Adjusted Reality

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

Month: January 2016

Thief of Joy

It’s no secret this is my least favorite time of year weather-wise.  Dark early.  Cold.  Just wanna snuggle with a blanket unless I happen to be running.


Headlamp, you my only friend….

However, this is one of my favorite times of year at work.  We’ve all had a break, so we’re less stressed and more clear headed.  We’re talking about possibilities, planning, and doing creative thinking.  I’m so excited where we’re at and what’s to come, I just came out of a meeting with such JOY, it was silly.

And to think, Sunday night, I was wondering if this was still the right fit for me.  If I was maybe just so burnt out that my candle still felt extinguished after 20 days, maybe it was time to move on.

I tend to forget that I have a thing with inertia.  A me in motion stays at motion.  The way out is through.  Keep on keepin’ on.  That’s what I do.  But, once I’m at rest, there I am.  And it’s usually for the good.  However, I’m not the kind of person that either springs out of bed or explodes back from vacation saying “I’m ready world, bring it on!”.  It takes forcing myself to put the costume on, and go fake it for a little while before I’m like “hey, I actually DO love this”.

So, I think I’ve found what the problem was in late 2015.  Maybe just one of them, but it’s a big one.

The future was stealing joy from the present.*

It really hit me yesterday when I was getting crunchy about being scheduled TEN meeting the week we’re back.  I listed them out on my to do list and realized that most of them were actually awesome meetings to collaborate on new stuff that I’m really excited about.  I immediately re-framed my thoughts to, “I’m excited that I’m part of creative meetings where my opinions matter” and felt much better.

One of my least favorite (and thus I know, probably most beneficial) runs is a tempo run.  Y’know, set the pace at not completely ball-busting but certainly not comfortable, and then just pitch your tent there for miles without a rest.  I haven’t had the mental oomph to try one of those for quite a while and on Tuesday, I thought… rock and roll, let’s do this.

Instead of counting down the tenths of a mile or the seconds or whatever, I spent the time trying to focus on different things than the future.  How my stride felt.  How I was breathing.  Singing along with my music (sorry gymgoers).  Focusing on how annoyed I was with the fact that the rock wall in front of me didn’t have a foothold in the center of my field of vision.

Sure, I spent some time visualizing the course I’ll be running in 2 weeks, but that was pretty positive as well, so I’ll take it.


Want practice staying in the moment?  Color things with small details.

In the latter part of 2015, I somehow had shifted my attitude that everything between awakening in my bed and finally plopping myself on the couch for the day was a mere task.  Something to check off, to spend as little time and attention on as possible while still completing it.  Somewhere in there, I forgot that I love pretty much everything I do, even if it’s on the must-do list, and even if sometimes there’s just a little too much of it.

So, my intention is to stick with that.  Keep my head in the present.  Realize that joy is in the doing, not just the coveting something that’s going to happen get here already.  Consider that by spending time fantasizing about the future, I’m robbing this very moment right here of it’s significance.  And that sucks.

Not to say that I won’t ever look forward to the future.  Mile 12.5 of the half, I’m absolutely going to have thoughts of the finish line.  Two weeks before a vacation, I’m going to blissfully start packing lists and counting down and dreaming about beaches.  That’s not going to change, nor should it.

I think the best first step is in the day to day.

Work is not just a roadblock between waking up and whatever else I’ve got planned that day.  I’m doing a job I’m a great fit for, I’m important, I get to be creative, and when we remove a bit of the stress from the equation when things are piled on a little too thick, I rather quite enjoy.

Training is something else I love.  I need to not get caught up in the fact that it’s something I HAVE to do.  It’s something I chose to do.  I also get caught up in the “well, if I didn’t have to work I’d work out all the time” theory.  I didn’t cram a million hours of training into my 20 days off.  In fact, I didn’t do that much at all.  I logged 40 hours my last week off, but that took less than 7.5 hours and that was ALLLLL I did.  It’s interesting to fit it around work sometimes, but I prioritize it because I love it.

And in these realizations, my head is so much more quiet.  The last two nights, I’ve fallen asleep so much easier than I have in a while.  I’ve not wanted to drink out any frustrations, or just skip to the weekend, please.

Someone may need to remind me of this when I’m in the thick of it, but I think my mantra for at least early 2016 is “Joy in the Present”.

What’s your mantra?

*At first I felt awesome about coming up with this, but then I felt like I may have stolen it from somewhere – google had no love.  If I took your saying, please let me know so I can credit it!

Emerging Gently

I expect the want to do these type of weekly/monthly/etc goal setting posts will drop off as they typically do, but, here we are at the first full week of the year.  I don’t typically 100% go off the rails in December, but there are treats to go with good healthy food, there is slothiness to match the running, there is lots of indulgences and staying up late to celebrate and unwind, and it can’t go on forever in exactly those ratios.

January, when a lot of other folks are in the same mindset, is a good excuse for me to essentially hit the reset button on goals and progress, and bring things more in line with the 80/20 rule than the 50/50 rule. It’s always nice not to be the only weirdo trying to eat clean in December. I have company in January!:)

This week is about establishing a regular routine after 20 days of vacation, but not expecting to be firing on all cylinders in all areas (this way lies burnout).  Training is probably the most rigorous because I have a marathon in 9 weeks, a half I’d like to take a shot at PR’ing in 3 weeks, and I lifted weights ONCE in December and it hurt me bad.  With everything else, it’s a gentle shift.



While I won’t be doing much serious cycling until later in the year, I have indeed joined the ranks of alien headed aero helmet dorks as of Dec 24th! 🙂

This is actually where I excelled over break.  I did a 40 mile week last week!  That’s not bad for the “whatever, whenever” running plan.  Streaking is the best.

This week, I’m all about just a TOUCH more structure, simply because I at least have to plan when I’m going to run, instead of just heading out the door around 4pm because I was done slacking for the day.


  • 40-45 miles, running every day.
  • Long run of 15 with the last 3-5 closer to half marathon pace than easy run pace.
  • One speedwork session
  • One fartlek run
  • At least 1 swim
  • At least 1 weights session (2 preferably)
  • Stretch and/or roll 5 mins a day after work



Lunch today was healthy, delicious, and someone else (My Fit Foods) cooked it for me.  Win!

This is resetting what is actually a correct portion and healthy food.  I certainly don’t want to do a meal service for a long time, but 2-3 weeks will make me a) able to eat healthy without stressing this month and b) make me really look forward to batch cooking again!  The cost seems to be slightly above what I normally pay in groceries but the time savings and convenience is worth it.


  • All lunches and dinners are MyFitFoods or Snap Kitchen for the week minus two (planned meals out with family or friends).
  • The majority of the rest of my intake should be fruits and vegetables, with a little bit of carb supplement around runs (cereal, pretzels and hummus, popcorn, etc).
  • Track my food with the attempt to hit my normal macros (60g fat, 100g protein, 25g fiber), and examine where my calories and carbs are and adjust according to training levels on the daily.
  • No scale yet.  Let’s get 1 week of healthy food down before I do that to myself.



Be less like my cat, but not TOO much unlike my cat to shock the system.

I’m just looking to adjust gently to getting back to work, regular life, and a normal schedule.  Not looking to tackle any huge projects, totally revert my sleep schedule, or do anything drastic.

  • Looking to be a pretty mellow week between the myriad of meetings.  Work on getting caught up on my game!
  • Set up a weekly to do list.  Figure out a place it can be shared with Zliten so we can collaborate.
  • No drinks until Saturday night, and be a reasonable human being about length of partying and consumption.
  • Color, read, and/or play KingsQuest.  In other words, something besides the netflix and social media binge all the days.

I’m hoping this is just the right mix of gentle change and return to routine that will set the stage for a great January!



2016 Seasonal Goals

They say that doing the same things and expecting different results is madness.  So, I’ve spent a few years with some solid goals, and done well the first part of the year, and then, got frustrated and said “fuck it” at some point because it was too regimented.

This year, I have a lot of different things I’d like to accomplish, but I also have unique focuses during each season.  This also gives me three months to accomplish things instead of one, which will help me stress about things less, a reset point four times this year, and also might save y’all from monthly wrap up posts (maybe…)

Winter (Jan-March)



  • Get your racing confidence back.
  • Try latch onto B at 3M half marathon and see if a PR is in the cards.
  • Race happy at Woodlands and also open yourself to the possibility of a 4:xx:xx marathon.


  • Run a lot.  Streak January (7 days in!).
  • 6 long runs 15+ before March 5, please.
  • Don’t neglect speedwork, one speed session and one run with some faster than M-pace miles per week until March.
  • Foam roll and stretch (put on some music and use this as meditation time).
  • Get back into the habit of at least throwing my bodyweight around once or twice a week if not more (weight or time).
  • Try to remember what it’s like to swim and ride bikes whenever possible.


  • Eat good, solid, quality food.
  • Get a good start by doing 2-3 weeks of meals at My Fit Foods and Snap Kitchen, and graduate to solid, healthy, batch cooking after.
  • Count calories, and try to figure out where the sweet spot is for training.
  • Transition to a lower calorie count after the marathon by end of March.


  • Set myself and my team up for success by establishing a good and solid plan for the year.
  • Get back in the habit of to weekly to do lists.
  • Find a better way to handle the stress than I have been.  Leave it at the office more often.  When it comes home with me, find ways to calm it down that are less self destructive than late boozy nights.  Coloring books have been awesome.  Going out and doing something might be a better answer than sulking on my couch.  Just going to bed and starting over the next day sometimes helps.
  • Play games – my games and other games.


  • A weekly to-do list seems to work well for me at work.  I want to start doing this at home as well.  Not to stress myself out, and not to pack my day full of tasks, but so I have a few things to focus on instead of wasting my free time solely on social media and netflix.
  • Decrease consumption of my e-cig. Because there are so many less health and performance consequences of using it, I’m finding I’m using it more often.  But it’s still not the greatest thing in the world to feel addicted to nicotine (even if it’s a very small dose).
  • Set some better limits on the LENGTH of drinking sessions.  Having a few drinks a few days a week is fine.  Drinking for 8 hours on a weekday is not.
  • Go out more.  If nothing else than for the purpose of putting on a dress, doing my hair and makeup.  I’ve realized while it doesn’t bother me that much because I’m just not focused on it, I have not looked in the mirror in a while and said to myself “hey, you look awesome/put together/etc”.
  • Color!  Since I’ll be training for a marathon, I’m not going to put a whole bunch of to-do life goals here, but I’d like to fill up a bunch of pages in my coloring book.  It’s relaxing and fun!
  • Bike/run commuting.  I don’t think I’m going to really hit my stride before the marathon here, but it would be nice to get out the door on my bike a few times before spring.
  • Get the leezard situated.  We had to tear down her cage since she hurt herself on it, but find a more permanent structure for her to have as a home instead of some boxes and bags piled in a closet.

Spring (April-June)


These lists will get shorter, because in some cases, these are just additional to the goals earlier in the year.  This season will be focused on weight loss, and being kind of a normal person!  For someone who really loves triathlon and racing, I’m oddly excited for it…


Any races are just for fun.  No pressure.  Probably 10/20 and Lake Pflugerville because, tradition, but nothing here is about gunning for PRs.  Maybe race without a garmin just for funsies.


  • Use that time March – June doing things like taking walks in interesting places, doing casual “coffee” (decaf?) rides not worrying about paces, getting better at yoga, camping, and just remembering what normal people like to do in spring besides run bike and swim until they pass out.
  • I don’t plan to 100% abandon training but be selective on what I spend the few hours a week I let myself do.  The absolute best thing you can do to maintain fitness over minimal time is short, high intensity interval training stuff.  So, I plan to do one HIIT session per week of each discipline, and having some form of strength training.  Basically, the stuff I used to do before when I was actually losing weight.


  • The whole goal after the marathon is to lose weight as quickly as possible while not a) doing a bunch of unhealthy things that will sabotage my goals later in the year and b) not driving everyone around me completely insane.
  • However, this is totally timeboxed so I will essentially be at the weight I want to be at for the next 9-12 months when I stop.  So, my goal is to make that as low as possible.
  • This is the typical attempt to maintain a 500-1000 calorie per day deficit depending on my hunger, sanity, level of activity, and… life.  If the numbers worked out properly, I should lose between 20-40 lbs.  I’ll take anything in that range.


Things will start to get busy with two milestones in the spring.  Continue to manage stress, use a weekly to do list, plan well, and play games.


  • Have 4 usable bedrooms (aka – clean out the workout room and office).  Clean off the vanity and all the bedroom surfaces.  I feel like if I can deal with those things, I’m in good shape for the year and most of the rest of the organization I want to do are little projects.
  • Kitchen or back patio renovation.  We really need to start one of these two things unless some SEVERE financial hardships come our way.  This season, we should at least pick which one and start the process of planning and estimates.
  • Do something with the blog (design-wise) intentionally and commit to shorter content more often.
  • Get back into my piano, jewelry making, and/or sewing.
  • Bike commuting – the weather should be nice, the light should be good, I’m not fatigued from training, there’s no excuses.  Spring is where this becomes a habit.

Summer (July-September)


Summer will see a gradual ramp up and return back to training, though a lot less steep than normal to get to Kerrville in 2 months.  Since I’ve had Spring as my offseason, I’ll need to balance the need for workouts with the need for water recreation. 🙂


First big block of training, so probably not much racing here.  Maybe Jack’s Generic Sprint as a measuring block.


  • Start training and decide on the rest of the season from there.  Speed comes back faster than distance.  Shorter races are NOT less worthy.  It’s not giving up not to race a 70.3 or a marathon late in the year if it’s the right call.
  • Either way, the summer will be focused on speed, not a whole lot of distance.  I mean, more than my spring offseason, but I’m not ramping up to 10+ hours of training a week.  That will come later.


Transition from weight loss to eating to fuel training.  Not nearly as much as I will later in the year when I add bigger volume, but hopefully I’m happy with where I’m at since it’s likely I’ll be there for the majority of the year.


This will be the busy season with a few back to back milestones.  Continue with the stress management tactics I’ve established.


I’ll probably have more to talk about here as the year goes on, but either in the summer or fall, I want to go on vacation here (Roatan).

Fall (October-December)


Fall will be a ramp up to bigger volume, and hopefully less chaos at work that normal, since I’ve planned to have the bigger stuff done in the summer.  Instead of a big 4 month ramp up to get to 70.3 and a marathon, I’ll be training more conservatively with a 3-4 month ramp up for a 70.3 and only a half this year.


  • Kerrville for sure, but maybe just the Olympic.  Depends on how we feel a month or two out.
  • Probably actually doing our hometown 70.3 in Austin.
  • Spacecoast HALF this year, not full.

This sounds very light compared to last year.  Y’know what?  It is.  Because the big goal is…

IM Texas, April 2017.  Yeah, buddy.  It’s time.


Time for volume!  Build for a 70.3 and a half marathon, and then a short break to get rested up for the big push to IM.


Ramp back up to eating like an athlete.  Hopefully maintaining whatever weight I’m at, not gaining like I did fall 2015 :P.


Continue with everything as all year.  This is the prime time for feature creep with the last big milestone in the last year.  Try to protect against it.


This will definitely be overflow from earlier seasons, and since I’ll be ramping up training, probably have less time to do life stuff (for the most part).  But, we’ll see!

And, because Texas weather is weird, all the selfies are from the last two weeks, not 4 different seasons. 😛

Cheers to an amazing 2016!  I do have some specific things I’m doing in January, so I’ll probably dedicate some blog space to that, but for now, it’s all out there, and hopefully I can make 2016 just as positive as: Confidence, Commitment, and Fluidity.

2015 Goal Wrap Up

2015 is done and dusted, and it’s time to tally the results.  It was a really mixed bag, but as they say, you either win some or learn some, and there was a lot of both things in the last 12 months.



Do some soul searching and figure out what is important to YOU for 2015 race-wise, since you may be on a different schedule than Zliten for at least half if not more of the year.  Race the marathon Feb 28th only if training is going well.  Make appropriate goals as such.  No arbitrary January 1st goals on what you’re supposed to PR or tackle next year, just the promise that each race will be for a reason.

Well, sort of.  I raced a lot less this year than I have in the past, with doing only five triathlons and four running races, and that was by design.  I’ve learned that I don’t love jumping into a bunch of races if my intention isn’t to either a) PR or b) use that race for a specific purpose.  So, I actually focused more on the training than amassing a bunch of t-shirts and medals.

Luckily, after winding down after the Woodlands Marathon (and vacation, and recovering, and getting sick before I could actually train again), Zliten bounced back rather quickly and we found ourselves mostly on the same schedule, so I had my training partner back much more quickly than I expected.  While I’m a bit more of a higher mileage pony overall and ducked out for some extra sessions/add on miles/split off to do our own thing the last part of runs or bikes during periods of 2015, we mostly attacked the same training.

I had some really awesome races.  The Woodlands Marathon may have been slower than I’d hoped, but I ran the whole thing and felt really strong that day.  I PR’d race after race after race after race after race in the spring and summer.  Rookie and Cap Tex netted me some insane PRs and I showed I was a better athlete this year by improving at Pfluger and Jacks by about 1.5 minutes each time.

I crashed and burned at the end of the year.  One time, it was due to circumstances outside of my immediate control.  One time, I just lost steam and my brain and body gave up on me.  I’m still trying to put together exactly what happened and restore my shaken confidence, after 4 months of training resulted in 2 SPECTACULAR blow ups, but I definitely learned a few things from both the good and the bad:

  1. I’m able to put enough training to be decent (and maybe soon starting to be AG competitive) at the shorter races.  My head holds together pretty well and executes well up to the 2-3 hour mark.  I’m able to dial in a goal and most times hit the targets (or at least come close).
  2. There’s something about the longer stuff I just can’t seem to fully grasp.  I had decent luck at running a full marathon without stopping, but I had spectacular crash and burns at 70.3 and another 26.2.
  3. Still, I find enjoyment in training and dreaming and racing the longer stuff.  Or I’d just stop doing it.
  4. Racing a hot marathon on 6 weeks of training banking on post 70.3 fitness is always doable, but never going to be your best shot at a great experience.
  5. Even if I’m having a fantabulously shitty day and want to give up and DNF, that’s not what I do.  And that’s something to be proud of, if nothing else.



Polarized and periodized training seems to work.  Continue with this.  Easy days easy.  Hard days on point.  Base periods without electronics or focus and embracing the joy of movement with really loose volume suggestions instead of nailing a certain mileage/pace.  Months out of your A race – 85% easy 15% hard.  Closer – more goal pace work.

I think I did the best at this than I ever have, though I have room for improvement.  I did push the intensity a bit too much leading up to Lake Pflugerville (almost all quality sessions), which I would dial back because I was missing a little give a shit on race day from too many hard workouts in a row.  But, I did much less throwing a lot of easy volume at things and trained much more specifically.

1k run miles, 3k bike miles (less on the trainer), 100 swim miles.

Run check (1,022).  Bike, so not check (1893).  Swim, also not check (45 miles).  I definitely had a different focus than I did years before – but when you have 5 months out of the year focused on marathons, 1 month of offseason, and only 1 long triathlon to train for – the volume goes by the wayside.

However, I can tell you that it was the most INTENSE year for swimming and cycling.  I did a lot more focused workouts with sets and paces and watts and goals, and I got faster at both.  Funny how that works.

Work strength and stretching in as I can.

I’ll have to go back and count this up later because dailymile is being cranky but the gist of it was I sucked at it the first half of the year and was pretty excellent at it the second half, minus December.

DDR is a great plyometric workout. 

And my mat broke and the workout room is full of junk.  Moving on.

Run streak January. 

Nailed it!  Doing it again this year, I’m already on day 6 and loving it!

Figure out a time for offseason.  True offseason, same as July for you this year.  At least 1 month.

Nailed it as well.  Had a great 5 weeks focused on water park and lake time above all else.



No booze January

In which I held out for 11 days, reset my tolerance for a bit, but with a new promotion and job stress and trying to also clean up my eating and not spend any money, I spent the most miserable and boring 2 weekends of my life and decided that moderation is the key instead of abstinance.

A bunch of other stuff…

I tried to continue to do the lower-grain thing and found it wasn’t the weight loss panacea I had hoped.  In fact, I gained some lbs and was kind of cranky about it.  I worked with a nutritionist in July and found out

a) I know how to lose weight, I just forgot how.  Counting calories, hitting macros, actually sticking to it.

b) It’s counterproductive to try to lose weight during season.  Workouts are hard, racing suffers, and I get hangry.

c) I’m still looking for the way to fuel my workouts and sustain me during season without gaining a shit ton of weight, because his plan piled on 12 lbs in one month that I still can’t seem to shake.

I did feel a lot freer being able to eat things in bread and out of flour tortillas and rice and pasta, and I was able to lose weight during offseason (5 lbs in a month) doing that.  So, eating a damn sandwich is not off limits.  That was nice after a year of bread being the devil.



The promotion that was up in the air happened.  Sadly, reorganization also happened which made doing my new job a whole lot more stressful.

The good:

  • While I felt like a damn duck, looking calm and composed on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath a lot of the time, my team and I rocked this year.
  • I feel like this position is probably one of the best fits I’ve ever had in terms of taking my experience and letting me fly.  I kind of feel like this is something that my entire professional career has been leading up to, if that makes any sense.
  • I played a lot of my games.  I’m not as caught up with everything as I’d like, but I’m getting closer.

The bad:

  • Holy hell, let’s talk about that paddling like mad thing.  I feel like I blacked out some really stressful periods of 2010, which was my first year of being producer.  I’m pretty sure I’ll look back on this year the same way.  I think I held it together pretty well on the surface, but I don’t think I’ve needed a 20 day vacation more than I ever did this December.
  • I got bad at leaving the stress at work.  I’ll be honest, I’m not a stress eater, but work definitely drove me to drink at some points.



I didn’t give away 1 thing every day like I wanted, but I did have a giant garage sale and donate a bunch of bags after it to charity.

Don’t go into a training hole…

I think I balanced the social calendar pretty well.  I had to pull back a bit in March for marathon recovery/getting sick, and again in August-September due to family visits/work stress/mental recovery, but I don’t feel like I missed out on too much.

Less facebook/twitter, more short posts here, less weekly recaps.

Well, um, let’s move on, shall we?

Complete the TX tri series with a combination of volunteering and racing.


Do something that’s a hobby, not dying in front of the tv, once a week for more than a few minutes. 

I actually got really into reading this year.  Some periods of time, I did well with gaming.  My sewing machine, necklaces, and piano are untouched. 🙁

Actually go scuba diving in lake travis this summer (or somewhere) so I don’t noob it up in the winter.

Yep.  It was totally awful.  I hope to not have to do that again for a while.

Spend as much time in the water I can.

Ahhhhhhh…. yep!

End the year with 3 words to describe 2015 that are as positive as “grateful, fun, and focused”.

This took me a little while, and while I considered “stressful” as one of them, I tried to look beyond that.


Minus the last two unfortunate races of 2015, I really feel like I came into my own this year in a few regards.  I have ZERO imposter syndrome anymore at work, I rock at what I do and I know it.  I REALLY nailed some races this year.  I’m a lot more confident on the bike though I know I have a long way to go.  Of course I still have those worries if I’m doing the right thing at times, but I have confidence in the things I chose being the best decision I could make at the time.


Again, in so many regards, I spent the year saying, “rock and roll, let’s do this” and then having to follow through (and doing it).  The major stuff – I didn’t quit.  Even when it was hard.  Even when I wanted to.  Sometimes this caused a bunch of stress, but, I feel much better about following through with the hard stuff and learning the lessons.  True, it tested my strength and pushed me to the limits of my capacity and sanity at times, but here we are, and I’m ready for more.


This is kind of a two parter.  I found so much joy, so much healing, so much… love in the water this year.  Paddling, swimming, racing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, waterpark-ing, and sometimes just existing and kicking back.  I am not me when you remove my water… I am a pisces through and through.

Also, I found fluidity in life to be my savior this year.  The January streak and the whole Woodlands training block made me realize that “run – a lot – whenever and whatever” is actually a decent way to train for a marathon.  Work threw me curveballs and waking up in the morning sometimes was hard, but I learned how to run with a headlamp or at lunch or just sucking it up and training in the heat like a dang animal.  When work projects started to go sideways, we always got things back on track by having a little fluidity in the plan and being able to attack a problem from many angles.


So there you have it.  2015 had it’s ups and downs, but at the end of it all – confident, committed, and fluid are not terrible ways to sum up 365 days of life.







Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén