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  1. Hi y'all! As you've probably guessed, my main goal in this challenge is to train for the Army 10-miler that I'll be running in October, if I get the chance (registration is full)! Either way, I'm going to train for it as if I'm running it.... And now I've told enough people that I'm doing it so I can't back out! My goals this challenge are generally the same: Get healthier and stronger without letting life "get in the way." So, without further ado, the QUESTS: 1. Train for the 10-miler - I have about a month and a half to get as good at this as possible. Just as a reference, I used to run roughly a mile every day about 8 years ago and since then it's been on a steady decline (I never liked to run, I did it because I had to). I still lead a moderately active lifestyle, but the last time I ran was in March when I did 5 miles with minimum training (read: signed up last minute, panicked, ran it anyway). I don't want to do that again (and, frankly, don't think I CAN), so I'm taking this run more seriously. I don't think I'll be setting any records (I run about a 10-11 minute mile lol), but I'd like to be able to run 10 miles without passing out or feeling super nervous about it. SPECIFIC goals for this one are that I'll likely be using the Nike+ training app or finding some other training program that I can follow, instead of just saying "go for a run today," which I already know won't be enough to make me do it. I'm also looking for a good way to keep me accountable, whether that's through some kind of consequence or by unlocking loot (or both. Both is good). 2. Study for the GRE - I'm planning on taking the GRE in the few weeks after the 10-mile run, which gives me about 52 days. My goal is to do a problem set/exercise every day here to there (7/wk, about a half-hour time commitment each day) which I think is do-able. 3. Don't snack mindlessly - My last challenge included reducing my carb intake for one meal a day. But I always found I was snacking a bunch (I'm talking chips, candy, etc.). For this challenge I'm going to try to keep a log of what I snack on and focus on NOT doing that. I'm still allowing myself to snack mindfully - for example, having a piece of dark chocolate to satisfy a sweets craving or eat seaweed snacks for my salty fix. These are purposeful choices to eat healthier alternatives to junk food. 4. Work on research paper 30 min every weekday - In my last challenge, I tried to read 2 academic papers a week in order to help me prepare/get in the mindset of writing my research paper. Actually WRITING the dang thing was oddly, getting in the way of me completing that challenge successfully, so this time 'round, I'm tweaking this so that the writing of the paper is the priority. I want to make this a consistent effort instead of writing in chunks for 2 or 3 hours at a time every few days. (I'm also hoping 30 min will turn into longer as I get into the swing of things, so I'll get more work done!) 5. Read 1 page a day - I want to get back into reading for fun so I'm starting with doing at least one page a day. My plan is to read before I go to sleep, which will hopefully make me sleep better (no passing out to the glow of some electronic), so I'll kill 2 birds with one stone there. I'm setting up the habit, which is why my metric for reaching this goal is SO small. But that's how we do here at NF. What FIVE GOALS this time?!?!? Of course, like it usually does, these are likely going to change as I learn what works and doesn't throughout the month. ANYWHO - got any suggestions on ways to keep myself accountable (esp with the running)? Or good training programs for running 10 miles? Or any running music suggestions? Cool books to read? I'm all ears!
  2. This is my 2nd challenge! I was looking at other guilds, but I think I'll just stay a Rebel for now until I can focus on diversify-ing my workouts. Sorry I'm late to the party, but better that then never, right?? My main focus this challenge is being diligent about studying, while making sure my progress towards a healthy lifestyle doesn't suffer (which was always the case with those fast food/caffeine-fueled all-night cram sessions in college). Current State: 1. I was travelling at the end of the last challenge and fell off the wagon for working out regularly. I'm going to take on Beserxes and move to Bodyweight level 4 so I have a regular regimen again. 2. I'm stuck somewhere in Level 4 for eating right. I eat veggies all the time, and don't consume liquid calories all that much, but I want to reach level 5. 3. I'm working on applying to finishing a research paper from my undergraduate years and applying for graduate school, so I want to make sure I stay on track for those. GOALS: I'll evaluate myself on this scale: Hell yeah! - I exceeded the goal for that week Good job! - I hit the goal Don't give up! Do better next week! - I didn't make the goal 1. Workout 3x/week - I already play volleyball regularly, so this is only for times I work out outside those games. 2. Replace a carb 5x a week - I'm eating a vegetarian-ish diet, so this is about finding alternatives to sandwiches and pasta, mostly! Haha! 3. Read 2 academic papers a week - I'm in the writing phase of a research paper, so I need to be proactive about supplementing my data with what exists in the literature. I've been struggling with this for at least half a year, but my advisor is shooting for the end of August to have a complete draft, so this needs to be a high priority now! 4. Study GRE 5 hours a week - That's about 1 hour every weekday, which I think is manageable. I want to take the exam in the next month or 2, so this is also requires a dedicated effort! Thanks for reading!
  3. Main Quests: Workout to improve overall health Document and improve PR's Improve running: 5k [26:30-ish on 19 November 2014] 10k [57:12 on 31 December 2014] Ruck 20 miles in full battle weight Become proficient with weapons: Bow, Handgun, Longarms [rifle, shotgun, etc.] Learn a martial art; Learn a sword style Learn a second language; Learn a third Language Earn a Master's Degree Dive Florida Keys; Australia/Great Barrier Reef; Japan Previous 6 week quest Results Completed strength workouts and aerobic workouts and improved PR's successfully. Finances have also improved and I have eliminated my credit card debt while making double payments on my student loan and minimum on all my other loans. I am partially prepared to take the GRE, but I am not registered for the test just yet and I would like to take a couple of practice tests first. Background: During the down week, I found out that I may have blood pressure issues. I have already purchased a blood pressure monitor and I plan to check my pressure throughout this challenge. 6 Week Challenge Goals: Fitness: Strength Workout 3x/week [Cross-fit Gym sessions; Body weight workout if I do not make a session] [sTR +3] Aerobic workouts 2x/week [minimum of 1.5 miles running/10 minutes or some equivalent exercise with minimum of 10 minutes] [DEX +2 STA +2] Life: Pay off as much debt as possible [Credit Card > Student Loan > Car Loan > Personal Loan] [WIS +2] Prepare for and take GRE to apply to graduate school [WIS +2] Monitor and record Blood Pressure at least 1x/day; If higher than 120/80 for more than one week discuss with doctor. [WIS +1 CON +3] May evolve into a diet goal to track diet risk factors. The only other causal risk I believe I have is genetics/family history of high blood pressure.
  4. Check out my current challenge here! And start reading about progress for that challenge here on my log! This is just a place for me to log my progress and for you all to come chat with me and keep me accountable! Also, I will post neat crossplay, cosplay, and fitness things I find or generate here. So, this is the start! Hi. I'm Dandy. I crossplay, I'm trying to get more fit, and I'm trying to get my degree in library science! I'm pretty friendly. I cycle a lot, I like doing strength training too! My idol is Erwin Smith from Attack on Titan and he is my fitness inspiration! Let's talk and keep tabs of my battle record here!
  5. Hello Scouts! I'm Scarlet Legend the Hobbit Assassin. I have come to join you all on this challenge because I find that I am having a hard time keeping up with dwarves and Wizards and the like during my journey. I will be focusing on learning to ride and getting used to life on the road where there are no handkerchiefs. Main Quest: To live life to the fullest and be healthy. My practical goal is to get to a size 8-10 pants size or lose 30 lbs. So for real... I'm training for a triathlon in March and I'm not exactly sure how to do that. I'm going to be honest and say that I can't ride a bike or haven't for about 15 years, so I want to focus on just riding it and getting better at it. Quest 1 Just ride the Bike 2 times a week or a total of 12 rides. This may be difficult the first few weeks because I can't say that I can actually ride it and I don't have a helmet yet so this first week is going to be easy going. A= +3 Dex, +2 Sta; B= +2 Dex, +1 Sta; C= +1 Dex, +.5 Sta The next big thing on the list is that I'm going to be applying to PhD programs next year so right now I'm studying the GRE (general test for graduate school). I need a really good score in order to get into my top 3 schools so I'm going to study like crazy. Quest 2 My GRE workout includes: 30 min reading Magoosh General Guide, 30min Reading the Drill Book, 15 min of Verbal flashcards, 15 min of Math Formulas, then 30+min for reviewing the flashcards and other content. I will do this 4-5 times a week or at minimum 24 mental workouts. A= +3 Wis; B= +2 Wis; C= +1 Wis I should in general continue actual workouts so... Quest 3 Do the Basic Body Weight workout 3 times a week or 21 workouts. (I might substitute some of these for cardio workout videos, just to mix things up) A= +3 Str, +2 Dex; B= +2 Str, +1 Dex; C= +1 Str, +.5 Dex Life: I'm going to keep the same life quest to work on my budget. A= +3 Wis, B= +2 Wis, C= +1 Wis I'm not sure what else I should do. If you have any suggestions on how to train for a triathlon or have experience with the GRE feel free to let me know. I would love any encouragement or extra help. I'm hoping this hobbit isn't over her head.
  6. This time I will have a Sherlock themed challenge, as it fits my goals. Main Goal: Become a legend Goal 1: The Ubiquitous Spreadsheet (+5 CON) My weakness appears to be a combination of needing to do or thing of something daily to keep at it, but also of hoping to do so much as to cease any productivity. At the end of the previous challenge I began a 30-day challenge to check off 9 out of 16 items per day. Each item is some small change or task, and/or from a previous challenge that I wish to continue. After the 30-days it will be more flexible for change but is intended to continue after such a review for the entirety of this challenge. Points awarded by percentage of success days after week zero. Some items on the list include: Exercise and Stretching Tidying - despite dust being a good marker of tampering Sleeping habits - when they do not interfere with a case No Mindless Eating - focus needs to be on the information, not ordinary needs Studying and Writing - to hone my abilities, "Education never ends Watson, it is a series of lessons" Method of Loci - what detective is incapable of recalling the most vital pieces of attic furniture? none. "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it." Posture - How one holds oneself changes one's ability to blend in or glean information Walking the Dog - there is no better method of infiltration, except that it is fairly memorable to observers Draw - as a method to correct poor spacial reasoning and something that is the nearsightedness (compared to blind) side of face-blindness Complete a project already started - a goal that will end up decluttering the to-do list, and my head-space News - As a Global Studies major I am shamefully oblivious at times, but still deplorable for any person of society. Goal 2: Conquering the Mathematics GRE Subject Test (+4 WIS) The April date for the subject test is directly preceding this challenge. Although I am pessimistic about my ability to be prepared I do intend to try and at least be motivated to review the knowledge I will need in graduate school. I even signed up for a Coursera Calculus class. Benchmarks: (One stat point each, with the test specifics combined into one) -Calculus Textbook -Linear Algebra -Differential Equations -Practice test -Sign-up and pay for the test Goal 3: The Ninja Assassin (+5 STR) (John quote about Sherlock not seeming to workout despite his abilities that I cannot find) I have a tendency to vastly prefer my working out being noticed, and overall being a ninja about it. Being ninja-like is not terribly strange, is it? I make a second spreadsheet with grouping of two or three (mostly 3) exercises to do throughout a day without attracting notice. Groupings: Squats/Box Jump/Long Jump Chin-up/Plank/Hollow Hold Bridge/Wall Sit/Leg Lift Jumping Jacks/Burpees/Ground Kongs Crow/Pk Roll/Handstand Push-ups/Warrior 2 <- link has photos, vid, and real name Benchmarks: (One stat point for each reached) *one full push up *hang with bent arms for chin/pull up 15s *hold crow for 15 sec, twice *move while in bridge *back bend from standing without props Life:The Poised Baccalaureate (+1 CHA) No more computer-age slouch for me, I need to work on holding myself respectably. More than just the check-cell in a spreadsheet, looking better extends to apparel. My clothing preference is loose, ill-fitted, and ill-fitted for the current societal expectations of a respectable personage. I am okay with this, I relish in it, but given that I no longer have just three pants it is time to start looking at the articles that are short, that I rarely wear, or that I favor too much (and display such favoritism negatively) critically. Not only will I attempt to correct my posture during this challenge, but also to clean out my clothing. Replaced articles (white T-Shirt for another without stains) will not count, only removed articles. Significant time organizing such as determining articles to retire for messy chores and sleepwear is acceptable. This will be a difficult goal for me, so I will set it at 50 instances of acceptable activity. This means that if I work on posture every day I need only 5 articles sorted for removal, but I can make up missed posture days with more articles of clothing.
  7. Main Quest: Apply to four Doctorate Programs. The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. College Application Season is here!! For the past four challenges (at least I believe four) I have been working on my applications for the four doctorate programs that I am applying to. The deadline is so close. November 15th. Goal #1) GRE: It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing. How and Why: For every 90 mins that I am studying on the GRE, I will walk for 15-20 mins to refresh my mind. I can get so involved in study mode that I will forget to eat or eat without thinking. I want to prevent any weight gain that might occur in these two months. Grade: A = 38+B = 34C = 30D = 26F = 21 Stats: Sta +1, Con +1 Goal #2) Meditation: I'm not listening... I'm not listening... How and Why: Again, study mode is going to kill me if I don't learn to take care of myself. For this I decided that it's best that I learn how to meditate. I have such a hard time just doing breathing techniques. But I will do it in the morning and before I go to bed. Week 1 – 5 mins a day (2x) Week 2 – 7:30 mins a day (2x) Week 3 – 10 minutes a day (2x) Week 4 – 12:30 minutes a day (2x) Week 5 – 15 minutes a day (2x) Week 6 – 17:30 minutes a day (2x) Grade: A = 38+B = 34C = 30D = 26F = 21 Stats: Sta +1, Con +1, Wis +1 Goal #3) Eating: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? How and Why: I will be sticking to a 1800 calorie count a day. I use myfitnesspal.com so that will help. I don't want to get weight just because I will be less active during the next 8 weeks. Grade: A = 38+B = 34C = 30D = 26F = 21 Stats: Sta +1, Con +1, Cha +1 Life Goal) Applications: You are far too eager and curious for a hobbit. Most unnatural. - Read a book (Dex +1) - Take a practice GRE test every Sunday (Wis +.5 for each test) <--I am rocking this as I am taking a test every day! - Save $200 for applications (Con +1) <-- FUCK YEAH!!! FINISHED!! - E-mail Berkeley, Georgetown, Oxford and Brown (Cha +.25 for each) - Write Personal Statement (Str +.5) <-- FINISHED- Write Statement of Purpose (Str +.5) <-- FINISHED Dex +1, Wis +3, Con +1, Cha +1, Str +1
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