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  1. I'm gonna put this here quick and flesh out everything over the course of this week. Training: MetCons. CrossFit type workouts as they seem to do a great job lowering my blood glucose numbers. I'm still gonna run, but not concentrate on it or a different goal. Nutrition: I'm going to play around with carb cycling. On days with heavy workouts, I'm going to allow myself some more carbs, mostly fruit. Organization: Lay out my Cub Scouts calendar for the year. As the Pack's communication chair, I need to remind everyone else when stuff is happening. So, I need to be more organized than them. More details later...I've got a Cubs/Brewers game to get back to
  2. For those of you who haven't seen my recent challenges, they have been a bit...scattered. Mostly they end up reverting to running and counting net carbs. The start of the year everything was more focused - beat the blood sugar monster and reverse Type II diabetes. While I'm still working on that one, the end of this last challenge had my blood sugar numbers averaging under 100 for the last couple of weeks. This despite the fact that my exercise goals have been ping-ponging all over the place and the ability to focus has been non-existent. So we're going to try to change that with more of a plan. I don't know if it's already an acronym or not, but as I laid these out I realized they spelled out NEST. Hmm, not sure its a good acronym as I'm not sure what it gets at (building a foundation? a new life home? a comfy place??????) but what the hell, let's go with it! I'll even move it into the title and bold the first letters of each category! (stream of consciousness goal setting and I wonder why my mind has been scattered lately) Nutrition This is working for now, so I'm not going to change too much initially. If I'm too tired or not recovering as well as I think I should, I might look to add more to some of my macros. Total carbs under 100 grams per day, protein around 150 grams per day and the rest will be fats (no trans fats and poly unsaturated fats should be kept to a minimum). Find/create some quick and easy low carb smoothie recipes for breakfasts on the go. This will be especially helpful when the kids go back to school in September and my mornings get crunched for time. +1 point for each day the macros are hit and +1 point for each new recipe tried. 36 points possible (28 for macros and 10 for smoothies) Exercise The context here is that the running and net carb counting has helped me drop 30+ pounds over the last 9 months. While my heart, lungs and blood-work are much improved, my strength (as well as my ability to do things other than running) is lacking. So, I'm going to try to set the foundation for the upcoming months of getting stronger. Resistance training 3x/week - This could be body weight training, weight lifting, etc. But, something that requires me to use more muscles than my legs, heart and diaphragm. Running 2x/week - I'm cutting this back but not out. I enjoy it too much to get rid of it. Could be some sprinting, slower distances or a temp run. But, just get outside and move quicker than walking from point A to point B. Interval/circuit training will be some component in each of the above workouts. I will somehow integrate them together to keep things fun and interesting and then post them here to be kept honest. +1 point for each instance of exercise completed. 28 possible (I'm not counting zero week) Sleep I've been bad lately about staying up too late and then getting up and expecting to function. I've done okay in the mornings but run out of steam as the day wears on. Could be caloric intake, but during a week of vacation last challenge where I got almost 8 hours of sleep a day, I didn't have that problem. During vacation I slept in. Now I need to go earn a living, so I need to go to bed earlier at night. Be in bed by 10:30 each night as a goal. No phones/tablets/computers after 9 PM. +1 point for each nighttime routine completed successfully for a total of 28 points. Time management I can't stay focused without being organized. Being organized is something I suck at. So, baby steps. 10 minutes each day checking/planning the day's calendar. Can be simply looking it over to make sure I have things set in my mind, or it could be time boxing my day planning it out. But, this is to avoid not being prepared when something pops up on my screen saying I have something going on in 15 minutes. 15 minutes each week checking/planning the week's calendar. Ideally, this will be Sunday night (starting at 8:45 PM at the latest) getting the week mapped out. +.5 point for each day and week for a total of 16 points.
  3. I awoke colder than I had felt in ages. It seems that the frost has seeped through the bear pelt I had harvested, through my skin, and was starting to pulse through my veins. My thoughts started to dwell on the past, when I was a young ranger. How much simpler things seemed then. How everything seemed to work out. I stood up and looked out of the cave I had sheltered in for the recent past. Snow was covering the ground and starting to drift closer to my low fire, challenging for dominance. The snow drift would soon win out. How did things end up like this? How did I get so far away from who I was at the start? It was time. Time to go back to the academy. I need the support to come back from the wild. I packed up my meager belongings and started to head down the mountain and through the forest. Two weeks later I stepped out of the forest and into the Sylvan Academy, my old home growing up. Not much had changed. I heard rumors of new, energetic leaders as I walked past the training grounds. So many new faces. It is so great seeing all of the new faces. I walk to the mess hall to warm up and get some sustenance. As I sat at a table in front of the fire, I start creating goals for myself and for the road ahead. Provisions – A clean, pure fuel is required. Also, sufficient amounts of fuel will be needed for the journeys ahead. I will eat a minimum of 3,000 calories per day. This will be attenuated over the first week, and my goal may be updated based on how my energy is feeling during workouts. Also, the goal protein intake is 220-250 grams per day. Movement – My time away has made my joints ache and movement harder. I must spend more time mobilizing after my workouts to ensure that I can move at the highest level. I will spend a minimum of 10 minutes stretching and foam rolling after each workout. Endurance – I have become stronger in the wilds, but it has come at a cost to my endurance. So, I will ensure that I perform a MetCon 5 days a week to get back up to speed for future challenges. Organization – In the wilds, I have become like some more base animals. With that comes a certain… clutter in my life. I will spend a minimum of 20 minutes a day cleaning or organizing my bunk. After finishing my soup, I sit back and contemplate the upcoming weeks. It will be good to get back into the fold with the other Rangers. My reverie is interrupted by a large crash and cheers outside the hall. I step out, expecting the worst, only to find that a group of bawdy warriors has taken up residence in the strength training area, pushing the ranger trainees out. My eyebrow goes up as a thought crosses my mind: ‘maybe it’s time to see how much stronger I’ve gotten in the wilds…’ Side Challenge - Weightlifting meet: January 16th is my second weightlifting meet. Let’s see if I can show those warriors that a ranger can keep up with them. My goal is to beat my total from my last meet of 184 kg/405.7 lbs. Ideally, I’d like to get a PR either on my snatch, clean and jerk, or total. But, I would just be happy with a new meet total. Time to Ranger Up!
  4. This challenge is going to be a little different from my previous challenges, which usually involve riding further, lifting heavier, eating cleaner, and lots of lame jokes. If you followed my last challenge you know I was in a fairly serious bicycling accident mid-challenge, involving my face, a concrete curb, a broken cheekbone and various bits of frankenstein-like stitchery (awesome addition to the scar collection, I must say), and then I had to really bust my butt to get it back together in time for my big cycling event over Labor day weekend. Which - with the love and support of the Nerds- went magnificently. So while it’s nice to know that I am able to put the hammer down when necessary, I also feel like I deserve a bit of a recovery/comeback phase. Also, I was just kind of tired and burnt out when I originally wrote this out the week before I fucking KILLED IT before I succeeded on my metric ride, and I was really nervous and in a dark place. I’m really jazzed up again now and looking at this recovery phase as a positive idea to help me take a great leap forward, not just because I want to hide under the bed. I have four goals for this challenge: Workouts: In the gym, I have worked out a new lifting program, that involves less weight, more reps. I put on a lot of mass over the last two challenges and I want to lean out some. 3 days a week on the new program, can cut back to two if I get busy. For the bike, 2-3 bike rides a week, with a CAP of 60 miles/3 rides total for the week. Oh, I said it. I want to work on shorter rides done better, rather than long rides ending with me begging for death. Also, I swore I’d never do an event ride longer than 40 miles again, and I am sticking to that particular gun. At least for now. It just takes too much time and actually takes away from the enjoyment of the activity. I’m going to get a professional bike fitting, too. It’s pricey, but I’m worth it. Food: This will be the big experiment of the challenge. I usually just count carbs and only eat twice a day. This time I'm going to try eating 4-5 meals, but smaller, like a bodybuilder. I’ve had a really hard time accepting that idea. And I say that as someone who loves to eat. But we'll see what happens, especially since it will help me get my nutrients. - As an addendum to this goal, I want to start cooking again. I am actually a really good cook and I collect cookbooks, but I had gotten into the MUST BE MAXIMALLY EFFICIENT AT ALL TIMES mindset and was doing a ton of prep cooking, meal replacement, etc that didn’t make me any healthier (edited to add: actually, it probably did) and made me feel like a cyborg, and frankly I just kind of miss puttering in the kitchen. (I did appreciate the lack of dishes, however). So I am going to go back to that. I am anticipating some long evenings sequestered with Mario Batali more than I care to admit. I'll probably do a mix of meal prep and then fresh cooking. Paleo Recovery: Be the caveman. Well, cavewoman. I’m one of those Paleo weirdos, and I want to implement some Paleo stuff that I think will improve recovery. Three ideas: increased sleep, hopefully including a daily nap (finally, an excuse to nap!), 1 hour outdoors per day to get some sunshine and Vitamin D, and no electronics (and hopefully a firepit/candlelight) an hour before bed. I’m super bad about dicking around on the phone/ipad until right before I go to sleep. Leopard print clothing, pet mastodon and bone thru nose will be optional. See? Bad jokes already! Which leads me to my fourth goal: DON’T FUCKING OBSESS. My last few challenges have been great (two of them have been really super successful) but I feel like I need to step back and ease up a tad. Even professional athletes have an off-season. And let’s face it, there’s no shoe contract riding on this, nor will having abs suddenly make me a better person or solve all my problems (except the problem of my pants won’t fit). There’s no expiration date on my ass self-improvement. If it takes me two more challenges, or four, or whatever, to get super fly, then that’s just that much more time to hang out with you fine people and make bad puns. (That part of my old challenges will continue. Sorry) Finally, I want to give myself a small treat each week, in the “Treat Yo’ Self†vein. Something small, inexpensive, but luxurious - a manicure (I never get manicures), a soak in the hot tub at the korean spa (I have a gift card that’s been languishing in my wallet for months), a book, an outdoor yoga class, some nice pens… you get the idea. Just something small and treat-like. Can’t be food, that’s the only rule. Food is not treats, food is food, and not to have good/bad ideation attached to it. That way madness lies. So I guess technically that’s five goals, but I don’t want to put pressure on the “treat†idea. ummmm… think that’s it. Follow along if you like, and I will reward you with occasional kitten pictures.
  5. Background: The past few challenges have been focusing on preparing me to compete in gymnastics competitions. That culminated in competing at Nationals last weekend, which finishes out the competition season. It went okay. Normally, I would take this time to have some fun, learn new skills, and enjoy the freedom of a looser training schedule. However, Past Me hates Present and FutureMe and decided to sign up for the May 23rd GoRUCK Challenge in Boston, which is officially 6 weeks from tomorrow. I have 6 weeks to go from a bouncy, gymnastics sprinter to an endurance and strength machine. Motivation: To be an asset and not a hinderance to the team in May. Goal 1: Girl, You're Gonna Carry That Weight Attempt to mostly follow the GoRUCK 6-week training plan (lol really?) subbing running for other endurance cardio work as necessary aiming for at least 4 of the 5 prescribed workouts a week and absolutely following the plan with regards to ruck out days. Goal 2: Every Day is NOT Leg Day My upper body is severely lagging behind my legs. While the GR plan and just having the ruck on will do some good things for my shoulders and the rest, I've got to prepare better than that. I will be following the hundred push-ups plan with a 4+ brick ruck for the duration of the challenge. Will be aiming to hit all 3/3 prescribed push-up workouts per week according to the plan. Initial test put me at 10 push-ups with the ruck, but I may follow the 1-5 program to start because I've found that these things ramp up a bit too quickly for me otherwise. Goal 3: Flippin' Awesome While gymnastics will be on the back-burner, I still want to try to go on Saturdays at the very least. This goal will be to attend at least 8 gymnastics classes during the course of the 6-week challenge and work on SKILLS. Ideally, I want to make progress on one or several of the following skills: front handspring + front tuck + front tuck on floor, back handspring on balance beam, valdez on balance beam, round-off + back handspring + layout on floor, press handstand on floor, and aerial cartwheel on floor. These are all skills I could do when I was younger, so they're a continuation of my quest to be a better gymnast than I was when I was 12. Goal 4/Life Goal: Don't Fear the Meter I am going to hard track calories this challenge. The only challenge-related aspect of this will be to track daily and to report back to you folks about how my food's going. I may also share a MFP log or something like that. I want to lean back out, but I have no desire to do it quickly. I am still working on a rewards scheme for this goal. I think I may create an achievement system for myself that allows me to purchase goodies off of my Amazon wishlist for things like 5-day on-target calorie streaks. Disclaimer: I know this is not a super assassin-y challenge, but <3 you guys and I'm not going anywhere.
  6. I didn't know where to post this (still new here) and I was afraid to threadjack someone else's conditioning post... I've been doing the Rebel Strength barbell weight training routine and am switching over to a hybrid of level 2 and SL5x5, however I wanted to also better improve my conditioning. I'm not attempting to bulk up at all so I'm not too worried about but I was worried that my possible warm up conditioning would effect my strength workouts... I planned on starting and ending my workouts with: 1 Minute Jump Rope 20 KBS @ 30lbs 20 24in box jumps 20 Burpees 400M Row Does this seem like way too much before attempting to lift "heavy"? I'll be attempting it tomorrow so I'll better be able to judge, but wanted whatever input Thanks!
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