Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Incredibly Busy

It kind of snuck up on me/us.  Back in December, we had the Holidays.  Then in January we had a lot of winter weather.  In February I was so focused on the Whole 30 that I didn't notice it looming.  Then March hit and the complete and utter chaos that was our schedule reared up.

We hit a period of 5 7-day work weeks (me) combined with 3 to 4 work nights a week (her) and another obligation on Monday nights (me) for a total of not much time for the two (or four) of us together, and something had to give.  I've already shed upcoming commitments in an attempt to bring back some balance and I'm thankful that no long-term damage was done.

March is now over and while the beginning of April doesn't look a whole lot better, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Going forward, I have a good, fresh, reminder of the need for balance and the fact that there are much more important things (people) in my life that deserve my time.  Spring (any season, really), is a great time to look back, look ahead and make adjustments to our course.  The weather this week has provided a gentle reminder that relaxation and fun are as important as work and toil.

My running streak also ended on March 28th.  The old knees just weren't getting any better during with cold, rainy weather, so I decided to finally rest them from running impact.  So, my new longest ever running streak is 86 days and honestly, I'll probably never come close to that again.  Again with the balance, I'm hoping to do a lot more bike riding with the warmer months and may even find my way back to my outdoor gym.  Variety is a good thing and I'm relearning how to embrace it.  That said, I've got to find a way to get ready for the 100 mile race I signed up for in October.  For that, I'm thinking a combination of 3 days of quality running with 3-4 days of biking, plus some weights will get me close enough to in shape over the next 180 days!

Pacing the Tobacco Road Marathon - Fun (?)

My first marathon in ~15 months is in the books.  My knees can vouch for that.  Splits first, because they tell an interesting story.  I was a 4:00 pacer, along with John Adamof, which is a pace of 9:09 per mile.

  • Mile 5: 46:41 (which includes about 57 seconds to get to the start line.
  • Mile 6: 9:10
  • Mile 7: 9:04
  • Mile 8: 9:03
  • Mile 9: 9:02
  • Mile 10: 9:02
  • Mile 11: 9:01
  • Mile 12: 9:04
  • Mile 13: 9:05
  • Mile 14: 9:07
  • Mile 15: 9:04
  • Mile 16: 8:52
  • Mile 17: 9:13
  • Mile 18: 9:08
  • Mile 19: 9:05
  • Mile 20: 8:47
  • Mile 21: 8:44
  • Mile 22: 8:38
  • Mile 23: 8:34
  • Mile 24: 8:39
  • Mile 25: 8:17
  • Mile 26: 8:06
  • Finish: 3:55:11
So, the story is that at mile 20, a couple guys noticed that the split was a little fast (I think John got carried away on the downhill section with all the people at the aid station), and asked about it.  I indicated that we could back off a bit, but they asked if we could instead, keep it up.  When I replied, "whatever you guys want", the three of us moved ahead.  We (Brian and I) dropped one (Ben), but picked up one (Adam) and so the three of us knocked down the last 10k getting faster each mile.  

The finish was rewarding as we steadily moved up and they both finished with PRs.  John finished at 3:59:30 (chip time) for an excellent job.

My knees started to really ache around mile 10, but felt a little better during the last 10k when our pace picked up.  They're still quite sore today, but I chalk it up to the change in running form (plus a lack of long runs) needed to slow down from my regular running pace.

I'm not sure why I didn't hit the Publish button when I drafted this, but whatever, here goes nothing...

Whole 30 - Yes, I did finish it

I guess through all the excitement of finishing the Whole 30, I forgot to update the blog about it.  So, although four weeks late, here it is.  I finished.  I made it an entire 30 days without a gram of sugar, alcohol, grain, dairy, or anything else prohibited by THE PROGRAM.  I picked up a dozed doughnuts on my way to work Monday morning, which is not exactly how they advise reintroducing foods, but I ate them all anyway.  And they were good.

By the end of the 30 days, I had lost 11 pounds.  A good portion of that, I believe, was water which joined with carbohydrates in my body.  I'm no longer concerned about being so careful with what I eat, worried I might mindlessly eat a goldfish as I'm packing a lunch and ruining 3 weeks of discipline.

The month was challenging, but got easier as I got into a routine.  There are definitely some good things about the "diet", though I don't like using that word.  I might even do it again sometime, just because I now know I can.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Whole 30 - Day 27

Surely, 26 is the same as 30, right?  Argggh.  Fine, four more days it is, but I don't have to like it.  Actually, I'm well under 100 hours to go, so that's a good thing.  While I generally feel fine, I'm just ready to be done with being so cautious about what I eat, making sure everything is 100% "compliant".  I'm ready for a beer.  And doughnuts.  Separately, or together, I don't care.

I know I've lost some weight, though I will wait until Sunday evening for a final weigh-in.  I'm definitely leaner and my clothes fit a little better, (though my arms don't fill out the sleeves as well as they used to.)

I don't know that I've seen any change with regards to sleeping, but to be fair, I didn't have any issues with sleeping before.  One benefit from the last four weeks is that my beard is longer and fuller, as is the hair on my head...coincidence?

My running has also improved, but more than a result of complying with the program directly, I think it's because I've lost a little weight and have run consistently this year, so getting "back to where I was" is happening at a more rapid pace.

I've had an uptick in side-work which I believe is completely unrelated to the Whole 30, but is nice to note anyway.

My challenge for March is to do real meal planning for the month, in hopes of making it habit.  By "meal planning", I, of course, mean coming up with a weekly menu and shopping list based on grocery store sales in hopes of more strictly sticking with our grocery budget.  I've been interested in ways to maximize efficiency with regards to meals, groceries, and our budget and am now in a place where I can put some more effort into it.  (That probably deserves it's own blog, but don't worry, I'll muck up this one with all the details.)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Whole 30 - Day 18

I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far.  But, as it stands, I'm just about halfway through with day 18.  I know I'll make it now, though there's still lots of time left.  I'm engaging my stubbornness that's gotten me to the finish line of numerous 100 mile races when I've had very little to gain.  I know I've lost a little weight.  I cheated yesterday and weighed myself when I had the chance, so I know where I'm at, but I'll wait two more weeks to reveal the results.

I need to stress, though, that weight loss was not a goal for me.  While the program advises that 95% of program finishers lose weight, I figure a pound or two would work.  What I've been curious about is the "reset" of my body's reaction and "addiction" to foods.

During the first week, I bonked on every run, regardless of length.  Going into the second week, I did a long (for me, recent history here) of 13 miles, early in the morning, without a bite to eat before or during, with level energy the whole time.  This past Saturday afternoon, I ran 16 miles at a faster pace than I ran the 13 the weekend prior.

I've crested the hill and feel like I'm coasting towards completion.  Looking forward to being done, but have started to appreciate the journey now...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Best beard song ever

Get's a little weird towards the end, but otherwise epic.

Whole 30 - 9 days down

Basic math shows I'm 30% done.  If broken down a little more, I'm 25% done with each work day, while 40% done with each weekend day.  If you asked my brain, I'd be totally done.  The Whole 9...sounds good to me.  But, alas, I'll march on.  I've got a good reward in store when I'm done.

I haven't had any significant "withdrawal" symptoms, so that's good.  It also reinforces that our diet wasn't so bad to begin with.  I had a hard time yesterday with cravings, but part of that is my own fault.  On Friday night, I baked brownies for the family and watched them eat one after dinner.  I also stood outside Krispy Kreme for 45 minutes to pick up some race numbers for friends.  On Saturday morning, I did a 13 mile run, then bought doughnuts to take home for the family as a treat...and watched them partake.  It turns out that it was not wise to bring temptation into the house in those forms. I managed to hold fast though and am now on day 10.

Saturday morning's run was a lap of the Rock n Roll Half Marathon course.  It was my longest training run in well over 14 months and went a lot better than I had feared it would.  Even my short runs have been bad on this diet program, but my energy level stayed really even throughout the run.  My mile splits were relatively consistent considering the hilly nature of the loop.  While my time wasn't super fast, it was a good indication that, while I have a lot of work to do, I'm not starting from absolute zero.

#AllAmericanMarathonin12weeks

Friday, February 07, 2014

Rock n Roll Raleigh Marathon - Headliner Band - New Politics

I had never heard of the New Politics before hearing the announcement, but they're not bad!


All American Marathon - Chute Flyer


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Whole 30 - day 5 complete

I've made it through day 5 and am now in the morning of day 6.  One thing that's really helped is doing some batch cooking via the crock pot.  On Sunday afternoon, I made my lunches for the week.  Yeah, as a guy, I can eat the same thing every day.

The past three days have been generally like a slim fast commercial (shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, healthy dinner - nevermind):  hard boiled eggs in the morning with a piece of fruit, chili for lunch, almonds for snacking, and a hearty dinner.

Monday, the pulled pork wasn't quite ready when I had to leave for FPU, so I made a salad with a can of tuna on it.  Tuesday night was the pulled pork, and it was good.  I ate it on top of a big salad.  Last night, I roasted brussel sprouts to go with some left over pork with a side of carrot slices and cherry tomatoes.

My runs have been shorter lunch-time jaunts but have all lacked energy beyond about two miles.  I guess I'm practicing for my marathon bonks coming up.  At least the feeling is familiar.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Whole 30 - Days 1 and 2...still in

I'm currently sitting halfway through the morning of day 3, so I made it this far.  The first two days were okay and now I'm vested and have some momentum, but it's still hard...

Saturday, February 1st, was a tricky day.  I was up at 4:15 to do some bike riding course measurement for the Rock n Roll marathon and half in Raleigh.  I spent about 6 hours doing that Saturday morning on 3 hard boiled eggs and 3 bananas (and coffee).  They were spaced out throughout the morning.

Lunch consisted of 4 small tilapia fillets sauteed with spinach.  I think that was it...?

Snack was almonds.  Plain almonds.

Dinner was two hamburgers (no bun or cheese), sweet potato fries and sauteed broccoli.  No dessert for dad.

Day 2:  Scrambled eggs with spinach and some left-over sweet potatoes and broccoli for breakfast.

Lunch was 2 chicken breasts pan "fried" with turnip greens, homemade ketchup, and an orange.


Dinner was grilled mahi fillet, roasted asparagus and a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Also had a few small pieces of chicken for snack while making Finn's lunch.

Day 3:  Back at work, the breakfast menu is hard-boiled eggs (4), a banana, and 2 oz +/- of chicken with brown mustard.

Lunch is going to be chili I made last night with ground beef, spices, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Dinner should be a big helping of pulled pork, with some vegetables, type: tbd.