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Kestrel Grey

Kestrel: Gliding on the Warm Spring Air

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These 6 weeks are all about slipping into a routine that is productive and flows easily.  Some of last challenge went really well so I am repeating it.  Some did not.  Since we can't count on the situation smoothing out just yet, I need a routine that does not require much energy or willpower to maintain.  Something I can just glide on, instead of having to beat my wings.  Hopefully taking some of the decisions out of my day makes my life a little better too.

 

Claire Brewster "Swallow" | Vintage Maps and an Exacto. Amaz… | Flickr

by Claire Brewster, made from old maps

 

Challenge Goals

 

1. Get outdoors and run.  This worked well for me last challenge with a minimum of 4 days outside/2 hours of running a week.  This challenge will be a minimum of 5 days outside/2.5 hours of running a week, as long as it is safe to do so.  Having the trails open up will help motivate long runs, which were the most frequently missed run during the last cycle.  Mostly because I didn't fancy running 5 or 6 laps of a dirt road.  On the other hand, I will have to watch myself in skipping shorter runs.  With the option of driving somewhere pretty for a run, I suspect there will be a tendency to only want to run if I have time to travel to a trail.

 

2. Stay strong and uninjured.  Train core 4 times a week, and do a dynamic warm-up before runs.

I plan on the core workouts also including either lower body or upper body strength training as well, but that is a "hope for" and not "demand".  Dynamic warm-ups will start off as, at minimum: hip hurdles, skipping, leg swings.  With no OCR opportunities on the horizon, my purpose for strength training will be for health and injury prevention.

 

3.  Start slimming down.  On the last challenge I tracked my food quality score.  While this was interesting, it did not lead to any benefits in weight.  In fact, I gained a few pounds.  As I stated above, I am probably not going to magically find more motivation or energy so I need to get in a better routine instead.  I will pick from two breakfast options, have a smoothie midday, and either a soup or salad with dinner.  Everything except the smoothie can be batch-prepped to keep things simple and mindless.  We'll see if it helps and I can re-evaluate as we go.

 

4.  Get musical.  With my math project at an intermission, I will refocus on guitar for a while.  That is another project that I laid aside when work got busy.  I will spend at least 1 hour/week practicing.  Zero week won't be included so that I have a few days to rebuild calluses.

 

Please pass on any thoughts or suggestions about the goals.  Strength training and diet seem to be friction points so I am happy to hear anything you might suggest for a higher chance of success.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

Strength training and diet seem to be friction points so I am happy to hear anything you might suggest for a higher chance of success.

What seems to help me with both of these is planning out the night before what I'm going to do. Like, I already know what I'm going to eat tomorrow and have a youtube video picked out for my strength work. Splitting up the planning and the doing makes it easier for me

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21 minutes ago, Maigs said:

What seems to help me with both of these is planning out the night before what I'm going to do. Like, I already know what I'm going to eat tomorrow and have a youtube video picked out for my strength work. Splitting up the planning and the doing makes it easier for me

True. If you have to decide and do, then there are two steps in the way of a healthier you.  If you've already made the decisions then there is only one.

 

The diet part of the challenge is based on this theory but I haven't done the same with the strength workouts yet. I was thinking if I was free to do whatever felt fun at the moment, I'd be more likely to follow through.  Looking at the data it doesn't actually work that way. 

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Following along with my fellow D&D party member.  

 

6 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

We'll see if it helps and I can re-evaluate as we go.

I'm re-evaluating my strategy as well, so will be following along for additional ideas :)  

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Monday

 

Rest day, no workouts.  I bought some seed potatoes and did a little preliminary weeding in my garden bed. I also filled my patio planters with flowers that will likely all die, as it still hits freezing at night, but I wanted colour badly enough to risk it.

 

Our gifted Hello Fresh grocery box arrived in the morning and it is pretty cool.  We made the chicken fajita bowl.  The box may have been free but I paid the price in blood when my knife slipped cutting tomatoes. Just a small cut.  Its location on my thumb will delay guitar practice for a couple days. 

 

Breakfast and lunch followed plan (with lots of snacking around it).  I roasted veggies for a root salad and then didn't eat them since the fajita bowls had a fair amount of veggies already. I probably should have though, I was hungry again an hour later and ate a bunch more.

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I usually wait until late May for my flower bowls. but I bought some now to plant, for the same reason.Here's hoping our flowers thrive.

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On 5/5/2020 at 12:42 PM, Elastigirl said:

I usually wait until late May for my flower bowls. but I bought some now to plant, for the same reason.Here's hoping our flowers thrive.

 

Two nights later and they are still doing well!  I think they are going to make it. :) How are yours fairing?

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Tuesday

 

Planned long run and a core strength session.  With the parks open, I headed to my favourite trail system for my long run, despite the fact it is too hilly for me to actually run.  I managed to run about 60% of the time - this makes me a little bit pleased though, since when I last ran this loop in winter I could only manage about 50%.  I am getting to the point where I can run up the easier hills.  A simple strength routine in the evening and my exercise goals were complete for the day.

 

We tried another meal from the grocery delivery box in the evening.  They called it pad thai, but it was more like a basic stirfry made with ground chicken instead of strips.  It was okay.  I had my planned breakfast and a lunchtime smoothie, so food was also a pass for the day.

 

Wednesday

 

Planned easy run and a core strength session.  I half-assed both of them.  It was windy when I went out for my run.  Really windy.  I was just going to skip it then figured something is better than nothing, so drove to a different location and ended up with time for a 17 minute run.  The strength session was only 2 sets of one exercise before going into work.  Maybe I will finish it around midnight when I get home.  I will still be awake because DnD is tomorrow!!!!!  My apologies in advance to my group if I show up sleep-deprived.  I printed off the beginner's guide (all 175 pages) and I am trying to work my way through all the relevant bits tonight.  Both my race and profession seem to be atypical and aren't in the guide at all - not helpful.

 

Diet challenge goals met today, though it involved a lot of snacking again.

 

Still no guitar practise.

 

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1 hour ago, Kestrel Grey said:

My apologies in advance to my group if I show up sleep-deprived.

It's going to be very slow anyway as new folks get used to the game, so you should be fine :) 

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I've got a funny story for you.

 

For the past week I have been having a sore gut, just below where my diaphragm is on both sides.  It's not really painful, just sensitive to being pressed on or to movement.  So finally at work today I asked one of the doctors about it - she poked at my stomach, laughed, and said "They're called muscles."  It has been so long since I have done consistent ab workouts that I had forgotten what it feels like.

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Thursday

 

No exercising was done today as it was D&D day. I woke up and logged in immediately and stayed there for the next hilarious 3.5 hours. Then had a nap and went to work.

 

I wasn't going to start the next math textbook yet, but work is quiet and I'm out of things I want to read so here we go.

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On 5/6/2020 at 7:00 PM, Kestrel Grey said:

Tuesday

Planned long run and a core strength session.  With the parks open, I headed to my favourite trail system for my long run, despite the fact it is too hilly for me to actually run.  I managed to run about 60% of the time - this makes me a little bit pleased though, since when I last ran this loop in winter I could only manage about 50%.  I am getting to the point where I can run up the easier hills.  A simple strength routine in the evening and my exercise goals were complete for the day.

I love trail running with really difficult terrain. It's good to see that you're getting better at it.

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1 hour ago, das@das said:

I love trail running with really difficult terrain. It's good to see that you're getting better at it.

 

I love it too, only I wish we had more gentle rolling trails.  I live on the edge of the prairies and the rocky mountains so our trails are either pancake-flat or 45 degrees up.

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18 minutes ago, Kestrel Grey said:

 

I love it too, only I wish we had more gentle rolling trails.  I live on the edge of the prairies and the rocky mountains so our trails are either pancake-flat or 45 degrees up.

 

Nice.

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On 5/3/2020 at 3:11 PM, Kestrel Grey said:

3.  Start slimming down.  On the last challenge I tracked my food quality score.  While this was interesting, it did not lead to any benefits in weight.  In fact, I gained a few pounds.  As I stated above, I am probably not going to magically find more motivation or energy so I need to get in a better routine instead.  I will pick from two breakfast options, have a smoothie midday, and either a soup or salad with dinner, 5/7 days.  Everything except the smoothie can be batch-prepped to keep things simple and mindless.  We'll see if it helps and I can re-evaluate as we go.

 

Thoughts so far on this goal:

 

- I like the limited breakfast options.  It makes it simple to grab one of two things in the morning.

- The smoothie isn't very satisfying.  I usually end up gorging on something else after.

- The smoothie is my only consistent protein/fruit/veggie source and probably my healthiest meal of the day.

- Snacks are a problem.  I am thinking they need to be somehow regulated too, without overly limiting me and with allowing me to eat when I am hungry (which is always).

 

The goal is fine and I think it will work out, with an addition to address snacking.  I'm leaning towards an options list - I can have any and every item on the list, but each item only once per day.  To stop myself from having 8 pieces of cheese as a bedtime snack.

 

Possible "Snack Options" List

almond butter on rye crisp

cheese

fruit x 2 (max 1 dried fruit or juice)

salad

soup

cup of milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cereal

half a sandwich/leftovers

pepperoni stick

greek yogurt

nuts

tsp of honey/sugar/maple syrup

sweets - half a serving (1 cookie/half a clif bar/ice cream mini)

 

That should be extensive enough to cover all my snacking needs while keeping unhealthy snacking in check.  Let's see if the list is too unwieldy to use on the fly.

 

 

 

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Seems like a reasonable approach to try. I often have a smoothie at breakfast (for the same reason you list...protein/fruit) but also have a couple pieces of toast with it. I have a hard time feeling full without something solid.

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5 hours ago, Xena said:

Seems like a reasonable approach to try. I often have a smoothie at breakfast (for the same reason you list...protein/fruit) but also have a couple pieces of toast with it. I have a hard time feeling full without something solid.

I paired it with some trail mix and a pepperoni stick today, which is an improvement over yesterday's chocolate pudding cup and bowl of frosted flakes.

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23 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

former scout, injured and hoping to run again. I like the way you set up your challenge and will be happy to follow. Go You!!!!! :)

 

Great to see you, and I am hoping you can get back to running too!

 

Friday was a planned easy run that I ended up missing.  My resolution got me as far as being fully dressed, prepped and on my way out the door, but I let myself get distracted.  More plumbing issues.  So since I put off my running to the next day, it only made sense to put off my strength work too, right?  I did do the warm-up for the run.  Food was okay.

 

Saturday started off beautifully.  I bounded awake with full energy to blue skies, had a healthy breakfast and made plans for a nice run.  By time I changed into my tank top, slathered on sunscreen and hit the road, the wind had picked up ominously.  25 minutes later I was being pelted with hail as I reached the turnaround point, and I set a time record on the return trip!  I was really cold though.  I crawled into bed with my hubby when I got home and it took an hour for me to stop shivering, and 2 cups of hot tea and a bowl of soup to feel warm again.  So I didn't do my strength training on Saturday.  To keep up with the core strength I convinced myself to do a couple sets of dead bugs around midnight before bed. 

 

Sunday is the remaining speed workout.  I felt exhausted today though, unreasonably so.  The planned session was too tough for me to handle.  Having the 2.5 hour minimum time to meet got me out the door and I did 4 short hill sprints in a 35 minute run, figuring it was better than nothing.  That should put me around 2h40 for the week.  Tonight I will do at least some planks before bed, and then I am going to savour my day off exercise tomorrow.  Maybe I am deficient in iron or something, running consistently might require a little more than normal.  Or maybe it is an after-effect from getting chilled yesterday.

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Wow, hail is definitely "hard mode"

Does your iron tend to run low? Seems plausible. But yeah, getting really chilled can also be draining.

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4 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

So since I put off my running to the next day, it only made sense to put off my strength work too, right?

Logic!  

 

I may have made this logical leap a few times too many :D 

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Today is a struggle day.  I was hoping for a sound and rejuvenating sleep and woke up every two hours instead. So I was dissapointed and grumpy this morning. Also there is the little voice saying maybe it's because I'm running and just can't handle it... if I can't handle 2.5 hours of running a week I'll never be able to handle the 5 or 6 hours that I need to work up to to safely train for a longer event. Probably that's not it but it's a fear.

 

I stress ate a donut when work kept me from going to lunch on time.  Then my husband called to say there was water coming into the apartment below us and we had to call in an emergency plumber.  So the first plumber had put in a valve wrong (which didn't need changing in the first place) and it was leaking. We will have to figure out the cost to the neighbor below and cover that in addition to a late night plumber visit. So I ate more chocolate. 

 

TLDR: it was not a restful rest day.

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