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  1. I've broken this year down to 3 big chunks of long challenges leading up to major fitness events. Chapter 1 was about preparing for the Crossfit Open 2017, Chapter 2 was about preparing to run a Tough Mudder in Ireland next to @Jarric and now Chapter 3 is about getting ready to run the Spartan Super in Sparta on November 5th. I've also kept up a wrestling narrative, where I’m playing Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 and doing the Road to Glory challenge, essentially creating a newbie 18 year old alter ego in some backyard wrestling promotion as I try to headline the Main Event of a big promotion’s Pay Per View event. Technical details and rules can be found here. I am using the game’s database of characters, but set in 1997. Considering the first TEW was set in 2005, it's pretty early in that universe and if played well, I should have the chance to rise together with the game's most famous characters. While so far I've used my Guild Leader powers to move the same thread across challenge forums until each chapter was complete, I've realized it makes it hard for people to keep up with the narrative if they've missed the start. Also, since I will be tweaking my goals for every challenge cycle anyway, I decided I might as well set up a new thread to continue where the old one left off and help people get back in track with where me and my storytelling is. Now I'm not sure how much of my personal stuff I've been sharing here lately, but on top of my recently discussed paycheck issues I've had a lot of things going wrong and it's got me in a real bad mood. The latest thing came a couple of days back, when I got the confirmation mail for my Spartan ticket. You see, my Crossfit box is sponsored by Reebok, who also happens to be into the whole Spartan thing, so they offered us 60 spots on the race and of course I applied for the Spartan Super. The confirmation mail said Spartan Sprint and it turns out the arrangement is to run the latter as a team. To quote the late Macho Man, that put me Misunderstandings and financial pressure be damned, I wanted to do the Super and that's exactly what I'm gonna do. Since there's no option to cancel the Sprint ticket now (plus the peer pressure of running the thing as a team) I went ahead and signed for the Super on top of it all. "Why not both" is the Ranger mantra after all. If @EricMN can travel around and do Spartan weekends, I can do more than just look up to him;I can be inspired enough to run a Super and then a Sprint on the same day. Considering I've already run a Super and needed to push myself further, this feels like the right thing to do. It also feels like madness, but let us not dwell on what happened to the last person who spoke of madness in Sparta. Instead, given the wrestling narrative of my challenge, I'm sticking with Macho Man Randy Savage. Think in cases like that it's mandatory to also tag Macho Man @Teros Savage as well. Wheels:How you get there matters As spectacular as it would be to get to the Spartan in a shiny silver robe next to the SRLF on a throne that's carried by man-slaves, I'm going for something a bit less grandiose. It's been too long since I got my motorcycle license, too long since I've meant to get one but for various reasons never did. This year I made it part of my roadmap for a reason and I'll be damned if I don't ride my own to Sparta (unless the SRLF tags along, in which case we'll probably go by car, but regardless). Despite my financial troubles, I'm expecting a good one-off pay by the end of September, which coupled with the late paycheck from work and the next one hopefully coming in faster, should create a hefty lump of cash I should quickly invest in a motorbike before reality settles in and I start spending it to plug holes in my budget. Life happens once (a.k.a. YOLO). Nutrition: Quantity control It worked, so I'm sticking with it. My diet's pretty solid all around in terms of quality, what I really need to keep in check is the quantity. Bullet Journal: Seeing is easier than remembering Bullet Journalling will continue. I've notived I tend to drop the habit after a couple of off days, so I need to keep it as a goal to make sure I update the agenda. Morning routine: Cup of coffee in the big time Domestic Rangering worked last round so to take this goal to 11, I'm going back to my army days, where every morning began with a standard routine of getting dressed, making the bed, eating breakfast, shaving and cleaning up the barracks. The civilian version I'm going for is a routine of breakfast, personal hygiene (teeth brushing, shower etc), feline care (food and water bowl check plus emptying the litter bin) and housework (laundry, trash, dishes, sweeping the floor etc). Obviously, the getting dressed part is optional and can go between any of the above. Life decisions: Way into the twilight zone So my new job is better than the previous one, but I'm still not thrilled and it's not just me being disappointed because of all the payment issues. The subject isn't what gets me going, the money is way too little for my qualifications (no arrogance here, I'm getting marginally more than the lady who cleans the worplace thrice a week) and from the looks of it, this initial setup phase of the institution I'm working for seems like it'll go on for much more than originally expected, meaning my work will be a lot more administrative than I'd like. On the other hand, this collaboration with my professor doesn't look like it can bear much fruit in terms of employment, at least in the short run and I'm not too fond of living on my parents' cash for a few years before work picks up. I'm keeping in touch because I love the subject and I could get involved in a few research projects (plus the prospect of a potential PhD down the line) but that's about it. I gotta find another way and I gotta do it fast before I'm stuck where I currently am. Goal here is to think some things through, shoot out some CVs and actively work towards a career shift. P.S. This challenge cycle is supposed to go until October 14, but I'm stretching it all the way to my Spartan weekend on November 5th because this is my challenge and I do what I want with it!
  2. Main Goal This is it. At the end of this challenge, I'll be traveling to Blue Mountain, Ontario, 12 October to 15 October for the 2017 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an Age Group competitor during the Spartan Sprint in Illinois in June, and will be competing in Saturday's 15k Standard Course race in the 50-and-over Age Group. I spent almost a full year building toward this race, but like in years past, I am coming into the fall season at less than my peak. Unlike previous years, however, my issues are not due to injury, but to my now-constant running companion, knee pain of varying intensity due to psoriatic arthritis. I'm coming to grips with this development, and learning when to be smart and back off, and when to push through. First, according to my doctor, the best thing I can be doing is moderate exercise. Now, he and I have a differing opinion on what constitutes "moderate," but that's a different argument. Second, I almost never experience pain while I'm exercising (especially if I'm smart and use KT tape on my knees). Pain comes later, so what I'm really dealing with is post-activity pain management. Knowing those things, and knowing that I now have five weeks until I step into the gate, here's my challenge: Goal: Run so that I don't finish last I've used my knee pain for a crutch for a good two months now, and either I need to come to grips with finishing dead last at Worlds and potentially being pulled from the course as a DNF, or I have to start running with intent. I have five weeks to build up some proficiency here, and I'm not starting from scratch. Goal: Run a minimum of four days per week. Must include a long run (7+ miles) on the weekend. Goal: Work Out so I don't lose my grip This is a World Championship course. They are bringing in signature obstacles from literally all over the world (Dragon's Back, Urban Sky, others I won't know about until they are confirmed) that will include at least one long, miserable uphill carry. Last year's race included a half-mile Wreck Bag carry up and down a Black Diamond run and the US OCR Championships at the beginning of this month had a Yoke Carry that people said was a quarter mile of misery. I need to keep up my strength. There will also be a good five or six rigs. I'm pretty proficient at rings and bars and whatnot but vertical grips get me. I've got five weeks to fix the fail here. I haven't abandoned my Grease the Groove pull-up work, but I need to modify it to include towel pull-ups: Goal: Strength Training Classes 2x per week. This includes both weight training and boot camp. Goal: 16 pull-ups per day, at least 8 with the towel Goal: Eat so that I look good in my jersey This may sound ridiculous and vain, but I'm really worried about this. I ordered one of the USA team jerseys from Legendborne, because while I plan on being able to compete in this sport for a long time, age and arthritis are catching up with me and who knows where the event will be held next year, whether I will qualify, or whether my body will be physically able to handle it. So I dove in and ordered one of these. All reports say that they fit tighter than my North Star Spartans jersey, and I have two of those and my GF doesn't prefer my tight-fit style. Legendborne doesn't have a loose-fit option, so I'm going to get something that fits tight like the above, only it won't come with the pre-sculpted six-pack as shown in the image above. My jersey will be here before the start of this challenge and I'm worried it's going to fit like a sausage casing. I'd be completely screwed, but I know what works for me as far as macros and weight loss, and I will be focusing on cutting weight over the next five weeks in order to meet my goal of not looking like I'm going to burst the seams on this thing: Goal: Be at or under my macro goals every day. Goal: Be accountable and Don't Give Up This challenge will be bracketed by Rugged Maniac on the Saturday of Week Zero and end with OCRWC on Saturday of Week Four. I have to stay accountable or I will not meet my goals for this year. This means no disappearing from the boards here. Y'all can't hold me accountable if I ghost out of here. Especially since my challenge recap should conclude with me holding one of these: It won't be gold as that's a podium place... but I want mine. Five Weeks of No Excuses.
  3. Last time I tried a complicated points based challenge and I struggled to keep up with it. So I'm keeping this challenge nice and simple, with a bit of stupid thrown in for good measure. The next few weeks are going to be a little crazy, with a few races and two weekends away. So I've worked out the amount of runs and strength workouts I can realistically do throughout the next 5 weeks. Runs: 19 This includes all races I'm running, except one OCR that I'm doing while I'm away, as it's just a 5km inflatable obstacle course that we're doing for my soon to be sister-in-laws hen weekend and there won't be that much running involved. The first weekend away I'll only be missing one long run but the second I'll be missing one 3 mile run and one long run. The bad thing is, that long run is the last one before my half marathon! Eeek! Strength: 10 This averages about 2 sessions a week. That's a little less than I'd like but it's probably all I'll fit in with everything else going on. I'll be doing mostly on bodyweight workouts and I'm going to focus on pull ups and core strength. Updates: 23 I suck at updating, especially over the weekend so I'm adding this in too. I'll also make sure when I update I check other people's challenges and comment as I've not been great at keeping up with people recently. I'm jumping straight in and starting this challenge today. Lets get stupid!
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