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Found 17 results

  1. Evicious: Iz Bak

    Hallo! I iz bak. So life kinda kicked me in the proverbial balls. Last time I was on, I was kept afloat by my wonderful RAGErs but I was still struggling with an overall lack of energy, a seemingly unending cold, and was compensating with an increasing amount of junk food. I also went from being one of three people in my department at work, to being the ONLY person in my department - which meant I was working overtime and weekends to keep up with the workflow. I started experiencing dizziness and (according to my doctor's diagnosis - I had no clue what was happening) anxiety attacks. When I finally went to my doctor, she sent me out for blood work and we discovered - surprise, surprise - that I was showing prediabetic and very high cholesterol levels. So I'm now on what basically amounts to a vegan diet with high carb restriction. I go in for another blood test in 3 months to see if anything's changed. My goal for the next 3 months is pretty simple: follow my doctor's orders, and get those numbers as close to normal as possible. This week's goal has been to get my diet on track and get my running shoes back on. I meal prepped last Sunday, and have been 90% compliant thus far (went out with the husband to B-dubs yesterday and had their black bean Southwest burger with fries and a beer - felt awful afterwards; will not be repeating that performance). Went for a little 1 mile jog around my neighborhood Tuesday and today; will go again either tomorrow or Sunday. Next week's goals are 100% dietary compliance and run 1 mile M-F.
  2. JonFirestar Gets the Ball Rolling

    Jon Firestar Gets The Ball Rolling 2017 was a big year for me. It was a year of firsts and a year that I discovered a love of running and OCR. I ran a slew of races and had a lot of fun. I met up with seveal nerds and ran races with @charlie_quinn, @iatetheyeti and @jarric and met @rhovenal (but she was injured and missed the race ) Unfortunately I did push a little too hard at the end of the year and kind of checked out over Christmas. I got sick and it took a long time to kick it and between time I was travelling for Christmas and the New Year. There isn’t really a theme for this challenge. I just want to get something down and get my momentum back! So I’m keeping things simple and concise. 2018 is going to be a bigger year! It’s going to be a year of adventure and awesomeness. I have a mass of events coming up this year. Many of them will be meetup events with other awesome nerds. I cannot wait for things to get started so I’m declaring the start of the 2018 hype! To get the ball rolling the first race will be the Nuts Challenge, one of the UKs toughest winter OCRs that I’ll be running with the awesome @charlie_quinn and @jarric. This’ll be our second race together and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again. The training for the massive year starts now! Run All the Miles! This is going to be a big running year for me. I’ve signed up to my first marathon in July! So that’s a thing on the horizon that needs to be trained for. In the lead up I’ve got a bunch of other races. Including a half marathon and a 20 mile OCR in May. My overall plan is to periodise the training between challenge blocks. This coming challenge is going to be an easy one. Just run 3 times per week slowly ramping up my miles and the quality runs during the period. Lift All the Things! To counter the easy runs my lifting is on the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m going to be lifting heavy with a focus power and strength gains. This will be phased into more bodyweight style of workouts as the OCR season begins but for the next two months we are looking at lifting lots of weights. Don’t Eat all the Things! In 2018 I’m determined to get myself under 200 lbs. I am currently sat stubbornly at 220lbs (10kg and 15 stone 10 lbs). To put things in perspective. About 18 months ago I weighed 330lbs. In 2016 I lost 80lbs but in 2017 I only lost 30. There are reasons for that but mainly it’s because I was unable to stick to my calorie restrictions. I'm going to try and take things a little easier this year by setting higher calorie targets and not try and put myself into a harsh deficit. I do a lot of activity so my numbers are going to be really high I’m going to begin this year with a calorie goal of 2700-2800 calories and see where things go from there. I’ll post workout plans later.
  3. Starstuff Wars: Return of the Jedi

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode VI RETURN OF THE JEDI After many months away, Starstuff has returned to the planet of Challengeooine in an attempt to free herself from the clutches of the vile gangster Melancholia the Butt. Little does Starstuff know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new motivation-sapping space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Bleh Star. When completed, this weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of Rebels struggling to restore adventure, happiness, and improvement to the galaxy... This will be my first Challenge in a year. While I've been away from Challenges and the forums, I haven't been idle. I've been doing Rising Heroes missions (for anyone who might be thinking of joining, it's super fun), running virtual races for the Hogwarts Running Club (also super fun), teaching my pup to be a good running buddy (he is the best running buddy) and writing (started editing my novel and added almost 25k words to its sequel!). And, much to my delight and surprise, my husband has started exercising and cleaning up his diet (that setting an example thing? turns out it actually works). But things have been really rough the past month, and I could use some Rebel support to get back on track. Those of you who remember me might also remember that my husband and I have been trying to conceive for a couple years. After much poking and prodding, very few answers (according to all tests, there is nothing wrong with either of us, fertility-wise), and a number of "some studies suggest this might increase your chances" lifestyle changes, I finally got a positive pregnancy test at the beginning of December. And then I miscarried a week later. It sucked, you guys. On top of being physically and emotionally taxing, I wasn't allowed to run or take baths (my go-to stress relievers) for a couple weeks, and my hormones were a mess, putting me on this awful emotional rollercoaster. I was so stressed that I didn't really even enjoy The Last Jedi the first time I saw it (don't worry! this was rectified on repeat viewings). But I'm physically recovered now, my hormones are back to normal and I feel like myself again, and I'm ready to get back to actually, you know, living my life and being awesome. Goal 1: Escape the sail barge It's hard to escape a dangerous situation without strength and agility, which means I need to get back into my regular exercise routine, so my goal here is to walk or run every day, and complete a strength training workout 3x a week. Goal 2: Try a little help from your friends Sometimes, our friends have habits that we think are weird, but they turn out to be really effective. My husband has been doing keto for the past several months and having great success with it. I recently read a meta study showing that women eating low-carb diets tend to have an easier time conceiving and another study suggesting that moderate-to-high protein diets encourage increased ova quality in women. And I've read that some ultra-runners have had a lot of luck going low carb, too. That's enough to convince this carb-lover to at least give it a try for a few months, so my goal is to eat less than 40g of net carbs a day and get a minimum of 25% of my calories from protein. I still have some prepped meals that don't fit these guidelines, though, so my goal for the first day is to finish the last of my prepped meals, and then I can start with my new eating guidelines tomorrow. Goal 3: Reject the Dark Side With all the stress I've been under, I need to engage in some serious self-care so as not to slip into unhealthy coping habits. My goal is to practice yoga or meditate every day. Length doesn't matter, so long as I'm taking time to relax and center myself on a daily basis. Life Goal: Study the ancient Jedi texts That novel I started editing last year? Well, I need to finish it. One of my goals for the year is to edit a chapter a week (with breaks for Camp NaNoWriMo to work on drafting the sequel) until I've got a draft ready to send to beta readers, so my goal for this challenge is to edit five chapters of my novel. And because I like showing off pictures of my dog, here's Finn enjoying the new year at the dog park:
  4. NeverThatBored :: Fuck it | Dream Bigger

    So. I'm not feeling very hype-y at all. My cat is sick and I'm really sad. But fortunately I thought through this challenge back when I WAS feeling more hype-y a few weeks ago. We all know that the key to success is doing the thing even when the hype is not there, so I decided to do the thing even though I'm not feeling inspired at all. There are a ton of things I want to do. I feel like I've been slowly losing fitness for the last 1.5 years as I dealt with wrist pain and eventually surgery that prevented me from continuing with the stuff I was working on. Last week, I was finally able to do 3x10 pushups again, so I think my wrist is in a place where I can start doing a lot of the stuff I was working on again. But beyond bodyweight strength training, there's so much I want to do. A few of those things happen to be the things that you do in a triathalon - running, swimming, and riding a bike. I've had a secret desire to do at least a mini-triathalon for a while, and I feel like now is the time to start working on that more seriously. I've been working on running and have a million issues there. I HAVE a bike but mainly just wobble when I ride it. And I worked on my swimming skills with lessons this past summer, but I still haven't quite figured out how to breathe while I'm swimming. So in terms of dreaming bigger, being able to do all three of these things is a big effort. I'm in CA until Friday, and then I'll be back in VA. I don't really intend to start full challenge stuff until I've gone back to VA. Goals: Do Adrienne's new 30 day yoga challenge in January Start a 30 day paleo challenge when I'm back in VA Take my bike to a bike shop for a tune up. Ride an exercise bike at least once/week until weather allows for outdoor riding. Explore options for things like local bike clubs. Find a pool where I can go to practice swimming. Determine whether I'm comfortable working by myself or need a teacher to help me advance. Find teacher if needed. If not, practice at least weekly on my own one I've found a place that works for me. Continue running but make it easy - just use the treadmill if I don't feel like dealing with the winter weather. Work on getting back up to 5K in whatever way agrees most with my legs. Continue doing 3x/week workouts. Maybe 2x bodyweight strength and 1x some local fitness class or bootcamp. Details may vary. Do 1 small thing/week to connect with/ be nice to my father
  5. Walk to Mordor and Back Again (2018)

    Walk to Mordor and Back Again (2018) Whether you have been trekking to Mordor for years or just looking to get started, you are welcome to join us at anytime. All miles/kilometers count. You decide how you want to accumulate distance. This is your adventure! (ex. my journey has included walking/steps, hiking, running, biking (distance/3), and swimming (distance*3)) Begin Your Journey Now! SPREADSHEET Open the spreadsheet, click on the 'Sign Up' tab at the bottom of the page, fill in all fields labeled in yellow, and begin tracking and logging your distance in the appropriate monthly tab. “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” - Bilbo Baggins
  6. Silent Jay Lights the Fire for 2018

    Overview / Motivation: I am fired up for 2018. No resolutions. Simply time to recommit to excellence and level up my life. Keeping the same approach that I wrapped up 2017 with but will be increasing my running distance and adding in side planks. I have big aspirations of completing a Spartan Trifecta this year and will need to redefine what I think I can actually accomplish physically. Let's light that fire and get after it! #unleash Main Quest: Work towards building my bench and squats to 250 pounds Side Quests: Average 8 Miles of Running / Week Points Potential: STA+4 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 210 Burpees / Week & Complete Daily Front & Side Plank [Week 1-3: 2:00 Minutes, Week 4 & 5: 2:15 Minutes with 30 Second Side Planks Week 1-5] Points Potential: DEX+3 Grading: A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Average 3 Weight Training Workouts / Week Points Potential: STR+5 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60% Life Quest: Read "Language and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence" Points Potential: WIS+3 Grading A= Average > 90% B= Average > 80% C= Average > 70% D= Average > 60% F= Average < 60%
  7. obax ~ start again

    I'm not looking back, I'm looking forward. So, to start with an overall declaration: I am a person who does the things I need to do to achieve my goals. Each goal has it's own declaration as well. I'm thinking of making these same declarations, especially the overall one, for every challenge for the whole year, with only the details of each goal changing if/when necessary, sort of like a drawn out version of @Tanktimus the Encourager's line-writing exercise from the last mini challenge. I may add a declaration or two as I go, this is not a complete list of things I need to do to achieve my goals, but for now this is what I'm focusing on. Goal 1 ~ I am a person who doesn't skip a run day I will run 3x/week. Runs will consist of: Tuesday/Thursday - treadmill interval workouts, starting at 4x5min @ 7mph, with the goal to increase the number of intervals at that speed until I'm doing 60 minutes of work (12 intervals); Saturday or Sunday - outdoor 'long' run, starting with my 5.7k route and working to increase distance up to 10k. At the end of the challenge I will run the beep test to see where I'm at. Goal 2 ~ I am a person who takes care of her body I will do my physio exercises and stretch daily. I can skip the physio 1x/week but stretching must always happen. Goal 3 ~ I am a person who has good food habits I follow the ETP program, so this has more to do with food prep than hitting specific calorie goals. If I have food prepared I have no problem meeting my macros and sticking to the plan. I will shop for and prep food on weekends, and on Wednesdays if necessary. I will sort out the meals coming with me to work the night before. I will make sure I have enough food prepared so I can stick to the plan easily on weekends as well as weekdays. Goal 4 ~ I am a person who finds time for necessary skill development This pertains specifically to pushups right now, but may expand as the year progresses. I will do pushup training 3x/week, on crossfit days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). If I do 50 or more pushups in class, that will suffice for the day. If I do fewer than 50 pushups in class, I will make up the difference after class. If I do none in class, I will do 50 total in as few sets as possible (starting goal of 5x10) after class. Goal 5 ~ I am a person who prioritizes sleep I will go to bed at 11pm Sunday-Thursday (barring a call-out on nights when I'm on call), and by 12am Friday-Saturday. I will get up with my alarm on mornings when it's set. I'm allowed to sleep as long as my body wants to on Saturday and Sunday. Goal 6 ~ I am a person who records her progress I will prepare a journal ahead of time, with space to record workouts and a checklist of the things I need to accomplish/habits I need to stick to for each day. I will record in my journal daily, and not skip any of the items on the checklist. Mini Challenge Feats Strength ~ add 2 pushups to each set instead of the usual 1 for each of this week's pushup sessions (unless it's week 1, in which case just do all the pushup sessions) Speed ~ run at least 1 interval in each of my interval workouts at at least 7.2mph Distance ~ figure out a running route that will add at least 1/2k to my current long route, then run it on my outdoor run day Combat ~ don't skip any physio or stretching sessions this week and mush at least once ('cuz you need to be supple to excel at combat?) Ranger ~ find a reason to use my new crampons
  8. Xena Progresses

    In case you are new to my thread, my main deal is distance running. This time around, I'm just trying to slog through some base miles in these winter months. I'll be traveling in early Jan, so I'm going to use the first week to just do what I can and test out a couple goals (see below). Most of them will start on Mon Jan 8 and run 4 weeks. 1. Run 100 miles. I'm going to try to do the "Winter Warrior Challenge" again this year, running outside at least 3 miles every day. I might run into some roadblocks early in the month with travel, so I'm not making that an official NF challenge goal. I have lots of plans for how to structure these miles during the week, but I'll keep it simple here. This challenge fits my larger 2018 goal of "Continue to maintain distance base, building toward 2 fall "A" races (to be decided)" 2. Push-up progressive. I've made up a bunch of complicated rules to make this into a game for myself: -It will start on Jan 8 with 10 push-up negatives. I'll add one each day (11 on Jan 9, 12 on Jan 10 etc) - I can do full push-ups, and they count for 5 (!!!) negatives each. - I have to do a total of at least 10 (full + negatives) each day. So if I owe 25 pushups, and I do 5 full pushups (counts for 25 negs), I still have to do 5 more negatives to fill the set. - I can get behind and make them up (not recommended, but allowed). I can get ahead by up to 40. - If I can't do pushups due to an injury, I can substitute elbow plank. 10 second hold for each negative. This is only allowed for injury. This goal is mostly for fun! 3. Read "On Managing Yourself." I've read this before and found it helpful. I'm gonna re-read it and then get rid of it. This is a continuation of getting rid of things littering my bookshelf. This fits my larger 2018 goal of "Taking control of my own time and energy" 4. Aim for 5-star mornings. Rate each weekday morning, one star for each behavior: - Set up coffee maker and make lunch night before - Get out of bed by 6:30 - Start running by 7:15 - 3 stretches after run: modified down dog, piriformes, hip flexors. - Do my "house elf" chores before leaving the house (dishes, tidy living room, dining room table clear, bed made, no clothes on floor) These fit my larger goals of "Taking control of my own time and energy" "Improve mobility/flexibility in hips and hamstrings" and "Continue to maintain distance base..." I'm not going to set a threshold for success on this one since it's new. Maybe I'll add one later in the challenge. Bonuses: Yep...I have a bunch set up for myself. One you've heard about before is the "sushi list". I have a list of ~10 chores. When I finish it, I treat myself to some carryout sushi. Sushi is actually seeming less appealing in the deep winter, so I may substitute Thai or Indian carryout. Same idea. First week of Jan: I'll try to run every day, but it won't count toward the 100 miles. I'll try to get 10 pushup negatives a day, but it doesn't count toward the progressive. I can start reading that book whenever I want. I'll be traveling, so the morning schedule won't really apply.
  9. It's winter. It's cold, it's dark, and it's slightly depressing. That sounds like the setting of one of the best horror movies ever made. Welcome to my horror themed challenge! Happy New Year everyone! My challenge goals remain the same as the last few challenges - running, strength and nutrition - with most of the emphasis on running. My long runs haven't been very long recently, so I'll be slowly increasing my distance on my long runs each week, with an aim of doing a long run of at least 12 miles by the end of February. 1. "Mac wants a flamethrower!" - Run 3 times a week (Wednesday, Friday, and a long run on Sunday) Pretty straight forward really. I just need to get out and run, regardless of how cold and miserable it is. - Make 2 of my long runs hard trail runs I don't have a lot of interesting trails nearby so I have to travel to get to the good places. Because of this, I can't do this every week. As my marathon in July is a trail run with lots of elevation, I need to start logging some miles on the tough trails. 2. “No tears please, it’s a waste of good suffering.” - Attend British Military Fitness (BMF) once a week (Tuesday) BMF is a bootcamp style class that's run by ex service men and women. I started it last month and I absolutely love it. It's all done outside so it's damn cold and sometimes wet and muddy too. But I love the group setting as it really pushes me to do more than I would on my own. - Bouldering once a week OR lifting if unable to boulder (Thursday) I love bouldering, but it's not always possible to get to the climbing gym every week. So if I can't get there, I'll sub this with a lifting session. - Do additional push up and pull up sets twice a week BMF classes tend to involve a lot of push ups and I really suck at them. So I want to work on these outside of class so I'm not struggling to complete the circuits during the session. 3. "I will not be threatened by a walking meat loaf!" - Plan meals weekly I don't do a meal plan and this results in me making up dinners on the spot, which might not be as healthy as they could be. I'll meal plan for the following week on a Thursday or Friday and then I can go buy what I need from the supermarket so I don't have to do any top up shops mid-week - Have one meat free day a week When meal planning, I want to make one day a week a meat free day. This will mean making a vegetable based meal, not a cheese and pasta meal! - No more than two treats a week I've done this for the last few challenges and I've found it really helpful to control my snacking at work. I'll be starting this challenge from Jan 1st, but I'll log any activity here until then. In the mean time, stay safe and warm everyone.
  10. Grandkai going Hybrid Assassin: Part I

    Grandkai Going Hybrid Assassin: Part I In 2017 i used mostly bodyweight exercises and i mostly used the Start Bodyweight Program. Great program, i've seen great progress but doing only bodyweight has become a bit boring to me. So for 2018 i'm going to become a Hybrid Assassin. Goal 1: 6-Week Hybrid "Athlete" program; I'm going to use two 6-week Hybrid "Athlete" programs which have Kettlebell training, running & bodyweight training. So i'm set for the next 3 challenges Goal 2: Run faster Upcoming Sunday (December 31st) i have my first 10K race and i'm aiming for a time under 1 hour. After that i want to train to be able to run a faster 10K, so that i can have a faster time for my next race that's in April. My goal is to run the 10K in 50 minutes in April. Goal 3: Handstand Last challenge i got some good progress on a handstand and i want to continue that progress in this new year. So i'm going to train everyday switching between handstand & headstand. Side-Goal: 100% Gaming Spiderman Shattered Dimensions I still like playing games and trying to get them to 100%. This time its going to be Spiderman Shattered Dimensions
  11. I love deviantart. That picture has basically nothing to do with anything, but damned if I didn’t feel a need to share it. I searched for “Scrooge McDuck Jungle” and that’s what comes up. This challenge I want to set a tone for the rest of the year (as you do on New Year’s) and let you guys know why I’m setting my goals this year the way I am. I want to maintain 2 things (running and weight lifting) and improve 3 things (hobbies, finances, and bulking). Every challenge I’m going to set goals for those five things and rewards that improves them in the future. For this purpose I’ve chosen a spirit animal of sorts: Scrooge McDuck. Why? Maintain Lifting and Running – Scrooge McDuck is an avid health fanatic. People don’t seem to realize but the duck is literally swimming in gold coins daily. Swimming. In. Gold. Coins. He’s displacing dozens of pounds while doing cardio. There are vastly worse role models for strength training and cardio. Mileage and lifting may go up depending on my mood or down depending on if I’m coming up on a race. Two goals will appear in every single challenge: maintain running (30km per week), maintain weightlifting (3 days per week). Hobbies – Scrooge McDuck is a duck of many talents and a hobbiest extraordinaire. Take a look and you can find pictures and stories of him participating in almost any adventure or sport. And not like stumbling across him in a melee fight with the Predator (seriously, wtf deviantart?), but actual cannon activities. Auto racing, horseback riding, fencing, prospecting, hiking, camping, etc, etc, etc. Personally, I’m trying to focus on 2 things this year- making things and music. Yes, you make music, but I mean stuff as in things around the house like furniture or whatnot. Bonus points if I can earn a little money doing it. One goal per challenge minimum will be related to guitar or making. I might swap it out for something unique if something comes along that I want to try out. Finances - Swimming. In. Gold. Coins. Scrooge doesn’t just HAVE money, he goes through pained efforts to KEEP it just like his namesake. So minimum one goal per challenge will have the purpose of either saving money or making money. Bulking – OK… umm… Launchpad looks ripped? So this spirit animal thing isn’t perfect. The fact of the matter is after my first marathon attempt I found that I feel better, look better, and run better when I weight more and strength train. So I figure I’ll take this a few steps farther and try to get big and muscle-y. This means I’ll need to find a good bulking plan to follow and pay attention to my nutrition to make sure I build muscle more than squishy bits around my mid-section. I currently sit around 175 lbs and usual float down to 170 or so occasionally. I don’t want to give up running half marathon distances so I don’t expect I’ll rocket up to 210 or something but getting to the point where I’m at 185 or 190 would be neat. I’m kind of guessing at this since I’ve never gotten all that big and I have no clue what I’ll look like with more muscle on me. Ideally my build will be athletic but I’m not attempting anything insane like Arnold or something. I’m shooting for roughly “rugby player” build. Clearly well-muscled and athletic but also clearly drinking lots of beer. I have a spreadsheet for charting size progress. One goal minimum, I expect 2 goals per challenge (lifting and food) for bulking. All that being said: what about this challenge? Maintain running and weightlifting – 30k per week and 3 days minimum Finish the Batcave – Build deadlift platforms, muffle noise, arrange everything. I should also set up a practice space for guitar (music, headphones, guitar stand, etc). Prepare to negotiate salary at work – We have performance reviews in the next few weeks and will be notified of our pay increases for 2018. I intend to push for more cash or start looking for another job. Cancel the gym membership – If I have the batcave up and running I don’t need to give the Y my money. The home gym should pay for itself in a scant 4 months. Find/design a bulking program
  12. I re-ran my Frost Archer challenge, so why not re-run my Grace Helbig challenge? She is still me but much richer and much more pretty and famous… so this will be Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up (for me). The goal is to get back to being a well-rounded adult who can train for a half marathon AND do some nice things for self care like journal and drink an appropriate amount of non-alcoholic liquid known as water. Main Goal: Decrease Mile Time by 30 sec or more 1. If I Go Outside, I’ll Die! a. Run/Walk At Least 1 Mile Per day 7x per week b. 7 points per week – 42 points total c. 35 points unlocks Dexterity 2. Leave a Trail of French Fries a. Use 28 Day Reset and Perfect 10 by Cassey Ho to plan meals at least 5 days a week. b. 5 points per week - 30 points total c. Planning for 2 consecutive weeks unlocks Constitution 3. Necesito a. 2 non-running workouts per week b. 2 points per week - 12 points total c. 6 points unlocks Strength 4. Drink til You Forget a. 64oz of water b. 7 point per week – 42 points total c. 23 days of this unlocks Charisma 5. A Case of the Feels a. Journal 3x a week b. 3 points per week – 18 points total c. 3 weeks of consistency unlocks Willpower TOTAL POINTS 15 points per week - 90 points total Well Rounded Adult = ALL UNLOCKED AND 85% success rate (76 points) Beginning Mile Time: 14:32 min/mile DEXTERITY - Locked! CONSTITUTION- Locked! STRENGTH - Locked! CHARISMA - Locked! WILLPOWER - Locked! READY??
  13. Newbie here... I wanted to insert some .gifs but my uploads fail... Oh well, on with my story and 2018 challenge. I found hiking or rather hiking found me for nothing better to do in 2009. I met like-minded hikers who introduced me to lists and I was never the same again. Who knew there is a Catskills 3500 List (which I have completed both the Regular and Winter lists), or the ADK 46er List (which I try to do whenever I can drive up to New York), and of course, my epic quest, the 50 States High Points List (started in 2010 and have done 43 out of 50). I guess one can never have enough lists. Then in 2013, never having really run before, out of the blue, I decided to sign up for the 24-Hour NJ Trail Series and ended up running 50 miles in 15 hours. You never know how far you can go until you try. This began my love affair with running. I love to run on dirt and trails and hike up mountains too. And yes, the start of another list - 50 States Ultra (3 out of 50). Since moving here in NC, there have not been many opportunities to hike. So, I just run on nearby trails or in the gym. Sadly, I miss the Northeast. There is nothing like the enthusiasm and great vibes you get from fellow hikers there. For my 2018 Challenge 1, I tend to start off excited and all raring to go, but if I miss two days in a row that annihilates my running streak. I get messed up and start feeling down, have no motivation to run and beat myself up for being lazy. So, I'm hoping some scouts come to my rescue and push me back on track and keep me accountable - run, walk, crawl. whatever... Let's do more running than resting! I'm going to keep it simple so I can focus and build on small wins to hit my goals. Start: 2018-Jan-01 End: 2018-Feb-04 Fitness Goal 1: Run at least 4x a week Fitness Goal 2: 5x5x5 Core I can run long but my core needs work. So, I thought of doing this routine at least 5 days a week to build some base. I tend to get bored if it has nothing to do with running or hiking. So, baby steps. If 5 minutes of core doesn't kill me, I guess it should make me stronger! 1 min Jumping Jacks 1 min Squats 1 min Lunges 1 min Push-ups 1 min Mountain Climbers Fitness Goal 3: Evening Stretch Routine Work has me sitting in front of a computer for hours. A 10-min or so evening stretch since my lower back hurts at the end of the day. Level Up Goal: Gratitude Practice I keep a gratitude journal, but have not been consistent. So, write 5 things I am grateful, thankful for everyday in my gratitude journal.
  14. 2018 - Kestrel Builds A Temple - Part 1 (Foundations) My temple may be built in the clouds, but it is getting a solid foundation anyway 1. Prepare the ground for building Continue to plan my meals with MFP. Continue the ban on sugar/junk/processed foods. After week three I can have two items a week as long as I am between 1450-1600 calories and at least 100g protein per day. If I have lost less than 0.2% bodyfat for two weeks in a row, I add burpee tabatas 4x/week. 2. Build a strong (running) base Stick with easy runs + strides. 9 miles a week, adding one mile every week. Okay to scale back any time my foot aches for longer than that day. 3. Use my building materials (time and energy) wisely Daily mundane tasks are to be completed within an hour of waking, so I am not wasting valuable high-energy time on them (start laundry, shower, teeth and skincare, make my tea and enter the day's meals into MFP). Exercise daily at noon whenever possible to prevent the afternoon energy slump. Bird training, my most attention-demanding task, will be done immediately after exercising. Spend 5 minutes after dinner on whichever important task I have been avoiding the most. Minutiae These are the items that didn't make the cut for Challenge Goals, but are still things I plan on accomplishing: Daily walks outdoors Take my vitamins, especially Vitamin D Strength training 2-3x/week Daily stretching, mobility work, and physiotherapy exercises Spanish language practise
  15. “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill “Ends and beginnings - there are no such things. There are only middles.” In the Home Stretch - Robert Frost ================= This year I’m fully embracing the battlemage archetype in order to better pursue my two main quests: Re-enter university, and this time be fully prepared for it. Build race fitness, create a body that can handle anything thrown at it. But we can’t just leap right in and start swinging swords and throwing fire about the place. No, this battlemage is tired and beaten and completely out of motivation. I’ve been working to build discipline, and so far progress has been questionable as during the last challenge I didn’t have a clear idea of just what it was I was striving towards. I haven’t really had any clear idea of where I was going for a while now. But that has changed. I know where I’m going. I may not know quite how to get there, but I know how to start, and I know that as I go on the next step of my path will become clearer to me. I am a person who has a routine to improve her mental health and help build discipline. I am a person who tracks her food intake so as to get a better understanding of how to fuel herself. I am a person who runs come rain or shine. I am a person who is the master of her own body. [sidequest] I am a person who walks daily for physical and mental benefit. With that, I enter a whole new stage of my life. Chapter three. Nowhere near the end, but definitely not the beginning, not anymore. There is solid ground beneath my feet, the fog on the path ahead has lifted a little, and I find I can move forwards with a confidence I haven’t felt in a long time. [Edit for zero week] Funnily enough, I didn’t intend to start this challenge until the 1st, but the build up to Christmas was fairly horrific. Retail Christmas is not a fun time to the year. As a result I’m feeling fairly beaten down and will need all the accountability I can get to stay on track with my prep work for kicking off the challenge properly. Mostly this involves cleaning up and organising my flat. Again. I find it very difficult to actually maintain this, especially when my mood dips. My work schedule for zero week is as follows: Monday and Tuesday: off Wednesday: Midshift Thursday: Backshift Friday: off Saturday: Backshift Sunday: Open This means I have three full days to dedicate to the task, two days where I can put in at least a couple of hours (mid/open days), and two days where work consumes all and the aim will be to take care of myself first and foremost. I’m not setting specific goals for zero week, but I will post daily updates to track my domestic rangering progress.
  16. I have lots of good reasons to go into the Navy: I want to see the world, I want to be able to call myself a veteran, I want to get an edge applying for federal jobs, and I want help paying for a masters of social work and to take spanish classes. I've been a retail pharmacy tech for 5 years and have grown to really, really, REALLY hate the field, mostly because of the poor pay and instability. Things will be running smoothly, then all of the sudden, I'll get cut to 10 hours a week and I have to job hop. I often work clopenings, so I get anywhere from only 2 to 12 hours a sleep in a night and I have a big belly because I live on fast food and comfort eat a lot. I've recently cut out sugary drinks from my orders, but I still have a fast-food diet because I never have the time or energy to cook. I'm 40 pounds overweight and am not sure where to start, but I know I need to meet all requirements for a medical waiver to even be considered for the military, especially a selective branch like the Navy or Air Force. Army isn't out of the question, but I am drawn to the Navy and Air Force first, and especially the Navy. My mother had me on ADHD medicine and antidepressants as a teenager, and I'm paranoid that if I lie about that, I'll be caught, but I also know I'll need approved for a waiver if I disclose that information about me. I'd really like to lose 40 pounds in 4 months, and be passing at least the minimums expected for Navy boot camp, but the better I can be, the better chance I'll have of getting a waiver. As for a class, I think either Ranger or Scout lends itself to the workouts I'll need to increase my strength and endurance, but moreso endurance. If there is any other information I left out, I'll be glad to fill you in if I ask. I'm glad to be here, and hopefully, I can get out of this career field I hate and into something better. (In case anybody is wondering, I am a man.)
  17. 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.