Adjusted Reality

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

Month: February 2017 Page 1 of 2

Sunrise, sunset – a long day of training.

Let me tell you what’s a trip: waking up at sunrise to start your training for the day, and heading out with headlamps to finish it off (with very few breaks in between).

14 hours of swim/bike/run in pictures.  First picture is heading out to the swim in the 7-o’clock hour.  The last picture is me waiting for food to drop from the sky into my face at about 9pm.

I had read about Long Days in preparation for an Ironman, and I knew I had to put some on the plan.  I’m always tempted to over-prepare for races, and this seemed like a great way to simulate the feeling of what I’ll go through on Ironman Day without the massive recovery needed of trying to do something stupid like a 100 mile bike/20 mile run brick.

Part of the process is you’re supposed to wake up early and start like it’s race day.  I failed at that one.  Two nights of uncharacteristically bad sleep meant that 5am was NOT a good idea.  So we slept in until 7:15.  I can’t believe I’m using that phrase and time in the same sentence, but it is what it is…

The good part about sleeping in was the gym didn’t open until 8 and it would have sucked to show up at 7am.  The bad part about sleeping in was I didn’t get to fully practice race day breakfast, so I wolfed down a cliff bar an hour an hour before I swam.  I hope to NOT do that the day of, because I was burping up chocolate peanut butter and it wasn’t super pleasant.

The day before at the lake – super nice and like 80 degrees.  Saturday morning?  Freeeeezing…

We wanted to hit the lake, but it was 40 and windy, with a lake temp of 62, I decided I didn’t want to jeopardize my day being chilled to the bone since I’m a cold water weenie and played it safe.  Other than that, the swim was totally fine.  I managed 3100m in the pool in an hour at a relaxed pace which felt like a warmup the whole time.   I remain unworried about this portion of the race, minus a little nagging at the back of my head about getting some open water time before April 22nd.

The plan calls for 90 minutes between each segment, and with my first break, I ate the rest of my breakfast (english muffin and some fruit and coconut water).  You’re supposed to stay off your feet and relax, but we had to get everything ready, so we didn’t do a great job at that.  Different personalities are different – I was enjoying EVERY moment of the 90 minute breaks, Zliten was so antsy and just wanted to get going each time.

For some reason I was SUPER dreading the bike, and when we got to our loop, they had changed the flow of traffic and it made me super grumpy to start.  However, after a lap, it seemed do-able, probably even better the way it ended up.  Nothing fell off my bike for the first hour, my legs stayed on my body, traffic was less annoying than I expected.  I realized I had to ride one less hour in much better weather on less hills than Pace Bend.  My mood actually stayed on the up and up most of the time!

I did have some back and neck issues with aero later in the ride, but I think I just need to come to terms with the fact that I’m going to be adjusting my position a lot on the second half of the bike.  The good news is nothing that ends up sore at the end of the bike are running muscles, so that will be a major reset for me.  It was a super pleasant ride for most of it, and more comfortable bibs would probably have solved most of my issues.  I did 80 miles in 5 hours with some MAJOR wind.  Looks like, at this pace, I’d finish in about 7 hours, so hey, only 2 more to go on race day!

I think I had less crazy eyes going on Saturday than I did here.  Progress!

It was really weird to face the fact that I had just spent all afternoon riding, and I still had a 2 hour run on the plan.  During my second break, I took a shower since I did not want to sit on the couch with my nastiness, sucked down a coconut water and a recovery shake and used the recovery boots and around 6pm, we headed out for a 2 hour run.

Something magical happened.  I don’t know if it was pixie dust, or my fitness actually coming together, or the cooler weather, or maybe the drinks and the massage, but we were both running about 10:45 pace and it felt… good.  I mean, good in the sense of “I’m on hour 7 of the day” which meant nothing was falling off, but holy hell NOTHING WAS FALLING OFF and it even felt mildly conversational.  I kept waiting for the point in which I would have to slow down and it just didn’t happen.

Around mile 7 it started getting hard.  Around 8.5 I kind of wanted to die a little and I definitely wasn’t seeing 100% straight.  But my legs kept with it and we ended at just over 11 miles for 2 hours running.  Let’s talk about this.  At that pace… I’d PR my standalone marathon by 15 minutes.  Off the bike.  I know I probably didn’t have 15 more miles at that pace Saturday, I don’t expect to hold this pace at all, but this 26.2 miles off the bike may potentially be a little less of a shit show!  Let’s also put out there that this was 5 days removed from a 19 mile long run.  Hi endurance fitness!  It’s SO FUN to be BFFs for a bit.

It’s nice to fiiiiiiinally be at a point where the runs feel like this instead of ><.

I definitely feel like this helped prepare me for the race.  I have continued confidence in the swim.  I need to keep reminding myself the bike isn’t going to be so bad even if dang, that’s going to be a long time in the saddle.  I keep showing myself that my run fitness seems to be peeking it’s head out at the right times to give me confidence that I probably can survive this little 26.2 mile cooldown jog, and maybe possibly kick it’s ass if I have one of those magical pixie dust unicorn days.

I learned on Monday night (after my long run), I need a certain level of booze, not too much but also not too little (or I guess ibuprofen would work, but that’s WAYYY less fun) in your system to sleep well after a super long effort with sore legs.  Thanks, vodka!  I also spent multiple hours in the recovery boots and used the stick.  The legs seem to remain firmly in tact.  I was able to get out and walk ~45 minutes yesterday, and today I plan on *something* for about an hour after work, super easy-peasy.

There was no way I was eating back the 6k+ calories I burned in one day.  Even eating them back in 2 days is a challenge.  My first real meal was at 9pm Saturday.  It was Sonic – because that’s what was easy – a burger, boneless wings, and a few cheese sticks.  The next day, we ate a tub of family size mac and cheese, taco shop delivery and wing shop delivery.  My stomach feels pretty gross today and I’m up like 6 lbs of bloat again, but my body DOES feel like it got the calories it needed back to keep on chugging through the week.

Next time, we’re going to plan ahead and have slightly healthier fare ready to go.  The mac and cheese was actually PERFECT (easily digestible and palatable carbs with a little protein and fat).  I was dreaming about wings so getting them once was fine but I actually ate three different types.  I think I had 6 different types of fried food in the span of 24 hours.   Lesson learned.  Today, I’m back to fruits and vegetables, and life will go on.

This would have been an appropriate thing to have handy this weekend.

As a reminder for myself for next time:


  • Pre-race dinner of sketti, meatballs, garlic bread, and salad worked for me.
  • Get to bed earlier, get up a little earlier so you can try race day breakfast again.
  • English muffin/cream cheese/bacon good.  Cliff bar… meh.  Coconut water: <3.  Hopefully the watermelon at the store looks less like it will spoil any second, and try that.
  • Have EVERYTHING packed up and ready to go so we get the full rest intervals (which are actually shorter)


  • Remember the gym doesn’t open until 8am.
  • Try to do the next swim at the lake if the temps allow.
  • Pacing was perfect.
  • Plan is to do the full race distance (3850m, or maybe a little longer, as the loops dictate).


  • I had my base layer, jersey, sleeves, and a fleece jacket on well into the 60s with the wind.  I definitely am going to have to consider my wardrobe depending on the weather.
  • The bike went really well.  The 3.5 mile loop of Shoal Creek simulates the toll road part of the course really well and having the car with an aid station (and a porta potty right next to it) was great for quick refueling stops.
  • Pacing was also perfect at about 16 mph/120W.  I never felt like I was huffing and puffing and I built speed over the whole 5 hours.  It was probably even a little too conservative but TBH?  I’ll take a little less output on the bike and a strong run.
  • My plan for next time is to do the full distance (112 miles).  *shrug*, if I’ve done 5-6 hours of little loops, I can do 7, right? 🙂


  • Chicken broth right before was awesome.  As soon as they start offering this on the course start taking it.
  • Running at night was fun.  I think I enjoyed this run MORE because it was right around sunset.
  • I meant to run/walk this, but honestly?  If my legs are ready to sustain 10:50s, I’ll take it, even if it’s just through the first half.  I know how to run/walk when things get tough, I think just the *permission* to get through this race however I need to is fine.  And if that’s running faster than expected, that’s great!
  • Push the calories as much as possible as long as I don’t have stomach issues.  I definitely felt the calorie deficit by the time I was going out for this and I needed every calorie I could stomach.  Blocks were awesome because I could spread them out but they were problematic because I would forget to take them.
  • Next time, if we do the full swim and bike distances, we’ll limit this to 1 hour instead of 2.


  • Have a plan and some forethought.  There needs to be a bunch of easy meals available.  I need to be more amenable to eating anything in the house, even if it’s for another day.  The tortellini soup I just ate for lunch today would have been AMAZING post-run.
  • The planned food needs to be easy on the stomach.  While I didn’t need to go with such a junk food takeout orgy, I know my body is NOT into something like chicken, quinoa, and kale after a long effort.  I need to split the difference.
  • Food needs to have ZERO barrier to entry.  For example, I was craving a salad.  I didn’t order it to go because I couldn’t justify spending the money when I had it at home.  However, it needed to be washed and cut up.  Guess who didn’t eat a salad all weekend?

Hopefully I can end the day this happy and this upright…

A lot of words about one day that wasn’t even a race, I know, but it was such a new experience, I wanted to record it all.

As a side note – I feel SO ready with this amount of training to rock a 70.3 race.  I’ll have to remember that for future cycles.

So, long story short?  Confidence?  Riding pretty high.  April 22nd is going to be a long day.  It’s going to be a hard day.  There is nothing I can do with this body and the remaining 8 weeks to change that.  I can improve my tolerance for hard, but it’s still going to be a beast of a day.  But… if I got through this, I think my training is on the right track to deliver me to a finish line in less than 17 hours, as long as I keep problem solving and shoving calories in my face.  And that’s what matters.

Stitching it all together

Three day weekends are kind of the best.  We didn’t do anything crazy special, but since this one happened to fall over rest week, we got to do a few things above and beyond normal.

And one of these things was cheering like ridiculous people for the marathoners!!!

Saturday is normally for a long ride/run and then dying on the couch.  Instead, this week, we slept in, ran for about 45 minutes to warm up and then do our zones test.  After all this long and slow stuff… running 30 minutes at lactate threshold is ROUGH but I managed about 9:20 pace with my heart rate about 171.  That’s a little lower than expected but good enough for now.  Then, we logged a longer-than-race-distance swim.  Zliten hates the pool with the passion that I hate the treadmill for long efforts, so he went to the lake. 62 degrees is a little too chilly for my blood so I watched the black line for about 90 minutes and was just fine with 172 lengths of the pool.

Sunday, the only activity we did was 2 miles of bike riding down to the Austin Marathon course to play cheerleader.  It was super fun, and somehow I got a TON of steps just walking back and forth in that little area, but the rest of the day was split between batch cooking for the week and flopping on the couch.  It was glorious to have a rest day.

Monday was MY DAY.  I had been waiting for a nice, cool, overcast morning to rock a long run and this was it.  Zliten wasn’t feeling great, so I went out solo and had one of the best runs I’ve had since… maybe October 2015?  The first 15 miles were just me lost in my thoughts.  Around 16 my legs started to tighten up and the last few miles were a little painful, but the weather was amazing and I clocked 19 miles in 3:38.  Nothing amazing pace-wise, but it’s the first run in a LONG while where my mood hasn’t been in the toilet at some point.  I really needed that.

#mfw I finally crush a long run instead of mentally limp through it.  Hopefully next week will go just as well!

Let’s break it down.  Rest week:

  • Swimming: 1500m, 4300m (skipped one due to… rest week.)
  • Cycling: 16 miles commute/social ride, 11.5 miles commuting
  • Running: 12.5 miles (3.2 fast, the rest warmup/commuting)
  • Weights: 1 conference room weights set (skipped one due to scheduling)
  • Random: 10 mins paddleboarding
  • Stretch and roll ALMOST every day (I missed Saturday)

This doesn’t look like much, but it adds up to 7.5 hours.  And it was exactly the break I needed to get back to it this week.  And this week’s plans are:

  • 19 mile run (done)
  • 1500m swim
  • 1 hard ~90 min cycle, 1 commute/hour easy
  • 2 weights sessions
  • long day: 1 hour swim, 5 hour bike, 2 hour run (90 mins rest in between)

This long day is the first of two Ironman test runs.  I’m going to be getting up super early, eating what I plan to eat race morning, swimming at race start, practicing my race nutrition, and all in all, spending the whole day doing triathlon.  It’s a little daunting, but I’m excited.  I feel like I’m ready right now to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and run a marathon… separately.  Now it’s time to start stitching them together over the next two months.  Maaaaaybe it would be better to start with a shorter run, but my plan with this one is to run/walk as much as needed.  Time on feet is much more important than pace here.

Life Stuff:

#mfw it’s been super warm all week and the day we plan to ride bikes, it’s freezing and windy all day.  But at least… pizza!

Rest week also allowed some social-ness, which was a refreshing break from ironman work eat sleep.  On Tuesday, we went on a Valentine’s Day ride with our team, Bicycle Sport Shop.  It was actually SUPER cold and windy so we bailed when we got close to our house instead of going back north with everyone, but it was nice to roll with the group again.  Can’t wait for the time change to do more of these!

We also were able to catch up with friends and have a very decadent steak dinner at Austin Land and Cattle on Saturday night.  It was super nice to eat good food, drink French wine, and chat about life.  We were supposed to head to a party after, but we were WAYYYY too food coma’d and enjoyed playing video games on the couch instead.

Last week, I started Chapter 16 – and it was super long and confusing.  I’ve studied up on the triathlon stuff for years, so that was all almost review.  This is 51 pages of business stuff, things I DO NOT know well.  It also seems like it’s organized poorly – good information, but like someone just crammed a bunch of blog posts together and called it a chapter.  Long story short – I’m going to need at LEAST this week to sort through it.

Lots of veggies this week.  That’s a win!

I tracked my calories for 2054 average each day with – 761 deficit.  My ratios were 99g protein, 63g fat, 18g fiber, and 204g carbs per day.  Definitely more of a rest week, with the carbs lower (I didn’t have any really long workouts, so this was totally sufficient).  My appetite was definitely LOWER but not quite matching my training.  As per usual, the weekend really tanked my fiber and raised my fat.  Someday I’ll learn how to eat like a human being 7 days a week but apparently not yet.

My average weight was 187.2, which is 1.1 down from last week.  I didn’t weigh regularly, this was only 3 days average, but it’s still encouraging that it’s going downward.  I had a big swing up today, but that’s to be expected with long run inflammation/rehydration/refueling.  7 lbs to go to 70.3 weight!

Last week I had 19 drinks over 4 days.  I’ll excuse some of this with the fact that it was a rest week and part of that is MENTAL recovery and letting loose a little, but even with that caveat this was a little much.  This week should be MUCH better.

The good news is that hasn’t messed with my rest.  I’m sleeping 9:15 average per night and averaging over 4 hours of deep sleep.  I feel like this is the ONLY way I’m making it through this training, so it’s a good thing!

Last week I did 2 out of 3 things (wouldn’t you know, I didn’t clean out the cars – shocker).  However, Zliten was awesome and made some progress on the workout room while I was out on my long run – we have a computer and monitor hooked up right at treadmill height.  Also, we made it to Costco, and found some of the most WONDERFUL instant pho bowls, which make a perfect snack.

This is a short week, and I expect to have my weekend 100% sucked up by our long day (doing, and then recovering), so I’m taking this week off other goals besides the normal laundry and cooking chores.

…and now, off to conquer the short week.  I’ve got a good head start with all sorts of healthy meals and snacks at the ready, and all my run miles until Saturday done.  Let’s hope I can keep up!

5 Odd Side Effects of Ironman Training

I have two really gritty posts about fear, rejection, facing the unknown for about a month… but to be honest?  I’m really tired this week and looking at them is giving me the heebie jeebies, so they’re staying in the drafts folder. Maybe I need to ignore all that stuff until #projectspringencore

So, instead, let’s talk about the lesser known side effects of training for an Ironman.

#1 – The food situation is in teenage boy territory and I’m definitely not gaining weight by eating this way.

Right now, this is an appetizer…

I know I joke about this a lot, but it’s the truth. I’m buying at least 20% more food at the store every week, and I’m still supplementing with the occasional snack and just as many meals out (probably more) as normal.  I am legitimately eating 4 square meals and snacks on training weeks and 3 big meals with lots of snacks on recovery weeks.

Try as you might to eat good quality food (and you should, because you can definitely feel the difference if that’s lacking), you can’t stick to it 100%.  Here’s the real talk – complex carbs have FIBER.  This is a great thing.  But when you’re eating about 2-3x a normal human’s carb intake, you absolutely DO NOT WANT 2-3x the daily recommended value of fiber.  Ask me how I know.  The upshot is, you need some crappy simple carbs in your life to make your ratios and be properly fueled.

You will constantly complain about how things have not ENOUGH carbs, not too many.  I wish someone could fit more than 25 carbs in 100 calories but it’s just not possible.  Some days, to hit my ratios, I should be huffing pixie stix.

#2 – You will be in the best shape of your life.  Too bad you probably won’t look it most days.


These weekend workouts that are approaching a full eight hour work day?  They’ll make your weight swing up and down with dehydration and refueling and you’ll go from feeling empty to pregnant with a liquid baby and back again.  I don’t swing much normally on the scale, but I was up and back down 6 lbs in the stretch of 5 days.  Some days you’ll feel great.  Some days your jeans won’t fit because you’re super bloated and rocking inflammation all over.

That shouldn’t affect my super hot, shapely legs, right?  Well, I certainly won’t be accentuating them with some killer heels any time soon.  When you’re putting so many miles on them, your choices are a) cushy flat sandals or b) sneaks and maybe c) occasionally flat boots.  But not too often or your feet will still get cranky.  Hopefully, like me, you’ve found the pair of sandals that is BARELY acceptable to wear with a nice dress but also works after a 20 mile run (and I order them once a year on Amazon when they wear out).  And live somewhere where 90% of the time, it’s sandal weather.

Let’s go up top.  Higher.  The frizzy mop on my head.  While I’m not known for my moments in front of the mirror at any point of the year, things get interesting during this cycle.  Washing the hair is for a) after swims and b) after the long effort for the week.  The apres swim wash is in the stuff the gym provides which is actually all purpose wash, so I use real shampoo about once a week.  And… if you do the math between 3 washes and about 12 workouts per week… my hair is sweaty probably about 75% of the time.

#3 – Training just becomes something you do.  Motivation really doesn’t factor into it.

Ride to work, run home, this is just how we do nowadays

I get a lot of comments about how we must be such motivated people.  Like I get up every morning at 5am and shoot rainbows out of my butt and say “let’s go run and swim and ride bikes and smile and be happy all day! Wheee!”  I’ll let you in on a secret – most of the time I roll out of bed around 7:30-8:30am (headlamps are my BFFs), and I honestly suck at motivation.  If I really don’t want to do something, I’m GREAT at inventing ways to justify getting out of it.  I am the queen of procrastination.  My couch has an INSANE gravitational pull.

You are what you repeatedly do.  The first week or two of any cycle after offseason is hard, but then it just becomes habit.  Training 7 days per week, 2-3 times a day sometimes, is just what life is right now.  Honestly, sometimes the fear of not being ready for April 22 plus the mental gymnastics about when I could possibly reschedule a session typically equals showing up and powering through instead of flaking.  But sometimes I flake, and that’s alright too.

And, while right now it’s all a very lot right now, I try not to lose sight of the fact that I get the opportunity to do this shit!  I have a strong and healthy body that gets to play bikes with friends and swim forever staring at the black line spacing out and thinking up new blog posts and explores new places (or just my ‘hood for the thousandth time) on foot.  There is no better way to spend a beautiful day when you feel great… it’s just showing up to all the other days that takes a little oomph.

#4 – You will never sleep better about 99% of the time.

It’s all about the recovery.  Yep.  EVERYWHERE is a potential place to nap.

As my training hours go up, so does my sleep requirement.  8 hours is a requirement, not a suggestion.  9 hours is better, and 10 is awesome.  While I’m not one of those “up with the sun” triathletes, I still go to bed pretty early most days to make sure I’m getting enough ZZZZs.  If I try to shortcut that, my body just shuts down.

My body also seems to do it’s part and respond by spending more time in deep sleep.  Saturday night, after my long run, I spent 5.5 of my 8.5 hours there, according to my garmin (and I woke up feeling pretty awesome, so I wouldn’t disagree).  I’ll be interested to see what it’s like during offseason, but I *know* I don’t sleep as well, quickly, or deeply.

The downside?  I’ve not had a book take me THIS long to finish in months.  The upside?  That crazy thunderstorm at 2am?  Yeah, I have ZERO recollection of it.  Except that Zliten told me I mumbled at him to stop making noise, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  Oops.  While you might have the occasional thrashy night if your legs are super sore, overall, you’ll have the best sleep of your LIFE!

#5 Ironman brain is a real thing.

Six hours of riding produces the crazy eyes.  Brain not far behind.

I just spent 5 minutes attempting to untangle my backpack string from my bike lock.  I’m having trouble remembering the word I want to say.  My writing is probably starting to look like a grad school child’s, and it’s all IM training’s fault.  When they say Ironman triathletes are not right in the head, they’re not completely off.

Normally, I enjoy the juxtaposition of my job (very sendenatary, very people oriented and communicative) and triathlon (very active, very solo focused in my own head).  However, while I’m handling the TIME commitments alright, it’s the MENTAL stuff I’m having an issue with.  It’s like, my body’s hanging in there like a trooper, but my brain is checking out about 75% through what needs to be done on any given day.

I’ll definitely not knock it, I’m feeling like I’m getting prepared for the race, so training is doing what it’s supposed to, but the side effects are very unexpected!

Question: What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you when you started working out?


The only appropriate time to duckface…

The last two Saturdays have been cold and windy and/or rainy.  Perfect weather for running.  I had long bikes on the plan, and HTFU’d through them.  This Saturday was 80 degrees and sunny.  Perfect weather for biking.  I had 15-20 miles of running on the plan.  Sigh….

You know it’s hot when you’re laying on the tile to cool off.  In February.

This training cycle, my mantra has been HANDLE YOUR SHIT.  It might have different connotations to different people, but what it means to me is problem solving.  I am not going to win this race, that’s for certain, unless an asteroid hits at least the top half of my age group and somehow leaves me unscathed.  However, I will finish strong if I am constantly problem solving along the way, even if it takes a few seconds longer than just trying to ignore whatever is wrong for 14-17 hours.

So, when I was overheating in the 80+ degrees and humid conditions around mile 11, I did some things.

First, I stopped chasing Zliten who thrives in this weather (if it were last weekend in the cold *I* might be dragging HIM).  I let him go.  I only slowed 10-15 seconds average per mile in the second half but it made all the difference.

Second, I took some time and laid on the tile floor to cool down between bottle fills and stopped for just a moment every so often in the shade to catch my breath in the later miles.

I know if it were a race situation I’d spend less time effing around (there would also be aid stations with ice…), but even with my total elapsed time (with ALL the breaks), I’d have put down a slightly over 6 hour marathon.  I’m hoping to do a little better than that if I can, but that would still put me across the line in plenty of time.

My goal was 15-20 miles, and I was able to talk myself into 18.  I could tell I was badly adjusting my gait by then for various reasons, and I didn’t want to push through 2 more and risk not be able to train for a while.  Considering my longest run this cycle so far was 13.1, I’m totally happy with it.

All in all, this week’s training was rough to get through, but I completed everything as assigned and topped out at 14 hours this week, even without a long ride.

  • 28.5 miles running – (5.5 hours)
    • 2×5.something miles easy hour runs
    • 18 mile long run
  • 80 miles riding (6 hours)
    • 90 min endurance cycle class
    • 2 hour trainer (6×4 min intervals)
    • 2.5 hour recovery cruiser ride (with some decent hills)
  • 5000m swimming (1.5 hours)
    • 1500m steady swim
    • 3500m long swim (with the last 250m of every 1000m with drills).
  • 2 weights sessions (1 hour)
    • 1 lifting session at the gym
    • 1 dozen set

Rule #368 – the only appropriate time to duckface is when you’re actually posing with a duck.

I have been told (by my husband) that I’ve been a crankypants lately, and I suppose it would be hard to disagree. I honestly feel like I’m just pointing out facts, and a lot of those facts happen to be negative, but you know when you have to revise every single email you write three times or else you sound like the queen of the bitches?  Yeah, that’s where I was last week.  There was no big reason that my mood was subconsciously in the toilet a lot of the time, but it’s the 1000 cuts syndrome.

  • My knee, for no reason, started to be cranky on Wednesday afternoon.  It’s been on and off since then.  The long run Saturday actually made it feel BETTER but the bike ride yesterday made it feel worse and it’s better today but my knee is broken, y’all *whine*…
  • Lots of little stuff going on at work and everyone is having their Moon Moon moments (including me) missing obvious stuff because we’re just trying to keep it all together, barely.
  • My enthusiasm for training is waning a bit.  It’s all good once I get going, but I had to talk myself into a lot of last week’s sessions.  I’ve been so smashed after weekend training lately that I barely feel like I get any time to relax.  This weekend was BETTER so I’m adapting, but the struggle is still real.
  • We legit got to the pool on Wednesday, in swimsuits and all, and it was so crowded with a line of people waiting to swim, so we just turned around and left and got groceries and drank whiskey instead.  Making it up on Friday night with the pool to ourselves was actually quite nice, but it still changed my week from a nice 40-ish hour period off training before my long run to… NOT that.

I’m. just. tired.  I’m tired of my pit of hell stomach NEEDING not wanting 5 meals a day.  I’m simultaneously tired of SO MANY workouts and also feeling like I’m somehow not doing enough.  I’m tired of no time, never any time for anything.  I’m tired of ironman brain.  I’m tired of being bitchy for no reason.

So, it’s totally time for a rest week.  And hey, it’s here!

This one involves:

  • Lots of swimming.  It’s hard to push it on other weeks, so recovery periods are going to be swim-focused.  I want to do 3 swims, and a long one of 4-5k.
  • Fun cycling.  Mostly commuting and group rides.  While I’m nervous that somehow I’ll forget to ride long by not doing it two weeks in a row, I need the time off serious riding because riding for almost a workday is kind of draining.
  • Run commuting and a run test.  I want to get my zones re-established for this new watch and I’d like to not just use what I tested a few years ago.
  • Weights twice, stretching, rolling, all that good stuff.
  • 7.5 hours planned.  I’ll be angry with myself if I top out over 9-10 and don’t have at least one full day OFF.

Nothing long, nothing taxing, just a reasonable amount of physical activity per day to stay sharp.  Hopefully this will refresh the energy and motivation and I’ll be ready to get back to it.

The flipside of Austin in Feburary.  It was a MISERABLE recovery ride, let me tell you.  😉

Life Stuff:

Last week I did Chapter 15.  This week it’s Chapter 16.  This is the last one!  After this, I’ll spend some time reviewing and then take my test.  It’s entirely possible that the next time we talk, I’ll be a certified ITCA Triathlon Coach! …but it’s also possible I may take next week to study.

I tracked my calories for 2239 average each day with -990 deficit.  My ratios were 107g protein, 65g fat, 29g fiber, and 254g carbs per day.  Mostly the right way for everything, honestly, except carbs.  I do really well keeping the fat lower on weekdays, but the weekend comes and I indulge.  I had about a quarter of a baguette and wayyyy too much garlic butter, probably like most of a stick of it.  Oh well, baby steps.

My average weight was 188.3, which is 0.8 down from last week.  The encouraging thing was the beginning of the week was 192 and 190, and I ended the week with a 186 and 185.  I didn’t swing up as much today after a weekend of training like normal, so we may actually be making progress here.  8 lbs to go to 70.3 weight!

4 drinks on Wednesday night, 6-ish (normally I use a shot glass and keep track but we were free pouring) on Saturday, and one Sunday beer at lunch.  I’ll call that a win!

Sleep and recovery continue to be prioritized.  I actually feel like a big kid triathlete for doing this stuff instead of forgetting it and then wondering why I get injured.  Me and my foam roller are BFFs, and I use the puffy legs a lot.  I could stretch more, though.  My sleep average is almost 9 hours per night, and over 4 of that is deep sleep.  My worst night of sleep was 7.25 hours and I was TIRED that next day.

Last week I did all the things! This week, being rest week (and a 3 day weekend to boot), I would like to get a *little* more done than normal but still, let’s not get crazy.

  1. For the love of all that’s dear and fluffy… clean out the cars already.  Sheesh.
  2. Spend at least a little time working on the office and/or pain cave.  Mount the monitors.  Clear out enough in the office to move the table in.  I don’t want to spend a whole day on it, but baby steps.
  3. Get to Costco.  Organic chicken is REALLY expensive if you buy it at the grocery store!

And with that, I’m off to find more food, as usual.  At least a lot of it has been fruit and veg today!

The Middle

This is the middle.  The newness of “wheee, I’m actually training for this Ironman race” has worn off, and I still have 10 and a half weeks until the race (thankfully), so the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t quite there.  Zliten and I are a little snippy at each other.  I have given my scale a STERN talking to on several occasions like it was a real person.  The training sessions JUST DON’T STOP COMING because dang, it’s hard to fit in another part time job when you already have a full time one, and want to do fun things every once in a while, and also have family and friends that actually want to be in your life and stuff.

Sometimes looking at the light is dangerous.  Just ask my iguana.

I’ve figured out a few things:

a) this is NOT the time to be cooking anything fancy.  I don’t have the oomph right now to spend half of Sunday in the kitchen.  Easy meals that multiply out well, crock pot food, this is what needs to be happening.  I DEFINITELY, even if I convince myself otherwise because food is better fresh, don’t have the oomph to cook food at night when I get home.  We tried that last night and there was yelling and rude words and one of us just had to leave the kitchen because dinner took 20-30 minute to cook after we got home at 8:15pm.  “I’m sorry for the things I said when I was hungry” is a phrase that is on repeat around here lately.

b) this is also not the time for a shit ton of commitments.  I have to use the word NO liberally.  In May, I get to use the word YES more often.  In February, I have very few slots on my dance card.  If we hang out between now and April 22nd, you probably either a) also swim/bike/run or b) you are very special to me.

c) midnight is absolute bedtime on weekdays and 2am is pushing it on Saturdays.  Once I pass that 10 hours/week training mark, I either sleep or my body just shuts the hell down.

Want to make your Monday awesome? Bike to work, eat amazing food, run home, and then eat more amazing food!

It’s not all bad though, in fact, mostly great.  Last week was pretty stellar.  I hit every workout I planned (besides the wishy-washy “maybe a recovery ride or run if I feel like it” plan Sunday when I haven’t had a full day off in 36 days… I mean DUH, I’M NOT GOING TO FEEL LIKE IT).  I only shortened one bike.   Almost 13 hours of quality training in the bank.  Rock on.

  • 2 swims – 3150m in 59 min and 1350m in 25 min
  • 2 hours easy riding and a 6 hour long hard ride (87 miles/5k climbing)
  • 15 miles running – 10 mile long run in 2:03 on super tired legs, 5 mile in 57 mins on fresher ones.
  • 2 weights – one dozen set, one bodyweights/bands session
  • Stretching/rolling every day

Nothing particularly fast or impressive here, just a bunch of solid work at a steady pace.  It’s not sexy at all.  And that’s exactly where I need to be at this point.

This week, I’m ditching the long ride in favor of a long run.  Now, my longest run so far is 13 miles (14 if you count as far back as October) so going straight to aiming for up to 20 may be crazy, but the cool thing about endurance is it DOES indeed transfer between sports, so we’ll see how it goes.  I have one more crack at the 20 later in the month so this first one is just to see where my comfort zone ends on legs that aren’t *completely* wasted.

  • 25-30 miles of running with 15-20 long run.
  • 5-6 hours of cycling broken up into 3 rides – one hard ride, one interval ride on the TT, and one recovery ride (plus maybe some errand/commute riding)
  • 2 swims – one shorter 1200-1500 and one longer 3k-4k.  Hoping for at least race distance, but we’ll hit that next week if I don’t.
  • 2 weights workouts.  Gym once, either dozen or something else once.

The balance hangs somewhere between the swim and the salad and the burger and fries.

Life stuff:

I did Chapter 14.  This week, it’s Chapter 15 (and actually already done).  Next week is my last week of class, and then it’s time to study…

I didn’t social media much.  I’m kind of stuck and bored with it TBH.  I think this might need to take a back seat until I can really attack it.

I tracked my calories for 2367 average each day with -673 deficit.  I’m actually surprised this was as good as it was, considering I overate even my total burned calories on Sunday.  My ratios were 89g protein, 76g fat, 29g fiber, and 276g carbs per day.  Wrong way again on fat, I upped my fiber and carbs (yay), but my protein wayyyy down.  Honestly, I just ate like shit all weekend and that threw my ratios off.  Same deal as every week it seems.  More carbs, less fat, and now keep my protein on track (which has been MORE than fine since Monday *shrug*).

My average weight was 189.1, which stayed the same from last week. Still 9lbs to go back to 70.3 race weight.  Inflammation from these long weekend sessions (and then the calories I’m eating back) is real, yo.  I swung from 192.8 on Monday to 186.7 this morning.  My body fat reading is up too.  It’s going to be a hard fight while training, but I’ll keep chipping away at it, because that’s the only alternative.

I drank quite a few drinks last week – 8 over 2 days during the week, a bunch after the race and I didn’t keep count, honestly.  Whiskey on the rocks was divine but a few of them and I was tipsy and also falling alseep.  I figured I would have a little bit of a crazy week with the beer only embargo finally lifted and some social events, but I don’t want this to become the norm.  This week, I’ll aim to go back to where I was in January.

Rest and recovery and sleep are going well.  I’m averaging over 3.5 hours of deep sleep per night, with almost 9 hours average total.  Even with the extra drinkies, I ended up with lots of sleep.  This is a good compromise.

This week, I have some errands to run so I’m not going to set a bunch of other goals:

  1. Pick up new glasses (DONE!)
  2. Exchange Christmas present shirt (all the way across town and only available select days from noon to 5. :P)
  3. Pick up Valentine’s Day dinner food and have a super awesome grilled steak and lobster love fest.

And, that will wrap it up.  One foot in front of each other.  One workout, one mile at a time.  Keepin’ on keepin’ on.  Nevertheless, I shall persist (thanks Elizabeth Warren).  Rest week is imminent.



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