Adjusted Reality

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

Month: September 2013

Week 37: Overanalysis Ahead

…like that’s abnormal, but I mean, this is a lot even for me.

Well, kids, this is it.  Somewhere around 2pm Sunday (give or take some time for awesome performances or bonkity bonk bonkage), I should be rolling into the finish at Kerrville 70.3.  Here is where my head is at:


My major problem here is that my navy and red tyr shorts seem to be the only ones that stand up to 56 miles on the bike.  The black ones that I ordered that are supposed to have the same pad in them just don’t.  The navy and red top is HORRIBLE on me and rides up and folds up to my waist and is uncomfortable and I was hoping that a few less lbs would take care of it, but it hasn’t yet (maybe by next season).  The other tri tops I have don’t just not match, they completely clash.  I have yet to find a good fitting tri top that matches (but it will be my goal at the expo – for next season).  I tried the black shorts one more time at the Veloway last week for my 60 miler and it was agony down there around mile 40.  The new fit seems to have made it worse.

So, I’m left with a dilemma – what to wear?  I decided to take an extra few seconds in transition and go with something that doesn’t completely clash and I’ve ran and biked in – just a regular wicking top.  I’ll swim in my sports bra and tri shorts under the wetsuit, and take some pretty horrible pics on the way to T1 showing the world my pasty white stomach, but then I’ll be comfortable all day.  I’ve identified both a tank and a tee that match decently and I’ve worn a million times.  I’d never do this for anything shorter, but I want to be comfortable in what I’ll be spending the majority of a workday in.


Right now, looking like 58 low, 81 high, scattered thunderstorms (30%), and a light breeze (7 mph), and the lake is on the edge of being wetsuit legal (following the same temp pattern as last year, when it was legal).  Dear fluffy lord of triathlons, I humbly request that this weather holds, substituting just a cloudy or slightly drizzly day for the thunderstorms.  Thanks! 🙂


I’m pretty confident I can rock the swim.  This week’s wetsuit swim was so much more fabulous than the last one – I cut my poor nails super short (see my sad picture above) so I could tug on the wetsuit better, and enlisted Zliten’s help in getting the arms in the right place, and I felt way less like a starfish.  Since the distance and time has been estimated both swims, I have zero idea how much faster (if at all) I am in it, so this is a wildcard.  I’m going to say that I will be satisfied with a time somewhere in between 40-45 minutes with good conditions and no shenanigans.  45-50 means something probably went wrong.  If I don’t beat my 53 mins from last year, something REALLY went south, as I remember being ill at ease in the water last year and thinking it was a bad swim then, and I’m a WAY better swimmer this year.

My concentration will be on form, keeping a pace that is a little harder than comfortable but not too fast, and if possible, finding some feet to follow if I can (it’s AMAZING how much less effort it is to draft).  I’ll line up somewhere in the middle to one side and hope to find a nice patch of water to do my thing.


I’m a little wary about getting the wetsuit off (since it will be the first race I’m using it), so we’ll see how it goes.  I’m sure this will be on the order of seconds, not minutes, especially because they have wetsuit strippers.  Do that, jog up the hill, throw the shirt on, probably put arm warmers on, helmet, sunglasses, shove everything in the bag, and go.  I’m leaving my bike gloves velcro’d to my frame, and my garmin on my bike frame as well to save some time, it worked well at Tri Rock.


My biking has been a lot more solid this year.  I’ve got many more butt on bike time this year, and a lot more 2-3+ hour rides.  I know where my low point is (hi there miles in the late 40s) and I know how to push through (sing silly songs, eat more, etc).  I’ve ridden much harder rides than this course, so it shouldn’t be a problem.  I know, at the end, I can take some 303s if my body needs them and I handle that fine.  My goal will just be to keep the nutrition going (one chomp every 2-3 miles) and try to ride smart and not cook my legs.  I rode it just under 16 mph last year.  The course is pretty fast unless it gets windy.  I’m not sure what the number will be, but I’m really hoping to be about 1 mph better as I was at Tri Rock.

I do have a few challenges though.  The new bike fit is going to help me get off the bike and feel much fresher, but I feel a little less powerful chugging up hills.  I’m not sure how that’s going to affect my speed over a longer ride.  Also, I’ll be doing the race with my aero bottle + gatorade bottle in my cage, so I’ll have to be doing my first bottle grab for gatorade ever.  That will be interesting.  I think I’ll be ok if I miss one with my extra bottle, but I’ll be in bad shape if I miss more than one.  It won’t be as hot as Tri Rock, but I still need to keep drinking because I’m counting on those calories.


Should be normal stuff.  I’ll throw an extra tank top in my T2 bag in case I put on a tee in T1 and decide it’s too hot for sleeves.  I’ll keep a dose of 303s in my bento box in case things are really bad, and I’ll have a stash in my handheld water bottle that I will much more likely take on the run in the first mile.  Sadly, I won’t be able to freeze my bottle since we have to drop off the bags the day before.  I’ll start with an empty handheld and a sealed bottle of gatorade (which I will PROBABLY just leave in transition, but just in case I am super dehydrated from missing bottle grabs, etc, with my handheld also full of chomps (gatorade chomps and other chomps in case I just want MOAR NUTRITION).  I just need to keep going here and not fall prey to transition gravity.


(One is old, one is new, can you tell which one? :D) The run.  My nemesis this year.  However, there are a few things up my alley here.  First, my mindset.  It’s keep running or med tent.  I don’t care if I’m not into it, if I’m bored, if I’m hot, if monkeys fly out of my butt – this is my A race and I will keep going unless there is something SERIOUSLY wrong, aka, an arm or leg off.  Second, the course this year is all on roads, and only has one hill per loop instead of all the ups and downs of the trail.  Four loops will be a little mind numbing, but I can do it.

My goal is to go out the first mile and just get moving, and not even look at my watch until it beeps mile 1 complete.  Then, the rest of the first half, keep myself at ~11 minute miles through lap 2.  No faster.  If I feel GREAT, I will decrease my pace a little on lap 3 (down to 10:30s max).  On lap 4, I’ll give it all I have.  If I don’t feel great, I’ll just keep trotting as fast as I can maintain.  The best half marathon I’ve run in 2 years (I haven’t race-raced one in a while) is 2:25 (and that was part of a 20 mile training run).  Ultimately, on a super great day this Sunday, I’d love to beat that.  I had a super secret goal months ago to PR my half marathon at Kerrville this year (2:08), but with my run training this year, I’d be an idiot to try for that.  If I come in around 2:25 and feel like I could have pushed harder earlier in the race, I’ll take it.

Last year, my first 70.3 (same race), I was just so EXCITED.  I was ready to rock and go the distance.  My second 70.3, I was terrified.  I was so undertrained because of my injury, and the course was tough.  This one, I feel a bit of calm determination.  I’m not worried about completing the race (barring special circumstances).  I’m looking forward to seeing what my brain and my body can do.

Week 37 Training:

Good first week of taper.  I ran a few miles, biked a few miles, and swam a few miles, and I felt good doing it.  I skipped a swim when I was tired.  I cut a run short because I was tired.  Then Wednesday I got my mojo back and had a pretty awesome wetsuit swim.  Thursday, I did a slow 5 miler with a race pace mile at the end, and some easy trainer miles.

Saturday, we did a practice bike, run, swim to make sure everything was functioning, and it helped me make a bunch of decisions for Kerrville.  It was super windy, so the slow 15.9 mph easy pace wasn’t a surprise or worrisome.  I felt awesome off the bike and ran a 33 minute 5k, never pushing myself too hard, holding to a pace where I felt that it would be challenging to hold for 3 more laps, but not impossible.  Then, I had a super easy paddle in the lake, holding nothing near the pace I want to next week, getting distracted, and watching the kiteboarders, but it was fine.

I actually keep getting kinda sad about the last training bike and swims this week (I’ll cut those WAY down marathon training as long as my body can handle the jump in run miles).  It’s nice to be sad about it and not wanting to shove my bike and goggles in a corner and NEVAR see them again like some seasons.

I feel good about what I did this week and where I’m at, so here’s the details and let’s move on.

Monday: off (skipped swim, I was exhausted still)
Tuesday: Run: Oops 1.7 mi 00:21 12:15 pace (supposed to be 4)
Wednesday: Swim: Wetsuit Test 2 1350 m 00:30 35:45 pace
Thursday: Run: Easy 5 with a Tempo Mile 6 mi 01:09 11:30 pace, Bike: Trainer + Scott Pilgrim 35 mi 01:35 22.1mph pace
Friday: off
Saturday: Bike: Pflug Loop 17.77 mi 01:07 15.9mph pace, Run: Pflug Loop 3.1 mi 00:34 10:50 pace, Swim: Pflug 1200 m 00:37 49:37 pace
Sunday: off

Total time: 6 hours. 11 run miles, 53 bike miles, 2550m swim.

Wanted to do more like 7-7.5, but it is what it is, and my body called for the extra rest, so it got it.

Week 37 Food/Scale:

Speaking of the size of posteriors… our iguana decided to play on the chandelier this weekend.  I’m glad her sizeable lizard butt did not pull it down.  😀

Anyhoo, back to me… It was TOM, so that always throws me for a loop.  It was odd that I had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m settling back to my 174-175.  I’m ok with that.  I didn’t do the greatest at DQ this week or being proactive with tracking, but I’m keeping it decent, especially considering I’m eating catered food at work since we’re working extra hours.  This next week, I need to really focus up to Friday on good food and not too much of it, and then Friday on, carbs carbs carbs with as little sugar or fat as possible.

Things I’ve made lately that are awesome:

  •  Black bean brownies (pictured – though not well) – recipe – note… the brownies in and of them selves were alright – but I slapped together some cream cheese frosting (2 tbsp organic cream cheese, 2 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp raw sugar, and some stevia to tast), and it made them awesome.  Also awesome with a little nut/seed butter slathered on top.
  • Marshmallow millet treats (I know this came from somewhere but I don’t know where) – recipe
  • French onion soup with sprouted grain crouton and gruyere cheese – recipe
  • Healthy corn chowder – used almond milk + pureed beans instead of cream and it tasted awesome.  Loosely used this one as a guideline – recipe

I’m not sure what exactly has possessed me to make these healthy deserts lately, but I think it’s a combination of that I’m sick of paying 1-2+$ for energy bars and enjoy eating these before and after runs/hard workouts and that I’m trying to take desert off a pedestal.  I passed up cake yesterday (that I normally would have obsessed over) simply because I had (much healthier) brownies at home I was looking forward to eating.  I will probably cut this shit out when I’m not training that much, because having 12 iced brownies at home means I’ll probably have an iced brownie a day most days, but for the next two months, I’ll be making some crazy yummy treats and enjoying them!

As for the fooding this week, here’s the numbers.

Monday: 1694 cal, 26 DQ (+27, -1)
Tuesday: 1868 calories, 23 DQ (+25, -2 – responsible beer drinking on game day, only had 2!)
Wednesday: 1746 calories, 26 DQ (27+/-1)
Thursday: 1927 calories, 27 DQ
Friday: 1728 calories, 21 DQ
Saturday: 2453 calories, 2 DQ (+17, -15 – mostly beer)
Sunday: 1528 calories, 14 DQ (+20, -6  – oops cheetos)

Average Calories per day: 1850 (not a huge deficit, but shouldn’t be a gain on 6 training hours)

Average DQ per day: 20 (not my best, not my worst)

Scale: 174.2 (low), 179.0 (high).  It was TOM, so I expected some swings, but overall, still just hanging out in that new set point range, seemingly until i either get another stomach flu or hit up a 5 day buffet…

Other than that, I’ve just been trying to stay as rested as possible, but here are a few little fun life tidbits…

Hi, my name is Lump (I’m the OTHER leezard, who was actually here first, thanks).  I got my tummy stopped up with too much sand (I live in it, and it’s good to eat a little, but I ate too much), and I couldn’t poop for a week.  I had to go to the vets, and they poked and prodded me and took xrays to figure all that out.  I was given TWO enemas in one day.  Totally not cool, guys.  However, I did get revenge and splattered explosive and very stinky poo all over the nasty vet.  Worst day ever, but I have to admit, I feel much better, although I did hear my owners say something about this horrible day being really expensive…

Game night was awesome! A giant chicken got roasted by a laser gun, I finally got to use my electronic lockpicks, and my quote of the night after slaying a giant cat… ”just call me curiosity!”

We noticed that Universal Sports Network is now on Time Warner Cable, and called and had it added to our lineup for 9 bucks.  That price is totally worth being able to watch all the televised triathlon, track and field, cycling, and other goodies!  And… now we won’t have to stream Kona on the laptop!  Woot!

Grand Theft Auto V has a triathlon minigame!  They didn’t really get it completely right, but A+ for effort, devs!

I scoped out a lot of stuff on IM Lake Tahoe.  My first thought was “fuck that course, it’s scary DRIVING there let alone biking” and then “ahhhh it looks so pretty, I want to do that course, I can handle the hills” and then “OMG 31 degrees at swim start fuck that!!!” and then “soooo preeeeettty, I can totally handle the cold (no I can’t)”.  For some reason, I’m finding I’m drawn to that course but it really sounds like a bad idea for someone who hates cold and really isn’t into hills much.  The end.

And on that note, I’ll get on with my week and see about rocking the shit out of Kerrville!

Week 36: Bullets and Brainpan

This week was a nice surprise after being a little mopey and blah.  The heat, the training, getting sick, the tireds… all of it was getting to me.  But week 36 really turned things around.  Please proceed for a lot of bullet-ed lists and thoughts from my brainpan.

Awesome things this week that have made me happy:

  • I am going to be in Cozumel on my birthday!!!  We had discussed going on a cruise with my parents early in 2014 and they ended up booking it over my birthday!  While it’s not really and truly any cooler than going any other time in reality, but I can guarantee you that scuba diving and laying on the beach would be on the very short list of things I would like to do on my birthday given all the options in the world.  Happy daaaaaance!
  • I went through some of my old clothes.  A lot more things fit and fit well than they did earlier this year.  It is slow going, but it is nice to see some actual progress besides just numbers.  It feels good to retire things that are too BIG, not too SMALL.  Still holding steady in the 173-175 range and I think this is where I’ll finish out tri season barring some other weird circumstance (my jaw getting wired shut, my veins getting a cristco drip).
  • I ran 4 times this week and they were all glorious.  Well, the 10 miler wasn’t 100% glorious, but I got ‘er done with minimal wear and tear to the body.  The shorter jaunts (3.5-4.5 miles) were practically divine – the weather was a little cooler since I ran them earlier and I took my buddies Pink Floyd with me to play me a concert
  • I ate some really great (as in delicious, not great for me – I did eat a lot of that but it’s not really noteworthy, just the normal stuff) food this week.  Wednesday, it was my friend P’s birthday, and we were set to go to an Oyster bar.  This didn’t excite me greatly, but they had fried shrimp on the menu, and I’d been craving that for about a month, so I was looking forward to that.  Then, they couldn’t get reservations due to some drama so we ended up going to Trulucks.  The place I go every year on MY birthday because I love it so much!  While it was just about a full day of calories for the shrimp appetizer, big plate of king crab, mashed potatoes, and broccoli with a copious dash of wine, it was totally worth it ever calorie and dollar (it cost about a week and a half of grocery money).
  • Then, for my mom’s birthday, she decided she wanted Papadeaux. More seafood!  This was immediately after a 4 hour bike ride, so I indulged in fried alligator, seafood fondue, salad, and fried shrimp and fries for my meal (for which I took half home and had that as dinner).  Apparently I would make a crappy food blogger because this was all in my stomach WAY too quickly for any pictures.  Pretend I ate this costco size bag of carrots and carry on…

As for food – I took this week off diet quality.  I did track calories, and can offer you the average calorie count of 2031 per day.  A little higher, but also, I trained my ass off, so this should not be tragic.  My weight has ranged from 173.2 (low) to 175.4 (high).  I’m pretty happy with that.

This next week, I’ll be tracking (as I have been) and also tracking food quality (because it’s taper week and I need to make sure that I’m shoving good quality noms in my mouth since it’s less of it).  Expect more details with the next recap.

As for training, I had a good, solid week.  I’m not sure when I’ll start remembering that my body (and brain) seems to operate well with frequent, shorter runs, rather than every run session needing to be 10k-10 miles+.  It was wearing on my body, but more importantly, I had lost the joy of the quick little jaunt while it’s not feels-like-death.  These 3-5 mile runs I did were just happy little trees, puffy little clouds, and wondrous amazing mornings.  While it did take getting up before I normally do (because I still had to fit in a few miles of swimming and 100 miles of biking), and my laundry basket was WAY fuller than normal, it was a nice, empowering, last training week before taper.

Let’s break it down, just for old times sake:

Monday: Run: North School “Tempo” 4.5 mi 00:49 10:57 pace, Swim: Laps 1500 m 00:32 34:19 pace
Tuesday: Run: Last Long Run 10 mi 02:00 12:00 pace, Bike: Trainer + Incredibles 20 mi 00:55 21.8mph pace
Wednesday: Run: Snail’s Pace Run with Pink Floyd 3.5 mi 00:43 12:17 pace, Bike: Trainer + Saved By The Bell 20 mi 00:48 24.9mph pace
Thursday: Swim: Barton Springs + Wetsuit 1350 m 00:30 35:45 pace
Friday: Run: Neighborhood 4 mi 00:50 12:27 pace
Saturday: Bike: Veloway 60.68 mi 03:53 15.6mph pace
Sunday: offffff

Totals: 2850m swim, 100.68 miles bike, 22 miles run, 0 weights (will resume after race + recovery) = 11 hours total

All in all, it was just a great week.  I still have a lot of random things knocking about in my brainpan, but it’s a little quieter and a LOT more positive than it was two weeks ago.  A few things I need to remember:

  • Riding 56 miles is much easier for me than it used to be, but it’s very likely I’ll still get off the bike and feel crappy.  It’s been hit or miss on my long rides.  However, the consistent thing is that within 10-15 mins, it goes away and I feel fine (unless I have a stomach flu, but, ya know…).  I just need to be ready for it and get moving and work through the first mile of the run.  Also, 303s should help this along if needed.
  • I’ve found my limit for race day nutrition yesterday (20 chomps – 10 gus, 10 honeystingers + full strength gatorade mix to drink).  I felt great on the bike but I did feel a little overstuffed once I got off (that’s what she said?).  I’ve had the most success with gatorade chomps on the run, so I’m going to bring with me an assortment of those + assorted cliff shot blocks in my handheld and have a frozen gatorade to start with unless it’s unseasonably cold, in which case I’ll have an unfrozen bottle ready to go too.
  • There is going to be some point (or points) in the race where the wheels get loose and threaten to fall off.  I need to be ready for it, and have strategies of how to keep those suckers on and continue moving with purpose and expedience.
  • In all the scenarios of math I’ve run, if I don’t completely bonk or have major issues, or conversely PR my half marathon or hit tailwind both ways on the bike somehow, I’ll be somewhere between 6:30 (amazing day) to 7 hours (ok day).  As long as I hang on and temper the ups and downs with sanity, I should be pretty happy with my result!

My two things that are a little uncertain:

  • I got my wetsuit last Monday and I was all excited about it and figured it would make me super duper crazy fast fish in the water and I would never want to take it off.  Well, after spending 30 mins in it in Barton Springs (the only place with water under 80 degrees around here) it feels a bit weird and awkward and I feel like I need to relearn how to swim in it.  I think this was because #1 I didn’t quite put it on right, the shoulders felt a little star-fishy and #2 Barton Springs is so cold it sends me into shock a little bit, and we went while it was getting dark so I was cold, deaf (earplugs), and blind (fogged, tinted goggles), with lots of swim traffic to navigate.  Here’s hoping it goes better this week.
  • I got my first official bike fit last week as well, and apparently that seat I raised and have loved this year?  Yeah, apparently is not doing anything good for me.  He lowered my seat about an inch and a half.  Other minor things got adjusted (aero bar tilt and position, cleats on shoes, seat tilt), and all feel great.  However, I’m now biking a LOT more with my quads than I have all season and after my 60 this weekend they were SOOOOORE.  This is great news as I run mainly with my hammies, which felt fresh like a daisy, so that’s probably an overall boon, but something I’ll need to expect late in the bike ride.

Overall, I’m feeling rosier overall about things than I have in quite a while, and I feel like I am really, solidly ready to do this  70.3 thing and be stoked about the result (which I’m sure will change 10 times in the next 2 weeks with taper crazies).  Third time can please be a charm? 🙂

Also, I’m already really kind of looking forward to marathon training (lots more running in the cooler weather), which bodes well for not being too burnt out or stressed!  I feel this deep tired in my body, but it’s that good kind where you just shouldered your last massive week of training well, and now it’s time to rest up, get sharp and fresh, and DIVE IN AND DO THIS THANG.

Oh wait, wrong sport to be excited about right now, but SCUBA DIVING IN COZUMEL FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!!  Got lots of fun stuff to look forward to in the next 6 months!  That makes for less winter SADS when I have something awesome just beyond it to anticipate.

Question of the week: What are you anticipating?


Week 34 and 35 Recap: Little Debbie (Downer)

The two weeks I’m recapping here have had highs and lows, but actually, a lot more lows.  I was kind of in a little hole mood-wise, physiologically, and mentally.  Spoiler, things have turned around in a major way for me this week (end of the tunnel, light, and all that), but expect that a lot of this post could be written by Debbie.  Debbie downer.   However, in my attempt to chronicle life as I know it, sometimes you have to wade through the sucky to get to the awesome.

Week 34: Rebel Tummy

Here’s a recap of how my week went…

Monday – Wednesday: still incredibly sick.  Well enough to get through work, since I have a bathroom nearby, but I was definitely not feeling like myself.  Monday, I did get my appetite back halfway through the day, and tried eating a real meal (chicken noodle soup, tiny caesar salad, and a dinner roll – nothing was whole wheat), and woke up in the middle of the night feeling awful and felt terrible the next day.  I then realized my tummy just needed some time off, and went on the juice, crackers, and chicken broth diet for 2 days.  I finally turned a corner Wednesday and was able to get on the trainer for 30 mins and log 10.25 miles (I skipped both Monday’s swim and Tuesday’s brick day).  I made sure, even through the worst of it, to get down at least 1200 calories.  Gatorade and ritz crackers are my saviors!

Thursday – Friday: feeling a little better, so introduced cheese and some veggies back into my diet, with a little bit of chicken each day.  I still didn’t feel completely myself, but I wasn’t doubled over feeling awful, so there was that.  I logged 25 miles on the trainer on Thursday and took Friday off as planned.  I made sure to eat ~1400-1500 calories to support the fact that I was (lightly) training again.

Saturday: feeling somewhat like myself, so we paddled around in Lake Pf a bit (1200m) and did an hour bike ride outside (16.6 miles).  I ate a whole hamburger and some snacks and salad later, and enjoyed splashing around in a pool for a while – I would say this day I felt about 90% if not a little better and felt confident I could start the race and maybe even finish it decently.

Sunday: felt better, and I didn’t want my last run before this race to be that disaster 10 miler from last Saturday, so I ran a nice 2.15 miles at around 10:30s.  Felt great, if a little hot, but walked half a mile to cool down and made sure to stretch.  Then we did packet pickup, and we did it after noon.  It was a hike from parking to the hotel, then back to parking, assemble the bikes, walk them to transition, rack, walk down to the swim start, then go back to the car.

By that point, it was mid-90s, feels like death, and I was feeling a little woozy.  We ate lunch, did some errands, and by the time we got home it took me some time to actually get my tri stuff packed because I was pooped and feeling gross and I kept having to rest between the stages of just packing my shit.  Not exactly how you want to feel the day before a race.  By bedtime I was exhausted and had a terrific headache, so I took some painkillers and hoped for the best.

We all know how Monday’s race went.  In retrospect, I am pretty happy with my swim (everyone’s times sucked because of the lake conditions, so a 2 minute PR is actually awesome and probably equal to much more than that), thrilled with my bike and transitions, and the run… oh the run.  It’s exhausting to be tough all the time.  I was just tired.  I had fought through a lot of long, hot, miserable runs over the last few months, I fought through a lot of physical sickness (and let me tell you, it is not mentally relaxing to be sick and hungry but you can’t eat and have no energy) and I just ran out of give a shit and mental toughness halfway through the run.  It happens.  No need to beat myself up about it.

It’s one thing to go into a race healthy and blow up, but significantly PRing every other leg after not even being sure I was going to start 12 hours before and bonking on the run – probably expected when you’ve been on the gatorade and crackers diet most of the week.  Should I have gone more conservatively? I’m not sure that would have mattered.  Sure, doing the doggie paddle and coasting along at 12 miles and hour MIGHT have set me up for being less fatigued on the run, but I think it was the heat more than anything that did me in, and the temps climbed about 5 degrees in that last 30 mins and just kept getting HOTTER.

So the TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) for Week 34:

  • Really sick and didn’t eat much (or much nutritious food). 1344 calories average during the week, didn’t track over the weekend (but it really wasn’t much more)
  • Got in just a few miles of swim bike run (1200m swim, 42 miles bike, 2 miles run) before the race (3.5 hours total)
  • Yay stomach flu weight progress: 173.6 Low, 176.0 High.  Hey, gotta go for the silver linings, right?  I kept saying I was just a few stomach flus away from goal weight, and this was an awesome, free cleanse (besides the fact that it was terrible and miserable).
  • Bonked at race, but it makes sense.

Week 35: The Aftermath

Physical aftermath: I felt pretty not-broken after the race (all that walking helped with that, heh).  My stomach was feeling *better* and I began introducing normal-Quix foods like beans, nuts, veggies, fruit, etc.  It felt nice to eat normally again, and my energy levels and mood improved when I wasn’t eating so much processed crap (although, that processed crap kept me alive for a week, so there’s that).

Mental aftermath: I felt pretty low and broken.  I would have moped more after the race but we went out with some friends and had some drinks and played some games and I had a good day (until I started feeling crappy – physically – again and just went and slept it off).  After I came back to reality, though, my confidence was really shaken for Kerrville.

I tried to kill it with miles.  I had scheduled a day off Tuesday after the race, which considering I felt fine, I dove back into training with an easy hour spin on the trainer.   I blew off weights on Wednesday due to a time crunch and just swam.  I had a 6-10 mile run on the schedule for Thursday, so I upped it to 10 minimum.  More miles, more running good after a bonk.  It went fairly well, I was excited since I had a 17 mile run planned on Saturday, I’d have my highest run mileage week of the year so far at 33, and as long as the 17 went well, I’d restore some lost faith in myself.

Then, Thursday afternoon, my back really started to hurt.  I was going to do some more trainer miles, but I blew them off to RICE and hoped to wake up feeling fine on Friday.  I didn’t, so I saw the chiropractor at lunch.  She cracked me, and said she WANTED to tell me I could run this weekend, but that I shouldn’t.  The order was rest that day (Friday), swim on Saturday, bike Sunday, and if all felt well I could resume Monday.  After going over my schedule for the next week or so and when my race was, she advised me just to bag my 17 mile run completely.

I had to get myself a pity slurpee over that one (sugar free and full of chemicals!).  No redemption for me.  Zliten went out on Saturday morning before the sun was up and knocked out 17 slow, steady, solid miles.  I slept in (until 7… I remember when sleeping in was noon…) and hit the pool and swam 2100 annoying meters in 50 mins (morning people suck, I like it at night when it’s super dead in the pool).

The one light I saw in all this was that even with things returning to normal, I’m keeping off this weight I lost last week.  I hit my lowest weight in years on Saturday – 172.2.  I immediately went to tex mex buffet brunch, so it was short lived, but it’s nice to know that I’ve lost some solid weight this year (about 10-15 lbs, depending on the day).  Most folks gain their stomach flu weight back right away, so it’s nice to see it stay gone.

Sunday was the 70.3 world championships, so I set up the bike on the trainer, and watched for 50 miles of riding (at half resistance, so not even easy baby spinning).  I got off to stretch, and realized my back was pretty achey, so I called it there.  I was worried I injured something again, but prompt ice and relaxing fixed it all up!

I also made some awesome chickpea cookies (don’t mind the hastily put together recipe, I really just needed the calorie count).  They look awful, so no picture, but they taste awesome (especially frozen) and are great post run snackies.  I’m going to try out some more healthy deserts over the next few months (while I’m still training) that are good post workout, when more natural sugar/carbs = good.

So the TL;DR for Week 35:

  • Back to normal eating.  Didn’t track DQ, but average calories in = 1833 per day (about 2300 on high workout days, 1500 on low workout days)
  • Ran 16.2 miles, Biked 95 miles, Swam 5100m, skipped weights. 10.25 hours total.
  • Weight stayed low.  172.2 Low Weight, 178.0 High (odd bounce up – 175.8 was the next highest day)
  • Made awesome cookies with beans instead of flour.  Win!

I don’t want to spoil the next recap, but it’s like I’ve done a 180 in mood over the last few days.  Things have gone much better this week, and hope I can ride this confidence wave through the end of tri season (and beyond!).

Question for the week: what’s your favorite healthy desert?


August Recap, September Goals

August was a rough month mentally and physically, but I’m here at the other end of it and hoping September will treat me a little better.  Let’s get on with this…

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.

Great swim, great bike, broke on the run due to heat.  3:11.

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.

Training has been going great, minus last week’s stomach bug issues where I did what I could without risking getting sicker.  Other than that, I’ve been training as expected and doing the work without too many mental breakdown issues.

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).

I never made it to 10%, but I stayed between 14-17% (when I wasn’t sick).  I’ll call that a win.  It’s really, really hard to stay at 10% calories from junk, but under 20% is no problem.

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.

Thank you stomach flu – I’m hovering around 174-176 (with a low of 173.0) now even after reintroducing real food back to my diet.  Oddly enough though, I’m finding that weight loss has nothing to do with quality of food though – it’s simply the amount of calories.  I feel better and train better when I eat better, but I lose weight when I eat less.  Hrmph.

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.

We didn’t do *quite* as good here as previous months, but we’re still trying to be conscious of not buying useless crap.  I did not spend my 75$ in frivoulous money (why is it so hard for me to online shop? :P), but we did order our wetsuits, so that has nothing to do with this goal at all but happy and noteworthy!

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.

Everything is arranged but our accommodations for after the race in Key Largo.  We’re doing a condo instead of a hotel, so we’ve picked out about 10 that will work in the area we want. I’ve emailed our top choice and we’ll work our way down if it’s not available.

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.

We’ve briefly discussed our general plan of attack for 2014, but nothing concrete.  This one will go into next month, and probably not make any decisions until Kerrville is done because my mindset right now is not in the right place to think about it (I’m thinking about some drastic changes but it’s probably because August was a rough month).

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

No, no, and sort of (we cleaned out half the pantry).  Next month!

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.

I gamed a decent amount (my game, Singstar, Disney Infinity, etc).  No sewing or crafting though so no gold stars.

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

I finished book 4, finished book 5, and almost done with book 6!  Gold star for me!

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.

Sort of.  Chiro said I didn’t really need to keep on it, so I’ve been icing and rolling as necessary.  I stretch twice a week so that’s good.  Batch cooking has happened some of the time but some weeks we haven’t done so good.  I’ve been working my way through my shoe closet, so there is that!

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.

I’ve been doing well at this!  I think I need this as a goal for a few months to be a habit though…

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.

I bought it, but I have yet to consume it.  I was just so sugared out after a week of easily digestible foods, I’m waiting til it actually sounds good.

Ok, its September, let’s do this.  Two more weeks of training, two weeks of taper, and the big A race, Kerrville 70.3.  A deadline at work.  Lotsa birthdays.  At least I’m not going on vacation during this time this year!

1. Shake off all the cobwebs in my brain.  Focus on the next two weeks of training, getting solid work done, and then let it go and taper and don’t get tempted to squeeze more in.  As of Sept 14, the hay is in the barn, and wherever I am, I am (and wherever that is, it’s WAY better off than I was going into BSLT in June).

2. Race Kerrville the way it deserves to be raced.  Rock the swim and the bike with the new abilities you have gained this year, and draw strength of will from your running past and the longer runs you have completed in August and will in September.  Find your edge and keep going until you fall off.  Persevere.  Your body can keep going on that run as long as your brain can.  Kerrville is the race where I get comfy in the pain cave and either end up at the finish line or the med tent.

3. Eat good food.  Eat enough to fuel the training, but not any more.  Realize that taper the second two weeks of the month means less calories needed.  Make good choices, but allow some times to go out to eat or eat cake pops and stuff.  Pie in the sky: weigh 169.something before Kerrville.  Realistic: maintain 173-176.  Do something between that.  Also, don’t stress too much about food this month beyond making sure the calories are in line – trying to get bad calories down to 10% made me a bitchy bitch.

4. Buy myself something with those 75$ gift certs so Zliten stops telling me useful things I can use them on.  Try not to buy a bunch of junk otherwise.

5.  Clean out rest of pantry.  Gold star if we go through and reorganize the tupperware section so we can fit all of it into the cabinet instead of it spilling out onto the counter.

6. Continue working on 2014 plan for races.  Nothing needs to be decided this month, but work on getting ideas.

7. Finish book.  Start another.

8.  Make a new music playlist on the zune or 3.  Marathon training is coming up, which means lots of quality hours with the zune, unlike now, when it’s a treat the few hours a week I get to listen to the same playlist I’ve been using for 6 months.  That will get old if I don’t change it up.

9. I’m trying out probiotics and digestive enzymes on the recommendation of some research I’ve been doing.  My most recent “cleanse” (stomach flu) coupled with the fact that it’s one possible reason I might be holding onto some weight, and the fact that the vitamin store had a buy one get one half off sale makes me feel like I don’t have much to lose.  Keep on these for the 15 day supply you have, and if it’s awesome, go get more.  If it makes me ill, stop it.

10.  Lots of sleep.  Lots of relaxing.  If something is stressful, avoid if at all possible. I have no race in October so I can go be a spaz then if I have the energy to do so with marathon training.

11.  Gaming!  Gaming is high quality relaxing feet up type activity.  Let’s make some more progress in my game, play some Disney Infinity, etc etc.

12.  Sometime before the end of the month, pull all the summer shirts/tech tees I haven’t worn lately and box them up or donate them (if I love but they don’t fit, box them up, if I just don’t love, send them onto someone who will love them).  Also, since I’ve lost about 15 lbs this year (yeah yeah yeah YEAH!), try on some of the stuff I have boxed up to see if I have gained more wardrobe!

13.  Find a day that I can justify the calories and eat the damn desert I got in August. 🙂


Tri Rock Austin: Nature, Nuun, and No Heat Sickness

Through last week, I was really sick with a tummy bug.  I was hopeful, but there was a chance I was going to DNS this race.  The night before I wasn’t feeling well at all, so things were rocky even 12 hours before race start.

However, in the morning, I woke up feeling intact, so I knew I could at least start.  I did the normal half a starbucks mocha and half a peppermint cliff bar (I’m buying a case when they come back at Christmas) and all seemed to be settling well.  I only got about 6 hours sleep, but it was magical healing sleep, and I was incredibly rested from the week, so again, all signs pointed to go.

We got there, set up transitions, walked the bike pump to the car, poo’d in real bathrooms, and ran back as warmup.  We had 10 mins til transition close at that point so we did final adjustments, sunscreened, and got down to the swim start.  I made some changes to normal race procedure, so it would be interesting to see how it went!  We saw B and his mom, said hi, chatted a bit, then it was time for Zliten to get on deck so we cheered him off.  Then, I thought I had a lot of time before I started, but we’d read the waves wrong, and I was called to double deck quickly, so I went and then we jumped in the water and found a place not at the front but right behind, and then it was time to race.


The first thing we noticed was NATURE.  Oh my dear fluffy lord – NATURE.  This wasn’t just a patch of plants, this was unending and tangling NATURE.  I was glad I had done an OWS at the lake just two days before which was also nature filled or it may have skeeved me out (the lake zombies hide in plants, right?)  I concentrated on keeping a strong stroke even if I was pulling weeds and making sure not to stay on slow feet and get past them.

I did not like the white buoys – they didn’t show up as well to me as the normal orange or yellow ones, especially going towards the sun, and I got off course a few times.  I also HIT a buoy because I didn’t see it and then had to swim under it.  Also, the fact that they were all white – no difference in color between turn buoys and straight buoys – meant I started to cut the course at one point and had to back track.  At the end, I got trapped behind this large guy in a blue tri suit who at that point of this course I not-so affectionally nicknamed the whale.  I tried going left and ran into people, tried going right and ran into more people, so I coasted a bit behind him until I saw an opening and sprinted a bit to find open water and then I was getting pulled up the ramp wearing a lot of nature (seriously, I got undressed at home and half the lake fell out) and I was off to transition.

While I have a lot of things I have previously bitched about, I will say some positives.  I felt very strong when I was actually going the right way and not running into buoys.  I passed plenty of people, and I even started pretty far up this time.  I’m getting better at sprinting around slower people and not getting stuck and not freaking out when people molest me.

Swim time: 37:39.  Not nearly what I was aiming for, but 2 minutes exactly faster than last year under worse conditions (lake was much lower this year)


Is it really weird to be pumped up about how your transition went?  If so, call me crazy.  I skipped the sandals (I think I may have kicked this crutch) and ran pretty fast through the huge transition area to my bike.  I worked on paring down what I had to do.  Now that I have a bike bottle, I don’t have to deal with the camelback.

I tried two more time savers this time – garmin on the bike (no fumbling getting it on my wrist) and stashing my bike gloves in my bento box instead of fumbling with those.  I did a practice run with getting the gloves on Saturday, and it worked fine, but the garmin was a last minute change.  I did that two years ago, forgot it on my bike, and haven’t dared since.  My helmet and glasses were propped up on my aero bars instead of on the ground, the only thing I have left to do is do the bike shoes on the bike trick, and I haven’t gotten the courage to do that one yet.

T1 time: 3:43 (almost a minute better than last year)


I got out, onto the bike, and going.  Thankfully, when Zliten had cleaned and lubed the bikes the day before, he had shifted me down into a lower gear, so that was nice (though I quickly got out of it once we got up the hill).  I did the first loop of the bike without even looking at the garmin, just trying to keep a good, solid, steady effort and seeing what that got me.  That got me 17.6 mph, which was 1 mph better than last year.  I was totally great with that. My pie in the sky goal was in the 18 mph range, and I was pretty close.

Usually on looped courses, I have a tendency to speed up each loop, but a few things were working against me:

  • The wind picked up.  It wasn’t Lake Pf wind, but it was noticeable enough that my extra effort was put into just maintaining what I had built on lap 1.
  • I finished the gatorade in bottle #1 and due to a mixup, I had citrus nuun in bottle #2 instead of more gatorade (it was still frozen, and I figured nuun would be better than water).  I forgot that citrus nuun is just about the most vile thing on the planet so I sipped sparingly (though, this may have been a good thing because I sucked down the first bottle so fast I thought I was going to have to learn to pee on the bike).  This also may have lead me to under-nutrition because I had planned on getting all my calories from gatorade, and I was 130 calories light (and I forgot to eat anything to offset).
  • I think my subconscious told me to back off a little and not cook myself for the run since I had been sick all week.  My subconscious was is a smart lady.  I don’t remember ever thinking about backing off, but I definitely kept a nice, steady effort instead of escalating.
  • Also, it started getting more crowded and I got crotchety at people.  I don’t know if that slowed me down, but how many times do you have to yell “On your RIGHT, asshole” when someone would narrowly miss me as I was legit passing someone?  Sigh.

A goal was 1:20, and I noted that I wasn’t on pace to beat that halfway through the last lap, but I had a chance to hit my B goal: 1:25, so I stayed on it and got in just in time.  At that point, I felt pretty good, not overcooked, a little tired, but who isn’t after the bike, right?

Bike time: 1:24:43.  17.6 mph.  I am pretty excited about this one – even with the wind and the gatorade mixup and the dudeholes, I picked up 1 full mile per hour this year, beating last year’s time by over 5 minutes.


I don’t remember this one being particularly speedy, but I didn’t waste any time, and resisted transition gravity.  I noticed the heat suddenly ratchet up about 10 degrees and my legs weren’t really working, but forward I went.

T2 time: 3:18.  Faster by about 30 seconds from last year.  However, I could definitely pick this up a little more by running faster.


Got out and going across the grass/dirt area.  Noted that I was was doing very well per the race clock (about 2:09) and hoped I could hold it together on the run.  Tried to let that buoy me up, but I had nothing in those legs and I was already really hot.  At about .75 mile in, I saw Zliten turning around and noted that if we both kept pace, we’d both finish about the same time (actually, in retrospect, he was definitely ahead – at my current pace, I needed to speed up) and hoped that also would keep me going.  I ran the first loop just trotting away, trying to stave off heat sickness and the mental demons.

I finished loop #1 in about 36 mins and just willed myself to keep going.  I passed the finish line and was hot and tired, but ok.  Then, they made us run on the grass through the dirt again.  Something about that just broke me, and I was just getting hotter and hotter.  When I hit the concrete again, somewhere between mile 3.5 and mile 4, I realized there was no shade for quite a while and I was feeling chilly, so I stopped to walk.  I passed Zliten again just as I started power walking and said “I’m broken” and kept going.

I walked to where there was shade, and tried to run when I hit the shade and it didn’t really work.  I walked to the next aide station and drank every cup someone held in front of my face – 3 waters, 3 gatorades… I had to go back to refill my bottle because I realized I would have nothing for a mile.  Let’s not forget that on the run, I had already downed a full gatorade bottle from mile 1-4, and took water and gatorade at each aide station.  I was doing all the right things, but it wasn’t enough.  Either I was sloshy from hydration, or I was barely able to keep going.  This sucked.

I ran where I could, walked where I couldn’t, and nothing could get me going fast.  After the week I had, I wasn’t going to push it too hard and risk missing another week of training down the drain and a trip to the med tent, but I can’t deny that some of it was mental too.  My give a shit ran out.  I just watched my run time and pace go from sucktastic to unbelievably sucktastic and tried to keep the curse words internal and finally I was up the bridge and down the bridge and around the corner and saw everyone and got through the finish and finally this shitshow was over.

Run time: 1:19:02 for 6.2 miles – 12:46 pace.  I’m not sure I’ve ever traversed a 10k that slow in my life, certainly not in a race. 😛

Total time: 3:28:32.  2.5 mins slower than last year.  My run was over ELEVEN minutes slower than last year (1:07:56)

As normal, Zliten won on the bike, B won on the run, I won on the swim.  B beat Zliten by 8 mins, and Zliten beat me by 10.  I wish I could say it was all the run, but Zliten had a stellar race, keeping almost a 19 mph pace on the bike and only letting me beat him on the swim by 4 minutes.  I would have had to run a 1:09 to beat him, and I just didn’t have that yesterday.

My final thoughts:

I’m really and truly done with these hot races (at least, until I decide I’m not :D).  Some day, if it’s my job or I’m training for Kona or there is a race I really want to do or whatever, I’ll need how to solve the problem of how to maintain a decent run pace in the feels like 90 degree heat.  For now, I do these races for fun, and to push myself athletically and see improvement.  The last two races have not been fun for me, and they’ve been B races I only did because they are part of a series and I did them last year.  It feels stupid when you’re pushing the thin line between heatstroke and GI distress and the sun is an oppressive ball of pain, fucking with your body, confusing your mind, stealing your will to go forward.  That isn’t sport.  That’s just being sick in the head.

Zliten asked me what the most fun I had yesterday was, and my answer was T1.  It’s pretty shitty when your highlight of the race is when you aren’t actually swimming, biking, or running.  To be fair, I did have a stellar T1, and I did enjoy the bike ride here, but I digress.  I went from being a runner, to a runner who did triathlons, to a triathlete, to this year, a solid swimmer and biker who really sucks at running. This fucks with my pysche and I start thinking things like the only reason I’m improving on the bike and swim so much is I sucked so badly at them before, so how could I not, and I’m just becoming a worse and worse athlete each year as gauged by my running.

Something broke in me last month, and the idea of running in the heat, just as it was time to really ramp up my run miles, and with each experience that seems to go badly, more and more, just makes want to cry and avoid it.  It burns.  I’m psychologically (and this week, physiologically) tired of dealing with the heat.  I don’t WANT to go out and run for hours training trying to stave off heat sickness.  I’m sick of seeing these super slow paces, and reinforcing shit like walk breaks in my training because it obviously becomes ok to do it in a race.

I’m going to see how Kerrville goes this year (because it is indeed the sweet, sweet relief to the heat to go race there in the oh so perfect 60 low, 80 high temps), but I’m already considering changing up my race plan for 2014.  Yes, I want to challenge myself, but I also want it to be fun.

To leave this on a happy note: the other 4 sports (swim, t1, bike, t2) went somewhere between good and amazing.  I have really improved both on the swim and bike this year (even if it’s going from back of the pack to back of the middle of the pack) without much focus and direction, just simply by doing it MORE.  Imagine what could happen if I actually incorporated some real training here!  I’m also happy about getting better at transitions.  Some of it has been throwing money at it (aero bottle instead of camelback), but some has been smarts (put the garmin on the bike, dummy) or just bucking up (no sandals).  I got 90 free seconds this race just by being better at transitions, that’s 15 seconds per mile on the run!

Now, it’s time for two more weeks of training, and two weeks of taper before racing the big A race this season – Kerrville 70.3.

And since you made it to the end of a very long post, here’s the cat trying to come to the triathlon with us.


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