Perspective is such a weird thing.  Three months ago I was training like 12-15 hours a week.  Now, getting in 5 hours is a stretch.

Although, new mountain bikes and pretty trails (not actually pictured because I was too busy trying not to die) help things along a lot.

When you’re in the thick of a big build, you’re like, how on earth will I fill up this time?  If I don’t ride bikes all Saturday, will I be so bored?  Will my butt fuse itself to the couch?  The answer is: not so much.  I ignore so much of life when I’m triathloning a lot, and then when it comes back into focus… I realize how “normal” people feel.  How sometimes it’s challenging to prioritize workouts over real life stuff.  When I’m training, that’s just how it is – it goes work, triathlon, and then EVERYTHING else.

Right now it’s like work, to do list, appointments, social events, fun stuff, playing bikes with people and then the rest of triathlon.  As it should be right now, because #offseason.  However, it’s been two months and I think I’d like to see what a few weeks of focused, specific (while still minimal) training can do.  It will be a balance of still prioritizing other stuff but the time I spend training will be a little less playtime and a little more structured.

The first thing is to get some metrics.  Before the end of this month, my goal is to measure all these things:

  • 100m swim
  • 300m swim
  • 3 mile MAF run test
  • 1 mile all out run test
  • VO2 Max garmin measurement (run and bike)
  • Cycle FTP test

I tried to pick things that seemed doable each month but also usable metrics.  The FTP test is a good hour long cycling workout.  The MAF test is actually a pleasant run pace, not like a 5k race.  The 1 mile run should be short enough to not need a ton of recovery.  I considered a 1000m swim test but I end up putting those off a lot so I picked the shorter distances (since I’m doing sprints anyway it’s more applicable).

I love swimming.  I love swimming fast (not pictured here but whatevs).  But I do not love swimming fast for a long time.

The challenge is that this week and next week are cray-cray (as the kids probably don’t say anymore).  My goal will be to get the FTP and probably one of the run tests done this weekend, and the swims and other run test will be next week.  I’m sure once I start lifting I’ll have other metrics I want to do there, but for now, until my cranky pirformis is 100%, there we are.

Last week:

  • Monday: 5k run in 37 mins
  • Tuesday: 40 min work commute (7.5 miles)
  • Thursday: Double brick at the gym (10 min cycle/1 mile run x2)
  • Friday: 15 min easy trainer spin (3 miles), 20 min swim – 1025m
  • Saturday: 13 min swim – 1 Pflugerville loop
  • Sunday: Lake Pflugerville Tri (500m swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run)

So, you see, the frequency is up there, but the duration is not.  It feels good to get a little movement every day, so it works out.  None of this has felt overwhelming, nor should it, at 4.5 hours.

This week is definitely scheduling workouts around life with a lot of ?.

  • Tuesday: mountain bikes with friends at lunch
  • Wednesday: rode bikes to volunteer party.
  • Rest of the week: ???

Since this is the week of social things and appointments and errands, it’s either early morning or late late night some days for stuff and it’s offseason.  So, nope!  I’d love for this to be my return to structured training, life has said NAH.  So, I’ll roll with it as best I can.

I’m really deep down the rabbit hole right now reading about healthy eating for athletes.  I wrote up about 2000 words just on Maffetone’s nutrition theories, but honestly?  No one probably wants to read that but me.  So, I will attempt to be as brief as possible in the summary of how I’m applying it to my life last week and this week.

Right now it’s a balance around here.  Lots of the top right, but some of the bottom right as well.

We always start with the low hanging fruit around here, so here’s what I’ve been trying for:

  • More fruit, smaller pieces of things that are more varied (instead of a pint of blueberries in a day, a small apple, 1/2 cup blueberries, and some grapes).  The variance is so I get more diverse nutrients.  I’m also going to try to vary the fruits I eat per week so I don’t get in the rut of eating blueberries with breakfast and an apple as a snack for 3 months.
  • Nuts and seeds.  I cut these out of my diet to get more of my calories from carbs and/or cut calories, but I definitely miss them.  After reading about ALL the health benefits, they are back.  I’m aiming for a serving or two per day.
  • Honey instead of stevia in my breakfast yogurt.  While Maffetone said the jury is still out on stevia, in general, sports nutrition literature generally poo poos any sort of artificial sweeteners.  It will be a harder fight to completely eliminate them from my life (diet soda as a mixer for booze, light sports drinks for when I want electrolytes without all the calories), but I can start here.
  • Green tea instead of coffee.  I’ve finally increased my caffeine tolerance to the point where this isn’t too much for me and made the switch.  I have had one cup every morning for the last week and haven’t feel jittery, but just felt up, alert, but even all day.  I think I’ve found my morning beverage!
  • A big salad per day with olive oil and vinegar.  What’s a great way to increase my veggie consumption?  Have a giant bowl of them as a snack!  I’m also trying to branch out from my lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion salad and I’ve been also bringing shredded carrots, asparagus, celery, and broccoli for it this week.  I’ll try to change up at least two things in it per week to vary the nutrients.
  • Chewing my food.  This has been an eye opening experience the last week.  Did you know that if you don’t chew your food properly, you get less nutrients out of it?  I guess it makes sense, but it’s never hit me that way.  I’ll chomp down once or twice half-heartedly and then swallow while I’m shoveling the next bite in.  I tried to take the time to chew my food last week and found out a few things.
    • It’s not just bullshit, chewing your food and eating slower actually DOES satiate your hunger quicker.  I was fuller on way less food.
    • It is a habit that needs to be encouraged.  Unfailingly, I will start wolfing my food down and then have to stop myself and remember to chew the rest of the meal.
    • Some foods are delightful to chew – fruits and veggies taste better, imo.  Potatoes fluff up nicely.  However, meat, generally, is NASTY to chew well.  I really am a vegetarian in a carnivore’s disguise because I love the taste of well seasoned meat… but when you chew it well, you actually taste the actual meat flavor.  Except maybe chicken and mild fish… I don’t really like the unseasoned flavor of meat.  At all.
  • Carbs.  Mostly complex ones.  Beans, potatoes, corn (homemade popcorn, corn tortillas, etc), brown rice, whole grain bread, pasta, etc.  I am never ever going to be able to completely avoid refined grains, but they should be a small part of my week.

One big salad a day, just like my iguana…

So, here we go.  How did things go last week?

  • Weight: 187.9 (+0.1) lbs <- it was that time of the month so this is practically a loss.  I’ll take it.
  • Avg cal per day: 1776 (+23) calories
  • Avg deficit per day: -925 (-45) calories
  • Macros: 57 (+14)g fat, 183 (+2)g carbs, 93 (-9)g protein, 27 (+0)g fiber

DQ score: Monday: 14.  Tuesday: 9.  Wednesday: 25. Thursday: 22.  Friday: 21. Saturday: 21.  Sunday: -1 (race day).  Average comes out to approximately 16 (out of 32).

I can definitely see what’s up here.  Monday I wasn’t really concentrating on the new rules.  Tuesday I wasn’t either and had some alcohol.  Wednesday – Saturday, I did a pretty good job.  Not perfect, but I’d be happy if I could replicate that most days right now.  Baby steps.  Sunday was race day, which meant junk food and drinks.  I actually think I did decently in terms of not being a complete jerk with the food – for lunch I consumed one slice of pizza and a salad, and for dinner we had a baked rigatoni dish with extra broccoli and chicken, but with the alcohol and lots of refined carbs (and not much else), the score went ker-splat.  That’s fine.

As we get through this week of all the social party type events and eat up our leftovers with refined grains, I think I’ll be able to raise this score a lot in the coming months with a little time and attention.  However, it is a BITCH to sift through your food like this.  Like wayyyy more than counting calories.  I won’t do this forever.  Once I’m reasonably happy with my score (bringing it up to the low to mid 20s on average), I’ll stop counting it every week.

I’ve been excited to let the pendulum swing the other way for a while, concentrating on being a normal human but this week it is really really on the other side.  Social engagements (because this is my SAY YES season) and appointments we’ve been putting off comprise most of the weekdays this week.  So, it’s busy busy busy!

Super excited to actually go use this thing instead of just running errands about it and spending money on it.  Next week…

So, how did I fare last week?

  • Pop up stuff.  Some of it.  I got it insured,  but Zliten tried to do the registration and he was missing a piece.  We tried to get it into the backyard to set it up and the gate was 4 inches too small.  We did get all the accessories we needed (we think) to go with it, so at this point it’s just making it official and making sure everything is ship shape.
  • Finish the shredding in the office.  Nope.  It will go on the list this week too.  This is the curse of the office.  We do a little to the point where it’s not a complete disaster, but it never gets finished.  Hopefully we can break the curse this year.
  • Do more kitchen remodel research.  Well, I definitely confirmed I want two tone cabinets (white on top, dark on the bottom), found replacement glass racks for the wonderfully 70s built ins we have over the bar, and determined kind of hardware I want.  That’s something.  At this point, this is on hold until we decide WHEN we’re doing it (finding two weekends in a row that won’t negatively impact summer racing goals) and then we’ll get into it more seriously.

Instead of things that kept us off our feet on Saturday, we test rode and purchased mountain bikes.  Considering this was on the big to do list as well, I’ll call it a wash.  Also, earlier in the week, we saw a coworker kill it in the Pirates of Penzance opening night.  It was super nice to be able to do stuff like that.  Offseason!

This week, I may have to cheat and put down a few more than three things, but we have a super mellow weekend planned so it should work out.

Pop up registration.  (this is actually done thanks to my awesome husband!)

Trial Run.  We need to set up the pop up, run all the things (water, power, etc) for a little while, and make sure everything is working properly.

Finish the shredding in the office.  This is now becoming the “clean out the car” of the season.  I really just need to do this, if for no other reason than to make some forward momentum progress.

Get the DDR pad set up.  Since I’m not doing a lot of formal training this week, it would be REALLY nice to have this as an option to do whenever at home in the AC.  This is also my present for getting the office done.

Pick a weekend for our next friends game day.  It was super fun and I don’t want the tradition to die.

The contrast to that mellow weekend is an insane week.  We’ve had/got:

  • Contractor fixing the fence yesterday morning
  • Yelp Elite event Tuesday evening
  • Cap Tex Volunteer event last night
  • Doctor appointment this morning
  • Gaming tomorrow tonight
  • Doctor for Zliten tomorrow morning

Plus, we’re hitting a big milestone this week at work, so it’s been rather hectic around there as well.  Is it the weekend yet?