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  1. @athousandwords, @Rookie, @Elastigirl While I was mostly satisfied with my last challenge, there are some things I want to tweak a bit. I am adding the memorization of Psalm 57 to my regular Bible routine. I am also going to test out adding a Stoicism podcast to the Athenaeum. Everything else will stay the same. Official challenge to be posted in a few.😁
  2. After careful deliberation, I've decided to shift gears and create a challenge theme inspired by Halo, since the new season of the TV series is out now. My goals will remain the same as last challenge, with a few Spartan-specific references threaded throughout. As many of you know, Spartans must possess superhuman strength and speed. They must also be intelligent, calm and collected when necessary but fierce when needed, and intuitive under pressure. My goals for this challenge fit into 5 categories: STRENGTH, SPEED, MEDITATION, JOURNALING, and READING/LEARNING. STRENGTH GOAL: I will increase my strength by 10% in 7 different kettlebell exercises (swings, goblet squats, kb push-ups, racked squats, deadlifts, rows, snatches, and overhead press) by training four times a week for 12 weeks with a 35 lb (16 kg) kettlebell. I will measure my strength by the number of repetitions I can perform with good form for each exercise and record my progress in a journal or an app and follow up with weekly strength tests. I will follow a periodized workout routine that also includes both kettlebell and other weight training, along with warm-up, cool-down, and recovery sessions. I will also eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, and get enough sleep to support my training. Achieving this goal will improve my overall health, performance, and physique. SPEED GOAL: I will run 5k in less than 30 minutes by following an 8 week training plan that includes interval training, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs. I will measure my progress my timing my 5k runs and tracking my pace and distance with the Nike Run Club app. I will also do some cross-training and strength training (see above) to prevent injuries and improve my overall fitness. Achieving this goal will challenge me and boost my confidence, as well as help me prepare for longer races and improve my health and well-being. MEDITATION GOAL: I will meditate for 20 minutes every day using a guided meditation app. I will track my meditation sessions and duration on the app and on a calendar. I will start January 1st by adding 5 minutes to my current 10 minute meditation practice every week until I reach 20 minutes. I want to meditate more because it helps me reduce stress, improve focus, and feel happier. I will achieve my goal of meditating for 20 minutes daily by the end of next month. JOURNALING GOAL: I will write in my journal every day for at least 10 minutes, using prompts or free writing to express my thoughts and feelings. I will track my journaling habit on a calendar or an app and aim for a 100% completion rate each month. I will schedule a time for journaling that works for me and make it a priority in my daily routine. I will also prepare a comfortable and quiet space for journaling and have a notebook and pen ready. I will write in my journal to improve my mental health, creativity, and self-awareness. I will also use journaling as a way to reflect on my goals and progress and celebrate my achievements. I will write in my journal every day for the next six months starting January 1st and then evaluate the benefits and challenges of my journaling habit. READING/LEARNING GOAL: I want to read at least one book per month and learn one new skill or topic every week. I will track my reading time and progress using a reading app. I will also document what I learned each week in my journal. I will set aside 20 minutes every day to read a book of my choice (list to be shared later). I will also dedicate at least one our every week to learn something new, such as a language, a hobby, or a subject. Reading and learning will help me improve my vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, and curiosity. They will also enrich my personal and professional life. I will start this goal January 1st and review it every month to see if I need to adjust it. Accomplishing this goal will make me a more well-read and well-rounded person.
  3. A recent re-boot of my interest in Stoicism inspired me to create a Roman Empire challenge. With the help of AI and some personal interests, I think this is going to be a lot of fun! First, my goals. These are long-term goals and may extend beyond the allotted challenge time period. I used the SMART Goals format: STRENGTH GOAL: I will increase my strength by 10% in 7 different kettlebell exercises (swings, goblet squats, kb push-ups, racked squats, deadlifts, rows, snatches, and overhead press) by training four times a week for 12 weeks with a 35 lb (16 kg) kettlebell. I will measure my strength by the number of repetitions I can perform with good form for each exercise and record my progress in a journal or an app starting January1st and follow up with weekly strength tests. I will follow a periodized kettlebell workout routine that also includes warm-up, cool-down, and recovery sessions. I will also eat a balanced diet, drink enough water, and get enough sleep to support my training. Achieving this goal will improve my overall health, performance, and physique. SPEED GOAL: I will run 5k in less than 30 minutes by following an 8 week training plan beginning January 1st that includes interval training, tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs. I will measure my progress my timing my 5k runs and tracking my pace and distance with the Nike Run Club app. I will also do some cross-training and strength training (see above) to prevent injuries and improve my overall fitness. Achieving this goal will challenge me and boost my confidence, as well as help me prepare for longer races and improve my health and well-being. MEDITATION GOAL: I will meditate for 20 minutes every day using a guided meditation app. I will track my meditation sessions and duration on the app and on a calendar. I will start January 1st by adding 5 minutes to my current 10 minute meditation practice every week until I reach 20 minutes. I want to meditate more because it helps me reduce stress, improve focus, and feel happier. I will achieve my goal of meditating for 20 minutes daily by the end of next month. JOURNALING GOAL: I will write in my journal every day for at least 10 minutes, using prompts or free writing to express my thoughts and feelings. I will track my journaling habit on a calendar or an app and aim for a 100% completion rate each month. I will schedule a time for journaling that works for me and make it a priority in my daily routine. I will also prepare a comfortable and quiet space for journaling and have a notebook and pen ready. I will write in my journal to improve my mental health, creativity, and self-awareness. I will also use journaling as a way to reflect on my goals and progress and celebrate my achievements. I will write in my journal every day for the next six months starting January 1st and then evaluate the benefits and challenges of my journaling habit. READING/LEARNING GOAL: I want to read at least one book per month and learn one new skill or topic every week. I will track my reading time and progress using a reading app. I will also document what I learned each week in my journal. I will set aside 20 minutes every day to read a book of my choice (list to be shared later). I will also dedicate at least one our every week to learn something new, such as a language, a hobby, or a subject. Reading and learning will help me improve my vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, and curiosity. They will also enrich my personal and professional life. I will start this goal January 1st and review it every month to see if I need to adjust it. Accomplishing this goal will make me a more well-read and well-rounded person.
  4. After 10 years on NF, I hate to say it, but, I need a break from the forums. It's been great but I'm a little fatigued and not putting in the effort I used to, to be here and stick to my goals. But I figured I'll be around for one more challenge to say some goodbyes, let you all know what I'll be up to, and not just disappear. I'm not likely to quit entirely, or forever, but just taking an indefinitely long break. So here's a list of my biggest priorities over the next few months. 1) Get spiritually swole: As I've mentioned in previous challenges, I am converting to Orthodox Christianity. Today marks the first day of the Nativity Fast, and with this comes a lot of prayer, fasting, reading/studying, and attending extra church services etc. Then Great Lent and the Catechumenate start in February/March. Then I'll be baptized on May 4 (love that it's on May 4). So that'll be another big bout of fasting, reading, prayer etc. So I'll be quite busy and focused on all that, and I'm planning to disengage from a lot of screen time. 2) I mentioned in the last challenge that I've hung up my heavy bag. I"m considering joining an MMA gym. The goal is to focus on karate for all around fitness, and be able to do some boxing/kickboxing for conditioning, and dip my toe into BJJ when I need to get humbled. 3) Running: for karate/mma and general fitness I want to be running/jogging regularly. For now I'll be working on that first mile, and hopefully working up to running 5k and 10k. 4) Strength training: I want to go back to a more bodyweight focused training and max that out before I set up the old power cage again. But also, do some clean and presses. 5) Trying to find a new line of work: I'm burning out in my current job/company. Doing the same job at another company may or may not appeal to me. IDK. I want to do something else. I recently was offered an adjunct teaching role, but I turned that down because of the catchumenate/Lent because I can't make the time commitments with that going on. But I can dabble, learn about, and explore other things. So basically, this isn't goodbye forever, but I feel like I need to pull away from the forum and screens in general to recharge and focus on other efforts.
  5. Hello fellow Rebels. A lot has been going on in life, most of it good, all of it overwhelming. I'm going to be a grandpa (it's a boy) My family and I were in the local newspaper because we adopted out fourth and fifth children on November 1st (the first day of National Adoption Month) I'm hosting a poetry recitation competition at the school where I teach, as well as sponsoring the Drama Club I've signed up for (and completed) several 5k races and have remained a middle-of-the-pack runner without injury I grew out my mustache So yeah, life has been pretty great lately, just busy. I'm sticking to my past goal since they haven't yet been achieved (although I'm getting closer and closer to the sub-30 5k time). And of course I will be channeling movies and characters that inspire and motivate me along the way. I recently re-watched "Bullet Train," which is still amazing. Tangerine remains my favorite character. So... STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 25% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday: Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Strength training Tuesday/Thursday: 30 minute run + "grease the groove" Saturday: Long trail run FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week. SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. In moments of stress and frustration, I will apply a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth). I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  6. After some personal battles combined with the start of the school year requiring me to adjust my routine, I am ready to get back at it... for real this time. My goals for this challenge remain the same as the last, although some specifics have changes. I will be channeling great warriors, both mythical and real, as my guides, such as Kratos, King Leonidas, Geralt, Achilles, Beowulf, and more. STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 10% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday -- Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday -- Five rounds of: 200 meter run kettlebell clean and press x 2 each side goblet squat x 5 two-handed kettlebell swing x 20 rest 2 minutes Tuesday -- 30 minute run; record time Wednesday -- 5-10 rounds of: 30 seconds one-handed swing with left hand 30 seconds rest 30 seconds one-handed swing with right hand 30 seconds rest Turkish get-ups Thursday -- 30 minute run; improve previous distance Friday -- 15-45 minutes of: clean with left hand press with left hand one arm front squat with left hand one handed swing with left hand park the kettlebell, recover, repeat with right hand Saturday -- Distance run on trails; mark distance and pace FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week (see 200 m run above). SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  7. Hi. I'm Stronkey Kong. Ugh... I just realized I've been on NF for 10 years, almost to the day... I have only 6.5 words to sum up the journey: I'm still fat, but still fighting. My main goal is to just improve and maintain my health, and hopefully lose some weight as I do that. I'm in the process of converting to Orthodox Christianity.... I only mention this because the feast and fast cycles (Like the upcoming Dormition fast) affect my eating and exercise activities, and it might inform some of my current motivations... and I scaled back some of my goals because this is coming up. Goal 1: Re-build My Morning Routine For almost a year I was on the afternoon-evening shift at work: 12pm -10 pm. A little over a month ago, I was moved back to the normal evening shift: 3:30pm - 2:00 am (BTW, I work 4 10's). Then last week they told me to go back to afternoons. Which is great because I wasn't enjoying the regular night shift, but one month was just enough to ruin my nice morning routine I had going before the change. Which was wake up, pray, then go for a walk. Then I 'd have free time to do whatever until work. It was nice. Now I need to get this back. So that's the goal, get back into my morning routine. Wake up: at 8 am. This includes bathroom, light the candles and incense, feed the cat, and start the coffee. I'm also going to add stepping outside to check on my plants and the weather. Pray: This includes all the morning prayers in my prayer book. Then any others that get added per my parish priest's instructions. Walk/Exercise: Then I grab my coffee thermos and go for a 1-2 mile walk. And in this challenge I'll also be adding exercise with walking. Goal 2: Fighting Gluttony. This is a multi-pronged strategy to combat my tendency to overeat. I got the first two from a podcast done by an Orthodox dietician. Bless and Give Thanks for Every meal: Pray for blessings on the food before meals. Pray to give thanks afterward. Kind of goes along with mindful eating. Mid-meal pauses: Stop halfway through each meal, assess my level of hunger, and consider (or even prefer) stopping. This too. Replace Bread with potatoes (or squash): Fewer carbs, more fiber, and more vitamins. Basically doing that as staple replacement. Bread (and pasta) is not banished, but it will no longer be the go to. And oats and rice other whole grains are fine too. Side quest: Try new potato recipes on the weekends. This last weekend I made fondant potatoes. They were fun, pretty easy, and they made the house smell amazing. Goal 3: Run Run on Tue, Thu, and Sat instead of or in addition to walking in the morning. I'm focusing on these three days because the weekly fasting days are Wed and Fri. I'll be eating less protein, and less over all on those days so less fuel/material for recovery. Do posture correcting exercises 3x per day-- I'm always slouching or hunching and this needs to stop. I'm gonna do some exercises (see video on another post below) 3 x per day. Just pick one and work on it for about 5 min. Sidequest 1: Go on 2 Fellowship walks-- These usually happen almost every Fri or Sat. Sidequest 2: Volunteer work-- I have one scheduled for Sat Aug 5 for an event with one of the food pantries. These can sub for exercise since there's quite a bit of physical activity. I will schedule another soon. Not sure if a spot will land during this challenge but we'll see. Sidequest 3: My cat is getting fat too. I need to chase her around the house more. Goal 4: Housework (to-do list) Outdoor stuff Buy a ladder Clean gutters-- pre-req no. 1 Clear gravel off concrete pads (can sub for exercise) Landscape with gravel? -- pre/co-req no. 3 (can sub for exercise) Dig a low spot for future rain garden (can sub for exercise) Plan, set-up space for outdoor gym? Connect outdoor water spigot Basement stuff Break down boxes Organize hardware and storage shelves. Setup a workshop area (smh) Clean and organize office De-junk-ify (whatever that means) Organize books-- sort by subject, set aside some for selling/donating Bathroom-- Tub repair (If I get this one done this goal is all win). Find a fix/replacement for the stupid claw foot I ruined -- might have to do bricks and boards... luckily the foot is in the back corner where it won't be seen Fit new fixtures. Re-connect plumbing Dining Room/Prayer corner/Studio corner-- I took down my power rack, and am re-claiming my dining room, which also houses my prayer corner, and I'm setting up a studio corner for painting. Basically figuring out a set layout and messing around trying to get it situated. Kitchen-- It's due for a deep clean and an organization overhaul now that the new fridge is situated. Attic crawlspace get up there and check things out lay down some boards over the rafters for gettin' around up there
  8. Atreus: Father, when will I look like you? Kratos: In what way? Atreus: Like bigger... when do I get muscles like yours? Kratos: When you work for them. Atreus: But Baldur was really strong and he didn't have any muscles. Kratos: My strength does not come from my body but both are honed by discipline. Atreus: What does that mean? Mimir: Means you've got the strength of a god no matter what, lad. But if you want the physique of one, you better start picking heavy things up and puttin' em back down. Atreus: Ugh While I am, of course, not a child, this advice sets the tone for this challenge. If I want to become stronger, I need to work for it. While I do not expect (nor want) to be as big as Kratos, he will be inspiration and motivation during this challenge. I have broken this challenge into four categories: STRONGER, FASTER, SMARTER, CALMER. If you've been following me for a while, you might notice that I have tried something different this challenge by setting SMART(ish) goals that are a little more specific. However, expect that my usual morning routine and past habits will continue. STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 10% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this can include standard equipment, such as kettlebells and dumbbells, but also includes logs, stones, cinderblocks, and my children. Workouts will be MWF, which is both manageable and sustainable. BONUS: On "off days," practice "greasing the groove" by doing a single set of a low rep exercise with a "heavy thing," stopping well short of failure. Training will look like this: Monday: Strength workout Tuesday: Grease the groove Wednesday: Strength HIIT Thursday: Grease the groove Friday: Strength workout Saturday: Trail run Sunday: Rest and recover FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run 5k at least two days a week, with an endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least two days a week. Training will look something like this: Monday: Sprint intervals Tuesday: 5k run Wednesday: Rest Thursday: 5k run Friday: Rest Saturday: Trail run (for endurance) Sunday: Rest and recover SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  9. Continuation of Conquius Moves Like the Myrmidons. Introduction Last year, my partner and their father did a Spartan Stadion. For those of you who don't know, it's the 5k Sprint format, but instead of being out in the countryside, it's held in a Stadium. I got to spectate. That was all fine and well, but I thought if I did one myself, I wouldn't want to do it in a hot, concrete Stadium. Well I voiced this thought to my partner a few weeks ago, who then found a Sprint less than 2hrs away, and asked if I'd do that one with them and their father. I accepted! For a few reasons: Sounds fun, and sounds like a decent accomplishment. Training for the Spartan Race will give me an opportunity to round out some parts of my physical fitness that have been previously neglected: Upper Body, Core, and Running. Gives me a good opportunity to impress my partner with my physical prowess 😏😏😏 So that will inform most of my Challenges for this go-round. Work after Work 🏃‍♂️ First Challenge is to create a habit of working out each day after work. I now have a hybrid work schedule where I work 3 days per week In-Office (T, W, R), and 2 days WFH (M, F). It's a traditional 9-5, so my plan is to have my workout clothes close at hand at 5PM, workout, and then I can continue on with my evening. My workouts will focus on two major areas: Running and Calisthenics. Running * Short Runs: 1 mile. Once I can consistently run that distance without stopping, I'll up the distance by 0.25 - 0.5 miles. * Long Runs: 3 miles. Once I can consistently run that distance at a pace better than 10:00 / mi, I'll up the distance by 0.5 miles. Calisthenics * I'm copying Reddit's BWSF Routine pretty directly, and nixing Squats. My legs already get enough work from Running and Cycling. Schedule: * Sunday: rest * Monday: BWSF * Tuesday: Short Run * Wednesday: BWSF * Thursday: Short Run * Friday: BWSF * Saturday: Long Run I'll assess after a week if this schedule is Too Much. The BWSF is more likely to push me into "too much" territory than the running is. Hitting My Mark 🏹 Did you know that if you fail an obstacle on a Spartan Race, you have to do 30 burpees? Did you know that the most commonly failed obstacle on a Spartan Race is the Spear Throw, because so few people can practice it at home? My plan is to incorporate some obstacle-specific training as the Challenge goes on. * For the Spear Throw, you can buy a replica, and I can throw it when I visit my hometown. * For a lot of the grip-based exercises, my partner and I are planning on spending some time at a local climbing gym. * For the loaded carries, my partner and I have thought about buying Farmer's Walk handles, but for now I'm going to stick with 5-gal buckets loaded with water. Own the Morning ☀️ If you remember Conquius Rises with the Dawn, you'll remember that I've historically had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I'm better at it now, but now that I'm going into the office every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I need to be on point. The goal is to keep a regular schedule of getting up at 6 AM when I have to get into the office, and 7 AM when I don't. Getting up at 6 AM lets me do a few things: * Coffee with my Partner: If my partner is going into the office, they get up at 6. This lets me enjoy the morning with them ❤️ * 7AM Metro: If I'm up at 6, I'm out the door by 7, which puts me on a much earlier metro. Earlier metros have fewer people, and are much more pleasant. * Bike Commuting: If I'm bike commuting into work, I need to be up at 6 anyway so I can get into the office on time. I have a secondary goal here of finding a more suitable breakfast. A bagel with vegan cream cheese doesn't keep my satisfied until noon. Right now I'm eyeing Vegan Chicken Salad made with TVP or Soy Curls. Wish me luck!
  10. There's been a recurring theme in recent challenges: I have a good plan, tailored to my current circumstances. Two weeks into the challenge, circumstances change. I spend the last three weeks of the challenge attempting to stick to my original plan, which is of course, pure garbage given the set of circumstances in which I currently find myself. So I did a branch analysis on myself. What it tells me is that my plans are fragile. So for this challenge, I'm going to pursue the same plan but put more energy into addressing the presumptive root causes of the failures. Here's the plan, which is framed around elemental magic: Water Prime my personal energy by proper hydration — packing water, limiting caffeine intake, and minimizing alcohol and other diuretic fluids. Past Performance: 3 of 5 Fragility: Defaulting to coffee (rooted in preference for hot drinks) Trial: Pack a non-caffeinated, non-dehydrating, non-grody tea as an alternative to coffee #2,3,4,...,n. Fire Build energy by balancing macros and food intake for target BMR — packing lunch daily, sticking to the 7pm cutoff, and minimizing processed foods. Past Performance: 4 of 5 Fragility: Contact with food through kitchen cleanup, next-day prep, etc.. Trial: Say no to leftovers. You are not the family goat. Earth Build core strength and stability through Pilates and yoga. 4x weekly for 30 minutes is the goal. Past Performance: 2 of 5 Fragility: Incorrect scheduling (this should be the afternoon workout) Trial: Reschedule to afternoon workout. Air Increase aerobic fitness through running or alternative cardio, utilizing the maximum aerobic fitness framework of 80% work below threshold heart rate. 4x weekly = 3 slow easy runs and one intense interval or tempo run. Past Performance: 4 of 5 Fragility: Incorrect scheduling, as above. This is further rooted in a tendency to sleep through the morning workout window, so I scheduled this later to avoid missing it. But really, this should be the morning workout. Trial: Correct sleep hygiene. Ether Daily meditation and/or contemplative prayer. Two long opportunities: morning at work and evening before bed. Warrior’s meditation (Micro-meditations using vagal breathing) throughout the day. Past Performance: 5 of 5 Fragility: I've been doing consistently well here. Trial: Keep it up; monitor for second-order effects from other adjustments. Healing Be a healer in all domains of life: Sleep 8 hours. Eat restfully. Move fluidly. Listen attentively. Speak melodically. Return to kindness. Past Performance: 1 of 5 Fragility: A lot of failure here, but mostly rooted in sleep hygiene. Particularly: late bedtime, and using the phone in bed. This is exacerbated by late eating. Trial: Set the phone to require passwords to use apps after 9:00 and put the charger on the dresser. This is to force electronic shut down earlier, encourage actual reading, and make me get up to turn off the alarm. ] Good luck, everyone!
  11. Hi everyone, I have found a new job as software engineer . I will start on July 3rd, and until then I have taken up vacation time at my current job (yesterday was my last day at the office). It will be a big change, with new colleagues, new stuff to learn and having to take the car instead of bike commuting. I'm nervous, but I needed a break from my current work-irritations and the increase in pay is nothing to sneeze at. I will miss my current colleagues though, they are awesome people. As a farewell present, they gave me a T-shirt with the following print: I really like it, and I'll probably wear it a lot. The past few weeks were exhausting, with saying goodbye to dozens of people, trying to finish the things I was working on and transferring all topics that might come up again. On top of that, I also ran a double mile fun-race with colleagues (time: 17:57) even though I'm not a runner, I spent all day Saturday on the concert my orchestra had to give and the temperatures are high. Understandably, I'm tired, the house is a mess and chores are piling. The goal of this challenge is two-fold: the first is to get my energy levels and house in order again, and the second is to set up my exercise schedule to compensate for the lack of bike-commuting. Energy levels and chores: 1. Use bullet journal every morning to make a plan for the day, and every Sunday to make a plan for the week 2. Do some form of chores every weekday 3. Relax! Not anything measurable, but make sure I'm taking enough me-time that is not scrolling reddit/youtube/etc. Exercise: 1. Try out schedule of strength training 3 times per week, running 2 times per week. I'm using zombies, run! to get to 5k running, and the earlier weeks are very much below my level. That is fine though, I'd rather start too easy than too hard. For strength training I just finished the "calibration"-week of the programme my trainer gave me, and I will continue with her programming since it is a lot of fun. 2. Participate in fun events: mountainbiking with colleagues on June 16th, kettle bell competition on July 16th. If similar fun events come up, I can participate if my energy-levels allow. I think this post is long enough by now, so happy challenging!
  12. After going AWOL for nearly all of the last challenge, I've realized something that I've well... um... realized before. I simply cannot take on too many goals at once. At least, not yet. I've regained a few pounds and haven't exercised a bit in weeks, due to my "all or nothing" mentality. I have been in a major rut since the previous challenge started, and I am back now to break myself out of it. My challenge this time around will be to: Get Up Early I need to get up at 5:30am in order to complete goals 2 and 3 plus shower before my 3-year-old son wakes up in the morning. GOAL: Wake up at 5:30am Monday through Saturday. Exercise - Couch to 5K I once was an avid runner, and I hope to become one again. I recently picked up a book called Slow AF Run Club by Martinus Evans, and in it he talks about completing 8 marathons and many more shorter runs at more than 350 pounds, albeit slowly and at the back of the pack. He encourages everyone to take up running, no matter their size, and I'm super-inspired! The last time I tried running (I still have my fairly new running shoes from that attempt back in November 2022), I gave up because I got winded so quickly. However, I was trying to run at the pace I used to run at when I was much lighter and in better shape. Huh! I wonder why I was so out of breath!? /s Anyway, I'm going to start run-walking and get myself to complete my own 5K challenge (not an official road race) within this 5 week challenge. Even if I stop for walk breaks, I'll still consider it a win. GOAL: 3 walk-runs a week. Exercise - Strength Training Something that is important for my middle-aged body and will be even more important as I get older is to have a strength training routine to prevent osteoporosis. It's also important, I think, for cross training as I embark again on a running journey. GOAL: 3 full body circuits a week. Hydration - Drink More Water GOAL: 3L of water daily. I truly think that I can accomplish these goals and am excited to get started! I'll definitely need some peer support, though, so please cheer me on if you're reading this. Thanks!
  13. Lore: If you read Conquius Audax, you would know that I was hit by a car last week while riding my bike home from work. The above Lore is vaguely based on that. I am fine, but my bicycle is likely totaled. While I assess my next moves bike-wise, my partner and their father have been threatening to sign me up for a Spartan Race with them. I went to see them do a Stadion last year, and it looked like fun, so I agreed. I think that the preparations for this will be fun, they will make me stronger on the bike, and they'll give me something to focus on while the bike situation shakes out. I decided against waiting until the next 5-Week Challenge to start training because what better time than now? The race we’re doing is a Sprint. 5k Run, 20 Obstacles, and it’s some time in September. Since I have a few months to prepare, I’m going to try to do it right: Build a running base, build calisthenic strength, and move towards obstacle-specific movements closer to the race itself. That last part is outside of the scope of this Challenge. Here’s how I plan to train: Building a Running Base. I have a solid aerobic base from cycling, but my previous attempts at C25K had me burnt out somewhere around Week 4 or 5. I found myself often having to repeat weeks, which was demotivating, so I would stop doing it. Instead of trying something that doesn’t work for me again, I decided to take some pages out of my cycling playbook. When I was a teenager (and even now, bearing down on 30), I really enjoyed putting down miles. One of the most satisfying things was getting to see how many miles I had gone in a single ride, and pushing that number slightly higher. So for building a Running Base, I’m not going to focus on running certain intervals, or for certain amounts of time, I’m going to focus on making distance. This way, I can track my progress by racking up miles. The plan is to do two short runs during the week and one long run on the weekend. With that being said, the desire to put down miles may tempt me to go further or longer than I should starting out, so I’m going to temper this plan with Limitations - one of my favorite habit-forming hacks from James Clear. On my short runs, I can only run 1 mile. I can only run that 1 mile on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work. I can increase that mileage once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk. Once I can run the full mile without stopping to walk, I can increase that distance by 0.5mi. On my long runs, I can only run 3 miles. I can only run those 3 miles on Saturday mornings. Once I can run that full 3 miles in a given time limit (miles * 10min), I can increase that distance by 1 mile. Building a Calisthenic Strength Base. I have a solid base of strength from powerlifting. This will help in obstacles like loaded carries, but for the various pulling obstacles, I’m pretty woefully underprepared. Spartan Races also have a lot of Burpees if you miss an obstacle, so I'll work towards those further down the line. I came across Reddit’s BWSF Routine last week, and I’m a fan. I like how they use Pike Push-Ups as a Vertical Press progression towards HSPU; I like how they use Inverted Rows as an exercise in its own right instead of just a Pull-Up Progression. I like the focus on lower-back and core exercises with the Bridge, Hinge, Dead Bug, and Bird Dog. I’m going to utilize this routine, but I’m going to take out Squats since Leg Strength gets worked through cycling. It’s going to be 3x/week, Monday / Wednesday / Friday. I’m going to Habit Stack working out with finishing work by bringing a change of workout clothes with me so I can change into them and then go workout before I can get distracted by anything else. Obstacles No, not the kind from the Spartan Race, but the kind that life puts up. Here are some obstacles that I foresee myself running into: RTO. My office recently announced a Return-To-Office. We’re in-office 2 days per week right now, but we’ll be 3 days per week by the time this challenge is over. That’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I usually either ride my bike into the office, or take the metro. I won’t want to run or exercise after doing either commute, so I’ll bring a change of exercise clothes in my work bag on those days, and exercise before I go home. I have a 1 mile running route planned out from my office, and there’s Calisthenics Equipment in a park not too far away. Travel. I regularly travel to my hometown for my D&D campaign. I often travel down Thursday nights, and return on Sundays. That means that on Thursdays, I’ll go on my run after work, commute home, shower, then travel down to my hometown. Fridays will be interesting, because that’ll be a bodyweight day. I think I have a doorframe pull-up bar that I can use. Saturdays will be my Long Run, which will be equally as difficult to do at home as they will be to do in my hometown, I just have to remember to bring exercise clothes and my running shoes. Diet. Going to increase protein a bit by adding a protein smoothie after my bodyweight workouts. Fatigue. I’m not going to be at my best every day. On days where I’m not at my best, I’m going to keep consistent by turning down the dial. On running days, this will look like walking half or all of my run distance. 3 miles walked is more volume than 0 miles run. On calisthenics days, I’m going to strip my routine down to the most important exercises: Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Inverted Rows.
  14. This is Stronkey Kong here to tell you that I’ve got a real problem-- a set of problems really. And these are problems that you’ve all probably faced, and will face again. BUT! – Lucky for you... Lucky for me, lucky for us all, I’ve got a plan to combat these problems. And if you’ll stick with me, you can combat them too. Problem #1: I am too fat. Really. I weigh 300 lbs. It’s out of control. I have been fat all my life. Is it a slow metabolism? Is it because I’m lazy? Or just too busy to focus on eating right and exercising consistently? Problem #2: I am in too much debt. Student Loans. Credit Cards. Car Payment. Sure. I could work overtime like a dog at my job, but then I’d have no time left for me, for my friends and family, or for YOU! Scrimping and scraping pennies isn’t gonna get me that nice little piece of land. Now, it’s time for... REAL LASTING CHANGE. Problem #3: I want to work on my own terms, my own schedule, from wherever I want. If I had the freedom to set my own schedule, do what I love (writing), I’d have the extra time for more activities, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. Without a job tied to a desk, sapping my willpower, I’d have the energy and drive to work out more. And more time to focus on writing fiction and other creative hobbies that charge me up instead of draining the life from me. Can you relate? Have you, yourself, faced one or more of these problems in your life? Do you anticipate seeing them in the future? If so, at the beginning of this challenge, I’ll show you the ONE SIMPLE TRICK to making all of these problems go away. DON’T MISS OUT!!! Hit that “Like” button and SUBSCRIBE NOW!
  15. Me the past two years I woke up this morning at 185.2 That may be my highest ever. So basically I need to start moving and eat right. No theme to this challenge just a few basic principles and the help and support of this community. Daily: My morning routine A workout later in the day(lifting or cardio) Eating right No alcohol Morning Routine Walk around the blockish. Some mornings I do 45 mins, sometimes I do less. That is all. If I do this I always hit at least 10k steps later in the day. Read. Read a book for some period of time. That's it. Duolingo 50XP When I start my day like this it generally goes really well after. It also prompts me to get to bed early so I can get up early and do these things. Workout 3 Days a week I'll do compound barbell lifts. The other 4 days I will do some form of cardio. Some examples might include: Running Biking Paddle boarding Hiking Rucking Hockey Tennis This will likely be done right after work. Eating Right Is it Mediterranean? Specifically Ikarian. Is it Paleo Those are my two approved eating methods. I am loving eating Mediterranean food, specifically Ikarian. Ikarian is mostly veggies/fruits, lots of beans, some whole grains, and a metric ton of EVOO. Very little fish and poultry, very little dairy. I am still eating paleo since that is in my freezer and cabinet. I will not be buying any more paleo items though. When out to eat, I will just try to make good choices. I went and had Thai with my GF for lunch this past week and ordered the ginger dish with shrimp and brown rice upcharge. I ate half and then took half home for later. Normally I would order pad thai and eat the whole thing and that is why I am in this mess now. No alcohol None. However I will cook with it if called for it since a lot of my recipes call for it. IPA is good, but it makes me fat. Maybe after this challenge I will reincorporate red wine into meals like the Mediterranean.
  16. I've been reflecting on what does and doesn't work for me as I get back into fitness after 18 months of slothdom, and I think the key to setting manageable and sustainable goals for myself is to be modest in my expectations for myself. I need to build my endurance and stamina up from basically nothing. I need to build a foundation first, so that I can later push myself and see what I'm really capable of while avoiding injury. Goals 1. Do 4x-5x jog-walk intervals each week, aiming to improve in distance by a little each week. 2. Do a yoga sequence after each jogging session (habit stacking!). 3. Drink 16 ounces of water before every meal.
  17. I had a hard time choosing what to focus on this challenge. I feel like I am still recovering from moving house the last 2 months and then half my family catching covid these past weeks.... and now we're moving into a very busy time of year! with all the birthdays, events and holidays in november and then.. december, need I say more? Then there are the homeschool meetings that I promised to help organise, my SIL's theater show and my nephews band performance I promised to attend, the museum theme's I really want to see, the three Christmas dinners I really want to plan to cook... and then I also really really really would like to get back to more serious training sessions. So..... Goal 1: plan and organise all the things Here is a list of everything that's going on and what I need/want to do for it. Goal 2: make some training progress I'm really happy that I learned to do all or something instead of all or nothing these last two years and it has helped me maintain even during rough life-patches, but I want to see if my brain can handle making a certain volume and intensity of training non-negotiable. Making it a serious priority. Which probably means making more sleep a serious priority (help). > turning off all electronics by ~10pm, except book things > 4 days a week a combination of lifting weights and kettlebell sport, 2 days a week of running, all the commuting by bike. > 5 week block of a simple lineair progression, see program below WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5 -> small deload
  18. Hey, there. I'm Trashcan Carla and I've been here before. To be honest, I'm surprised that I am even back on NF after my depressed, hobbling exit, but here I am with new intentions and just enough self-confidence to start this challenge in its last week. So let's do this! (by the way, if you want to read about why I left before and why I'm back, here you go) I live a sedentary life at present. That is the sucky truth. My sedentary life is the swarm of bloodbugs, you feel me? And me putting on running shoes again (it's been a while, but I know I'll love it once again) is me running away from that sucky truth. I got my Brooks shoes, my reflective running belt and a few new pairs of socks. I am equipped and ready. I mean, I think I'm ready. I haven't run since the summer of 2021 when I busted my ankle while on a jog (damn you unseen pothole!) BUT my joints seem strong enough to handle some easy jog-walk intervals. I have this fond memory of running up a steep hill on Madison in downtown Seattle. I have a fond memory of running eleven miles to get to a brewery. I have a fond memory of running completing a half-marathon in Las Vegas. Basically, I know that the beginning of this journey is going to be tough, but I have enough fond memories of myself running to get me through my first week. I just need to think back to those days of glory and envision them in my future. Goals Jog-Walk for 15m-20m 4x. Since there's only one week left in the challenge, I can be super-specific (which I understand is good for setting goals): 11/20, 11/21, 11/23 and 11/25. Log in and post something 4x. I don't care to be specific with this one. I just want to practice logging in to Rebellion again and posting progress or whatever.
  19. Hello Frenz I've been feeling reluctant to come on here since I have been fairly feeble in my commitment to training and it's depressing coming in day after day and reporting that I have done naff all again. But I've managed to get into a groove, albeit only a few days so here I go, trying to keep the wheelie up... I'm doing a 15km race in a warm climate on sand in 9 days' time. I'm not in especially great condition. I mean, I'll finish it, but I've seen the organisers' Facebook page and they look like they are pretty professional. Road racing is a big deal in Portugal apparently. I'm going to struggle to keep up! Taking part in an organised race in. Portugal has been on my bucket list for ages so I'm excited but apprehensive for a few reasons I won't go into. I'm. Going to spend a few days there and Flyer is coming with me and we'll have a sort of weird working holiday. It's going to be an adventure. Anyway, between now and then I have scheduled in daily exercises to lose weight and develop my stamina a bit. Tomorrow I'm going to row, and do a short fast run home. Then on Sunday I'm going to run the 15km using a camelbak to get used to using that. After that it's mainly weights and swimming to let me legs rest a bit. Also diet control and daily potuguese of course. The usual. It's a routine I can do when I have my shit together but my shit is so often all apart these days.
  20. Hi all! I'm Stronkey Kong. I started on NF 9 years ago and am still fat, but making the best of it, and grateful for the community here regardless. Main Goal: Find my 'Best Weight' My ideal weight is probably 180 lbs. going by the numbers and pictures. I recently (today actually) came across the idea of best weight, the weight that lets you live the life you want to live. So that's the real goal. Mine is probably about 220-230, which is halfway between my current 285 lbs. and my 'ideal.' Goal 1: Run. I'm still following the program in Run Your Butt Off (RYOB). I had some trouble tho, once I hit the run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes workout, and these last two weeks I've only got 1 walk or run/walk workout per week. I'm going to redo the run 1 min./walk 4 min week, then increase 20 s per week until I hit 2 min, then pause and reassess there. Goal 2: Eat 99% Vegan I tried to go vegan back in the spring. I was thirty days in and it was going very well. Lost a few pounds, had fewer GI issues. Then I got Covid (probably) and went off it since. I'm going to try again for 100 days (July 24 - Halloween) of 99% vegan eating. I call it 99% to allow for mistakes and variation in practice. I will probably forget at some point that most pestos contain cheese, or that some vegetable recipes have beef/pork/chicken broth etc. But I will not: eat a steak, put cheese on salads, eat baked goods that have eggs... yada yada. If I can see an animal product on my plate, or on an ingredient list, I have to start over. Otherwise, I can keep on going without a restart. Halloween is good, it's right before the holiday season when the temptation to have animal products based solely on tradition is highest... and there's a good chance I won't be able to refuse polish sausage, ham , and cheese pierogies as part of my family's Christmas Traditions. I've read most of the book Vegan for Life (VFL) which is written by a couple of Vegan R.D.s and will be following their plan and recommendations. Doing so, it will be hard to go over 2500 cals/day which is a good goal given what RYOB recommends for daily calorie intake on their program (per my individual calculations based on their program). =============================== First? (addit: No. RES beat me.)
  21. I was going to call this challenge Artemis Prime Breathes, but I decided to jazz it up a little. But this challenge is all about breathing. Last month I decided I wanted to start running again, and then promptly decided to push it off until fall so I wasn't trying to condition myself during this ridiculous heat wave we've been stuck in. So in lieu of actually running, I dove into YouTube and discovered Nate Helming of The Run Experience. He's got a bunch of good videos, but the one that inspired this challenge was his video on the breath hold test, or Body Oxygen Level Test, or BOLT. It's based on Patrick McKeown's The Oxygen Advantage, and basically has to do with the Bohr Effect and increasing your body's tolerance of carbon dioxide in order to use oxygen more efficiently. Video spoilered if you're interested. Science was never my best subject, but it seemed sound to me, so I decided to check out McKeown's book. By happy chance, it arrived this week, so this challenge I'm going to read the book, practice the breathing exercises, and see if I can increase my BOLT score. The absolute ideal score is 40 seconds. Average score for reasonably fit adults is 20 seconds. I tested this morning and hit 20 seconds, but it's not supposed to be how long you can hold your breath, it's how long you can go before your body really starts to crave air, and I think I pushed it a few seconds longer than I should have, so I'm probably actually in the 16-17 second range. I'll retest every week of this challenge and see what I'm at by the end. Challenge Goals: Read The Oxygen Advantage: I've read the first 2 chapters so far, and mostly it's the same material that's covered in the Run Experience video. Breathe through my nose: This is the one thing that McKeown really pounds throughout his material - noses are for breathing, mouths are for eating. I do pretty well at breathing through my nose, but it's something to stay mindful of. Do breathing exercises daily: I haven't gotten to the part of the book that has many breathing exercises yet, but I do have an app on my phone with breathing exercises that I've enjoyed doing in the past, so I'll start with them. Retest BOLT score weekly: I'm not sure what a reasonable expectation is for improvement week to week over a 5 week period, so I don't have a real goal here, just want to see if/how much it improves. Supposedly there are noticeable improvements in mental and physical performance for every 5 seconds you add to your BOLT score. Like I said, the science makes sense to me, but considering my science credentials, or lack thereof, that doesn't mean much, so I'm mostly treating this challenge like a 5 week experiment to see if I notice any benefits to practicing breathing exercises and improving my score.
  22. Hi I'm KB Girl, 34 year old mom of two littles (5&2), gym owner, kettlebell sport coach, avid Harry Potter fan fiction reader, novice gardener and lifter of heavy things in many shapes. I struggle with juggling too many things I want to be doing and things I feel I should be doing. The overwhelm does my mental health no good. In the past bullet journaling has helped me keep that overwhelm at bay while also helping me focus on all the good things in life, so I want to get back my regular habit of using it. Main quest: use my bullet journal Perfectionism is standing in my way, there are so many things I have used my bujo for in the past and I also have many ideas for how I could be using it and now I feel like I have to pick all of that back up straight away.. which is bullshit. I think that if I give myself permission to start small that I will gradually pick things back up and start new things. Plan: write down one good thing about the day, every day, ideally right after the kids fall asleep and I've cleared some space for it if necessary. Side quest: pick up running I dislike starting running because.. well its painful at first isn't it? I've always toyed with the idea of pushing through that initial phase because it would be very beneficial for my kettlebell lifting, but never felt motivated enough. This has changed in Porto when two of my teammates would go for a run together in the morning- it seemed like such a great way of doing some extra sightseeing. I love being outdoors, running could be something I'll love. Plan: start small, on Saturdays when my 5yo is in swimming class and on Wednesdays after lifting heavy things. Bonus challenge: grow and cook good food! This one is simple! I shall learn all the things about the growing and the cooking! if the stars align I might even write down in my bujo what I'm learning aka what went wrong and what I'll have to do different next time Plan: there is no plan! just winging it. Also give me all your recipes involving lettuce, because I have so much lettuce to eat!
  23. Hello. I'm back. I'm still like 280 lbs. All this year I've been toeing around, trying to get back to some cardio. I talked about it with my Punch Out! challenge. I even bought new running shoes back in January. I still haven't run. I remember gym class, in 7th grade, we had to do a 1 mile run. We went out to the football/track field on a hot muggy day in August. The track was this awful, ugly black gravel (that I'd be picking out of my shoes the rest of the day). I was fat, and had never tried to run a mile before. At this point, it had even been a couple years since I played football with the neighborhood kids regularly. I remember the gym teacher blew the whistle, and I started out at a good pace keeping up with everyone... that lasted about 10-20 sec. By the time we reached the first turn, I was falling behind, and before I finished that turn I was walking, breathing hard, sweating, and feeling awful in the muggy August heat. I paced 14 min, and I'm pretty sure I was the last person to finish that day. Every time I think about running, I think of that day, if only for a nanosecond. I think I need to get over it. The other time I did get over it, I gradually built up a tolerance for running one summer in grad school. The next year, I would go on a 4+ mile run 2x a week (most weeks). Now when I try to run, I feel like anything less than that is failure. I need to get over that too. (my one and only) Goal: Run... or walk as my program dictates... get get to level 5. Specifically, I am using the JogGo app. It is a graded running program with assessments every two weeks to see if you're ready to move up. Level 5 is the 'Beginner' running level. At the moment, I'm at level 3, 'Walker'. It has me doing workouts 4 days/week, with a mix of fast walking and lower body strength training (BW squats, lunges, etc.) The next week looks like: M: Fast walking (short distance) and strength intervals T: Recovery W: Fast walking (long distance) R: Recovery F: Strength intervals S: Fast walking assessment S: Recovery It's easy at the moment, I just need to stick to the schedule. I'd be surprised if I didn't level up my assessment on Saturday this week. Then I'll have four weeks and two chances to get through level during the challenge. That's it. My one and only goal. I'm not focusing on diet/nutrition this challenge. I'm still trying to eat mostly plant based, but mostly I play it by ear. I usually go for tofu and beans etc. first, but I'll eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, etc. if it's available and the plant foods really don't appeal to me at that moment. I'm also still gardening and working on home repair, playing music, and all the usual stuff. My tomatoes are flowering so expect photos of big, juicy heirloom tomaotes soon!
  24. Hi It's been quite a while since I really came out of my shell. I was last around in November and at that point my health (due to a chronic illness) simply fell off of a cliff edge and I became extremely ill for an extremely long time. A few months ago I was almost hospitalised with Sepsis but that was thwarted thanks to a cocktail of antibiotics. Since then it's been a slow and steady improvement. Over that time I've gained a bunch of weight and while I'm nowhere near my highest weight it's much more than I'm okay with. I suspect that has a lot to do with the extreme level of inactivity, since my diet hadn't really changed for several years. I've actually been feeling pretty good for the last month or so but I've been fighting with inertia. Over that time however I did a long overdue overhaul of my diet. Eating better is one of the few proactive things I can do to improve my chances of not getting sick but, honestly I only found the will to do so after my appetite started coming back. It's been a weird and hard few weeks. We lost Mr Wills, who was quite simply one of my best friends, last week I lost another close friend (she wasn't from the forums), and a little before that my brother-in-law had a heart attack and was in the icu for several days (he's doing okay, thankfully). So maybe I'm looking at this a bit of a kick in the backside to stop myself from sequestering myself away and start doing stuff to help myself. The challenge. Stupid simple. I've started to run again. I've got a rough plan that I'm following to get myself back into it. I've not really run for the last 7 months (I've done less running this entire year than I would have done on a bad week this time last year). Run every other day. By the end of the challenge I should have phased out all of the walking intervals and it also marks a perfect point to start phasing in different workouts.
  25. I'm feeling the urge to get back into running and I wasn't very happy with my last pair of Sauconys, so I'm in full shoe research mode. So far I'm leaning towards the Brooks Revel 5. Does anyone have any experience with them?
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