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Rostov

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  1. Hi Chuck, Welcome! Sound like good goals to me.... I was wondering if you were going to use any particular strategies for bettering your mile PB and push-up numbers. Just doing more miles/more push-ups, or is there anything else you'll be doing?
  2. Rostov

    Chief Buzz 1.0

    Hi chief, and welcome! You're right, it is a bit "nerdy" to grade goals by stats and that kind of thing, but I think one good useful side effect of doing it is that the challenge can become more than just "pass/fail" and that can be more motivating. For example, say that you get a cold in week three and can't complete your 70 miles. If your goals are just pass/fail, then you've failed. If you're awarding yourself an A for 100%, B for 80% (or whatever) then you still have a B grade to play for - the challenge is still on. You don't have to parse this as stat points if you don't want to, of course, but I think giving yourself grades might help you. I'm also wondering whether 12lb weight loss is ambitious, but then I don't know where you're starting from in terms of exercise/weight/time available. Either way, welcome, and best of luck with the challenge!
  3. That looks like some excellent results there! Have a song about walking!
  4. Congratulations, and best of luck with the rangering!
  5. Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. This has been a constant goal for each challenge, but as I've less to lose (and it's harder to do) I've made it 5lbs rather than 6lbs this time. +0.5 con and +0.5 dex are available per 1lb of weight loss, for a total of +2.5 for each. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs Finishing weight: 83.6kg, 184.3, 13 stone 2.3lbs. Total weight lost: 4lbs - 1lb below target. Stat gains: +2 to con and dex Very pleased with this result - just below target, but I'm that close to my goal that it's harder to lose than before. B A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. However, I'd like to track it here to make sure. Suceeded every week, and made a little progress with doing more pull-ups (some of which I've lost recently). Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. +0.5 wisdom for each week of success = +3 available overall. Suceeded 5 weeks out of 6, so +2.5 wisdom. This slipped a bit towards the end, and I'm not convinced that this is the best approach to drinking less soda. I probably just need to.... drink less soda.... rather than set myself a target amount of water to drink through first. I'm not so sure that helps - maybe I just drink the same amount, but later in the evening. I need to rethink this one. B Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Finally, finallly, finally suceeded at this, in a time of 24:55. It took three challenges for my injury to clear enough to allow this, and unfortunately I've since aggreviated it again, but I managed it, and loved it. I love running, and once I get my foot sorted it's going to be something I'm always going to do. In the build up to race day I thought 30 mins was a little too modest a target, and mentally revised it to try to get closer to 25 mins than 30, so to break the 25 min mark on a hilly course and a 40 minute walk to get there, is pretty good. A. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. +0.5 points per week where I can say that I've managed to do this. Total +3 available, which I'll split evenly between wisdom and charisma. Only succeded at this for two weeks out of six, but to be fair I set the bar pretty high for myself compared to previous challenges. If I'd left space for bonuses, I'd probably award myself one for attempting - and largely succeeding at - some mild flirting. E.
  6. And a final wrap-up: Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. This has been a constant goal for each challenge, but as I've less to lose (and it's harder to do) I've made it 5lbs rather than 6lbs this time. +0.5 con and +0.5 dex are available per 1lb of weight loss, for a total of +2.5 for each. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs Finishing weight: 83.6kg, 184.3, 13 stone 2.3lbs. Total weight lost: 4lbs - 1lb below target. Stat gains: +2 to con and dex Very pleased with this result - just below target, but I'm that close to my goal that it's harder to lose than before. A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. However, I'd like to track it here to make sure. Suceeded every week, and made a little progress with doing more pull-ups (some of which I've lost recently). Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. +0.5 wisdom for each week of success = +3 available overall. Suceeded 5 weeks out of 6, so +2.5 wisdom. This slipped a bit towards the end, and I'm not convinced that this is the best approach to drinking less soda. I probably just need to.... drink less soda.... rather than set myself a target amount of water to drink through first. I'm not so sure that helps - maybe I just drink the same amount, but later in the evening. I need to rethink this one. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Finally, finallly, finally suceeded at this, in a time of 24:55. It took three challenges for my injury to clear enough to allow this, and unfortunately I've since aggreviated it again, but I managed it, and loved it. I love running, and once I get my foot sorted it's going to be something I'm always going to do. In the build up to race day I thought 30 mins was a little too modest a target, and mentally revised it to try to get closer to 25 mins than 30, so to break the 25 min mark on a hilly course and a 40 minute walk to get there, is pretty good. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. +0.5 points per week where I can say that I've managed to do this. Total +3 available, which I'll split evenly between wisdom and charisma. Only succeded at this for two weeks out of six, but to be fair I set the bar pretty high for myself compared to previous challenges. If I'd left space for bonuses, I'd probably award myself one for attempting - and largely succeeding at - some mild flirting.
  7. Congrats on the strength gains, and best of luck with your continued progress without the challenge framework. Don't be a complete stranger!
  8. Week 6 update.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 83.6kg, 184.3, 13 stone 2.3lbs. Pretty good result, as I thought I'd just been plateau-ing for most of the challenge, but looking back I've done pretty well. I just need to cut down on the snacking a little bit more to lose the last few lbs or so. But though I say so myself, I'm looking pretty good these days. A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 last week, 5 of 7 this week. I hadn't got round to putting the pull-up bar back up after friends' staying over during the week. Sloppy. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. I'm still drinking water, but this has slid away from me at the last, and I'm much less disciplined than I used to be. I think that diet sodas help deal with food cravings, but it may be that they're sustaining them. Not sure what's going on here. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Done it! But I've not done much running since - my foot injury is playing up again. I tried to run today and gave up after a few minutes. Think it's time for a longer rest, and to go back and get some more medical attention - this should have sorted itself out by now. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. Big win this week. Had a great series of conversations with someone I met at a social event, and also managed to smooth over a slightly awkward situation at the same event by deploying assertiveness- which isn't my usual strength. Full end-of-challenge scores to follow....
  9. I appreciate your frankness. I've gone away today and done some thinking. Could I do it? Probably. Should I do it? Probably not. Why do I run? Because I enjoy it. Running an official timed 5k gave me some external validation, independent verification, and experience of running in a community race/running event. All of those things are great, but none of them are central to why I run. There will be other 10ks, and I'd probably enjoy my first 10k more if I've "earned it" through proper preparation, like I earned my 5k. And if I want to run 10k in a few weeks, I have the local park, a running app. the free time, and hopefully some decent weather ahead. Also, I think my foot injury is settling less well than I'd hoped. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. Thanks for indulging my thinking out loud, everyone.
  10. Certainly confidence is important.... and I'd add charm and charisma to that as well... but there's only so far it'll go. Confidence and charm and personality are the only reasons I've ever had any female interest at all, and I'm only ever going to be something of an acquired taste. It hasn't escaped my notice that my last two girlfriends both met me when I had a formal or informal leadership/management role. Losing the weight has given me more confidence and will make me more attractive. I'm a little less of an acquired taste these days, but, as I said... ugly duckling. Having said that, my last girlfriend was (and is) one of the best human beings on the planet, so I take comfort from the fact that she saw something in me.
  11. Thanks everyone. I think walk/run might work, but I'd rather not. Looking at some of my previous walks, I've managed 10k in the same park (though a different route) in about 1 hour 40, so assuming 5k in 30 mins and the second 5k at my walking pace (50 mins) would give me a time of 80 mins for the 10k. Looking at last year's results, about 20 people finished within 5 mins of this time either way. Presumably some of them ran the whole thing very slowly, but I'd imagine that there are some run/walk times in there too. I don't honestly know - I'm probably worrying needlessly and/or excessively about being embarassed. I still have imposter syndrome when it comes to running. But.... if I can repeat my 6k in 30 minutes and had to walk 4k, I'd be looking at about 70 minutes, and I think I can get further than that with running if I just pace myself better. My other worry about doing this is that I don't have a lot of miles on the clock, though I have been running on the spot on a rebounder/mini-trampoline thing (as that doesn't aggrevate my injury) for 60 minutes. But I'm confident that I can do 6.4k (managed 6k last time at too fast a pace, especially in the last 1k), so I think I'll either go ahead and enter in the next day or so, or wait for the weekend and see if I can hit 6.4k, and then enter if there are places left.
  12. Quick scout related running question..... There's a 10k timed run in about three weeks very close to where I live. I'm wondering about entering, but obviously it's very soon. I'm not long back from injury and still need to go carefully, but recently I've managed a timed 5k in 24:55 (after 40 mins walk to get there, and on a hilly course) and a self-timed 6k in about 33 minutes or so. I'm confident I can go further if I can manage to keep my pace down, which is something I struggle with, There's a 5k parkrun within walking distance every weekend, but 10k runs are harder to find, and are generally much more hassle to get to and from than this one will be. As long as I avoid injury I'm very confident that I could finish with a walk-run strategy if I had to, though obviously I'd like to run the whole thing. I also know the course well, which will help with pacing. At the moment I'm tempted to give it a go and see what happens. But there's not much time for training, I can't train too intensively, and I'm a bit worried about embarrassing myself. Having said that, it looks as if last year's times ranged from 33 to 84 minutes, which sounds like a fair range of abilities. I'd love to get a good time, but this time would be more about completion. I'd be grateful for any thoughts. Any reason why I shouldn't give it a go? And if I do, should I drop the 5k Parkruns until after the 10k, and focus more on increasing distance?
  13. Thanks both Week 5 update.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 85.9kg, which if accurate means I've put on a lot of weight in a very short space of time. I usually weigh myself on Saturday or Sunday mornings, usually after a lie in, and often after an early evening meal. So it's probably my absolute lightest of the week. This week I didn't have a lie in, and ate quite late on Friday and Saturday. So that will probably explain most of it. However, I have been snacking too much (on two days especially) and I need to get back to resisting temptation before it starts chipping away at my habits. [Edit - weighed myself again today, and back down to 84.9kg - more realistic, but still a sign that I'm not making the progress that I'd like, for the reasons above.] A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 this week. Still no progress on the pull-ups - going backwards if anything, and my hands hurt. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. 6 of 7 this week, with exceptions for evenings out. Not too bad, but I'm still drinking too much of the stuff. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Done it! 24m 55 seconds. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. Another week inside my comfort zone. No new points.
  14. Full weekly update tomorrow, but I've just achieved goal 3. At last. After being prevented by injury for the last two challenges, I've finally done it. Full points. 5k run, time 24:55. Well under my 30 minute initial target, and my revised "nearer 25 than 30" target. And this on a fairly hilly course and a 40 minute walk to get there.... What's really pleasing, though, is the recovery time. I don't think I had much left in the tank at the end, but 10 minutes later I was ready to walk another 40 minutes or so to get home
  15. You've inspired me to try to follow the "no snooze" example.... or at least cutting down on snoozing and getting up earlier so as to go for a longer walk on the way to work. Even if you're not aced last week, you're still here and still posting, and that's important. What's the issue with tracking? Is it remembering to do it, or the motivation to do it?
  16. Thanks Aqweei! I think I might just try the run without the tech.... what's the worst that can happen? Week four update: Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 84.5kg, 186.3lbs, 13 stone 4.3lbs. Tiny amount of weight loss this week. Time to do better on the food front and cut the snacking back further. On the plus side, I wore my new 34" jeans and my new L size (rather than XL or XXL) shirt over the weekend, and that felt great. First time I'd worn all "destination-sized" clothes. A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 last week and 5 of 7 this week, so 11 of 14. Pull-ups still no better than 3 plus a little bit, but I need to make myself work on them more - the novelty has worn off now! Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. 5 of 7 this week, with exceptions for evenings out. Not too bad, but I'm still drinking too much of the stuff. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. As mentioned above I've got out and about and running again, and acheiving this goal is now a real possibility, possibly even next weekend. But my foot is hurting a little, so I'll take it easy and may not run outdoors for a few days. I also want to think about my ultimate running goals... push on for 10k, or for a better 5k time, or a bit of both? Probably a bit of both, and I'm also wondering about a faster, shorter run of a mile or so. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. Another week inside my comfort zone. No new points.
  17. I think that's one of the reasons that they don't like people wearing them - because parkruns are supposed to be social. I've always run with headphones mainly because I've needed them for couch to 5k podcasts, and after that to help with estimating time and for distraction purposes. Probably I'll use the app to work out a route that I'm confident is circa 5k and then try it with phone/app but without headphones. I'm a little worried about estimating time/pace without any cues, but the course might be more open than I'm expecting and so easier to gauge distance, and might (or might not) have distance markers. I could, of course, just wear a watch. And it's not the end of the world if I don't get my best possible time first time out.
  18. Got a recommendation from a colleague about a running app the other day and went for a run this morning to try it out and get some stats. Recently I've just been running to a playlist that's 30 minutes long, give or take, but not really timing it. Before my injury I had a road course worked out that was about a mile on google maps, but that's as far as precision went. This morning I managed 5k in just under 26 minutes, and I think I can bring that down a little because I really struggled through the first kilometre for some reason (probably because it was too early in the morning). The first km split time was 5:41, compared to around 5 minutes for the others, and 4:38 for the last kilometre. And there were some small hills involved - nothing major, but not a flat course. I wonder if I can break 25 minutes on my flat road route? I can't make this weekend's timed 5k park run, but perhaps next week or the week after. It'll be on an unfamiliar course, early in the morning, they don't like people wearing headphones, and I've no experience of race conditions unless you count school sports days. Which I don't. But even considering all that, I ought to be able to make my goal 3 target of 30 mins fairly comfortably. Injuries permitting. Touch wood. Fingers crossed. I also managed a successful injury-free return to circuit training earlier this week, so things are looking pretty good on the exercise front.
  19. Unfortunately there's a lot of incompetence and disorganisation in recruitment. Sometimes companies don't know what they want, and often there are internal tensions and politics going on - the finance people want to take on (cheaper) entry level staff, some of the technical people want experience so they don't have to train them, others want a mixture because they don't trust people trained elsewhere, others don't trust their colleagues to train anyone from scratch etc and so on. There's a lot of arrogance in some organisations who think they're held in such high esteem that they can just cherry pick the finished article from their rivals. I think the thing to take from it is the experience of being interviewed for this kind of job, and dealing with the associated nerves/stress. It'll put you at an advantage next time compared to a classmate who's never had that experience.
  20. Sorry to hear about the job.... but you've got that interview experience under your belt, and it sounds as if not being offered it keeps things simpler for now.....
  21. Thanks everyone. Full week 3 update.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 84.6kg, 186.5lbs, 13 stone 4.5lbs. I've got a slight weakness for toast at the moment, which needs a bit more resisting than I'm acheiving, but I'm still making decent progress on weight loss. I bought some new jeans last week - 34" waist, although they were a fairly generous cut. Given my frame size I don't think I'll drop another size, and the cut is more for my muscular thighs than the waist. This time last year I was 40"-42". A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 this week. I've started on the pull-ups again, and I can usually manage 3 - need more work to build back up to where I was. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. 6 of 7 this week, with one exception for an evening out. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. As mentioned above I managed a full 30 minute run. I retreated to the rebounder for the following day, but ran a litle further, a little quicker, and up some more hills the day after that. No ill effects, though my foot still isn't quite right. But whatever is wrong (which I think is diferent to last time) looks as if it will allow me to run normally as well as on the rebounder. Not sure whether to run again today (after another rebounder day yesterday) or stick with the rebounder today and go back to circuits tomorrow. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. It's been a quiet week, with some time off work and not much happening. No points this week.
  22. I think interviews are hugely hard to read. People tend to only remember the negative, about what they might have said slightly differently, and some of the standard "advice" out there seems to encourage people to obsess over first impressions and small stuff that doesn't matter. My last interview was quite odd. It felt to me like it didn't go very well, and one of the panel members looked very bored and I didn't think he was engaging properly. One of the others seemed keen to get it over with. Turned out later that this was because they'd already pretty much dediced to appoint me on the strength of my CV and presentation, and that the job was mine unless I royally screwed up. On the train back I kept going over it in my head, worried that I'd somehow managed to miss what should have been an open goal. But it's good to get the practice in early for job interviews, regardless of the outcome.
  23. Funny thing happened today..... This week we've had some glorious spring weather, so I've taken the scenic route to work through the park, turning a 13 minute walk into a 30 minute one, and my walking from about a mile a day to two miles. Anyway, the joggers were out in force as I was walking home, and I got my usual pangs of jealousy. I went sports training on Monday for the first time since December and got through that okay (though it was a very light session) and so decided to rest my foot and not do anything other than rebounder jogging or walking for a few days. But.... beautiful day, perfect conditions for running, the park.... feeling okay.... So, I got home, got changed, and went straight out. I'd only done a mile at a time at this point, and I thought I'd just walk to the park and then do a short run, then come back. But I got sucked in... first the path, then the hill (because of the scout challenge), and then the next hill, and then down the slope to the woods and the lake, then just round the near edge of the lake, then round the full lake, and then... oh well, may as well run all the way back. Full 30 minute run. Cardio-vascular fitness felt fine - probably as good as or better than pre-injury. A bit of running through treacle and blowing quite hard up the final hill, and probably quite slow overall, but pretty good. Wasn't sure about my foot.... I was "aware" of it, but it wasn't painful or stiffening up like last time. Walk home, rest, ice, and elevation and so far it feels fine. DOMS is going to hit me hard tomorrow, I reckon, but if my foot is okay when I wake up tomorrow I'll probably take a day off running and try another 30 minutes on Saturday. If I can manage that, then a timed 5k may well be in sight.... In other news.... this week I kept being distracted by something shiny... my belt buckle. My first thought was perhaps it was oddly shiny, or oddly sunny, but now I think it's because it's now more visible than before because of weight loss. Certainly my clothes feel very loose, and at the very least I need a new belt. Maybe some new trousers/jeans too if I've lost enough to drop to a 34, which isn't entirely out of the question....
  24. Week 2 update.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 85.1, 187.6lbs, 13 stone 5.5lbs. Ever so slightly up on last week, but not by a statistically significant amount. I've been feeling thinner recently, and it's not long before I'll have to spend yet more money to get new clothes that actually fit. Oh, the problems of success. It's funny really... these days the slight over-indulgences that tempt me are toast and peanut butter or toast and ham, or toast and marmite. I feel a bit bad when I give in to tempation, but this time last year "temptation" would have been an extra takeway, or a massive bag of crisps. A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 this week and last, so 12 of 14 overall. My pull-ups have stalled a bit at 3 reps, inching towards 4. I think I've pulled in my left arm, probably because I'm doing too much of the pulling with my left and not enough with my right. I'm going to leave this for a day or so doing much more. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. Success today will be 7 out of 7 for the week, so pretty good. I'm a little worried that all I'm doing is pushing my soda consumption to later in the evening, and probably not drinking that much less. Not sure about that, though. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. I went for mile run yesterday and my foot felt fairly good. I'm coming to the view that what I've done to it this time is related to, but isn't the same, as the problem last time, so the solution might not be the same. The mile felt quite good, and I've had no obvious reaction that's definitely not psychosomatic. Back to walking today, and maybe a bit more running tomorrow. When I am able to return to running, I'm going to have to re-learn pacing, as my default pace has become my rebounder pace, which is far too quick for a 5k - at least for me at the moment. I'll need to slow myself down and hold myself back a bit more. Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. Did okay this week - full points. Partly for socialising, and partly for navigating some conflict at work. It didn't involve me directly, but I managed to calm a few people down a bit.
  25. As requested, a week 1 update.... Goal 1: A shadow of my former self Lose 5lbs (average of just under 1lb per week) over the duration of the challenge. I'll do this by a combination of calorie counting and exercise and run a safe net deficit through, sustainable habits. My starting weight is 85.5kg, 188.5lbs, 13 stone 6.5lbs This week: 84.8kg, 187lbs, 13 stone 5lbs. Off to a good start. Think I was in a bit of a plateua towards the end of the last challenge, and what sometimes happens after that is a period of faster weight loss. Fingers crossed. A sub-goal of this is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is to work out on at least 11 days of 14. This has been a regular goal that I've almost always succeeded at in full, so perhaps it's not a challenge any more. 6 out of 7 this week, up to between 3 and 4 pull-ups and 2 x 10 one leg push-ups. Goal 2: Drink water like water, and soda like soda One of the big changes I made when I first started out with weight loss was cutting out full calorie cokes/sodas. It wasn't easy, but I succeeded and now rarely have any liquid calories. However, I don't think I drank any less soda overall, but just shifted to Diet Coke and Pepsi Max. While I don't want to throw words around like "addicted", I drink more than is good for me and do get a form of "withdrawal" if I don't have any. This is not good. I understand there's some research that would indicate that diet sodas are nearly as bad as full calories and that artificial sweeteners are not good for the body. I'm unconvinced, and I think my experience has been that the kick of something sweet and caffinated helps satisfy cravings for high calorie food. But perhaps that's doing something bad to my metabolism, I don't know. What I do know is that it's not a cheap habit, and that if I let myself I'll drink it like it's water. For this goal, I'm going to have a 1 litre bottle of cold water in the fridge at home which I'm going to drink and finish each day before I have any soda at home. I'm going to succeed at this at least 5 days out of 7 each week. I'm allowing myself a bit of wiggle room because this will be difficult on days when I'm not in much. Success today will be 6 out of 7 for the week. Goal 3: The awesomeness of the middle distance runner These were the targets that I missed in my last challenge and the one before that. Injury permitting, these are my running goals: (a) entering a timed 5k run (+1 cha for entering one at all); and (b ) getting a time of under 30 mins (+3 sta). If I miss this, I get +0.5 sta if I complete without walking or stopping, and another +0.5 sta if I'm under 33 mins. As well as the injury, I also need to make up lost time/training/running. Hopefully I've not regressed too much, but I don't expect to be able to run 5k immediately - got to build back up. Still got a feeling of weakness that I can't quite shift. Not had a twinge in a while, but I'm really not sure whether it's time to start running again. On the one hand, I've waited for ages for it to recover completely, and I don't honestly think it has, but on the other I can't help wondering how much of it is in my head. Maybe I'll try a mile or so in a few days... Goal 4: Life goal - Roll your Charisma In my previous challenges I've set myself life goals related to getting to know people better, or opening up more, or turning acquantainces into friends. Last time I decided to broaden things out and give myself points for times when I've taken a risk and "rolled my charisma" - to use a D&D term. Actually my charisma score isn't bad, especially diplomacy, but I tend not to take risks and introversion is my default setting. So in this challenge I'm going to put myself out there and be more open and more talkative and more sociable. I did pretty well at this last time, and I'd like to continue it this time. Last time I think I levelled up at this, so I'm going to be a bit tougher on the grading this time round. Nothing I can really point to this week to justify the points.
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