Adjusted Reality

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

Author: Zliten

Couples Tri: The Rabbit

If you’ll remember, I had a pretty frustrating race last year.  Couple that (hehe) with the fact that while the knee is (slowly) getting back to normal, I’m still feeling the effects of the lack of fitness from missing training, and I’m only 14 days out from beating myself up hardcore for seven and a half hours at BSLT 70.3, and this is on my least favorite course pretty much in the world (Decker Lake and Walter E. Long Park… sorry, it’s not me, it’s you…), I didn’t expect much from this race.

This little airplane did have a few goals:

  • Swim in the same zone where I felt at Pfluger.  It’s my last sprint swim, let’s go hard!
  • Bike fast, and with the confidence I felt at BSLT.  Carnage is not a thing compared to that switchback at mile 35, but just to state the obvious, not getting off the bike and walking up that stupid hill.
  • Run smart.  Keep as fast a pace as possible while keeping my knee happy.  Run up that dumb ass hill instead of getting all pissy and walking up it like last year.
  • Keep my head in the game at all moments.
  • Beat Zliten – if I can.  We will be racing head to head this time…
  • A Couples PR would be nice, but if I put together all the other goals and it doesn’t result in a PR, that’s ok too.

How did I do? Stay tuned….


Day before:

We had a fun day of packet pickup, queso and veggie tacos at Magnolia Cafe (questioned whether that was good pre-race food – but since it’s just a sprint, we went with it because it sounded good), saw Pacific Rim (AWESOME!!!), more errands, grabbing a turkey sandwich for dinner, batch cooking for the week ahead, packing up tri stuff, laundry, random other shit, and it was 10pm when we went to bed. Badness.  Plus, I had to make sure and rest every hour or so when my butt muscle started to get sore so my body certainly wasn’t rested.  We definitely overdid it a bit.  One great thing about out of town races… you can’t do errands all day.  You are forced to just sit in the hotel room and have downtime.   Next Austin race, we’ll strive to do a little less (how often do you get to say that?).  10pm bedtime wasn’t as tragic this time because transition didn’t open until 6am, but I would have liked to be in bed an hour earlier and lots more relax time that day.

Morning of:

Got up, had a great poop (yay poop)!  Had a coconut chocolate cliff bar (yum), skipped my normal tea and just split Zliten’s energy drink with him, and got to the tri about 15-20 mins after 6.  We got a pretty awesome spot on the “Married” rack (you rack by division, and the divisions are by who you’re partnered with), and did our normal walking around (bathroom, car again, finding our friend B, other dicking around) and got down to the race start in time for the pre-race meeting (which we ignored, sorry Couples, I’ve raced Decker like 5 times now, I’m cool), and chatted with B and caught up on the happs since Pluger.

We were able to get a pre-race swim, and I got in and, holy shit, it was total bathwater.  I MUCH prefer bathwater to freezy water, but it definitely was a contrast to 2 weeks ago in that gorgeous spring-fed 74 degree lake.  It was at least 84, the announcer pretty much said it was a million degrees and no wetsuits allowed period.  I got my stroke dialed in on the way out, did some race pace on the way back, and on the way out, stepped sideways and tweaked my knee a little.  SPOILER: this is the last time I’d think about my knee this race, so while that made me nervous, my body held it together.  Fucking hooray!

Then, the race got going with the national anthem, cheering off the first wave, chatting more with B, eating chompies and beans (which I shared with Zliten since his gel fell out while swimming), and then we BOTH were on double deck, which is nice (usually, every triathlete and their mother gets to do that, and then, I get in line), because “married, combined age under 70” was wave 5.  We lined up, I earplugged up, got in the water, hugged and kissed Zliten good luck (looooooove that part of this race!!!), got up in the middle near the buoys (figured, let’s go for it), and then the countdown started.


The airhorn blew, I dolphin dived (first time, it just felt right) and got to hurting.  I swam over dude right in front of me, next person in front of him (apparently I should have started closer to the front), and kept that pace for a bit until it cleared and I was gasping.  I did my best to settle into uncomfortably hard (like PF), and concentrate on long, lean strokes.  The problem I had with amazing sighting skillz from BSLT “plagued” me here as well, but today it was a boon.  Since I wasn’t swimming with M dot people, I’m much more competitive against the local tri folks in the lake.  Before the first 1/3 was done, I swam over (sorry) caps from the previous wave (and apparently I swam over Zliten too, oops), and I had convince myself I was doing awesome.

I hit the turn buoy and all of a sudden, the concept of how to do a efficient and effective catch part of my stroke became completely transparent to me.  *Angelic Choir*.  I did not get swam over, nay, I passed about a billion people on the 2nd part.  I saw lots of caps from the previous wave (4 mins), caps from the wave ahead of them (8 mins), and I caught my first pink cap (12 mins).  I had to be on pace for a record setting swim (for me).  I didn’t see ANY of my cap color around and I decided to believe it was because I was way ahead of most of them.

I turned around turn buoy #2 (for the last third of the course), feeling pretty strong, and felt that thing that triathletes never ever ever ever want to feel on the swim… someone knocking my timing chip loose in deep water.  I grabbed my leg and tried to refasten it, and it just came off in my hands.  Fuck.  Well, at least I still had it.  I wrapped it around my right hand as best I could and swam.  Forever and ever from now on, I’ll use a safety pin to hold it on.

I won’t use it as an excuse, but I definitely felt the difference in my catch, which had just clicked a few minutes ago.  I felt like a one and a half legged woman in an ass kicking contest.  I did my best, still surrounded by caps of the waves ahead of me, only getting passed once, but I still left the water feeling stoked about the first 2/3rds and a little frustrated about the last 1/3.

Swim Time: gonna say 19:25 for 800m.  Since I didn’t have my chip on my foot, it didn’t record a swim, but a REALLY LONG T1.  I subtracted last years T1 from the total time of 23:23 (3:58) and got that.  It was under 20 for sure, and that’s at least TWO MINUTES better than last year.  I was hoping for closer to 16 when I entered the water, but that was unicorn and rainbow dreams on par with pool time pace.  If I had to guess, I think this course was a bit long (both years).


Jogged my ass up the hill, did my normal stuff, got out, and noted I was definitely “the rabbit” and I was going to lead the chase.  Zliten’s bike was there, and I didn’t see him the whole transition or hear his name, so I just got out on the bike as quickly as possible to prolong the time until I would see him again. Mounting went fine, and I was off.

T1 time: estimated 3:58.  I don’t know, so I’m claiming last year’s time.


I’m sure the “shoes on your pedals” trick is good for some people, but some lady on an expensive bike pedaled past me, then she struggled to get her shoes on, and I passed her, and I don’t remember seeing her the rest of the time.  Equipment and trickery only counts for so much.  I chomped a chomp, and got in aero and got going.

This course can be described, in a nutshell, as RIDICI-hilly.  There are very few flats – you’re either going up or down.  It’s only 11.2 miles, but there’s nothing easy about it.  After some mild uphills and downhills on the front of the course, you turn onto the side road (at the time – my average was about 16.5 mph).  You get more of these, and I did my best to a) pass everyone I could and b) stay in aero, since my little crutch of riding the drops didn’t work as the tape was falling off and startled me every time I touched it (note to self: FIX DROP TAPE and don’t ignore it like you have been for months).

I worked on being prepared for Carnage (sharp right turn into a stupid steep hill) by dropping down to little left gear and accidentally went down to little right gear too.  I started the hill with less momentum than intended, but after BSLT, I know what I had to do and just worked up it without the fear I’ve had each time in the past of falling over, and though it was crowded (out of my mouth came: : “on the…middle?” while passing two people) I made it and recovered and got up the next one n.b.d.

I leveled up a bit more in aero today.  I spent a lot of time there as I have lately, but I also rode down quite a few hills in them.  I maxed out at 32.3 mph, which is usually Freaky Friday speeds for me.  Even with Carnage, about at the 2/3 point, I was at 17.5 mph. Super solid.  I kept looking back after this, figuring it was any minute that Zliten was going to come up and fly by me, but it never happened.

However, the last few hills killed my pace.  I made it up double hill feeling pretty strong, and quad buster, but I think I just lost it a little bit from the last hill to the dismount line.  I just couldn’t get my legs going again and I think I mentally psyched myself out after being SO FUCKING DEAD on the run at the 70.3 two weeks ago, and I saved too much and spun too easy the last half mile.  My speed at the dismount had amounted to just a 16.2 on the garmin, which, really, is not horrible, but I know I can do better.  It was a few seconds better than last year, so I was happy.

Bike Time: 41:56 (16.0 mph)  Better than last year by about 15 seconds.  I think I held back a bit because I was so scared of being as drained as I was off the bike in BSLT, but I’m pretty ok with this overall. I don’t do well on this bike course, and this is the best I’ve done here, I keep taking seconds off every time I ride it, and considering I’ve ridden my bike twice (indoors) in the last two weeks, I’ll take it!


I felt a bit of ye olde transition gravity here, got my stuff on (this time was an added degree of difficult – it wasn’t just put on the shoes, but also put on the visor and the race belt since I was running with my handheld and 3 things is officially too much to deal with in my hands), and got out.  I thought I might have seen Zliten on the bike coming in as I ran out, but still being the rabbit, I didn’t want to stay to find out.

T2 Time: 1:54.  10 seconds more than last year, but accounted for because of the handheld shenanigans.


I had felt pretty good on the warmup run (sans garmin, so no idea if my “I’m going fast, wheeee” was 11s or 9s), but when I got out, I was in the 9s and 10s and the legs and lungs were feeling ok.  The head seemed to be into it too.  Aight.  We’re all here.  Let’s party.

The problem with this course is that a) it’s just about all sticks and twigs.  I have a recovering knee injury.  Any jostling side to side last year would have been uncomfortable.  This year, it could be potentially race ending and b) I’m pretty sure they figured out how to rack up about 3x more uphill than downhill on this course and gave it to us triathletes on a course as a present with a bow.  Smiley face.

My run fitness is nowhere.  I don’t have it.  Tyler’s not here.  Tyler gone.  All I can do lately in races is run by feel, pay very little attention to pace so it doesn’t piss me off, and keep my heart rate up.  I know that if my average HR is 178, I’m giving all I can, no matter what speed it is.  I pushed up, and then down the sticks, onto the grass, up the hill, and then on the down, I saw my pursuer the first time this whole race.  HE WAS SO CLOSE, like a tenth of a mile away.  I dug in and pushed with every ounce of run-up-the-hill I had.

I got into the woods and just knew he was going to pass me with that stupid grin on his face (which I love, obviously, but this is a race…) and be going a speed I couldn’t match.  I wanted to prolong that as long as I could with every fiber of my being.  I wasn’t going fast (remember: fitness gone) but I wasn’t letting up.  I hit mile 2 and I wasn’t caught yet (looked over my shoulder at least 10 times as people came up behind me), and got some good momentum on the downhill (though I did go slower than I might have before the knee thing) and then I hit the turn which started the part of my course that infected my nightmares.

I turned, threw my visor down low, and started chugging.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered.  Then I looked up and it was the turn before the turn, and I was running away from the race course.  Ha!  Pushed my visor up a bit, turned the NEXT corner, and then it was go time.

This was my test.  This is a huge, about half mile, extremely steep run hill.  In most race situations, I’d justify walking this.  However, how can you justify walking on a 5k (nevermind it was preceded by a 800m swim and 11.2 hilly ride)?  I chugged.  And chugged.  And chugged.  I had almost convinced myself that walking would be better until I noticed that I was passing all the walkers (some in my age group) and that it was PAIN LIKE THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS but somehow I was able to take it and keep going and didn’t die.  And any minute, Zliten was going to pass me anyway because he’s better at hills, so I kept working at it like a bike hill.  Walking equaled unclipping.  No unclipping here.

Somehow I emerged at the top and hit pavement…. ahhhhh, delicious pavement.  I went from the 13-14mphs I was doing up the hill to 9-10s as my feet FINALLY got some traction and I saw the finish line.  Goddamn if I was going to let Zliten beat me here, so I ran, then sprinted (ok, so real standalone 5k pace, but OMG FELT LIKE SPRINT) through the finish line.

Run Time: 33:58 (10:57/mile). 30 seconds slower than last year but also WAYYYY more consistent splits (11:20, 11:09, 11:30) and also not nearly as slow, in comparison, as Pfluger this year (2 mins slower).

Total race time:  1:41:13.  All my goals for this race are met.  1.5 minutes faster than last year, and my brain was in a much better place the whole time.  The rabbit was never caught, as I cheered Zliten into the finish a minute and a half after I crossed.  I’m back, baby! 🙂

Next week starts the volume ramp up for actually training for a 70.3, and I’m really looking forward to having 2 Olympics (my fave race length) in the next 2 months on the calendar, with many weekends in between for some toughness and badassery building training.

RnR SA Marathon

You R Awesome!

My 500+mb video of Quix kicking butt @ RnR SA Marathon. I cant upload it to Youtube with the music…

Zlitens Posty Post: Post 2

If you want to get a BodyBugg click there, since that will get you 20% off and I think it rewards me some how, but I am not sure how.


But On to Blogging !!!

Part 1. Reading!

Since we last talked, I have read,

Ashes of the Realm; Greysons Revenge

This was a fun continuation of the last book Ashes of the Realm: Juliette’s Dream, and it grew the characters up some, introduced a few new players in the galaxy and a new inter-dimensional race that is now set on enslaving our galaxy. So we now know what books 3 and 4 will be about at least. But as always Saxon Andrew kept the pacing up and even though when compared to his last series this is hitting on a lot of the same topics, they are in slightly different ways, so its still enjoyable. The character development is nice.




Then I read

The Expendable Few

After like 12 books in a row by Saxon Andrew, back to a book by Randolph Ladone. What a treat to go from a 3rd person narrative with an almost omnipotent view to a book written in the first and second person, that goes into the thoughts and feelings of the character as things happen rather than just observing them.

This book is the newest of the Spinward Fringe series, and does not follow or continue on with any of the main characters from the series. Think of it as a spin off book, or an expanded universe book. Things that happened in the series have happened and the universe is the same but things are continuing on.  There were some characters that made cameo’s but it really wasn’t about them. Wheeler ( one of the main bad guys turn good guys from books 2 to 4) shows up for about a dozen pages, and a few “relatives” of people you know from before.

I did really enjoy it though, there were some twists that I didn’t expect and there was some great descriptions of ground and hand to hand combat in this one. No epic space battles this time, but with the way it ends I am sure that is coming soon. To wrap up, Thanks Taylor for the book as a birthday gift, and I can’t wait until Raldolph gets the next hundred or so books out for that series. (Also if your in the media, the first book would be a great made for tv movie.)

Next I read


The Giver : What a terrible book. Apparently they are making a movie out of it, and I do love distopian type settings of the future. But this just left a terrible taste in my mouth, and a stain on my mind that I think will haunt me much like the ending of The Prestige , but Worse.


To recap the story, there is a community in the future that is well regulated all functions are performed by individuals who excel at that function. Families though are not allowed to have more than 2 children, and children can only come from the women of the community known as birth mothers. Once their child has been born it is taken to an institution where it is  kept for 1 year, then given to a family that has requested a child.

Needless to say the book attaches you to not only the main character but a few others who end up being “released”. In other words put down like a dog, and it not only includes the elderly but also anyone who commits a crime or even a baby if it is not “acceptable”. So in one scene there is a “nurturer” who just delivered twins from a birth mother, and he weighs the two babes, then takes the smaller one, sings it a lullaby and then kills it. ( Arrg I am still all pissed off in side just writing about it. But then again that is probably what the author was trying to do.)

So yeah, apparently a required reading book for middle school kids here in Texas. Just disgusting.


OK after Finishing that terrible thing, I at least have something fun to back it up with. I had Emailed Saxon Andrew about a month ago just to thank him for the series I had read since it was so much fun, and I got a reply asking if I would read and give feedback on book 1 on a new series. He also just put it up on Amazon so that works.

Lens of Time Series: The Pyramid Builders

So far this has been a fun time about a genius professor, and his slutty dressing friend who has 4 doctorates but was sick of people being intimidated by her smarts so she started dressing like a bimbo. Not the best character introduction to the characters so far, but hey I already am happier about it than the last book I read. So expect in a week or two to have a real review of this since I am only on like page 50.



Its been about 3 weeks since my last post, so my training chart will be kinda big here.

As you can see I have been at it good for the last few weeks, although I should have put in a weight metric in today so that that was more accurate. Pretend there is a grey box on the 19th that says Weight 186.2. I was lowest on the 16th due to being dumb and staying up late on Sunday after the 10/20 having drinks and dehydrating myself. But we will get into the Dumbness of Sunday later.



SO the 10/20 was last weekend and it was a blast! I had to make 1 quick bathroom stop at mile 2.5, but thankfully it only really added about 2 minutes to my total time and I felt MUCH better afterwards. That redbull went through me fast LOL!

Click Here if you want to check out all my info for the race. gps, heart rate, cadence, elevation and overall great data! BTW Training Peaks is just awesome for the amount of info you can put on there, and the Garmin 310XT gathers a ton of data when you have the heart rate monitor and cadence sensor attached.

My perfect weather, perfect feeling, super awesome goal was going to be 1:45:00, but it was Humid, then raining then muggy, and a bathroom break added in, and my total time was 1:49:52. I am very happy with that time, its not the best ever but for sure the best 10 miles I have had so far.


TRI Season!

Rookie tri is in 17 days!

Lets list out things I need to do before Tri season.

  1. Keep going to Swim Class. So for Christmas Quix got me “lessons” and we finally found a place to get them. Thanks to Moolala or what ever the deal site is called. This last Tuesday was my first lesson, and my goodness, I had no clue how bad my swimming techniques really were until I was shown how to do them properly and coached on it also. That explains all the pool time you see on my schedule this week.
  2. Wash the bike again, and lube it all up. This is kinda important all the time, but with the more miles we have been getting in the trainer and on the road lately, this is a must. Really id I don’t post at least once a month saying I washed and lubed the bike, get on my butt for it. Its the longest portion of any Tri, and if its not in great condition how can I expect to do well.
  3. More open water swims. I am not afraid of swimming in a lake or river, but it would be benifitial for me to get out there and practice my swimming in Not-a-pool just so I can get the feel again of waves, and the choppy waters.
  4. Get mentally prepared for even more training. I really should step it up from 4 to 5 times a week to 6 to 7 times a week.


Things I did wrong over the past 3 weeks.

Weight, I have seemed to have hit a lull in my weight loss, but I think a big part of that is I stopped tracking so consistently, and just kinda didn’t care much for some days. Here is an update weight chart.

The yellow line is where I want to be, the blue line is where I am.

Desserts have also been an issue, I can usually go without desserts, but lately I want chocolate after every meal it seems. or pie, or chocolate pie. I gotta get that under control.

Next I had too many drinks after the 10/20 race.. Too many, and it wasn’t that I was too hung over or evil or anything like that, but that I got it in my head to go prune a tree in the back yard that my mother in law got after me about the day before. While doing this, I did not hurt myself or anyone else, but I did get my glasses caught on a branch of the tree, and they somehow flung into the yard. We searched everywhere and could not find them. Needless to say I had to go get new glasses Monday morning.


Well Leah hated my old glasses anyways. Complained about them probably once a month that they were either dorky, or didn’t fit my head right, or something. That’s OK, this time I was prepared. At the glasses store I took pictures of 14 different pairs of glasses on my face and then emailed them from my phone to her desk at work. Then just let her pick out the ones she wanted me to have. (Guys, this works great. The sales people might think your crazy now. but Believe me, its worth not getting told you made a bad choice over and over.)

It really kind of worked out for the best, I knew my prescription had changed and I needed to go in. I had been getting headaches again every day while sitting at my computer for a  few weeks. But I had been avoiding going to the optometrist because the place I went to was full of jerks, or at least people I didn’t like dealing with. They also nickle and dime everything, like do you want the old machine with worse results included in your visit, or for 35$ more we will put you with the new machine.. There was no way I was getting an apt there without at least a weeks notice, so I went to the place next to the lens crafters that I had decided on since I could get the glasses in about an hour.

Well This place was amazing, the staff was nice, they had tons of modern equipment that all just worked the first time, and the Doctor even explained things to me as he was testing my eyes. (Unlike being berated at the other place for making the doctor late to his golf game since his own machine broke.)  Best of all the visit only was 35$ because they actually took my insurance!

The Lens Crafters experience wasn’t amazing, but I know their lens grinding machine broke or something and instead of 1 hour it took them 4, but over the next 2 days they kinda made it up to me.

Zliten wants to start posting too!

I am not very good at this sort of thing, but I kind of want to post to you people too. So I am going to start with a guilt post for yesterday. Because everyone wants to get to know me by a guilt post.


Yesterday was a day of being sore and taking a day off from the gym. But by doing so I over did it in the food department. I try to burn about 3000 to 3500 calories a day and take in about 2400 calories on average. You know to keep with the weight loss but keep fueled. Yesterday though, it was backwards. 3200+ intake and only 2600 burn. Oops… Oh well I will just have to make it up the rest of the week.

So really, stop trying to give me cake, cupcakes, ice cream, candy, or beer. For a few days at least 😛


Now that that is out of the way, lets talk about how excited I am for the up-coming Tri Season. Its almost here. Only like 5 and a half more weeks until Rookie! Can you believe it? Last year Rookie was my first Tri, and probably one of the most fun I have ever had in a race. I was so nervous and really didn’t do all that great, but it was amazing. This year it will be my 4th overall Tri, and my second one this year, if you count the Indoor Tri. (Not sure I really count that one but for this I will)

Compared to last year, My swimming has improved drastically along with my biking, and I am a whole different person now when it comes to running, I think I was doing about 13 minute miles for a 5k back then, this year I am about 10 minute miles, so its going to be amazing.

My training plan for the week in case anyone cares.



I use Training Peaks as the place where I track all my workouts, races and other stuff. I used to use it for food and exercise, but it was getting out of hand tracking my food in 3 different places.

I have been a Spark People tracker for years now, sometimes on sometimes off the wagon so to speak. It always drives me crazy when I start tracking but once I get a few weeks in it gets better, then I just love seeing the data I have. (Yes I am a data junkie, the more data points I can have the more I like something) Just like this here is my weight chart that starts Jan 1 2008.

I also have a Bodybugg but will go into that on another day. It gives me great stats too.



Finished my 17th book in 17 weeks last night, it was pretty darn good, it was Ashes of the Realm: Juliette’s Dream, Book 1 of the new series from Andrew Saxon. I have to say I tore through the Annihilation series 8 books in 7 weeks. It was a fun romp around the galaxy with a group psychics. Just my kind of pulp science fiction.

Once I finish book 2 of the Ashes series, I will be reading The Expendable Few its the new one from Randolph Lalonde, My buddy Zorak got it for me for my birthday. It’s going to be a fun read I hope. I think its an offshoot of the main Spinward Fringe series, but if you think of all the spinward fringe books its like book 11 of something. Gotta love how prolific these writers are now that they can self publish on the kindle with only a touch of a button. (Sure sometimes there are some errors an experienced editor and publisher would find and fix, but they are mostly ignorable)



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