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Roocifer

Roocifer's Running Revival Challenge

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Three years ago, I ran 4 half marathons in one year, did 4 months of fitness bootcamp, and was in the best shape of my life. Now...not so much. Instead of being active and energetic, I'm now slow, squishy, and sedentary (also, I like alliteration and parentheticals. Sorry.) I don't know where my motivation went over the last two years, but I found it and I am READY TO GO!

I have my sights set on a half in the fall (either in Philly or Boston - haven't decided which one, yet) and I've been working over the past two months to slowly build my fitness base by running 3x per week and strength training (usually twice a week, but not always consistently). The next six weeks happen to be the first six weeks of my half marathon training plan (taken from Brain Training for Runners). I'll be running, doing strength exercises, and mostly just working on injury-proofing myself while I sloooowly get stronger and (hopefully) faster.

My ultimate goal is to beat my half PR and stay injury-free while training to do it!

Name: Roocifer

Race: Tibbit

Class: Scout

Starting weight: 132.8

Attributes:

Strength (STR): 2

Dexterity (DEX): 3

Stamina (STA): 3

Constitution (CON): 2

Wisdom (WIS): 3

Charisma (CHA): 2

Total: 15

Goals (April 30-June 11th):

Health:

Run a sub-26 minute 5k Update 5/18 - ran a PR, 24:18!

Since I haven't run a 5k in well over a year, this number is largely a guess and will be my benchmark for the rest of the summer. I've registered for a series of five 5ks on the same course, one a month from May til September - my overarching goal is to improve my time with each race.

How I'll do it: Follow my training plan - 4 runs per week with a variety of purposes, including hill sprints, fartleks, and long slow runs. The plan also includes 1-2 days per week of cross training, and for that I'm doing workouts on my exercise bike.

DEX +2, STA +3

Lose 5 pounds (127.8 lbs)

How I'll do it: Drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day, allowing myself one sugary treat per week (the vending machine is my nemesis), packing a lunch every day to bring to work, and snacking on something healthy if I get hungry in between meals (handful of nuts or something like that instead of my usual bowl of cereal or toast).

CHA +2, CON +2

Do one unassisted chin-up

I am SO CLOSE on this one, it's killing me!!

How I'll do it: My half marathon training plan calls for strength training 2x per week, but the exercises in the book are kind of lame and not focused on total body fitness. I'll keep those, but am adding planks, lunges, squats, pushups, dumbbell rows, and (of course) chin-ups.

STR +2, CON +1

Lifestyle:

Put some effort into looking nicer on a daily basis. This means doing hair and makeup (even minimally) every work day.

CHA +2, WIS +1

Edited by Roocifer

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Welcome scout, sounds like you have a plan, and with that previous running im sure you can do better than a 26 min 5k.

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Welcome scout, sounds like you have a plan, and with that previous running im sure you can do better than a 26 min 5k.

I read this post to my husband and he said "Good, I was hoping someone would call you out on that!" My PR is 25:08, and I'd love to beat that by the end of the summer...but for the first race I just need to see where I'm at. Confident I can beat that goal, though!

@Dawsy - Thanks for the welcome! I'm excited for my first challenge.

@Chelsea - Thank you! A lot of people have nice tables and whatnot in their challenge posts and I'm not quite savvy enough for that, but I did want to make it at least a little pretty.

Edited by Roocifer

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Day 3 and so far things are going well!

On Monday I did a 3-mile run...wasn't really trying for any specific pace, but I did push it. Finished in 25:50, so I'm very confident in my sub-26 min 5k goal. Considering lowering my time goal for that, but I'm not sure. Over the past few weeks I've had some piriformis pain (such a pain in the butt, literally), but I think the strength exercises I've been doing are working - no pain at all!!

Yesterday I was scheduled to do hill sprints, but it was cold and rainy and disgusting outside, so I swapped workouts and hopped on the exercise bike instead. I did about 30 mins and went 8 miles, but split it up into two parts and did a Rebel Strength Guide Workout in between. Felt awesome when I was done!

I've been drinking water like crazy and have done quite well with staying away from sweets. Knowing that I'll be posting my weight updates here is definitely keeping me honest!

And finally, I've been a pretty pretty princess for the last three days. Ok, slight exaggeration there, but I have done hair and makeup. It hasn't added too much time to my routine and I do feel better during the day since I know I don't look like I crawled out from under a bridge and came straight to work.

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Alliteration, Parentheticals, Running...

You're gonna fit in just fine :)

Welcome aboard!

Lol, this was my first thought!

Knowing that I'll be posting my weight updates here is definitely keeping me honest!

No kidding, right? It's amazing what this place did for my accountability. Anyway, best of luck on some awesome goals - looking forward to following the progress!

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Another Roo! Hello! Love the avatar :)

I debated whether to be a Scout or an Adventurer but I think I made the right choice, you guys have been awesome so far!

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Run a sub-26 minute 5k

Since I haven't run a 5k in well over a year, this number is largely a guess and will be my benchmark for the rest of the summer. I've registered for a series of five 5ks on the same course, one a month from May til September - my overarching goal is to improve my time with each race.

This is one of my epic goals. I once ran a 26:32 5k nine years ago. Since I have started to get back in shape, this is one of my goals to demolish this time.

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Posting my weight here is a good idea, I may start doing that at least with my reference day (usually Sundays) each week. With a running background like that I'd think you'll manage 26 minutes, just have to keep at your plan and make the numbers happen for you.

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Almost-end-of-week-1 update! Saturday is my typical weigh-in and measurements day, and I'm going to stick to that for this challenge.

Today was a surprising day - stepped on the scale and it said 129!! On Monday I was at 132.8. I didn't make following a specific kind of eating plan a goal, I just wanted to ease up on the sweets. BUT, I have somehow gone primal...not sure how that happened. I would say that I was eating primal 90% of the time this week. So I think that plus drinking water like I'd been wandering in the desert for a week is what led to the weight drop. I'm tracking my eating with my fitness pal to make sure I'm getting enough calories (and I am - I'm amazed at how much I have to eat to keep the numbers up where they should be!)

Measurements were also great, considering it's the first week. I'm keeping track of everything in a separate spreadsheet and I don't think I'll be posting the full measurements until the end of the challenge, but that tape measure showed progress!! Hips don't lie, baby :)

I did have a setback this week...I think it was the low-carb flu. It hit on Thursday and it was awful - crazy headache, lightheaded and feeling really foggy, and exhausted. I greeted a pile of clothes on the floor before I realized it wasn't one of my cats...that bad. I was out of work on Thursday and half the day on Friday, but woke up this morning (after sleeping for 12 hours - I needed it!) feeling like I could go fling around some smartcars just for fun. Whatever it was, I think I'm out of the woods, and really glad I resisted the temptation to stuff my face with an entire box of graham crackers when I wasn't feeling well.

Oh and I smashed my expected time for my mile - 7:27! Shocked and thrilled about that, can't wait to see what I can do for the 5k, which is a week and a half away.

WEEK ONE, I OWN YOU.

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Added my point from the golden mile challenge to CON, since I didn't hurt myself whilst running it.

Since I didn't say a word about workouts during my update, here's my weekly wrap-up for that:

Mon: ran 3 miles

Tues: 30 mins bike, strength training (NF Rebel Strength Guide body weight workout)

Wed: rest

Thurs and Friday: felt horrible and slept for 12 hours each night - didn't workout

Sat: ran 2 miles (1 mile as part of week 1 golden mile challenge), strength training workout

Sun: ran 4 miles

Strength workouts are tracked in detail on Fitocracy so I don't think I need to repeat that here. Really the only noteworthy thing this week was that I was able to do 3 chin-ups in a row if I didn't lower myself all the way to a dead hang (elbows at 90 degrees)! That was way cool...can't wait to be able to do it unassisted and without any modifications!

I also accomplished my goal of making myself presentable every day at work. On Friday all I could manage was a swipe of mascara, but it was still something. And it is making a difference - I just feel more polished.

On to week 2!

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Ok, so I might have overdone things a wee bit this week. I got new shoes on Sunday (New Balance 730 - much more minimal than what I was running in before) and headed out for a 4 mile run. Not the smartest decision. I did my 5k time trial on Tuesday in my old shoes, but didn't warm up properly because the weather was gross and I just wanted to hurry up and be done with it.

Well, yesterday and today the front of my ankle has really been bothering me - yesterday it was just on and off, not really painful but not quite right, but today it's worse. Guess I will be scrapping today's run and icing instead.

I'm super bummed about that but if my ankle is messed up I can't run at ALL, so I definitely need to fix that before I do anything else. In the meantime I'm still doing really well with eating primal - I love it and I feel like I'm stuffing my face all day, but the weight is still coming off. So even if I can't exercise right now I can keep up with the diet side of things. Hopefully I'll be ok to run the 5k race next Thursday if I take it easy for now and don't do anything stupid (like run 4 miles in brand new minimalist shoes - facepalm).

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Hooooly crap you guys!! I raced my 5k last night and not only did I break 26 minutes, I PR'd!! My official time is 24:18 - 50 seconds faster than my previous PR.

I wasn't happy at all at the start of the race - we were running late and I was stressing about getting to the start on time, I had to pee and there were no portapotties at the start, only at the finish, and my garmin died 5 minutes before the race started. Running without garmin turned out to be a good thing, because I probably would've made myself slow down if I had realized what my pace was.

There was a race volunteer about 75 yards from the finish (which you can't see until you're right on top of it because the end is all twisty-turney) shouting out times. I heard 23-something and I didn't believe it, but sure enough it was accurate.

Now I feel like I've set the bar ridiculously high for the next one (6 weeks away) but I'm soooo excited to keep working hard and seeing results!

Also, I can't directly attribute my time to cleaning up my diet, since I have been working very hard on the fitness side of things, but I feel like it can't be a coincidence - this is week 3 of primal eating and I feel amazing! Especially with all the good stuff that's been going on (this race, losing weight, getting measurably stronger) I have absolutely no desire to stuff my face with a plate of pasta or anything like that.

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Awesome job with the PR!! What is the bar for the next one?

*edit* I must be really tired, thought you were setting a time to beat for the next one, not just using your PR as the time to beat.

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Awesome job with the PR!! What is the bar for the next one?

*edit* I must be really tired, thought you were setting a time to beat for the next one, not just using your PR as the time to beat.

Haha, yep, 24:18 is now the time to beat!

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Well, this challenge has certainly been a learning experience! I fell off the wagon hard during weeks 4 and 5, but got back on for the last week. I think my results reflect the fact that I sat on my butt and ate loads of not-so-healthy food for two weeks. Despite that little derailment, I am, overall, proud of myself for a) starting the challenge in the first place and B) rallying during the last week and not throwing in the towel completely (it's a marathon, not a sprint, blah blah blah :))

So, let's see how I did!

Health:

Run a sub-26 minute 5k

Smashed it! Ran a PR, 24:18.

Grade: A++

Points awarded: DEX +2, STA +3

Lose 5 pounds (127.8 lbs)

Not quite. My weight as of yesterday was 129.8.

Grade: C

Points awarded: CHA +1, CON +1

Do one unassisted chin-up

Nope. Probably could have done it if I didn't take those two weeks off, but ah well, we all know what they say about hindsight. The number of assisted chin-ups I can do has improved (from 3 to 5), but that wasn't the challenge.

Grade: F

Points awarded: none (I am purposefully being harsh with myself here and grading it as pass-fail, and besides, how do you measure what percent of a chin-up you can do?)

Lifestyle:

Put some effort into looking nicer on a daily basis.

Winning! Yes! I wore makeup every day, even if it was just a little mascara. I also don't have quite as much hatred for blowdrying my hair, since I figured out some ways to make it still look nice without spending 45 minutes in front of the mirror. I've also been wearing more carefully-chosen outfits, instead of groping around my closet for 10 seconds and saying, "sure, that'll do."

Grade: A

Points awarded: CHA +2, WIS +1

Starting Attributes

STR - 2

DEX - 3

STA - 3

CON - 2

WIS - 3

CHA - 2

Attribute Points Awarded

STR - 0

DEX - 2

STA - 3

CON - 1

WIS - 1

CHA - 3

Attribute Points from Weekly Challenges

STR - 0

DEX - 1

STA - 2

CON - 1

WIS - 1

CHA - 0

Ending Attributes

STR - 2

DEX - 6

STA - 8

CON - 4

WIS - 5

CHA - 5

Some general thoughts about this challenge, and a little bit of thinking about the next:

  • I don't think my "lose 5 lbs goal" was well chosen. As a 5'3" female, ~130 lbs is not outside the realm of a healthy weight. I've seen Staci's pictures and stats - I know how awesome even 140 lbs can look! I think it would be much more useful to focus on measurements (which did improve during the course of this challenge) rather than on the scale. I found that I was weighing myself daily and obsessing about fluctuations that are ALWAYS going to happen day-to-day. I've already decided that for the next challenge I will weigh myself on the first day and the last day, but nothing in between - I'll take measurements and pictures weekly, though, since I think that's a much better indicator of progress.

  • Primal eating really agrees with me. That wasn't one of my goals; I just kind of fell into it - but I'm definitely going to continue with it! Towards the end of week three (once the lightheadedness/headaches went away) I felt AMAZING. And then there was a brunch at work and someone brought donuts and I ate ALL THE SWEETS for like 2 weeks, felt like crap, no surprise there. My body is definitely not-so-gently letting me know that I, personally, do better without grains and excess sugar. Looking forward, I am working on listening to my body more and finding ways to say "no thank you" when free food is put in front of me (that's my kryptonite!)

  • My limits are largely self-imposed. I didn't think I could run a 5k faster than 25 minutes - I spent over a year trying to break that threshold, was convinced it wouldn't happen, and guess what? It didn't. But then I ran my race completely by feel, had no idea what to expect for time, and KILLED it! I thought I would feel like I was starving if I gave up pasta, bread, cereal, and oatmeal (oh, oatmeal - I do still miss you sometimes). Nope, definitely not starving. In just the last 6 weeks I've become a much more confident and creative cook. What is that saying? "Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right." SO TRUE.

  • You guys rock! Historically, I get really excited about some new plan (exercise/eating/whatever), do it for a couple weeks, then drop it. To be honest, that's exactly what I did this time, but here's the difference - I came back! I know that you guys are reading, and you have all been so encouraging. You made it much harder for me to just slink off with a bag of m&ms and admit defeat. Virtual hugs all around!

Onward and upward - looking forward to the next challenge!

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Nicely done all around, other Roo!

I am purposefully being harsh with myself here and grading it as pass-fail, and besides, how do you measure what percent of a chin-up you can do?)

I can be very pass/fail oriented myself (and most of my goals are set up that way), but the fact that you can do more assisted chinups than before by definition means that you made some progress towards your goal. That's gotta be worth something :).

  • Primal eating really agrees with me. That wasn't one of my goals; I just kind of fell into it - but I'm definitely going to continue with it! Towards the end of week three (once the lightheadedness/headaches went away) I felt AMAZING. And then there was a brunch at work and someone brought donuts and I ate ALL THE SWEETS for like 2 weeks, felt like crap, no surprise there. My body is definitely not-so-gently letting me know that I, personally, do better without grains and excess sugar. Looking forward, I am working on listening to my body more and finding ways to say "no thank you" when free food is put in front of me (that's my kryptonite!)

Awesome! I try to stay away from the "paleo/primal is the only way to eat" line of thinking, because different things work for different people, but I admittedly do always enjoy when it works out for someone. :)

  • You guys rock! Historically, I get really excited about some new plan (exercise/eating/whatever), do it for a couple weeks, then drop it. To be honest, that's exactly what I did this time, but here's the difference - I came back! I know that you guys are reading, and you have all been so encouraging. You made it much harder for me to just slink off with a bag of m&ms and admit defeat. Virtual hugs all around!

I totally hear you here - this place is incredible. It does so much for my accountability.

Onward and upward - looking forward to the next challenge!

Can't wait to see it!

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I can be very pass/fail oriented myself (and most of my goals are set up that way), but the fact that you can do more assisted chinups than before by definition means that you made some progress towards your goal. That's gotta be worth something :).

I definitely see your point and I do agree with you - I think the main reason I am not awarding myself any points for this one is that I really half-assed this part of the challenge. I only did strength training the first three weeks, then let it slide for the last three weeks. Had I been consistent with those workouts and still been unable to do an unassisted chin-up, I would have awarded myself at least partial points - but my effort was minimal. Having such a low STR number is definitely motivating me to work on that more for the next challenge, though :)

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