Strong Olympic Distance Training Weekend

Hey y’all!  Thanks for all the kind words regarding our house hunting disappointment.  We are moving on, and I’m actually pretty happy with everything.  Only time will tell, but we didn’t want to make a purchase that would change our lifestyle or that we’d regret later.  SO, instead of being bummed about staying in the place, we did a major clean-out of our apartment (as if we were moving) and also got rid of a storage unit we used to have.  This included going through all closets, under beds, etc. and seeing what we had that we either hadn’t used in a few years or really didn’t like.  If you don’t like it – it goes.  If you didn’t even know you had it – it goes.  We had piles for salvation army, the garbage, eBay, and even online consignment (I will let you know how this goes, but considering I don’t have many “brand” clothes I doubt I’ll get much money with it).  So far we are super happy with the result – everything now has it’s place in the apartment, we’ve downsized, and it just feels nicer.

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I even found this nice, neat wicker storage box for my yoga and foam rolling gear.  The nerd in me just loves this.

We also decided we need to quit thinking of the apartment as temporary and just start living in it and buying decorations when we see them (I am terrible at decorating – I tend not to buy decorations that aren’t useful or don’t have a purpose, and generally, decorations aren’t useful and don’t have a purpose except as aesthetics ;)  Anyway, we do love plants and succulents in particular – they are beautiful and low maintenance.  There is some part of me that just loves the desert, and having a little piece of it at home and watching it grow makes me happy, so we planted a new garden on the balcony.

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Now our balcony has a little garden that can withstand the Texas heat

Olympic tri training is going really well – the last two weeks have been 10-12 hours each (this is including some time for yoga/stretching), and holy intervals!  But it’s what I’ve needed; my hips and quads are feeling good again and I’ve been ready to push.  This weekend was a “strong weekend” with a 2 hour brick each day.  I was really proud of myself to get through both workouts.

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LOVING my Di2!! 

Saturday: Run Focused Brick – 0:50 bike + 1:00 hr descending interval run.  The bike was on trainer and then David joined me at 5 AM for an early run since we had to be showered and on the road early for a family event in the San Antonio area.  The run was 10min warm up then 5 x 6 minute intervals with 1 min rest (walk), starting at 10k pace and then descending each interval until around your 5k pace.  Then cool down for 15 min.  Since I was running with David, he always pushes me a little more than I might normally do, and our intervals were at 8:10, 8:02, 7;48, 7:32 and 7:13.  I really felt like I finished strongly!  It was a great way to start the together.  And David is now also a walk break fan; he commented on how much he liked them and really looked forward to them during the run.  (and yes, David can run a lot faster than me, but he’s a really good husband and stays with me when it’s dark out! )

Sunday: Bike + 10k run – I’ll be honest, a 10k run was the last thing I wanted to do this morning.  10k races are hard enough, so doing a 10k solo seemed not fun at all!  I got up and did my bike (this time on the road) and for the 10k run, I decided to make some deals with myself.  I told myself all I had to do is run 2 miles then see how I felt.  Then I did the same at 4 miles.  Then I was so close to finishing that I’d better finish!  Hey, whatever it takes.  I also don’t know if I would have gotten through this run without walk breaks.  My legs were a bit tired from running with David the day before (and being in the car 7+ hours) and I had just come off the bike as well.  I didn’t like the idea of running 6 miles, but I knew I could run 1 mile, take a walk break, then run the next.  So I took a 15-20 second walk break every mile, and boy did I look forward to it.  And you know what?  I finished the 6.2 miles and was only 7 seconds off my 10k PR pace!  My splits were  8:00, 8:02, 8:03, 8:03, 7:57, 7:37, not including my 15-20 second walk breaks.  Considering my legs weren’t super fresh, I was stoked!  Amazing my mind could reframe this and get my body through what at first seemed dreadful.

For both workouts I used Infinit (<—affiliate link $5 off) – for the bike I had a custom formula similar to Infinit Go Far mix, and for the run a hand-held gel flask with Napalm.   I can’t say enough how well this stuff works for me.  It is so easy (no gels, bars) and really helps in humid or hot weather.  I was out of it last weekend and was really missing my salty formulas, which are much needed in the heat. 

And I also did some very different training last week; I had to take helicopter underwater training.  It’s where you’re strapped into a helicopter cabin which is then flipped upside down and you have to knock out your window, unbuckle, and swim out (picture here).  I thought all my flip turns would help, but I was still pretty disoriented and got water up my nose.  It wasn’t too bad, just sort of an interesting experience.

Anyway, this week is going to fly by – we will be traveling to California for vacation at the end of the week – yay!  I can’t wait.

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House-hunting Heartbreak & Other July News

Excuse the gap in posts… we had a few intense weeks here at the Breaux household.  House hunting in a HOT market is tough!  Basically the Houston house supply is at an all-time low, prices are high, and from what we hear we are competing against foreign investors paying in cash.  Even the rental market is challenging – I recently heard that the city of Houston is building more apartment complexes than the whole state of California! 

We started casually house hunting in mid-2013.  We were already amazed by the prices then, and they only rose through 2014.  During IMTX training I told David I was not able to train and look for houses at the same time – it was too much emotionally and physically.  I made him a promise that once the race was over, we would concentrate our efforts on house hunting.   So since May, we have been seriously looking at houses.  We kept a strict eye on Redfin, Zillow and HAR.com, and when we saw a house come on the market that we are interested in, we would try to be there that evening.  We’ve see a lot of houses in the past few months.

The problem is we want to live close to the city and aren’t ready for the commute that comes with the ‘burbs – the Houston suburbs are known for really bad commutes and we enjoy our life and time.  It might be a different story if we didn’t work at the same company or if only one of us worked, but with both of us working, we want to maximize our time.  Time is money – actually time is more valuable than money!  Our criteria has been in or near the Houston “loop” with 3 beds, 2 baths, a garage, and 1500+ sq ft – and we would love a small outdoor space, at least a patio to sit in.  We were also very focused on location (near an area where we can run, walk, etc.) and natural light.  For me, if the house is dark it’s a no-go.  For David, he really wants a nice work space like a garage.

Well, we found three houses we really liked, bid three times (one was just a back-up offer), and were out-bid each time.   A couple weeks ago, we were on the third house we considered seriously, and we put a bid in even though we didn’t think we had a chance.  Five days later we received a phone call from our realtor that we go the house!  It was an adorable house in the Heights, with a “beach cottage” look and very open interior.  It needed paint and new carpets, but we were super excited as it was near the running trail, a park, and it would be ours.  We got an email from the seller’s realtor saying our offer was accepted, and that evening we strolled around our new neighborhood and planned new furniture and pinned Pinterest decorating ideas.

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But not so fast… just before bed that evening we received bad news that another offer had come in.  And we then found out [of course] that email acceptance of our bid is not at all legally binding, so the sellers decided to consider the other offer.  At noon the following day the Sellers told us we could put in our “best, highest offer” by 7 PM that evening.  We were off to a bidding war.  We went through sad, mad, then bitter emotions.  We just had this house for a reasonable, yet still quite high price and now we’d have to bid well above?!  While this was all legal, we just felt it was unethical.  The sad thing is, I think it happens often in the world of realty.  It’s all about the money.  Feeling upset, we did put in an offer, but it wasn’t enough and we were out-bid. 

So for a week or two we were a bit down and out.  We had already visualized our future together in the house and then it was taken away.  We continued the house search, but nothing came up that was “us”.  For what would be the biggest purchase of our life we weren’t ready to settle on something we didn’t love, especially in Houston.  We love Texas and we like Houston, but we’re here for work; we’d love to think that we will get to see and experience other locations though and have some adventure in life.  We don’t want to buy something we can’t afford then be tied to it. 

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I didn’t think we’d get so emotionally tied to houses in the process; you don’t realize what an impact a house can have on you.  I know a house is only a “thing” but it will impact your lifestyle and surroundings for many years, and the location makes a difference in your daily activities.  And you sort of want it to reflect you and your family – not too fancy, not run down, but juuuust right.

Last week we had to decide whether to renew our apartment lease, and so we decided to renew until next April.  Whether the market will improve by then, we don’t know, but at least it gives us a little time for the rental market to improve, so if we still don’t find a house, we could maybe rent a house with a garden and garage.  So that’s the story.  I guess David and I are just at the point we want somewhere to call home and add our own touches to.  I think it will come, we just need to be patient.

And lastly, onto other training news – I’m finally getting over my hip issues after lots of stretching and core/glute/back work.  I found that stretching my hamstrings and back really helped with my hip, who knew?  My next race is an Olympic distance race on Labor Day, and after that who knows, probably a fall race as well.  I had a less structured program with lots of “fun” workouts for a couple months after ironman, and now I’m back to training for an Oly race.  So I started last week with a swim test and a bike test last and found that my swimming was going well but my biking power had dropped a little.  Not too surprising.  Of course that meant this week Marni brought on the pain with LOTS of intervals.  I was loving it though, I was feeling good to push once again and enjoying the workouts.  I had lost a little motivation right after IMTX with my hip feeling off and all the house hunting drama, so now that all that is over, I’m back to a happy spot.  And some other happenings:

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Green smoothie insanity has continued!  With berries and/or melon lately.

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The Femme Fatale was taken apart by yours truly and Di2 was installed (did get some bike shop help to run the cables though!)  LOVE my ride with Di2 AND Zipp 404s!!  I’m one lucky girl.

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Yummy eats – blueberry/granola/Greek yogurt snack at work and lentils with salad, quinoa and sweet potato for dinner

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Super refreshing watermelon juice with basil!

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