Hi, hello, it’s been a while so let’s catch up.
First of all, I did a race – since it’s been something like 5 week since, here’s what I posted on Facebook for posterity…
Verdict: much better than 2022, but definitely some work to do if I want to approach pre-pandemic form. And that’s an acceptable place to be! Race prep went just fine, the only annoyance was the heat. It was hot AF yesterday during setup, bike drop off, and the forecast was even hotter today. Luckily, I picked the short course this year, so I was hoping the impact would be minimal. And it was, sort of, definitely compared to slogging through the half in this weather, but also not really.
Morning stuff went like clockwork, I’d be amazed with how little attention I’ve given race prep but it’s my 13th year racing. I guess that pays some dividends. Swim start was very backed up with a huge turnout this year, so we took off about 20 mins late to help with crowding. Somehow, I still got kicked three times and my goggles pulled off once but was up and out of the water quickly. 13 mins and change, but everyone’s swim was long.
T1, I walked up the hill. My body is in so much better condition than last year, but a few spots are touchy since traveling, so I played it safe. A real slow 4 mins, because of that and the fact I haven’t been practicing this. ‘Tis what it is.
On the bike, it was windy, but in the right direction, so it was just sort of a constant effort. My bike training has consisted of 30-45 mins at a comfortable pace, so that’s what I did. The course was crowded and while I felt comfier on DeathStar than I expected with no outdoor riding, I didn’t feel good enough to bike aggressively. So, 46 minutes and change for 14 miles at 18mph was just fine, and about what I could expect for my training.
T2 was also slow. I’m better but scared of my calves cramping running in my bike shoes so I walked it in. I really had to pee so I took care of that quickly and dawdled getting my run stuff on. It takes training to overcome transition gravity and I didn’t. Ah well.
The run is where everything fell apart last year and where I’ve put most of my effort this year. I got out and got my legs under me and felt fine (yay) but already kind of overheating (boo). I managed to fight through and keep running the whole time, minus a quick walk through an aid station to grab water around mile 2. I’d push the pace until I started feeling the beginnings of dizziness and goosebumps and then back off and recover and rinse and repeat. 32 mins and change for 3.2 miles isn’t terrible considering the circumstances. If it was cooler I could have pushed this more. Everything felt great besides the imminent heatstroke .
Results 1:40:30, 14th/30 AG, 69 (hehe)/214 women, and well into the top half overall. Considering my training it was a pretty good day at the races and I’m a happy camper. If I want to get back to 201x me (who would have podiumed in 3rd), I need to hammer the bike more and practice transitions. I’m in a bit of a different place now with different focus. Would be really nice to see if I can accommodate both next year. We’ll see what the off-season brings.
Spoiler: the offseason so far has brought stress, slackitude, and a minor (already recovered) injury but I think we’re rounding the bend.
The day after this race, we hiked for 2 hours around Kerrville Schriner Park and the bike and run course. I felt nothing but gratitude I was not out there – it was just absolutely miserable even walking around in the heat and standing in the shade, and these poor schmucks had to bike and run in the sun. When I decide to return to 70.3s, I just don’t think it’s going to be at Kerrville. The weather is way too unpredictable at the end of September.
Also, the middle of my foot randomly decided to hurt after all that and didn’t let me even WALK for the next week and a half. Instead of being a good human, I threw myself a bit of a pity party and didn’t do jack or pucky. I also decided to try and change up my shoes for no reason. The ones I have are just a few months old (and I haven’t put that many miles on them) and my Brooks (this is my second pair) have been fine for a whole year. But, for some reason, going back to my giant Hoka Marshmallows that wrecked my calves last year have been lovely now. It reinforces that I need to be varying my shoes – I can’t wear the same ones day in day out for a whole year for both walking and running. Go figure.
Work has been extra special this month. My logic brain isn’t at full capacity right now, and I keep getting mad about stuff I should be dealing with fine. I actually had to call off sick one day because my body and brain were just kind of shutting down and noping out – headache, nausea, could barely look at a screen. I spent that whole weekend nose in a book and sleeping the whole time. I felt much better after three days of that, but I didn’t realize how burnt out I was until that point and how much all that rest was really just barely enough to get me back to the bare minimum to function.
It SUCKS not being on top of my game. I KNOW I should be doing more – in all aspects of life – but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I need both a break and also to hold myself accountable to do the things that will long term make me feel better.
Perhaps surprising to no one but me – work travel is not vacation and it hit me that I haven’t had a relaxing vacation in quite a while. San Antonio in April was the closest as a long weekend, but our toilet broke in the camper and I had to work a little bit during it so it wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been. Then Krause in July should have fit the bill, but it was stupid hot and the ants invaded the camper so I felt shit crawling all over me for the last two days and I also ended up working a bit during it. Kerrville was a race and it was SO hot and miserable I was pretty miserable and didn’t sleep well (again). After that read/nap weekend earlier this month, I decided we needed a getaway like WOAH and it couldn’t wait for a holiday, so we took last Thursday and Friday off and headed an hour away NOT in the camper.
We went to the Arch at Lighthouse Hill Ranch in Johnson City and rented the Napolean Suite (fancy word for tiniest room in the place with a small kitchenette) and spent the whole time hiking, painting, watching pretty sunrises and sunsets, reading, and checking out the little town. No ants, there was working and functional AC, no toilet issues, and no maintenance needed. I knew I was in a better place when I got dragged into an antique store and I DIDNT HATE IT. After the trip, I felt like my patience and productivity batteries recharge a little bit, and I was able to get through a fairly tough week better than expected. I’ll do a post on that trip soon, mainly to share all the amazing photos of the place.
I haven’t been doing the good things I need to be doing. I’ve been succumbing to the short term happy in favor of the long term happy. I haven’t been eating as well as normal, lots of splurges because of celebration or circumstance or stress, and I haven’t been tracking regularly. The scale has reacted accordingly – this week I’ve been 184-185, which is a few lbs up from pre-Germany. And… my weights streak has officially been broken. October has only had eight sessions, and a few of those weren’t complete workouts, just doing half sets or whatever. Which is obviously better than nothing, but I’ve definitely lost some ground in the last few months. And it’s not like I’ve been killing it with the cardio with six bikes and two runs this month (swimming? ha!).
What I have been doing is WALKING. I”ve clocked 31.65 miles of tracked walks since Oct 6 (when my foot decided to let me walk again) and 14.64 miles of hiking the weekend at the Arch alone (and that was true hiking with elevation gain and loss on trails, good stuff). I need to get back to all the other stuff, but I haven’t been SEDENTARY. So, that’s something.
So, here I am, admitting my sins and failings, so I can move on and do better. While stress is stress is stress, I need to prioritize the healthy habits that have been spotty or slipping away the last few months. So, it’s time – as it was around this time last year. We’re going to keep it simple for November. We’re not going to try to put up a bunch of other goals to stress myself out. I’m going to keep to the basics:
- 10 healthy habits (check as many as possible off daily)
- Track food and stay in calorie range
- Strength 3x week and get back to working with the Squat Witch
Everything else can wait while I get myself back on track.