Adjusted Reality

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

Tag: goplayoutside

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Offseason

Whew, life.

And, let’s actually tell it how it is.  I made this much progress on a blog post between Monday morning and Tuesday at 6pm.


So there’s that.  Today seems to have calmed down, so let me share some random things about life, liberty (from training), and the pursuit of (offseason) happiness.

On the water…


I finally got out to the water to paddleboard.  It made my heart happy.  I seriously felt lighter after I got back from being out on the lake.  I may love running, I may love(/hate/love) cycling, but there is nothing that feels more at home than the water.

I’ve signed up for a swimming distance challenge at Quarry Lake.  Every first Saturday morning, we swim a lap further than we swam the month before.  At first I hesitated doing it because blah blah scheduling blah blah fear blah blah bullshit and then I decided “fuck that” and signed up to go swim in the lake that makes me happy.  I’ll figure out how to get around the lake 4 times in June when I haven’t actually been training and how the 9am Saturday time is going to affect my training schedule later.  For now, I’ll just go do it.

Besides the annoyance of stuffing my body in my wetsuit like a sausage casing, I’m actually really looking forward to it.

On Camping…


We haven’t been camping in 2 years, because, frankly, it’s a lot of effort.  You pack up everything you fucking need to survive for a few days down to water and tools to make fire, and then once you’re done you have to CLEAN UP all that crap.  When you’re training, you worry about being rested enough to do the planned session on questionable sleep.  So, we’ve considered it a bunch of weekends and then just could not be bothered.

One of the goals for this offseason was to camp a lot because camping is awesome.  First up was Sherwood Forest Faire with the clan.  We had Friday off work, so our goal was to attend the faire Friday, camp overnight, and then come home Saturday.  However, we got the weeks mixed up and they weren’t open, so we changed our plans to 2 nights and with a short trip to the store a few miles away we were set.  It was a great call.  Instead of rushing through the faire, we spent an afternoon just relaxing with our books, talking with people we didn’t know but since we were all Mug and Flame it didn’t matter, and enjoying the fact that my cell phone did not have ANY reception.

Over the two days, there was beer drinking and chatting with new and old friends and wandering around the campsites at two in the morning and finding a tiki bar with a dance floor where we danced for hours at the pleasure of the Easter Bunny.  There was dressing up like a gypsy, walking about 10 miles in 24 hours without really meaning to, seeing a man unhorsed in the joust, and finding Zliten the perfect mug.  There was fried olives, ogre toes (candied bacon wrapped in sausage wrapped in bacon), hot dogs cooked over an open flame, and a spectacular chicken gyro.  There was also a similarly spectacular garlic pickle, a bunch of salad, and fruit.

One thing that epitomizes these vibe here is our buddy that came out Saturday morning, and just started cooking up breakfast tacos for everyone.  Anyone who wanted them.  Around dark, he fired up the grill again and threw on a massive amount of hamburgers for everyone, and then took off for the night.  He wasn’t even camping.  He just came to feed us and hang out.  Another person works for a brewery and brought 12 cases of beer for anyone that wanted it.  These are just two small examples of what the situation is here.  These people are <3.

All that chillaxing + no screens besides a kindle + fun of being at the faire + nature and some beautiful weather made my little black burned out heart grow two sizes.  Sure, it’s taken 3 days to get everything put away and my floor is still gritty from tracking in dirt, but my soul is pleased.  So much so, that we immediately came home and looked around to find another place to camp next weekend.  We’re heading up north a bit for two nights to a place with a beautiful lake, great cycling, and amazing trails.  I just ordered a portable hammock.  I cannot wait.

On the number of the scale…


As for #projectraceweight, I did what I could.  Monday through Thursday, I maintained 1200-1300 calories per day.  Camping, I brought a bunch of healthy food and reasonably low calorie beverages, and stuck mostly to those.  My lunch at the faire was a chicken pita with ziki sauce and veggies.  For dinner, I ate 1/3 a big salad, half an orge toe, and 10 fried olives.  My eating was not perfect, but definitely was in the realm of acceptable.  The drinking was a little more than I had planned, but I didn’t go crazy (I did not have to take a 3 hour nap to sober up in the middle of the day this time…).

I was unpleasantly surprised to come back to an INSANE number on the scale on Monday, but I’m back down to normal-ish ranges today so no harm, no foul.  Our next camping excursion will be solo instead of a massive group, more relaxing instead of staying up all night partying with friends, and about enjoying a beautiful space away from everything instead of a booth with fried everything.

I must keep on keepin’ on.  2 weeks down, 14 to go.  There is still time for my body to get with the program.

On the body and mind healing…

Here’s my step activity since the marathon (no, March 16th wasn’t a day in bed, I just left my fitbit on the nightstand :P).


I have done zero things from March 5th to March 29th at noon (my first run) to get active beyond walking and taking the cruiser bike out a few times, and you can see as the weeks go by, as my body (and brain) heals, I get more and more active just naturally.  I’ve never taken enough time completely off and watched this process grow organically, it’s been fascinating to just actually want to move more not premeditated by a training plan.

We do the 10/20 race every year, and even though it fell during offseason, we signed up.  As proved at the marathon (grumble grumble), I have the capacity to walk 10 miles if need be, and I wanted to participate.  As it’s gotten closer, I’ve been cursing that decision because I honestly hadn’t felt like lacing up my hokas.  Like, at all.  With my disaster bike experience 2 weeks before the marathon and the disappointing run season, I had zero desire to thrust myself back into either of those sports right now.

But, sometimes we need a poke and a prod to remember that underneath all these numbers and training plans and gear and racing for PRs and junk, we do this because we love to move our bodies outdoors.  And the thought of running 10 miles Sunday forced me into my shoes yesterday for 3 to make sure I remembered how to run after 3.5 weeks.

The good news:

Easy pace is still easy pace.  I don’t think I have hard pace right now, but our mid-11s pace is still fun and conversational.  I didn’t slow down to, like, 13s or anything.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it would definitely show significant regression for me.

Running is still enjoyable.  I’m definitely ok sticking to the short stuff for quite a while, I’ve got less than zero desire to start a marathon training program right now.  However, I can see doing 10 this weekend real slow and not hating it, and enjoying going out for an easy 3 every once in a while over offseason to shake the rust off.  And that’s very different than my perspective last week.

My hip didn’t hurt!  Like, at all!  I felt like there was a tiny bit of tension there, but it also might have been psychosomatic.  I haven’t been doing any sort of rehab on it with stretching or rolling or core so that might be something to start focusing on next week.  Baby steps.

The bad news:

While my hip didn’t hurt cruising, I have a feeling it would have complained about speedwork.  I originally wanted to transition fairly quickly to short interval sessions to keep up my fitness just a little, but I’m going to give it longer at the easy peasy lemon squeezy pace.

Now that I’ve peeled my calluses and blisters off (gross, I know), I got hot spots on my Clifton 2s within 1.5 miles.  Great shoes for walking, shite (for me) for running.  I feel like buying another pair of running shoes is EMBARKING upon something, which for some reason I’m not ready to do, so I’m going to deal with my perfectly nice, comfortable, but very heavy Kailuas for a while.  Also, because the Clifton 3s don’t appear to be out yet and I’ll give them a chance since I read that they are widening the toe box again!!!

On tap…


#projectspring is in full swing.  Obviously, there’s still a lot of things that I want to get going, but I’m making my way.  I feel like, just finally this week, I can see a whole lot of fun things on the schedule and feel genuinely excited about the fun I’m going to have instead of thinking… ugh… stuff to do.  I may not be bounding up out of bed without an alarm, but I’ve definitely lost the core “tireds” of endurance training.

I’ve got some fun stuff on tap for the rest of the week, like finally sorting Bonaire pics, gaming, going to a play, etc., and am really looking forward to a non-athlete type approach to a swim and a run this weekend.  Show up, have fun, enjoy being active with a bunch of other people, and giving less than -1 fucks about how long it takes to get from point A to point B.


I’m super de duper excited to shift my focus away from serious endurance sports training and towards tackling some other stuff I want to accomplish in my life that don’t involve running, biking, and swimming really fast or far.  I’m dubbing it – #projectspring.  At first I was super bummed about missing my favorite time of the year to train and race, but realizing that I can do so many other awesome things outside (and inside) helped a lot!


Step one, be able to produce this level of excitement for ANYTHING.

My first order of business is to get my energy and enthusiasm back.  This starts immediately.  My goal is to get to the point where I’m waking up before my alarm or at the very least up and at ’em the minute it goes off most mornings.  Monday night I fell asleep for over 10 hours, and I still snoozed for 40 mins before I dragged myself out of bed.  I just feel kind of beat up.  My goal in March is to sleep until I can’t sleep no mo’.  I miss having energy.


Missing THESE days where my clothes fit.

After finishing birthdaymas celebrations, March 15th, I start #projectraceweight.   Yes, it’s a Tuesday, Zliten’s birthday is on that Monday.  No judgies.

This is the ultimate goal of these next 4 months and the reason I decided to take the spring completely off.  I’m not trying to eliminate food groups or demonize junk food or eliminate gluten or white colored food or whatever from my diet.  But I’m going to lose some fucking weight.  There is no “try my best if I can” here, it’s time to DO IT.  The specific goal is to make the number on the scale go down as quickly as possible/reasonable while not sabotaging my health (or fall season).

I know how to do this.  I lost 5 lbs in July without losing my mind.  Sadly, I put that and more back on with the failed fueling experiment, but it is proof that I know how to do this.

The plan is:

  • 1200-1500 calories 5 days a week.  1200 is HARD but will get me results quicker.  1500 is much more doable but will take longer.  I’m hoping to hit somewhere in this zone, as low as possible, without eating inanimate objects.
  • 1500-2000 calories 2 days a week.  I’m hoping to time this with slightly higher activity days, but either way, I know myself and I have to allow a few indulgences or I will go fucking crazy.
  • Attempting to hit my macros (100g protein, 40-60g fat, 25g fiber).  On 1200 days it will be challenging but that will keep me eating mostly good food and not junk.
  • Detraining but not completely.  I’ll introduce these things once I’m fully and completely healed from the marathon.  I know that the best ways for me to not be 100% complete jello when I return to being an endurance athlete in July are:
    • Short HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts a few times a week – I’m thinking 20 mins max.  One minute sprint, one minute easy type things.
    • Weights/conditioning – while I know it’s hard to lose weight while building muscle, I don’t want to lose what I’ve got.  The goal is more maintenance than killing myself in the gym lifting heavy here.
    • 10k steps per day goal – it’s actually pretty easy to hit this with just a few walks per day at work even on days off training.  This is just a constant reminder to stay active.

The mindset:

When I was first on my way down weight-wise, I definitely had some negative type reinforcement with myself and mental issues to work through.  Not to say that I don’t have separate shit to work through (hello, disappointment in my fall 2015 winter 2016 season), but I understand the process a little better and hopefully I can be a little more gentle on my psyche.  Though the action still is the same, the message is different.

2007 me: You don’t deserve that piece of cake because you’re a worthless fat piece of shit.  Eat celery forever and cry, fucker.

2016 me: You don’t deserve that piece of cake because you’re choosing to invest your time and effort into #projectspring.  You deserve better than to sabotage your hard work.  Cake will still exist in 4 months.

And this is the truth.  If it’s hard – that’s fine.  Because this is my project. I am training to not fall face down on a bag of chips or a pie or a bottle of vodka.  This is the hard I am choosing to tackle right now and I can deal with it.

I suppose if I had to put a number on it, I’d like to weigh no more than 160-something (169.9 is acceptable) come July 1st.  My wildest dreams would be seeing 150 lbs.  Either way, I’ll feel so much better than I do now not carrying around a bunch of extra sacks of flour on my body.


This is a before shot of our workout room.  Just enough space had been cleared to make the treadmill usable.


Let’s call this a progress picture from the same angle – after 2 hours of work, it’s not yet the pain cave we want it to be, but it is an organized and usable room!  Wheee!

I want to make some progress on house projects.  This involves two categories:

Cleaning and organizing (need only time)

  • Vanity area in the bathroom
  • Office
  • Workout room (DONE!)
  • Guest room closet

Bigger projects (need time and money):

  • Kitchen remodel – new cabinets, new counters, potentially a new floor, paint, and backsplash
  • Back patio remodel – repouring the concrete, maybe sprucing it up a little, possibly adding a cover to the patio and also a space for a future hot tub.
  • Replacing the shed we had torn down with one that closes and locks to store bikes (increasing the potential for more bikes down the road :D), camping equipment, kayak stuff, etc.
  • Workout room as a pain cave set up – we need one cheapo computer to be a Zwift machine, one TV on swiveling mount, some inspirational decorations, and probably a better ceiling fan (the organization is done, now we just need to buy all the stuff).

I talked about it in depth here but this spring is when I become a biker chick.  I want to become less of a scaredy biker and bike with groups more. I really want to start using my cruiser bike (and feet) to commute and transport myself whenever possible.  I rarely venture more than a few miles from where I live and it’s ridiculous to drive everywhere.

I want to get a for real triathlon bike, with the right tri bike geometry.  I need to do all my research so I spend money on what matters and not just because it’s 2 grams lighter and 3 grand more.

I’d really like to do something with this site.  After I decompress enough to get a little bored in the evenings, I want to make this site into something a little less… eclectic.  Something more intentional than a hodgepodge of my attempt at a artsy web design job application in 2004 and a very haphazard theme and awkward set up with a blog jammed into the middle of it.  It still works as a place to vomit my thoughts every once in a while, but I’d like to actually give this place a makeover.  Y’know, make her fit into 2016… either under my own power or spend a little $$$ to get someone to do it for me if I give up.


It may have been cute to wait a little while to process my Bonaire pics because I didn’t want the vacation to end, but it’s been months.  It’s time to dig through the 800 or so I have left and then count the days until I can go back.

I want to go camping once a month.  It soothes my soul even if my body gets tired from roughing it.  Potential targets include:
-March, Sherwood Forest
-April, enchanted rock
-May/June, Inks Lake? Pace Bend?

While I doubt I’ll keep this up during the heat of summer, I’d like to remember it’s an option even during training season, because it’s an AWESOME way to go run and ride in new and interesting places.  We just get lazy about it.

I may not want to be IN the water just yet but it’s getting close to time to be ON the water, which means I’ll be sup’ing and kayaking as much as I can once the lake is closer to 70 degrees and not 60.  And, of course, this will transition into waterpark and snorkeling in the lake as it becomes warmer.


I want to go do things!  There are so many things in Austin to do.  They all sound fun!  The kite festival!  The weiner dog races!  Eeyore’s birthday!  Some random band is playing somewhere!  I mean, maybe not THOSE SPECIFIC THINGS, but THINGS!  They sound much less desirable after beating the hell out of myself on the road all morning/afternoon/week.  I’m looking forward to combining this with locomotion without cars (cruiser bikes + walking + train) and doing more fun things around town.  I’m also looking forward to having the spontaneity, energy, and flexibility to go do random shit that comes up instead of choosing my couch.

I miss being crafty and creative in my spare time.  Coloring has filled the void in a nicely mindless way right now, but I miss stuff like making jewelry.  I would like to refresh my memory at the piano, it’s been years, and it’s sitting there staring at me, taunting me.  I would like to make some progress with sewing, another inanimate object that mocks me constantly.  I have a book idea that woke me up in the middle of the night last week and I’d like to make some progress with it.  I am actually a creative person when I don’t beat all the enthusiasm out of myself.

I’m so excited to start on all these things right away, which is a good sign that #projectspring step 1 (get my mojo back) is already in the works.

Question: what’s your biggest goal this spring?

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