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  1. I've got to have someplace to hold myself accountable when I'm not running a challenge thread. Primary contents here: Nutrition tracking Workout tracking (usually photos of whiteboards) Run tracking And the periodic race report.
  2. RES

    RES: FED up

    Obligatory RES challenge disclaimer: At the end of the last challenge I fell off the face of the earth...because I became a grandma!! 😍 (excuse the glasses, I'd drove for 17 hours and my contacts were irritating my eyes) This little one is the reason I will always be broke... Also the reason I disappeared and my goals kinda got put on the back burner for a bit...needless to say she will be the reason I recommit to them because I want to be around for a long time to see her grow up 🥰🥰 6 years ago tomorrow I joined NF...all my challenges are in my signature if you suffer from insomnia 🤣 I've learned a lot about what doesn't work for me but also learned what does...for example I learned a lot last year...2019 was a tough one, I almost lost a lot more than I wanted to, though at the end of it things had definitely improved on many aspects...this year we're moving forward with the knowledge we've learned and earned! My basic structure of last years challenges worked so well for me that I've given them a new acronym and am going to use it again The Plan.... Food: Continue (okay, start again) making the 24 hour plan, eat on plan when hungry, stop when full. Exercise: I'm following NYAR 10K currently, points for when I do what is scheduled (including rest days) Training plan my fluctuate depending Down Time: Three times a week (at least) take time for me, this can be journaling, crocheting, or time to read. This also includes excursions with friends, or anything else I want it to! UP: As in "Give UP" anything that does not work for or serve me...this year is about being a bit selfish. I'm also going to give up some debt this year, we'll pay off the first major expense and possibly get two eliminated! What would a RES challenge be without some 5k's? January 11th - 1st 5k of 2020 February 15th - Mud Girl Run (My 1st OCR) May 16th - Blacklight Run
  3. It’s the start of a brand new year, and a chance to respawn and start driving things in the direction that I want them to go in. Therefore, new battle log! Except we’re going a day early, because 2019 starts on a Tuesday and I do not like that. [spoilered is a long, non-essential reading background] The 2019 battle plan… For this year the bulk of my training will live in here rather than being first and foremost in my challenges. The challenges themselves will likely focus more on things like nutrition, mental health, and general lifestyle things (or if I decide to do something new and crazy). The exception will be any year-long challenges I decide to implement. As of right now, there are three: Routine Builder: Routine has proven a useful tool in helping me manage both my mental health and my life in general, and it’s something I have little of, even on workdays. Step One: Laptop off and phone away an hour before bed. Read or knit for an hour. Why? Because I get very easily distracted. It’s easy to say I’ll go to bed at, say, 10pm, and still be browsing mindlessly come 10:30pm. Removing the internet from the equation means less distraction. Add that to the fact that I find both reading and knitting to be highly relaxing things, and that both can be done in bed so there are minimal obstacles to me going to sleep, and I believe this will begin to help me fix my sleep issues. Once I’ve been doing this for four weeks without missing a day then I can add another piece to the routine. Burpees, burpees, burpees: I have a Spartan heavy year ahead so my burpees need to be on point. I’m starting at thirty burpees per day. After two weeks with no missed days I’ll move up to thirty five burpees per day and so on, and so on. They can be done all at once or in sets or one by one, just so long as thirty are done. Project 52: An easy way to get myself reading on a regular basis again, I think. One year, fifty two books. Any books. Fiction or not, old favourites or brand new. And, of course, alongside these year-long projects there are more skill specific goals and routes of progression that I’m trying very hard to tailor to my specific needs, whether they are pre-existing weaknesses that need correcting or the next steps that I have delayed in taking. My training will be structured around these paths Alchemy is perhaps the single most important skill to master. Without learning the art of fueling oneself, progress will be hampered and limited. Throughout the course of this year I aim to learn the art of alchemy with the following goals: Stop over- and under-eating. Figure out a calorie guideline to ensure that I am properly fuelled for active days and not gorging myself needlessly on rest days Macros. Just the basics, protein, carbs, and fats. Once the calorie guidelines have been found, implemented, and adjusted to then it will be time to begin tailoring my diet to further benefit me. This will all change over time, but unlike with the other goals, I can’t see or calculate what might be next for me, nutrition-wise. Not without having a solid base to stand on. Elemental mastery is crucial, particularly if one aspires to be an elemental battlemage. First and foremost, the Path of Fire. Mastery of one’s own body is undoubtedly an important part of fitness, and there are many feats of bodyweight strength that I either want to attain, or have achieved before and wish to reach again. This year I mean to achieve the following: One full pull-up Five pistol squats on each leg These are subject to change, of course. Should I achieve either goal before the end of the year, I will add another. The Path of Earth is that of pure strength, the ability to move mountains and stand against storms. Or, in more mundane terms, to lift heavy things. This year I mean to achieve the following: 100kg deadlift. My current PR is 80kg (achieved 2016). Bodyweight back squat. According to my SL5x5 app, my current PR is 47.5kg for three reps (achieved 2016). 60kg bench press. Doubling my current 30kg for five reps. I don’t think I’ve ever tried for a bench PR before. 40kg OHP. I vaguely recall doing 32.5kg for one rep at some point in the past couple of years. If by some chance I achieve and surpass any of these goals before the year is out, I will adjust accordingly. The Path of Water is the means to move from point A to point B with the swiftness of a flowing river using self-powered methods. Running, cycling, even swimming if I figure out how to not be scared of it (which is a shame, because I used to love swimming). This year I mean to achieve: A half hour 5km. I think my current PR there is somewhere around 40-45 minutes. An hour 10km time. I don’t have a PR for this, and I don’t know if my aim is reasonable, but I’m aiming for it anyway. Cycling goals are under construction pending the following discoveries: average and best times cycling to/from work, 10km speed run time, 25km time, 50km time, and just what grade of downhill trail am I currently capable of riding? Last time I actually did anything, I was solidly in the red and edging into the black (hardest grade, highly technical). I need a trail centre trip to figure the last out, unfortunately. Right now it’s a goal to add swimming goals. It requires a gym membership, which requires the funds for it. Watch this space. Bonus Path of Water goal: Full Mucker Domination: I can’t explain how badly my RRDW experience messed with me last year, or how soul crushing it was that the words ‘half mucker’ escaped my lips at the end when I was asked which, full muker or half, I’d just completed. This year is my last chance to do it and do it well as I will not be making a 2020 effort, though I can’t speak for my plans in the years after. The Path of Air promotes control of self, mastery of movement. Unlike the aggressive, strength-based Path of Fire, Air focuses places more emphasis on skill application and injury prevention. All things yoga, mobility, and flexibility, basically. This year I will achieve: A thirty second pendant pose hold. I’ve been after this for years. A thirty second L-sit hold. Downward dog with my heels on the ground. Currently impossible and painful to try. As with all other paths, goals are subject to change should anything be achieved or deemed too ambitious. The Path of Steel focuses on weapons skills. Or, in mundane terms, obstacles. The meat and bones of OCRs, after all, and something full of new challenges from race to race. It is from this path that the creative and wildcard elements of my training will be drawn. This year I will achieve: A complete monkey bar/rig crossing. Current PR is two rings as of September 2018… Solo eight foot wall scaling. I can and have scaled six foot walls solo, although currently that is far from a consistent performance. Goals subject to change. While I can practice components of these things outside of a race environment, the only opportunity I have to do these things in full is at a race. Which is why rope climbing, while still a goal of mine, is not included in this year’s list. I don’t have any way to begin training for that. My week will be run with M/W/F being strength based (weights or bodyweight), T/T being running based, and S/S being active rest. This structure is helping me formulate routine (and helping me keep track of just what day it actually is) though remains flexible as life is an unpredictable beast. All going well, I should update every evening, giving me an unofficial year long accountability goal as well.
  4. As planned and promised, here is my month-long challenge for the month of April. Featuring my favorite Star Wars alien species: If those creepy looking aliens with breathing devices look somehow familiar but you can't quite recall, go back to when Palpatine pulls the trigger on the execution of Order 66... That'd be Plo Koon, shot down by his own Clone Troopers flying behind him So why Kel Dor? Why Star Wars? Well, in case you've missed it, NerdFitness' resident Jedi Master @EricMN has booked his flight tickets and will be visiting Sparta this Fall for the races. It is only fitting I go with a Star Wars theme and try to make it as the Padawan to his Jedi Master and that's more than a figure of speech: the man has been knocking off OCRs left and right to the point where he qualified for the World OCR championship last year. I've done like 4 or 5 in my entire life these last few years that I got into it. And sure, maybe he hasn't kept it up since the WOCRC, but neither have I since running my back to back Super&Sprint Spartan in 2017. We're still Force-sensitive, all we gotta do is get back in line. Comfortable with (self produced) toxic gases, check Breathing issues (messy nose diaphragm), check Sight issues (5 degrees of myopia), check Goggles (so I don't loose my contacts in water obstacles), check Sharp sence of social justice and a drive to do something for that, check Sounds about right. The Challenge Prepare for the 2019 Spartan Race in Ancient Sparta How Part 1: Continue to track food & water intake on my phone app as well as my weight on a daily basis. Make a conscious effort to cut down on sugar and eat more meat&veggies. Part 2: Train. Attend 2 Muay Thai training sessions a week. While irrelevant on the surface, MT's done a good job of building up my upper body strength (major weak point) and conditioning, especially the "power under duress" part of it. Still, my running and quad/calf endurance could do with a bit more running and following @Endor's C2K PvP challenge, I wanna introduce some running into my weekly training, especially if I'm making up for missed MT sessions. Part 3: Accountability and Logistics. Keep my Jedi Master accountable, including Facebook harassment. Get more info on his schedule and race intentions so I can plan accordingly and get my tickets in time. Obviously, the NGW wrestling narrative will continue this month as well. On with the challenge!
  5. Hello. My Name is Charlie, and I am a I started CrossFit in December. My head has been dunked in the barrel of Kool-Aid and I've taken a giant gulp. I've not gone 'full wanker' yet, I'm only going twice a week and I currently don't start all sentences in a conversation with 'at my box...' or 'when I was at CrossFit the other day...' But you know, early days. This challenge is more of a battle log for CrossFit. I've been running the same goals forever, because my long term goals haven't changed. I'm still training for OCR's and looking to qualify for the OCR world championships.This means as well as CrossFit, I'll be running three times a week and bouldering once a week. EMOM, AMRAP It's getting a little dull and it's pointless to put my running and bouldering as challenge goals, as they are now pretty much part of my routine. So this challenge is just going to be a little fun place for me to write crap, post pics of WOD white boards CrossFit and talk nonsense WOD, Metcon. Feel free to join in with the crap talk and post dumb memes and gifs. CrossFit
  6. So, it's been a minute. I've been trying to re-find my momentum for a while. It hasn't happened. There are a myriad of reasons and excuses, but the bottom line is that I need to protect my long-term health, and a sedentery lifestyle is what I've been successfully trying to avoid for the past six years, but it's what I've been pulled back to over the past few months. It's my Dark Side. A re-introduction, since I've been absent for a while: I grew up a skinny teenager but got fat in college through beer and bad habits. I stayed that way until my mid-Forties, tipping the scales at around 260lbs at 5ft10in. In 2012 I joined a gym and lost a whole bunch of that weight and began to gain some strength and regained some athleticism. I enjoyed working out but had few goals and was just kind of coasting along, gaining and losing the same five pounds and not really adding strength or endurance. And then, in 2014, I started Obstacle Racing, doing my first Spartan Race in September. I was hooked. In 2015 I completed two Spartan Trifectas, falling short of my third Trifecta on the last weekend of the year due to illness. I was irritated at not reaching that goal and completed 5x Trifecta in 2016 while completing a number of other events and some road races. In 2017, I realized I was getting good at this for an old man and qualified for OCR World Championships as an age group competitor in the Over-50 Men's group. It was by far my most successful year as a "competitive" racer and I was as fast as I have ever been, mostly due to consistency and work ethic. I traveled to Toronto, Ontario and competed with my peers for 9 miles up and down a ski hill in the rain. This was the height of my Jedi powers. I remained active for the first part of 2018, but gained weight, lost a little speed, and even though I qualified again for OCR World Championships this past year, could not attend. The combination of pain, injury and disappointment de-railed me. I let my scheduling issues get the best of me. I've lost a significant amount of muscle mass and nearly all of my cardio fitness. I've allowed some of my mental health issues - depression, anxiety - to re-surface and get the better of me. It's time to take the long road back. Main Goal During the last weekend of October and the first weekend of November I will be competing in Spartan Races on back-to-back weekends on different continents. That's a LOT of miles to rack up in an eight-day period for someone who has not run anywhere of any distance since December, and before that September. Thankfully, I have a tried-and-true training and nutrition plan. Also, for the first time in three years, I am going to be focusing on treating myself with kindness and not just "allowing" for goals that include self-care, but making it a priority. Nutrition Usually I put this as my "third" goal, but I'm putting this in the first slot because without proper nutrition, everything else may as well just go by the wayside. I know how to eat right - plenty of quality, lean protein (chicken, pork, fish) with real fruit and vegetables and quality carbohydrates. I normally have a training macro goal. For this challenge I'm going to start by logging my food - every bit that goes in my mouth - and start dialing in my nutritional goals based on my real activity. I'll add specific training macros as I go along, but only after this goes well. Goal: Track my food intake every day and report it here. Track total calories, protein, fiber and sodium as these are the biggest macro issues for me. Full-Body Strength When I started working out, I was going to the gym two to four times a week and mostly doing Boot Camp workouts. I eventually fell in love with free weights and enjoy strength training, but I also have arthritis and chronic tendinitis and my joints tend to fight against me because I'm a heavy guy for my size and they take a lot of pounding. I have a gym that I have belonged to for six years and I need to start getting my money's worth out of the membership. I will start slowly and ease back into what I know I'm capable of as not to injure myself and be done before I get started. Goal: Full-body strength workouts two to three times per week. Running I actually enjoy trail running, but there's not going to be any of that in Minnesota for me for a while as I just do not enjoy outdoor winter running. If I'm going to complete the Spartan Ultra in Glen Rose Texas in October, I'm going to have to be able to make specific time hacks or I will be removed from the course. I've never received a DNF in an Obstacle Course race. I'm not going to start now. I'm going to ease back in as I stated above with my strength goal. Goal: Start my distance running plan at the novice level: 3x per week, no more than 3 miles per day. Self-Care I'm socially awkward at best and struggle with social anxiety daily. I also have lived with depression and anxiety and in the past have been treated (medicated) for symptoms. I haven't needed that level of help in the past few years as I have successfully self-treated with nutrition, exercise and a healthy dose of service to others. However, the scales are waaaaay out of whack right now and I am dangerously close to some bad places. Fortunately, I also spent a lot of years paying a lot of professionals to help me develop healthy coping habits. It's time to exercise some of those, daily, to regain my equilibrium, and if I can't, it's time to seek out professionals to help. Goal: Practice one tanglble act of self-care daily and report on it. Challenge Obstacles I will be leaving Wednesday afternoon of Week 1 on a 1,500 mile road trip to Florida, to delivery my partner/GF and her vehicle to her month-long break from our Minnesota winter. She works remotely and this will be the second year in a row that we are doing this and I suspect it will become an annual tradition. I will fly back Saturday night, but there will be a couple long days in the car during the trip. I need to roll with this and not get anxiety over the fact that for two days at the beginning of this challenge I will not be able to meet my goals. Events I try to always have something on the docket to keep me focused. I will be attending the Central Florida Terrain Race on Saturday morning, partly because its' five minutes from where we are staying on our trip to Florida. I am in no way trained for this event. I am going to show up, run, get a gauge of what goes well and what doesn't, I'm going to be kind to myself if things go as badly as they could, and enjoy the experience regardless of how I perform. I'm going to be kind to myself above all else during this challenge, but I need this to get myself jump-started and back to being the best me that I have been as an adult. I know it's possible as I've done it, and recently. I'll likely need some accountability to keep my focus on my long-term goals. Above all, it's good to be home.
  7. Road to Oblivion - Part 1 So I've just written up my 2019 road map, and the first 4 challenges of this year will be working towards my first big and scary goal - running 4 laps of Nuclear Oblivion in May. I'm going to need to be able to gain some serious endurance to keep doing that, both in running and in general fitness for the obstacles, so my physical goals will be based around that. Nutrition - 20XP This goal is split into three parts (hence the high XP). The first one is straight eating better - my Crossfit box posted a list of weekly nutrition habits a couple of years ago which I've unearthed on Facebook, so I'll be running through those. By coincidence (or just because they start with sensible things) I already do their first 3 weekly habits, but if you want to play along at home they are: Drink 1 pint of plain water daily Eat a healthy fat with breakfast Eat cooked vegetables in the evening So I'll be starting straight at habit 4, which is: Eat a raw vegetable at lunch I'll be tackling that in week 1 of the challenge, and then adding an additional habit from their list on each subsequent week. The second part of nutrition is alcohol. Leading up to Christmas I was really stressed and not feeling great, and I attributed that to a lot of year end work stress and general Christmas/ohmyGodIhaven'tboughtanything stress. I started thinking the other week however that maybe the amount I was drinking had its part to play in this too. Well, there's only one way to find out if that is the case, and that's to stop drinking for a bit and see how I feel. The goal for this challenge will be to drink no alcohol at all. That'll start from Week 0 day 2 (because day 1 was New Year's Eve, come on!). The final part of this is to track my mood - just a short sentence each day in my bujo is fine, but I'll only know if the above is working at all if I track it. Obviously there's lots of other factors to consider, and conclusions may be hard to draw, but I want to give it a go. Running - 15XP The goal here is simple (thought not necessarily easy) - run 140 miles this challenge. That includes week zero, and is the exact amount of mileage I should hit if I get all of my runs in. The plan is to run 4 times per week - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday - with the long run either on Saturday or Sunday depending on when I'm climbing or doing other things. Whilst the goal is simply the mileage, I'll put the full running plan in a spoiler for info: Climbing - 10XP I want to work on my climbing and my pullups in general, as these have massive transference to OCR, and I've got two parts to this plan in order to do it: a) Continue with GTG pullups - basically I have my pullup bar in my kitchen door and do one pullup every time I want to enter the kitchen. Minimum 10 per day. This starts week 0. b) Hangboarding - I have bought a hang board with some Christmas money, which will allow me to train hanging off very small edges instead of just a bar. The plan is to do hanging sessions MWF, but never on a day adjacent to a climbing day. As I usually climb every weekend this should mean that I usually do 2 sessions per week, but it could be 1 or 3 depending on how the climbing sessions work out. This starts when the hang board arrives. Budget - 5XP This is a difficult one this month as money and spending are a bit strange after Christmas. I probably wouldn't have a goal at all except that reducing debt and saving money is one of my main goals for the year. The goal here is to simply spend mindfully for the month, and write any comments about my spending in my bujo. This starts week 0. Study - 5XP This is something I have been neglecting, but I really need to continue my qualifications for work. There is a time limit on these, and having missed the initial deadline it's going to be tricky to catch up so I need to put in the work. The goal here is to do 2 pomodoros of study (or 4 hours, if you prefer) per week. Bonus 5XP if I get my next assignment submitted before the end of the challenge. This starts week 0. Forum Cardio - Mobile Edition™ - 5XP I don't spend enough time on here and I miss catching up with people and knowing what's going on. A big reason I don't get on is that I usually only sit in front of a computer at work, and so my lunch break is the only time I have to be here. I don't always get a lunch break, and I use the time to catch up on other things as well when I do so that gives me minimal forum time. The goal therefore is to use my phone to visit the forums every day. Even if I don't post anything just being here and catching up is a start. Well I think that's everything. It's loads of XP so i could do realll well out of this challenge if I ace it. I have to dash, so anything I've missed I'm sure will come up later!
  8. Happy 2019! So this is it, the year of doing even crazier things than 2018. I didn't think that was possible, but here we are! I've set out my goals for this year: tl/dr - I'm trying to qualify for the OCR world champs in October. My qualifying race is in May and it's a minimum of 3 laps of a 12km course in a 8.5hr time cap. Technically I've started training for this already, but I'm a little behind where I was hoping to be at this point, mostly in regards to running. And my training has been a little....scattered. I have a weekly training plan but because I'm still in the early stages of this training block, everything feels a bit disjointed. To add to this, in early December I decided that the bootcamp classes I was attending once a week weren't really working for me so I dropped them and I made the jump to CrossFit. Because of the holidays, I've only attended one WOD since I completed to foundation classes. Piece by Piece The meaning behind this came to me while I was running this morning (I can't be the only one that plans their challenges while running, right?). My training for this goal is like a thousand piece jigsaw. Right now, all I've done is empty all the pieces of the puzzle out onto the table and assembled the edges. There is a bit of structure, but it's messy and impossible to see the full picture. But every bit of training I do adds another piece and slowly the picture begins to form. So this challenge is simple, every activity I do is an extra piece added to the puzzle. But that doesn't mean the puzzle will be finished by the end of this challenge, there is still a long way to go for that to happen. Running: 3 times a week Must do the following sessions Easy run Speed or Tempo session Long run Strength: 2 times a week Any of the following Lifting CrossFit WOD bouldering Mobility and Stretching: Stretch every day & PT exercises That's it, nice and simple. The main goal here is consistency.
  9. The Countdown to Awesome 181 Days to Oblivion! There is no theme this time round. Just a plain look at my goals and what I am going to do to make them happen. My goal for 2019 is simple. Qualify for OCRWC as a 'Pro'. There are a number of ways to do this but there is one that I think I actually have a real shot at. That is Nuclear Oblivion. Nuclear Oblivion is a lapped OCR of around 14k per lap. It's very obstacle heavy but the course is largely flat and consists of ploughed fields and nicely wide forest paths. The qualification standards for OCRWC is 3 laps for an age group placing and 4 laps for a 'Pro' placing. I am aiming for 4 laps of this sucker. Based on last years course that would be 34 miles of muddy OCR goodness in 8.5 hours! That is not an easy goal but it's one I believe I can do, with the right preparation!. As of today, Monday 19th November 2018 we have 181 days until Nuclear Oblivion. I'm counting today as Week 1, Day 1 of my Oblivion training program! Thanks to illness last challenge was a little lacklustre in the end but I'm feeling well again and I'm ready to hit things hard. Eat to Help your Goals, not Harm them. I am obese. There is no real way to flowering that up What I am able to get my body to do is amazing but to reach the goals I want to reach being so overweight is not going to help. I've lost a lot of weight and I've broken through my weight loss plateau that has been haunting me this year. I am getting very close to losing the obese label. My bout of sickness caused me to overeat more than I'd like and drove my weight up a bit but I'm still lower than where I was stuck for most of the year and I've recently sized down! Removing the last X from my clothes labels. I am now simply a 'Large' and considering I started out this whole thing with at least 3 of those Xs I cannot say how happy I am to get rid of that last one! Even if it is costing me a fortune! This goal is simple. Eat between 2300-2400 calories per day. I don't want any 'cheat days' but I will allow this limit to go up to 3000 (which is around maintenance) on my Long Run day. Exact numbers may vary. Over Christmas itself I’m not going to track and I have a day out with some really, really awesome (if slightly crazy) Rangers mid december and I’m probably not going to track that meal! Track everything Eat 2300-2400 calories Record weight daily (this is going to be controversial I just like doing it this way because the data is better and it gives a much clearer picture of what is happening long term. If you cannot help but directly link that number to your self worth do not do this!). Run No surprises here 4 Runs per week. 2 Quality sessions, 1 long run. One Recovery run. Simple. Run 120 Miles. This goal is a little random. The time limit is December 31 and it should be something I knock out fairly easily. This goal is here simply because 120 miles is what I need to run in order to reach 1000 miles this calendar year! In theory my mileage is more than enough and so long as I can stay injury free it should just happen. Strength Work I happen to have more than enough time to run through an entire 16 week strength program without any breaks. My goal is to do that! Obviously that isn't happening this challenge but I can do the first mesocycle. It has been a long time since I've been able to look at 4 weeks of uninterrupted training, let alone 16! Lift heavy 3 days per week. Sounds easy enough. Conditioning workout 1 time per week OCR Type Stuff I need to get better at obstacles so the following needs to happen. Climb 1 time per week. Tentatively this is going to be Thursday night but I’m still unsure where to place it in my week. Arrange and execute a trip to an OCR Gym during the Challenge. I want to make this a regular 1x time per month thing. It is going to be important to practice and get better at obstacles. Mince Pie List I’m shamelessly stealing this idea from @Xena except rather than the relatively healthy Sushi reward my reward for completing the list will be to be allowed to cook a batch of mince pies. I like mince pies. Only 1 batch mind you and I’m not allowed to eat them all myself. Finish Registering for Climbing Gym (commit). Sort out closet and donate of any clothes that are too big Donate or chuck old running shoes. Clear out rest of closet (it’s a very atypically huge closet for the UK and we have 2 of them so this is my own mess). Buy secret Santa gifts. I’m participating in 2 secret Santa’s this year. One may or may not have something to do with certain Rangers. I haven’t got the foggiest idea of what to get but I’m probably not going to say what it is here
  10. I started watching Adventure Time earlier a few months ago and fell in love with it. It’s sweet, moving and completely stupid! I’m only just getting to the end of season 5, so please no spoilers! During the middle of the last challenge I set out my plan for the next 6 months. I've stuck it in the spoiler here (cos it's loooong) tl/dr version I've signed up to the OCR World Champs in October next year in the Age group category. The plan is to qualify at Nuclear Oblivion in May Challenge Goals 1. Finn the Human Stick to My Training plan Running 3 runs per week: Easy / Interval or Tempo run / Long Run Strength & Conditioning 3 sessions per week: Lifting / BMF / Bouldering Any combination of the above S&C is allowed, so if I can't climb for whatever reason, I can do a lifting session instead. 2. Jake the Dog PT & Rehab As a lot of you know, I injured my hip/glute in July and it still causes me issues. If I don't stretch every day and keep up with my PT, I'm going to start having serious problems when my running mileage starts increasing. Stretch daily Do my PT exercises twice a week 3. Marceline the Vampire Queen Eat enough & Don’t eat like a dick! I regularly don't eat enough to fuel myself properly which then causes me to eat all the wrong things when the inevitable hungry pangs strike! This is a work in progress, so this goal is here to remind me to be mindful of what I'm eating. Prep lunches for office work days at the weekend I've got into the habit recently of making my work lunches on a Sunday so I have enough to eat during the week and don't end up snacking on the junk food that people buy for the office. The goal is just to keep this habit going!
  11. The Return of the Challenge of the Living Dead In honour of the Halloween challenge and as my part of my role as the official Zombie Apocalypse Preparation Coordinator of the Rebellion let’s talk about Zombies Of course there is only one movie that could be used to follow up on the ‘Challenge of the Living Dead’ and that is of course the classic Dawn of the Dead Return of the Living Dead (bear with me ) In 1984 at a Medical Warehouse foreman Frank is looking to show off to the companies newest employee. He takes the unsuspecting young man down into the basement and shows him a series of military barrels that had been routed to the facility by accident. Ever the clutz Frank accidentally releases the toxic gas, rendering the two men unconscious. When they awoke their industrious little town is forever changed! The thing about this particular movie is that, whilst it has had a profound impact zombie fiction and pop culture as a whole, I don’t think many people even know it exists. This was the original Zombie Comedy and without it you could argue that there would be no Zombieland, or Planet Terror or Shaun of the Dead. It introduced the idea of the fast zombie, the talking zombie and the indestructible zombie. Although the one thing that almost everyone would have come upon at some point of time is, of course: Brains! So to show some love for a piece of undervalued zombie fiction I present to you The Return of the Challenge of the Living Dead! Experimental Weapon! (this image is from Return of the Living Dead III, but that movie is part of the series and criminally underrated) So training this challenge is going to be a little different. I am still working out exactly what I want my training to look like towards the end of the year. I've got the outlines of a running and lifting program that'll run alongside each other. However a large proportion of this challenge will be devoted to tracking and measuring all of the things. To give myself a basis for my training going forwards. Lift 2 Days per week. Monday and Friday by default. I might swap this to Wednesday on week 0 and Week 2 because I'm racing. Run 4 Days Per week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Metcon, One day per week will be a metcon/functional type of training Day. Friday. If I skip a session in a week (because I'm racing) it'll be this one because the races I've got this challenge will fulfill this purpose. I'm going to test my 1RM on all 4 of the major lifts (hopefully done by week 1), if I can figure out a good time to do it I'll also test my current 5k time but that might not happen. Mobility. A little every day! PT. Keep up my PT work. 4 days per week. BRAAAAAAINNNSSS!!!! Zombie gotta eat and only the best quality brains are on the menu! 2300-2400 calories per day. Saturday will not be tracked. This'll change to Sunday This week because Race day. Maximum 4 Cups of Coffee Per Day. Nuff Said! Sleep Like the Dead Bed By 10:00pm Easy enough. Friday and Saturday have some leeway. Nuke them! It’s the only Way to be Sure! There are 2 races this Challenge! OCRWC: Mudstacle 7k fun lap Nuclear Fallout! 12K The goal for the races is simply to have fun with them. They are both big meetup events with a bunch of awesome nerds and I can’t think of a better way to end the race season. I'm looking forward to hanging out with @iatetheyeti, @Rhovaniel, @Charlie_Quinn and @Jarric!
  12. So i have just completed my first ever OCR. My training leading up to the event, plus post-race analysis, is detailed in my Barbarian Challenge training log. This log will pick up where that race ended. i do hope to do more of these events in the future, plus a smattering of 5 and 10ks, some powerlifting meets, some shooting comps, and whatever other epic adventures i may come across. So, here we go!
  13. JonFirestar and 3.00 Spartans! I can't help it but i think this is going to be a bit of a boring challenge and very run of the mill. So I'm just going to focus on the fun part of it! This Challenge encomases a total of 3 Spartan Races. It was going to be 4, but I deferred the first beast (Which would have been this Saturday) and so I am running: Scottish Spartan Sprint on Sunday 16th Sept Windsor Spartan Beast on Saturday 6th October Windsor Spartan Sprint on Sunday 7th October I'm really excited for those races in October because I should be much fitter and, most importantly healthy, so I'm excited. Nothing in this list is going to be done hard or fast. I'm looking at 3 easy fun races with chances to meet up and run with @iatetheyeti and @Rhovaniel, All good fun So let's talk Sparta Scrounge to Survive When inducted to military training the Spartan boys would be given meagre rations and be expected to scrounge and steal for more food, but punished severely if caught. My basic intention here is to continue what I started last challenge with a couple of concessions: 2300-2400 calories per day with one variance/high day per week. At the end of week 0 I'm on vacation, Friday through Monday my intention here is not to track but not to use it as an excuse to go crazy either. I have a bit of a plan for the weekend and it's more accurate to say my goal is to stick to that as best as possible. Nevertheless I'm not too worried about my holiday time so long as I don't go completely insane and what comes before or after is on point. I'll probably also up my calories in general over my double spartan weekend. My invention would be to hit about maintenance (above that on Saturday itself) but what that means in numbers will be worked out closer to the date. That has got more to do with recovery than anything. Again it's not a license to go crazy but the reality is that the weekend is going to be demanding enough without being in deficit. Train For War The Spartans were known for unparalleled skill in battle. Running: 3 runs per week. Monday - Easy Wednesday - Tempo Saturday - Long I'm going to jostle with these sessions a bit so the individual workouts might be different but this is the basic format. The Saturday long run isn't really any longer than the other runs it's just formatted differently so that it takes a little longer and I've added it because doing the exact same run 3 days a week is annoying me. Next Challenge I'll be able to add dedicated speed sessions back in but I might add in some sets of strides towards the end of this one depending on how my injury is feeling. S&C Two Strength and Conditioning workouts per week in the same randomised 'workout of the day' format that I was using last challenge because that kept it fun and interesting. The two workouts will be about an hour long with some kind of cardio to bring up the time Tuesday: S&C WOD + cardio Thursday: S&C WOD + Cardio Recovery Monday and Friday are in all intents going to be recovery workouts. Monday will be a run and Friday something else, probably easy cycling. Active recovery is the name of the game. Continue to do my PT exercises on schedule. Mobility: It has come to my attention that my mobility might not be as good as i think it is. I take being flexible for granted but while my joints are generally loose and mobile my muscles might not be playing ball. My calves and hips are especially tight. Do at least 10 minutes of mobility work every single day. Now that I've written it it seems way more complicated than it is in my head so: TLDR Monday: Easy recovery run Tuesday: S&C wod + cardio (1hr approx total). Wednesday: Tempo Run Thursday: S&C wod + cardio (1hr approx total) Friday: Recovery workout Saturday: Long run Sunday: Rest Mobility every day at least 10 minutes. PT work to plan. I will be taking things a little easier this week and the week 3 I will be doing a full taper. Discipline: I'm not happy with this right now so I want to keep my goal of getting to bed by 10pm at the latest. That's basically that. Eat well, exercise, sleep. I was thinking about implementing a scoring system but I am not sure that I will.
  14. After a great start to 2017 that was highlighted by qualifying for the first time at age 50 for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships and capped off by competing in the Age Group category in that race, the year ended rather quietly as I "whatever"-ed myself into missing workouts, backing off on my running program, and basically falling as out-of-shape as I have been in over three years. Coming on its heels, my 2018 has been consistent in its inconsistency. The year started off poorly; I was eating poorly, I was not working out consistently, and I was missing my scheduled runs. In context, I am not failing, regardless of what the scale says. I look reasonably good in clothes that fit and I am pretty fit in comparison with most of my peers, who largely laugh when I describe myself as "Old, fat and out-of-shape." This is true despite the onset of psoriatic arthritis in the middle of 2017 that has adjusted how I exercise and how I recover. However, I'm not ready to admit defeat to my arthritic knees and lower back. Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers: These men, 50 and over, who are not content to take that knee but will Rise Up and Conduct Their Business as Grand Masters. I will not go quietly into the night. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. I will Rebel. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal (or two, or three) and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because this is basically Level Grinding, but I have the self-discipline of a weasel on crack and the attention span to match, so here we are. If you've been around for any of my challenges you're already familiar with what's going on, but if there are any new eyes reading, here's what's on the menu: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." I'm still building up my mileage from a long winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday and Wednesday, weight training Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus: 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. I tried this last time and it faded out due to inconsistency. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Goal: Sustenance When I track my nutritional macros, I can lose inches around my middle and still keep up my muscle mass. When I'm consistent, I see the results I want. I've worked with a couple trainers over the past five years to arrive at the numbers below and as long as I am honest with myself, I can meet my goals here and also look good in my mud jersey when I hit the starting line at the Spartan Race in June. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this, and it won't even get better at the end of the school year until I'm back from my summer Youth Mission Trip, which happens during the last week of this challenge cycle. This is not a quantifiable, SMART goal, but it will stay on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race, and I love it. I love the atmosphere and the people and the event itself. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. Including my trail race during Week Zero, I've got a handful of trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs, and one OCR in the middle: The Minnesota Spartan Sprint is my lone local OCRWC Qualifying event of the year, and this year they've made it part of their "Mountain Series", which means it will probably draw more people than I'm used to seeing at our venue and may stack my Age Group with highly-competitive runners who are significantly faster than me and who want the cool finisher medal. We'll see what happens as far as OCRWC qualifying times, but I'm going to go all out trying in front of my friends and family. Finally, I have bee pretty crappy about keeping my challenge threads up-to-date for the past couple months. I won't ghost on y'all - I love my Rangers - but bear with me, especially since this challenge will be done for me at the end of Week 3. I want y'all to know that regardless of the lags in posting, every like and every comment is observed, read, and appreciated. Carry on, Rebels. It's time for an adventure.
  15. A young girl named Wisp has been transported to a dark and desolate world. Her quest; to locate the Sphere of Light and restore colour and happiness to this dreary land. She will travel through a land filled with dangerous creatures and evil henchmen hell bent on stopping her, but perhaps also some new friends. Welcome to Charlie Quinn's Rainbow Brite Challenge! This challenge started out as a one off joke, but the more I thought about it, I realised that Rainbow Brite (Wisp) is actually a really strong female character. She is brave, determined and kind. So what the hell! Lets lean into the rainbows and sparkles! The challenge For each of my challenge goals that I complete, I will be awarded 5 star sparkles. 30 star sparkles a week allows Wisp to move closer to the Dark Castle and also gain an ally or an item to help her complete her quest. Goals Running I'm in the middle of marathon prepping so this should be done at least 3 times a week (the marathon plan has 4 runs per week, but as we run in BMF, I can skip the early week easy run and count BMF as this workout) BMF / Lifting / Climbing BMF once a week and either a lifting session or a climbing session. I'd love to fit in all 3 activities a week (hello, RangerBrain) but that's probably a little too difficult! Lunch Prep I'm OK when it comes to preparing healthy evening meals, but I completely suck when it comes to prepping lunch. I tend to buy reasonably healthy lunches, but this is starting to cost me a small fortune. To make this easier, I'm only starting with three home prepped meals a week (working days) and then increase it from there. Working from home doesn't count, this is just for office based lunches. Life Lines I'm going to give Wisp two life lines, just in case anything unexpected pops up doing the challenge. These cannot be used as a "get of jail free" card, these are for genuine issues (emergencies, illness etc) Side Quest - Spread the happiness and rainbows! It wouldn't be right to do a Rainbow Brite challenge without adopting her ethos. This side challenge is two fold. First, I'm going to make sure I say something positive about either myself or my day on any updates. Secondly, I'm going to try to give much more encouragement around the boards. I start off with good intentions at the start of the challenge but as the weeks go on, I lose track. I'm going to try to be more present and more supportive of my fellow Rebels.
  16. Determination is more important than motivation. Consistency is more important than hype. My creative brain seems to be on vacation so no theme. I don't mind though, I need to focus. Last challenge was fun. Exhausting and physically demanding but I had so much fun with the NF meet-ups and crazy OCRs that went along with them. I finally have a challenge where things will be mostly returning to normal and I need to take advantage of that to forge some consistency into my routine. So here is the deal. My A race for the year is coming up in less than 9 weeks! A 28 mile (making it an ultra marathon) race in the Lake District in the North of England, with some 3000, feet of elevation and stunning scenery: This is by far the hardest running challenge I've ever undertaken but I've had a massive boost to my confidence off fo the back of a 20 mile OCR. There is still a lot of work that needs to happen to get me ready and I am going to take advantage of the relative calm of the next 5 weeks to get work done! Food is Fuel, Not Emotional Support I struggle with food. I've lost a ton of weight but I have a lot left to use. The simple fact here is every pound that I drop before I run that marathon is a pound that I don't have to lug around for 28 miles! So there is going to be a focus on keeping a modest calorie deficit for the coming challenge. The good news is that I can get away with eating a lot of food and maintain that deficit. I'm aiming for 2900 to 3000 calories per day. I won't adjust that for rest days (cause I don't take that many and I think that having my rest day also be a calorie surplus day is not a bad thing). I'm otherwise aiming to be quite strict with it. I don't really care where the calories come from because I like to eat and make fresh and wholesome food anyway. Run! Simple goal here. Run. A lot I have a program that has me running 4 times a week with a ton of hill work (because mountain ultra marathon and all that). For anyone who is curious the plan can be found here: http://www.brutalevents.co.uk/MMM_16wk_plan.pdf and I'm currently starting Week 8. Weeks 6 and 7 didn't happen to plan because of my crazy OCR schedule but I made what I believe are suitable adjustments. For a first time in a while I feel like I'm actually making decent progress on this plan. Lift! I've been neglecting strength work for a while. This has become horribly apparent when I am doing OCRs. I'm struggling with heavy carries and lifts where I didn't before and finding things I struggled with (like walls) even harder. I'm going to he hitting the gym 3 days per week for strength work. Some of the time will be dedicated to power-lifting type training for raw strength and some of the work on more functional type training with some real sport specific work towards OCR. I have a ton of Spartan Races coming up later in the year and I don't want to repeat the dire performance of my first! Financial Kung Fu! May was an expensive Month. June is also going to be expensive. I have a lot of goals and I need cash to pull many of them off. This goal is rather simple: No frivolous spending. None. Zero. Things required will be listed in my final goal but everything else is a no go. That means. Buy no coffee on the way to work or at lunch (if I go out with someone and happen to end up at a coffee shop, that's okay. My vice here is to grab something before work). No buying snacks. No video games (I have more than enough to play though, I don't need new ones right now). Protein bars are expensive, stick to one per work day. Every day without frivolous spending will be recorded. Each infraction reported in full. ToDo List: This is just a list of things that need to happen this challenge. The time limit is the 5 weeks. buy new trail shoes for MvL book hotel for Scotland trip buy plane tickets for Scotland trip buy up all my required gear for MvL Figure out how to pack and run with said gear Sign up for OCRW (figure out what events I can realistically do based on finances) work out if I can make my remaining holiday allowance work for this year or if I need to get more (the deadline for this is in 2 weeks but I'm erring on the side of, make what I've got work because of the financial cost of acquiring more.) checkout new gym make sure you only pay for 1 membership!
  17. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. If I do this, I will get to keep my band. A bunch of my friends kept theirs last year. At the end of the last challenge cycle, I ran a qualifying event and did not place well. I got pretty down about it. While it was a wake-up call regarding my training, it was also a wake-up call to re-focus my mindset and my attitude. I needed to be reminded that I do this for FUN. This is about a mile and less than 15 minutes into the race. Does this man look like he's having fun? This man is 8.2 miles and eight hours into the same race. Does this man look like he's having fun? Kacey spent the whole race, including the double-hill bucket carry, smiling. He also was quoted as saying, while standing in a puddle, "You better be careful here, the mud's up to my waist!" and laughing. I ENJOY obstacle racing. I'm going to spend this cycle putting in the work while changing my mindset and enjoying the process. I need to choose the path to the Light Side, where there is joy in the process. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because these things don't change, but I have the self-discipline of a teenager on a Red Bull drip and the attention span to match, so Challenge Thread it is. If you've been around for any of my challenges you know what's coming: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen since November and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. We should have had a thaw in March, but it's now mid-April and IT'S STILL SNOWING. I'll get in most of my work on the Dreadmill with some scheduled trail runs while things are I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays when I don't have a scheduled race or trail run. Weight training Tuesday and Thursday. 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I've stuck to my macros pretty well over the last challenge cycle and my race jersey is fitting pretty well right now, but I'd like to look AMAZING when my home race in June rolls around. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. Aside from Yoga on Mondays when it fits my schedule, this is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs. There's also one obstacle mud run at the end of this cycle: Muddy Warrior Run, May 19 This is NOT an OCRWC qualifier, so it is going to be more of a fun run than a competitive race for me. It looks like fun. I'm going to go race happy that day. Time to choose your path, Jedi.
  18. I'm rolling in really late! I went away for a week to Mallorca to switch off and get some much needed sunshine. I was going to skip a challenge completely this time around, and in a way I still am. This is a non-challenge. I'm not putting up any goals, I just realised how much I miss being here and I really need a place to throw all my thoughts and random race and training stuff. Oh and I also have this little thing coming up very soon: and I need somewhere to vent my excitement! If you follow @Mr_Willes, @jonfirestar, @Rhovaniel, @Jarric or @iatetheyeti you probably already know that this is the thing we've been talking about for the best part of a year. And now it's nearly here and every time I think about the more excited I get. I'll be sticking to my regular weekly routine of running, BMF and occasional bouldering in between the insanity that is the longest single lap OCR in the world and one of the most fun OCR's you can imagine - Nuclear Race - the following week. I may actually die before this challenge ends, but nothing like going down in a blaze of glory, right?
  19. Getting Dirty in May I racked my brain for a theme but came up short. So I'm just gonna say it as it is. This challenge is about getting muddy, getting dirty and getting filthy and, hopefully, not dying in the meantime. So here is what is coming up this time round: Tough Mudder!! On Week 1 We have Tough Mudder. My team consists of the totally badass @Rhovaniel and I think we are both quite keen to tear up the course. But Tough Mudder is the Warmup because coming up on Week 3 we've got the 'biggest obstacle course race in the world' Rat Race Dirty Weekend! You might have heard a few of the Rangers talking about this one recently. It's been in the work for a whole year and will become an epic Ranger Meetup. OCR, beer festival, camping trip and after party with some of the finest Ranger's in the guild this side of the pond in attendance. We've got @Mr_Willes, @Rhovaniel, @Jarric, @iatetheyeti, @Charlie_Quinn and myself. This one event promises to be a massive heap of fun and excitement. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I'm very, very excited about this race. To Round Things out Week 4 as a 'recovery' run. Nuclear Rush (incase you don't know, the magnificent flying ass on the right hand side is me) If I'm honest, this race is just insanity. I'm only doing it so that I don't end up running a hard 10k road race instead. It'll be interesting to see how my body copes with it. So as you can see I've got a lot of stuff coming up and a lot of it is going to beat me up and leave me staggering around. Because of this I'm going to take a break from my own convention and not promise a damned thing in regards to workouts. Instead this challenge is all about recovery. I'm going to try to maintain 4 runs a week because I still have a marathon coming up in the summer but I will skip runs if needed after Tough Mudder if I feel like I need the recovery time. I'm pretty stubborn about that so don't expect many skipped runs. I'm going to try to lift 4 times a week but I will skip sessions if I need to before and After Tough Mudder. My aim would be to do at least 2 per week but I'm very much playing it all by ear. So here are my actual goals Update Every Day Update the forum every day. Report on workouts, recovery and calorie intake for each given day. That'll simply help me from taking this challenge as an excuse to go haywire. Obviously there probably won't be much updating on the days that we're camping at RRDW. Do Something for Recovery Every Day There are no hard rules here. It can be anything. Stretching, yoga, a bath, meditation and even swapping out a run for a walk because I ran 20 miles the Saturday before. Just something to keep me mindful about recovery and report on what I'm doing. The idea is to make me actively focus on it a bit. That's it. I'm really excited for this challenge even if I'm being very nebulous about the whole thing.
  20. Race Season Begins Here we go again. Anyone following my last challenge will remember that I managed to miss the first race of the season thanks to some unexpected snow! Let's put that behind us and focus on my next race(s). I have no fewer than 2 coming up this challenge. March 18: Reading Half Marathon. This is my local half marathon. It's a pretty big deal in the town and draws quite a bit of attention. It begins in a place that I know very well and nothing short of the apocalypse (or injury if we are being realistic) can stop me from getting there! My goal at Reading Half is to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. My current PB is 2:01. If I am honest I'm not entirely sure I can pull it off but I'm going to give it a good go. @Charlie_Quinn and @Jarric are also signed up for this one so it should be a lot of fun. April 7: Spartan Super This will be my first OCR of the year and the first race towards my Trifecta! Should be a lot of fun. I'm not in the condition I'd like to be in for it either but I'm looking forward to this one. This race will also mark the start of the shift of focus in my training towards the insane endurance challenges I've got coming up in the summer and beyond (aka I start my marathon training program). My goal for this one is just o have some fun. If I remember correctly, @Charlie_Quinn, @Rhovaniel, @iatetheyeti and @Big_Show have signed up to this little beauty. Hopefully everyone can make it! I'm in a team with @iatetheyeti and @Rhovaniel and I really hope they can both make it. The Actual Challenge: I've not been as consistent as I'd like so I'm going to keep things really simple: Run 100 miles! This includes week 0 and is basically just a goal to average 20 miles per week. Ideally I'll include an interval session and tempo session each week but there is going to be much need for recovery too so I'm just going to focus on getting the miles in. Strength: Do at least 2 strength sessions per week. This can be bodyweight work or a lifting session at the gym. The trick is just to get something done. I've come to acceptance that I'm probably not going to be hitting a structured strength program for the foreseeable future so I'm mostly concerned that I do something and focus on a lower body and upper body session each week. There will be an OCR focus to my workouts but I like big core movements like heavy squats and deadlifts for my overall running strength. Do your Burpees! 30 burpees twice per week! Wot it says. I want to get good at burpees Don't Binge: This is a big challenge. My focus here is just to avoid the mindless eating that has crept back into my life. To this end I'm going to limit myself to just 2 beers per week with an exception for race weeks where I'll go up to 4, maximum. For the sake of realism I'm going to waive this goal for Easter Sunday.
  21. This winter has been pretty rough. I don't remember having seasonal depression like this in a good 7-8 years. Cold, darkness, pain (arthritis) and work-related anxiety have all been pretty hard to handle. Now, slowly but surely, I'm rising from my winter-long withdrawal. It's a bad place for me to be; I am an introvert, and I like my quiet time, but my mental health suffers when I isolate myself. I'm not staying here. I'm not Luke Skywalker and I didn't come here to die. It's time to find myself again. I'm still trying to find my consistency from a training standpoint, but I can't just force-project myself back into goal shape; it takes consistent work, and I need to continue to put in that work, consistently. Main Goal I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be traveling to the United Kingdom this year to race again, regardless of whether I qualify, and will run as a journeyman if necessary. However, it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal and a tee shirt: I want to keep my band. I lost mine on Stairway to Heaven. It was humbling. Most obstacle race series (With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race) expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order be podium-eligible. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. Some race directors take pride in the bands they capture. Freaking Canadians. For the record, I completed this thing at OCRWC after 4-5 attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time, but this year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships, and that goal will take consistent work to achieve. Anyone who's been around an EricMN challenge over the last three years knows what they're about to see below: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, our trails have been frozen for almost five months and the cold aggravates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. We're having a good thaw right now, but I'm still running on the Dreadmill until I know I won't kill myself on the trails. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It works. I'm working back into this plan; right now I'm still building up my mileage from a winter of slacking. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength Without consistent strength training, I turn into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because the instructors and most of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. I bought a membership to Obstacle Academy, and they just finished a remodel. It's time to get on this. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. Right now I look more like Kung Fu Panda in my race jerseys than I want to admit. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity This is even more important right now than it was last time around. Work is a hot mess and I'm along for the ride. This is not a quantifyable, SMART goal, but it's on the list to remind me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race. I do it because I enjoy it. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. I've got two race weekends bookending this challenge cycle: Savage Race Florida, March 17 Wheel World, my nemesis. We meet again. I really like Savage Race. It's obstacle-dense at around 30 obstacles over 6-7 miles. Any course in Florida is by definition going be pretty flat. These are things that work in my favor in the Open Waves. Based on both Spring and Fall results from 2017, I have a legit shot at an OCRWC Age Group qualifying finish. Seattle Spartan Super and Sprint, April 14-15 Jesus, that jersey was too small for me. Also, I miss that bandana. I loved this venue when I did it back in 2015. The course is fairly flat and runs out along the Snohomish River, which is gorgeous. Also, I will be visiting my middle daughter, who moved to Seattle a year ago. Best of all, she and one of her friends will be on-course, volunteering during the weekend. I'm glad the jerseys stand out so she can see me as I shuffle on through. The Sprint race on Sunday is another legit shot at a qualifying time. It's been a long winter of self-imposed semi-isolation. I'm ready for it to be over.
  22. The year was 1993. Pre-teen me was hanging around in my older brothers room, bugging the crap out of him as always, when an ad for a new TV series came on his TV. Thanks to my dad, I was already a Sci-Fi fan, so this new series about aliens and monsters instantly appealed to me. A few days later, I sat down to watch this new series And just like that, an obsession was born This challenge is a homage to the show that turned me into a full time nerd. Not only did I watch The X Files religiously, I spent all my pocket money on the tie-in magazine, the comic book series and the video boxsets (yep, video tapes,I am an old) and watched them over and over again. I stuck with the series until it started to ditch the Monster of the Week stories, leaned heavy on the conspiracy stuff and got a little batcrap crazy. But even though it completely lost it's way as time went on, those earlier seasons will always be special to me. Monster of the Week If you want to chase monsters and escape the alien bounty hunters, you need to be in good shape 1. Run - 3-4 times per week incl. 1 speed work or hill session & 1 long run As I've got a half marathon this weekend, week one will be a running recovery week which means I won't be doing any speed or hill work 2. Strength - BMF once a week / Lifting or climbing once a week Tooms No, I don't plan on eating 5 human livers during this challenge, Eugene Victor Tooms may have been the creepiest bad guy ever, but that dude was flexible! Stretch for 10 minutes everyday I've been getting some niggles lately and I can't afford to get injured just as race season is kicking off! Prepare for the alien invasion You can't prevent an invasion of you aren't organised! - Write to-do-lists and do the stuff on the list! - Build a proper bed time and morning routine / no snooze button allowed
  23. I'm officially done with winter. Unfortunately, winter hasn't got the message and seems to be doubling down on the miserableness. I don't do well in the cold, so my main goal over the next four weeks is to fight the urge to hibernate. FEB & MARCH EVENTS Things start to kick up a gear this month. I have Maverick Race on the 24th, which is a 13km run along the South Downs (hills of the hilliest kind). Then at the beginning of March, I’ll be at Winter Nuts (cold of the coldiest kind) with The Hubs, @jonfirestar and @Jarric. I’m still not entirely sure why I signed up for this, given my dislike of all things cold. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, Jon posted a video on his challenge that sums up how horrid it is. RUN! No matter how shitty the weather is, not matter how cold. Just, run. 4 Runs a week 1 Technical-Trail Run - not incl Maverick Race CLIMB, JUMP......er...PUSH? BMF (British Military Fitness) once a week. No matter how shitty the weather is, not matter how cold....you get the idea Bouldering at least 3 times Push ups twice a week (on top of BMF push ups) GET UP! Get up with alarm. No snoozing! I want to start running in the morning again, but first I need to defeat the evil snooze button. So the first stage is to get up with the first alarm and not hit snooze. Once this habit is formed, I'll look at moving the alarm back 10 mins at a time until I'm at a point where I'm up early enough to do a decent length run. SIDE QUEST: UKULELE PRACTICE Practice ukulele twice a week Learn one song by the end of the challenge and post a video of me playing it I picked up my ukulele again after I gave up trying to learn a long time ago. I want to see it through this time and not just give up after learning a handful of chords. I'm setting the video challenge to make sure I keep up with practicing this time.
  24. You Wanna Get Nuts? Let's Get Nuts!! This might simply be an excuse to do a silly Batman themed challenge!! Why, cause Batman is awesome! No Superhero is quite as nuts as Batman, let's face it! Nuts! So this is what I've got to look forward to this challenge cycle: The Winter Nuts Challenge! Thanks to @Jarric being inconsiderate to have his birthday on this day both me an @Charlie_Quinn have been roped into this madness. The Nuts Challenge is meant to be one of the hardest winter OCRs in the country. I've got a little experience with Winter OCRs and I'm a little terrified. (In seriousness I'm really looking forward to the race season kicking off in March. Even if we picked one hell of a race to do that with!) On top of this I've also got one eye on the Half Marathon on March 18 and the Spartan Super on April and the larger goals of RRDW in May and a tiny little mountain Ultra marathon in July (28 miles is totally an ultra ) Though The Streets of Gotham So with the challenges in mind there is going to be lots of running! 4 Runs per week, 2 quality runs Stretch goala 100 Miles! It's a big round number but this shouldn't be too difficult to hit if I stick to my plan. Hills! 3000 feet of accent Who Never Misses Leg Day? My motivation has been low since I burned out at the end of last year and I've not really done any strength work since then. I know that I need to change that. I don't think I'm going to be able to do any kind of structured programming with my race calendar being what it is but so it'll be more along the lines of a WOD type structure. I plan on starting back at the gym on week 1 of the challenge as I finish out my current running plan, which peaks week 0. Hit the gym 3 days per week. The Joker! My arch enemy is food! The simple thing is I've set myself some huge endurance challenges and I need to drop as much weight and body fat as possible to make them easier on my body. Meal plan. Stick to 2600-2800 calories a day. I'm going to allow myself 1 variance a week but that does not count if it turns into a binge. Who Has the Coolest Gadgets! For the first time in a while I'm gong to tie a reward to this challenge. I am going to use a health bar to represent a 20/80 split of bad and good. If I keep the health bar above zero I succeed. If I beat the challenge I'm going to replace my Fitbit with a new Smart Watch. 15/15 |
  25. I've been complaining for two years that I did not want to be "Luke Skywalker, Jedi Legend", and withdraw. And while the Jedi Master was redeemed in my eyes by his character arc in The Last Jedi, that didn't mean that, starting in December, I had to go join him in hermit-like seclusion until now. But I kind of did - except there was no awesome island monastery, just frozen-assed wintry Minnesota, and no straight-from-the-source liquid nutrition. I didn't completely collapse into my couch - I've been working out, although not consistently, and I'm not back to square one as a runner. However, if I expect to achieve my goals for the coming year, it's time to force-project myself back into the universe and get busy. Main Goal I'll be travelling to England in October to compete in the 2018 OCR World Championships for the second year in a row. In 2017, I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the season and competed in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I'll be going again this year regardless of whether I qualify and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again this year, and this time, I don't want to just show up and be happy I'm there. I want to go home with an additional souvenir from the weekend that can't be bought: With the exception of my first OCR love, Spartan Race, most obstacle race series expect pro and competitive racers to COMPLETE ALL THE OBSTACLES in order to reach the podium or at the very least land in the "podium eligible" column. Everyone else is an official finisher, but those of me in the other category are not eligible for podiums - overall or age group. To make sure officials can tell who falls into which category, racers get a band, which is removed when one cannot complete an obstacle, usually after multiple attempts. I'm pretty obstacle proficient, and have been for some time. This year, I'm aiming for 100% completion at the World Championships. I can't just decide "FITNESS!" and achieve my goals of qualifying for and competing in the World Championships (and, on the way, the North American OCR Championships); it's going to take months of training to get there. It's a good thing I know what works for me: SMART goals with plenty of checkpoint events to keep me motivated on my quest to qualifying. Goal: Strength I've struggled my entire life with upper body strength. I have bad family genetics and without consistent strength training, I turn back into a limp dishrag. Besides, I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with training that includes pull-ups and other raise-my-bodyweight exercises. The group classes I attend don't incorporate pull-ups basically because neither the instructors or many of the other attendees can't do them and are intimidated by them. I need them because arms, shoulders and back will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. Plan: Strength training 3x per week: Weight training Tuesday, Boot Camp Thursday/Saturday, Grease the Groove pull-up work every day. Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." The problem is, it's aggressively winter here (my beard froze in seconds the morning I wrote this) and all the trails are frozen wakes of ice and terror. Also, the cold aggrivates my psoriatic arthritis. Also I just plain hate the cold. I'm running on the Dreadmill until conditions outside change. Pray for me. Last year I hired a running coach to give me a running improvement plan. It wasn't revolutionary and it was directly based on stuff that literally everyone is teaching: speed intervals, consistent mileage, weekend long run. He tailored the plan to my schedule and my starting baseline speed and I saw enough improvement that I put up OCRWC qualifying times in two separate events last year. It works. I'm working on getting back into this plan; right now I'm building up my mileage from a winter of not much running while mixing in intervals. "Long" runs are relative. I know this works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Skill I've learned over the last four years of competing in Obstacle Course races that while one could probably power their way through many obstacles with sheer strength, there is a certain degree of skill necessary for things like rope climbing and rigs and Devil Steps and zip lines and whatnot. Plan: Weekly obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Have a specific training plan every time instead of just going in and goofing around on the toys. Goal: Sustenance Because "Nutrition" does not alliterate with all my other "S" goals. I lost a bunch of weight five years ago by tracking my nutritional macros and I've kept it off by doing the same. I've occasionally dropped five to ten pounds in between that has not stayed off because when I'm not tracking macros, I eat junk. I just got a brand new jersey for Christmas from my GF and her family and I want it to fit, but right now I'm looking more like Kung Fu Panda than I'd like. It's time to get serious about getting little in the middle. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Goal: Sanity I wish I could quantify this as a SMART goal, but I can't. Stuff has gone fully sideways at work for reasons completely out of my control and I'm working to stay afloat as best I can while balancing a busy non-work life. This is more a reminder for me to be mindful and spend some time in self-care daily. Hey Jedi man, what events are happening during your challenge? I try to always have at least one event per month to keep my motivation up and my training focused. January was a planned bust, as I have given up pavement running due to the pounding on my arthritic joints, but February will end with a busy weekend. I'll be leaving on 21 February to drive with my GF from our home in Minnesota to drop her off for three weeks near Orlando, Florida. That's over 22 hours of driving, one-way with a stop on Thursday just north of Nashville to visit my brother and his family. When we get there, I'll be running multiple laps at the Central Florida Terrain Race on Saturday... ... and then driving to Miami to run the Spartan Sprint on Sunday. Both will be good tests for me to gauge my early-season form and fitness, determine my weaknesses, and set goals for improvement. It will feel good to get back on the horse, but I'm going to need support to keep focused. I'm glad I've got this place to come to for that. Rangers, Rebels, Nerds, thanks for being here.
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