Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 4 of the 3-Week Experiment

I thought I'd try this new way of eating and exercising for the three weeks leading up to my birthday. Which I shared with Easter this year. And because I LOVE eggs, I take that as a sign of good things to come for age 28.

I hit my birthday milestone feeling happier, calmer, more content and stronger than I ever have. This isn't to say that I have spent the first 27 years of life as a sorrowful, anxious, malcontent weakling ... but rather, I spent that Sunday feeling very positive about my future. I attribute a lot of this feeling to my new primal approach to life.

My Workouts

For the past month, I have not gone on a single, traditional weekday run workout. Yes, I have run. But I have done so slowly, randomly and without my GPS watch. This feat alone has been life-changing. Like clockwork for six years, I would log workouts, and keep track of the pace/mileage/calories/heart rate. I was an endurance machine who could run farther and bike faster than most. Now? I just don't care hit those peaks anymore. I've removed the "numbers". I run to feel free and happy. Not to hit any goals.

I sprint once a week. A 10 minute workout that gives me a head rush that lasts the rest of the day. I enjoy the challenge of tabata sprints, though on occasion I pop off some straight 20-second efforts with a walk break in between. I'm looking forward to hill sprints next week.

I jog on the beach - on the sand. In Vibrams. No music, no watch. Just me and the shells and the waves and the other happy people. It is relaxing.

A Happy Place

I lift twice a week, though have not set foot in a gym in a month. It's about body weight exercises - push ups, pull ups (I have a bar), squats, and planks. Two rounds, max out or hit two minutes on each workout. I spend 10 minutes after that 20-minute workout "playing". Playing in that case means doing whatever moves I want. Sometimes it's a run around the neighborhood. This morning it was extra core work and random arm exercises. And some scissor kicks!

I cycle frequently, but go much slower than I normally would. Instead of averaging 19 mph at a 80% heart rate, I stick to 15-16 mph at a 50% heart rate. I stop and take pictures. I am much more polite to pedestrians too because they are not longer selfishly "in my way" and "holding me back".

Morning Bike Ride along Ballona Creek


I love food, and as you can see from my recent posts, I love to talk about food. On Google+, all I write about is food. This is a picture of this morning's meal - a true break-fast because fasted for 12 hours (11 of which I was sleeping!). It was a garbage can of deliciousness - pepper, broccoli, garlic, avocado, broccoli rabe, onion, beef bacon (cooked in Kerrygold Butter) and two eggs. Black coffee on the side.


Finished Product

What I don't eat is - grains, much dairy, processed sugar. Do I miss them? Eh, not at the moment. I am too hung up on how good avocados taste to miss rice. Sushi, one of my favorite meals, can be a bit challenging. But seaweed salad and sashimi are plenty tasty to make me miss rolls.

I did have a small piece of ice cream cake a couple days ago to celebrate a coworker's birthday. I could have said no, but frankly I didn't want to make a big deal about not taking one. And it was Cookie Puss! But I felt sick after eating it (lethargic and stomach-achy) so that won't be happening again. Not worth the gut pain.

All of these changes have made me feel fulfilled. Of course, it is welcome to hear my doctor tell me that I've dropped 6 pounds and my resting HR is 5 bmp lower that it was just a couple months ago. That's not why I am doing this, but I can happily chew on those numbers.

Overall, I like this experiment. It is still an experiment. A lifestyle not a diet and exercise plan. It allows for mistakes, it gives me more time to focus on non-endurance-sports stuff (like hanging out at the beach or reading), and most of all, it has given me energy to be a smiley person. Still sarcastic, but now with a devious smile and laugh.

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