Adjusted Reality

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

Month: February 2016

Rejuvenated, not exhausted

Feeling a little draggy after a pretty amazing weekend, which included bikes in the sunshine, sportsball, an amazing Indian food feast with friends, video and card games.  Oh, and a few miles of running.  I’m glad that the next few days are fairly mellow and plans-less.  Even though I feel rejuvenated from the fun, not exhausted, I’m still going to need chill time and lots of extra sleep (hello 10+ hours last night).



Got ‘er done, even though it took a shit ton of negotiation during the last 5 or so miles.

Cutting my running down to 3x week and following this plan was absolutely the right thing to do.  My hip is not 100% completely happy, but it’s not bad, and it’s not getting worse, and I need to get a FEW weeks of training in before I taper, so I’m dealing with it.

I had a pretty spectacular tempo session Thursday at lunch on fresh legs.  That was fun.  I really enjoyed the perfect temps and sunshine and that my legs and lungs were just a-ok flying at 9-something pace for quite a while, even dealing with the hills.

My long run wasn’t quite as spectacular, but I put in the work and did pretty much exactly what I set out to do (first 10 easy, last 8 descending the pace to at least 11:30/mile total average), even if it took a lot of focusing on THIS IS WHAT IM DOING RIGHT NOW.

Last week, I took one extra day off – 5 days on instead of 6, and did one day easy instead of speedwork (I hadn’t yet started following the new plan yet), and I forgot about weights. Other than that, everything pretty much went according to plan… at least the new plan.

  • Run 3-4 times this week.  Try to alternate days or give plenty of time in between runs and run as long as possible each time.
  • Try to make one of those 18-20 miles if my hip agrees (or if not, as long as possible).
  • 15 mins of bike/swim/stretch each day (at least on average).
  • One bodyweight session.

This week’s schedule is actually less loosey goosey than normal, so the goals are pretty easy to lay out.  One speed session today, one tempo run Thursday, and finally putting up a 20 miler this weekend, plus 3 bikes or swims (30-60 mins at a time).  I’m going to keep that weights thing up there as wishful thinking, but it may be worth admitting defeat until next cycle.

  • Monday: 55 min spin after work at home (check)
  • Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 3×1 miles @9-9:30/mile, .25 miles between each recovery, 1 mile cooldown before work or at lunch
  • Wednesday: 30 min swim at lunch
  • Thursday: 1 mile warmup, 5 miles tempo pace (9:30-10 min/miles), short cooldown at lunch
  • Friday: 30 min swim at lunch
  • Saturday: 20 mile run, no slower than 11:30 min/mile by the end
  • Sunday: off (will be active that day hiking, but nothing formal)



Oops, that was supposed to be grilled, not fried.  But it was yummy.

The end of the week went to restaurant land, and I slacked on even tracking over the weekend, which involved a lot of things that you would not put in the category of healthy.

  • Continue tracking food and trying to hit the -500 calorie mark and keeping an eye on macros.
  • Weigh a few times a week
  • Happy hour after work Wed or Thurs (not AND), and Saturday evening drinks.  Das all.
  • I have plenty of food at home.  Let’s try for THREE or less meals out this week.
  • Moar snack veggies.  I’ve been good at keeping my calories under control but I could use an infusion of the good stuff in my life.  I bet I’d feel better.

I fell off tracking on Thursday night and was so busy all weekend I just never got back to it.  I can track from my phone though, so I don’t have a great excuse.  Just… I guess after being diligent for 5 weeks and seeing very little results made me throw a subconscious pity party.  Ah well.  Back to tracking because the alternative is just gaining more weight. 😛

There were more days of booze than there should be for an athlete.  However, I’m actually pretty happy because I didn’t completely overdo it any one day, so I guess that’s baby steps?  I think being a little less restrictive on the amount of days means I’m less likely to want to “get it all out in one night” and go crazy.

Went out 5 times.  That’s more than 3.  To be fair, 2 of those were Saturday after an 18 mile long run, and were plans with people, but I could have probably been a little more responsible during the week.

I’m going to keep it simple this week, especially because we’re doing this Stay-cation thing over the long weekend:

  • Track all my food and stick to my macros/calorie range (-500 w/activity)
  • Weigh a few times this week
  • I’m not going to specify an amount for booze but it needs to not compromise my a) calorie count b) sleep schedule c) workouts

A few weeks from now I’ll be hitting this section hard, but for now, I just need to make sure I don’t gain the “marathon 5” I tend to.



Go Broncos!  We may not be that into football but we wore the right colors at least. 🙂

While I had a few holes in the training and food parts, I actually had a pretty fabulous week.

The first part of the week was relaxing, and then we were super social and I didn’t hate it at all!  I hung out with 4 different groups of friends and family peeps.  I got to check out THREE new restaurants.  I’m in such a better mental place than I was a few months ago, because this was all FUN to me, not an experience to endure until I could get to my couch.

I also got to play some video games, ride my bike in the sunshine without any attention to anything but happiness watts, and color a bit more.

We started a little bit of the ground work on the kitchen remodel.  I have a bit of an idea on colors, scope, and we’ve talked to the handy side of the family and asked if they’d help with oversight or babysitting contractors.  I don’t think we’re getting much further until we’re willing to go price things and we’re not there yet.

  • 8 hours of sleep most every nights 
  • Relax as much as possible.
  • Maybe start scoping out things for our potential remodel project?

Worst was 6.5 hours one night, made up with 10 hours the next night.  Overall, I’m sitting pretty with no sleep debt.

This week, this is just kind of a list of the fun things we’re going to do as part of a staycation:

  • Happy hour at Copper Lounge Thursday
  • Eat pho with friends, walk to a movie matinee and dinner out Saturday
  • Go to Enchanted Rock and grill up a great dinner Sunday
  • Do something touristy downtown on Monday
  • Do absolutely NO chores starting Saturday morning until Tuesday.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night

The theme this week is work hard, play hard, sleep hard.  Heck yes.  Bring it on.

This is what I’m doing right now

This week has been a rollercoaster for me, and for no real reason.  Monday, I was OVERJOYED because I was able to run again.  Monday night and Tuesday, my hip was a little cranky, so I was crushed.  I was looking forward to a nice week of running but it was not to be.


I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place with marathon training.

We took Tuesday to be a “treat yo self” day because we were both being grumps, splurging on a 25 dollar lobster roll for lunch (at least we split it), and going for massages after work instead of biking or swimming or going to the bar or just going to fucking sleep at 6pm, because all of those things were actually options on the table for me.

During the massage, which was the right call, I sorted through a lot of thoughts.

First of all, I am ridiculous having lobster sandwiches and getting massages like a rap star, or something.  Only a complete asshole can call that a bad day.  That one actually made me giggle out loud.

Second of all, I may be freaking out about pulling back on the run mileage this month, but it’s going to be fine.


Really.  This is fine.

I’ve got this pretty darn big engine right now. I’ve been specifically training for long distance stuff since August, and the body doesn’t just up and forget that shit in 2 weeks (but what it DOES do in 2 weeks is get rested and rested legs are AWESOME!).

This is the engine that let me bust out a 7k swim when I’ve done less than that TOTAL since September, and be relatively fine after the fact.  This is the engine that busted out a spectacular 20 miler 2 weeks into marathon training in October after just a couple 13s and two 15s.  This is the engine that’s going to get me across the marathon finish line JUST FINE if I don’t let my head get in the way.  As long as I don’t sit on my ass and do nothing for the next 5 weeks, the engine will be alright.

My body and mind have let me know that the portion of the cycle that involve beating myself senseless with miles is over.  Done. Finito.  It was a necessary part of building that engine to be what it is, but now it’s time to put some gas in it and rev it up a little.

I’m going to move over to (something similar to) the FIRST marathon training program for the last 5 weeks of this cycle.  It looks something like this on a typical week:

  • Monday: track work – something like 10 min warmup, 3×1600 w/400m recovery, 10 min cooldown.
  • Tuesday: bike, swim, or easy run (I’m only going to run if I’m really itching to run) for up to 1 hour
  • Wednesday: tempo work – 1 mile easy, 4 miles tempo (I’d call my tempo about 10 mile race pace), 1 mile easy.
  • Thursday: bike, swim, or easy run
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: long run – this week I’m going for 18 miles, no slower overall than 11:30/mile (says marathon pace + 30 seconds – I’d like to run 11:00/mile, so that’s that)
  • Sunday: bike, swim, or easy run

I’ll put it this way – I attacked the tempo workout today, and it was FUCKING AMAZING running on fresh legs with a pretty motivated mind.  I’m pretty excited to finish out the last 5 weeks before March 5th now, whereas before I was like FUCK, can I just get this over with?  Can I drop to the half?  Can I just go to sleep for a week?  This is good progress.

Third of all, the massuse hit some pretty rough spots where I had to really work through it so I didn’t flail around.  For some reason the words “THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW” came to me and I spent a while thinking about how this has to be 2016’s mantra right now.

In workouts or races where the shit is starting to hit the fan, I need to focus on THIS CURRENT MOMENT.  Not get intimidated because there are a lot more moments to go before I hit the finish line.  Running up this hill is hard and maybe I have to do it three more times, but this is what I’m doing right now.  I don’t know if I can sustain this pace for another 10 miles, but this is what I’m doing right now and I’ll worry about that… then.

At work, multitasking is actually my job.  I handle multiple projects and people and interface with a bunch of different departments, all with their own concerns and agendas and questions and ideas.  On the rare day where I just get to hunker down and do ONE thing with actual focus, it’s seriously meditative to me.  However, it’s definitely not the norm.

It’s easy to get lost and focus on the wrong thing or give up and do nothing because I’m too scattered.  I’ve been a little more productive this year utilizing a to do list, but I can also help myself by picking a focus for a set amount of time.  Five minutes, an hour, a day, depending on my schedule, but telling myself THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW will help me not give up and just surf instagram to collect my thoughts.

In all aspects of life I’m a planner.  That’s awesome because I get a lot out of life by being efficient.  However, I spend a lot of my time thinking about the future, and as I discovered, that steals some of the joy out of the present.

I may be looking forward to my long weekend staycation adventure over president’s day, but currently, I’m writing this blog.  This is what I’m doing right now. I’m choosing to do this activity and it’s worthy of my attention.  Half my mind shouldn’t be on the future when I’m doing something I actually enjoy and elect to do.  During, say, housework – all bets are off. 🙂

All in all, that hour of massage and quiet thought was the turning point where the week got better.  I cleared out the poop and cobwebs in my brain and let a little sunshine in.  I’ve been in a better mood.  I had a fucking fabulous run yesterday, and honestly, I’m excited about training again which is such a happy relief!

Will this be the panacea that helps me PR a marathon?  Maybe!  Also, maybe it could result in a spectacular explosion!  However, for the first time in forever, I’m actually pretty excited to find out, and I’ll take that over anything else right now.



January is Gone

Holy crap, January is gone!  Being that it’s my least favorite month of the year, I’m ok with this, but how did that happen so quickly?



The goal was to take a stepback week the week of 3M Half, and then hit it hard and use the race as a kickoff to a high mileage week.

That is so not what happened.  Monday, and then again Thursday, I had to go to the chiropractor to get my hip adjusted.  She asked me to lay off running for a few days each time, which ended up being the whole week.

I am SUPER torn on how I feel about this.

It’s definitely a setback to have had two low mileage weeks in a row, and seeing the “last year this time” facebook posts about 20 and 21 mile back to back long runs are making me incredibly anxious because I’ve only done a 14 (13.25 of it racing), 15 and 17 mile treadmill run since my last 26.2.

On the other hand – my legs never feel this fresh at this point of training, and my brain doesn’t feel overloaded with miles and I definitely don’t feel unfit.  I just need to go out and rock a 20 mile run either this or next week (with a high double digit run the other weekend day), and then start shutting it down.  This could be just what I need to show up at the race fresh and excited to test myself instead of injured and burned out.

I didn’t completely sit on my ass last week.  I did 3 bike rides, and two swims.  And one of those swims was pretty epic.  I decided to take (most of) the time I was going to dedicate to a long run and swim it out since the chiropractor said easy bikes only but whatever I wanted to do in the pool.  I decided to take that advice to the letter and see how long I could go.

I had no real business doing this because I’ve swam less than 3 miles COLLECTIVELY since Kerrville in September, but I figured I’d give it a go.  I brought all my pool toys, a bunch of snacks and drinks, and set out to bring down the house record of 7k or let my arms fall off trying.  This was set by Zliten last year while he was too injured to run… but he had swam every day leading up to the attempt.

I alternated 1000m freestyle with 1000m of drills (fins, paddles, pull, and kickboards) and got myself to 7300m (7125m adjusted for funky pool size), and claimed the distance PR (in about 10 mins less than Zliten did it as well, natch).  I took liberal breaks and went pretty slow (just over 2:00/100m), but I didn’t find myself getting tired, my arms were just too sore to keep going by the end.  I expected them to not work for days, but beyond the initial ache the afternoon of, it just got better and didn’t even bug me the next day.

What can I say?  I’m a swimmer.  I’d do this stuff all the time if I had all the time in the world.  However, considering my limited total training hours for the week, when I’m not injured the time is better spent on a bike ride or a run.

Anyhoo, last week…

  • Make my hip feel better.  Run when I’m ready/when the chiro says its ok.
  • Cycle, swim, do weights that don’t make it cranky, and/or stretch every day from now (Thursday) until the end of the week.

Solid.  This week, I’m finding my hip is not yet all the way better but I’m going to work with it the best I can.

  • Run 3-4 times this week.  Try to alternate days or give plenty of time in between runs and run as long as possible each time.
  • Try to make one of those 18-20 miles if my hip agrees (or if not, as long as possible).
  • 15 mins of bike/swim/stretch each day.
  • One bodyweight session.

I ran yesterday, and it was glorious, but my hip was definitely cranky to start (but then went away), and then sore later, but not unreasonably so.  I don’t want to tax it too much and start running every day, but I’d like to get some runs in for this little race I’m doing in less than 5 weeks if it would be ok with you, mister hip.  😛

The next two weeks will be peak weeks (i.e. – whatever miles I can get out of my body safely), then we’ll start the taper process.  I may handle my taper a little differently this time since what I’ve been doing lately seems to not really have worked that well, but I have a few weeks to decide.



  • Continue tracking food and trying to hit the -500 calorie mark and keeping an eye on macros.
  • Weigh a few times a week
  • I am “on notice” with the booze – I went a little crazy early in the week.
  • Transition to cooking food rather than relying on takeout so much.

I’m thoroughly frustrated with the scale not moving much but if I focus on hitting goals, I’m doing pretty well.

I have all sorts of home cooked food prepared for the week.  However, I can tell that I haven’t been eating like my normal self for quite a while, because kale chips + broccoli and cauliflower for dinner ended up being a fiber gut bomb.  Six months ago that would just be normal.

I didn’t have drinks until Saturday, and I had a reasonable amount and hit my calories just about exactly, so that was a good thing.

I kind of lost track on Sunday night of my food, I was cleaning out my pantry and freezer and ate so much random stuff.  Pretty sure I was over on my calories by a bit but it’s going to be hard to exactly quantify things, so I’ll make an estimate and enjoy the first full day off both work and training since forever and move on.

This week, I want to just keep on keepin’ on.

  • Continue tracking food and trying to hit the -500 calorie mark and keeping an eye on macros.
  • Weigh a few times a week
  • Happy hour after work Wed or Thurs (not AND), and Saturday evening drinks.  Das all.
  • I have plenty of food at home.  Let’s try for THREE or less meals out this week.
  • Moar snack veggies.  I’ve been good at keeping my calories under control but I could use an infusion of the good stuff in my life.  I bet I’d feel better.

Life Stuff


It was a pretty mellow week and weekend and seemed to be just what I needed.

  • Get 8+ hours sleep every day this week (so far so good minus Tuesday night’s 6 hours).
  • Grocery shop and batch cook for next week over the weekend.
  • Do something fun over the weekend that isn’t just the G-rated version of Netflix and chill.

I technically only got like 7.5 hours on Saturday night, but that was because I couldn’t fall asleep right away, not because I was being dumb.  Rested, check.

We resumed our Friday night grocery grab, which is GREAT because I actually cook, but not-so-great because we pretty much HAD to go out to dinner or we would have been added about 50$ of groceries and been HANGRY at each other all over the store because swim + groceries + dinner time = no bueno.

We took advantage of beautiful patio weather to hang out with some friends and neighbors Saturday… before we tucked in to watch movies.  Perfect balance.

This week is mellow during the week (so far, with plans at least) but super busy this weekend with a family visit, a movie with friends, and then a superbowl party.  So, the goal is to retreat as much as possible and get good rest in so this weekend won’t throw me for a complete loop.

  • 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Relax as much as possible.
  • Maybe start scoping out things for our potential remodel project?

And, that’s a wrap!


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