Adjusted Reality

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

Month: June 2012


Last week was a bit tricky – racing Sunday always throws things off.  Also racing Tuesday REALLY threw things off.  Also, Wednesday was that one day of the month where I’m just dead, and then there was packing and camp-stuff-gathering, and, oh yeah, Zliten was working overtime.

So, just another regular week in our crazy lives.

Totally, totally worth it though.   It was so amazing to get away from the internet and civilization for a few days.  I haven’t felt so fabulously carefree and happy for a while.  Absolutely nothing that I had to do or nowhere I had to be… *contented sigh*  Zliten and I just kept joking how it was the worst weekend ever.  How much we hated it.  How could he drag me to this awful place.  And then giggling because we were both having the most fantastic time.

Friday, we left work at 5 – we already had most of the car packed up, but then came home and shoved the rest of the stuff in.  We really and truly brought too much, but being our first solo camping trip, we decided that overpacking was fine.  We only found a few things that would have would have liked to bring (a rug for outside the tent, a broom, one extra bag of ice, more things to grill, a cushion for the bench for my princess-ass, water shoes, and 1 more day).  The main stuff we brought was a tent, an EZ up for shade (which we didn’t use), air mattress, pillows, blankets, a first aide kit, a few flashlights and headlamps, lounge chairs, 2 coolers full of food and drink, a cooler to make adult punch, swimsuits, towels, clothes, kindles, and games.

It took us only 30 mins to set up, and we had purchased to go salads that evening, so we sat down and ate.  The plus side was we got to eat early, but the negative was that there were grills going on all over and it smelled awesome!  We decided that next time, we would grill more.  After our dinner, we loaded up on bug spray and drank some wine and beer and played tons of games into the night as the hippies next to us sang and played guitar.  I looked up at one point and felt smacked in the face with a gorgeous smattering of stars.  Holy crap, stars!  We don’t get those at home!  Around 1am it got quiet, and we headed to the Eva Bundle bed in the bedroom.  I read for a while by flashlight and then drifted off with a gorgeous view of those stars through the translucent parts of our tent.

So, let me take a second to discuss how awesome this camp site is.  We have power.  We have running water.  We have a very clean restroom and very clean showers less than .25 mile away.  From the restrooms, we can see the lake.  It’s about .5 mile to the awesome water hole, and while we spent a lot of the morning reading, once it got hot (probably in the 90s), we headed for the water.  I had intended on swimming laps, but it ended up being very rocky, so we just sort of paddled around for an hour or two, and watching the cliff divers jump.  I would normally be among them, but considering the amount of money we’ve got invested in race fees… I decided I would stick with things that would less likely to make me end up DNSing a mess of races this year like conquering the little rocks in the middle of the lake.

Then, lunch of turkey sandwiches (still not grilling – again will change that next time…).  And more reading.  And a nap.  And more reading.  And some adult punch.  Another walk to the water hole for another hour of rinse and repeat earlier.  Then grilling (organic grass fed, you can take me camping but not all the way…) hot dogs and smores.  Then some more adult punch.  Then more games as the sun went down.  Then more reading.  I cannot express in words how awesomely wonderful and amazing and peaceful and full of just pure joy and goodness I felt all day.

Also, the lack of AC and just being out in the heat and the sun felt AMAZING.  When it got close to 100, we’d just repeatedly douse ourselves in water and feel better.  We’ve taken to spending a lot of time outside lately with tri training, but a whole day just felt… so, so good.

What didn’t feel great was the air mattress the second day – it lost a bunch of air and sent me careening into Zliten whenever I adjusted my position.  So it wasn’t all that bad. 🙂

In the morning we read again until it started to get hot.  Book count on the two day trip: 1.5!  It was glorious to read so much.  I wish I could find time to do that at home…

Then, we packed up the car, which took 30 mins – I packed up most everything else and took it to the car while Zliten took down the tent and air matress.  It is so nice feeling strong again, hauling the coolers and bags were like no big d.  We took one more trip to the watering hole, dried off and changed, and started our trek home.  Our plan was to get some out of the way down home BBQ in Burnet, but nothing was open, so instead, we got some fried catfish goodness when we were closer to town. 🙂  We were still on vacation, so it was totally fine.

So, so, so amazing.  A+.  Would go again.  I wasn’t entirely sure I would love it, but I really really did.  I wanted another day there.  For someone who says that roughing it was a hotel without an indoor pool, I loved it a lot.

My workouts suffered but I think I’ll live:

Monday: 30 mins weights, short 800yd swim
Tuesday: splash and dash race (750m swim, 2 mile run)
Wednesday: practically unconcious (off)
Thursday: 32 minute trainer (10.45 miles) and 25 mins weights
Friday: setting up camp
Saturday: walking a billion miles around the campsite, 2 hours of swimming
Sunday: walking half a billion miles around the campsite, 30 mins swimming, packing up camp

So yes, a textbook training week…right…  I feel rested, recovered, and actually really enthusiatic about training this week, so mission accomplished.  I’ll need to hold onto that feeling for the next 2.5 months or so, because it really, truly, madly, and deeply is GO TIME.  Everything up until now has been flirting with 70.3 (half ironman) training.  It’s time to really start making Olympic distance look like a sprint.  I plan to sit down with my training plan I loosely made in the spring (I’m a type A nerd about everything else, but for some reason, I’m really type Z about triathlon training) and actually see if I can plan out: a) the long days and b) a list of what else I need to do.

Now, to complicate things, I need to be ready for a marathon 6 weeks out from my 70.3, which basically means being ready for the marathon then.  I’m doing it because, well, I’m dumb, and also because I think that having that focus will help me run more, which I think in turn will help the 70.3.  If I’m going to be running 13.1 after biking and swimming for about 4 hours, I should probably be able to run 20 miles by then.  My comfort zone right now is really and truly around 7-10 miles right now, so I need to get back to attacking double digis soon.  I also am going to try running more OFTEN.  I haven’t done 4 runs per week since I trained for my first half, but I really think I need some more miles to get through this marathon.  I’m starting small and seeing how I feel this week. (5, 3, 3, and then 6-9).

I also ended up at the gym, no pool access, and no time to wait, so I did a test – the hill workout I was doing all winter – I was able to push myself faster and harder at a higher cadence, so I’m still improving even with the trainer not being hill specific (I’m pretty sure it’s that I ride outside fairly frequently and also do weights).  Hooray!

So the plan this week:

Monday: 30 mins weights, 20 mins hill ride (6.35 miles)
Tuesday: 5 mile run (supposed to be 7 but OMG HAWT), 30 mins weights
Wednesday: 3 mile run, long trainer after work
Thursday: offffffff
Friday: 3 miles AM 30 mins weights
Saturday: 6 mile run, long swim, short-medium bike (in that order due to heat)
Sunday: off

Run: 16-20 miles
Bike: about 55 miles
Swim: 1500m or so (this will be a SWIM LITE week)
Weights: 3 sessions

I suppose week by week I’m a little type A as I like having my week planned out.  But next week?  Have no clue what mileage I will be doing.  I think I’d like to do a brick with a long run on the weekend, and probably a long trainer bike one week day, and probably some short morning runs like I’m doing this week, and of course a double/triple brick as those pwn my face.  I’ll need some swimming in there, and cram in 3 weights sessions.  And then, once I figure out I’m training every waking moment, I scale back and figure out what I can actually sustain.

Also – I’ve been doing this whole “meat reduction” thing and honestly, it agrees with me.  I used to be honestly scared of ordering vegetarian entrees or having a meal without meat because I didn’t think I’d be full.  Turns out that veggies, beans, brown rice noodles, whole wheat tortillas, olives, a little oil, sprouted grain bread, nuts, and fruit are really most of what you need to stay full and healthy.  I supplement with a little cheese and/or sour cream when needed, some milk before or after workouts when I’m really craving it, and I still have my fage 0% in the mornings a few times a week.

I still never plan to give up meat completely, but not eating it for breakfast or lunch helps me to stick to organic sources of meat and dairy more often as I’m not seeking as much quick-meats to eat for quick meals.  I definitely enjoy my meat with dinner and I have yet to really try to implement any sort of restrictions on the weekends, but perhaps aiming for 1 meaty meal per day would work for me, and just trying to be conscious of what dairy products go in my face and try to limit those as well to mostly organic and eliminate them when I don’t *need* them (I’ve found that I can ditch sour cream OR cheese on a taco, but not both without being sad.  Also, a sprinkle of feta is just manditory for a greek wrap.)

The only side effect is I’ve been eating a little more sugar (sweets), and I’m thinking that’s just mental.  I’ve maintained the same weight range, however, I have been feeling lighter and stronger (it’s been translating well to both faster run/bike/swim times and also lifting heavier weights), so I’ll keep with it.  So far this year we have learned 3 things:

1.  The scale is a dirty filthy liar that is driving me insane.  I’m pretty sure I don’t look like I’m flirting with obesity, but that’s what the scale would have you think…

2. Weights good.  I missed being strong.  It’s nice to feel buff.  I don’t even really mind making time for it anymore, though I am finding that it’s hard to justify 1 hour classes when I can get a good full body sesh in 30 mins on my own.

3.  Less meat good.  Less dairy – not sure.

Let’s see what else I can learn this year!

Encore! – Pure Austin Splash and Dash

While I had put a lot of care and thought into racing Lake Pflug last weekend, I put exactly the opposite of that care and thought into the first splash and dash of the year.  It sorta went like this:

Quix: “Hey, we wanted to do a splash and dash this month.  Wanna do the one that would make sense to do, or the one two days after PF?”

Zliten: “I dunno, the one that makes sense to do is, like, soon.” (At that point, the next Tuesday)

Quix: “Yeah, and this one’s closer.  We can get there right after work, no big d.”

Zliten: “And we get to check out the gym with the lake in the back.”

Quix: “Plus it’s cheap and requires this USAT license we’ve paid for.”

Zliten: “Which also means more races register for our rankings.  POINTS!!!”

Quix: “Ok, lets race just over 48 hours after our tri.  What could go wrong?” *hits registration button*

Then, there was the triathlon magic of Lake Pf.  Ahhhh… unicorns.  Tasty, tasty unicorns.

I found myself feeling freaking awesome the next day even though I raced hard and champagne’d hard, so I hit up the gym for a weights sesh and a short swim.  My goal with the weights were mostly bodyweight, ez toning type exercises and some abs.  Well, I gravitated to the 20 lb dumbells and even bumped up my pulldown weight by 10 before I remembered that I was going to NOT do that.  Bah.  I went ahead and blasted my abs anyway and took it a little easier on my legs and had a fail of a swim (forgot goggles, forgot backup goggles, ended up with backupbackup goggles from 2010 which held exactly ZERO water out of my eyes).

I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, didn’t sleep terribly well Sunday night, and Monday, I had to get up real early to be at work early to be off early.  So lots of sleep, check.  Rested body, check.  Sarcasm in tow, check.

We got there with about 45 mins to start, and in that time we had to check in, get bodymarked, walk our stuff half a k around a lake and down a crazy steep rocky path, set out our transitions on said steep rocky path, got our shoes on, ran once around the lake as a warmup (1k), realized we need to use the restrooms, came back, reset up transition, and got in the water to get about 3 strokes of freestyle before they called us back to have the pre-race meeting and then the men were off (bye Zliten!!!) and we followed 3 minutes after.

This was a mass wave start of about 80 people and let me tell you –  I still don’t like ’em.  I know I’ll be started with thousands of my closest friends when I undertake the ironman so I know I need to warm up to it… but… I was spoiled my first year of tris having itty bitty wave starts and it seems like they’ve just gotten worse from there.  I figured in 750 meters, I’d have plenty of time to find my lane.  Not so much.  I would get into a groove, catch up with other swimmers, and I swear everyone was plotting against me as they would box me in and I’d drop back and around (I’m just terrified of breaking a rib from a wayward hand or foot or something).  What I need to do is practice sprints again so I can just swim through them like I do when I pass a runner – I’m just used to going my constant, same, comfortable swim pace.

Even through that drama, it was a beautiful swim in a beautiful lake.  I really, really, really wish it was open to the public since it’s open water and gorgeous less than a mile from my work, but looks like there will be more splash and dashes in my future (they do one a month).  And I MAY just go sneak in after the race and get another lap or 4 of their 750m course. 🙂

Transition was set on a steep hill so I fumbled a bit getting my shoes on without tripping on rocks or falling over.  After I did that, I grabbed my sunglasses, my garmin, and my visor and rolled out.

Swim + transition: 19:09.  Navigating the rocky hill was not easy, plus I started about 30-60 sec back in the middle of the pack.  I’m thinking my actual swim time may have been around 17?  Considering I was just feeling warmed up and really really wanted to go for another loop (and think I could have taken the second one faster), I think a ~35 minute olympic swim time (and about 40-ish half iron swim) seems reasonable, which sounds good to me.

On completely rested legs and body I could maybe have tried for sub-9s, but in my condition I was sticking as close to it as possible.  I just practiced that mental toughness, trying not to give an inch when I wanted to slow down.  It was 3k, and a 3 loop course.  Usually I like loops, but at times, it was a little disheartening.  Going past the fancy restaurant with yummy smelling food 3 times.  Going through the (slight) uphill gravel pit 3 times.  On the flipside, knowing where I could bank some time each lap was helpful.

First 1k: 6:18. Second 1k: 6:26. Third 1k: 6:18.  Nothing this run if not consistent.  The course was a little long, and my garmin read 2.03 miles in 19 flat (~9:24 avg pace).  Total time: 38:12.  46/77 women (and I’m pretty proud of this, these were some fast womens, this wasn’t your normal race crowd of all shapes and sizes).  Race 12 for the year in the books!  12 down, 12 to go!  We’re halfway there!

While I won’t say I have completely conquered keeping my head in the run, I’ve made great strides in it, with 3 major successes in less than a week.  Going fast is exhausting work!

What’s next:

Getting in what I can this week before we leave for a camping trip (this was not a banner workout week but I think I’ll survive).  During said camping trip, hiking and open water swim goodness.

My next race is July 15, so I’ve got a good month of training until then.  It’s also a solid B race – I didn’t do it last year, it will be hot as balls, and I have no expectations.  And since it’s couples tri, Zliten and I get to start in the same wave and we’ve decided we will race it together.  I need to sign us up for another July race, but it will probably be another splash and dash or 5k, still TBD.

Volume increase time.   July and August are our big training months, so it’s time to get the endurance train out of the station.  The base, it’s time to build it up to the sky.

First though – enjoying the wilderness and disconnectedness of camping.  I bought us healthy food for the trip, but I also brought potato chips and smores.  It’s a balance.

Next week: it’s on.

Lake Pflugerville Tri – Chasing Unicorns

When we talk about something somewhat unobtainable at work (figuring out an issue that only happened once, while Jupiter was aligned with Mars, and only while standing on your head), we tend to call it “chasing unicorns”.  Very occasionally, you’ll catch them, but most often, they will elude you.

Well, dear readers, let me assure you that unicorns were caught this day.  My mother, on facebook, asked what I was going to do with them, and I didn’t really have a good answer besides BBQ’ing them, but that was after bottle #2 of champagne.  I felt kinda a lot like this…

Let me back up.  Way up.

Last year, the conditions were a wee bit rough (wind wind wind), but I had what I thought was a pretty great race, with a time of 1:40:36.  The timing company screwed the pooch and didn’t get any splits, so I can’t compare with that, but when I laid out what I thought I could do, I figured out that if I had an attainably perfect race (stringing together paces which were within my grasp, but just barely) I could swing about a 1:33.  Realistically I expected to PR at least by a little, but I wasn’t sure how much that would be.

Things had been going right this week.  The old bod, even though I still maintain an extra 5-7 over what I was at last year’s race, was feeling pretty good.  Sore in the right ways from training early in the week, and with 2 days of active rest before Sunday, I was feeling rested, loose, and rarin’ to go.  Also, my last training session was the best brick I’ve had in memory – 20+ mph on the trainer, and sub-9 minute miles off the bike both times.  I was riding the confidence train pretty high into this race.  I knew it had the potential to be magical.

These were my strengths going into this race:

1. Lots of form work while swimming.  Better form = faster swims @ less effort.  Long body, kicking as close to the top of the water as possible, breathing without lifting my head out of the water as much as possible.

2. Since this bike course isn’t very hilly (some rollers, it’s no pancake, but nothing epic), the constant effort on the trainers I’ve been doing is great.

3.  Lots of mental training for the run.  I’m trying to keep my enemy – the all out 5k pain pace – very friendly.  Running really fast outside off the bike really, really helps this.

4.  Practicing transitions really helps.  I can’t stress this enough.  This is the fourth sport people!

5. Having an actual nutrition plan.  Eating on the bike keeps you from the despair point on the run.

6.  This is now really my home turf.  We train here all the time.  I wasn’t sure if this would help with familiarity, or hurt me because it would be hard to keep the intensity up, but I do believe it helped me, indeed, to not panic.

Pre race notes:

-Eats: Saturday = Apple and milk for breakfast.  Did the normal steak, veggies, salad, wee bit of bread lunch around noon.  Little bit of ice cream for desert around 3pm.  English muffin, cream cheese, and bacon around 7pm.  Sunday AM = chai tea + milk upon waking, oatmega bar slightly after.  Tummy happy.  Pre-race nutrition success!

-Movement: last workout Thurs AM, active rest Friday/Saturday (seriously active Friday – I burned just as many calories as a workout day running a billion errands).  Sunday AM – lots of walking around race venue (at least a mile or two).  About half a mile warmup an hour before the race start – .25 EZ jog, .25 with fast striders with no garmin.  200m swim warmup about 30 mins before race start, mostly just getting the arms to work properly (water was crowded so I didn’t do too much too fast).

-Gear/Transitions: #1 Success was laying everything out, practicting transitions about 6 times, and then immediately packing it all up and putting it in the car.  I knew I had everything I needed because I had just used it! #2 Success was getting to the race site right at transition opening, since I knew it was open racking, and we got the exact positions we wanted (as close to bike in/out as possible).  It took away an hour or so of sleep we could have had, but it was nice to get to the race super early and have plenty of time. #3 Success was spending a LOT of time mentally going over and over my entire race plan.

Swim strong with good form. Swim in until you touch the bottom with your hand.  Cap and goggles off.  Pick up flippy floppies.  Run to bike.  Garmin, glove 1, glove 2, sock, shoe, sock, shoe, camelback on, camelback buckled, sunglasses, helmet, unrack bike and run.  Bike strong.  Maintain 18mph average if possible.  Don’t tuck in somewhere and get comfortable and slow.  Get in easier gear last mile uphill.  Rack bike, helmet off, camelback off, gloves off, shoe on, shoe off, shoe on, shoe off, grab racebelt/visor and go.  Change garmin to run mode.  Get your legs under you while you put on the race belt and visor.  Settle in below 10 minute miles.  Get faster as you can.  Push the pace.  Don’t get about 10s even if it’s painful.  You know you can maintain this pace, it’s about pain management.  Save a little bit between 2 and 2.5 so you can accelerate to the finish.

My only complaints with the morning was that I got crappy sleep the night before (eh, race days, it’s hit or miss, and it’s hard to get a good night of sleep when your alarm is set for 3:30am), my wave was second to last (which meant it just got hotter and hotter while I waited to start, and I did have a last minute bathroom trip right before my wave (no big d though – especially since my wave was so late).

So, let’s get to the actual RACE report, shall we?  🙂

I sent Zliten off in the 3rd wave, and our buddy Bacon off in the 5th, and did said trip to the potty, and then came back just in time to cheer Zliten out of the water.  He looked a little scatterbrained, and later, he said that having me cheer him on helped him focus and get his head back.  Yay!  I kept reviewing my race plan in my head until we were called to be on double deck, and shut off my brain and joked around with the ladies around me that we had one of the smallest waves (weird).  We got in and I decided I would go for the middle and see how that fared.  The start was actually past the point where I could stand, so as they counted down, I started breaststroking towards the start and just about hit it when the air horn went off.


I concentrated on my stroke form.  Usually I have a good idea of where I am in the swim wave, but this time I was so focused I had no idea who was ahead or behind me unless I could visually see them/bump into them.  Can I just say I REALLY hate backstrokers and breaststrokers?   If you can’t be buggered to learn the proper stroke, then stay to the outside please… I’m not a terribly aggressive swimmer but each race I’m getting closer to being one.  I found my lane a few times and felt like it was a pretty solid swim.  I wanted to push myself a little more than normal to see what it did to the other legs and I think it was a success.  I got out of the water a little more tired than normal (with normal being not tired at all), but felt recovered after the jog to transition.

Swim time: 11:36.  Considering Kerrville was just as calm and the same distance, and I swam it in 13:37, I’ll call 15% better time or 2 mins a HUGE improvement.  Goal was a swim in the 11s.  Done and done.


Never walked, jogged as much as my flippy floppies and the slick stairs would allow, and executed transition almost perfectly minus a little garmin fumble.  Jogged out in my bike shoes, got to the mount line, got clipped in quick, and was on the way.

T1 time: 2:53.  Considering the amount of ground I had to cover, I’m happy (and nothing to compare it to from last year).


Got going, and put a nutter butter in my mouth.  Tummy did NOT like that.  Peanut cookie + sprint race = bad.  I started working on my honeystinger chews and those were much better – those will be my go to.  They weren’t stringy like the powerbar ones that kinda got caught in my throat, but they were nice, clean, happy sugar and caffeine.  And that’s all I need on a short course.

The first few miles went very well – I even got my average pace up around 20mph through the first few.  Then we hit the rollers I train on and I was ready for it.  In my head, I had thought the second half of the course was easier, so when I was at about 19mph halfway through, I was ecstatic!  Then, I hit a little middle fatigue – I think I wasn’t eating enough because the pb cookie made me very unhappy and I slowed down in the middle miles – I lost 19, and started working just to keep above 18 and lost that too.  Finally the easy part of the course came and I picked up a little speed but it was never enough to get back above 18.

The awesome part from last year where I accelerated to 25mph and kept it for about a mile?  Well, some dumb slow lady was hogging the middle of the road on the turn and messed with my mojo so I didn’t get that awesome stretch I was looking forward to flying past – oh well.  I also really didn’t like starting the bike that far back – I love passing people, and REALLY love passing dudes.  Zliten’s recount was being buoyed up by getting in a pack with fast dudes, and mine is being really frustrated dodging slow older ladies on a Sunday ride.

Bike time: 48:16, or 17.4 mph avg.  I really cannot be disappointed with this, but I feel like it was my weakest leg of the course.  No pb cookies, and I need to work on keeping myself motivated internally on the bike – I never realized before this race how much I rely on other people to push me on the bike.


Went as expected, except I realized I was still really dehydrated even though I had my camelback and used it, so I spent 5 extra seconds to suck more of it down.  Camelback for constant bike hydration = totally worth the extra 6 seconds to deal with in transition (I’m not good with the bike bottle in a cage and I have yet to spring for a front mounted hydration system).  What was not expected was I heard the announcer call Zliten’s name – he was already finishing.  I realized that a) he was a lucky sonofabitch to be finishing now because the clouds and cool had just finished burning off and it was hot hot sun run time, b) he had a really great tri and c) I better book it on the run if I wanted to beat him.  I saw my buddy R who was running transition and he cheered me on and I said “Zliten just finished, I want to be done…” and he just told me to gogogogo so gogogogo I did.

T2 time: 1:19.  Not too bad.  I was a little out of it and could probably get this under 1 minute, but definitely went “according to plan”.  My position next to the bike in/out really helped this one


While I was crossing the line, I hit my garmin running mode, and started.  I put on my race belt, and my visor (it fit weird, so I don’t have high hopes that I have any pretty pictures with it on, but it did it’s job).  Then I started paying attention to the garmin.  In my head, 10s were unacceptable, and things that needed to be fixed, whatever the cost.  In my head, the better I did on my run, the better I would feel later, even if I felt crappy then.  And it felt crappy.  Mid-80s, no shade, no wind, freaking trail I hate running on (give me pavement for short races any freakin’ day, I feel like I can actually get a grip).  But I got myself around 9:45s, and made myself stay there, and it oscilated between bearable, and just short of bearable.  I wasn’t ready to try for sub – 9s, I was really afraid of blowing up, so I kept it between 9 and 10.

The run really was a blur.  Green shirt 29 year old passed me and I simply kept up with her.  She really helped me.  I zoned out and focused on my run and what it meant to me to keep up a decent pace, and how disappointed I would be if I just let go and the miles went.  Slowly, but they went.  I really ran at capactity the entire time.  I didn’t think I had much of anything for the finish until I saw Zliten, who ran me in the last 100m or so and told me to speed the fuck up so I picked up my legs and sprinted with the last oomph I had and crossed with the clock reading 2:08.

Run time: 28:07 – 9:22 average.  I clocked the course a little short, but it was definitely way under 10 minute miles.  Eff yeah!!!

Post Race:

I got my bottle, my towel, and I had to sit down.   I really and trully had spent everything on that run.  I got my freezy pop (and a second and a third).  Once I was recovered, we went to check out the results.  Zliten had a 1:33:28 – which is about 34 minutes!!!! faster than last year.  I couldn’t for the life of me work out the math when I actually started and I had finish times in my head anywhere from 1:28 to 1:38.  I knew I had biked and ran MUCH better than last year, but didn’t know about the swim or transitions…also, had I beaten Zliten?  He had really had the tri of his life!

Finally, they updated the finish results tent.

1:32:12.  Over 8 minutes better than last year.  I was overjoyed.  All day.  1:33 was my A goal (and frankly, I set REALLY HARD A goals) and I beat THAT by almost a minute.  Honestly, it took me until I just dissected the race above to find anything I could do better besides just “get faster with more training”.  And that’s just a given.

The magic of Lake Pf tri even extended to the next day – barely any soreness (so I hit the gym), and today, we race again (little splash and dash – 750m swim, 3k run).  I’ll continue my “What’s next” thoughts in that post because for now, this is becoming novel length and I must get on my with life.

Onwards and upwards!

Also – I met someone who read my blog!  Wheeeee!  Marlena? Maggie?  I think your name started with an M – and speaking with you made my day even more awesome, but I’m horrible with names (especially coming off a super tri PR high).  If you see this – comment and let me know who you are. 🙂

Knives and Forks

Some people celebrate national running day with running (which we did, 2×2 miles during bricks off the bike trainer).

Some people celebrate national running day with margaritas afterwards (I deserved one after said 4 miles in the 90+ degree heat)

Some people take advantage of national running day race discount (owww, my poor amex blue, it’s now black and blue)

This gal did all 3.  And somehow 20$ off, in a way that nothing else thus far has, got me to actually sign up for my first marathon.  Rock n roll San Antonio, November 11, here we come!

Let’s see if this 3rd time is the charm.  This is the right race for me – it’s flat, the weather should be just about right for me (60s), it’s 6 weeks after my half iron, which means I’m banking on all the endurance I’ve built up in preparation for swimming 1.2, biking 56, and running 13.1, and shifting it into pure run miles.  It worked well for me before at the Olympic Tri->Half Marathon distance, I just have to, um, double it all.  No big D, right? (eep)

What this will mean is a more run focused summer.  I’m going to start doing more runs on back to back days (ez short miles) and look at other ways to otherwise ramp up the mileage beyond the 10-ish max these legs are used to right now.

I’ve also consulted with my chiropractor on my “tightness” issue in my hammies and glutes after running 13+ and she thinks it may be a form issue, and that I should get analyzed by someone to fix that.  Any suggestions on where to seek that type of thing out?  I’m not really ready or wanting a full on COACH because I like setting up my own training program and I enjoy doing the research and experimentation, but I wouldn’t mind someone to consult with.  Are there people like that out there?

Here’s what I did last week:

Monday: 1600yd swim in 30 mins, 30 mins weights at gym after work
Tuesday: 7.1 mile run before work (1:17)
Wednesday: morning weights (30 mins), bricks after work (5 mile bike, 2 mile run, 5 mile bike, 2 mile run, 5 mile bike) (~85 mins)
Thursday: off
Friday: 1500yd-ish open water swim (missed my planned weights session – although I swam casually in the lake for about 2-3 hours beyond this…)
Saturday: off
Sunday: 40 mile trainer ride (2:13)

And here’s the plan for this week (mini-taper for Lake Pf triathlon, that is, not increasing the distances or volume)

Monday: 1600yd swim, 30 mins weights at gym after work
Tuesday: long treadmill run after work (bad sleep and major tummy unhappy last night)
Wednesday: morning weights, triple bricks
Thursday: off
Friday: swim + weights
Saturday: off
Sunday: Pflugerville Tri!!!

Week after, I’m going to change it up a little.

This weekend was pretty relaxing.  Thursday, we had Dungeons and Dragons night, which is always a blast.  Friday, we crammed a stressful day into a stressful morning, but then had our annual company boat trip fun day, so we spent the afternoon on the Ark and the Large Marge (our company has gotten so big we need two boats now!), eating bbq, drinking (wine in my case), and doing crazy flips and floating in the lake.  Rough day at the office.  Although, I took care of serious business as soon as we docked and got in just under a mile (estimated due to time and strokes) of open water swim goodness before said fun.  I definitely burned a bunch more calories too diving off the second story of the boat, and wrestling the stupid inflatable shark and splashing around with coworkers.

After, we came home, had a few people over to turn the boat party into a patio party and friends brought over chinese takeout for dinner (with the best wonton soup EVAR), but after sun and fun for many hours, I found my bed fairly early.  One of the best parts about this weekend was the fact that it was a NO ALARM weekend.  I woke up Saturday morning around 10:15 and DAMN it was nice.  We did almost nothing and it was glorious.  Sunday, it was like we had an extra weekend day, it was so productive.  It was another no alarm day, and I slept about 10.5 hours and got up around the same time.  We cleaned up the house, did many loads of dishes, did many loads of laundry, cleaned out the fridge (oy, did it need that – we are horrible, slobby people), watched a bunch of movies, and even did a 40 mile trainer ride! (note to self – MORE OF THOSE)

Eats were not the best, though I paid attention to portions.  One plate of bbq on the boat for lunch, shared a big bowl of wonton soup for dinner on Friday, Saturday, my food pretty much consisted of Dominos pizza, breadsticks, and chicken strips.  Realizing that I had made a pig of myself at lunch, I didn’t eat much dinner (veggies, fruit, a little soup).  Sunday, I had a sbh sammich (sunbutter + honey) on sprouted grain bread for breakfast, and made a freaking awesome buffalo chicken casserole I ate on all day.  Sounds decadent, but it was pretty healthy.  I used a crap ton of veggies which made up most of the casserole (celery, carrots, onion, broccoli, and green beans), two servings of quinoa pasta, two servings of natural shredded chicken breast, and made a sauce from about 2 cups of skim milk + corn starch, and added franks red hot and some blue cheese.  Definitely quelled the craving for mac and cheese.  Will make this again.

We watched a bunch of movies this weekend, lots of Indie comedies, some terrible (Fubar – Balls to the Wall – watch this if you ever want to feel good about your life because you’re not THESE DUDES) and some pretty awesome (10 Inch Hero – very reminiscent of Empire Records) and some in between.  However, one thing I watched while Zliten was sleeping was Knives Over Forks.  I’m not entirely sure I fully agree with the whole “no meat no milk” thing, especially when said animal product is organic, but I know that while I do like meat, I am not inherently a “give me big chunks of meat” person.  So since I’m on my own for lunches for the next few weeks as Zliten is on overtime, I think I’m going to try plant and grain based food (for the most part – I’m not ready to give up the small smattering of dairy and oils I use) for breakfast and lunch during the week and see how I feel.  It may be a huge fail but it will be a fun little experiment!

So far I have done two days of it and guess what – I don’t really miss meat.  I had my normal yogurt/apple/pb for breakfast and black bean veggie tacos w/cheese, sour cream, guac, salsa, olives, and sprouts for lunch, and a mess of pistachios and sunflower seeds and veggies and hummus for snacks on Monday.  Tuesday, I actually (accidentally) skipped my breakfast today and ate a mess of cherries instead, and had a greek wrap + salad for lunch (lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, feta, hummus, olives, lite caesar dressing).  My breakfast will probably be my snack – sprouted grain english muffin, no-dairy cream cheese (trying it out), and a black bean veggie patty for a breakfast sandwich.

We’ll see – I’m giving it the three weeks to see if it does any good (unless I just feel AWFUL) so I’ll keep you all in the loop.

For reference, my first weight I’ve taken this week is 179, so we’re hanging out about that same as it ever was.  I’m going to be tracking food as I have been and aiming to try to keep the calories, most days, around 1600 (unless I am particularly active and/or ravenously hungry).

Question(s) of the week: what is the best advice you have for a newbie marathoner?  What style of eating suits you the best? Know of any place that does running form analysis and helps you correct it?

Race Withdrawls

It feels as if I haven’t raced in forever.  It’s been two weekends.  I think I may have a little problem. *twitch, twitch, twitch*  June’s races actually are really squished together – one in two weeks from today (Sunday), and one two days later (Tuesday).

However,  I may not be racing, but we have gotten out there and trained.  Lake Pflugerville has become our BFF.  If I didn’t hate driving so much, I’d consider getting a house out there so I could train at the lake more.

Ah….my happy place.

I’ll get back to that in a moment, but for now, let me tell you my exciting news: WE ACTUALLY REGISTERED FOR THE HALF IRONMAN!!!  Shit’s getting real.  I mean, it was always the goal, and the intention, but so was the marathon, and we all know how that went.   I feel really good about where we’re at with our training and think we can do it.  I have a few trouble spots to conquer (lots of bike miles indoor and out, running more than 10k off the bike), but I’ll get through it.  Less than four months to go!

This last week was extremely hectic due to being out of town all weekend, but at least it was a short week to cram all of it into.  There was that.  Besides a lot of work stuff, here was the training schedule.  Needs more run miles and I skipped weights on Friday due to time constraints, but pretty happy with it.

Monday: leisurely swim + 35 mins weights
Tuesday: 1 hour bike trainer (approx 17 miles)
Wednesday: weights, bike/run bricks (7 miles, 1.75 miles, 7 miles, 1 mile – both bikes around 20mph, both runs around 9:15s)
Thursday: off
Friday: 1600 yd swim – 30 mins (skipped weights. bad Quix!)
Saturday: 1100 m lake swim (~25 mins), 10 mile bike (39:45), 6.2 run (1:12)
Sunday: off

Heat training sucks (I prefer it to cold, but I also prefer my nice comfort range between about 55-79 degrees, thanks).  It didn’t mess with me that bad on Wednesday night, but running for an hour in the 86 degree sun on Saturday really did us in.  I had wanted to do at least 3 laps around the lake but we just couldn’t keep going after the second one.  I just have to accept that the paces for running outside will suck this month but start to get better as I get acclimated.

Getting more comfortable on the bike in aero (especially going up the hills), and dealing with clips.  Also, 10 miles on the bike feels very short.  Also, also, the hills felt a lot easier than last time for some reason.  Yay!

I could tell we’re two weeks out from the tri at that lake, there were a LOT of people swimming, biking, and running the area.  It was also kids fishing day, so there were a lot of people out there fishing and hanging it.  Looked like fun!

Swimming drills are starting to work, my form is improving, which means that I’m a little faster, but a LOT less tired getting out of the water.  I keep feeling like I could easily tack another mile onto my swim, and I plan to test that soon.

We had a small neighborhood type BBQ and had about 10 of our friends that lived close by over for tacos and blendy drinks on the patio and doggy play time.  Lots of fun.

I’ve also been tracking food again and surprise, surprise, I’m eating more calories than I should to lose.  Go figure!  Working on that more this week.  However, I’ve been weighing in the 178-179 range this week, which is at least consistent.  Maybe if I can get a good week under my belt maybe I’ll see the 177s again. I redid my measurements today. Hips and waist have not changed, but I’ve lost an inch in my calves, almost an inch in my hamstrings, and gained a little in my bicep (.5 – I think it’s muscle) and .25 in my neck.  My neck and my calf are almost exactly the same size.  Also, I have bigger biceps than Zliten ;).

I also got a link to a sale on all my race pics by a certain photography studio and it was interesting to see them.  I may not have lost any weight since tri season last year, but I have less jigglies.  Also, saw some old, old ones and thought a) dang, I’d like to be that weight again and b) my legs look weirdly deformed in some of them, like they shouldn’t even work for running.  I definitely have more leg muscle now even if I also have more leg fat.

Example – Kerrville last year in Oct (ughughugh)

Rookie in May – same tri-suit, just about the same angles

And my triumphant race to the finish!

Subtle, but a little less squish.  Just for fun, here are the pictures from my second race, the Texas Round Up 10k.  While I do miss the definition of my legs from the second picture, the first one makes my leg look deformed.  WTF?

Workout goals for the week: more run miles on the weekdays, less calories (around 1500-1600 per day), 3 solid weights sessions, and a good, solid week.  Friday is the company boat party, Saturday is a friend’s birthday, so the majority of training this week will be MTWTh.

Life goals for the week: put away laundry tonight, play at least 3 hours of the game I work on (I’m falling behind in levels…), and clean out the fridge.  It’s getting scary in there.

What’s your goal for the week?

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