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Solar Maximum

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58 minutes ago, CallunaTook said:

Here was my chart. i'm really skeptical of the calorie formula they used. It seems extreme.


Yeah, it's a good thing to be skeptical! Not sure if you had a wrist one or a chest band one, but here's an article on some research done at Stanford on the wrist trackers


Part of the difficulty is that, depending on your athletic abilities, your heart rate may be deceiving. The simplified version is that it will overestimate calories for out of shape people and underestimate for skilled athletes.

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I did look at the article. It is interesting. Kind of what I would expect, since energy expenditure is usually based on some mathematical formula meant to give you a best estimate. 


The trackers we were given could be worn on the wrist or the bicep. I chose to put mine on my upper arm, but the velcro would occasionally come off and I had to re-attach it. 

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Weekly Progress Report


Physical Health Goals - 98%

I completed all of my physical health goals for week four, except for item 5. I had three days where I had two servings of sweets. This was an improvement on the previous week, and two of those three days were purposeful choices made for parties. 


My hour-long walk was on a newly installed pedestrian trail near the house. I followed it as far as time and wisdom allowed, and then turned around and went back. It's supposed to connect to the larger trail system, so if it's already fully complete, it goes on for miles and connects all the way downtown and beyond; theoretically I could take it to work some day if I had a lot of time on my hands. The trail was nice, but it went through some pretty sketchy-feeling areas.


Exercise adventure for the week was OrangeTheory.


Healthy Lifestyle Goals - 98%

This week was short on time, but I did ok here and dedicated at least small bits of time to most things. 


The weekly deep clean was the bathroom floor, walls, and rugs.


Weekly reading was more Beren and LuthienCooking for Geeks, and an outdated copy of Frommer's Edinburgh and Glasgow.


I ordered and received my seeds and decided not to hire a landscape consultant again. Some unexpected financial things have come up, the consultant I wanted didn't call back, and I'm stubborn about giving up problems. Instead, I looked up some new trouble-shooting ideas and some garden clubs. 


I visited my grandma and uncle last weekend. It took most of a day because they are out of town, but it is worth it. :) I am lucky I still have a grandma around. 


I have been thoughtful about getting dressed and I think my "not feeling like me" in the mornings have been more about being too sleepy and just grabbing things in the closet. I've made a couple of mistakes and I think that I'm developing some rules about what I can grab during morning sleepies and still feel good in for the rest of the day. So far there are two big ones: Rule one, do not wear a baggy/loose fitting top with a baggy/loose fitting bottom; pick one loose and one fitted. Rule two, only pick one color plus any combination of neutrals, preferably black or black and white.


I put the backburner/tinker project off until the weekend and then ran out of time. I swapped in 15-20 minutes worth of coloring instead, but it's really not the same. 


Conversations about 2018 in the British Isles continues. :-)  The hubby was watching shows on Scotch distilleries last night. He is getting excited. We're still mulling over dates.


Epic Quest Related Goals


No progress on going through backpacking gear. Hopefully I can go through things this week and knock that part off.


French exercises were a success; more Duolingo and podcasts. My French class starts today! It will be tough getting my dailies in around the added class but I think I can do it.


I've been doing research on and thinking about editing courses and reaching some tentative conclusions. I'll continue this exploration next week.

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For this week's fitness adventure, we tried a new indoor rock climbing gym. I say "we" because the hubby was interested, so I paid for him to come with me, attached it to a nice dinner, and voila, it was his early Valentines date! I had tried indoor rock climbing once before maybe ten years ago, but was deterred due to cost and the fact that I had to always climb with a partner. Now both of the local gyms have auto-belays and the new gym also has bouldering, so I could do it solo if I wanted to. It looked like it was time to try it again. I bought a one-month pass because it was more cost-effective than two day-passes, and comes with a free climbing class (which I have yet to take). 


The new gym is very nice. It is big and bright and clean. It has speed climbing walls and top rope walls, all with both 'regular' and auto belay options. All of the non-speed rope walls have some degree of overhang. There is a bouldering room and a jungle gym type thing for people who fancy themselves to be ninja warriors. 


I suck at climbing surprisingly much (I used to be the queen of tree climbing, so in my imagination, I'm a great climber); my real limitation seemed to be my little noodley arms wearing out before I got too high on anything.  (Mostly and specifically, my forearms) Also, jumping down from the top of the bouldering walls was too scary; I had to down climb and wear my arms out even further. I was texting with my rock climbing buddy afterwards.  He said that if my arms were tired, I was doing it wrong, and he pointed me to a youtube channel for some tips, so I'll look at that before I go back. I'll be back at least a couple of times before my one month is up, so we'll see how it goes. It didn't help that he told me he tore his ankle landing wrong while he was bouldering last month. He's been climbing since we were kids and is fully certified, and even HE hurt himself jumping off!  So far, not a fan of bouldering. I'm sure I'll grow into it if I keep going.


This is a picture of the gym... it's so bright and pretty. 

Image result for threshold climbing

Immediately after and during climbing, my back and my hips felt great. These are usually the joints that give me problems; I have some mysterious SI dysfunction and three herniated disks (I've danced around the topic enough on this forum, so there it is, that's the issue). I don't know if the joints really did react that well or if my anti-inflammatories were just working effectively. My joints are certainly a bit cranky today, but so far out of the new exercise adventures, climbing seems to be what old jankity joints like best. Which is a weird surprise. I'm definitely going to have to monitor this. If it really does give me an interesting work out regime without causing joint pain, it might be worth pursuing. For now, my fitness regime is all about finding that compromise between where I can get good exercise, not be bored, and not make my joints any worse than they already are. (Getting old sucks. :-(  I still want to be able to do everything!!! I feel like I'm too young for fitness compromises. Ugh.)


Anyhow, I sucked at it, but it was fun, and I'm going back. I've got some muscle soreness today and some research to do, which of course means that I got a good workout and there is lots of room for improvement. Both good things. The hubby is considering getting into it. If he decides to do so, there will be extra incentive for us to go together on the weekends.  He doesn't sound very excited about it, so it's a long shot. Just a lot of "we'll see"s.

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Well, this is it. End of challenge. I didn't smash each and every challenge task out of the park, but I did pretty darn good and even conquered extra tasks that weren't on the list. I've kept myself busy and hopping. The overall goal of getting off my lazy butt, reconnecting with and feeling more like myself, and being more mindful of how I spend my time was a fantastic success. There are a couple of lingering items I need to take care of, namely visiting with my nephew and pulling together my backpacking gear, and I will certainly do those things soon. Some of the new habits I tried out I will be keeping because I really like them. I feel like I've had a breakthrough on French study techniques; after years of effort it FINALLY is starting to sound like something other than babel. It's ridiculous how bad/slow I have been at figuring out how to learn this language. In other challenge news,  I still don't have a clear path forward fitness-wise, but I'm working on it, and I'm not feeling hopeless and useless. Spring is coming. I feel optimistic. Things are good. 


I am, however, on the verge of burnout at work, for the first time in I can't remember when. I'm not sure what to do about this, if anything. I'm going to have to consider it going into the next challenge. In short, I need to de-stress somewhere. Every minute of work has been freaking hard and not in the usual fun-hard way. I spend the whole day pulling on my hair in hyperfocus, and I've been getting off work feeling exhausted and also guilty for leaving with problems still unsolved. I may or may not do a structured challenge for the next round while I get over this hump. I'm thinking about it. We'll see. I usually love the hard stuff, but I'm on overload right now. My stress response is usually to dig deep and focus hard until I pull through the other side, but after doing this for weeks, it's wearing me out. I need to take some kind of break or rejuvenation somewhere, but I cannot do it at work right now. I have to make room for it somewhere else.  


So, the solar maximum has been accomplished.  It's been swell. :) I'll see ya around... probably. ;-) 

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