Saturday was a more laid back day with no real plans at all. I didn't do much of anything on Saturday and just hung around the house with Sarah and the girls. Sarah brought the girls to the Circus in Green Bay in the afternoon which the girls absolutely loved. Later that night, we went over to my parents house for one of my favorite dinners - homemade lasagna.
Sunday had arrived and my official birthday had arrived. I stayed in bed as long as the girls would allow me to, which ended up being about 7:15am - which isn't too bad, actually. The girls and I had breakfast together, which has become a regular tradition of ours. After I got the girls all set for the day, I headed out the door for my epic birthday run.
I'll be honest with you, when I had woken up, it was damn cold, -4 was the actual temperature with windchills around -17 and there was about a 1/2" to 1" of fresh snow that had fallen overnight. I was really considering just driving over to the YMCA and running my 30 miles on a treadmill, just to avoid the cold and snow covered roads. It certainly did not help that it had snowed pretty much every day for the past 2-3 days before my birthday, which lead to the roads being completely covered with snow as it was, not to mention the side walks. I sat there thinking about how miserable it was going to be out in the bitter cold for over 4 hours straight. I then thought, on the other hand, how flat out boring and miserable it would be running on a treadmill for over 4 hours. It was a toss up. I opted for the fresh air and running outdoors, regardless of how cold it was. I thought to myself, I would not torture myself on my birthday and would just suck it up and dress warm.
I had all my fuel preset from the night before and kept it all indoors, just inside our front door to prevent it from freezing. I had my 3 mile route all planned out, and I dressed super warm. I was finally ready to begin my run. I brought our dog Bella along for the first lap and she appeared to be having fun and didn't look tired after the first lap, that I brought her along for the second lap. After each lap, I stopped inside to warm up briefly and grab some fuel. After my second lap, I figured that 6 miles in the cold was enough for my dog, although the way she looked at me after I took the leash off, I still think she wanted to join me for more. The run progressed nicely and I never really got too cold. I never stopped my watch throughout the run so my time included all the breaks I took after each lap. During one of my breaks my Aunt Carol and Grandma FaceTimed from Spain to wish me a happy birthday, which kept me inside a little longer than usual, but I was ok with it. During another pit stop, I helped my wife get Delaney down for a nap. And then on a third pit stop I actually stopped to relace my shoes, as the laces seemed to be bothering the top portion of my feet. It seemed to alleviate some of the added pressures on the top of my feet because after I relaced my shoes it was no longer an issue.
That is the exact reason why I do what I do. I love the challenge of it. I love the excitement of it. I love knowing that the benefits of my sport far exceed better cardiovascular health. I know that I am a better father, husband, employee, friend, and community member because I run. I am a better person overall because I put myself into challenging, uncomfortable situations and work my way through them.
|My girls and I at our hibachi dinner|
By the end of my birthday I was in a great mood. I was happy. I was again reminded how lucky I am in life. That I have 2 absolutely adorable, beautiful daughters, a caring, supportive, and loving wife, and a wonderful family including my in-laws. I may be turning 30 and getting older everyday. But, I know that each and every day is another day I get to spend with the ones I love and that I truly have the greatest life I could ask for. I am truly blessed and fortunate to be were I am in my life and to have done everything I have done to this date. But, rest assured, that I am not done. I am not satisfied where I am and have plenty I still want to accomplish, places I want to see, and things left to learn. I may be 30 and I may have had a great life to this point, but by no means am I depressed about getting older, I am excited and motivated about what is left for me to accomplish and experience!
|All the teams that won SWAT team of the year|
My new training plan follows my standard 9 day work week, as opposed to the traditional 7 day, Monday - Sunday week, like my original plan did. I also spread out the running days more to avoid more back-to-back run days. My total volume is actually pretty close to where it was with my original plan and many of the same workouts are still in my new plan. I will still be relying on weekly easy long runs, mile repeats, tempo runs, and long intervals. I also inserted more swim and bike days to make up for the days the used to be run days. So all in all, there was minimal changes to the plan, more of a shifting around of workouts, to allow more thorough recovery from the pounding of running high volumes.
|I brought the girls to the YMCA to swim on Monday after running|
As far as my diet and nutrition, I have recently fallen right back into my piss poor habits of overeating and having little to no self control with sweets and treats. After completing my Whole30 back in late February, I felt great, probably the best I have ever felt. From that day through today, I progressively ate worse and worse, culminating on the days following my birthday weekend. I won't include my birthday weekend as that has always been a special time for me and I do not try to limit what I take in and how much I take in. I just try to enjoy the treats on the few days that surround my birthday. But after my birthday, we had leftover cake, cupcakes, cookies, snacks, and on top of it all, Sarah brought home Girl Scout Cookies on Tuesday after work. Needless to say, I ate and ate and ate plenty of Girl Scout Cookies, cereal, processed foods, chocolate covered cherries, anything that was made with or from chocolate, I ate. My plan was to enjoy the week before my birthday with no diet restrictions as a reward for eating so well during the Whole30. Shortly after my birthday, I wanted to conduct an experiment of 1. I wanted to eat a diet comprised of nearly the exact opposite foods that are allowed on the Whole30. My plan was to eat a high carb, grain and plant based diet void of any and all meat and animal products. I would eat this way for 28-30 days and monitor how I felt day-to-day along with how I felt throughout my training. I would then compare those 4 weeks to the 30 days I spent on the Whole30 back in January/February.
Ultimately, I am backing out of that decision. I am doing so, because, when looking back at my W30 experience, I felt so good. I had no digestive issues, no discomforts, no bloating, I slept good, I recovered from my workouts faster and felt great during my workouts. I also find it ironic that by the end of my W30, my calf/ankle issue was nearly gone, but now that I have been eating less-then-healthy foods, I am starting to feel more pain in my lower right calf area. So starting today, I plan on jumping back on the W30 band-wagon and eating a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet. I will focus on eating REAL food, specifically lean, organic cuts of meat, and fruits. I will allow myself to eat some grains, an occasional bean/legume, full fat dairy, and some foods that have minimal added sugars. I will avoid milk, gluten, and proceeds grains, such as bread, crackers, etc. I will focus on eating square meals that are satiating and avoid eating anything my meals. I will schedule my eat around my training - which means, when I do opt to eat grans, such as oatmeal rice, or amaranth, or other foods that are higher in carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, squash, etc, I will eat then shortly before or just after training. All other meals will consist of little to no carbohydrates. It'll be an extremely clean form of eating again, with a few exceptions which will definitely be the acceptation, not the norm. Eat this way, will allow me to eat meals without being overly concerned if it is indeed "Whole30 approved." Also, eating this way, will give me a strict guideline to follow with a little more leeway in the plan to allow me to live my life without stressing over whether or not something has 1g of added sugar.