit, practice transitions, check over every inch of my bike, pack up stuff for race day like 3 times and make insane checklists of what to bring… ya know, the usual.

It’s go time.  I haven’t raced in months.  IT. IS. SO. ON.

Other things…

-We went to Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Sunday.  We had a good friend who’s company rented out the park, and she was able to get us tickets.  I am not a big fan of lines, so I don’t generally frequent theme parks, but I AM a HUGE fan of roller coasters, so it was just about the best day ever.  The park was so empty, we got to ride everything we wanted to and our favorite coaster twice!!!  We passed a gift shop hawking cheap capes, and three of us emerged as Wonder Woman, Bat-fabulous (gold lame batman cape), and Bizarro Superman.  We flew around the park all day being awesome!  My friend D and I agreed that the more responsibility we have to take on in our jobs, the more juvenile we had to act in our personal lives.  Hi, my name is Quix, I’m 3 years old today.  Zoooooom, zoom!

-The day before, we did a out of order almost tri – rode 10 miles at a easy but decent pace, swam 500m open water at Lake Pf, and then a nice and easy 5k around the lake.  No land speed records, but a nice way to spend the morning.  Then, we hit up our second REI in 2 days to do some garage sale action (we had spent time looking through the tri and biking clearance stuff the day before).  I really should just have them auto deduct about 10% of my paycheck, it would just be easier.  Along with the juvenile-ness I talked about earlier, I had to bring home a jacket because “it was so fluffy, I was going to die!!!”.  At least I’m ready for winter!

-I kinda ate like crap this weekend.  Too much out food, and my energy levels and digestive system is definitely letting me know.  Things are settling back to normal, but its amazing how a little bit of bloat visually erased all the work I’ve done and I feel just as rotund as I did when I begun this process.  At least I know a few more days of good food and I’ll be back to normal. And honestly, bad for me is a bunch of meals out, but they were not all horrid.  Chicken pho, Panera, Whole Foods bar, homemade chili, Six Flags park food, and then taco salad/chips/queso (Sunday was the killer – there may have been a few bites of a funnel cake sundae in there…).  Not reprehensible but it definitely has made a difference in how I feel.  We’ve been eating in all week and it’s been nice.

-Weight is not pretty due to the bloat.  Hopefully it will calm itself in the next day or 2.

-Our anniversary is next Tuesday (2 years, how crazy is that?) and we have balcony seats to see Mc Chris screen Starship Troopers at the Alamo Drafthouse!  Sure, you could do fancy dinners and candy and flowers and crap, but why when you can nerd out together! 🙂

-Last week, Zliten brought me flowers just because.  I think I need to paint a sunflower picture for that part of the bedroom.  With all my free time and all…

-And, note to self – habanero spicy fish w/a big plate of spicy beans w/chili lime and garlic hot sauces 9 hours before alarm time before a 10 mile run in the morning?  NOT SMART.  I got it done, but there may have been a few pit stops and…err.. I may have been rocket propelled part of the 4 loops I did.  And I may have been cursing the culinary gods the entire run.  LESSON LEARNED.

Speaking of workouts, here was last week…

Monday: 15 mile bike in 57 mins (15.9), 5k run in 29 (9:27) (outside)
Tuesday: 1600 yd swim in 25 mins (27:30 pace)
Wednesday: 9.36 mile bike in 30 mins (18.7 mph)
Thursday: 10 mile run in 1:46 (10:35)
Friday: off
Saturday: 10 mile ride in 43 (14.3 mph), 500m swim in 18 (guess? seems way slow to me), 5k run pacing Zliten in 38:25 (12:23 pace)
Sunday: 5 miles walking around 6 flags

And here is this week.  Note a lot of rest here like a good tapering triathlete should!

Monday: 900 yd swim sprints – 15 mins (29:19 pace), crunchtime
Tuesday: 6.33 mile ride in 23 mins (16.5 mph), 1.68 mile run in 16 mins flat (9:31 pace)
Wednesday: off, practice transitions, maybe hot tub
Thursday: 2 mile race pace run (9:30)
Friday: off (driving)
Saturday: RACE!!!
Sunday: off, recovering from CHAMPAGNE and pizza feast (nutritionist be damned, race day = splurge)!

Tri goals:

Easy swim, come out feeling warmed up
Fast transitions
Bike at about 85-90%, try to keep an even pace up and down hills unless they’re super steep
Kill it on the run and leave it on the course, run the 5k I know I can run if my head lets me

A goal: 1:40.  That would be adding 2 miles on the bike and beating my time from Pf.

B goal: Beat all my paces from Rookie. 38 min mile swimming (about 11.5 mins for the 500m), 15.8 mph bike (57 mins for the 15 miles), 9:40 min/mile run (30 mins for the 5k).

C goal: Finish a hard race and have fun with my last tri of the year.  I’ve never even been to Kerrville let alone cased the course, so I have no idea what to expect.  If it’s hilly as crap, I’ll adjust my expectations.

Placement: I’d like to be in the top half of my age group, top third would be uber cool!

I think that’s about it.  Resting, relaxing, hydrating, and getting psyched for the next two weekends!  What are you looking forward to?  Like my theory on “age balancing”? 🙂  Have a great week, and next time I check in, I’ll have one race down and one to go!  Think speedy thoughts for me!

Busy Bee

So busy, even with extra days off.  These are things I have done lately:

-Long run Saturday morning – I totally BONKED.  At mile 12, my body just shut the hell down and I had to walk home.  I tried to restart running 3 times and my body just said, loud and clear, NO.  So I’ll take my 2:29 for 13 miles and hope that my crappy training run = more good juju for the race. What did we learn from this run?  12 miles is my wall.  I cannot get past it without more fuel than just a coconut water diluted in my camelback.  It was literally after my garmin ticked over 12 that it happened, and I was perfectly fine last week.  So that HAS to be it.

-Race pace brick on Monday – totally redeemed myself.  Just a smidge under 16 mph for a 15 mile street ride with stops, and a 29 min 5k right off the bike in the heat  – both feeling about 80% of capacity?  Totally stoked.  I have to remind myself as much as I can HOPE to PR at the half marathon by a stroke of luck, the TRI was always my A race and I am damn well trained up for it.

-My lower back is a little angry this week, but manageable.  I have a long run planned tomorrow (10 miles), but ready to pull the cord if I start having issues.  To be safe, I’m laying off strength training and may hold out until after the half in 2.5 weeks just to be safe (but I’m not sure I can stay away from crunchtime that long!).

-It’s like, 15 months from now, but everyone in Austin must do this race with me.  MUST. I can pretend that 2 years ago me is chasing me.  In the future.  Woah… that zombie has a nice high kick.  After 2 more years of running under my belt, that would probably snap my hammies.  Ah well.

-I had some days I needed to take off before the end of the year, and Oct/Nov are super busy work months, so I just took Monday and Tuesday off.  My goal besides an awesome race pace brick? A Game of Thrones, the 1000+ page book which the series was made from?  Devoured.  If spending 2 days off laying in bed consuming a huge book is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  My head does feel a little squishy after shoving that much story in it, so I’m taking a little break before I start the next one.  That is SO the best way to read a book, I can’t stand doing it in tiny little segments…

-We had a company fun day last week.  We got to go bowling and sing karaoke and drink wine and eat fajitas during office hours.  Sharing the mic belting out “I like big butts and I cannot lie” and other work-inappropriate ditties?  Way fun.

-I found out that if I am a reasonable human being and lay off the cigarettes while drinking, and drink early enough in the day, I can bust out a pretty decent 5 mile run in the morning even after a bottle and a half of wine to myself!

-I am still trying to find a marathon goal race and nothing fits just right.  My options are to do the BARE MINIMUM training (I would start the training program right in the middle and do about 8 weeks to take my long run from 13 to 20) and run either Decker or White Rock in December (with the goal of just to finish), or I could extend the time and do Rock N Roll AZ in Jan, but that would still mean training immediately from my half which I hadn’t planned.

Or, I can continue to search for a race in March/Apr and accept that I may a) need to spend my birthday NOT partying (WAH) because I’ll race the next day (Rock N Roll NOLA) b) run a fairly boring course here in TX (Woodlands, Big D) or c) take a plane flight somewhere (Catalina? LA?).  None are optimal.  I’m ruling out anything in mid-Feb because a) I get sick and b) I’m likely going to run Austin Half as moral support. I WOULD LOVE MARATHON SUGGESTIONS!!! I want it to be the bestest time ever and I’m being prissy about which one will pop my marathon cherry… sue me!  Your first time is supposed to be special, right? 🙂

-I got dorky and played DnD again on Thursday.  We almost took down this but it ran away.  Booo! (Yes, I am fortunate to play with an artist that makes us super cool doodles of our characters!)

-Progress with weight and such… I weigh tomorrow, so I can’t say anything right now.  But the pants I wore today, the last time I put them on, they were so tight they were uncomfortable.  Today, they were fine.  As I gained weight, I said my shirts felt shorter.  They’re starting to feel longer.  It’s not as if things are really getting that much looser (at least quickly), but tighter clothes are looking better, there are less bits and bobbles sticking out.  It is S-l-ooooooooow as molasses, but things are starting to turn around.

-Future plans on tap: one more long run (tomorrow), one more open water swim (Saturday morning), a fun day at Six Flags w/some friends and Zliten – we have a friend who invited us along as her company is renting out the park.  No lines, free drink refills (soda/water), and food included!  So excited!  Then, next week, starts the two week taper.  Next week, lots of short runs/bikes outside and short speedy swims.  I’m ready for this tri.  Bring it!

Workout trackings…
Last Week…
Monday: 30 min bike, 9.45 miles, 2 mile run, 19 mins
Tuesday: 20 mins swim 1200 yd, 9.07 mile bike in 30 mins (higher cadence, less resistance)
Wednesday: 30 mins weights
Thursday: 5 mile run, 51 mins
Friday: bike 9.05 mile in 30 mins
Saturday: 13 mile run (2:29)
Sunday: off

This Week…
Monday: 15.1 mile bike, 57 mins, 5k run, 29 mins
Tuesday: 25 min swim, 1600 yd
Wednesday: 30 mins bike, 9.36 miles
Thursday: 10 mile run, 5k kick at end
Friday: off
Saturday: 10-15 mile bike, swim at Lake Pf, maaaaaybe a recovery 5k run around the lake
Sunday: Six Flags (off)

All this plus probably some extra hours at work over the next few days to take carra buidness?  Busy bee I will be.  What’s buzzing in your neck of the work?  For the love of all that’s dear and fluffy, find this girl a marathon!!!  HEPL!!!

Too Much, Too Much…


We had an extended weekend at the beach, and to be honest, I simply can’t express how soul soothing it was to spend a lot of time having this view from our balcony… and playing in it as much as possible…

Spending an evening watch these…

…(yes those are belt sanders) Race down this…

…while we drank adult beverages until this came up…

I may be a little worse for wear this week because I got less sleep all weekend than I did on Sunday night.  However, I’d been a little down for a while because we haven’t had any weekend trips or vacations at all for that matter in almost 6 months.  I get the ITCH if we don’t get to go anywhere.

I didn’t have high hopes for the weekend because I was told the beaches weren’t that nice (not true at all).  We decided ahead of time to cook our own food and one of my favorite parts of vacation is new and cool food and restaurants (but it was actually nice because I stayed about 80% on my plan).  It seemed like it was going to be a normal weekend, simply with a view.

It was way better than that.  Just getting away from the norm is great.  There was no “oh, I should clean this” or “hey, I should spend the afternoon researching this”.  I ate, slept, played in the ocean, read, and drank.  It was lovely, and my brain feels happy this week even if I’ve been slacking on the morning workouts and shifting my day a *little* later.  If I knew how great of a beach vacation we had 4 hours away, I can guarantee we’d have been here already.  And that we will also be back soon.

…Stuff to Do

It’s overload time here at the Quix household.  September is notoriously busy and this week is the peak of it (I hope).  Here is what’s in the hopper for the week… I’m going to totally have to channel Thor-merica like I do here to conquer it.

Being out of town this weekend, I have no groceries, not done laundry, and the house is a flippin’ disaster.

Monday, I slept in to make up for the severe lack of sleep this weekend, worked, and then hit up the gym after work (30 min bike, 20 min run, 30 mins crunchtime), we had dinner out, then got groceries, then came home and made lunch, and then around 11pm fell face first into bed.  Believe it or not, I ate Panda Express and Buffalo Wild Wings and stuck to my food plan the entire time.  I even realized I hadn’t had grains all day and had a piece of bran/flax bread.

Today I slept in again to keep with the recuperation from crazy weekend (also didn’t get to bed until late), work is 80% meetings (luckily, fun engaging ones), another bike and a swim after work, make a quick dinner, and then cleaning up.  Not much fun time tonight either.

Wednesday I have a weights sesh planned, then to be into work early, then after lunch it’s a fun day w/bowling and karaoke and drinks and food (so I imagine that motivation will not be at an all time high after getting home after being up at the crack of dawn and doing all that).  Then, probably more cleaning time.

Thursday is biking in the morning, another meeting heavy day, and then game night at a friend’s house.

Friday I had a 13 miler scheduled.  So, that would mean in bed at midnight or later, and up at 6, to work at 10, leave again in less than an hour, sign mortgage refi papers, work the rest of the day, come home.  I’m just not down with that, especially after the week of crazy.  So long run, consider yourself rescheduled.  I’ll fit in some sort of *something* eaither super early or after work (depending on what we decide to do Saturday), probably speedwork or a swim.

Saturday morning we’re going to hit up Lake Pflugerville again and do one more open water swim, and potentially bike and/or run.  Then, up to the ‘rents house to celebrate Mom’s birthday, and then finally we can… ahhh… relax.

I think by that time, I will collapse into a puddle, yo.  The saving grace is I took off Monday and Tuesday as mental health days with no specific reason, so my big plans are – Monday, 13 miles rescheduled.  Tuesday, morning outdoor fast bike ride.  The rest of both days will be dedicated to sitting on my couch and trying to plow through A Game of Thrones from start to finish.  My house will be clean, I don’t have anything on the to do list, just 3 R’s – reading, riding, and running.  Sounds like bliss to me.  I just have to get there without a breakdown first.

Gotta relax though – for right now Wed/Thurs/Fri seems to be mellow (but it’s over a week away so SOMETHING will come up…) but that means resting up for another long run Saturday, and Six Flags on Sunday… oy.

Stats for the week:

Workouts Last Week…
Monday: off
Tuesday: 1600 yd swim, weights
Wednesday: 4.25 mile outside run, 41 mins (9:25 pace)
Thursday: 30 mins biking hills, 9.30 miles (18.6 mph)
Friday: 12 miles in 2:10 (10:50 pace)
Saturday: 2 1/2 hours of playing chase the fishies in the ocean… if only all open water swims could be this awesome…
Sunday: off

Workouts This Week…
Monday: 30 min bike/20 min run brick, crunchtime
Tuesday: high cadence bike workout (opposite of hills, basically training the fast flats), swim
Wednesday: weights before work (home)
Thursday: 10-15 mile fast ride outside (check out straight path by train tracks)
Friday: something… (TBD)
Saturday: Lake Pf – open water swim, and bike and run (or both)

So lots of TBD.  I’m ok with that.  Next week will be a little brutal with a long run on Monday and on Fri or Sat, but I just think it’s better juju to get through this week and work on speed rather than distance.

Weight was back to 178 last week, but it’s about that TOM so it wasn’t a huge surprise.  I’ll give it another week or 2 before I’m worried.

Vacation eating wasn’t too bad.  I stayed on my plan minus: 3 donut holes, 1 small carrot cake cupcake, some chips, and a little extra rice (coupled with also a tortilla so it took me over my 1 grain per day).  Good thing my plan included lots of alcohol. 🙂

How busy is your week?  Wanna trade? 🙂

Ping Pong

A few of my collective thoughts ping ponging around my head about the week…

-1 grain per day isn’t so hard.  I CAN’T BELIEVE THESE WORDS ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH but I’ve been getting down with the salads at lunch and am loving it.  There are just so many ways to top lettuce!  I’m going to work on trying a new one per week.  Then there are stir fries, and chilis and soups and stews… The only way I’ve succeeded in changing my diet is to expand on healthy things I like instead of trying to stuff crap down my throat I hate, so I’ll be workin’ the crockpot and the leafy greens for a while and dipping my toe into other waters gingerly.

-Seriously, my issue is cutting down corn (getting better) potatoes (love them, but for some reason I stopped having them often, so I’ve just not resumed eating them much), and the new one… carrots.  Oh how I love to stress eat carrots but I’ve transferred over to snow peas (fully on the approved list) instead.  I wish I wasn’t so lazy, because I could totally dig the broccoli and celery and hummus, but since they don’t come pre-cut, I am slacktastic about doing it myself.

-I had upped my dairy like huge big crazy, and bringing it back down has been hard.  I love me some cheeeeeese.  That was one thing that made me ok giving up grain-y things.  Glad I’m doing this in stages… also glad my nutritionist understands me.  In discussing the upcoming vacations I have planned, “your only beverage calories should be alcohol”.  A chiropractor that prescribes booze and a nutritionist who sanctions drinking.  I’m glad I’m surrounded by people who get me. 🙂

-Some days it’s the best option to hit the snooze.  I had an 11 mile run w/fast 5k on the docket Tuesday morning.  Schedules got shifted around and I ended up doing a 30 mile bike on Sunday, 40 mins hills + 1 mile tempo run + got my butt kicked with a new dude teaching crunchtime (seriously, I think my abs are still sore).  I went to bed exhausted and in pain, even woke up during the night to take pain killers and at that time, decided to downgrade the run to a 4-5 mile hill session and set my alarm a little later. When the alarm went, I was a ball of sore, cranky, tired, and ucky.  I hit that snooze with no remorse.

After work that day, I hit the gym and did a speedy 4.25 mile hill/sprint session on the treadmill and enjoyed the crap out of the hot tub. I still felt a little lag-assy the next day, but a nice recovery swim and arm session gave my legs the rest they needed to knock out the 11 miler on Thursday.  With all the body stuff this week + blisters + some tummy issues (oh, hey, it’s my blog – I call them tummy issues on FB and DM to be nice… here I can acknowledge they are the poops)+the usual hotness it was slooooooow (11:27 pace) but I still was able to pick it up a bit at the end (about 10:30 pace avg).

-Zliten now calls sleeping building muscle.  He found an article and it said that rest is important to building muscles, and though I had to remind him that the working out part was important too, it’s nice to see him really concerned about his muscles (heh…)

-176 on the scale this week.  175 the next day, but it was after my long run so I don’t think it counts.  Low grain seems to be doing it.  Let’s see if this happy trend continues.

-I got my test results back and all is normal.  No thyroid issues, no health issues of any kind.  So yay, it’s all about figuring out my diet.  The only things that were slightly outside normal were: hemoglobin, hematocrit, and BUN to creatine levels.  Apparently having high hemoglobin/hematocrit were indicative of DOPING in athletes (so perhaps I have a natural high!), and mean I am the opposite of iron deficient so yay!  High BUN to Creatine levels can be found in body builders or other people who ingest a lot of protein (YUP – upped my protein a LOT with these diet changes) or people who are dehydrated (didn’t have much water that morning) so I am not going to be worried about it.

-Weekends are never long enough.  Even this 3 day one just flew.  I love my job but I need some more chill time!  September is going to be cuh-razy!!  Beach trip next weekend (long weekend), Six Flags later in the month, lots of people in town the weekend in between, a concert, tubing trip, birthdays, deadline at work early in October so probably long hours at work, and OH YEAH, I happen to be training more hours than I ever have because I am doing two completely different races with two different sets of training within 8 days of each other.  October doesn’t really let up either… is it time for Jamaica yet?

-Thinking about joining up with a running club this fall.  Some are very, very costly, and while it would be nice to have specialized coaching and all that, I’m mostly looking to try out not being such a loner while running.  I *love* my long runs to myself, but I also feel like running WITH other people would help me push my paces more.  Plus, this weekend, when Zliten and I ran together, it was really nice.  We just run different speeds and it only works once in a while – this way we’d have other people around to match both our paces.  Some places were almost 200 bucks per month EACH, this is 40 bucks per YEAR.  I may give it a go.

-Our dishwasher crapped out on us this week so we had to go get another one.  Zliten spent the time taking the old one out, and then the dishwasher came home and… it was missing one 50 cent piece.  ARGH.  We were already late for a bbq, so we put it off one day (and put it off until late in the day).  The kitchen is gross, but the first load of dishes is now going in our spiffy new dishwasher.  Next on the list – the stove.  It takes about 2 hours to fully preheat to 450. 😛

-Texas is on fire. 🙁  We’re fine and not near the affected area but know quite a few people who are either ready and waiting to evac or already have.  Hope everyone is ok out there and stays safe.

I think that’s about it.  Here’s the workouts for last week and this week and I’ll sign off until next time…

Last Week…
Monday: 40 mins hills level 8 (12.2 miles), 1 mile tempo run (9:25), crunchtime class
Tuesday: 4.25 miles hill/sprints on treadmill
Wednesday: 1500 yd swim + weights
Thursday: 11 mile run w/fast 5k at the end (2:06)
Friday: off
Saturday: 1000m open water @ Lake Pflugerville, 5k easy run
Sunday: off

This Week…
Monday: off
Tuesday: swim + weights
Wednesday: 4-5 mile tempo run
Thursday: 10-15 mile fast bike + weights
Friday: 12 mile w/fast 5k at the end
Saturday: off (beach – maybe some walking/swimming)
Sunday: off (beach – maybe some walking/swimming)

Three short days of work and then did I mention the beach?  So excited!!!  What are you excited for this week?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén