adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I Shall Be Released…

Taken from the song of the same name by The Band…

One of Mr. Prepared’s jobs is to make the Road ID bands/tags we have for running and biking. On my Road ID tag, under all the pertinent information is the tagline “Live the Adventure”. That’s kind of our motto…well, that and you can’t put “Harden the F*ck Up” on your Road ID (they don’t take swear words).

One year ago today, my husband took on a new project to rebuild Wilmot Mountain, our “home” mountain in the Chicagoland area. He did a pretty good job, as you might have seen here, here, and here. He and his team worked their asses off- another summer/fall of little mini-vacations, lots of weekends worked straight through, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We’ve dedicated a LOT of our time and resources, as well as hopes, dreams, and fears, to this project and the one at Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

A year in to this project, and I realize that maybe we have lost our purpose and our way as a family. When we left for Michigan, our goal was to do new things, meet awesome new people, and have lots of new experiences. These experiences would eventually line up to something even greater than what we were already enjoying in our lives. I mean, living in Colorado for 15 years…we were already living the dream. In terms of those people who always wanted to live in Colorado or “out West”, we had already made it. He had a great job with his corporation, and I was building up a new career at a community college. But something pushed us to wanting more…to getting a taste for something new and big where we didn’t see the finish line yet. We wanted to live the adventure.

So we set off to the last place someone might see as adventurous…metro Detroit. But man, would you be wrong about that! When I was in my early “crying in the car every day” phase, I likened moving to Michigan to moving to a foreign country. I mean, who eats hot dogs with chili on top, and why do these people think it’s ok to live down the street from their parents? (Lesson learned, Michiganders…totally ok to live down the street from your parents…!) The people in Michigan were the most welcoming ever- they literally would try to give you the shirts off their back. Mr. Prepared is a pretty private, introverted dude, so these kind of huge displays of hospitality always threw him (and pretty much all of us) for a loop. But my gosh, did we feel the love! So much love we sometimes had to step back into our house and regroup. As for adventure, we found all kinds of ways to find it.


The adventures in Michigan were not always what one would imagine living in Colorado. In Colorado, “adventure” is easy- a new bike trail leading to the edge of wilderness, a little known tree glade just inside ski area boundaries- these are all adventures that many of us imagine. How many of us imagine what an adventure it is to see Flint and Detroit up close, with your kids? To experience the beauty of the Mackinac Bridge (or swim the span of it, as I did to raise money in 2015 for Habitat for Humanity)? What about to learn up close and personal on opening weekend what happens when a lift cable falls off the bolwheel? Or if you build a lift on top of a septic field? Some were more traditionally adventurous, like can I link a bridle trail with the longest running trail in the metro area? (The answer is…not if you’re not prepared to deal with a lot of horse poop). Most people might find these to be hurdles to overcome, or minor hassles to be dealt with. But the Ogilvie family dove in, eyes wide open, to experience all of this and lots more. We took Sunday “wunderwugens” (name patent pending ;)) all across Michigan. I started my own business, made it successful, and created an international network of health and fitness professionals for myself. Some of the coolest and most amazing people I know came out of this short, amazing period of time.

When Mr. Prepared was invited to come and reinvent Wilmot, we assumed we could (and would) keep living the adventure. Wisconsin seemed up our alley in terms of its outdoor opportunities. And living in the Chicago metro area brought us technically to “home”, although we hadn’t called it that in over 20 years. We assumed that everything would be as it was in Michigan and that it would all turn out ok.

We know what assume means. And everything did not turn out ok.

While nothing is technically wrong, nothing about our lives seems the same as before. We have seen some lows in our family relationships that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. We’ve changed schools, visited therapists, and struggled with the kind of disappointment and anguish (both parents and kids) that makes one wonder, “What is the point of it all?” I lost my business (at least the in person part), any semblance of a career to return to, and as a family, I think we have lost our way a bit. We haven’t made the kind of networks and connections that will always make Michigan and Colorado so dear to my heart.

Today marks one year of Mr. Prepared being in his position with Wilmot. We are technically released from certain work obligations. And we are jonesing to experience our family motto once again. We are looking to settle in a community where we are welcome and can contribute with the many gifts and talents that have been bestowed upon us. The Ogilvies are ready to live the adventure again- wherever in the world that takes us for while so that our kids can feel at home and right with the world. We are drawing our pirate map today, this weekend, and going forward, so that each of us can find our treasure in living our adventures.

ogilvie-family

 

Mighty Mac Training Week of 7.5.15

I choked on my morning coffee a little when I read a FB post reminiscing about the Mac swim one of the previous Mighty Mac swimmers posted on her wall last week. I flashed through the statistics…5 hours of swimming, 1 mile left, 51 degree water, crazy currents…I swallowed hard and thought, “WTF am I doing?”  I mean I am the first person to support challenging your limits, but I seriously considered that maybe I don’t have what it takes to finish this challenge.

I have received numerous photos and texts from friends and acquaintances passing over the Mackinac Bridge that say something to the effect of “Thinking of you!” over the spring and summer. And every time I receive one of those texts, I inwardly cringe. After the latest one I thought, I shouldn’t be less than 60 days away from this event and still inwardly cringe! My list of “shoulds” was getting pretty big, and then I remember my older sister’s best advice: “Don’t should all over yourself.” 

mighty mac swim

Thinking of you swimming across!

So I go back to doing what I do best, which is putting my head down and doing the work. I will do all the work I can do that fits into my world, and it’s OK that I don’t have the best wetsuit, or swim every weekend on a Great Lake, or log 5 miles swimming 3 times a week. I am doing everything I can do that is within my ability, and past experience tells me that it will be OK and it will be enough.

My long swims are going by kilometers. It’s just way easier to measure in my world. Which is Google maps. Because no one bought me a Garmin Swim for my birthday. 😉

Sunday 7/5: 6.5K open water. Felt really good. A little boring, but really good.
Monday 7/6: 45 minute run — I mixed this in because I didn’t feel much like swimming and that ear is still bugging me.
Tuesday 7/7: Strength. I might be ready to talk about this soon. 😉
Wednesday 7/8: Swim- open water, about 2 miles. Might have been a little short, so I added about 20 minutes of kettlebell swings and some other stuff.
Thursday 7/9: Strength.
Friday: rest/ prepare for one of the littles birthday parties!
Saturday: Strength.
Sunday 7/11: 7K swim. HA! This is where things got interesting. Total mental block at 7K because I can’t remember the last time I swam 7K. If ever? Probably I have, but it escapes me. So Mr. Prepared was totally my hero, and I wouldn’t have finished (or escaped my two seaweed panic attacks) without him. He canoed the first circumnavigation of the lake with the girls in front (loaded up with snacks I packed).  Then he did a couple out and backs with me. Then the girls got out to play in the yard. He switched to the paddleboard. It was obvious to everyone this was becoming an epic, not just a workout session.

I quit at about 6.4K because I was sick of the rub from my wetsuit on my neck and I saw a CARP the size of my upper body about 4 feet below.  I got out of the water. He sent me inside with the directions to eat something, take off my wetsuit, and come back out. He had the boat out to idle alongside me, and I was like, “I can’t do anymore.” He just waited me out, and finally I got my cap and googles back on and finished the last out and back.

Thank goodness he was there because I had put the limit on myself that 7K wasn’t gonna happen, and he stood by me until it did happen.

Takeaways: Beware the limits you set on yourself! And– high-quality deli meat sits pretty well as a salty, high protein food that won’t upset your horizontal stomach. Word. 🙂

bruce lee limit quote

Limits are self-imposed. Courtesy of Motivation Grid.

 

2014 race season review

In early September, I struggled to decide that my 2014 racing season was at its end. I was a little depressed about this as I listened to others talk about their upcoming races and watched my husband prepare to complete his second 100-miler in October (success!). However, I know that I have nothing to be depressed about, as I look back on my season and see that I made significant progress and accomplished a lot of goals.

My 2014 “big” goal was to complete a half-Iron distance race. Some people use the term “1/2 Ironman” but I didn’t do an “Ironman” branded event, so I think we will call it what it is. I completed Rev3 WI Dells in about 6:30:XX, on a tough course on a hot day. What a beautiful course! I learned a lot about what to do and how to prepare in hindsight. I thought I was more prepared than I was, but I realize now that I probably hit my peak of training about 3-4 weeks after this race (on the next peak!). This is helpful to know how to plan for next year, although given a more normal winter, I might have had enough time in the saddle outside on the road to prepare for a half by the end of June. I also learned a bit about course selection (although everyone will tell you that every course is tough), there was an awful lot of vertical on that course for which this (now) Midwestern girl was not prepared! Additionally, I think I overtapered-I strayed off plan a lot the last 2 weeks before the race. I do not taper well, and I should know that by now, but as it was my first long event, I deferred to Mr. Prepared as to how I should feel heading into the race. Overall, I think I did OK considering my preparation and the course. I nailed my nutrition and hydration, which is often a rookie mistake. My goal for next year will certainly be to crack 6 hours at this distance.

Finishing with the family- a REV3 tradition!

Finishing with the family- a REV3 tradition!

The weather was also a factor in prepping for my half-marathon at the end of March. Training went pretty well, although I realize that I should have put in more long runs prior to the event. Also, I know that shoe mixing is important! I ran pretty exclusively in one pair of shoes for a couple of months prior to the event, and my feet paid dearly on race day, and for a couple of weeks after. I don’t think it was entirely the shoes, but I do think they played a role in addition to my lack of multiple long runs (10+ miles). My goal was to finish under 2 hours, and I got pretty close- 2:01:XX. I feel pretty certain I can improve on that number in the spring, provided I am consistent with my running frequency, which I have found is the key to injury prevention for me.

A picture from Sarah before my half-marathon in March- those girls are one reason I race.

A picture from Sarah before my half-marathon in March- those girls are a BIG reason I race.

Thus, lessons learned in the early going of 2014 were to be more prepared- train up to distance prior to the race more often, don’t taper too much, and plan for peak fitness later in the season.

I started my tri season with a bang- winning my first “First Overall” award at Island Lake Spring Tri at the end of May. I totally should have done the Olympic, but kind of chickened out and went for the sprint. It’s OK- I love to sprint, what can I say? And that course seems to love me too.

Woot Woot! 2 Buck chuck and a duffel bag for the winner. :)

Woot Woot! 2 Buck chuck and a duffel bag for the winner. 🙂

I had some fun doing my first adventure triathlon at the Battle of Waterloo in July. What a blast! This is the kind of race for me, I thought. Again, my fitness was better, although I can’t say I went crazy training after the half-iron, but I was certainly consistent enough to see gains. This race has prompted me to consider doing a similar race in New York called Survival of the Shawangunks in the next couple of years, as well as get my butt on my mountain bike consistently in order to train for some Xterra off-road tris.

More fun was had a few weeks later at the Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, WI. My goals were to enjoy the experience and get my Olympic time under 2:30:00. It was easy to accomplish the first goal, as USA Triathlon did an awesome job and the venue/course were excellent. My time was a little off the mark- 2:31:31.  I could have done a better job training after BOW. I didn’t. Olympic distance races don’t scare me anymore, and I knew I wasn’t going to be fast enough to make Team USA, so truthfully, I know I blew off more workouts than I should have, and my bike leg definitely suffered as a result. I didn’t blow off the big bike workouts, but I did blow off the little ones, those that added speed on top my endurance.

in Milwaukee

in Milwaukee

 

I wrapped up 2014 outdoors with a 100 mile charity ride with an awesome group of riders. We had a great time, and while I was probably not ready for 100 miles, I managed it. I had to take 5 days off after, but I managed it. 😉

Riding the GM Proving Grounds during the Tour de Livingston

Riding the GM Proving Grounds during the Tour de Livingston

This racing season had some magical moments that I have waited a couple of years to achieve. It’s amazing to track my progress with this blog, although the evolution of this blog is at a bit of a stagnant stage. Some days, I catch myself looking in the mirror and wondering, “Who’s that?” I still don’t recognize my own image. I remember very vividly how intimidating a 5k seemed, and what a mess I was after my first one. Sometimes, it’s hard to brush off comments like, “Oh well, it’s just a 5k-that’s nothing for you!” because it wasn’t too long ago that it was TOO MUCH for me. I am proud of how far I have come, but I know I have a long way to grow- to continue to learn as I train and teach.

bottomed out

My family, just missing Tim!

My family, just missing Tim!

So a bunch of things have happened here in these last few weeks, and I think my text to my sister pretty much made me realize that maybe it’s time for a little self-care.  My text went something like, “I think I hit perimenopause. Do you have any advice for me?”, at which time she promptly called me and scolded me for loading a text with a giant question rather than what texts should be used for like, “I’m running late” or “see you tonight!” I think one reason I haven’t posted a lot on this blog is that I don’t want people to “know” that I am not doing my best. But the thing is, I am doing my best, it just looks like sh*t.  

My mom has cancer. Big, scary cancer- late stage 3 melonoma. There are not a lot of good options here for her- she had 2 surgeries and a skin graft for her initial surgery, but the road of recovery has been slow and paved with less than stellar medical professionals. (Sorry mom in advance to splash all your backstory into the blogosphere, but I am pretty sure no one reads this besides you and Kris anyways. ;)) She has found a course of treatment that is palatable to her at this time, and I am very happy that everything seems a little less tense, more hopeful and optimistic. I booked my flight to be there in 3 weeks today, and that made me feel much better. You may know from a previous post how much of a fighter my mom is– and I am feeling positive about her treatment at this moment.

In the meantime, I should have clued into the fact that I was not doing too hot. I bit through my mouth guard about 3 weeks ago, and yesterday, my dentist was like, “Wow, that’s really hard to do-are you getting a divorce or something?” I am certain he was joking, but it’s not like I see him often, so I was a little put off, but YAH, I did bite through my mouthguard, and I have had horrible throat and neck pain, and every time I lift something heavy (uh? Kinda my job?), I feel that pull in my neck and jaw (and shoulder…and…well, it goes on).  So I have to tell you that I am SCARED. I know it’s OK to be vulnerable, but I am SCARED. I am scared for my mom. I feel ALONE, being so far away from her and my sisters. I feel very separated from my family at this point – which has been cool in many ways, but lonely and scary in a lot more ways.  

I tried to keep cool about the mom situation and keep doing things as planned, racing and training, working on my business, and being the Director of Summer Entertainment at “Camp Ogilvie”. I raced to a PR at Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee two weeks ago, and we camped in Marquette last weekend, and since then I have dragged myself through this week. I had entertained the idea of continuing to race this season up until Wednesday, when I realized I was swimming not so much as a training exercise but to lessen the horrible jaw and neck pain I had that day.

I can’t remember the last time I took a vitamin or ate a plate of vegetables other than a hastily thrown together salad.  My hormones have taken an even worse nose dive since coming off the Whole 30 (yes, I know I vowed to follow through and “eat clean forever” and didn’t). I also realize now that I basically beat the crap out of my body to lose weight 2 years ago, just as I was probably entering perimenopause, and that perhaps that is starting to catch up with me.  Watching my dog lose all thyroid function this summer gave me another smack to the head, in that I realized that maybe I don’t HAVE to feel this way. Maybe this isn’t just getting older, or moving away/life change, maybe there is something else going on with me. Until I figure it out what is going on and in order to be available for my mom’s recovery, I do not plan to train or race at all. I will do my best to take better care of myself and do what is good and necessary for me so that I can continue to be a role model to my clients who face stressful situations in their own lives and model the need to maintain self-care in order to take care of those around us. The women who put their trust in me to help them work on their goals deserve that much. My family and especially my daughters, and most importantly, ME—I deserve that. 

 

race report: REV3 Wisconsin Dells

Wow, I have really procrastinated on writing this race report! I should have knocked this one out during the week after the race. However, I don’t think I really knew what happened to me during the race enough to write a report. Now that I have been able to step back from my first half-iron distance, I can see a little more objectively how it went.

I was so excited for this race. I have had post-it note race goals stuck around my house since January. I have wanted to train for a 70.3 race for 2 years! As time closed in on the end of my training, though, I was OVER IT. I just wanted to be done!  I know, for the triathlon-obsessed, this sounds insane. But with all the volume of training you need to do, you hardly have time for a pushup or situp in between.  And the closer I got to the race, the more I looked with longing at the barbells and benches in the gym. I didn’t want to re-introduce anything for fear of messing up my training plan though, and that was a mistake I have since fixed. I am back to 3 regular strength sessions a week, and I intend to keep it that way for any future training endeavors.

Anyhow, we arrived in the Dells (AKA the Las Vegas of Wisconsin, LOL) on Friday night super late. We almost didn’t make the cut-off time to get into the state park for our camping reservation!  (I didn’t read the fine print on this!) but we set up in the dark and everyone just fell into bed. We got up in the morning after not very much sleep to a very cool state park. We ate breakfast, rode bikes, and headed into town for packet pickup. I wanted to see the swim venue- it’s a water ski show amphitheater and possibly practice swim. Timing wise, we were a little tight, and I totally started to panic, realizing there was no way I could swim, pick up my packet, meet other EN teammates for lunch, and check my bike in while towing the kids around.  Mr. Prepared swooped in and was a hero all weekend- he took the kids, told me what to do and in what order, LOL- and I dropped him and the kids off at the mini-golf/amusement park/deer farm. Practice swim was lovely, as was the rest of the day.  Had plenty of time and space to prep, and our camping spot was pretty great, although the mosquitoes were ferocious!

Ok…race day. Up early, eating my sweet potato and eggs and coffee. Got the business all done early, which is GREAT when you’re traveling and apt to eat whole sleeves of Starbursts in the car. Got the kids dressed in bed and tossed them into the car, and drove to transition area. This race was low-key because it was pretty small.  That made parking and spectating very easy, which is essential with small children.

Met some EN teammates in transition for a picture and another Swim Bike Mom forum member, Anna, which was so great because she helped calm my nerves. I didn’t really do much official warming up- probably not a good idea – I need to be more disciplined about this.  We headed down to the start (a 1/4 mile straight up out of the swim to transition!), and spectators could sit in the bleachers and watch the swim- they also had a small water ski show before the start!

So happy before the start!

So happy before the start!

The swim was just like home- midwestern lake, so it was very predictable and I finished within 30 seconds of my predicted time. I swam fast, but I did not challenge myself too much, knowing I had a long day ahead of me. The swim is a simple rectangle, the water is cool but not cold- it was actually quite wonderful. The challenge for me is that I am a very good swimmer, so I exit the water with VERY GOOD triathletes. I didn’t realize this until talking with another triathlete after the race-he said the key is to exit the water with people who are about the same biking speed as you, which definitely didn’t happen. For a sprint, I can hang on to very good triathletes. Not a good idea in my first 70.3 race, which was the beginning of my issues. Once I exited the water, I hopped on my bike and headed out. With the adrenaline pumping, it was hard to get my body and breathing online. Coach Patrick mentioned that we should allow 20-30 minutes to get your body online. I see that some of my trouble started here, as I was having trouble staying in my “box” (my pace) and going at “just-ride-along” pace. All the other athletes starting the bike at this point were MUCH faster than me, so my “box” started to blow out a little during the first portion of the bike because I didn’t just let them go.

By 30 minutes into the bike, I was back in my “box”, hydrating and fueling.  The first portion of this bike leg is the most forgiving, so I was feeling good as we entered Baraboo and the first of 3 big climbs. First climb was fine- but the box blew out a little bit more because you have to get up the hill, right? In running, if you’re going too fast, you can just walk. Not really so in biking- you have to stay upright!  Second climb up above Devil’s Head ski resort?  OH LORD, I was not prepared for this. I knew it was hilly, but I really had NO IDEA! Again, the box blew out a bit more. I did hit my all time top speed coming down that hill – 39.75 mph.  Brakes were screaming! One guy said he saw a girl get air at the bottom of the hill over a small bump. Crazy.

Anyhow, a few more hills and the box was pretty much torn apart – I told myself I was fine, that everything would be OK, to trust my training. At the time, I didn’t think I was as badly off as I was. But the EN coaches say over and over, “you never have a good bike followed by a bad run. Bad run=bad bike, so bike the bike you ‘should’ instead of the bike you ‘could'”.  In this case, both the terrain and I were responsible for biking the bike I could instead of the one I should.  One great point is that it is BEAUTIFUL in this part of the state- it was the first thing to remind me of Colorado since we moved here. The views were absolutely gorgeous!

I was so thrilled to get off my bike because my back had been screaming at me for the last 6 miles anytime I tried to be in aero position. It was a lift to see Mr. Prepared and the kids (and their signs!) at the transition. I peed, and started off. First mile was even a little fast- it gave me hope that I had to slow down instead of speed up. The next couple of miles were OK- pace was fine, but it was HOT and I was getting tired. At mile 4 I was supposed to pick up the pace by 30″/mi. At the bottom of a largish hill. Didn’t happen. There was some walking involved, along with some running.  Facing another hill at the turnaround, I just started walking. And yelling at myself inside my head. And then trying to run. Walking. Mentally flogging myself. Some of those miles were in the 13-14 minute range. It was downright ugly. About Mile 10.5, I caught a guy who was being followed by his friend on a bike. His friend was funny, and I started to laugh and stop beating myself up inside. We jogged for about 2 more miles together, which was perfect. It got me through the worst and I had even picked up my pace- only to about 11:30 min/miles, but it was an improvement. I choked up hard at the last turn into the finisher chute. This was a big deal, and a big accomplishment, I had completed it! It wasn’t the race I expected or planned for, but I gave it everything I had and learned some things along the way.

Finishing with the family- a REV3 tradition!

Finishing with the family- a REV3 tradition!

Rev3 Wisconsin Dells 2014 finisher!  Times:

rev3 tri 4

 Lessons learned: 

1. I like to race. This was a challenge more than a race. I want to focus more on Olympic distance racing before I feel ready to tackle another one of these. 

2. Bike the bike you should, not could and stay in the “box”. 

3. Develop lots of free time or a crazy good schedule to train for something like this!  You can’t just count training hours either- I spent a ton of time learning about how to race (HAHA!), technology, admin time to and from the gym and your training locations, buying and researching gear, etc. 

 

whole30 recap: change your life in unexpected ways

I walked by the book It Starts With Food yesterday and realize I have been shirking my duties in writing a Whole30 experience recap. I was particularly struck by the tagline “Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” because that is exactly what this experience did.  I have outlined some of those ways in my previous post, but I want to be more specific and complete in this post.

Shockingly, the biggest takeaway from the Whole30 was that Mr. Prepared and I grew a little bit more into sync with each other again.  After a brutal winter ski resort season in which EVERYTHING was new, compounded by moving across the country, moving from an apartment to a house in the fall, and all the stress that comes with everything being NEW (jobs, doctors, schools, etc.), we were SHELLED.  We were tired, irritable, unhappy, anxious people.  And the only person each of us could vent to was the other.  We had no in-person support system (we are working on it and the network is improving!) at first, so the tears, the frustration, and the stress were often directed at each other.  This experience was the first fulfilling, long-term “project” we have worked on together in a long time.  We are healthier and happier people as a result of this “commitment”, and we are finding our ways of growing into this community, seeking out people and opportunities that enrich our lives personally and as a family.

While Mr. Prepared has been bulletproof in sticking with the Whole30 principles, I have slacked here and there on some things.  But you know what?  Everything I thought I missed so much isn’t really all that great.  Cheese? Meh.  Yummy Greek yogurt? It was OK.  I haven’t even gone back to bread or grain products- I really don’t miss them at all.  (OK, other than beer.  I had a few beers.  Yes, they were good, but I don’t have time for beer right now!)  So I imagine that most of those “needs” we make up in our mind about foods we “couldn’t live without” are just truly in our mind.  Food is so closely tied to emotion and memory for me that I know I still have some mental work before me to get these things a little more in line with “normal” emotional attachments to food.

Unfortunately, I have become a food freak.  By freak  I mean that I have gotten on my soapbox more than a few times, and even muttered under my breath at dinner the other night that the American agricultural industry is trying to kill us (what?  It’s probably true.)  My stance about food is a little too extreme for most people, and that is a dangerous combination with my work as a personal trainer.  I am toning it down A LOT for clients, but if anyone really engages me in food conversation, they are bound to get an earful.  I am sure it will all turn out to be bogus in the end and you can have the last laugh. But until then…you have been warned.

But what you really wanna know are the stats, right?  You want to know if it WORKS.  Everyone can define this differently, especially since it isn’t a “diet”.  I had been told there was a magical, mystical Whole30 land where you could have boundless energy and sleep like a princess.  I also secretly wanted to look ripped like one of those Crossfit competitors.  If those were the showing that it “works”, then no, I didn’t start eating unicorn rocket fuel or photo-shopping my mirror.  Here’s what happened:

  • Sleep.  I have slept like crap pretty much since we moved.  When we started Whole 30, I was sleeping about 4-6 hours a night.  I knew I would NEVER make it through training for a half-Ironman on 4-6 hours of sleep a night.  I get sleep now.  I get very nice, rested sleep.  I can go back to sleep if I wake up.  This was HUGE.
  • Smell. About the fourth day in, we woke up and rolled over and I realized we didn’t “smell” like night sweating and restless sleep.  We didn’t smell at all practically.  I had pretty terrible night sweats up until I started this (more on that another time) and they are pretty diminished now.  We also both recognized more healthy levels of sweating while exercising, whereas before I don’t think we were sweating enough.
  • Thirst sensitivity.  I could tell when I was actually thirsty instead of forcing myself to drink a required amount of water in the day.  Since there a little controversy over “how much liquid is enough/too much” I figure improved thirst signals meant I was headed in the right direction.
  • Weird aches and pains.  Mr. Prepared has had an ache on the outside of his knee since oh, 2011.  He reports no more ache.
  • Bowel movements.  C’mon, we are all adults!  To sum it up: before=not regular.  Now=regular.  If you need details, try it yourself. 😉
  • Eye of the tiger.  I may be dramatizing this a little.  I had a bike power test on Day 18 of the Whole 30.  Many sources said that your workouts will feel flat the first 2 weeks, and they did.  But I swear that as I got ready for that bike test, I could feel and access a bunch of energy for it.  Maybe I just did a really good job of psyching myself up for the test, but maybe it was Whole30?  Anyhow, crushed the bike test!
  • And for you scale slaves… OK, I admit I was a scale slave too before Whole30.  Part of Whole30 is that you can’t weigh yourself for the 30 days.  I had to have Mr. Prepared hide the scale.  That was pretty revealing.  I had lost and re-gained the same 6 pounds 3 times since New Year’s prior to Whole30.  I was fairly obsessed.  Not so much anymore.  I am down 7 pounds.  Mr. Prepared is down about 15.  Also 2% body fat for me.

We changed our lives in expected and unexpected ways.  We are trying to keep in line with the Paleo thing for now (this is much trickier, as the slope is more slippery), and get the kids more on board.  My main goal in the next 10 weeks is figuring out racing and training nutrition that fits within the scope of racing efficiently and eating well.  Tomorrow is my first big volume day (5 hours!), so we will see how it goes.

If you have any Whole30 insight you want to share, please do in the comments!

 

 

 

things I didn’t think I would learn on a diet: 2/3 of the Whole30

some of you are gasping right now, thinking, “But the Whole30 is NOT a diet!” Haha. Shows you what I knew when I signed on to do it.  I haven’t thought about any change in eating food as anything OTHER than a diet in…probably my whole life.

I challenged Mr. Prepared to do the Whole30 food “commitment” (that’s what we called it- I think that’s what they called it in the book It Starts With Food from which the Whole30 premise is laid out) in early March.  I figured we could do almost anything for 30 days, and we had a host of assorted issues that we were curious to see if they would cease if we changed our diet.  I will get to those issues in another post at the end of Whole30, since we are only a little more than 2/3 done.

The book.

The book.

Mostly, I am surprised by the things I DID NOT expect to change or learn about myself on the Whole30.  Learning new things about one’s self at this age can be wonderful blessing and a terrible realization.  There are some things that I would not care to admit about myself, yet I know I need to fix them to truly heal my relationship with food and drinks (I mean, let’s be honest, I was a pretty champion drinker for most of my adult life.)  Some of the blessed “horrors” below that I learned will be invaluable going forward.

  • I learned that I definitely have a food addiction.  I use food (and drinks) for things other than fuel and nourishment.  I use food to comfort me, de-stress me, make me happy.  Now I know that we all do that to a degree, and I used to do it a heck of a lot more often than now, but there were unhappy, stressful times these past few weeks when my first reaction was to reach for a food (or a glass of wine) to make me feel better. I think it’s important for me to continue to reinforce patterns where I use other means to medicate stress.
  • I am a BLTer.  BLT in Weight Watchers used to stand for “bites, licks, and tastes”.  The first week of Whole30 I couldn’t believe how many times I had to put the knife spreading peanut butter or something like that away from my mouth (or even spit stuff out a few times!).  I had been unconsciously eating a LOT of BLTs.
  • I don’t know how to properly savor my food.  The book emphasizes the importance of satiety and sitting down for a meal and savoring it to get your brain’s satiety signals to work.  I realized that I hadn’t sat down for a breakfast or lunch in a LOOONG time.  I made it my goal to sit and eat every meal.  I tried to remove the screen time when I was alone, but that’s definitely still a work in progress.  But now as I imagine having a piece of chocolate, I imagine sitting down, savoring the ONE piece of good chocolate I would eat instead of trying to shove as many Hershey kisses in my mouth as possible. While standing.
  • Snacking is neither necessary nor helpful.  I was in an “eat every 2 hours” habit, along with trying to fit in “pre-workout fuel” and “post-workout recovery fuel”, etc.  I was eating ALL the time.  The more mini-meals I had the more it just turned into grazing. The book emphasized the need for one to eat ENOUGH at each meal to sustain one to the next meal.  I have really done away with any pre-workout fueling, and there is some evidence to show that there are some advantages to working out in a fasted state.  Since I do most of my work currently first thing in the morning, this is easy to accomplish.  After I am finished, I can eat one of my meals.  That’s not to say I have given up snacking entirely, but I am working on it.

These are the most important takeaways from the Whole30 food commitment, although the discussions that Taylor and I have had have been rich and thought-provoking about food, drinking, fueling, and just about everything.  We have also had some good discussions (and some um…disagreeements) with the kids about good food and what good food looks like.

Stay tuned for more lessons learned when we finish!  I am running my first half-marathon of the season tomorrow, so that should be another opportunity to gather information.

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