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  1. No big changes for this challenge—just keep on keeping on. I'll be adjusting my diet a bit and trying to start seeing some good performance improvements. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run three times a week Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Increase average sleep duration from 5.5 hours to 7 hours Last challenge, I worked on getting to bed when I could instead of losing sleep for no reason. I did great, so I'm calling that one done. This is going to be a bit harder, and it'll take more work: increasing total sleep time. That means getting more stuff done, watching less TV, doing less fun stuff to make sure that I can get to sleep on time and don't have to get up extra-early to take care of things. I'll be tracking my sleep and averaging for the month. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers enough that my doctor no longer wants to prescribe medications in April.
  2. I've been wanting to get some Vibrams for a long time but, I'm worried they'll wear out faster than my sneakers(not fancy running shoes, not walmart special, just mid level sneakers). I walk home from work (30 min on cement sidewalk or over 1hr on asphalt trail by the river) and I'm kinda worried that even if I stick to the asphalt, they'll wear out on me within 6 months. I'm used to not buying shoes every year and the vibrams are much more expensive than my usual shoes.... Mostly I'm just curious if you've seen a difference in the amount of time it takes to wear through vibrams vs sneakers? ((dang, just realized this probably belongs in the gear forum))
  3. Something is broken. Whatever I do, I keep almost succeeding. I almost became a great distance runner a couple of years ago, but then I developed some injuries which became chronic and I started to doubt whether I could really call myself a runner anymore. I almost made my weight loss goal, and then it slipped away from me like a greased chicken. Which I subsequently ate. With a few sides of mashed potatoes. And curly fries. I've almost convinced myself that I could be a writer, but I'm paralyzed with this fear of rejection, and as a result, the only people who've seen my serious work are my wife and a close personal friend. Time to fix it. This will be my third challenge. I took on the first two of the year and did pretty well with them, though I lost a bit of steam toward the end of challenge number two and ended up skipping number three. I think part of the reason, too, that I fell off the wagon is because I fell in with the assassins during that second challenge. Nothing against the assassins -- they're a lovely bunch, and god knows I needed more black in my wardrobe -- but have you been on their forum? You can't swing a kettlebell in there without bumping into some dude parkouring off the wall or doing backflips at the breakfast table. It's a full freaking house, is what I'm trying to say, and it's easy to feel lost in the mix. Plus, I'm a scout at heart. So it's time to throw in with my kin. Here's what I'm about this time: Challenge 1: Run Strong. My feet are the problem with my running, so they need strengthening. I've been doing this informally for about a month now, but it's time to get structured. I want at least two barefoot miles every week, for a total of 12 during the challenge. Challenge 2: Burp Strong. I did some fun stuff with my last challenge, experimenting with my gymnastics rings and kettlebells, and I'm going to keep at those things during my workouts, but I feel the need to shake it up. So: Burpees. They're fantastic and awful, and I think they'll help round out my workouts. Not sure how many I should shoot for, so I'm going to say 40 per workout twice weekly and go from there. Challenge 3: Write Strong. It's time to start testing my mettle in ways beyond the physical. I've got a bucketload of short stories I've written over the past year and a half; for my third challenge I'm going to make something of them. That means getting three stories cleaned up, combat-ready, and out for submission by the end of the challenge. Weekly progress here will be hard to measure, so this one is strictly pass/fail. So, yeah. See you at the starting line in a week.
  4. Y'all remember that feeling? There are analogous things in other games. Anyone ever get the Biggoron sword in Zelda? Knights of the Round in FFVII? You can beat those games without those of course, but it is a damned good feeling to bust out with a ridiculously overpowered weapon and just brutalize your opponents. I want that in my life! Well, not necessarily the fighting giant monsters part (Although that could be sweet too!) But mostly I want to feel that way with my health. I want to be able to become strong and fast enough that things that once seemed like a big challenge come easily. I want to be more than prepared for whatever lies ahead. In short, I want that feels of overkill! There are a couple of reasons that I chose this as the theme to my challenge. One is that I am doing the Spartan sprint again this year, and I really want to push it and see how much better I can do compared to last time. Another reason is because I tried the 20 pull up challenge last time around and failed pretty spectacularly, mostly because I hit a point where I was unable to progress anymore. But by focusing on grinding rather than a time limit, I can shift the results I am looking for and avoid the frustration of not getting done in time. And another is because I want to get better at being consistent in my capoeira training, something I had trouble with in December. So on to the specifics! 1. Train like you mean it! +1 STR, +2 DEX, +1STA My Most monkliest of objectives! At least two capoeira classes per week. I really should be doing three, but I will allow myself to make up for classes missed if I can't go enough times in a week for some reason. I am really hoping to be consistent this time though, I really can't make much progress at this point without training regularly. 2. It's not that cold, just run already! +1 DEX, +2 STA, +1 CON I live in Arizona. It really is not that bad. I know many of you are from far colder climes and still braving the elements. I must run at least 2 days a week, 20 - 45 minutes. I'll allow make ups for this one as well. 3. Conquer the Dawn! +2 STR, +1 CON I will keep using the 20 pull-up program detailed here, but with the caveat of not moving on to the next week until I am completely satisfied with the week I am on. On my off days, I will continue doing my basic bodyweight routine minus the pull ups themselves. Points here for at 5 days a week of working out in some way! 4. Oitro Mundo +1 CHA +2 WIS Anyone remember what Piccolo's name means in Namekian? *Snicker* Anyway, I did not manage to complete my goal of taking a class at another capoeira school last time, I just got waaay too busy. So I am recycling this one, because I think it is important. I need to shake things up a bit, in order to keep improving! Back to work my friends. Look forward to seeing all of your progress!
  5. I am so excited to be starting a new challenge. I learned a lot from the last one, from both the successes and the failures. At first, I was at a loss to address the failures, and was considering a very wild and loose challenge of trying a little bit of everything to see what I liked best. Then, I had a revelation. Doing a little bit of everything is the problem. I have a limited amount of willpower. Trying to chase goals in too many directions diffuses my willpower in each one, leading to failure. In the case of the last challenge, trying to add seriously hard strength training and seriously hard dietary restrictions while learning a new running style was too much. Running went very well, the other stuff not so much. Hence, my new motto: Keep It Simple, Phoenix. I'm putting my fitness goals into a maintenance phase in order to focus on nailing the diet (since diet is the most important for me in terms of weight loss). Fortunately, I have exactly 6 weeks before I start my half-marathon training, so this is a great time to do this. Next challenge, I'll be able to shift focus to running goals. On to the goals: Simply Stay Fit: The idea here is to maintain my current level of fitness and let my tendons, muscles, etc. catch up before the big training push for my first half-marathon in Nov. a. I must run barefoot for 30 minutes X 3 days/week. No speedwork, adding distance/time, etc.!!!! (Yes, this will be a challenge for me to hold back.) CON +1, DEX +1, STA +3 b. I will be switching my strength training program to the "New Blood" Levels One and Two of Convict Conditioning. It is four basic exercises (pullup, pushup, leg raises, squats) split up over 2 days. Two exercises a day? Can't get any simpler than that and still get a full body workout over the course of the week. STR +2, DEX +1 Simply Eat Clean: I was surprised to learn last time that my generous 80/20 leeway actually opened the door for even more poor eating. This time, I'm keeping the rule simple: No grains, no overt sugars. The only exception allowed will be the week of July 4th, when I will be a guest in someone's home. That week, the 80/20 rule applies (since I'll likely have control over all my own meals except dinner). CON +2, CHA +2 Simply Automate Meals: One of the hardest things for me is trying to stick to my diet when I'm hungry. Bread-y foods are almost always immediately available, while chicken takes a while to cook. I'm taking Steve's advice to be a diet robot. I must prepare Paleo foods in advance so grabbing the protein becomes as easy and automatic as grabbing a sandwich/toaster waffles used to be. I need to keep on hand: hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nuts to snack on, cooked meats for salads, and fruit to curb the chocolate craving. Other suggestions welcome!!!! WIS +2 Simply Enjoy Life: It is summer vacation, which means my boys are at home. I do NOT want us to waste the summer watching TV reruns and playing video games. SO, at the bare minimum, we will get out of the house twice a week and do something fun. CHA +1
  6. Hello all! This is my first full challenge, and my first challenge with the scouts. So, a quick background is in order. I am female, 5'2", 153 lbs today, although that has been changing almost daily (woot!). To put that weight in perspective, "ideal" weight for my height (per BMI chart) is 119, with a max in the "normal" range of 135 lbs. So, I still have a little way to go. No exact number in mind, just want to ditch the muffin top. I have been running for about 18 months, and I have 2 5Ks, 1 10K, and a 15K under my belt. My next goal is to run a 1/2 Marathon, but not aiming to do that until this fall. I am not a fast runner by any sense of the word, but I enjoy getting outside and getting my heart rate up. About 6 months ago, I suffered a still undiagnosed knee injury (x-rays and tests showed nothing, but symptoms most similar to ITBS). I am still trying to get that back to full strength. My last race, the 15K, I ran injured. I discovered that I had far more fun running that one at a ridiculously slow pace (as in just under 13 min/mile) than I did the 5K I ran full throttle and actually placed. So, I'm backing off the time goals and just enjoying my running more. As I have been trying out all things Primal/Paleo, I have also recently discovered that I absolutely love running barefoot. It makes me feel so graceful, like a gazelle. I probably look like a buffalo, but I feel like a gazelle. On to the goals! 1. Run like a gazelle My goal is to complete weeks 2-7 of the ol' C25K as I transition into barefoot running and hopefully have no further recurrence of the knee pain. So that's 3 days a week running barefoot (or with Vibrams if I decide to get them) with no injuries for an A. STA +2, CON +1, CHA +1 2. Protect the weakest member of the herd I need to focus on balancing my muscle strength, e.g. weak hips and tight calves, to heal my knee and prevent more injuries. To this end, I will be doing a modified NF Advanced BWW twice a week, and performing SMS with a foam roller after every run for an A. STR +2, DEX +2, CON +1, CHA +1 3. Don't eat like a gazelle For the last (partial) challenge, I dropped all wheat products and my body loved it. For this challenge, I will be dropping grains altogether. I must eat grain-free at least 80% each week for an A. For weeks 3-6, I am adding sugar-free 80%. CON +2, CHA +1 4. Get back to wide open spaces I have a mountain of half-finished projects in my closet that makes me cringe whenever I walk in there. Plus, there is less room for my shoes to gather dust! I shall spend at least 15 minutes a day, 5 days/week working on unfinished projects for an A. WIS +2 Wish me luck!
  7. OK challenge number 3 - here we go! In order to do my job well, and because I have up coming National champs for IRB racing in March I’m on a mission to find some me some gold (see what I did there te he he). So in order to do well I need to be strong and in prime condition, so I have the following goals: 1) Muscle Quest STR 5 Continuation of last challenge, which didn’t really work so keen to master this and make getting to the gym 3 times a week a good habit. My friend is going to help me with a 5x5 weights workout which is going to be fun, also Im going to count hard IRB training sessions with this as lifting and moving a heavy boat is hard muscle work. Grade – part grade lost for every missed workout. 2) Scout Quest STA 4 DEX 1 Continuation of last challenge - barefoot beach running. Loved this so much last time I’m upping to 3 runs a week aim! Grade – part grade lost every missed run. I managed a B last time (I think) so pretty keen to get an A this time. Also planning to include some sprints once a week. 3) Diet Quest CON 2 I have really not been taking care of my diet lately and since Abs are made in the kitchen and I would quite like to find mine again I’m going back to more paleo/lower carb eating. I will remove one food a week from my current diet (already gluten and corn free). Grade each week based on how successful I am at eliminating the item (eg A= never ate, B= ate <5 times etc). 4) Organization Quest WIS 3 I need to spend a few hours a week sorting myself out, and with Tax time coming up I plan on spending 2 hours a week sorting my income taxes out. Grading – reduce full grade for each 30 min missed. Yuck yuck this will suck but feel so good once taxes sorted. Bonus Extras! Surf IRB Champs nationals – EEEKKKKKK so excitedI am due to drop down to 1/4 dose of my meds (running is my new happy juice) –should be meds free on next challenge which is super exciting!I plan on sending a letter a week to someone I haven’t caught up with in a while, snail mail makes me happy.I will achieve something master thesis related each week.Starting Stats LEVEL 2 Wood Elf Scout STR 4.6 DEX 2.8 STA 4.9 CON 3.0 WIS 3 CHA 4.2 Height 161cm Weight 52 kg Chest 86 cm Waist 68.5cm Waist Breathing in 63.5 cm Muffin top 79.5 cm Hips 93.5 cm Right Thigh 52.5 cm
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