Adjusted Reality

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

Month: March 2013

Rosedale Ride – Awakening (and Week 11)

When I was composing this post in my head, on the first half of this ride, the subtitle of this post was going to be “not whining but stating a lot of facts”.  And some of those facts where things like “why the fuck did I sign up for this” and “shorts were an unfortunate choice” and “it’s cold and I don’t like it”.

But let’s back up about 12 hours previous to the ride start and I’ll tell the story, which actually ended pretty happy.

Friday, we decided to buy a car.

Y’know, no big deal.  It’s how we roll (actually, we’ve been eyeing xterras for about 6 months and there was a deal this week we couldn’t pass up).  We got there after work at around 6 and they didn’t let us leave until like 10:15… it took WAY too long.  By that time, we were ready to bite people’s heads off since we hadn’t eaten since lunch, so we went and got some whole wheat pasta and salad (and oops, two crack-sticks, I was weak) at olive garden.  We jumped on the waitress and as she asked for water we pleaded for the salad first because we were so hungry.  Needless to say, we didn’t get home until after 11 and got in bed at midnight… not good for the night before a race.

We had packed up everything the night before so we slept in as late as possible, just enough time to wake up, poop, and make there and get set up and hit the potty again.  This year, we didn’t make it to starting with the 60 milers like we wanted, but we didn’t start back with the families either, starting with the 40 milers worked out just fine.

However, what didn’t work out just fine was my poor choice of attire.  The weather at the start, as checked at midnight when I went to sleep said feels like 60 and overcast at the start, and about 77 and sunny at the end.  I figured it would be just a little chilly at the beginning and be fine, so I went with my pearl izumi white sleeves, my p.i. bike shorts, and my rookie jersey.  At the last minute I threw my green jacket in just in case.  Thank the dear fluffy lord I did – because at race start it was certainly NOT 60, more like 50 and super windy.  I didn’t want to get out of the car.  When I did I wanted to curl up into a little ball.

It got better as we started with the mass of humanity sheltered by the Samsung building, but then it got way worse.  The first 10-20 miles, my knees were frozen, it was crowded, the wind sucked, and I felt weak and had no idea what I was doing there.  I cursed myself for not riding outside or doing any work with resistance this winter.  I wrote off tri season as a loss because my bike skills sucked.  I only rejoiced a little when I passed the first two spots I crashed last year (and didn’t), but my head sorta went to a bad place and I couldn’t eat anything because it was too crowded to get stuff out of my bento without taking down other cyclists, and my nuun didn’t make it into my camelback and I was cold and everything really was just all fucked up.  Zliten was having fun though…

However, as rides tend to do for me, things got better.  First chance I got, I stuffed my face.  We stopped and I got gatorade and cookies and peed.  My knees went from frozen to not-quite-as-frozen.  Things started hurting less.  Happy, delirious Quix came out and started singing and making up lyrics to songs (“I ride your grandad’s bike, I hit the podium, at that triathlon down the road” and to everyone who had bike shoes on… “awww, he got the velcro”) and my cycling balls started coming back and I went from whimpering at hills to growling and charging up them.  An awakening of sorts.

Last year on this ride, we definitely positive split it.  I think we took the last half around 9-10 mph because we were so unprepared and finished about 5:15.  This year, we sped up the second half.  At the halfway point, we were at 12.4 due to the misery and the wind.  We finished with an average of 13.6, which in and of itself isn’t great, but being that we picked it up that much in the second half was encouraging.  We finished in 4:29, in much better condition than last year.  Last year, I had almost an out of body experience the last 5 miles and collapsed on a curb for about 5 mins.  While I definitely had sore spots (wrists, lower back, quads), I was walking fine and ready to go get on with my day when we touched down after.

One thing I realized was this year is that maybe I’ve not retained all my fitness from last season (who actually expects that?) but I have retained muscle memory.  I may not be in the shape to be riding (or running – swimming is just magic right now) as long/fast as I was at certain points at peak, but I have a little more faith that it will all come back, and better than ever and it’s not something I need to be able to do at every moment of the year to be a good athlete, as long as I time it well with important races.

One other realization – I’m going to restructure my training.  That outdoor ride was at least 10x more worthy race prep than a trainer ride to fit.  On Saturdays, doing our run, ride, and swim might be 3 hours, but it takes a lot longer than that (getting ready, training, cooling down, rehyrdating/fueling, slacking, possibly driving to the next place, etc.  Next month, I’m going to restructure our time to include more long blocks.

Last thought – I’m really proud of how I didn’t let a downer first part ruin my ride.  I really was having fun with this one after I got into it and got over being freezing.

And that being said, time for a quick recap of the rest of the week…


Holy crap, some progress here!  I had a low weight of 182.2 last Thursday, which I haven’t seen since before the marathon.  I’m going to credit finally having some self control with calories and eating mostly good food, and tracking things very very carefully.  I’m hoping that Saturday’s calorie fest didn’t screw things up but… I burned about 2k calories on the ride alone so I think 3k calories eaten is probably about right to maintain a deficit, but it still feels like a lot.

Next week, I’m trying an experiment.  Last year, during hard training, I turned my eating to vegetarian before dinner – mostly vegan when it made sense.  It was an experiment that started while Zliten was working OT, and it took about 3 weeks, but helped me lose a meaningful amount of weight (about 5 lbs in a month).  Then, I went on vacation and ruined all that and then never went back to it.  So, I’m going to give it another try.  But this time, going full hog (or opposite of hog).  I’m attempting to do the vegan thing all day, adding fish (because… fish!), and greek yogurt, and some muscle milk for added protein for meals, when I eat at home.

No particular reason for it (I love animals, they’re delicious), besides it worked before and it’s something to try, and I’ve always felt better straying towards the veggie side, especially when my training hours are up at the ceiling.  I’ve made some awesome pesto white bean veggie pasta, black bean soup, and have Mediterranean veggie pitas and black bean tacos at the ready.  And Zliten has some chicken and beef ready to add to the foods so he doesn’t go meat dry.

Either I’ll be at race weight by next weekend, I’ll crash and burn, or somewhere in between (most likely).  I’ll report in next week.

By the numbers:

Monday: 27 DQs, 1534 cal
Tuesday: 27 DQ, 1977 calories
Wednesday: 27 DQ, 1612 calories
Thursday: 21 DQ, 1827 calories
Friday: 26 DQ, 1811 calories
Saturday: 4 DQ, 3212 calories
Sunday: 21 DQs, 1477 calories

Avg calories per day: 1921.  Guestimating burn at around 2500 average per day.  That leaves a deficit of 579 per day, which means just a little over a lb I should have lost this week.  This week was just about exactly where I want it to be.

Average DQ: 21.8.  Again, pretty much perfect.

Weight fluctuation: low of 182.2, high of 188.8.


4.5 out of 10 hours (of 10.5 planned, oops) was the Rosedale ride, so this should be short.

Run: I loved this week of running.  My Tuesday run, I was in a pissy mood to start with, and then Zliten and I snapped at each other over something silly at the beginning of the run so I just put in my headphones and ran my stress, which resulted in a solid 25 minute tempo run at 10:07 pace – y’know, just slightly slower than my all out pace in January.  I felt wonderful after, and don’t worry, my marriage is fine, I finished up 2.47 miles, went back to get him, we reconciled, and ran it in easy.  Thursday, I got my first double run day since the marathon – a combo of 8.2 happy easy low HR miles (with 3 solid hill repeats at lunch) at mid-11s in perfect weather.  Bliss!

Bike: I biked on the trainer.  It was trainerific. I tried to do a tempo but I’m having trouble getting my heart rate up on the trainer at 3/5 resistance.  Next week is all easy, but the week after, I’ll be cranking up the resistance on tempo days (also, more outside).

Swim: I had a great easy swim on Monday, but had a crappy swim on Wednesday and it was mostly due to my head.  I was trying to use Zliten’s watch and it was frustrating me, I did two 300m-ish (or more since the watch confused me and was in yards) repeats, and it looked as if it was really slow and my mp3 player kept falling out of my ears, and then I ended up getting forced into the middle of the pool in the middle of a rep with two dudes being splashy and I sucked a lot of pool.  Then the nail in the coffin is someone actually showed up at 8:10pm for their lane and I just got out and said screw it instead of trying to share a lane with Zliten.  Oh well, I’ve been all stars and rainbows with swimming lately, I’ll take one bad one every once in a while.

Weights: Last heavy week.  I’ve ended at these maxes: 205 lbs squat (bodyweight goal was 230, but I definitely hit my limit) x4 reps, 330 lb leg press (bodyweight goal was 450 but I’m not sure if anyone but Superman can do that)x4, 120 lb rows x5, and 95 lb pulldowns x7.  Feel pretty dang good about having built strength this year, and now it’s time to maintain it generally, and build sport specific strength.

By the day…

Monday: Weights: MS Day 7 + Stretching /45 min, Swim: Easy Laps + Drills 1860 m/45 min
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Video Game High School 25 mi/60 mins, Lunch Run with 25 min Tempo 3.36 mi/ 35 mins
Wednesday: Weights: MS Day 8 + Stretching /45 mins, Swim: No Good Very Bad Swim 950 m/20 mins
Thursday: Run1: Morning Trash Day Run 3.8 mi/45 mins, Run2: Lunch Run – Hill Repeats 3.4 mi/ 39 mins
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Rosedale Ride 61.1 mi 04:29
Sunday: off

Looking forward to recovery week – sorta.  I felt like I handled this build period pretty darn well, I feel really strong right now, and I’m looking forward to another one.  It’s one of those weeks where I actually really want to not do a stepback week and keep building and not take it easy, but this is particularly the time where I should.  Lock in the amazing things I’ve done this month with a little rest, and move onward and upward.

Other stuff:

I sewed pillows!  They look awesome, and it wasn’t even so hard!  I made 4, and now I’m going to make more because they are awesome, pillows for everyone!

And as we said above, we got a car.  The xterra was built for us, bikes fit nicely in the back, and we’ve taken out the back seats and will probably not putting them back in very often.

Aight, that’s about it for this week… that’s plenty.  Way too much awesome.

Question of the week: what do you drive?  Do you love it?  What’s your dream car?

Week 10 – Vodka for Dinner and Other Sacrifices


This week I have learned that sacrifices must be made to make progress, and that I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

I partied pretty hard twice this week.  Both times, to justify the calories, for the most part, skipped dinner (I had small snacks both days, but not a meal).  While I don’t typically drink to that level very often, I did remember days of having to shelve half my dinner or more if I wanted to indulge when I was losing weight.

The good news is that remembering this made me stop bitching to twitter about poor little Quix who had to much to drink and is getting her dinner taken away and just enduring it.  I’m a big girl and I make those choices.

The bad news is that I will need to remember that when I do alcohol instead of the food I need to eat, rather than alcohol + the food I need to eat makes training days suck.  My gas tank felt like I was running on empty most of Saturday because my gas tank was full of crap, and I didn’t do much better by myself the rest of the weekend.  Today I feel sluggish, tired, I’ve been peeing all day getting rid of water, and really looking forward to NOT indulging in junk food for quite a while.

But, I remember there were sacrifices on the way down from 20000 billion lbs.  As much as I remember it with rosy colored glasses that it was just effortless once I got going, I went to bed hungry sometimes.  I had vodka for dinner because I chose those calories over good calories.  I went into workouts underfueled.  And y’know what?  This far away from season?  That’s ok.  I honestly believe 10 lbs down would help me much more than feeling awesome for each training session.  90% of my meals are awesome, healthy food.  I just need to remember that the 10% crap needs to be INSTEAD of the 10% healthy, or I’ll continue to end up with 110% me each year like I have been.

However, there are exceptions.  This weekend, I’m riding a metric century.  I expect that I’ll be burning about 2000 calories doing that alone, so probably eating 2500-3000 calories that day is not too out of the question (and luckily, I have a wedding to go to that evening, so I should have no problems with that).  There is underfueling and there’s stupid.  I aim to find that line and not cross it.

That being said, here’s the numbers:

Monday: 22 DQ, 1608 calories
Tuesday: 26 DQ, 1747 calories
Wednesday: 27 DQ, 1530 calories
Thursday: 2 DQ, 1977 calories (vodka for dinner)
Friday: 13 DQ, 2097 (ren faire catered meal + drink + desert)
Saturday: 3 DQ, 2696 calories (birthday fest)
Sunday: 13 DQ, 1403 calories

Average Calories In: 1865, estimated calories out 2285 (estimated deficit 420 per day or 2945 total, or about 3/4 lb)

Average Diet Quality Score: 15 (low low low)

Weight: low 183.2, high 188.8.

No wonder I’m getting frustrated, there’s no way to tell if I’m losing 3/4 lb when I fluctuate almost 6 lbs per week :P.

Oh well, onwards and upwards.  Hopefully, there will not be vodka for dinner this week.  My body would be thankful for that.


I shorted myself a little less than an hour, which sucks, but oh well.  It really wasn’t intentional.

Swim:  I cannot say enough good things about swimming.  My slow pace is pretty not slow, I’m enjoying the speedwork, and I have a wetsuit to play in when the lake is cold.  When my form is good, I feel like a spider crawling on top of the water, being pushed by the current.  Isn’t that weird?  I was bummed that I couldn’t get our first open water swim in this weekend (planned for 30 mins but only made it 10 mins breaststroking out and back to the first buoy) – but it was nice to know that when the lake isn’t like a wave pool, the wetsuit will work just fine even in 64 degree water.

Bike: Eh.  The wind made riding really unsafe, so we cut what should have an hour ride to 37 mins, and that was less than 9 miles due to WIIIIIIIIND.  My wheel kept singing me the song of it’s people, which was an eerie whistling sound I’ve never heard before so loud and so often that it was really just unsafe to ride.  The bike is my meh sport right now, but hopefully that will change once I get out and ride hills more and get my quad mojo back.

Run: This sport is definitely coming around for me though sometimes I just want to say SHUT UP HEART.  The great thing about recognizing zone 1/2 running is that I can knock a 10 mile run (when I haven’t even run CLOSE to double digits since the marathon) and my legs are like… did we just take a long walk?  Also, I did 2 amazing tempo miles in the middle – miles 7 and 8 – and the pace wasn’t that great (read: the wind), but I felt like I wanted to run that effort forever.  So if I’m doing that around 10:45s in the wind, at the end of a long run, and on a day where I kinda felt like crap, I certainly can get uncomfortable and sub 10 on race day, right?  Also, I did hill repeats and made the lunch run crew do them with me Tuesday – that will probably be a regular thing – they loved to hate it with me.

Weights: Increased weights on some stuff.  I can definitely tell I’m either where I’m supposed to be or at the top of my capacity right now.  I’ve had fun with heavy weights, but I’m ready to move onto strength maintenance, and starting the harder “force” workouts actually on the swim/bike/run to build more specific strength for sport.

Honestly, I’m a little terrified where I am at physically in relation to tri season on the bike, run, and body composition, but I’m also feeling super strong, and very confident in my swim and most importantly, my head game and strategy.  And, I have a month and a half until the first race I sorta really care about (Rookie Tri) so anything can happen.  Hell, a month and a half ago, I would have told you I was an awesome cyclist, mediocre swimmer, I had torn up my running card, and weights were the best thing ever so… yeah.  Things – they change.

By the days…

Monday: Weights: MS Phase – Day 5 45 mins, Easy Swim + Drills 1200 m/30 mins
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Futurama The Wild G… 26.02 mi/1h15m, Run: Lunch Run Hill Repeats 4.35 mi/50 mins
Wednesday: Run: Treadmill Run 1.76 mi/20mins, Weights:MS Day 6 + Stretching 45 mins, Swim: Speedwork Day 1800m/ 40 mins
Thursday: off
Friday:  Futurama + Trainer 13.05 mi/37 min
Saturday: Run: Lake Pfluger 3+ Laps 10.1 mi /2 hours, Bike: Lake Pfluger Out and Back 8.7 mi /37 min, Swim: Lake Pfluger Wetsuit Test 175 m/10 min
Sunday:  off

Total: 8h30 mins (supposed to be 9h30).  It was really due to missing out on about 25 mins of bike and 20 mins of swim on Saturday, but oh well.  Can’t control mother nature, and really really wanted a rest day Sunday.

This week is super build week (10.5 hours) for the Build 2 cycle so I just want to get through it alive.  4 hours of that, at least, is the Rosedale Ride.  I’m super pumped to ride another metric century and looking forward to getting lots of supported outdoor ride time.  Goal is sub 4 hours of time on bike (not counting rest stops).  Hopefully the weather cooperates.

Other stuff:

We had Brazillian Steakhouse for lunch on Thursday (Zliten’s birthday) and took a half day off work and enjoyed some time in the beautiful sunny day on our patio drinking frozen drinks.  I actually ate responsibly at an all you can eat salad bar/meat place, are y’all proud of me?  Then, I had vodka for dinner as I said, so don’t be too proud.

And for the last birthday celebration of the year, we headed to our favorite bar with about 20 of our friends and enjoyed an afternoon/evening of sipping cocktails and soaking in the sun.  And, apparently, we had a long rap concert going on inside, which made for some awesome people watching.  While again, I had vodka for dinner and looked longingly at all the greasy bar food that got ordered (I did snack on some fries though), I had a blast that day!

However, I’m definitely ready for things to go back to normal.  I’d like some solid time of good food, hydration, and normal human levels of alcohol consumption going on so I don’t feel like a lump of excrement.

Question: what was the biggest sacrifice you had to make to reach a goal?

Week 9 – Makin’ It

This week started out a little rough – after a stepback week, you’re supposed to be rarin’ to go because you got so much damn rest.  Well, instead, I did a shit ton of Scuba that weekend, and then partied for my birthday on Sunday night with decadent food and drinks.  So, Monday, I woke up to a body and brain that was not sure it was really ready for another 3 week build, but… spoilers… I handled Week 1 just fine.


I said a lot of what would go here last week.  I did go a little overboard on Saturday night with food (another 3000 calorie day), but I definitely earned it with what I burned that day.  All the other days were pretty much the picture of clockwork.

Last week we sorta did the “leftovers of the batch cook” thing and threw together meals and ate out a few times (at healthy approved places).  Calorie counts and DQ score seemed about on par with last week, but activity was way up, so in theory, I should be losing weight.  I hopped on the scale very sporadically so I don’t have a great reference point (the highest was Monday with the triple whammy of bloated from TOM, bloated from Scuba, and a 2000 calorie birthdayfest for dinner, and the lowest was Thursday – but I think that may have been the only scale hopping I did this week).

This week we have a menu and schedule and have batch cooked for the week so lets see how things go.  Two planned splurges: birthday Brazillian Steakhouse for Zliten on Thursday, and catered pasta lunch out with the company.  Thursday, I plan to just enjoy and make that the majority of my food that day.  Friday, I plan to have a big breakfast so that I’m not super hungry and overeat on refined grains and fatty sauce.  Saturday, we are celebrating our birthday with friends at the bar, but will have a 3.5 hour training session and healthy lunch that day, so I’ll have earned it.

That being said – 3 days in a row where I won’t be eating completely clean.  So I don’t have high hopes for the scale, but who knows, miracles could happen.

Last week, by the numbers…

Monday: 28 DQ score – 1726 calories
Tuesday: 26 DQ score – 1724 calories
Wednesday: 26 DQ score – 1744 calories
Thursday: 21 DQ score – 1982 calories
Friday: 22 DQ score – 1641 calories
Saturday: 15 DQ score  – 2971 calories
Sunday: 24 DQ score – 1405 calories

Avg DQ Score: 23

Avg Calories: 1884 calories consumed.  Don’t have great burn stats because I lost my fitbit. 🙁 (Average from this time last month was 2261).  So, average deficit was 377, so about .75 lbs I should have lost.

Weight: fluctuated from 184.2 to 189.0 (triple whammy day).

I really really may need to do some daily weighing and charting to see any sort of pattern here that might make me not want to tear my hair out, when my deficit is about 25% or less of the fluctuations I see during each week.  From my tracking here, it looks as if I’m scratching and clawing to get a small deficit and it will take me weeks if not months to see meaningful progress even if the numbers are indeed matching up with what I’m doing.  I’ve been starting to play around with Training Peaks, and I’ll track my weight there.


Like I said, I went into the week a little unsure, but I feel pretty great about rocking out the first week of Build 2.

Weights: Back to heavy weights – Monday was rough and I didn’t increase any weights (frankly, had trouble with some of them I was doing 2 weeks ago), but I set either weight or rep PRs on each thing on Wednesday.  Two more weeks of the heavy stuff until I move onto maintenance weights for the rest of the year.

Swim: Swim is my favorite this week.  I had an easy swim Monday that just felt like butter.  Scuba definitely was the equivalent of drills in the water and I just felt long and lean and awesome.  Wednesday, I did my first speedwork in a while – 6x300m, aiming for as close to 2 min/100m as possible with 75m recovery in the  middles.  I am really finding some love with hurting myself looking at that black line.  Then, on Saturday, after swim, bike, and lunch, we did our March swim test.  After a warm up, I got going and am finding that with swimming fast, the pain comes in 3 stages – 1) I start going fast, I feel great. 2) I keep going fast, I feel like I’m going to die and OMG I have about 9/10ths of the workout left, how am I going to do this.  3) About halfway through, the pain dulls to a sustainable level of uncomfortable, my stroke really settles in, and I FEEL like I’m going slower because it’s easier, but it’s not.

But, my super happy was: I finally broke the 2 min/100m barrier (1:51/100m).  My swim test: 19:30 for 1050m.  Beat my time last month by 1 min 15 seconds.  I know these increases are going to stop being so epic each month, but for now, I love it.

Bike: Trainer rides are trainer-ific.  I’m liking using oranges for fuel instead of jelly beans (at least at home).  Having trouble getting my HR up on the trainer.  I’ll try it next week.  My happy is I DID get to ride outside.  Confession: if you gave me the opportunity and if it would properly prepare me for the race, 99 out of 100 times I’ll chose the trainer.  There are no cars, no weather, no stoplights, no clipping and unclipping pedals… and I don’t get a chance to watch awesome action movies.  However, we are going to do two metrics this spring, and the trainer doesn’t really do much for preparing one for hills, so it’s back to braving the outdoors.  But I did enjoy it.

Run: Now that I have been cleared to do some zone 3 running, it’s ALL I want to do.  We did two runs with a 15 min tempo in the middle.  Then, Saturday’s run was supposed to be an easy Zone 1/2 run, but we were both feeling good, and my HR monitor was not really working properly, so I definitely was running at the top of zone 2/a little into zone 3.  This week, my goal is to cool it on the easy runs.  One fully easy, one with a 20 min tempo, and one with some hill repeats.  Although, it’s nice to have finished with a total pace in the 10s.

Monday: Weights: MS Phase – Day 3 + Stretching 00:40Swim: Magical Fishie Day 1590 m/35:00.
Tuesday: Bike: Trainer + Hellboy 16.1 mi/45:00. Lunch Run + Tempo 3.25 mi/37:15
Wednesday: Weights: MS Phase Day 4 – 45:00. Swim: Speedwork 3×6 min sets 1350 m 00:32
Thursday: Bike: Trainer w/Tempo: Futurama: Be… 17.72 mi/45:00.  Run: Lunch Run + Tempo 3.1 mi 33:05.
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Shoal Creek Loop 14.24 mi/1:00. Run: Neighborhood Loops 5.17 mi/01:00. Swim: 1050m Speed Test 1050 m/19:30.
Sunday: off

Other things:

We got to fulfill our monthly allotment of gaming by playing games with the ‘rents early in the day Saturday, and games with the neighbors that evening.  I only won one game.  Sadface. 🙁

We may have already signed up for Advanced Scuba class on March’s stepback week.  Because we are addicted and also insane.  This time we get to go down to 85 feet and also go diving at night! Fun!

Sunday was an awesomely productive day, while also being relaxing because I was home all day.    These are the things I did:

  • Laundry
  • Batch cooked
  • Gave myself a pedicure and manicure
  • Shopped for Zliten’s presents (and myself – 2 for him, 3 for me is about right, yeah?)
  • Made necklaces (see the pictures in this post…)
  • Started this blog post
  • Watched a bunch of Downton Abbey

I did not get around to doing any sewing yet, but I will (I just ended up finding my beads again and getting enamoured with them this weekend).  Zliten also got through organizing the DVDs mostly, but we have to finish the center console and the mantle to call the living room done.

This week, I want to do these things:

  • Finish the living room.  Also, start thinking about what to do with all the bedroom stuff and when that gets done…
  • Try to get that dang pillow made.  It can’t be rocket science to do.  I think I’m pavlovianl
  • Read a few chapters in my diving book so I’m not cramming the week before the class.
  • Sign up for the two century rides I keep putting off.
  • Do some pre-cruise planning and do the online check in if I can.
  • Pre-track my food again.  That seemed to work awesomely.
  • And now, I’m going to check off thing #1 on this week’s to do – make a blog post.

Questions of the Week: What’s on your to do list?

Also, I’ve considered in the past doing a shop on Etsy with the necklaces.  Would you buy them?  If so, which one is your favorite and how much theoretically would you pay? (Not looking to sell anything right now, just data gathering)


Week 8: Waterlogged

While stepback week was packed with stuff not-related-to-triathlon, it also gave me over 100 hours off formal training which was very needed and I am ready to get back to it this week.  Especially because this week starts Build 2 – in which I get cleared to go faster than Zone 2 for more than 20 seconds at a time!  This is a major WOOOHOOO!


I really don’t have much to say about training this week.  I did 2 easy runs in or close to zone 1, 2 easy trainers with no resistance, 1 easy swim, and 2 easy weights sessions.

Run: My easy run pace is where my Zone 2 run pace was a month ago.  I’d like to see that improvement every month, thanks body and universe!  I was hoping that so much time off would totally heal my heel, but then I walked around with a 60 lb scuba set up all weekend on a rocky cliff with non-cushy scuba boots.  So, it’s FINE but it still talks to me every once in a while.

Bike: 1/5 resistance is really just like watching a movie on a slightly uncomfortable seat.  My average HR didn’t even reach 100 (it was 97) on Thursday’s 45 min ride.

Swim: The first swim was uneventful, and we even cheesed out on the second one because I threw a little tantrum about it and decided that a 30 min easy swim was not worth the mental fortitude is was going to take to get through it.  It was also the fifth day in a row without a day off and two of those were 3.5 hour training day and the race (so long and hard, and yes, that’s what she said), so I needed it.  Instead we soaked in the hot tub for 20 mins and chatted with another lady.  That’s pretty close to the level of effort I was going to put in to my workout, so it was fine.

Weights: Decreasing weight by 1/3 makes things seem very light, though two months ago these weights felt pretty freaking hulk for me to hoist up.  I never knew that there could be such thing as a “recovery weights” session, but if there is, this was it.

By the days:

Monday: Weights: 2×12… 200 lb leg press, 80 lb rows, 70 lb pulldowns. 2×20… incline situps w/a twist w/5 lb plate, 50 lb hammie machine. Swim: 1050m in 28 min
Tuesday: Bike: 16.67 mi in 45 mins, resistance 1/5, HR avg: 100, max: 111, Run: 3.1 miles in 36:20 HR avg: 148, max: 167
Wednesday: Weights: exact same as Monday, except 105 lb squats instead of leg presses
Thursday: Bike: 15.88 mi  in 45 mins, resistance 1/5, HR avg: 97, max: 112, Run: 3.1 in 37:20, HR avg: 145, max: 157
Friday: off
Saturday: Scuba (one hour of actual in water, probably another hour of hauling around the tanks and equipment)
Sunday: Scuba (same)


I really just don’t get it.  I mean, yes, I have food that is not on the good list every ONCE IN A WHILE (and yes I went crazy-pants on my birthday with an epic meal, but it was ONE MEAL), but by and large, I eat cleaner than just about everyone I know.  This week is an anomaly with how small the calorie burn is (since I’m at about half of the hours I train, plus at a way easier intensity), which made the deficit per day smaller, but it still shows I should be making progress.  Perhaps I need to track the amount of weight I *SHOULD* be losing per my tracking, and see how that adds up.  I’m not sure if that would be crazy-making, or whether it would be good for me to know that I am doing what I should.

Maybe I just need to make peace with being hungry for a while.  It’s not something I’ve been accustomed to lately, as when you’re trying to fuel workouts as completely as possible, actual HUNGER is bad, an emergency even.  If I’m sitting at my desk hungry – how am I going to feel about it in a few hours when I’m out on a run burning more?  If I go to bed hungry, how am I going to feel about it when I wake up and have to bike for an hour?  When I was just a gym rat, being a little hungry and underfueled wasn’t an issue.

I was just hoping by cleaning up my diet and getting back on a training regiment would help, but so far, I’ve not made significant progress.

At this point I just want someone to feed me a pill that has the perfect amount of calories and nutrients in it every day, and I want to just train and work and hide away from social situations for a few months and emerge – fixed and at race weight.  Being that this is an impossibility, I have to find a way to fix me using real food, in the real world, with all the imperfections that go along with it.

In March, I’m sticking with this ~1700 calories + some on really heavily active days.  If I’m not at least pushing 180 by the end of the month, I’ll try something else.  Its looking like it starts with veg- and ends with -arian, and it’s one of the only things that’s actually taken weight off in the last few years (coupled with heavy training loads).

I had a revelation while I was working out last week – if I feel like crying and puking and fainting and want to quit and other various dramatics while racing or working on tough intervals, that’s probably where I need to be.  I need to get comfortable being uncomfortable to push my paces faster.  I probably need to do that with my diet as well.  It’s easier to recognize that in the heat of a sprint that ends, rather than in the kitchen, which doesn’t go away.

I better get comfortable with it.  I need to fix me.  I can’t keep gaining 5 lbs a year.  I have not gained 30 lbs of muscle, so some/most is fat gain.  Carrying around a 60 lb scuba tank really set reality in – it was hard to walk with that on.  I’ve gained HALF that since 2009.  I’m set to be carrying around a full scuba tank at this rate if I don’t fix this shit by 2017 at this rate.

But how do you fix something when you can’t find, as they say, in our industry, steps to reproduce?  I have had these periods of success with weight loss since I hit my low of 150 in April 2009:

  • For my wedding in 2009, I started at about 159 and hit about 152 by going on a really calorie reduced diet (~1300 per day).  I think I gained about 5 lbs back by the time I actually got married since I was in Vegas for 3 days before that (so it was kind of a good thing I did it otherwise my dress may not have fit!), and never saw that low again.
  • -Last summer , I took off about 5 lbs in August by eating vegetarian (mostly vegan) before dinner.  Minus my greek yogurt in the AM.

One is unsustainable with my level of training (and obviously didn’t work long term), and the other is my next step.  I’ve tried everything from calorie cycling to cleanses to getting professional dietician help, and nothing else has taken off any weight.

Other than that it’s been 4 long years of just trying to find something, anything that will help my body synchronize itself at a healthy weight, of which 150 lbs seems to be in my head.  I’m all for the journey, and the knowledge that comes with solving a problem, but 4 years is pretty fucking long to bang your head against something, resulting in utter failure.  I want it solved already.  It’s not the willpower.  Just tell me what to fucking do and I’ll do it – as long as a) you can guarantee results and b) it doesn’t negatively affect my training and is a healthy method of weight loss for athletes.

Ok – rant off.  Let’s get on with this.

By the numbers:

Monday: 21 DQS, 1766 calories (2311 burned)
Tuesday: 26 DQ, 1744 cal (2625 burned)
Wednesday: DQ 28, 1626 cal (1952 burned)
Thursday: DQ 24, 2256 (2622 burned)
Friday: DQ 25, 1638 calories (1965 burned)
Saturday: 23 DQ, 1678 calories (2296 burned)
Sunday: This was my birthday.  I’m thinking about ZERO (or at least single digits) diet score and about 3000 calories (2000 of which were dinner and drinks). I probably ate about 700 calories more than I burned.

Avg calories per day: 1958 eaten/2295 burned = 337 deficit per day

Avg diet score: 21

Weight range: 184.0 – 186.4



ZOMG this was awesome!  I am now open water diver certified!

I need to talk about this in more length than what I feel like discussing in this post (and we’re already pushing 2000 words), so I’ll just say that it is a magical world underwater and if you’ve ever wanted to learn, just do it.  Take the class, you’ll learn the basics in a classroom, and then safely in a pool before you have to do open water, and it wasn’t even nearly as scary as I thought.  We spent a lot of time on a safe platform about 20 feet down doing skills and drills, but we got down to 40 ft (ok 39, but whatever) swimming around with the instructor and it felt awesome just to glide through the water.

It was pretty murky and there wasn’t that much to see, but that will NOT be the case when we go diving in the Caribbean!

…and we may have been so enamoured with it that we signed up for the advanced class at the end of this month.  Restful stepback weeks be damned!

Other stuff:

Here’s what’s on tap for the next two months:

  • Belated Birthday Lunch
  • Another Birthday Lunch
  • Band Party Bar Event Thing
  • Fun Day Ren Faire Trip
  • Birthday Bar Celebration
  • Metric Century Ride
  • A Friend’s Wedding
  • Indoor Skydiving
  • Advanced Scuba Class
  • Birthday Camping
  • Vacation

I put together this big long rant that can probably be covered with the fact that I have a lot of (both cool shit as above and responsibilities) things going on in the near future, the whole weight not budging thing as ranted on above, and the fact that I was PMSing.  I really really did want to punch people in the face but it passed with the weekend.  Laying in bed watching bad TV for a while helped.

Last weekend, I got older.  It’s weird.  34 just feels old in a way that 33 didn’t, it’s next stop 35.  At 34, you should probably be a grown up and stop staying up drinking until sunrise and laughing at the phrase “bottom time” in Scuba class and you should probably consider settling down and doing the kids thing and stop thinking about me me me but I really don’t want to do anything like that.

I mean, I’m trying to come into work with a crushing hangover less and keeping my house picked up so it doesn’t look like a frat house and we even got real furniture and my living room looks like a laywer lives there, trying to keep the “that’s what she said!” comments in work meetings to myself, or at least under my breath, but that’s about all I can muster right now.

The triathlon, the scuba, the drinking, partying, vacations, carousing, doing epic shit, hell, having a moment to lay in bed and do nothing every once in a while – this is where I want to be right now.  33 felt right.  34 feels like the party is wrapping up somehow and life as I know it is ending in preparation for 35 and I HATE THAT.  Maybe it’s the character flaw that I’m always wondering and anticipating what’s around that next corner and not just enjoying the now.  I know it’s my choice what I want to do with my life and when, but I suppose it’s that whole societal pressure thing.

Anyhoo – I’ll put a pin in this one.  Last week was a mixed bag full of moody and also awesome, but I’m feeling a lot better this week.  Until next time…

Question of the day: what is your FAVORITE workout or training?  Are you a sucker for pool speedwork, or love the easy, long run?

Febuary Goal Recap, March Goals

I should get a gold star for accomplishing so damn much in February and it being a short month.  Holy schniekies!  Let’s just get on with it.

1. Maximize diet score, minimize calories when possible.  Get there by pre-planning your day of eating.  It looks as if a 30+ score (top is around 33) is achievable with around 1800-1900 cal when all the food is good food.  That should maintain a bit of a deficit (and grow a little this month with some extra hours).  I’ll try to stick there.  Weigh less than 183.2 (yesterday’s weight) by the end of February.

Huge ups on the DQ score.  My diet is way cleaner than it’s ever been thanks to the double check if it’s plus or minus points on the scale.  Huge boos to the weight.  184.0 has been my lowest.  Apparently eating the shit out of healthy food still doesn’t work.  Noted.

2. Volunteer at Austin Marathon (t-shirt exchange) Feb 16, cheer Feb 17.

Check!  Even got to cheer my friend Mariko to an overall win!  Wheee!

3. Have two days in Feb where I just veg most or all of the day.  Quix-y needs some downtime!

Sorta-check.  Got one lay-in-bed-all-day day in early Feb, and had President’s Day off and relaxed most of the day, but got some stuff done that I wanted.  I really have an issue just not doing shit lately.

4. Get scuba licensed!

We do our open water dives this weekend and then we are open water diver certified and can go diving on the cruise!  (I am about 25% nervous and 75% excited for this weekend)

5. Mend something on the sewing machine or make something simple.

Check.  I thought I was going to have to write this one off, as I spent an evening this week swearing like a sailor at my stupid goddamn fucking sewing machine and my own stupid ineptitude and the regression of me not even being able to make it make a stitch, but then Zliten helped me and we got it figured out and my Rookie shirt no longer has an armpit hole and it doesn’t even look that bad.

6. Finish the sewing book, start a fiction book.

Not check.  Instead, I finished the Diving textbook that I didn’t expect to have to read, and have been working through the Sewing book slowly.

7. Get living room set up with new furniture, organize DVDs and area around the TV, and the mantle (Feb’s “zone”).  Determine whether painting and/or rugs are necessary.

Hmmmm.  Living room is set up.  Determined that I’m ok without paint for now.  Also determined that I want red lampshades, a funky set of lamps, a red throw, and some pillows with primary colors to make the room a little more fun.  However, I’m trying to hold off on spending that much right now, and while I’ve shopped online to get some inspiration, I’d rather buy something local.  So, that’s on hold.  The DVDs are on the list for this weekend.  So… sorta!

8. Keep up the things I did in Jan that I want to maintain, have a game night, no sweet treats (minus once a week), no cigs, HR train, batch cook.  They are habits now, just dedicating this goal to keeping them up.

All sorts of check check check here.  Had 3 game nights.  Have had very few sweet treats – I had two the first weekend to celebrate February (yogurtland and a rum truffle I got for Christmas), and one for v-day (split a piece of key lime pie).  58 days no cigs.  HR training for life.  Batch cooking when we could, buying my fit foods or snap kitchen when we couldn’t. 

9. Make a training plan for Feb and nail each workout.  Incorporate running and biking drills in this month.  Incorporate a little gentle speed work in this month.  Enjoy the hell out of my recovery week in 4 weeks.

Check – minus the running drills.  I did running speedwork only late this month because of my heel, but I’m getting down with it.  Currently loving only having 5 hours of training on the schedule this week.

10. Race the Indoor Tri 2/24 and DO NOT GET DEPRESSED ABOUT THE RESULTS.  I’m talking to you – self!  Last year, you were trained up for a half marathon+ and never lost fitness from the tri season.  This year, you are just coming off two months of pure base building after a wonderful offseason.  DO NOT GET PISSED BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T BEAT EACH DISCIPLINE FROM LAST YEAR.  Compare the results to last month’s threshold tests rather than 2012.  And if you beat last year’s times, then fuck yeah!  Either way, no tears and enjoy the first bottle of race champagne this year.

Check.  Not pissed at all about an overall win.  The run speed will come.  My better swim and bike speeds will only improve from here.  I hurt myself and I liked it.  Happy Quix is happy.

11. Sign up for half of all the triathlons.  Rookie, Pfluger, PlayTri, Couples, and Jack’s.  Next month we can drop a few more benjamins on the rest.

We signed up for the whole TX Tri series.  I need to hit up PlayTri and Buffalo Springs next month.  Austin 70.3 I’m still not sure about so that will be later.

12. Keep doing that confidence and forthcoming about what I want thing at work.  Don’t get devastated if it doesn’t result in unicorns and rainbows right away.

Done my best.  It’s sort of in a holding pattern right now.  Can’t really quantify this with a check or no check.

13. Walk up and down the stairs every day with Zliten at break.  It’s good for me to get away from my desk.

Not check.  I tried to do this often, but when it was yucky outside or I got busy I wouldn’t do it.

Ok, onto March, one of my favorite months!

It’s birthday time, we get daylight savings, and it marks the mental end of the cold dark times of Quix’s year.  Let’s figure out the 13 things:

1.  Stick with my current strategy: approximately 1700 calories (shift up on days that my workout volume reaches the sky).  DQ score: over 20 every day average.  See if this results in any sort of loss.  Low weight of the month: 184.  Let’s get lower.  Accept (and relish) that there will be 3 birthday splurges this month, and just try to mitigate them with good food the rest of the day/week.

2.  Get the leezard to the vet for a checkup.  She’s overdue.  We’re bad leezard parents.

3. Bike outside once a week.  Even if you have to do some rides outside after work in the ‘hood with stoplights.  Ride Rosedale on March 23.  Do it in way less than the 5+ hours it took last year.

4.  Fix up a March training plan.  Nail it.  Start working in zone 3 more, doing cruise intervals.  Start doing some short all out force efforts.  Get to recovery week uninjured and happy.

5.  Make pillows for the couch.  This involves: going to the store, picking out fabric, sewing, and stuffing them.  Complete at least one.  Complete four for the gold star.

6. Finish organizing the DVDs and complete the next zone in the house, the rest of the bedroom/master bath/vanity area.  We’ve already half completed it with the new bedroom furniture, but this involves cleaning out and organizing the vanity area, linen closet area, and stuff in the master bath.  Extra credit: replacing the bunk fixures and faucet.

7. Finish the sewing book, start a fiction book, for reals.

8. This one is for the habits again.  No cigs, no sweets (minus planned splurges, no more than once a week), HR train, batch cook, have a game night.

9.  Find my zen in this month in small chunks.  I do not have a weekend that I know of from now until vacation that’s not booked up with at least one event, most have several.  Find some time to relax and veg out.  Carve out a weekday night where all we do after work is go home and relax and say fuck responsibility instead of doing stuff.  At least do what I did on Wednesday and say “though I have things to do, I am sitting on the couch and watching TV for an hour”.

10. Take care of my appearance a bit.  Self manicure, pedicure, and eyebrow unfluff.  Get a haircut (or schedule a time before the cruise).  I want about 4-6 inches cut off soon – short hair deals with being soggy from training much better than long hair.  Penalty for not completing: I am required to book this  (mani/pedi/brows) at a salon which actually terrifies me.

11.  Play some damn vidjya games.  I have Monkey Island on the PS3, I keep meaning to log in and play Everquest, I need Zliten to educate me in the ways of Bloodbowl (orcs + football) so I can decide whether I want to join the league at work, I have a tablet builder game I’ve been working through…

12.  Figure out this mojo thing.  I am operating my the numbers and schedules and performing, but my spirit is lacking.  My heart just isn’t in it lately.  Analyze the issue and take steps to fix it.

13.  Drink more water.  I’d like to get down 3 bottles before I leave work each day, and one more at home.

That’s quite enough – off to go start tackling it.  Question of the day: what’s your biggest goal for March?

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