Adjusted Reality

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

Month: August 2013

Week 33: A Wimper and a Growl

That third week in the three week peak month training block.  This is the one that breaks you down.  Last year, I broke mentally.  I had a terrible race, a terrible attitude, was failing at work because I was so burnt, and my athletic gains went in the crapper because I didn’t know how far I could push myself before I needed to recover.

Now, I do a pretty good job at keeping my brain in check.  I know deep into a training block, I’m going to get a little surly and there’s going to be some cases of “I don’t wanna” (and they’re all “I don’t wanna get started” but I’m happy once I’m going).  I know that some days, I’m going to need to give myself a break and if I feel like I’d rather murder babies than complete another set of triple bricks, it means I need an extra day off or an easy day.  This year, I’ve kept my wits about me pretty well and, in general, been fine with the work.

However, I take for granted my health.  I mentally break WAY before I physically break.  This is possibly the thing that holds me back the most as an athlete, pushing through that question of “am I hurting myself or am I HURTING HURTING myself?” and not going far enough.  I’ve never puked during a workout.  I’ve never had to hit the med tent at a race (I’ve done it before to get out of the sun when it wasn’t busy but I didn’t need it).  Often, I’ll feel so JUST FINE after cutting a workout short or cutting it to easy pace from hard pace or breaking down at a race that I feel like a complete ASS for doing so.

I suppose I broke through a few barriers on Saturday.  I think I may have found my limits, although I can’t say it was necessarily in a happy or healthy way.  The recipe was:

  •  5 hours of sleep, being woken up at 2:30am with stomach cramps.
  • 56 miles on the trainer with a gurgly stomach, in which I took pepto twice and couldn’t spend any time in aero.
  • 3.5 miles in hot and humid mid-80s where I could barely eat or drink.
  • One emergency bathroom stop and some time clutching my stomach.
  • 3.5 more miles in the hotter and humid-er upper 80s, where I still could not eat but loaded gatorade into my camelback to get some calories.
  • One more emergency bathroom stop.
  • 2 more miles in the hotter-er and humid-er-er 90s, given up on eating, and swilling gatorade.
  • One more “think I have to bathroom, but also think I might pass out from the heat, pain, and lack of fuel” stop.
  • Refusing to settle for anything under double digits, I headed out for one last mile in the 90s and called it at 10 miles instead of 13.

I felt kinda wussy at the time, I had myself convinced that I was just not pushing through some uncomfortableness, and I really wanted to rock this race brick, and figured before I checked the temperature it was going to be all in my head.  Nope: I had a legit stomach bug (it’s 3 days later and I’m STILL working on tolerating anything but mac and cheese and gatorade), and the finish temps were feels like 95, way hotter than it will be on race day.  I’m pretty sure that pushing through that many hours of feeling like POO gave me some mental toughness fodder to pull on at Kerrville, although I am having to take it a little easier this week than I’d like to recover for my race this weekend.

And, oh yeah, I race this weekend.  Another Olympic, another foray into the “running in hot as balls” weather territory, and I’m not sure I’m super duper excited about it, but I’ll be there!  I’m trying to work out in my head how I could completely bonk at Jack’s Generic at a 3:11 and not beat the 3:25 I posted there last year, but here’s the goals:


A goal: beat 30 mins.  I can do it pushing myself in the pool, let’s see if it’s possible on race day.  B goal: under 35.  C goal: don’t drown and beat last year’s time.  I really can’t see not improving by at least 5 minutes here from last year, but not drowning is a good goal, always.


A goal: 1:20.  B goal: 1:25. C goal: beat last year’s time (1:29-something).  I would love to cut off 10 mins on this bike.  Its a great course for me and I held back last year trying to practice half iron pace.  Well, I know half iron pace well, I’m just going to go for it this year!


A goal: under 1:05 (10:30 min miles).  B: under 1:08 (11 min miles) C: NO FUCKING WALKING.  Not going to lie, I don’t think I’m going to see much improvement here, but I’d love to at least be in the same realm as last year and not bonk like Jack’s.  Who knows, maybe the weather will surprise us with cooler temps, or maybe I’ll surprise myself!  Of course, I could also be sick all week and totally be weak and not able to go hard.  We’re 6 days away so time will tell.

On a perfect day, beating all my stretch goals, with sufficiently fast transitions, I’m looking about a sub-3:05 goal.  I would be THRILLED to take 20 mins off my time.  Of course, all my A goals are incredibly ambitious, but even hitting my B goals would mean around a 3:15, which would take 10 mins off my time and I’d still be thrilled.  I’m excited to see how much I can improve upon that swim and bike from last year, and hoping I can hang on tight and not fuck up the run.

Other notes from workouts this week:

  • My triple bricks (bike 20 mins, run 1 mile x3) on Tuesday were consistent.  I think it’s about where my speed is going to be this year (mile repeats at 8:30-9), and I’m ok with that.  I was able to make them descend in speed each time both on the bike and the run, so a solid effort.
  • Weights and swims are getting done because I’m bribing myself with food.  I get to swim in the lake twice this week coming up so I’m excited!
  • I’ve not biked outside since Jack’s Generic since I’m run focused this month, but I’ll do that again twice this week as well.  I’m less worried about this that I usually am because Kerrville is very steady (not a lot of severe up and downs) and I have been doing lots of 2-3+ hour rides even if they are inside.
  • Running in the heat sucks, but I’ve had some good days at it.  I just have to realize all this work in the heat will pay dividends when it cools down.  Even this summer lover is ready to break up with sweating the moment I step out the door at sunrise, but those effortless 10-11 minute miles once it’s cooler will be TOTALLY worth it!

By the numbers:

Monday: Weights: Gym 00:45, Swim: Laps 1500 m 00:32 34:19 pace
Tuesday: Bike: Triple Brick – Trainer + Musi… 27.57 mi 01:00 27.6mph pace, Run: Triple Brick – 1 Mile Hill 3 mi 00:27 08:52 pace
Wednesday: Weights: Gym irons 00:45, Swim: Distracted Fish 1500 m 00:33 35:24 pace
Thursday: Run: All Around the Wooten 6.5 mi 01:15 11:32 pace
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Trainer + X-men First Class 56 mi 02:38 21.3mph pace, Run: Neighborhood Wandering 10 mi 02:04 12:24 pace
Sunday: off (trying not to be sick)

10 hours total, 3000m swim, 83 miles bike, 20 miles run, 2 weights sessions

This week, the mantra is recovery (from my stomach bug, and from 3 weeks hard training).  I skipped a swim session yesterday because I still felt weak, and I’m cutting the rest of the week to much easier sessions (speedwork this morning would not have been pretty so I slept and MAYBE I’ll pedal a bit tonight, maybe not).  At this point, I need to do whatever is necessary this week to recover as I have a race to rock and a few more key training sessions early next month to rest up for before all the hay is in the barn.


The one thing that stomach bugs are great for is you get to indulge in stuff you’re not supposed to, because it’s all you can eat without being sick!  I’ve had so much simple sugar and carbs in the last few days… stuff I had to dig up from the bottom of the pantry or buy because I don’t eat them ever.  The other thing that’s great is seeing weight loss progress – and for most people, it’s temporary.  For me, it’s like pulling teeth to get the scale to move, and I have been keeping up with a decent amount of calories even though they’re not my usual nutrition, so maybe this will actually keep the trend going down? Only time will tell.

Last week, before I got sick, I was having a little tizzy with my food too.  I just was sick of the normal food.  I didn’t want it.  I didn’t want junk food (except the days when I did, but I didn’t indulge), but it was hell on wheels to follow a meal plan so most days I didn’t.  Sometimes we went out, and sometimes, I just came home and ate a meal of something like fish and fruit because it was the only thing that sounded good.

Anyhoo, talking about food with an upset stomach isn’t really making me happy, so I’m just going to go by the numbers and be done with it….

Monday: 1619 calories, 30 DQ
Tuesday: 1688 calories, 28 DQ
Wednesday: 1515 calories, 27 DQ
Thursday: 1831 calories, 29 DQ
Friday: 1679 calories, 27 DQ
Saturday: didn’t track, estimate about 2500
Sunday: didn’t track, estimate about 1400

Calories: 1747 average per day (aka, probably not enough for a peak week)

DQ: Really freaking awesome during the week, and then I got sick and can’t eat anything healthy. 🙁

Weight: Low: 174.4 (I know!!!) – High 180.0

I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll take my gatorade, crackers, and cinnamon toast crunch and hope I check in next week totally healthy and kicking ass!

Question: What’s your go to comfort food when you have an upset stomach?

Week 32: Hoppy Days

Let’s mix things up a bit and start with the non-healthy-related stuff.

Hoppy Hour:

Probably one of the most unique and random things that I have ever been invited to (and I get invited to a lot of weird things) was an open house for a new dentist’s office.  Not my dentist, and not a friend, but someone that my husband occasionally ran into in the locker room at the gym (I had no idea they knew each other until this week).  Now, this doesn’t sound that weird in and of itself (a little sketch on the “locker room friends” angle, but understandable, my hubby is a social creature), but the open house, at the dentist’s office, included a petting zoo and also booze.  So, we went to our first Hoppy Hour.  Zliten called it a Brew and Zoo.  I like Bunnies and Beer.  It was a great evening – you cannot possibly be unhappy when you have a beer in one hand and a fluffy bunny in another.

Spoiled Brat Leezard:

The iguana has been really really agro lately and has been climbing up on the kitchen counter and knocking stuff down.  Finally, we came home one day and she had injured her toe on something – and the can opener was knocked down, the blender was on – it was really a mess.  She has this GORGEOUS enclosure the size of twin bunk beds, but she doesn’t like being shut in it, so we decided to give her the guest room for the time being while we figure out what to do with her cage.  She’s a little pouty, but not nearly as bad as when she’s in her cage, and she does like to nap on the bed.  I don’t blame her, I napped on the bed both Saturday and Sunday, and it was glorious.

Her claw is fine now, just needed some time to heal.  Hopefully soon we can let her back out and she won’t be such a brat anymore.


These peak weeks of training just are not conducive to being perfect.  I’m giving in.  I’m still going to eat the best foods I can as much of the time as I can, but I’m not going to beat myself up over being too tired after a long day of work and training to worry about eating out a little more than I should or spending hours in the kitchen batch cooking when I’m just over it.

I’m really pretty good about eating decent food when I eat outside my house, especially when its more often and not a special treat.  Last week’s food out of the house included:

  • Chicken, buckwheat noodles, veggies, and ginger sauce
  • half turkey sandwich, a few chips and some salsa, some brown rice triscuits, veggies and hummus
  • Turkey sandwich on wheat, broccoli cheese soup
  • split chicken fajitas + chips and salsa (right after my 15 mile run)
  • half turkey sandwich on wheat, greek salad
  • 3 buffalo chicken strips and a salad

One may note that: a) I really like turkey sandwiches and b) while its not perfect, I’m certainly not plowing down the fried/sugary/greasy food (the chicken strips were the exception and sadly they were totally not worth it so I didn’t eat the rest of the meal).

The scale was in the 176’s regularly mid week, and took an upswing Friday/Sat because I was sick of being a pit of hunger and didn’t figure that would do good things for my run (so I ate a little more than normal calorie-wise).  I seem to be a little stuck at 176, and I think I’m going to just have to really revisit that after Kerrville.  I need to keep calories in to get through the next few peak weeks and my next race, so either the weight is just going to fall off or it isn’t.

I’m not really changing anything but my attitude – I’m going to continue to track and try for good food quality and all that, but if I’m at 1600 calories at the end of a Friday and I’m still starving, I’m going to eat more so I don’t bonk on my long training Saturday morning.  I am also trying to keep with the 2/3 vegetarian thing, my body does seem to like that as long as I get enough protein.  It’s a little challenging doing that with Zliten being a strict meat-a-tarian, but when I’m better about it, the weight seems to sorta just fall off so I’m trying (sometimes it’s 1.5/3 vegetarian, no meat at breakfast, a little at lunch (a few slices of turkey on half a sandwich), and a serving with dinner.

Another thing is we’ve been drinking a lot more beer lately instead of mixed drinks/wine/etc.  I feel better in the morning, but with liquor, I can do the fun trick at home of making a shot of vodka last through 2-3 drinks if I mix them right.  I’m trying to cut back to 1x per week (Saturday or Sunday), and make it a 6 pack or less through the end of tri season.  For some reason summer = beer, and beer has a lot more calories, so maybe that will help in the next few weeks.

By the numbers:

Monday: 1411 calories, 30 DQ
Tuesday: 1694 calories, 27 DQ
Wednesday: 1650 calories, 23 DQ
Thursday: 2506 calories, 13 DQ (-12 beer, -1 refined, -2 chips)
Friday: 1922 calories, 29 DQ
Saturday: 2833 calories, 2 DQ (-14 beer/booze, -2 chips, -1 refined)
Sunday: 1633 calories, 20 DQ (-2 fried)

Calorie average per day: 1949 calories per day.  Considering my training, this should be just fine.

Total positive DQ points: 178. Negative DQ Points: 34 Percentage: 19% Neg DQ.  Worse than last week.  Really, it’s the beer.  I’m not sure in what world you can go to a party and have one beer, but since I don’t live in it, I guess that’s not going to change.

Weight: Low: 176.0, High: 178.8


This week really went all by the book.  I hit each workout, hit paces/times/mileage as expected, and nothing terribly out-of-this-world happened.  I had a wakeup call when I ran starting at 8:15am on Tuesday that I need my wakeup calls earlier, it was STOOPID hot.  On Thursday, I hit a pretty fast 55 mile trainer (2:17), I didn’t think I was going to make the mileage before I had to leave for work, but I sped up a lot the last 45 mins or so and got it done with 3 mins to spare before I HAD to leave for work.

Saturday, we were up way before dawn to get out to Town Lake at sunrise to run 15 miles.  It’s about time for us to start getting some run miles in, and perhaps 15 is an ambitious jump since my last double digit run was at BSLT a month and a half ago, but I knew my body could handle it as long as I kept a reasonable pace, so off we went.  Zliten was excited to do his longest run ever.  My goal was about 3 hours, or 12 minute miles.

The good part: except for the last mile, I kept a steady 11:50 – 12:00 minute mile average through hills, descents, trail, sidewalk, and all that.  I ran like a machine.  I kept mentally with it when it got tough and I didn’t walk at all before 14.1.

The bad part: I started the day with a starbucks mocha drink, had cherry limeade (caffinated) nuun in my camelback, and all but 100 calories of blocks were caffinated ones.  By mile 11, I was jittery, the nuun was making me nauseous so I stopped drinking it much and I got super dehydrated, and since I couldn’t drink I couldn’t eat, so I did a 15 mile run on 280 total calories pre/during.  I had us go back to the car at 14.1 when the trail looped around because I had stopped sweating, had goosebumps, and wasn’t sure I’d make the last mile without hydration.  I stopped, drank cold water until my stomach hurt, then I run/walked/sloshed the last .9, and then drank more until I thought I was going to hurl.

The lesson: coffee drink in the morning + non caff nuun + a variety of caff and non caff chews.  Caff nuun = only for races or if I skip all the other caffeine.  The encouraging thing is that besides that issue, I had a stellar run and it was great mental toughness training.  If I can keep at a slow clip through all that, I can definitely keep run all 13.1 at Kerrville, right?

Just to round out the sports, I’m now bribing myself with a dinner out on Wednesday nights if I make it to both weights and swims on Monday and Wednesday.  I’m swimming 1500m in approximately 32-33 mins, no real improvement, nor should I expect on 2x1500m per week, but not getting worse.  My arm weights are getting back to what they were before, and my legs are lagging a little behind but getting there, and it’s hard to compare abs since I’m doing a different program (the incline situps were hurting my back so I stopped).

By the numbers…

Monday: Weights: Gym Iron 00:45, Swim: Gym pool 1500 m 00:33 35:24 pace
Tuesday: Run: Never Sleeping In Again… 5.6 mi 01:05 11:36 pace, Bike: Trainer + Dredd 25 mi 01:02 24.2mph pace
Wednesday: Weights: Getting There… 00:45, Swim for the noodles 1500 m 00:33 34:52 pace
Thursday: Bike: Trainer + Termanator 2 55 mi 02:17 24.1mph pace
Friday: off
Saturday: Run: Town Lake Trail 15 mi 03:01 12:03 pace
Sunday: off

Total: 10 hours, 80 miles bike, 21 miles run, 3000m swim, 2 weights sessions

Run miles going up!  Bike miles still decent, but sub-100 (this is about where they’ll stay until the race).  This week, there will be a few more run miles (speedwork, medium run, long run), and about the same amount of everything else.  Next week, we’ll bring it on down for a recovery/pre-race week.

…and that wraps up Week 32.  My goals this week are to: a) book hotel room for Kerrville b) find Key Largo accommodations c) eat lots of good food and d) make it through the week without crashing and burning (lots of sleep).

Question of the week: the animals at hoppy hour were bunnies, hedgehogs, a bearded dragon, guinea pigs, and chicks.  Which one would you want to pet most? 🙂

Week 31: Fight or Flight

When you are in situations of stress, you can have one of two reactions – to fight or to run away.  In my situation, that “stress” was breaking down on that run at Jack’s Generic.  I’ve been going over it in my head constantly this last week.

The angel on my shoulder says:

While you did your fair share of walking, and Zliten clipped along slowly not stopping to walk, you still beat him by over 2 mins on the run.  Since you two have a fairly even pace lately, I’m not sure that my walking hurt you – it may have actually helped you conserve energy to really RUN when you could run.  It was insan-o stupid hot, you had allergy issues and weren’t 100%, so let it go.  Your goal race next month (holy wow, is it REALLY 7 weeks away???) is not going to be this hot and you’re bike focusing right now so don’t worry about it!

The devil on my other shoulder says:

Listen, you can explain it away any way you want, but the fact is, you broke mentally.  You stopped running and walked during a 6 mile run.  You do this at triathlons often when things get tough and it’s just your brain being weak.  If you finally want to really feel good about a 70.3, you’re going to have to run the whole thing and it’s going to be hard and you’re going to have to figure out from where you can summon those brass balls at Kerrville, because you do not have them yet.

Sometimes after something goes sideways at a race, my instinct is to fight.  I sucked hard on the run and folded in the heat?  Well, time to run daily at noon in the heat, right?  Not last week.  Last week, I had the opposite reaction – flight.  To be fair, the environment played a big part (air quality was shit all week due to the African dust storms + residuals from Mexico crop burning the week before), but I didn’t really fight it.  I ran 3 miles last week outdoors (and none indoors).  I instead biked over 200 miles indoors on the trainer, which equates to about 90% of last week’s training.

I sort of gave myself hell for converting a 10-13 mile run planned to a 67 mile bike trainer ride, but then I decided that licking my wounds and hiding for one week would be ok.  When I realized that feeling of legs about to fall off I used to get around mile 35-40 now doesn’t really kick in until 60 (outdoors) or 70 (indoors), it’s all good strong work that isn’t for naught.  Step one to running better off the bike really is to get better at the bike and I’m so totally doing that with all these great bike miles lately.  Now that I’m over the BSLT hump and training for a more gentle bike course, I just need time in the saddle, and I’m doing that in spades.

However, step 2 is working on getting some run miles under me.  I haven’t done a double digit run since BSLT.  My other run miles have been pretty weak.  Hiding last week?  Fine.  I sort of crashed into last week really worked over by racing in the heat.  But this week, I need to start emerging.  I feel it, finally, I’m caught up on sleep, my body feels a bit less broken, I’m feeling pretty rested and recharged.  I’m ready to fight again.

I did complete my second feat of strength  – a 112 mile bike ride on the trainer. We made an event of it – watching Harry Potter movies and eating lots of yummy foods chopped up into tiny pieces.  The first 40 miles was fueled by a flax waffle + syrup, two pieces of turkey bacon, and a bag of apple slices.  Around mile 33 we called for pizza and it got there quick!  I ate two pieces of Mediterranean pizza (in tiny little baby bites) from miles 40-60 and two more 70-90, and then my tummy went a little sour and I just stuck to candy and dried fruit after.  Up to about 70 was all fun and games, but 70-90 was just ROUGH.  90-100 went quicker because I was excited to see what over 100 miles looked like on my garmin, and then 100-112 was just utter delirium.

You can see from the pictures…

This is me at the start.  Below is me at hour 4…

Butt Status: OW.

I’ve now done all three of the standalone legs – swimming 2.4 miles, riding 112 miles, and running 26.2.  I’m aware that doing the bike indoors is partly cheating but still, let me be happy about this.  I can fathom putting that swim and bike together, but running a marathon after?  Not yet.  I need some time (and gobs of training) to put my head around that.  I’m going to say that the difficulty for me will be in that order.  Swim, not a thing.  Bike, hard, but I could live to fight another day.  Running a marathon for me is a huge feat of strength in and of itself, so that’s the part I need the most time with.

To round out talking about all the disciplines – I’ve been doing my weights like a good girl, but for some reason, dragging myself to the pool isn’t going well.  It’s like I feel that all my swimming improvements are good enough this year, and I’m ready to move onto focusing on the other sports.  I know it doesn’t work that way, but it got the best of me last Monday and I missed a swim and didn’t make it up, so it’s a loss.  Boo.

I am instituting a policy in which, for the rest of tri season, if I make both swim/weights sessions, we get to go out to dinner (somewhere reasonably healthy) on Wednesdays, because the demotivating factor is that I just can’t dig the coming home and starting cooking dinner at 8:30pm.

Here’s the week by the numbers:

Monday: Weights: Home Weights 00:45
Tuesday: Bike: Triple Bricks – Music Videos … 27.04 mi 01:00 27.0mph pace, Run: Triple Bricks – 1 Mile Loop 3 mi 00:26 08:46 pace
Wednesday: Weights: Gym Weights 00:45, Swim: Ready for my closeup… 1590 m 00:35 35:25 pace
Thursday: Bike: Trainer+Red+X-men 67.52 mi 02:58 22.8mph pace (30 pre-work, 37.52 after)
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Trainer Iron Distance + Harry… 112 mi 05:08 21.8mph pace
Sunday: off

Total time: 11h30min

Total miles: 206.5 bike, 1590m swim, 3 run, 2 weights sessions.  A balanced week, if you will! 🙂

We had a lot of fun with the trainer/movie/buffet day and had talks about a double century over holiday break (when I don’t care how thrashed I am for the next day/week/etc).  I’m not sure what’s cracked in my brain to like trainer time so much, but at least it’s cracked in Zliten’s brain too.

I suppose I should also mention the three miles I did run were all sub-9.  So there’s that.  I’m ready for my sprint triathlon (just in time for them to be done for the season :P).

On the healthy eating/scale numbers front, I’m frustrated and starting to see the brat come out, kicking and screaming.  It’s not faaaaaaaaaaiiiir, I want cake, I want burgers, I’m training in the double digit hours this month and the only time I can eat junk food is on my bike.  Not to mention, that I’m not making any progress.

But I do know that healthy food fuels me better than that crap even if I should be able to justify eating it.  Also, August last year was a great month for me, I lost 5 lbs because I was really attentive to eating like a Quix-ivore – meat once a day, lots of veggies and fruits and grains and beans and the like.  Hoping that the end of this month sees some nice progress, and all I can do is just keep at it.

This week, I ate out more than I would have liked, but a few times, it was the option of being hungry-angry in the kitchen and shoving a few hundred calories of snacks in my mouth before dinner was done, or just letting Tarka cook my indian food for me.  I think I came out netting less calories (even with a naan splurge), and I discovered the LOVE which is chana saag (mix of chana masala and saag paneer without the paneer).  New FAVE!  While I don’t like to make it a huge habit, healthy takeout isn’t the end of the world, and I lost 100 lbs eating a lot of meals cooked outside my home, so it’s not a big deal.

I was not 100% on the not taking food because it was in front of me, but I was better.  I at least thought about it each time, and, y’know, sometimes I did want it and it was an ok thing.  Sometimes, it wasn’t.  I’ll work on this.  I have a goal this month to eat one desert that I pick out and consume when I want, and it sounds weird, but I think it’s just because I know sweets are around the house and the office so much that I don’t indulge in what I want because I know that my willpower will fail eventually and I don’t need to willingly eat it.  However, maybe by WILLINGLY indluging every so often, that random-sweets-outta-nowhere won’t hold so much power over me.

I did do a bad thing on Friday, and when Zliten went to Sonic for diet cherry limeades, I willed him to bring me tots, and he came back with tots AND onion rings.  Oops.  My mind control worked too well.

By the numbers:

Monday: 1485 calories, 26 DQ (2 negative, fried food)
Tuesday: 1858 calories, 26 DQ (1 negative, calorie-heavy sauce)
Wednesday: 1684 calories, 28 DQ (1 negative, calorie-heavy sauce)
Thursday: 2474 calories, 25 DQ (6 negative, beer)
Friday: 1757 calories, 23 DQ (4 negative, fried food and chips)
Saturday: 2879 calories, 10 DQ (12 negative, beer and wine)
Sunday: 1596 calories, 21 DQ (0 negative)

Total calories: 1961 average per day (for a 11.5 hour training week, not bad)

Positive DQ per week – 186.  Average Positive DQ per day – 26.5. Negative DQ per week – 26.  Average Negative DQ per day – 3.7

This week, I ate approximately 14% food that is negative DQ points.  Next week, the goal will be to get as close to 10% as possible.

Weight: Low – 177.0, High – 179.4.  Stabilizing, but not making progress.

In other news, we’ve planned out our last race of the year – the Space Coast Marathon in Cocoa Beach, FL.   This is definitely a bucket list item for Zliten as he’s a huge space nerd, and this race is all about space – the schwag, the aide stations, the course (runs up and down the shore where people watch the launches), the packet pickup is even at Kennedy Space Center.

There are other draws too – the course is also pancake flat (16 feet in elevation change) and in FL in December, so it should be amazing conditions.  It’s also 3 weeks later than last year’s 70.3 to marathon cycle so I’ll have more time to train.

Then, after racing, we’re going to spend some time on the beach, visit the Space Center for realz, and then take the rest of the week in Key Largo and beach bum, dive, snorkel, and relax.  I am unreasonably excited for this.  I spent last week stressed about the details, but now all I have left to do is find us a condo in KL, everything else is booked and good to go.

Question of the week: What reaction did you have to stress last week – fight or flight?

Jack’s Generic Tri + Week 30

Jack’s Generic Intermediate Distance Tri:

2013-08-04 06.39.44

While I’ve loved the TX Tri series the last two years, I think I’m going to have to cut the ties next year.  It was a cool, fun goal to finish 6 triathlons in a season, but I really don’t need the motivation to finish that many (this year, we were/are signed up for TEN).  Also, at first, I thought it pushed me to do some races that are outside my comfort zone, and that’s cool and all, but I’ve decided that there’s outside your comfort zone, and there’s shit you really just don’t want to do.

Racing an Olympic distance tri on August 4th in balls hot weather starting after 8am?  Put this on the latter list after last weekend.  It’s not that it was all bad, but the memory of that run will haunt my dreams for a long, long time.


  • Shakeout bike that AM, easy 35 min spin trying out our new speedfill aero bottles
  • Food the day before: pasta w/meat sauce + salad + bread, and a random smattering of snacks like brie and pita later.
  • Spent time with my parents, and had a mostly relaxing day and evening
  • Got TONS of sleep, at least 7 hours where I didn’t budge.  Felt super rested in the AM
  • Thought I was getting sick, but ended up just being allergies from them burning shit in Mexico.  Stupid people burning shit, but thank the dear fluffy lord of triathlon that it wasn’t actual illness!
  • Had an oatmega bar, and about half of a starbucks mocha.  Tummy was a little off but settled quickly.
  • Got there early-ish (6:15?), but not early enough to get a prime spot (it was totally fine though, Pflug transitions are great).
  • Got a warmup run and legs felt decent, hung out with Zliten and B and B’s mom and then got a warmup swim.
  • Ate my fruit punch sports beans and then it was time to get this show on the road (I was in wave 4).


This was going to be a different experience.  First of all, they started all 89 ladies in one wave, in a tiny narrow corral, and it was a beach run start.  The horn went off, I ended up towards the middle/back and inside, and we ran towards the water and the ladies in front of me kinda stopped and walked.  Fuck this, it’s a race, I thought, and I high-kneed my way around them until I got into deep enough water to dive in and start swimming.  Then, I ran into more ladies swimming slowly, and I shoved and kicked and fought my way to a patch of clear water just to find my goggles weren’t sealed super well and I had a decent amount of water in the left one.

The word on my brain at this point was: SHITSHOW.  I was not happy at the beginning of that swim, it was pretty high-combat.  On the way back to the beach I finally got my stride, but was dreading that stupid beach run.  It was about 100m across a pebbly, rocky beach, and I decided to brave it barefoot (that was me putting on my big girl panties about my princess feet).  I swam until I touched rocks with my hands, got up and out and started the run.  Oddly enough, it wasn’t that bad!  I went fast enough to pass people, but people passed me too.  I ran into the water, stepped on a rock, said “OW FUCK” loud enough I think some people giggled, and I dived in again for lap 2.

This one was great.  I was regularly passing caps in waves before me, the water had thinned out because the sprint waves hadn’t started yet, and I just generally felt calm, peaceful, productive, and fast in the water.  I think I came out wearing some weeds but otherwise emerged pretty happy with my effort.  Definitely better than expected, and ABSOLUTELY better than I expected about 100m in.

Swim Time: 23:47 for 1000m with 100m beach run.


My sandals were nowhere to be found, so this was another moment of Quix’s big girl panties on display here, as I ran to T1 just fine in bare feet.  Note to self – I’m much less tenderfooted during a race than I expect with the adrenaline going.  All went as expected, and it was REALLY REALLY nice to not have to worry about putting on the camelback.

T1 Time: 2:43 (10 seconds faster than Pflugerville – yay!)


Got out on the bike, had troubles clipping in like a noob, and found my bike in trainer gear (all the way hardest big and little) going up an incline.  Ooops.  Noob, noob, noob mistake.  After costing myself about a minute being dumb, I got going and drank and ate.  I looked at time of day and it was two minutes earlier than expected.  Splendid.  Legs felt good, I felt speedy without my camelback and my nice aero bottle, and though the zipp wheelie boys were blowing by me, I was passing people too.

Figured out early on my garmin was off again (it must not like tracking distance at Pflug), and just turned it back to HR and time of day screen and worked on ticking off the miles as quickly as possible.  I stayed in aero a LOT (the bottle helped), and climbed the modest hills pretty well, mostly, and I kept pretty close to my goal of 18mph.  I completed the first lap in about 42-ish mins and figured if I could hold on and do another 42-3 I’d hit an hour 25 which would blow my anticipated pace out of the water, and I usually get better on lap 2 so I started that one really excited.

Everything was going well and then… I hit a wall of wind on the south section of the course (the longest straightaway, of course).  It was BRUTAL.  There was enough wind to notice the first lap and have to fight a little harder, but it REALLY picked up on lap 2.  I kept losing time and losing time and then all of a sudden, I was coming in and it was later than I wanted.  I lost all that time I banked on the swim and more.  I had another noob moment dismounting my bike on the wrong side, but got it together quickly and over the line and into transition.

Bike Time: 1:31:06 (17.0 mph.  Not what I wanted, but pretty decent considering the wind…)


Went as expected.  Last time it wasn’t hot enough to need a handheld though, and this time it was, so I dealt with that.

T2 time: 1:29 (Pflug was 1:19 – so there’s that 10 seconds I gained not tinkering with the camelback here – tinkering with my handheld.  So, total t1 and t2 time – exactly the same… hah!)


On the bike, as I kept losing seconds, I reminded myself I still had a shot at a sub-3, but I would have to push the run as hard as I could.  That wind dissapated, the clouds burned off, and it was just me vs THAT RUN.  The feels like was already in the 90s, and this course has ZERO shade.  I had yet to see either Zliten or B, but on the first stretch, Brian blew right past me.  In a different universe, I would have tried to hang on and go with him, but he’s definitely a faster runner than I any day of the week and it was early, so I kept clicking along.

I stayed on time of day because I knew it was hot enough that pace would piss me off.  My handheld melted, I saw Zliten, I passed Zliten, I hung on, and kept clipping away around 11 min miles.  Something happened though, once I passed the finish line for the second lap, I broke.  It was so FUCKING HOT and I wasn’t quite doing what I needed to do to hit my sub 3 (I needed to be more like 10:20s), and I could barely keep pace, let alone speed it up.  I told myself to get it together, but it didn’t work.  I then decided that if I didn’t feel better by the bridge, I was going to walk.

Dumbest decision ever, because OF COURSE I wasn’t going to feel better, so I “broke the seal”.  I walked.  And from there, all I could manage was powerwalking to a point, then running.  Drinking at aide stations until I felt nauseous, running until I felt overwhelmed and light headed.  Powerwalking, then running.  I couldn’t find a sustainable pace at all.  Zliten passed me again clipping along sloooooowly, and I may have given up and just walked the damn thing in except I decided that he wasn’t going to finish before me.  So I’d run to catch him, then walk.  Run, then walk.

The last aide station had ICE (glorious ice) and I drank a bunch and it lowered my core temp enough to give me some oomph, I walked until my tummy settled, and then I ran the last half-ish mile.  I blew by Zliten, I passed other people, and kept going, and suddenly there was the finish line.

Run: 1:12:20 (12:03 pace – UGH JUST UGH)

Total Time: 3:11:28

Post race:

Once I was through it and they gave me water and I turned around and Zliten was there right behind me and I said “lake” and he said “med tent” (just for ice) and we did those respective things.  We sat in the lake with B and his mom, we ate pizza, and we kinda just ranted about the heat.  I won the swim, Zliten won the bike, B won the run (as normal).  B finished about 6 mins before me, and I finished 6 mins before Zliten.

I wish I had more on that run.  61 mins for the 5.8 miles I tracked is TOTALLY doable for me in a race situation, and that would have gotten me in at 3 hours.  66 mins which should be a WALK IN THE PARK for me would have beat B.  Instead, I just gave up and thank goodness Zliten was there to be my rabbit or I might have done worse.

However, it’s about letting go and moving on.  At Tri Rock in a month, I’ll have lots more experience hanging tough running in the August heat, and there IS actually some shade on that course, so we’ll see.  I have a 3:25 to beat, which shouldn’t be a problem.


I felt off this week.  Not injured, not sick, but just generally off.  What must be allergies, because it hasn’t gotten better or worse, gave me a scratchy throat, hoarse voice, post nasal drip, and at time general achiness and ickiness to the point I almost went home from work sick on Friday.  I’m still dealing with it, but now that I know its not going to smack me down with the plague hammer, I’m ok with it.  I was TERRIFIED I was going to come down with something that would make me DNS last weekend but I didn’t, so all is well and training can continue as normal.  Hooray!

I skipped Thursday’s run in feels like 100 temps because I didn’t want to exacerbate the issue (if there was an issue), and never made it up so I could rest.  I’m pretty sure that it didn’t hurt me in the grand sceme of things, but man, it sucked turning that box red (workout completely skipped) when I had just put up a post talking about how excited I was that I was turning all the boxes in my spreadsheet green as planned.  Oh well.

The only real highlight of the week was a good hot tempo run on Tuesday, and getting in our 45 miles after work on the trainer on Tuesday watching Green Lantern.  The rest was just time in the pool or saddle.  No breakthroughs (nor should there be the week of a race).

Monday: off
Tuesday: Run: Tempo Lunch Run at the Center… 3.1 mi 00:32 10:24 pace, Bike: Evening Trainer + Green Hornet 45.02 mi 01:51 24.3mph pace
Wednesday: Swim: Laps 1500 m 00:32
Thursday: off (skipped run)
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Quick Shakeout 12.31 mi 00:35 21.1mph pace
Sunday: Swim: 1000m Swim w/100m beach run 1000 m 00:24 38:18 pace, Bike: 2 Laps Around Pfluger – (Jack… 25.9 mi 01:31 17.1mph pace, Run: 2 Loops Around Lake PF – Jack… 6 mi 01:12 12:03 pace

Total time: About 6.5 hours total (7 planned)

After last week’s respite, this week goes back up to crazypants hours, and Saturday will cap it off with another “feat of strength”.  Stay tuned for details on that…


This week, it really became apparent to me that:

  1. Without careful scrutiny – I can really blow it.  Sunday’s 1360 calorie sandwich shows that – I didn’t look at the calorie counts first.  Since I raced an Olympic it wasn’t completely tragic (especially because I had half for lunch and half for dinner), but if I ate that on a normal day, I would have been PISSED at ingesting that much calories and fat, because, while it was good, it wasn’t THAT good.
  2. I always say that I eat 90 healthy and 10 other – when I actually quantify that in DQ (diet quality) points… not so much.  Definitely more than 10% “other” lately, and that’s not working for me, so I need to be careful.
  3. I’ve also forgotten that some things besides booze, sweets, and refined grains are negative DQ points (fatty meat, high-cal sauces, fried foods, chips, etc).
  4. I want to buy a new bike next year and I do not want to be that girl with snazzy new wheels that obviously should have worked on the “engine” first.  Because, yeah, I do not need to spend 2-3k$ when I have TONS of “free speed” from losing fat.

This initiates the new and improved weight loss motivation – called the “buy a bike” clause.  If I say it on the internet, I’ll be accountable, right?  I’m not buying a new bike until I am 150-something lbs.  When people offer me crap, I have a reason to say no, it’s now, “no thanks, I want to buy a bike”.  Over the holidays?  No fruitcake for me, I want to buy a bike.  Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t indulge when I really want to, because I don’t believe in that at all.  However, the random stuff that floats past my nose that I eat just because it’s there or offered to me?  Do I want that more than I want a bike?  Hell no.  So, let’s get on with this buying a bike shit, right?

How I’m going to do this and not crash and burn my training: getting back to really and truly 90/10 eating.  Specifically – track every morsel that goes in my mouth (I’ve gotten lax about, oh, I had two m and ms, that’s not worth tracking).  Add up the DQ score.  The negative points need to be one tenth of the positive points (I know the math isn’t quite exactly 90/10, but it’s close enough to keep track of at a glance).  Starting next week I’ll track positive and negative DQ points instead of just overall.

For example, I’m looking at about 180 DQ points of good food next week.  That means I can have about 18 points of negative stuff.  Considering that’s only 9 drinks or 8 drinks and one desert or 7 drinks, a desert, and some fried food, I had best spend those points wisely and not on crap I don’t want or need.

Here’s last week’s not-s0-90/10-ness:

Monday: 1493 calories, 27 DQ
Tuesday: 1832 calories, 31 DQ
Wednesday: 1493 calories, 27 DQ
Thursday: 1443 calories, 26 DQ
Friday: 1887 calories, 23 DQ
Saturday: 1590 calories, 12 DQ
Sunday: 3246 calories, -6 DQ

Averages: 1854 calories, 20 DQ (for example, this week would have had 164 good DQ points, and 24 bad = 14.6% bad points – and this is only because I counted carb-loading points on Saturday as neither negative nor positive, otherwise it would have been a lot worse).

Weight: Low – 177.2, High – 182.2.  Both up.  No bueno.

All one can do is move forward, with renewed purpose and motivation, and that’s what I’m doing.

Not much else to say this week, it was either resting, racing, or being terrified I was getting sick.

July Recap, August Goals

Holy hole in a donut hole, batman, this last month went QUICK.  Let’s get to it.

1. Let’s try again to get to the low 170s.  Right now, 176-178 is the norm.  I’m hoping that it’s more like 172-174 at the end of the month.  I will do this by pre-tracking and logging DQ score all this month.  1500 on lighter training days, 2000 on heavier days, about 1700-1800 average.

Ugh… yeah, no.  I have high hopes for August.  I may need some more heavy handed goals on the QUALITY of food during peak training rather than the quantity.

2. I’ve made a training program through Kerrville.  Give it a second look for sanity to make sure it’s not too ambitious and incorporates in enough recovery, and vet it through the triathlete’s training bible and make sure it has the right dose of speed and force workouts later in the game.  Then, pen it in, strap in, and get ready for some weeks of swim/bike/run/weights (yes, these come back this month!).

Check, check, check.  Now it’s time to turn those boxes green (workout completed as scheduled) and build that fitness and speed.

3. Couples, the goal is to #1 keep my head positive and in the game the entire time #2 get up Carnage without clipping out and walking (should be no problem after last weekend) and #3 run the whole 5k, even that dumb long hill on the back end.  This will probably result in an auto PR, but that is not the primary goal this time, mostly to redeem a really mentally bad race from last year.

Total check – PR, rocked the hill, rocked my headspace, and this was the first race where I felt I was starting to make a real “comeback”, not limping along on minimal training.

4. Be social!  I am intentionally easing up on July’s training a bit so we can do that.  We’re planning on going out, to like, a bar, with friends, twice.  One game night (at least, maybe two).  However, don’t be so social that it gets stressful and we want everyone to go away.  Strike the balance.

Check to all this!  Finally hit that “I’m ready to hole up and not party for a while” just this week, so it’s good timing.

5. Minimize spending as much as possible.  I’m finally able to start putting money into savings again, let’s continue that trend.

It was a financially brutal month until things just turned around YESTERDAY and things weren’t as bad as expected.  Still doing well with the “not spending a lot of money on crap” thing though.

6. Buy cabinet and finish workout room.  This month, it’s gotta be the kitchen.  Clean out the pantry, the fridge, and go through the drawers and do one more pass to see what should go away (we did some for the garage sale, but it was very quick).

Nope.  This one-room-a-month thing is great until race season hits.  The last thing I want to be doing after a long day of weekend training is cleaning shit out.  However, this is a good next goal, so I’ll carry it over until it gets done.

7. I have been eating a lot more desert than I should, I think it’s part of what held back my weight loss this month.  So, starting July 8th, I will be doing ONE, 100-200-ish serving of sweets PER WEEK outside of these things: running/bike fuel, arctic zero, frozen greek yogurt + fruit in food processor, muscle milk + fruit.  Also, perhaps try one of those sunbutter+protein powder cookie recipes floating around the internet.  The idea is to not cut out desert, but move it to healthy, contributing to my DQ score things that taste good too.

I did BETTER at this but I still am having trouble cutting out the bites and “Zliten brought me a few M and Ms” or “I found this random pastry in the fridge and had a few bites” or “someone ordered a cobbler and got lots of spoons to share”.  These things add up.

8.  Back to batch cooking (easy stuff for July 8th week since I’ll be getting a late start, then July 15th on).  Out 3 times a week, max (and 1-2 is preferred).

Check and check.  Been a little less than creative on food lately, but it’s been all good.

9.  Having a sewing project evening/day.  On the docket: mend the stuff that has holes (also iron on the patches for my poor holey pants), make one size small guys shirt into a girl shirt (shorten the waist and the sleeves), make one of the dresses I bought into a skirt, and start the second set of pillowcases.  Not all of this needs to get done, but I need to at least do *something*.

Ugh… no, not at all.  The day I had to do nothing all day at home, I just played video games, which was awesome, but I did not sew.  Maybe next month.

10. Back to body maintenance, since I’ve been really bad about it this week.  At least 3 times a week: foam roll, shockies, stretch my whole body, stretches for my knee.  At least 2x day – ice my knee/butt (until my butt pain goes away).  Heat on knee before morning workouts if needed.

I have been much better about this, and oddly enough, my body is feeling better!  I need to remember HOW much better when I forget to take the 15-20 mins to get a good stretch in and 5-10 mins to get a good foam rolling.  (Full disclosure – I have been icing twice a day, and foam rolling/stretching/leg stretches 2-3x per week.  I have not heated before workouts or used shockies regularly because I haven’t needed to with the other stuff)

11.  Yet again, finish book.  Start next one.

So close!  I’m pretty far through my book but I haven’t had a chance to completely finish it.

12. Change up my shoes at least a few times a week.  The sandals I’ve been wearing constantly for the last two months are starting to have an odor.

Check.  Now that my knee is feeling better, I’ve explored wearing a few different shoes.  I keep looking at my higher heeled wedges and chickening out though. 

13. Quarterly beauty maintenance – pluck brows, do nails, do toenails a different color than turquoise.

Mostly check.  Didn’t polish my nails, but they don’t look unkempt.  Toes are purple and done, and brows are no longer caterpillars.

Let’s move onto August!  Basically, this is the month of hunkering down and going to work.  Race this weekend and then FOUR WEEKS until the next one (so a nice long training block), no trips planned, no real plans, just time to settle in and get ‘er done.

1. Jack’s Generic Triathlon – August 4th.  This one, I really want to push into the pain zone.  I want to break 18mph on an Olympic.  I want to break an hour on the run.  I want to sub-3.  I know I have this in my legs (as long as the right legs show up) if my brain will just shut up and let go.  Yeah, it’s going to be hot as balls and I’ll have to triathlon my ass off to get there, but I really want to push myself.

2. All boxes green, or good reasons why.  I’ve got a great training plan with some pretty epic weeks with some more feats of strength to tackle this month.  This being said, monitor the body for utter and complete burnout and stay attentive as August will be three weeks of peak training unlike what I’ve done yet this year.

3. Obviously, I need to eat.  I need to eat more, and I need to eat clean.   The goal this month is a) 100% bite tracking – two m and ms get tracked as 2 m and ms, and count for -2 DQ as a sweet, and b) adhering to the 90/10 rule.  I should have less than 10% of my calories or DQ score as negative foods (booze, sweets, white bread, etc).  This will be calculated by week, so if I want to save it all up and fuck up on Saturday, I have to be an angel all week (my guess is that the total negative per week can be 17-20).

4.  Let’s see if this can nip that no-progress-0n-the-scale thing in the bud.  If I truly keep my food choices good, my calories will naturally be lower with more filling-ness, satiety, nutrients, etc.  Since 176-178 is still the norm, let’s keep 172-174 as my goal for end of August.

5.  Minimize spending as much as possible.  We still have some loose ends to tie up with all the crap that went sideways in July, and I haven’t really missed buying somewhat useless crap that I don’t really need.  I do have 75$ in amazon gift cards I saved from my birthday and Christmas to buy myself something over the summer, buy something for myself this month instead of letting them collect dust.

6. Now that we’ve got into our goal marathon in Dec by the skin of our teeth (thank you kind race director), we need to book that trip and get that all arranged.  I’m sooooo excited for this one and so is Zliten.

7.  Figure out general plan for next year.  How long is offseason, what is our first race of 2014, what are our goals in 2014, etc.

8.  Buy cabinet.  Finish workout room.  Clean out and organize kitchen.  This one is not going to go away until we do it.

9.  Do some sewing OR gaming OR necklace making.  Up to me, but something hobby-ish or craft-ish must happen this month.  Gold star for 2 things.  Super gold star for all 3.

10. Finish book.  Start next one.  Gold star for finishing the next one.

11.  This is the maintenance shout out.  Continue stretching, icing, foam rolling.  Continue batch cooking.  Don’t wear the same shoes every day even if they are the most comfy.

12.  Work stuff: log at least 5 hours of my game per week, and at least 2 hours of forum reading per week.  Now that (knock on wood) things seem to be settling into the normal crazy instead of crazy crazy, I want to try to get back into this habit.

13.  Have one desert that is something that is my choice, that I pick out, and I pick when I want to eat it, not just because someone else ordered it or is offering me bites.

Let’s see how many of these I can hit!  Wish me luck!  What’s your goal for August?

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