Want to run my schedule by you...


mdjess86

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So my schedule is pretty hectic as it is, but I'd really like to run 4 days a week (this is usually pretty easy for me to do) but I'd also like to start P90X2 at the same time. Right now I do P90x intermittently but it's hard for me to keep up with it because of time, p90X2 seems like it's a little less time and there's 2 days of rest instead of 1, which I think I can definitely do. The thing is doing 2 workouts a day means a lot of meals if I'm doing a pre-wo/post-wo and 3 meals! I've been training for a half marathon (I've run a few before) and will continue to do so when I start whole 30. I have a feeling my body is pretty used to storing glycogen at this point, so I don't plan on adding any carbs post wo except on my long run days when I'm running over 6 miles (usually just 1 day a week). So here's what I'm thinking for a normal daily plan, want to see what people think!

Normal weekday(somedays no running):

4:30-5:00 ish Wake up, have hard boiled egg or piece of turkey

4:30-5:00 ish Run 3-5 miles

5:00-6:00 ish eat chicken breast/turkey/tuna

5:00-6:00 shower/get ready/work

7:00 eat meal 1 at morning checkout

11:00-2:00 meal 2

5:30 hard boiled egg or turkey/checkout

6:00-6:30ish P90X2 workout 

7:00-8:00 I'm thinking of eating some chicken breast or turkey while heating up/cooking meal 3 and then just eating it right after

 

Saturdays are my big run days, so my plan is to add some squash or sweet potato for my post workout snack

Sundays I don't run, I usually swim or bike and only have 1 workout, so I would only have one pre/post workout and no carbs I think on those days...I don't know I do really push it when I swim, not sure if I want carbs there. 

I'm in decent-ish shape as it is I guess, but definitely not where I want to be. According to the carb sheet it looks like I'm supposed to have 25g after pretty much every workout, but that just seems like a ton of extra carbs and I just don't think I'll need it. 

 

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking, just wanted to get some opinions! Hoping I don't get so tired of these that I keep up with them, I am definitely not used to eating like this around workouts, and I am very worried about eating so close to running, we will have to see if my stomach can handle that or not. 

 

As a side note, I'm thinking of carrying coconut water during the half marathon since gatorade is obviously not compliant, was wondering what other people used to hydrate during a race other than water, or have you found you don't need anything but water?

 

 

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When's the half marathon?

With the demands of your job, the marathon training, and the added stress of maintaining Whole30 compliance, it doesn't seem like adding P90X to the mix would be a good idea at this time.  I think you could end up burning out and not know what the cause was: work, exercise, or diet.

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First of all, thanks to everyone who has responded, I really appreciate it! And I really appreciate the article, I always love reading new things like that. I know my schedule seems crazy to most people, because it probably is, I realize it's not normal. The half marathon is at the end of January, I've already been training for it for a while. I'm not very fast, I'm pretty slow and steady. I will definitely listen to my body, and if it seems like too much I will cut out the strength training (P90x) first. 

The truth is my job is very stressful, not to mention 7 times a month I have to basically work for 24 hrs straight (sometimes you get to sleep a couple hours, but not often and even then it's often broken up). I actually find I feel much, much better when I'm exercising regularly. Surgery is just too stressful to not have an outlet to blow off steam. I've done running and P90x before and have found it makes me feel better. I sleep better and am more positive, which can be hard to do when your life is a blur of interns needing help, patients getting sicker and attendings expecting you to take care of it all and yelling at you whether it's your fault or not. My job is inherently super stressful, just like so many people's and I definitely find staying busy makes me perform and feel better than just trying to "relax" when I get home. I chose surgery, so clearly I'm a glutton for punishment, lol. As of now I should have 2 days a week of recovery days, where I'm doing work with my foam roller or just swimming/biking/skiing, 4 days a week training for the half marathon and 5 days weight lifting. The only thing I worry about it calorie intake, I'd love to lose 5-10 lbs, but I'd also be fine maintaining right where I am and just having a healthier distribution of muscle and fat. I really DON'T want to lose too much or undernourish my body, and that's what I'm most worried about. I really want to not snack the way everything suggests, I'm just concerned about eating enough at meals, especially meal 2 because I'm used to just stuffing food in my throat when I have a chance in between cases/consults. I think if I under eat then I absolutely will burn out and I so don't want that to happen. 

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What's the stage beyond burning the candle at both ends?  Burning a candle at, like, five ends? ;) :ph34r:

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But ya, if you're determined to move forward with this itinerary, you should plan on cooking enough for 3 people, and have plans to keep food at work, in your car, at the gym. (pocket eggs, anyone?)

Also look in to blackout curtains and other things to make sure your sleep game in on point.

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Lol we will see how it goes. For now I'm planning on mostly eating protein after workouts and trying to make sure I get enough fat at every meal. I think I'll probably only add extra carbs after my long run on Saturdays/Sundays. Since I'm slow and my week runs are only 3-5 miles I don't think I'll need extra carbs on those days. I'm thinking eggs/chicken breast/meatballs are gonna be really good friends of mine, lol. 

I'm very willing to change my goals if I need to, priorities are work, whole 30, half marathon, then P90x2, in that order, so if I have to I'll stop p90x2 and maybe just go for something lighter less often

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So if you're a surgery resident, you're already accustomed to pushing yourself well beyond what most people understand.  I suspect your definition of "slow," for example, is faster than many people's definition of that term.  What I would focus on is whether you are healthy before work, Whole30, half marathon, and P90x2.  I think the major thing you're missing in your overall assessment is recovery time (critical for those who go all the time) and connect-with-people-you-care-about time.  I realize that it is extremely challenging to fit those into the life you have, and they are also two of the items that are critical to your long term survival and thriving.  As an example, it takes about 20 hours a week to build a solid, intimate relationship (with a partner or a child) and about 10 hours a week to maintain it after it is built.  Less time for relationships that are not as close.  That's not half-assed watching tv together time, but real focused interaction time.  You probably don't have the time to build good relationships now, except that you are at risk of developing inadvertent close relationships with the people you work with just because you're around them so much.  Spending time with the people you already have commitments to, though, is really important.  So walking with someone you love may be a better investment than running alone, even if you don't make the half-marathon goal that way.

Sleep, similarly, cures all things stress-related.  8 hours every single time day (other than the 24 hour shifts) should be mandatory.  Sure, sure, tell me you are one of those special cases who only needs 3 hours a night.  Now go try 8 and see whether you perform better.

 

ThyPeace, surgery, oof.  Yeah, I want you operating on me when you're sleep deprived and haven't seen your family in a week!

 

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So, I don't have any family around me. Which I actually enjoy, I have no significant other no kids, my parents live 7 hours away, I talk to them every day on my drive home and that works perfectly for me. Honestly, I don't think I need 8 hours of sleep, I actually think it sometimes makes me groggy to get that much sleep, but I DEFINITELY need 6 hours. I can easily function on less, but that doesn't mean I like to. You'd be shocked at how little time you have left when you work 80 hours a week. Add in an hour drive time every day, cooking time and eating time, cleaning time, grocery shopping time, laundry time, studying time (ugh, the studying it takes is ridiculous, I'm already doctor, you'd think I could chill a little), once you add all that stuff together sleeping 8 hours a night is pretty difficult. And that's just the bare minimum stuff, it doesn't take into account relaxing time, fun reading time, playing with my cats time, all that stuff that helps keep me sane. Now, I have a friend who is a resident who insists on sleeping 8 hours every night and so she has about 2 hours of awake time that aren't work/driving/getting ready per (normal) day. She has a husband and I don't know how they do it. Luckily my program gives you your 4 days off a month as always 2 full weekends a month and you work the other 2, so that's when you have your quality time. Call can be hit or miss, sometimes it's slow and you get some good sleep interrupted by pages, sometimes you are up all night operating. 

Clearly it's exhausting. And I get it, I understand why people critique it. I understand why people think we are sacrificing our health and our families and our sanity. It's because we are. We absolutely are. To become excellent surgeons. Every general surgeon in this country takes 24 hour call, but they don't have a post call day to recover like I do. They just work through it. And sometimes it was an easy call, and sometimes it wasn't. Most of them work an entire weekend on call every month. Most of them don't have residents to help with paperwork and easy calls and consults. Now, some attendings have much better hours, some have worse, and that's a personal choice. As a resident your choice ended when you chose surgery. We don't choose it because we think it's a healthy lifestyle choice, we know it's not. We chose it because it is the worst, most terrible, most exhausting, most humbling, most beautiful, most amazing job to us. The fact that people let me cut them open, rearrange their insides, give them medications they've never heard of, and trust me to help them is the biggest honor of my life. Sometimes I get to cure cancer, sometimes I get to enjoy a simple case and sometimes I have to tell someone there's nothing I can do and they are better off letting themselves go rather than have me do a futile operation. It is emotionally exhausting. It is stressful. It is the opposite of healthy. Someday I will be able to have more control over my life and improve some of those aspects. But It will always be emotionally exhausting. It will always be stressful. It will never be the most healthy environment. But that is the sacrifice I happily (sometimes not so happily) make to get to take care of people in some of their worst and best moments. 

I realize it is silly to defend my life choices to some stranger on the internet, because the truth is I am very happy with them, I am proud of them and I wouldn't have it any other way. And I would never say another should be living their life by the same code, I'm glad the world isn't full of overly ambitious workaholics who for some reason think they have to save everyone, it would be a disaster. But I think everyone has their calling, or their motto, or simply that thing that makes them happy, and if they've found it, then I hope they pursue it however they see fit! Mine is surgery. For the next 2 1/2 years, it will demand most of my attention to become excellent. And I'm sure not going to be mediocre when other people's well being is at stake. And I'm very ok with this. I've found other things that make me happy, that help keep me sane while I'm dedicating a small time in my life to this. Who knows, maybe I will decide to completely dedicate myself to the craft, never marry or have kids, and heal thousands of people. Maybe I will decide later something else is more important and it will become just a job. For now, I like what I am, who I am, and while I appreciate I may have unrealistic beliefs in my abilities and may need more recovery time, I like to push to the limits and then pull back as needed. It's just who I am, and that's cool with me. 

And as for not wanting an exhausted surgeon who's not seen their family in a week, in the middle of the night in Anywhere, USA, you're probably out of luck lol :) 

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Hmmm.  Re-reading my reply, I can see how it created some defensiveness.  Sorry about that, mdjess86.  I am not saying you should not choose your path -- I AM saying that it's important to make good choices and understand what you're sacrificing.  And yes, heavens yes, I appreciate the save-the-world attitude.  I chose this mission, too.  

I happen to work at a large biomedical research institution.  I'm not a medical professional.  I'm told that I might be considered a hospital administrator if I worked somewhere else.  (Others have compared my job to what a CFO does.)  Whatever the job, I directly with MDs, PhDs, and MD-PhDs -- and their support staff .  I get mission dedication.  And I'm well aware of the burnout and pain it can cause when, over decades, life remains significantly out of balance.  I've done it, I've watched others do it.  And I have literally watched people work themselves to death.  I keep a list of their names in my desk drawer.  

ThyPeace, and I'm really glad you talk to your parents every day.  That connection is important.

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12 hours ago, mdjess86 said:

And as for not wanting an exhausted surgeon who's not seen their family in a week, in the middle of the night in Anywhere, USA, you're probably out of luck lol :)

Touché. 

You will do what you need to do and figure it out as you go along.

A good friend of mine is a general surgeon. She has had her own practice for 15 years and is just now starting to "slow" down a little. She has a great business partner and they afford each other good amounts of time off throughout the year. When she's working, it's still peddle to the metal, but then she gets a good chunk of time off to recuperate. She's found a groove that works for her and will allow her to keep working without burning out. 

 

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Hey guys, thanks for all the responses! I know my schedule is daunting, but I'm SO excited and ready! I made my whole first week meal schedule, including pre-workout and post-workout, and I just have to say, dear god the amount of eggs lol. I also went on Thrive and stocked up on a whole bunch of staples and some epic meat bars, which I'm gonna keep in my jacket at work for any emergencies! Otherwise, I'm gonna buy my meat and produce saturday so it doesn't go bad. I'm super excited, and I think I'm going to blog about the experience, more so my family can follow and to keep me accountable, it's way harder to screw up if you think there will be public shame, lol. But I know I've planned and I'm motivated and I'm ready! Super pumped.

 

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Just out of curiosity - what kind of surgeon to you want to be at the end of this?  I just finished reading Better by Atul Gawande and Walk on Water (both great books - not for MDJess, she has no time - but for anyone else!) and I give you guys so much credit.  

I'd let you operate on me, but I guess I'd rather have it be after you got 6 hours of sleep and skipped your P90X workout to get the full 6 hours ;) 

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LOL fair enough. Actually most of the time my schedule allows for 6 hours of sleep, but never 8, or at least not scheduled...having said that sometimes I have no choice to fall asleep the minute I get home cause it's just so freaking exhausting!! The body always gets what it needs one way or another. Luckily right now my body wants to be HEALTHY and I'm totally on board. 

I want to do colorectal (I know, everyone is very confused, but I love the mix of laparoscopic and open cases, I want to be an expert in one thing and colon cases are my favorite, I find them technically challenging often). If I'm lucky I won't have to take general surgery call for long, or ever, and I can start to slow down a little after fellowship is over. 

I've read Better, and loved it. It's very easy to feel a lot of pressure to be perfect all the time in surgery because someone has put so much trust in you! I've seen mistakes happen, I've made mistakes and it is always so hard. But the important thing is you learn from it, that you're always improving. That's what 2017 is gonna be all about for me!!

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I'll just point out that you don't NEED to run 4-5x a week to have a good half marathon time. In fact, you'd be far better off doing only 3, making one of them a sprint session or hill session, and having at least one day of COMPLETE rest (no swimming or biking or running or P90x or anything unless it's slow and easy and an actual recovery - chucking a yin yoga class in might be a good choice).

You sound super driven, but you also look like you have your priorities in order. Blogging might be good for you, as it's sometimes easier to see patterns when they're written down (eg. you might see that on days when you run in the morning, work all day and P90x in the evening you feel fine, but doing it 2 days in a row wipes you out).

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19 hours ago, GoJo09 said:

I'll just point out that you don't NEED to run 4-5x a week to have a good half marathon time. In fact, you'd be far better off doing only 3, making one of them a sprint session or hill session, and having at least one day of COMPLETE rest (no swimming or biking or running or P90x or anything unless it's slow and easy and an actual recovery - chucking a yin yoga class in might be a good choice).

You sound super driven, but you also look like you have your priorities in order. Blogging might be good for you, as it's sometimes easier to see patterns when they're written down (eg. you might see that on days when you run in the morning, work all day and P90x in the evening you feel fine, but doing it 2 days in a row wipes you out).

Thanks! You're right, I probably don't need to run as often, it's just always been my routine, so really I'm just a creature of habit. But it may have to change!  

And I totally agree, that's one of the reasons I want to blog, to kind of figure out what works for me and doesn't. And it makes you so accountable!! Ive finished day 2 and so far doing ok! I definitely have a headache, but nothing bad, I've enjoyed cooking, I ran today because I'm on call tomorrow and know I won't have time, and I did my first p90x2 workout!! It was totally hard, but I feel great, haven't felt hungry at all. I definitely have some things to work on, but it's going great!!!!

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5 hours ago, ThyPeace said:

So.... three days after the run and hard workout and being on call, how are you feeling now?  Still lots of energy and able to function?

ThyPeace, hoping so!

I'm feeling pretty good! I had a rough first few days, my headache and GI upset from all the withdrawal was pretty horrendous. I've kept up with P90X2 really well, I had a great run Tuesday, yesterdays was pretty crappy, I learned not to run post call after 1 hr of sleep and no breakfast the hard way. But today I finally don't have a headache, my stomach feels great, I've started to be able to eat more of my meals (I was having a big problem taking in much of anything, really nauseous) although I've been really surprised at how little I need to eat to stay full for hours. I thought I was going to be eating way more, so this is turning out to be a lot cheaper than I thought! I've had fun cooking, and overall I'm feeling really good! I have my annual review with my program director so I'll get to leave a little early, so I'll run right after that, gobble up some protein and P90X2 it up! I thought it was going to take a lot longer for me to come out of withdrawals (I'm a horrible eater previously) but I feel great today. I know it may come and go, but I've never felt this consistently energetic at work, so I'm pretty pumped!!

Also there are two other residents doing it with me and their partners are participating as well. They don't exercise quite like I do, but they are also doing really well and we are having a great time sharing tricks and recipes!! It can be done!

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Excellent!  Glad to hear you are finding yourself functioning pretty well.  I actually go through a similar period when I shift away from non-Whole30 foods at first, where I'm just not very hungry.  I find that it's important to pay attention to energy levels as well as classic signs of hunger.  Sometimes, even if I'm not feeling all that hungry, I just feel much, much better after a meal.  When that happens, I realize that my energy had slowly dropped without me realizing it.  The "classic" signs of hunger, for me, turn out to actually be signs of things like low blood sugar and my body ranting about poor food choices.  Real hunger is something I had to learn about.

ThyPeace, on day 4 of Whole30ish eating after the holidays.  Not a true Whole30 because I didn't go find compliant ham to replace the one we had in the fridge.

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50 minutes ago, ThyPeace said:

Excellent!  Glad to hear you are finding yourself functioning pretty well.  I actually go through a similar period when I shift away from non-Whole30 foods at first, where I'm just not very hungry.  I find that it's important to pay attention to energy levels as well as classic signs of hunger.  Sometimes, even if I'm not feeling all that hungry, I just feel much, much better after a meal.  When that happens, I realize that my energy had slowly dropped without me realizing it.  The "classic" signs of hunger, for me, turn out to actually be signs of things like low blood sugar and my body ranting about poor food choices.  Real hunger is something I had to learn about.

ThyPeace, on day 4 of Whole30ish eating after the holidays.  Not a true Whole30 because I didn't go find compliant ham to replace the one we had in the fridge.

I know what you mean! I actually have felt better when I eat, except meal 1, although I felt much better eating it today. But like clockwork 2 hours later I would feel awful. But today that didn't happen! I also had an apple with almond butter with one of my meals yesterday, and the almond butter tasted sweet to me! I freaked out and made sure there wasn't any sugar in it (there wasn't) and realized my taste buds must be getting a little more sensitive. Pretty cool

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