Adjusted Reality

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

Week 2: Light and Dark

Training Happies:

First of all, my exciting news!  I got to do a bike test and run test this week.  Why so exciting?  Well, this is the first time I’ve really pushed myself on the bike since Kerrville (Sept) and on the run since Vern’s (Dec 15).  It felt WONDERFUL.  Most importantly though it gave me a great yardstick to set up my zones and see where I’m at.

The test is such – warm up if needed (I didn’t on the bike, but we did on the run).  Then, 30 minutes as high intensity you can keep up for all 30 mins.  The average heart rate for the last 20 mins of the test is your lactate threshold and you can take that and calculate your zones.

Bike: I totally rocked this.  I kept a 28.9 mph average on the trainer for 30 mins and found my average to be about 165 HR.  I felt like I was pushing and a little out of breath, but not close to dying.  I was pretty amazed that I had that in me.  I never ride like that unless I’m racing.  I may be deluding myself that my work on the trainer will translate that much into outdoor ride speed, but I can hope.

Bike Zones

Zone 1 Less than 81% of LTHR        <133
Zone 2 81% to 89% of LTHR      134 – 146
Zone 3 90% to 93% of LTHR      147 – 153
Zone 4 94% to 99% of LTHR      154 – 164
Zone 5a 100% to 102% of LTHR        165 – 168
Zone 5b 103% to 106% of LTHR        169 – 174
Zone 5c More than 106% of LTHR       >175

The run was a little less “omg I’m fast and awesome” – I have been not doing a lot of runs due to heel crankiness (which I seem to be over the hump with – I ran yesterday and I can walk today, so there’s that).  The extra fluff shows itself in spades in my run pace, but it is what it is.  It’s hard to tell because I didn’t break apart the warmup, but I think I would be barely under a 30 min 5k at this point.  Bleh.  It is what it is and it’s a starting point for the year.

The wonderful part of this run is I didn’t even need to take an average.  My lactate threshold is CLEARLY 175.  Anything below that, I’m ready to speed up.  Anything above that, my body starts shutting that shit down and if I want to maintain pace, I need to venture DEEP within the pain cave.  The numbers supported it too.  It’s awesome that I will know that if I want to do the best that my body has in it that day, I need to maintain about 175 until the finishing kick.  Another lovely thing is my stride felt great (once I warmed up and got the junk out of my legs – SO sore to start with).  I felt like my turnover was effortless and I was almost gliding around the track instead of pounding it.  I’m sure I still looked like the special kid but I FELT great.

Run Zones:

Zone 1 Less than 85% of LTHR        < 148
Zone 2 85% to 89% of LTHR      149 – 155
Zone 3 90% to 94% of LTHR      156 – 164
Zone 4 95% to 99% of LTHR      165 – 174
Zone 5a 100% to 102% of LTHR        175 – 178
Zone 5b 103% to 106% of LTHR        179 – 185
Zone 5c More than 106% of LTHR       >186

The good news is that I can extend my zone 1/2 runs to 155.  Which is a little better than 150.

If you’re curious about the method, Joe Friel on calculating zones.

Other than that, it was easy breezy beautiful.  I upped my weights on a lot of things this week.  I am going to up some reps next week to 22-25.  The swims are getting a little less awkward as long as I am mindful of my form – so that means a little faster.  I think I’ve finally conquered the swimp3 player getting water in my ears, so less dithering around with that helps too.  The trainer bikes are amazing.  I want to take this out to some roads soon for a reality check, but for now, I’m enjoying the fast numbers.  I didn’t really enjoy the elliptical instead of lunch runs this week, but it seems to have helped my heel so there is that.

By the day (should look VERY similar to last week, and next week, and the week after…)

Monday: 50 mins weights and stretching, 30 mins swim (1050m)
Tuesday: 30 min HR test on bike trainer (14.45 miles), 30 min elliptical (1.5 miles – kept HR around 140-150)
Wednesday: 45 min weights and stretching, 30 mins swim (1200m)
Thursday: 30 min bike trainer (12.02 miles), 30 min elliptical (1.45 miles – same HR)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 30 min HR test on the track (3.85 mile in 39:51 with warmup), 25 min swim (1050m), 50 min trainer ride (20.5 miles)
Sunday: rest day

Nutrition and Other Things That Go Bump In the Night

I’m spending a lot of time being really frustrated with the scale this week and I didn’t even eat that cone!  THIS IS WHY I HATE THIS SHIT.  I want to just train hard and track HR and pace times and have fun with it.  Now, my nice hard “crush it” days are really few and far between, and it’s all easy peasy, PLUS the scale isn’t budging.  Like, check it.  I’m up a lb.  I was hoping to be in the 170s by now and my low weight this week is up to 185.6 and my high is 187.2 :P.

And I’m doing just about everything right.  I finally got a batch cook week with zero refined grains or other badness.  My diet score has been in the 20s every day this week (that I haven’t drank… which is 5 out of 7).  I’ ve eaten out only 3 times this week, and 2 of them were healthy (one was the splurge burger and fries I was craving).  The only way I could improve those days is to eat MORE calories (I am not eating to my max of nuts and fruits).  My protein is spot on or even a little high (but not ridic-high, maybe 20g over max) because I’m eating 2 servings of meat again instead of just one, and my fiber is off the HOOK.  Besides the fact that I used a sauce that contained MSG in one dish (oops), this is a picture of clean eating per the diet quotient.  I’ve even tried to use more whole foods to carb up for my afternoon workouts instead of easy carbs like gels or bars.

Apparently that nets me a gain.

But I’m trying to take it in stride and with patience.  My jawline is starting to emerge from fluff.  I lost 4% bodyfat THIS WEEK and gained 2.5% muscle.  My measurements either got better or stayed the same.  My pants are starting to not fit quite so ridiculously.  For the first time in months, I actually feel like I look cute in things at times and not like an overstuffed version of myself.  My muscles are waking back up.  I’m squatting 105 lbs.  My swims last week felt less like flailing and about the same speed as last year.  My bike trainer work is in outer space right now (seriously, if I can translate that even partway to road speeds I’ll have some fatty PRs this year).  I’ve got the time to let my heel heal from whatever it’s doing rather than just trying to smash it into submission on the roads and Saturday’s run didn’t kill it (and thus, I may graduate to the treadmill or track instead of the elliptical for run days this week).

I just need to make the call that I’m all in.  And I am.  If I have to gain weight to lose weight later, so be it.  There is a grand plan and it takes until the end of June.  And that’s killing it in Buffalo Springs at the leanest possible body composition I can without a) doing it the wrong way and b) going frakking nuts.

My only modification is that on easy days, I’m not going to try to cram 100g carbs in my face before a 30 min easy ride.  That “snack-meal” in between lunch and workouts before evening swim and weights is making my workouts amazing, but unless I’m going to go out and kill some speedwork or a super long workout in the morning, a bar or gel will suffice.  I’m not going to go back to an empty stomach because that is toughhh now that I see how nice a fueled workout is, but I don’t need to cram a gel, half a bar, and dried mango in my face to pedal to a movie for 30.  I am going to continue to eat an awesome breakfast in between morning and lunch workouts because that also makes for awesomeness.  The calories were more this week.  But to lower the calories I also need to lower my diet quality.   So I don’t see that happening.

This will look like:

Monday/Wednesday (night weights/swim): eat normally, but eat 500 calorie “snack-meal” high in carbs between about 3-6pm.

Tuesday/Thursday (morning trainer/lunch run): *something* in the morning (gel, bar, etc), normal breakfast with a little extra museli in it, and an extra carby snack with lunch/within 2 hours of workouts.

Saturday: Fuel before (bar/gel), eat lunch after bike/run, eat dinner or “snack-meal” after swim and then eat normally.

Days off: Eat normally.  No extra carbage.

This will probably change as my morning workouts get harder/longer  (that’s what she said?) but for now, it’s working.

There is really nothing wrong I can do with my body by continuing to eat super high quality foods with just a few splurges per week.  The weight seemed to come off naturally last year when I did that combined with a good training volume, so we’ll see what happens.  I’m going to make it a goal to have 52 weeks of tracking this year (perhaps MINUS the week after each A race to allow myself to unwind a little bit and vacations), along with 52 sets of measurements and 52 progress pics.  I get in trouble when I don’t track, so my goal is to not give myself that long of a rope to hang myself with.

I just need to have a little faith.  Change does not happen overnight.  Years ago, I was not as happy with my job as I am now, and I thought about quitting.  However, I hung on because I had faith that this was just growing pains and something had to give and I believed in our product, and now I am THRILLED with where I’m at.  I may not be seeing quick progress, but I have faith that THIS is something that will get me to the next level.  I just have to give it a chance for it to do it’s magic.  I’m just a little scared of sticking with something that won’t work, but it just makes so much SENSE…

This Week in Food:

Monday: 22
Tuesday: 25
Wednesday: 25
Thursday: 9 (drinking night)
Friday: 19
Saturday: -2 (out to lunch burger splurge, drinking night)
Sunday: 23

Average DQ score this week: 17.25 (11.57 last week)

Average calories per day: 1927 (1795 last week)

The goal next week is to:

1. Try to make drinking nights not coincide with food splurges.  That should help the peaks and valleys.  Also, finding that doing something (playing a game, etc etc) while drinking helped me drink less while still enjoying myself immensely so more of THAT.

2. Try to maximize food score while trying to bring calories down a bit.  Though I had very few bad calories this week perhaps I could do better.

3. Try to incorporate nuts in my diet a bit more.  One serving per day this week.  Baby steps.

Questions of the week: What do you think is king, calorie count or diet quality?  Which should I focus on?  Trying to eat the best diet I can under x amount of calories, or try to eat the lowest calories I can while trying to maximize my food quality score?


Week 1: Back to Routine


Week 3: A Lot of Words About More of the Same

1 Comment

  1. What do you think is king, calorie count or diet quality?
    I say its different for everyone!

    For me I think I just want to eat it all! SO quality would probably be better. But then again a Big Mac is a needed reward. Like after the marathon 🙂

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