vignettes: 5.24.14

The musician Michael Franti has a song including the lyrics “Don’t be a horserace, be a marathon.” If I were to draw an analogy from triathlon for the pace of life right now, I’d say it feels somewhere between an Olympic and a half. Not the manic, I-can’t-catch-up sprint pace, but not the steady patient rhythm of a full either. In other words, just how I like it. And because my blog bucket is overflowing with things I’d love to share about in more detail tlifoday, and my bucket of hours is not, I’m going to pull an Erin and offer a vignette-style post instead. (Hey, she asked how we were doing, didn’t she?)

In no particular order of importance, here’s what life has looked like since I last checked in.

Balancing » work and life. At Ironman Texas last weekend, I ran to and between meetings with my phone, making it do quadruple duty as (forgotten) Garmin, Spotify streaming device, local map, and schedule keeper. Turns out nobody cares much at Ironman venues if you show up to a meeting at the expo in sweaty running clothes. Dress the part, right? Working for Ironman also gives me a prime spot at the finish line to cheering friends coming through (if I’m not off writing a race report). St. George was a party with so many friends racing, and in Texas, hanging out with (Kona-bound!) Amy was a treat.

Interviewing Kelly Williamson at Ironman Texas.

Interviewing Kelly Williamson at Ironman Texas.

So proud of my Nytro teammate, Amy Larsen for her amazing performance.

Dodging » the fire crisis in San Diego last week. I left for a work trip the day it started, and by the time I returned, everything was more or less back to normal. Thankfully, I was able to keep up via Texas news and social media. If you’re interested in reflections and photos from the ones in the trenches, check out blog posts from my friends and training buddies, Charisa and Marit.

The Woodlands, Texas

The Sherwood Forest-esque trails of The Woodlands, Texas (and 70-degree temps!) were a nice change from home.

Excercisin’ » take the relaxed approach I mentioned in my last post, and sprinkle in some more consistency, and what do you get? The perfect training mix. An accidental 17-hour week here, and a 9-hour week there? Whatever. Work trip? I say “run focus!” This week, I jumped in on a good chunk of a friend’s Ironman Couer d’Alene plan, just because it worked out (I probably owe his coach a check). This weekend, I’ll join some Ironman Canada bound friends for some long-weekend rides. It will be interesting to see how this approach works for me in Syracuse. I’ve done the whole “leftover Ironman fitness race” before and the sheer fun of it makes up for the (perhaps slightly sub-par) race-day results. Plus, the Syracuse course is hard, so I might as well accept it now that 2014 might be the year of PA’s instead of PR’s. (Personal Averages instead of Personal Records.) 

Stumbled upon this empty YMCA camp chapel on a run.

Troubleshooting » my acid reflux issue by trying to eat a low-acid diet and tracking my triggers. There are enough suggestions to make a person crazy (raisins good! raisins bad!), but there are some themes. Like small, frequent meals (cool), losing weight (if you’re overweight), not wearing tight clothing (bye bye corset), avoiding snacks before bed (oops), and avoiding coffee and alcohol (shoot me now). I’ve also been experimenting with cutting back on gluten, though I’m far from convinced on this matter.

Despite the abundance of apps like MyFitnessPal and Symptom Tracker, I’ve reverted to good ol’ paper. It just seems simpler and easier for the time being, and I don’t have to add obscure foods to the database or try to find the right Vega Cherry Almond Double Chocolate Chunk bar I just ate.

food journal

Old school food logging, for a cause.

Eating » local morsels in my old ‘hood at “Taste of Cardiff” with friends, Mark’s “we feed these to all our dinner guests … is that bad?” corned beef burgers; my daily Bircher Muesli with chia, roasted nut topping, and berries; and these BBQ’d Brussels sprouts (parboil or microwave them for 3 minutes first, then toss in olive oil and whatever spices you wish. Skewer and grill for 20 minutes, turning once). Oh yeah and the delightful salad bar at Hubble & Hudson in The Woodlands. If you race Texas next year, GO.

Grilled Brussels sprouts.

Grilled Brussels sprouts.

Taste of Cardiff.

Drinking » beer. And probably too much. My friends and I are addicted to Untapped, an app that makes drinking (even more) social. This is probably not helping the above dietary goals. Here’s a glimpse of the past week’s indulgences. And I probably missed one or two.

Clockwise from top left: Stone’s Stochasticity IPA (with training husband in the background), Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, Port Brewing (Solana) Sassy Rye IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5 (with real husband holding burger in background) Port Brewing Anniversary Ale, Alesmith Yulesmith.

Reading » Dan Harris’ “10% Happier,” which has made me revisit meditation and mindfulness, something I was pretty interested in a few years back. Surprisingly, the notion has surfaced, quite naturally, in some of my workouts–especially the calming, back-and-forth rhythm of lap swimming. I’m also enjoying “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And other concerns by The Office writer and comedian, Mindy Kaling. Speaking of ways in which she’d like to be famous, she mentions being criticized by the media for a dress she wore to the Emmy Awards, and says: “The point is, it only traumatized me because I had the time to be traumatized. I want to be so famous and busy that I only ever find these insults amusing, and chuckle at them good-naturedly before I get on my private jet to be a UN ambassador to Cameroon, or wherever.” For some reason that both resonated, and made me laugh.

Craving » family. Good thing mama arrives on Wednesday for a visit.

The home office. Simple, quiet, sunlit.

Adapting » to my new work-from-home arrangement. With a few months under my belt now, I can confidently say that this style of work seems to fit my personality. Taking the annoying parts out of the work day (packing food and workout clothes, and driving) has made me more productive, and freed more time up for creative tasks. I’m surprisingly still quite stimulated, yet also more relaxed. Seven o’clock conference calls seem more fun with comfy clothes and a mug of good coffee. The only problem is, I’m probably drinking more of it.

Proud of » Mark. He knows why.

Last night’s fire on Moonlight Beach with good friends. Bliss.

Never Too Late, by Michael Franti:

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