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msuroo

Take 2 for Roo

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Character Sheet

Name: msuroo (Or just Roo for short)

Race: Elf (High-elf? Dark-elf? Depends on how I'm feeling that day. Fortunately, back in my EverQuest days, I carried one of these around. This whole RPG theme is bringing back a lot of nerd memories lol.)

Class: Scout

Age: 30

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 175 lbs

Stats: (Honestly, I struggled to assign 15 points here - I feel like I'm still pretty new at everything.)

STR - 2

DEX - 2

STA - 4

CON - 3

WIS - 2

CHA - 2

Intro:

Time for my second challenge! (Did you guys see the first one? It was awesome. Apparently, even Staci thought so, which was a nice boost for the ego.) I honestly can't believe how far I've come since I found this place - compare those challenge results to my introduction thread to get an idea. One thing I've discovered over the past 4 months or so is that I really love running. I'm still getting into the weight room 3 times a week, and there's some other fitness activities I want to try (more on this later), but first and foremost I find myself identifying with the Scout's Guild - so here I am!

Goals:

Diet:

  • Maintain strict paleo on weekdays, be mindful of indulgences on weekends
  • Maintain LeanGains calorie/macro cycling IF protocol for six weeks (+2 WIS, +2 CON)
  • Improve body composition - reduce BF to 15% or less (+3 CHA)

I realize most people lead off with fitness goals, but diet is going to be my big focus this time around, and thus where I've assigned most of my attribute points. I've got a solid weekday paleo routine going already (so I'm not going to assign an attribute point here), but there's always room for improvement on the weekends. I've historically been lazy about tracking calories and macros on the weekends, but with the new LeanGains focus, hopefully I'll pay closer attention. Anyway, that third bullet is the real reason for putting diet first. I spent my last six week challenge getting a proper exercise routine in place, and while that was wildly successful (and I certainly got a whole lot stronger and faster), I didn't really see any changes in my body. I've got a Hawaiian beach vacation coming up later this year, so it's time to fix that. Starting at a BF% of 18 - pictures added below.

Fitness:

  • Run a half marathon (+1 STA)
  • --in under 1:58:00 (9:00 per mile) (+1 STA)
  • Improve weight on "Big 3" lifts by 20% (+2 STR)
  • Do at least 3 MWODs per week (+1 DEX)
  • Take a yoga class (+1 CHA)
  • Spend a day at the climbing gym (+1 WIS)

And here's the fitness goals. I'm signed up for the 13.1 Chicago half marathon, which conveniently falls the last weekend of the challenge. And while I don't want to discount the achievement of finishing a half marathon (especially my first), based on the training I've put in already and the time I have left, I'm 99% sure I'll finish. In the spirit of making this a "challenge", I threw a pretty aggressive time goal in there on top of it.

While the focus is definitely running, I don't want to lose momentum with the lifting either (not to mention, this is going to play a large part in the success of my body recomp goal). Between my last race, work travel, and vacation, I've missed 2-3 gym sessions over the last couple weeks and thus haven't actually progressed with the weight since the end of the last challenge. I'm hoping that I'm still in noob gain territory though and the gains can start cranking again with a little consistency. Current loads are: squat - 185 lbs, bench - 135 lbs, deadlift - 255 lbs for a total of 575 lbs. Not sure if I can add another 115 lbs in 6 weeks, but I'm sure going to try.

Like I mentioned before, I want to get out there and try new things. In that vein, I added a few 1 point goals to my standard "run far, lift heavy" protocol. First is the MWODs. Everyone here raves about them, and I did them religiously...for about a week. Then my work filter started blocking YouTube, and I was too lazy to go home, watch the video and mobilize, so I just stopped keeping up with it. No more excuses - going to commit to at least 3 sessions per week during this challenge. Next up is to take a yoga class. The class schedule at my gym doesn't really line up well with my life, but there's no reason I can't make at least one class work in the next six weeks. I obviously don't expect a huge dexterity increase in just one class, but just getting in a room with a bunch of mirrors and flexible women is way out of my comfort zone, so I'll give myself a charisma point for that. Lastly, spend a day at the climbing gym. This is something I've always wanted to try, but have never actually put forth the effort to make happen. Cacodaemonia's recent blog post has renewed this interest, so on the list it goes. I'm imagining the first day is going to be more "learning how to do it" and less "being awesome at it" - so I'll give myself a wisdom point for that. (Bonus: my wife thinks this sounds like a blast, so assuming I can convince Grandma to babysit, this will be a fun date.)

Life:

  • Pass level 1 of the CFA exam (+1 WIS)

Short and sweet here. This is a big one for my career, and I really don't want to pay another 750 bucks to try again in December, so I best get it right the first time. Test day is June 5, and while I certainly won't have scores back by challenge end, I generally have a good sense on how well I've done on a test, so I'll either give myself the point or not based on how I think it went.

So...that's it! Questions? Comments?

Edited by msuroo

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Yeah, I saw that you got mentioned on the main blog! Pretty cool, and you more than earned the props. :)

Damn, your challenge looks very, well, challenging. I'm sure you'll crush it though!

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So yesterday was day 1 of intermittent fasting (rest day) - all in all, it went pretty well. I was starving when I got to work, but it passed around 10ish. I was a little light on protein, and a little heavy on fats - but pretty close. Also went for a 3 mile run last night - my dog really appreciated it since I was out of town all last week and couldn't take him. Also can't believe how short a 3 mile run feels nowadays. When I first started C25K in November, 3 miles was the ultimate achievement. After my 11 miler on Sunday though, 3 miles was more like "wait, that was it?!"

Day 2 today - my first workout day. Packed a gigantic lunch. Even still, I'm not sure how to get enough carbs in - I have a feeling I'm going to be eating a lot of sweet potatoes over the next 6 weeks. It felt good to get back in the gym this morning - I hadn't been since last Thursday. It sort of dawned on my how aggressive my "increase big lifts by 20%" goal is. It's possible, but I basically can't stall at all - which may be tough since I'm only eating maintenance calories. Hopefully the macro cycling will take some of the sting out of that.

Also, had my first taste of the BCAAs this morning (this stuff). It's not bad, just very...artificial. When Catspaw helped me get my macros set up (thanks again for that, by the way), she was telling me that eating paleo has ruined her for these sorts of artificial flavorings - and now I totally know what she's talking about. 3 scoops a day every workout day is going to get old pretty quick, but unfortunately first thing in the morning is my only chance to get to the gym, and 1-9ish is about the only feeding window that is going to work for me, so BCAAs it is.

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Also, did anyone else notice the creepy dude in the background of this pic (from the main blog):

DDLego-590x365.jpg

Lol, never noticed him before this morning.

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Also, had my first taste of the BCAAs this morning (this stuff). It's not bad, just very...artificial.

Okay I'm glad I'm totally not crazy with this. (Or, at least, we're both equally crazy.)

I agree 100%: it's not bad. Just tastes like ... chemical watermelon. Haha.

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We have very similar half marathon time goals - I wish I could just get a bunch of us together to run and keep on pace. It helps so much!!!

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11 miles...man. Some day I will get there! My longest is 7.33 :)

Yes creepy dude is creepy.

Also I've also noticed that about Paleo...I tried some of that Crystal Light junk that you put in your water, and I was like "whoa." And I almost couldn't finish it.

Have you figured out your recomp goal for this challenge? I'd really like to make one of those (maybe next challenge) but I don't know what's reasonable in 6 weeks.

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I wondered where you'd gone to, Msuroo! Whilst I guess we won't share a squad this time, you've got some damn good goals again! And no harm shooting for the moon again - you did an amazing job last time. You're a massive inspiration. Now get running!

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Just tastes like ... chemical watermelon. Haha.

I'm guessing if they put "chemical watermelon" on the jar instead of "WATERMELON MADNESS!!" they wouldn't sell quite as much - even if it is more accurate ;).

We have very similar half marathon time goals - I wish I could just get a bunch of us together to run and keep on pace. It helps so much!!!

Yeah, the Garmin watch is huge for me (although, during a race - any stopwatch would work). I'm signed up to run my first full in January, and fortunately there will be pace groups there - I think that is going to help a ton mentally.

Have you figured out your recomp goal for this challenge? I'd really like to make one of those (maybe next challenge) but I don't know what's reasonable in 6 weeks.

Not yet - I snapped a couple pictures on my phone last night (still working up the courage to actually post them), but didn't get around to taking measurements. I'll try and do that tonight.

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Bah! Shyness be damned! I've been posting pictures/videos aaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllll over. Didn't you see my mile video? Ahahhahahaha.... *blushes furiously*

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What made you decide to run a half marathon?

I'd be curious to hear what your current weekly paleo setup is. I'm always looking for eating inspiration, although I don't follow a paleo diet.

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What made you decide to run a half marathon?

*shrug* I'm a pretty new runner (started in November), but I can't get enough of it. Ran my first 10k a few weeks ago, and it was great - a half is the next logical step, right? ;)

I'm already signed up for the Disney marathon in January, but I'm not going to lie - that distance scares me a bit (read: a lot). I needed to decide early if I was going to arrange all of the flights/hotels/time off work/etc, though - so I guess I'm committed now (plus, what a great excuse to take my son to Disney World for the first time).

I'd be curious to hear what your current weekly paleo setup is. I'm always looking for eating inspiration, although I don't follow a paleo diet.

To steal from fitbomb:

notthathardpeople.jpg

When I first started eating paleo, I followed various recipe books and meal plans to try to keep it interesting. That just turned out to be way too much work though. Now, for the most part, I fire up the grill, throw a bunch of meat and vegetables on there, eat some for dinner, then pack up the rest for lunch. Usually follow it up with a spinach salad with berries or something.

I just started this intermittent fasting/macro cycling bit - and this is going to take some adjusting to. Rest days are going to be easy - I'll basically do exactly what I was doing before, except now I'll skip breakfast. Workout days are going to be tough, though. Here was lunch today:

Lunch.jpg

And that was only 1000 calories and 90g carbs. Getting up to 2600 cals and 300g carbs on workout days is going to be difficult.

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Wow, yeah, I don't think I could eat that much for lunch. I'm feeling slightly full just looking at it...

I can't even imagine if I was actually trying to gain weight.

Dinner was just as intense - 1lb 96% ground beef, onions, and mushrooms - all mixed up with a baked acorn squash. This started out as a recipe for stuffed acorn squash that I found in some cookbook, but you just can't fit that much meat into the hole in the squash. Ever since I've just made it as a giant bowl of noms (but never eaten it in one sitting before).

dinner.jpg

Bonus - I found a local grocery store that carries locally raised grass-fed beef. Always nice to support Michigan businesses when everything in this state is in the dumps, especially when it's way cheaper than Whole Foods.

Total food intake today looked like this: 2450 cals - 280 C, 29 F, 260 P.

So...much...food. Maybe over time I'll get used to this, but that was a lot to get down in a short window. Speaking of which, it wasn't even as short as it should have been - I got stuck at work late, so I wasn't able to get all the food down until about 10 (rather than 8:30). Anyway, pretty successful first couple of days.

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Bah! Shyness be damned! I've been posting pictures/videos aaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllll over. Didn't you see my mile video? Ahahhahahaha.... *blushes furiously*

Ok, dammit (I really hate this).

front.jpgside.jpg

According to the Navy formula, I'm currently at 18% BF. I really have no idea what is realistic in 6 weeks, but I'm going to try to get under 15%. Looks like that will require turning about 1lb of fat into muscle per week (Come on LeanGains!!).

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Went to run my mile for the Scout challenge last night...aaaand there was a lacrosse game going on, so no track for me. Went back home, grabbed the dog, and went for a 2 mile tempo run. Didn't wear the Garmin, so not sure of pace, just tried to keep it peppy. I'll have to try the timed mile tomorrow. Total food intake: 1583 cals - 56 C, 72 F, 167 P. This rest day thing is easy - "eat paleo, skip breakfast", the macros are working out all by themselves.

Workout log this morning:

1/2 mile jog + dynamic warmup

Squat

5x45

5x45

5x95

4x135

2x165

5x195 <--first working set

6x175

7x160

Bench

5x45

5x45

5x75

4x105

2x125

3x140 <-- first working set

6x125

7x115

Chinups

5xBW (PR!)

4xBW

4xBW

3xBW

Assorted stretching

Felt suuuuper sluggish when I got to the gym this morning. I was worried the workout was totally going to suck, but it ended up going pretty well. Except for the bench, major fail there. Experienced my first roll of shame today. I was pretty sure I was done after 3 reps at 140, but tried number 4 anyway - no dice. I didn't have time to do both power cleans and chinups, so opted for chins today. Forgot my assistance bands this morning, so just got done what I could with BW. Hit 5 unassisted for the first time, so that was exciting at least! I signed up to do the full body comp analysis on Monday - I don't really trust myself with the tape I guess. I wish I had done it last Monday (or Tuesday at least, when I got home from Charlotte), but oh well. Actual progress on body recomp will be just have to be judged over a 5 week period instead of 6.

Another gigantor lunch packed today - sucking on BCAAs and coffee in the meanwhile (thank god coffee in the morning fits this setup, that would be a dealbreaker). BTW - first week impression is that IF protocol is making it even easier to stay away from office treats. I had stopped eating them months ago anyway, but now it's not even an option. When the window is closed, well - it's closed. When the window is open, I'm so busy trying to get real food down there's no time/space for junk anyway.

Edited by msuroo

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Rooting for you! Great inspiration:)

Aww, thanks! I would love to see you put one of these together sometime too! ;)

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