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Jarric 2018 - Year of the Aramenté

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 Year of the Aramenté


Last year I wrote out a road map at the start of the year, and then I basically didn't look at it for the rest of the year. I kept my goals in mind though. Number 1 was to find a better work life balance, so I quit my job and moved to something much more rewarding and much closer to home. Goal 2 was to run 4-5 OCRs in the year. I ran at least 5 races, although they were not all OCRs, so I think that counts. Goal 3 was to get out of debt and start saving. I made no progress on that until October, at which point I worked hard on it for a couple of months before Christmas hit and I slid right back to where I started. Guess which goal's coming back this year?


The Aramenté



In the style of Keyleth from Critical Role, this year I will be undertaking my own Aramenté. I will be travelling to each of the tribes of Nerd Fitness, completing tasks, and ultimately growing as a person.


The inspiration for this comes from something that @Tanktimus the Encourager said a long while ago in the Ranger guildhall. A ranger was asking if it was still ok to hang out there, as they were challenging with another class this time round. And Tank pointed out (paraphrasing heavily) that in order to be a good ranger and do allthethings, one must experience different ways of doing things and expand ones horizons.


From there I decided that I should become a better ranger, and a more rounded person, by travelling to visit all of our friends in other guilds and stealing their powers learning what I can from each of them.


In addition each challenge should be relevant to my overall goals for the year.



The Goals

1 - OCR World Championship



This year, the OCRWC is coming to the UK. It is my aim to qualify for and compete in it, as it sounds like the most awesome thing to do (especially having heard @EricMN's experiences last year). Realistically it's going to be a long time before it comes back to Europe, let along England, so it's not an opportunity I'm prepared to miss.


To qualify as a journeyman all I have to do is compete in 4 other races over the course of the year. That it of course pretty easy, it's just a case of buying a ticket and getting round. But I don't want to just get round, I want to finish well. I'm going to train hard, eat well and try to sculpt myself into a serious amateur OCR athlete by the time October rolls around.



2. Get out of Debt. Start Saving.



I really want to own my own house one day. I don't want to still be working a full week to pay shockingly high rent in a shitty 2 bed house in 10 years time. So to do that I need to be more financially responsible. It's not really about earning more (though I shall still try to forward my career), it's about spending much, much less.


I fell totally flat on this last year, so this year every single challenge must have at least one goal specifically relevant to becoming a better saver or less of a spender.


And that's it, those two things are what I really want from my year, so I'm going to go out and take them.






Before I go I need to mention the amazing things I already have planned for the year. On my birthday, March 3rd, I get to get cold and wet and muddy at Nuts Challenge with @jonfirestar and @Charlie_Quinn. Two weeks later I'll be running a half marathon with those two (and, correct me if I'm wrong, getting to meet @Big_Show too?). I've got volunteering places set up for Tough Mudder where I'll get to cheer on Jon and @Rhovaniel, and with that and volunteering at Spartan I'll have a lot of free tickets under my belt to crush all of these OCRs. Not to mention that I've got Wolf Run in April to add to the collection :D .


When I post my next challenge (this weekend) I'll get the goals up here too. If all goes to plan (unlike last time) I will post all my challenge goals and results here, and track them against my two main goals for the year.

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3 hours ago, Jarric said:

Before I go I need to mention the amazing things I already have planned for the year. On my birthday, March 3rd, I get to get cold and wet and muddy at Nuts Challenge with @jonfirestar and @Charlie_Quinn. Two weeks later I'll be running a half marathon with those two (and, correct me if I'm wrong, getting to meet @Big_Show too?). I've got volunteering places set up for Tough Mudder where I'll get to cheer on Jon and @Rhovaniel, and with that and volunteering at Spartan I'll have a lot of free tickets under my belt to crush all of these OCRs. Not to mention that I've got Wolf Run in April to add to the collection :D .

Quite a full start to the year! Be prepared for big muddy marshal hugs when we come past you!

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16 hours ago, Rhovaniel said:

Quite a full start to the year! Be prepared for big muddy marshal hugs when we come past you!


I look forward to it! I hope for this to be a year of many muddy hugs.

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First challenge is up:


Goals (1-3 aimed toward OCRWC, LUYL aimed towards being debt-free):


1 - Meal Prep - 15XP

Prep all 5 of my lunches for work every week. This can be by doing a huge batch on a Sunday and making it last, or by making a little extra each evening and taking it into work the next day. Scored out of 20 lunches.


2 - HIIT - 10XP

I've signed up to try HIIT workouts for the first time, once per week starting Wednesday. Basically until now my gym programming has involved power lifting style gym work, but nothing to really get my heart rate up. I am running, but on separate days to my lifting. With my goal of going to OCRWC I need some work that's more specific to having to haul my body about whilst I'm worn out and my heart is racing. I don't know if this is the answer, but it's worth a try. Scored out of 4.


3 - Hang Out - 10XP

I have a pull up bar at home, and I plan to make use of it every day. This will improve my grip strength, help my core and back strength, and therefore should improve my climbing and my ability to get over obstacles. I have a set routine, and I'll report what I end up doing as I do it, but the main point is just to get on the bar for ~10 minutes every day. Scored out of 28.


Level Up Your Life - Budget - 15XP

As a starting point for saving money this year, I'm setting myself a weekly budget of £50 to spend on leisure. This includes all food and drink out (but not groceries), beer, cinema tickets, entrance to any leisure activities, parking at leisure activities - you get the idea. Any coins of £5 notes left at the end of the week go into a jar, which I can crack open for fitness gear when I hit level 15. Every week should finish within this £50 budget. Scored out of 4.


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So challenge 1 went a bit like this:



Challenge Wrap-Up


1 - Meal Prep - 15XP

  Reveal hidden contents


Result: 18/20 = 90% = 13XP


This went really well by the numbers, and saved me a lot of money. I'll be continuing next challenge but with some slightly stricter ruling (leftover pizza should not count as taking food to work. Neither should gorging myself on free food at meetings. I need to remember that this is about good nutrition, not just saving money).



2 - HIIT - 10XP

  Reveal hidden contents


Result: 2/4 = 50% = 5XP


I did this for the first two weeks, and then overslept the following two. Plans to combat oversleeping for my workouts will also be part of my next challenge.



3 - Hang Out - 10XP

  Reveal hidden contents


Result: 20/28 = ~71.4% = 7XP


I had a rough week with this in week 3. Otherwise though I was hitting 5 or 6 pullup sessions per week, and I do feel like that's enough that I'll get some progress.



Level Up Your Life - Budget - 15XP

  Reveal hidden contents


Result: 2/4 = 50% = 7XP


Despite the score looking bad, I actually think this went fantastically well. In the past I've struggled to stick to an £80 budget, so the fact that I managed two weeks under £50 and the other two around £70 is not bad at all. In fact week 4 would have been within budget too, if I hadn't spend over £20 on pizza when I was too lazy to cook! This can stay for next challenge.



Other bits:

  • I've had a great time with the rebels, and in particular got some good advice on concentrating on my actual hunger rather than eating automatically (thanks @Bookish Badger) and on managing my sleeping (thanks @Bean Sidhe)!
  • I also learned how to pronounce @Bean Sidhe correctly, which is cool!
  • I managed to walk the slackline at my climbing gym for the first time this month. And the second time for that matter!
  • I've joined a second Pathfinder group and they're awesome!
  • The XP above gets me past half way to level 11 :) 


Some decent work on both of my main goals. For goal 1 I got a reasonable amount of pulling practice, I worked out the HIIT is a good potential option for me (though I didn't do enough of it). I also had times of eating OK, but I need to make my meal prep goal more specific as mentioned above. 


For goal 2 my actual "spending money" spending was ~£240. Budget challenge was £200 so not perfect. It's probably my best spending in a 4 week period ever though, so I'm happy, and in my family budget I have £280 for personal spending each month so I'm nicely in that. A big big part of this was the meal prep goal, so it's definitely one that I'm keeping. 


Next challenge coming soon! 

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Next challenge is up, and I'm going to the Warriors:


Goals (1, 2 and 3 aimed at OCRWC, 3 & 4 aimed at Budgeting, 5 supports both and my general wellbeing):




Prepare for Battle - 10XP

Last challenge I had some issues with getting up and getting my workouts in. To combat that I am going to have a list of things to do every evening, accompanied by tick boxes in my bullet journal, to make getting up and exercising as easy as possible. That list is:

  • Write workout plan (gym) or read workout plan (runs) 
  • Check the weather for the morning (so I know what to wear) 
  • Lay out workout clothes
  • Check alarm is set


This applies every day, so scored out of 28


Do Battle - 15XP

A simple goal (if not an easy one), 7+ workouts per week. My current workout plan looks like this: Lifting M & F, Running T, T, S & S, HIIT W, Bouldering S/S. 8 workouts in all, but I'll settle for 7 in any given week to give me some flexibility (and if I have to change the order of my workouts that's fine too). Scored out of 28.


This goal is another major reason I want to be with the Warriors this month. You guys inspire me to hit the gym when I read your challenges and see videos of your sets, and I'm hoping that enthusiasm will wrench me out of bed in the morning. 


Star Fleet Rations - 10XP

Take prepared meals to work every day. This went well last time for saving me money, but there were some nutritionally poor choices, so I'm adding two caveats. 1, the food I bring must be real food - no taking leftover pizza to work. 2, I can eat free food in meetings instead, but I must eat sensibly and stop when I've had a reasonable amount. Scored out of 20.


Gold Pressed Latinum - 10XP



Same as last challenge and a big part of my goals for the year. Each week I will take out a cash budget of £50 for spending money, and I must stay within it. Any surplus under £10 goes into a jar which I can crack open for fitness gear when I hit level 15. Scored out of 4.



Ten Forward - 5XP

I am not spending enough time on here. I feel bad for not keeping up with my friends, and it's hurting my own efforts to improve myself not coming here for support. Every day therefore I will post on my own challenge (it doesn't have to be a full update, anything will do), and every day I will post on someone else's challenge (the same person doesn't count 2 days in a row, so I can't just have 1 conversation for the whole challenge!). Scored out of 28.


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Just realised that with my burn-out towards the end of my Warrior challenge, I never posted the recap here:


On 12/03/2018 at 12:54 PM, Jarric said:

Sorry for dropping off the radar for week 4 everyone! It's been mega busy at work, and I've been out doing things almost every night, and I've had personal stuff to sort which I've been doing on my lunch break instead of being on here (things like buys a tux, sorting my car insurance, booking WW's car in for an MOT, all boring things.


Stuff from week 4:

  • I missed most of my running, but I did get out for Parkrun Saturday morning.
  • I missed lifting on Monday, went Wednesday instead, but then missed Friday so I'm still behind. I could have gone Friday evening but I was so excited about being able to set up my new PC that I did that instead.
  • Went out all day on Saturday to watch the rugby in a pub and have a late birthday thing with my friends. It was a really great day (not least because Ireland won #teamofus!). Much beer was consumed but got home around half 9 so that wasn't too brutal.
  • I've been listening to podcasts of playtests of the new Pathfinder second edition - I'm really interested in what they're doing with that.
  • I had a great climbing session on Sunday morning despite being much the worse for wear from Saturday, and I completed a 6A+ route for the first time ever! I also pulled my shoulder doing it however, so swapped my lifting for a run this morning and will lift tomorrow assuming it feels ok by then.


Final Challenge Stats

Prepare for Battle: 21/28 (75%)

Do Battle!: 21/28 (+1 bonus session in week 1) (75%)

Star Fleet Rations: 15/20 (75%)

Gold Pressed Latinum: 2/4 (50%)

Ten Forward: 15/28 (54%)


I'll do a proper write up on this later, but the short version is that things started well and then as I spent less time on here and less time concentrating on my journal they got worse. This week therefore should be time to do some forum cardio, catch up with everyone and get some proper goals together for the next leg of my Aramenté.


Following on from that I did not catch up and carry on, in fact I more-or-less crashed and burned. I didn't run a challenge in March. But that's ok, I took a break when I was having a really stressful time, and I'll soon be back and challenging again. By my count there's 10 challenges per year and only 8 guilds, so the Aramenté is still very much on!

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Ok, so the new challenge boards aren't up yet but I want to post this whilst I still have the enthusiasm to do so. This time around I'll be challenging with the Druids, and that challenge will look like this:


Jarric’s Aramenté – Finding Space with the Druids


Hi all, for those of you who don’t know me I’m Jarric. I’ve been doing challenges across the forums for a couple of years now, and this year I came up with a plan to visit all of the guilds to meet new people, learn new perspectives and become a more well-rounded person myself.


Two challenges ago I fought alongside the Warriors, not for the first time, and whilst I love hanging out with those guys there was so much going on in my life I felt overwhelmed. I ended up more or less bailing on that challenge, and I didn’t take part in last challenge at all as I just tried to get my head straight.


But I don’t want to stay away from here for long, and so what better place to find some balance and learn to better cope with the stresses of life than alongside the Druids.


I already have a bit less on this challenge. Snooker season has finished, which means no more matches (I was usually playing two nights per week), and I’ve made the decision to not join any summer competitions or practices to keep those nights generally free. DnD will still be happening, on average once per week, but that’s something booked in well in advance that I can work around. Aside from that I’m going to make a conscious effort to say no to extra commitments, or at least to honestly consider whether I want to do them in the context of whatever else I have going on that week. Just being mindful that I don’t have to take every cool opportunity that comes my way will be key here.


So, I have some goals. None of these directly impact my main goals for the year, (running the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship and getting out of debt by the end of the year), they are more about getting my head in order as a foundation for moving forward. I will of course still be running, lifting, climbing and trying to eat good food too, but none of that’s a specific goal this time.



Check-In Daily – 5XP

A simple one to start, but one that’s great to keep me on track. Check in here daily. It doesn’t have to be much, in fact it can be just a single word if it needs to be, but just post in this thread every day.



Meditate Daily – 10XP

This is something I have been meaning to commit to for a while, because I’m not very good at meditation, but I really do think it will help to make those few minutes for myself every day. Generally I’m planning to do guided meditations at home, but if that’s not possible then any 5 minutes of mindfulness will do.



Study – 10XP

I need to make a structured start on my insurance studies so that I can tick along with them at a sensible pace (the alternative, and my usual method of study, is to feel guilty and stressed that I haven’t done anything for a few months, and then to panic and rush everything at the last minute). To that end I will do one Pomodoro of studying each week.



Research/Project Work – 10XP

In a very similar vein as the previous goal, I need to get on with a work project I’ve been working on – the sooner I start on this the sooner I’ll finish. This is also a group project where other people are relying on me, so that adds to the general stress. Again one Pomodoro of time spent on this each week.



To-Do List

No XP awarded for this, but I have a to-do list that I want to try and get through this challenge, to unfuck my house and get some shit sorted that’s been hanging over me for too long sorted. At the moment that looks like this:

·         Clear spare room stuff

·         Clear sofas and keep them clear

·         Buy shoe rack

·         Mow front lawn

·         Mow back lawn

·         Clothing cull

·         Clean bedroom stuff

·         Sort computer desk and permanent printer set-up

·         E-mail Steve

·         Start gathering stuff for Irish passport



And that’s it. 5 weeks of challenge ready and waiting for me. Now to try and get my head in order.


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I'm not dead yet!





July Challenge - Coming Home

I may have paused my Aramenté, but the goals are still just as important. Here's how my homecoming challenge went:



Only 3 days late, I guess it's time to wrap this challenge up!


  1. Eat real food. I know what real food is, so I need to eat that instead of eating crap because it's in front of me or because I'm too lazy to cook. I'll allow 2 variances per week (a variance can be one whole course, but not a meal and certainly not a day).


I hit this goal in weeks 1 and 2, and went one variance over in each of weeks 3 and 4. It has made me better at resisting work snacks and other silly things that aren't worth spending a variance on though, so a good goal. Next challenge I think I'll be sticking with this, but I'll also be counting calories.


10/15XP awarded.



  1. Don't Drink and D&D. No alcohol at D&D games, and no alcohol at home. Neither of these experiences are enhanced by beer, so it's not worth the calories, or the sugar, or the hangover. I'll allow 2 variances for the whole challenge, in case of special occasions.


Spot on here, I used one variance early on to have a few beers with WW one evening at home, and my second one on the last day of the challenge when we played a mega long Starfinder session at a friends house. Sticking with this too.


10/10XP awarded.



  1. Recharge. 30 minutes reading a novel on non-D&D days. D&D nights I rush home, cook, eat, and rush straight back out so no time there, but I'm confident I can make 30 minutes otherwise. I'd love to at least finish American Gods by the end of the challenge.


My weeks were, in order, 3/5, 6/7, 3/5, 2/6. Or, if you prefer, 14/23. Not really good enough to award any XP this time around, but I did really find it was a good way to unwind before bed on the nights I did do it, and having seen the benefit I'll definitely be giving it another go.


I did finish American Gods though! I've still got an American Gods novella to read, which is in the back of the version of the book I have, so hopefully I'll get that done this week and I can start a new book next time around.


0/10XP awarded


  1. Profit. Write down everything I spend spending money on (not groceries, petrol and the like though) and summarise here each week. Hopefully that will deter me from frivolous spending. Also going to keep to my £50 weekly budget plan as long as cashflow allows.


Well. I forgot that this was the challenge. I didn't do that at all. All I did was my normal £50 budget, which I didn't reliably hit either. I think tracking this may be a bit much for next challenge if I'm counting calories, but I'll have a think.


0/10XP awarded

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And now I have a hastily put together August challenge:



Just now, Jarric said:

Jarric Writes a Challenge Really Quickly


So I'm a bit stuck for a theme this time round, and I keep not getting round to writing my challenge and we're already on day to, and I'm only getting busier. So I figured it's more important to write the challenge than worry about it looking good, and I've got 11 minutes on my lunch break to get this down!


Eat Real Food - 10XP

I know what real food is, and I'm going to eat that instead of junk. Maximum two variances per week. A variance can be a course or a snack, but it's not a multi-course meal.


Don't Drink and D&D - 10XP

Same as last time, because it worked well - no drinking at D&D nights and no drinking at home. Maximum 2 variances for this 4-week challenge.


Stick to the Plan - 15XP

This is my exercise goal, and it comes in three parts:

  • Write my exercise plan for the full 4 weeks in my bujo
  • Share a picture of that plan here
  • Stick to the plan every day


Recharge - 5XP

30 minutes reading a novel on non-D&D nights. I finished American Gods last challenge (finally!), and I'm hoping to make a big dent in The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.


Stick to the Budget - 10XP

Stick to my £50 per week budget, record surplus/deficit each week.



In addition to my challenge, I'll also be taking part in the pull-up PvP which the awesome @Charlie_Quinn posted last week. Come and join us for that.


Well, I actually got that down with time to spare. In that case, have a gif, because it's a good gif.




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I may have forgotten to post this when i set up the challenge, but it's there:




Jarric Rolls High


I didn't run a challenge for the last challenge cycle, partially through lack of organisation and partially because I buggered off for a lovely week in Ireland right in the middle of it. Had a lovely time there, visited about a dozen old castles, abbeys and cathedrals, and saw a lot of the beautiful Irish countryside.


Since I've been back I've been watching a load of High Rollers and Critical Role, so why not have another D&D themed challenge?


Giant's Strength - 15XP

I've spent the last couple of weeks working on a new lifting plan for myself, and then promptly decided to scrap that and join my local Crossfit box instead! Went to see the place on Saturday and it seems really nice so I'm going to make the jump and try out a three month membership.


Week zero of this challenge will be the last heavy week in my lifting cycle, and week one will be deload week, each with a goal of two lifting sessions per week. After that I'll start Crossfit and the goal will be three sessions per week.



Hero's Feast - 10XP

Simple enough and a goal that's worked for me in the past. I know what real food is, so I'm going to eat that with two variances per week. A variance can be a course, but not a whole meal.



Attack of Opportunity - 10XP

I want to keep working on my pullups because they're cool and they're good for climbing and obstacle courses and all the things.


I struggle to get long pull-up sessions in, so I'm going to give "grease the groove" pull-ups a go. Inspired by one of @Charlie_Quinn's past challenges I've got my pull-up bar hung over my kitchen door, and I'll have to do a pull-up every time I want to go into the kitchen. I'll keep a note of how many I manage each day and report it here.



Prestidigitation - 10XP

Lovingly stolen from @DarK_RaideR's current battle log, before I sit down to watch TV of an evening I need to do something to improve my habitat - cleaning, tidying, hoovering, throwing stuff away etc.



Pencils and Paychecks - 5XP

This goal is so regular that I barely need to write it here, but I liked the name for a goal. £50 weekly budget, and I've got a jar for change left over at the end of the week.




The Main Quest

One of my main goals this year was to run in the OCR World Championship. I opted against running in the main event for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it means I get to run in the fun charity wave with @jonfirestar, @Rhovaniel and @Charlie_Quinn. Really looking forward to that, it's going to be a great event. And then two weeks after that I get to run Nuclear Fallout with these guys, and I get to see @iatetheyeti who's coming down too :D .


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Given that I sort-of completed main goal 1 of the year I should probably put this here for posterity too:


Race Report - OCR World Championships

As mentioned above I was lucky enough to "run" in the charity wave of the of the OCR World's this year with @Charlie_Quinn, Stu, @jonfirestar and @Rhovaniel. Being the charity wave there was no chip timing, no mandatory obstacle completion and no-one running competitively. We also ran in the Mudstacle wave, which is basically as many Mudstacle members as possible getting together and having a laugh and being silly. On top of the normal obstacles the rules were that when someone shouts "grenade" you hit the deck, and when someone shout "shark" you get off the floor. Add to that that one guy was blasting music all the way round and we were intermittently skipping, slow-motion running, gangster walking - it's hard to describe just how funny that is when you're out on course.


Speaking of the course, whilst we weren't competing we did get a chance to try some of the world championship obstacles. There were a few really interesting rigs, requiring a lot of grip strength and coordination. I had a lot of fun on them but I did fail a couple, and still didn't manage to get the ninja rings that I failed at Nuclear last month. It could have been pretty hard to swallow - without wishing to sound conceited I rarely fail an obstacle on a normal course these days and I don't like having to give up on them, but everyone was so much fun and so supportive I soon shook that off. I know I've got a lot of work to do for next year though, because next year I'm going to actually compete!


So now the main goal shifts to qualifying for and actually running in the OCRWC next year!

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Just now, Jarric said:

Challenge Wrap-Up


This is well and truly overdue, but for posterity:


Week 4 Stats

Giant's Strength - 3/3 Crossfit sessions for week

Hero's Feast - 7/2 variances for week

Attack of Opportunity - 66 pullups for week

Prestidigitation - Nope

Pencils and Paychecks - mega over budget


Challenge Scores

Giant's Strength - 12/13 workouts completed - 15XP awarded

This was actually really easy. I missed one workout because I was away for a few days, but I was excited to go to Crossfit so it was no challenge to keep turning up. It's still interesting me and I'm learning new things, so so far so good. Will probably leave this out next challenge in favour of a running goal.


Hero's Feast - 26/10 variances - 0XP awarded

So this one looks pretty bad on paper, and to be honest my eating hasn't really been good enough. That said without this challenge I would have gone far further off the rails at work and at home, so it served a purpose despite being a flop numbers wise.


Next challenge there's no way on earth that I'll be able to stick to a set number of variances in the face of Christmas parties and the like, so i'll have to re-think how this one works, but in principle I think I would be best keeping something similar.


Attack of Opportunity - 320 pullups over the course of this challenge - 10XP awarded

This again was reasonably easy, and I'm still not convinced whether GTG is the best way to train. That said I doubt I would have done any standalone pull-up training in absence of this, so it's likely better than nothing. I'll be keeping a modified version of this going forward.


Prestidigitation - 2 hours cleaning logged - 0XP awarded

The way that I phrased this challenge turned out, like all the best plans, to not survive contact with the enemy. I could do with a tidier house, but I'm not sure how to do that for now (though I'm now sure that this is not the way!).


Pencils and Paychecks - 1 week in budget, 2 over but tracked, 2 not tracked - 0XP awarded

Much like the heroes' feast goal this looks terrible on paper, but in practice it was much better than the situation would have been had I not had a challenge in place. This will be coming back in some form for the next challenge.


Other Stuff

I ran in the OCR World Championships charity wave, which was awesome fun. I ran Nuclear fallout, which was fun but really fucking hard. I ran Muscle Acre, which was an nice chilled race to end the season on. I conquered new obstacles and learned some new technique and failed some new obstacles too. I also signed up to Nuclear Oblivion, because I'm mad and definitely need an ultra-marathon OCR to scare the hell out of me for the next 6 months! Basically, I've been able to do a lot of cool stuff this challenge, and that's pretty cool.


I updated as much as I felt I could, which still wasn't really enough. And my gif game was weak, so that needs improvement!


Overall I'm reasonably happy with this challenge, and I'm looking forward to getting the next one underway.


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Wrap-up for my final challenge of the year:

Just now, Jarric said:

Challenge Wrap-Up

Run! - 5XP/15XP awarded

The plan here was to run 125 miles. With my long run on Saturday coming in at over 14 miles and a quick 5k on Sunday I finished on a total of 102.35, so 81.88% completion.


Other stats/thoughts:

  • Of the 20 programmed runs for these 5 weeks I only went out for 15, so 75%
  • I missed 1 long run, 1 Parkrun, 1 interval and 2 tempo runs (though I swapped a tempo for an interval on boxing day because I felt like it, which skews that slightly)
  • Of the 7 weekday runs I managed (of a possible 10) I cut 3 short by 1 mile and 1 short by 2 miles, meaning I only did 3/10 full weekday runs

Overall not a great showing, but I'm giving myself 5XP because I still passed 100 miles and got most of my long runs in. I need to design a better running tracker for next month, because until I added the above up for this challenge I felt like I'd been much more consistent than I actually had. Christmas and lots of gigs got in the way of this a bit, so I should be able to score much better next challenge.


Pullups! - 9XP/10XP awarded

Generally GTG pullups went well, and I hit 10 or more per day on 31/35 days (88.57%). The days I missed were Christmas Day which I wasn't at home for and gave myself off, and a couple of others where I was feeling particularly fatigued and wasn't spending a lot of time at home. Weekly scores:

  1. 111 pullups
  2. 102 pullups
  3. 86 pullups
  4. 85 pullups
  5. 102 pullups (includes an at-home workout on Christmas Eve with 5 sets of 5 pullups, but also includes having Christmas day off)

Very happy with this, and that 5x5 workout on Christmas Eve showed me how much my pullups have come on. Will be keeping a similar goal going next time around.



Eat Accountably! - 0XP/10XP awarded

I gave up on this a couple of days into week 2 and never got it back. I definitely ate a lot more snacks and Christmas treats than I should have, and whilst I feel like I balanced it ok it was too much work to keep up with logging it all. Which really just shows that it was too much stuff in the first place. I think I could manage this kind of strategy going forward as there'll be far less temptation hanging around, but there's something else I want to try for now.


Budget! - 0XP/10XP

Failed to track, definitely didn't hit my budget, and spent lots of money. Note to self, don't book to go to loads of gigs in December when you should be buying Christmas presents instead!



Overall I actually felt that this challenge went fairly well. Which is off because it quite clearly didn't in terms of my actual goals. I guess the good stuff comes down to the following:

  • I really enjoyed Crossfit, and going to our gym's Christmas party helped me to feel more part of the community there.
  • I hit quite a lot of runs still, at a really busy time of year.
  • I had a breakthrough with some changes on my squat form and the weights are now flying up.
  • I had a really nice Christmas, despite having been dreading it when it was approaching it was great when it arrived.
  • I feel surrounded by wonderful people. I get to talk to a few crazy Rangers (and Assasins, and Multiclassers) on a regular basis, was able to drag a load of brilliant people down to my neck of the woods for a Christmas meetup and get to have fun in a D&D play by post with the others. Off the forums I have the beautiful Wonder Woman at home and a small group of great friends who support me.

And that, by virtue of the fact that I was almost there anyway, gets my to level 11.


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2018 Wrap-Up


So this was to be the year of the aramenté, where I visited all of the other guilds to learn new things and become more of a superhero. That didn't happen in any way, shape or form, in fact I only appear to have posted challenge wrap-ups for 4 challenges out of the 10 there are each year, only two of which weren't with the Rangers, and I know that I didn't even start two challenges (and there's a further two that I did start, but only posted the wrap-ups and not the starts in this thread). As a consequence I started the year at level 10, and hit level 11 right at the end of the last challenge. There was some good stuff in there too though, lets break it down.



Goal 1 for this year was to compete in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships. I sort of hit this - instead of running in the main event I ran in the charity wave with some awesome Rangers and the wonderful people of Mudstacle. And that was a choice - I had run enough races to run in the main event and just needed to drop a couple of hundred dollars into tickets, but it felt a bit hollow running it when I had only qualified as a Journeyman (i.e. on number of races rather than on pace or endurance). When they announced that they would be holding the event in the UK next year as well that made the decision for me - to run in the charity wave this year and to qualify properly for the main event (at least age group if not elite) next year. I had a brilliant time working towards and doing this and got some valuable experience, so all good.



Goal 2 for this year was to get out of debt and start saving money. I didn't manage that, but I did wipe out around 75% of my credit card debt which is no small achievement. I was nearly in a position to clear it before a slight backslide in December, and I'm confident I can clear it in the first couple of challenge cycles this year. Which means I should have actual savings at some point next year, which would be amazing.


Other Stuff

A few achievements, progressions and observations from this year:

  • At the start of the year I was signing up to HIIT classes and then oversleeping and missing them, as well as missing lots of lifting and running sessions. Since starting Crossfit a couple of months ago I have never overslept and missed a class, and whilst I'm still oversleeping for some runs I'm definitely getting better. I think this has more to do with being excited to do the exercise than anything else.
  • In January I managed to walk across a slackline for the first time, and now I'm doing turns on it and trying silly things like sitting down on it and other fun stuff.
  • Likewise in March I climbed my first 6A+ boulder route (font grading), and now I'm going for those most of the time and even trying harder stuff.
  • On the last day of this year I hit a huge milestone in setting a squat 1RM of 100kg! My last record before that was at October 2017 and was 3 reps at 85kg.
  • I've also increased my Deadlift from 115kg for 4 reps to 130 for 5 reps in that period, and it just keeps going up and up. Bench and OHP haven't changed so much, but I think they will with Crossfit.
  • Looking at my attitude and outlook for my last two challenges compared to the first two I can see myself being much more positive about what I'm doing and what I have achieved.

Looking forward now I'm going to put together a plan for 2019 later today, which will feature some very silly OCR challenges, the clearing of my debt and the advancement of my studying and career.

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