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  1. This seems like something I should know by now and I just never asked. Maybe I don't know because I started running on mostly flat land so elevation gain/loss was like 5m. What do you use elevation gain/loss for? People track it as a factor and I get the vague logic that a positive number is uphill (difficult) and a negative number is downhill (easy), but is there some use in quantifying or qualifying your elevation in your training?
  2. 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!
  3. I'm trying something different this time and having some fun with a themed challenge. I'm really excited about finally rolling this one out. Before we begin, though, a few things to get out of the way. You can skip straight to the challenge if you'd like: Without further ado, let's begin: While conducting research in the university library, Wolfen uncovered a letter, yellowed with age but pressed and preserved in the pages of Man Makes Himself by Gordon Childe. Wolfen's eyes widened as he read the header at the top: Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr. Barnette College Hamilton Hall Grove Avenue Fairfield, NY The letter was dated May 13, 1960 Surely this was a joke, or some fake letter forged by a creative university student. Regardless, Wolfen read on. To Whom it May Concern: If you're discovering this letter in the pages of the book in which I left it, your curiosities might be exactly what I need. With the help of some colleagues who will remain anonymous for reasons you may come to learn later, I have uncovered a secret war going on in our world of which only a few are aware. A group of scientists has discovered the existence of exotic matter (henceforth abbreviated XM). XM is a very powerful energy whose origin and potential are still in question, but it is believed it has existed for centuries. There are stories of Roman soothsayers who encouraged the construction of important buildings upon sites they claimed were "charmed" with mysterious energy. Indeed, mysterious and "magical" portals that channel XM from an unknown location have been discovered near iconic and influential locations whose history and origins are also shrouded in mystery, the types of places my colleagues and I frequent as researchers (temples, monuments, places of worship, etc.). Scientists are allegedly researching ways to capture and harness the energy of these portals. Unfortunately, because of an accident in which members of the research team were exposed to XM, the secret of XM has not remained a secret. I'm not certain how, but word of this mysterious and potentially dangerous powerful energy has reached people with greater influence than you or me, people whose names you would probably recognize but which I will not reprint here for security reasons. You may be wondering what this has to do with you. Because you are even aware of the existence of this book, it is clear you are an intelligent and open-minded person. Wolfen tightened his lips. He had just pulled the book of the shelf because the title caught his attention. He read on: In the time since word has spread of XM, two groups have formed with the goal of capturing and harnessing this energy. The first faction, known as The Enlightened, is an elite group of very powerful people who believe XM is the secret to the evolution and progress of mankind. The Enlightened wish to take control of XM and harness its powers to take humankind to the next level (whatever that means). The details of how and what that would entail are still shady, which is why it is so concerning. In addition, several known members of The Enlightened have a reputation for taking and abusing power and their intent may be the same for XM. The second faction is The Resistance. Their intent is to capture XM in order to keep it out of the hands of The Enlightened because they fear the power of XM would be used to manipulate and control all of humanity. Like many "resistance" movements, however, this faction doesn't seem to have as much influence as The Enlightened (both financially and culturally) but this may change over time. In addition, Resistance members tend to be wreckless in their endeavor to keep XM out of the hands of The Enlightened. As an archaeologist, I can attest to the presence of "energies" at many of the sites I have visited. This is why I have fought to obtain and protect treasures that are located at these sites. Unfortunately, at my age I may not be able to protect these sites much longer, unless I can recruit some new explorers willing to research portal locations in their area and travel to these "portals". I won't tell you which faction you should join (but anyone who knows my reputation could probably guess which I prefer) because you have a will of your own, and I don't have the resources to force you to choose. In fact, you might not have even finished this letter. If you're still reading, though, I am grateful. I encourage you to do a few things before you begin: Do some research: read up on everything you can about "Ingress," including the two factions I mentioned; there may be information about possible portals in your area. If you uncover the location of nearby portals, research these sites, as well and visit them. My hope is that by the time you find this letter, researchers have come up with a way to extract and store the XM quickly and efficiently. Research this, as well. You guessed it: I need you to explore these sites and extract as much XM as you can. But be cautious and aware of your surroundings. This could be dangerous since there are others who also want XM for their own purposes. See if you can ascertain why or how the places you visit are capable of drawing XM; is there some history behind the place or object that makes it "worthy" of such energy? I don't know what kind of shape you are in at the moment, but true explorers need to be fit for a lot of physically demanding activities: hiking, climbing, crawling, fighting, running, and lots of walking. So much walking. And you need to have a keen eye to both find what you're looking for and to make sure you aren't being followed. I will let you "work out" the details based on your own physical needs. If you're still with me, I know you are exactly what I need. Don't write back because I would rather not know who you are. Good Luck, Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. Wolfen immediately left the campus library and straight to a private place on campus to start his research. A search for "Ingress" uncovered an app designed by Niantic Labs, a "game" in which "players" join a faction, seek and capture portals and extract XM. It couldn't be a coincidence that this app seemed to match nearly everything the letter described. More research uncovered information about XM, the Niantic project, each faction, and much more. Wolfen also discovered that there were several portals nearby, some glowing white, some blue, and some green and fields of bright "energy" of either blue or green passing between portals. He couldn't resist. Wolfen downloaded the app to his phone. Based on what his heart and head were saying, he joined The Resistance. His adventure was just beginning. Goals: Explore: walk at least 12,000 steps/day M-F. Get Fit: continue the #100for100 challenge: at least 100 bodyweight movements per day 3 sets 3 days/week that includes the following: Avoid traps: 15 hi-steps Sword-fight: 15 side-to-side arm swings Duck-and-dive: 5 burpees Fist-fight: vary jabs, punches, hooks, and uppercuts (Boxtastic app?) Explore caves: low crawl for 10 "steps". Climb cliffs: 5 pullups Run: continue running schedule, but include 3x100 yard sprints at least 2 days/week Research: continue research for school (first priority) look up information on various portal locations before exploring them. The purpose of this challenge is to become more connected to "place" using an app that both encourages you to walk and explore more and calls your attention to places you might otherwise have just passed by or glanced at without thinking. Therefore, when you visit these "portals" really look at them, study them, all while being mindful of what you learned from your research. Document these findings. Read at least one article/week from National Geographic or similar publication Read at least one book-length work of history/archeology/anthropology (i.e. something Indiana Jones might read). Historical fiction is acceptable, as long as it is rooted in truth.
  4. This might look familiar. I posted all of this last challenge but it never got off the ground because of a major real life event. However, I'm back. I'm committed. And, I'm ready to run, lift, and burpee my way back to a fit human being. This challenge is all about building the habits necessary to physically get back to where I want to be... So, let's start with the big goals. Be fit enough to jump into any race (up to a half marathon or Spartan Beast), or other ridiculous adventure, at a moment's notice. Run a Full tour in under 27 mins. 100 Burpees in 7 minutes. Run a sub 19 minute 5K. Run a sub 1:30 half marathon. Qualify for the Boston Marathon (aka run a 3:10 marathon). There are more. But, you get the idea. I was very close to a number of those a while ago. I was certainly at the level of being able to jump into any race or activity I wanted. I miss that. That's number one for a reason. Now, all of those goals feel like they are a million miles from here. Like it was someone else that was close to achieving all of those. So... here we are - taking the first steps back to those places. I'm starting small. The name of this game will be consistency. Challenge Goals 1. Be up at 5:30 am, 5 Days per week. I'm most successful when I workout in the morning. I've grown too accustomed to sleeping in and missing that window. No more. (Inner monologue: Get the fuck out of bed and get moving!) 2. Complete 666 pushups during the challenge. This represents a modest daily pushup challenge starting at 15 per day and working up to 30 per day. My total came up to 660 pushups when I mapped that out. But, 666 is just so much cooler. (Inner monologue: muwhahahahahah) 3. Run at least 4 days per week. I'm currently running approximately 0 days per week. The only way I can get back to where I need to be is by running. (Inner monologue: So, do it you lazy asshole!) 4. Post in this thread at least three days per week. Last challenge, I posted the goals and then never even came back to let peeps know that I had to abandon the goals to take care of ... life. I know that I need to keep myself honest by posting what I am and what I am not doing. So post, baby. Post. Old Life Goal: Utilize OmniFocus every work day. I love this software. But, like my fitness, I had fallen out of practice with it. The last week or so it's been integrated back to my life and things seem much clearer to me. Keep it up. Note: I have been utilizing this since the last challenge. I'm going to leave it here to further drive home the habit. New Life Goal :: Officially start the new business. Yuuuup. I've been heading down this path unofficially. Laying the groundwork, getting my first client/job. But, I need to become official and register the company, create a website, etc. So... I'll be doing that during this challenge. So, here we go, yo.
  5. So after meeting a few nerds IRL and not having a daily battle log, then finishing my six week challenge that I loved getting feedback on I've decided to create a battle log. I'm opening up with a long term goal: the Providence, RI marathon on May 1st (Link). It'll be my first marathon. I ran into a little trouble with my half marathon (Wicked half Marathon in Salem, MA) in October, but I said that if I ran it under one and a half hours I'd do a full marathon in the spring. I managed 1:25 even though I was walking/limping for about a mile. This tells me two things. One, holy crap I'm way faster over distance than I thought. Two, I've done something(s) horribly, stupidly wrong. My leg cramped up and my knee didn't feel right for weeks after. It would feel fine walking, but would hurt after I ran for about a mile of running or hitting a hill. I started running too soon after the half marathon (about a week) and lifting too soon (less than a week). I obviously out-paced myself (I was late getting there and couldn't help trying to "make up" time even though I was running my own timer). And I kind of, sort of, didn't warm up that well. Or possibly at all. Depending entirely on your definition. So, to try and avoid injury and to try and maintain a good pace I am if anything over-planning. Being an accountant my natural response to virtually all stimuli is to make a spreadsheet. So I did (link). One tab with my mileage (I track Km from working on 10 and 5k goals), and one tab with my lifting regiment. I've altered 2 things from my half marathon plan: I've stretched the mileage buildup more slowly (18 weeks) and I'm tapering a little more. I start training on the 28th so if anyone has suggestions, notes, criticism, encouragement, knitting patterns, tips, tricks, or knows a good bar in Providence near the race. If anyone's coming: I'm not registering until after Xmas, so we can team up. Also, I don't own a car so I'll pay for gas for a ride. There are those I suspect of coming.
  6. Greetings, Rangers. My name is Wolfen. I usually kick it with the Adventurers, but for this particular challenge I felt I needed some motivation and advice from some Ranger friends. Plus, my goals this challenge seem perfect for this guild. If you want to know more about me, I'm sure @Tanktimus the Encourager can tell you everything you need to know since we've been NF buddies for a while. First, a quick bit of history. If you want to skip this part and go straight to my challenge goals, feel free: So there you have it. My mail goals will reflect the plan discussed above. In addition, I will be participating in Soulcon again, which kicks off September 17th, so there will be a spiritual aspect to this challenge, as well. So I have broken the challenge down into four parts: Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit. Body: Daily: 0430-0445 wakeup 40 push-ups and 15 burpees barefoot time in the morning and stretches and movements (inspired by Primal body Reboot program by Jonathan Mead) cold shower at least 64oz of water at least 10,000 steps 2230-2300 bedtime Running Schedule: Monday: Distance run (at least 5k) on the trails Tuesday: Cross-training Endurance or Strength workout Wednesday: Tempo run (on road or track) Thursday: Recovery Day: only Mobility/Yoga workout and very light recovery run on the trails Friday: Interval run or hill run Saturday: Distance run (at least 5k) on the trails Sunday: Rest Day Nutrition -- eat whole foods as often as possible, whole grains, healthy carbs and fats, protein, lean meats, and vegetables Mind: WHM Breathing/Meditation in the morning Read at least 20 minutes per day; currently reading Endure by Alex Hutchinson (seems appropriate) listen to at least one podcast per week read at least one article about trail running, running, or endurance athletics take a brain break in the afternoon (20 minute binaural meditation) daily. Heart: listen to music that lifts my soul watch at least one motivational video or movie per week document at least three things I am grateful for daily make eye contact and greet people as I pass them on campus text or call at least one friend daily to see how his day went play with my younger princesses after homework is completed spend evenings with my queen Spirit: prayer and scripture study daily every morning, say a prayer of gratitude for the day read through the Soulcon devotionals post and visit the Soulcon Facebook page listen to or watch at least one sermon per week.
  7. I've become WEAK, but how is it possible because I've born to WIN! In this video I'll explain in more details what's going to happen in next 10-weeks!
  8. 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.
  9. Last Challenge was a whirlwind, and I definitely struggled to keep up on my NF 4WC postings. Now that I'm officially graduated and a member of B Troop, I will [theoretically] have a more open schedule, and therefore more time to devote to working out (and posting on NF). My home computer crapped out completely yesterday, so my online presence will be limited until I get that fixed... no ETA ATT. Goal: Continue to unburden myself [and my horse!] of my extra weight Plan: Dominate Blitz Week (0) - Eat healthy 100% Mon-Fri; participate in some form of exercise for <30 min daily Mon-Fri Strive for total compliance Weeks 1-4 - Continue Blitz Week (0) goals; employ the "Never go 2 days in a row without exercising" rule Starting Weight: 172 Lbs End Weight: ??? Lbs
  10. Missed most of this week due to vacation. I did a lot of walking, but no running. I am going to run later today.
  11. Hi everyone. Hope it's ok to hang with the Scouts for a bit. I'm getting into running, but hit a snag when I became sick. I was up to running a half-mile without stopping; but now I'm not sure where to begin again. I was doing Couch 2 5K; so my question is this: do I start over (it's been about 2 weeks since I've done any running)? Do I pick up where I left off? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  12. You know that feeling, you rediscover an old game and can't wait to be nostalgic and jump back in, and then the save file is corrupted? Welcome to my life. Okay, I'm being dramatic. It's been a long, long while since I've checked in, and a lot of things have happened, some good and some bad, but that's life. It left me at my lowest point a few weeks back, and now it's time to reboot and start a new file that will be even better than the old one. Because of this reboot/respawn, I'm going back to the level 1s. This challenge will serve to help me figure out where to set my priorities, so there won't be hours of exercise every day, but we'll get there. Main goal: Reboot. Figure out where I am in life, where I want to set my priorities in the long and short term, focusing on the short term since, as you'll find out, my life is in a bit of uncertain waters at the moment. Goal 1: Get the systems up and running. Literally run. However, to ease into it, I just want to run on the elliptical. We have it at home and nobody ever uses it, so I want to. I'm not going to set myself a goal like "an hour every day", but ideally I want to be on the elliptical every morning before work, so mon-fri. Let's call that my stretch goal. Goal 2: Twiddle with the settings. Track things. What things? ALL THE THINGS. I just bought new stationary and a new phone with all new apps (cause it's just so boring to not try new things when you get a new phone, right?) and there are SO. MANY. TRACKING TOOLS. Now, not everything's gonna work. While I would love to be that person who has everything planned out, that also goes against my nature a bit. So this is the time to try and see what works for me. I will make sure to share the apps and things I try, and how I like them - although please be aware that they will be very subjective reviews. Goal 3: Distract myself while I wait for things to load. Do projects at work. Projects currently on my list: New filing system. Work through the old to do list items. Create a wedding master list. Sort through ALL the old things. New mailbox. (I made a TL;DR since the below turned a bit long and off topic!) Workworkworkworkwork. I've just started a new job as a personal assistant and very probably will soon have an additional job as a CEO of a small company. Super exciting, right? My last job was extremely horrible. So horrible that I was on sick leave for two and a half months. However, it has also been the straw that broke the camel's back in a good way, as it left me with no option but to cry for help. I got that help. It's a process and I still battle with depression and anxiety, but it lead me to where I am now, which is an absolutely amazing company full of incredibly kind and funny nerds, and I know that my reaching out for help was part of the reason I was hired. I just read a book called "White Silence" by Jodi Taylor (who is an amazingly talented author and everyone should read the St. Mary's Chronicles, just saying!) and there was one quote that stuck with me. I believe I am one of those people. Whether that is the case because I am who I am, or whether I am who I am because things happen to me, I don't know. But while not all of those things are amazing, I love to live this way and am super grateful because it has lead me along a very eventful path. Aaaaanyway. Due to the nature of my work as a personal assistant, there are very busy times but also a lot of downtimes, especially since I'm still new. I want to use these down times by making projects that will make my boss' life - and thereby mine - easier. So here we go! I've had posts with more gifs but I'm gonna start this clean and post the trackers/things I want to track below. :)
  13. I really need to sort out my routine. A lot of my good habits have fallen by the wayside in recent weeks. Because, well...reasons. I really need to get back to my meditation routine. That has long been the foundation of everything, but I lost it in the mess. However, I picked up a new habit among the mess: running. More specifically, barefoot running (not literally barefoot, but with thin-soled shoes). It's been a slow process to build up the new skill, and I aim to keep building it at a slow pace, at least until my calves are up to taking on more. I've done running in the past, but not like this, with the barefoot style of running on the balls of your foot rather than the heel. Yes, a few aches and pains with the calves, as to be expected. But so far it's been good to me. I'm on a pause from tomahawk throwing at the moment, as a storm broke much of the target backstop. It was at a point where I have just torn it down with the aim to rebuild it, but I haven't done that yet because, well...reasons. In the meantime I've been focusing on woodcarving and whittling, another newfound habit. I've been whittling small things (owl, cactus), as well as carving some large things (rabbit sticks, and an eastern woodland war club that is still in progress). Throwing the rabbit sticks has somewhat filled the void of tomahawk throwing, at least until I cracked one of the sticks yesterday. Oh well. Easily replaced. So anyway, on to the specifics of the challenge. It's really quite simple. 1. Daily meditation. I must get this routine back. Yoga and/ or qigong can be done too, but not at the expense of sitting meditation. I need this. 2. Once per week barefoot running. Minimum of one mile, adding more distance as calves grow stronger and more resilient. That's it. Simple. Woodcarving and whittling, or tomahawk throwing, will happen as well, but I'm not tracking it as a part of the challenge. I just do that as the mood strikes me. And spend as much time outdoors, "with trees," as possible.
  14. The title is just for dramatic effect. I'm not in any danger (or am I?). As some of you saw last challenge, I caught the running bug. I have logged just over 50 miles since the middle of July, averaging 2-3 miles a day. This challenge will reflect my new running habits, in addition to the usual fun times (daily habits, motivational gifs, pics, and videos, etc.) but with a running theme. So, without further adieu: On your mark... Get set... GO! Run Your Day: 0430-0445 wakeup prayer/meditation/scripture study journal drink at least 64oz of water barefoot walk with dogs in the morning Primal Body Reboot stretches in the morning 15 burpees or 40 push-ups to wake up the body cold shower brush and floss Wim Hof Method breathing at least 10,000 steps read for at least 20-30 minutes (recommended books will be listed below) 2200-2300 bedtime Run Your Workout: Monday: Distance run (at least 5k) Tuesday: Endurance or Strength workout Wednesday: Tempo run Thursday: Recovery Day: only Mobility/Yoga workout and very light recovery run Friday: Interval run Saturday: Distance run (at least 5k) Sunday: Rest Day I need to make a vow to myself right now on two things: go easy on Recovery Day and take Rest Day as seriously as possible. This does not include the usual daily habits, but no running and no workout on Rest Day. Run Your Brain: read daily listen to at least one podcast per week read at least one article per week about running, fitness, health, endurance, etc. take a brain break (20 minute binaural meditation) daily Run Your Food: eat whole foods aim for healthy fats and proteins lean meats, chicken and fish whole grains snacks: almonds, pistachios, jerky, fruit Book Recommendations: Each of these suggested titles either specifically involve running, use running as a theme, or focus on great feats of endurance/fitness/health, etc. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running -- Haruki Murakami Endure -- Alex Hutchinson Spark -- John J. Ratey Unbroken -- Laura Hillenbrand Ultramarathon Man -- Dean Karnazes Running With the Kenyans -- Adharanand Finn
  15. So I signed up for a GORUCK Heavy in January. I need to get rucking, miles on my feet as well as build muscle while losing fat. For those that do not know what this is, here is the description from the website: So with a pack loaded with a 30lb weight plus water and food/gear we will travel around 40 miles in 24 hours. All lead by a special forces Cadre. Sounds fun right. Leading up to it I have a back to back regular Challenge and Light in October, as well as two sprint triathlons in September and October. Goals for this challenge: Get working out - mornings of weights and cardio(long or sprints), afternoons swimming for fun. Get my diet and food choices down. When selecting dinner think about the fact I will be working out in the morning. This includes drinking. Keep up my Duolingo(I try to finish two modules or crowns in French and Spanish during weekdays. On weekends just hit my 20 minute goal) Reading, podcasting, audible as usual.
  16. Ok, so we made it through the tutorial rounds. We’ve killed all the monsters we needed to kill. We explored Astera, set up camp in the Ancient Forest, explored the Coral Highlands and the Wildspire Wastes, and even ventured into the Rotten Vale. Now we’re on to the next level -- hunting HIGH RANK monsters in and around the Everstream in the Elder’s Recess. You know… the normal monsters, only bigger. And stronger. Much stronger. Stamina Fighting off monsters takes strength and stamina. This goal is for my running and lifting workouts throughout the challenge so that I can wield my weapons accurately… and run very, very fast if a monster goes full agro on me. I have a charity 10 Miler I am running in October, so I need to get back in training shape. Current mile time is 13:45 and I need to be to a consistent 13 minutes to feel good about this race, but damn I'd love to be back to 12 minutes. Running 3x Per Week, LIIFT4 4x Per Week, 1 Rest Day 0/30 Complete 3 weeks of LIIFT and Running SLAY DIABLOS Foraging Taking time to collect natural resources to craft useful items like potions and monster traps is a must. While out walking around and foraging, it will be important to stay hydrated - especially in the Wildspire Wastes. 64oz water a day, lunch walks 3x per week 0/35 0/15 Go for 10 walks and drink 64oz water daily for a full week without gaps SLAY ODOGARON Canteen Ordering a giant Chef’s Platter from the Meowster Chef is only useful if we’re off to hunt big game. Being mindful to only order what I need to fuel me on each expedition will not only make my body happy, but make my monster hunting much more effective. One cheat day a week, one order/eat out night a week, otherwise stick to meal plan. 0/30 Three successful meal plan weeks SLAY RADOBAAN Monster Guidebook It’s important to gather data when you’re out in the field to bring back to Astera to study the monsters in their habitats. Turning in data to the lead ecologist helps prepare for any encounter with any monster in the field… but you can’t be prepared if you don’t take notes! Journal 3 days a week. 0/15 Complete 9 new entries SLAY NERGIGANTE Overall - earn 80% SLAY TEMPERED KIRIN 0/125
  17. Rangers, meet Charlie (and me) For those who aren't caught up yet, here's a quick insight into my current life: And here's a quick "What had happened was..." for last challenge: So! Goals for this challenge: 1. Unburden mah hoss (Lose 5lbs) - Main focus Log all my food in Cronometer, and share it with you fine folk. Run / Workout on days I don't ride, and share those logs here as well. 2. Look ta thuh horizon (Set up a routine for the next challenge) Once graduated, my schedule with B Troop will change significantly. Musters will take place once a week (Wednesdays) instead of three days a week; however, I will still be expected to ride my mount regularly on my own in order to keep him [and myself] ready for events. I plan to change my workout routine at that point to accommodate those requirements, and to improve my own strength and endurance (and continue to lose weight). Sooo... charge?
  18. I'm new to running. I always thought I couldn't, but this time when I started training for a 5k I really loved running... it was different than before. I just started going around the block and felt so empowered when I could do it! Then I worked up to a mile, then two miles. I did pretty good up hill, had good form, good cadence, getting faster. I had so many wins in my first 2 months. Some days are better than others. I now follow a 5k routine on my Garmin Vivioactive to prepare for my race. I'm a completionist, so I really like being able to check off those runs and I want to finish what I started. I also really like getting my NF Academy workout routines every other day. Anyway, the other day I was supposed to go a new distance, 2.5 miles and for some reason I couldn't muster the will to keep running after 1.5 miles. I ended up walking a lot of the last mile. Psychologically I felt very defeated, and it negatively affected my whole day. Today I had scheduled for 2 miles. That's a comfortable distance for me now. I was excited about it--getting rid of the funk of the last failure with a fresh success. But then when I got out I barely made it out of the house before I was mentally defeated... "I should run tonight instead" my mind said and I believed it. Through this journey I've found running to be mostly a mental battle. Focus, imagery and mantras that I make up keep me going. And when I do, it's so empowering, like I can do anything. But this wall is totally mental. How do I smash through the doubt and get back on path? Just go. Go now. Go and keep going. Just like last week. Why can't I?
  19. Hi all. Callanthae here. I had a previous account on Nerd Fitness a long time ago, so I decided to skip the Level 1 Challenge and come straight to the Rangers. My challenge doesn't really have a theme, but it does have an inspiration. My favourite anime of all time, the reason I got into tennis, Baby Steps. For those who haven't seen it, Baby Steps is a tennis anime. What makes it so fantastic in my opinion is a host of factors: - Maruo Eiichiro, the protagonist, doesn't have impossible skills. He starts out as a complete beginner to the sport. While his eyesight and his studious nature are big strengths, they're strengths that need to be honed and trained to be of any real use. Because of this, we see his journey from the very beginning. - Maruo loses. Like...a lot. You really never know how any match, no matter how important or plot-crucial, is going to go. Maruo could easily lose at any time, and it makes it all the more thrilling when he wins. - The realism of the anime shines through in a thousand other small ways. The shots and feats of athleticism are almost never superhuman, they're very much achievable for skilled players. Maruo's a very analytical player, and you get to understand his thought process as he plays. When he ascends to a new level, it's never because of just "powering up" or "wanting it more"...it's always a result of some useful insight that occasionally even proves useful on the court in real life. You really feel like you're in a match, and you get an understanding of how strategic tennis really is. - Last but not least is the title of this challenge. "Baby steps to giant strides" sums up the mentality of this anime perfectly, and it's an expression that appears in Season 2. The protagonist doesn't have lofty goals...he just wants to get better at tennis, and over time, as he keeps working hard, he end up doing better and better in competitions. That's how I'd like to do as well. A series of baby steps that lead to giant strides as each one is steadily accomplished. Because of this, a week or two after I watched Baby Steps for the first time, I found a local tennis club and started playing. That was about six months ago. I now want to add in off-court training, getting back to running and lifting on a regular basis - and that's why I'm back. So, Baby Steps gets full credit for getting me active again, which is yet another reason I'm such a fan of it. Goal 1: Practice my serve twice a week. I don't think you're legally allowed to have a challenge here without at least one GIF. I already practice tennis with other people a couple of times a week, and on Fridays I compete with the juniors (12-14 years old). Being 5'4" and relatively new to tennis, I'm a pretty fair match for them despite being an adult. So that's 2-3 sessions a week already, and I need no motivation to keep attending them. However, sometimes you need to get some solo practice in and really drill something, and for me that's my serve. It lags significantly behind my groundstrokes, and I really need to dial in the new serve I learnt a few weeks ago - a solid pace on the first serve, and a spinning second serve that manages to be reliable without being easily attacked. My current first serve misses too much, and then I have a weak second serve with no spin or pace that's easily taken advantage of by better opponents. Goal 2: Lift weights at least twice a week. (Ideally 3x) For weights, I'll be following Phrakture's Greyskull LP variant. The Big 4 compound lifts, plus pulling added in as Pendlay Rows and Chin-Ups. (Assisted chin-ups for the time being.) I'll be tracking it using the Personal Training Coach app on Android, which has a bunch of workout templates, including the Greyskull variant I'm doing. I've started relatively light, but over the last couple of weeks the workouts have gotten harder. I'm still getting 10 reps on the last set for all the exercises except Chin-Ups though, so I've got plenty left in the tank. Over the next few weeks I expect that to change as the weights climb back up to my old levels of strength. Goal 3: Run at least twice a week. (Ideally 3x) For running, I'll be using Zombies, Run! to keep things interesting. For the first two weeks I'll be running 4 km (2.5 miles), and for the second two weeks, I'll be running 4.5 km (2.8 miles). At my peak I was running 5-6 km 4 times per week, but I went from 3 days a week to 4 too fast and got injured. I never really got back into it. The goal is to run at an Easy pace (Based on an estimated 27-minute 5k time from a recent max-effort run I performed) 2 days a week. On Saturdays, I'll be doing story runs, where I run faster. I allow the Zombies Run story to determine exactly how fast I do run, though I don't plan to run faster than Threshold pace (Comfortably hard) except at the very end of the challenge, where I'll be doing an all-out max-effort run if everything works out, probably a 5k time trial. I could fill plenty of words with various details, but I figured I'd leave it nice and short...and it'll give plenty of stuff to talk about throughout the challenge this way. Looking forward to the start of the challenge!
  20. I will be spending a lot of time in the Monk's Temple for this challenge.
  21. Hi! I have a question I really need help with. I'm a slow runner. I'm 5'11, 165 pounds, 25% body fat - I'm in shape! I have ALWAYS been slow. Over the last eight years I've read about form, I've tried a longer stride, I've tried upping my cadence. I've tried fartleks, hill work, increased flexibility, cardio training and strength training (which I still do and love). I've stuck with it. I run 5 and 10ks regularly. I've run one 10 mile race, one half marathon and one marathon. Ordinarily I might just accept it. BUT I am in the military, and twice a year I have to run a mile and a half in under 15 minutes. Doesn't sound hard, and indeed, I've never failed, but I cut it close EVERY TIME. Which causes two problems. One, it looks bad to always comes in WAY last in an organization where fitness is at a premium, and two, I get horribly stressed before each PT test. Oh also my natural stance is with my toes slightly out like a duck (I also walk like that - instead of toes straight forward). When I bend my knees with my toes out, my knees bend straight forward. When I point my toes forward, my knees bend inward. Because of this I tend to strike on the outside of my heel, roll diagonally across my foot, and launch off the inside of the ball of my foot. I have always worn motion control shoes because of this, my favorite being Brooks Addiction, and recently, Brooks Ariel. This test stress gets to the point of almost making me physically sick. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, or has overcome a similar issue, help!
  22. I'm late to the party, going to keep this simple: Challenge goal: Finally freakin break 140lb. I'm so close you guys (weighed in at 140.8lb today!). Goal #1: Eat vegetables 2x/day Goal #2: Complete my half marathon training 4x/wk, strength 2x/wk, yoga or rock climbing 2x/wk Goal #3: Do stuff Morning routine: wake up 5-5:30, tea or lemon water, Bible reading, SAD lamp time Evening routine: screens off 8:30, tea, reading/crossword Make wedding centerpieces Keep my food and spending journal up to date ...probably going to add more stuff here... I will give myself 1pt for each vegetable, workout (run counts as 1, run + lifting counts as 2, etc), and item on my do-stuff list. Will find a way to rewards self with adequate points.
  23. It's been a loooong while I haven't kept a regular schedule for my personal purposes. Schedules and to-do lists never worked for me because they triggered a lot of anxiety, so I have always been more about: do this a couple of times a week, whenever you feel like it. Which is ok, but I also tend to slack and do half of what I really wanted to do. Since this has been getting better -me being more responsible- and my anxiety levels are the lowest they've been in my whole life, I am going to give it a try and follow a schedule. I am also in a better mental place now than years ago, to understand that plans won't always work the way I want, or that there will be days when I'll need to be flexible and drop a couple of things, but I'll try to be disciplined, because I've been feeling I really want to level up, I mean REALLY LEVEL UP, and the best I can do to achieve this is not to miss workouts and/or practice sessions. What do I want and how do I achieve it: Physical I want to run faster and longer ---------> I`ll go for a run twice a week instead of once. I'll keep working on sprints but also on extending my usual last run. I want to be stronger ---------> I'll work on push-ups, pull-ups (only dead hang by now), abs and planks. I'll add 5” to my dead hangs every week, and also 1-2 push-ups to the same set (my trainer at self-defence recommended fist push-ups yesterday when I asked him about improving my wrist and fist strength and control when punching, so I'll work mainly on those). Base line for fist push-ups still to be determined, same for the time I can hold a declined plank (almost handstand). Abs twice a week. Dead hangs and declined planks are unscheduled because they will usually happen at any free moment along the day. I want to be more flexible and improve mobility and posture -------> Yoga everyday. First thing in the morning, last thing before bed. Animal flow once a week. I want to improve blood circulation (amongst others) and go ahead with the WH course -------> I'll add 5-10” seconds to my cold showers every week. Musical I want to play more freely, to feel I enjoy playing my flute instead of fighting against it -------> I've been journaling a lot about this, and I've decided the first thing I need to do is to be consistent. Rather than working on refining or perfecting things, I'll work on reducing “mistakes”. The biggest one is, no doubt, random practice, so from now on, no day without practice, no excuses. Once this “mistake” is fixed, others will be addressed. Mental I'll journal about those things that upset me, and whenever I feel ready/comfortable I'll choose some things to share at NF. I will keep a “thank me” journal. Everyday I'll write down what I did to take care of myself. MAGIC SCHEDULE! MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA + PUSH-UPS WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA + PUSH-UPS + ABS WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA + PUSH-UPS WAKE UP: BREATHING + YOGA + ABS MORNING: SELF-DEFENCE MORNING: INTERVAL RUNNING MORNING: SELF-DEFENCE MORNING: ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY AFTERNOON: PLAYING WITH ANIMAL FLOW MORNING: INTERVAL RUNNING MORNING: ACTIVE RECOVERY DAY NOON O'CLOCK: MUSIC PRACTICE NOON O'CLOCK: MUSIC PRACTICE NOON O'CLOCK: MUSIC PRACTICE NOON O'CLOCK: MUSIC PRACTICE AFTERNOON-EVENING: MUSIC PRACTICE AFTERNOON 18:00: MUSIC PRACTICE AFTERNOON 18.00: MUSIC PRACTICE EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA EVENING: JOURNAL + YOGA
  24. 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.
  25. Has anyone gotten the RooSport pouch for running? My arm band has gotten too tight (proof my biceps are bigger!) and I'm looking at other options. The RooSport seems really good, but I feel like it would drag on your waistband, especially for shorts that fit a little looser.
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