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23 hours ago, Mudd said:

Running
I ran 5 miles yesterday. The last two miles were more of a walk/run, but I still squeaked in at an hour, which was my goal. I'm counting it. It was a warm one with high humidity, and it totally wiped me out. I want to up my goal to 6, but I need to wait for a cool day (in a couple weeks...) to try it.\

 

Running definitely gets harder as we move toward summer. Some people acclimate to heat better than others. So definitely keep training, but don't get discouraged it the pace gets slower.

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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Welcome to the forums Mudd (also, I'm late to the party, I do this a lot :D )!

 

You have a lot of goals! It's amazing to be varied and have fun, just make sure you don't frustrate or demotivate yourself if you don't hit all your goals. I've tagged you as an adventurer on your status since you've set that as your class, so the rest of the group can come and welcome you.

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Thanks @Sylvaa! I appreciate the tag!

So far I'm doing pretty well managing motivation (except with Mongolian, apparently). What I've learned about myself is that if I try to create a small, simple, "manageable" habit, I tend to lose interest, but if I create something that feels more like an ambitious challenge, I respond better. 

Update!

Running
I did 3 miles in 31 minutes on Sunday and in 30 minutes today, which means no real progress over last week. I think I'm due for another HIIT sprinting session to try to get my times down. I pushed pretty hard today.

 

Pull-ups

I actually sort of did 4‽‽‽ Only with a chin-up or neutral hold though, and the form still isn't great. I have one of those easy-install door frame pull-up bars. There are only two door frames in my apartment that I can put the bar on, and they're both a little narrow, which means if I try to do a traditional pull-up hold, my grip is closer together than I would find most comfortable. I want to try it on a better bar at a park a short bike ride away.
 

Push-ups

Back pain I had a few days ago is much better now (though not gone). I managed 29 consecutive push-ups (up from 25 last time, still shooting for 40).

 

Mongolian
This is the one thing I'm still struggling to build a habit around, even though it's my most important goal. I bought a package of five lessons, and I scheduled one for early next week. Hopefully that pressure will help make sure I practice this week.

Everything Else
Still need to find unicycle time (this weekend?), but everything else is moving along steadily. Yesterday I skipped the corework I normally do every day because the yoga session I did with my buddy was a core-focused power yoga session, so I'm counting it. 

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Update!

Running
I took a day off from running and only got back to it yesterday. Same time, so still no progress. It's been so muggy here. I'm definitely struggling with motivation. It's hard to imagine running faster as it heats up.

 

Pull-ups

I hit my goal of 5 consecutive pull-ups! Sort of. I've only done it with the chin-up or neutral grip. So far I've only done 3 in pull-up grip, and I still need to work on good form across the board, specifically the low part. I've been stopping short of fully extending my arms. I did experiment with the pull-up bar in the park last week (with sanitizer, washing thoroughly when I got home). The height is better than the pull-up bar I have at home, but it's just a metal bar, which means the grip is pretty rough with sweaty hands.

 

Mongolian
I just had my first lesson in about a month, and I forgot how much I love iTalki, so I just want to plug it for a moment. It blows my mind how cheap it is to get a one-on-one lesson online from a native speaker. I just had a 45-minute lesson for under $10, which seems like a steal. I did try maybe 5 different tutors before I settled on the one I like the most (though they were all at least fine). If you want a referral code (an extra $10 when you spend $20), let me know, and I'll send you one (I'm not sure on the etiquette of just posting it here).

Everything
Honestly, I've been doing kind of the minimum recently. I'm still doing core exercises and yoga and stuff, but I've lost a lot of the enthusiasm I had when I started.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mudd said:

Same time, so still no progress. It's been so muggy here. I'm definitely struggling with motivation. It's hard to imagine running faster as it heats up.

 

This is a real thing. You probably won't be able to, so you need to find other ways to motivate yourself until it cools down again.

Some things that help: setting different goals so you aren't comparing directly with cooler times, running shorter distances where heat isn't as much of a factor, doing interval workouts where the goal isn't a fast pace overall but shorter periods of faster running. Also obvious things like running during cooler parts of the day.

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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Intellectually I know you're right, but it's a hard reality for me to accept. A large part of what keeps me motivated is being able to see progress, and I know I'm going to struggle to actually get up and go out on less enjoyable runs that are also slower. As long as I'm up early, tomorrow actually looks okay, and May is almost over anyway. End of July I'll be moving back to Wisconsin (and then Upper Peninsula Michigan a month later), which should make it a little easier. I basically just need to push through June and July here in Oklahoma. I think I might go for a night run sometime soon and see how I like it.

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9 hours ago, Mudd said:

Honestly, I've been doing kind of the minimum recently. I'm still doing core exercises and yoga and stuff, but I've lost a lot of the enthusiasm I had when I started.


I hear that. I think we’ve hit the point in the challenge where everything stops being fun and is just work. Not a fan.

 

9 hours ago, Mudd said:

I still need to work on good form across the board, specifically the low part. I've been stopping short of fully extending my arms.


Not actually a huge deal, as long as you’re keeping an eye on how far you’re going. The top of the pullup, getting as high as you can on the bar, is more important (develops more strength) than the very bottom. At the very bottom you have to totally release tension in your lats and back to drop that last couple inches into a “dead hang”. That last couple inches isn’t really necessary for developing strength, getting out of that hole is just a matter of turning your lats and arms back on. As long as you’re continuing to explore how low you can go while keeping the back engaged, you’re moving in the right direction.

 

Congrats on the 5! If you’ve got 5 chins you’re headed in the right direction fast.

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Cowardly Assassin
Training Log | Challenges: Current8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st

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Update!

I know I just updated yesterday, but I had a couple break-throughs.

 

Running
I ran a little over 10k this morning. It was a little cooler than it's been, but also I ran early enough that there was plenty of shade. It was a surprisingly enjoyable run, and it means I can check off the "Run a 10k (6.2 Miles) in Under 75 Minutes" quest (I did about 6.3 miles in 71 minutes). Also, my previous goal had been to run 5 miles in under an hour, and I ended up walking in the run I was counting for meeting that goal. Now I can feel like I firmly met that I goal (I hit 5 miles around 55 minutes or so). I'll probably only do one more of these longer runs before the end of the challenge. I'm not sure what the next goal is yet. I guess either run 10k faster or push for 7 miles (or 8‽). In any case, I'm feeling much better about running than I have for the last few days.

 

Push-ups

I did 35 consecutive push-ups last night. I'm not even sure I could do that in my 20s. My goal was to be able to do 40, which is seeming very achievable. I think I might even have enough time left in this challenge to be able to push for 50. But maybe I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

 

Sleep/Leisure Reading

did have a night recently where I stayed up crazy late for no reason, but it was Friday, so it seems mostly harmless. I've otherwise been getting better and better. Last night I went to bed early even, so that I could be up early for today's run. And I still found enough time to finish a book! (Nimona, a graphic novel (from a web series, I think) written by Noelle Stevenson, who you might know for being one of the co-creators of Lumberjanes).

 

Morale is pretty good right now.

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On 5/26/2020 at 2:57 PM, Mudd said:

Running
I took a day off from running and only got back to it yesterday. Same time, so still no progress. It's been so muggy here. I'm definitely struggling with motivation. It's hard to imagine running faster as it heats up.

 

@Xena can back me up / confirm, but running the same time on a hotter day could be progress. There are some studies (very light use of the term - really just looking at average pace for the same race over a number of years with varying temperature and humidity) that point to consistently slower paces as temperature and / or humidity increases. So if you are able to keep the same pace with mugginess, that can be a sign that you would be faster without the mugginess.

 

Now, I know that when you are only looking at the time, that is probably less than helpful (sorry!). But just something to keep in mind. 

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Absolutely. There are even heat calculators you can use to adjust your times. I'm not sure how accurate they are (among other things everyone heat acclimates differently), but they can be fun to play with.

 

This is one of several. Not promoting it in any way

 

https://lukehumphreyrunning.com/hmmcalculator/race_equivalency_calculator.php

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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On 5/28/2020 at 11:28 AM, Sylvaa said:

@Xena can back me up / confirm, but running the same time on a hotter day could be progress.

 

On 5/28/2020 at 5:49 PM, Xena said:

Absolutely. There are even heat calculators you can use to adjust your times.

 

Thanks for this! The calculator is really interesting. Having some way to quantify how much slower my run can be (even if it isn't super accurate) is really helpful psychologically. It looks like I might be able to justifying being a minute or even two (depending on the day) slower on my usual run.

 

Update!

Running

Spoiler

 

I've been meaning to have High Intensity Interval Training sprints as part of my training once a week, but today was only the second time I've done it. That said, I went HARD today. I came up with something that seems to work super well for me. I've been a big fan of Firefly for a long time, but I only just bought the soundtrack last night so I could edit together a running soundtrack for myself. It starts with the Firefly theme song. Then we get 10 seconds of dialogue from the pilot. This bit:

MAL
Zoe. Change course.

SIMON
Help me get her up.

ZOE
(hits the com)
Wash, change course and go for hard burn. We're running.


Then it cuts to the part in Awolnation's "Run" where he says "Run." We get about 30 seconds of that pumped up music (which works pretty well). Then it cuts to a 2-minute track from the Firefly soundtrack (of which there are quite a few). And it just rotates from soundtrack to dialogue to Run back to soundtrack for about 27 minutes (I had to start over most of the way through my 3-mile run). So it's roughly 30 seconds of sprinting and 2 minutes (maybe 2:10) of cooldown in-between.

 

I knew my time wasn't going to be great, especially since it was low 80s and humid, but that wasn't really the point. I got a lot of sprinting in (at least by my standards), and I managed to do it even on a hot day, AND I didn't push myself to the point of it being stupid (which I did on a hot day just before the challenge started).
 

My first run after the last time I did HIIT sprinting was noticeably faster. I shaved 2 minutes off my 3-mile run, and it stayed off. It's hard not to be unreasonably optimistic about this run doing something similar. Even if it just shaved one minute off my next run, I'd be really, really happy. I've been plateaued at 30 minutes for a couple weeks now.

 


Pull-ups

Spoiler

I did it! I got 5 consecutive pull-ups in all 3 grips!

I'm going to keep up the pull-up training, but instead of going for more pull-ups, I'm going to work on correcting my form, even if it means doing fewer pull-ups. I think they're good enough that the average person would call them good, but I want to get them to the point where a personal trainer or drill sergeant would be happy with them.

 

Core

Spoiler

After successfully doing 30 days of this core workout video that I like (only skipping when I did a different core workout with a friend), I allowed myself one day off. It wasn't part of my initial plan, but I'm going to allow it without feeling bad. It's hard to quantify progress, but it feels a lot easier than when I started. I might try one of her harder videos sometime this week, but I don't think I'm ready to do it every time yet.


Get NerdFit

Spoiler

I hit level 19! I'm definitely going to shoot for 20 now. I got 500 xp for doing an exercise habit every day for 30 days (my core workout), so I'm actually halfway there already. I feel like I've gotten almost all of the low-hanging fruit, but I do have a short list of quests that I think I could knock out without too much work.

 

Sleep/Leisure Reading

Spoiler

My weekly average bedtime has been getting earlier and earlier each week since I started keeping track five weeks ago (if I can remove one extreme outlier night from the data), but it's still after midnight. What's weird is that (and not to brag, but) I'm really good at sleeping. If I just close my laptop, I can almost always get to sleep very quickly. Still, I'm happy with the progress.

 

I started reading The Magnificent Nine, one of the Firefly novels. I'm only a couple chapters in, but so far, I'm underwhelmed.


Everything Else

Spoiler

I didn't keep up the meditation last week, so I need to make more of an effort to work it into this week. Maybe I should make it after each run or something. I also still haven't put in the time with my unicycle, and I feel like we've finally gotten to the part of the challenge where I need to just do it if I'm going to do it. Before I go to bed tomorrow night, I'm going to put in at least an hour. I've kept up with the push-ups, but my max didn't increase. Still at 35, and it was actually harder to hit it this time.

 

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I read the novelization of Serenity. It adds some content from the show in a smart way, and it gives a little more background on the relationship between Wash and Mr. Universe. It was a fun but definitely not a must read. I haven't read any of the other recent Firefly novels. Big Damn Heroes came out in November 2018. The Magnificent Nine (the one I just started) came out March 2019. The Ghost Machine came out March of this year. Generations is supposed to come out in October. I have read all the comics though. Those Left Behind is solid, connecting Firefly and Serenity. Some of the other ones produced by Dark Horse are good too. The current run under BOOM! Studios is pretty terrible.

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Folks, I just want to earnestly say thank you so much for the responses. They're the reason this site works for me. If I felt like I was just posting into an abyss, I don't think I'd feel any accountability. I look forward to being able to write "Update!" knowing someone will actually read it. I've been feeling super isolated recently, so having any kind of community has been really appreciated. And with that...


Update!

Running
I ran my regular 3-mile loop in 29 minutes this morning. That's my record. What do people say? PB? PR? It wasn't even a particularly cool day (mid 70s both for temp and humidity). My last record was three weeks ago, and that was with much better weather. Using the race equivalency calculator, it's like I beat my earlier record by about 2.5 minutes. I'm feeling jazzed about that, but I'd hoped to be able to hit 28 minutes before the end of the challenge. I'm not sure how realistic it is to think I can shave off another minute before the end of next week. We're about to hit a warmer stretch (even if I ran at the coldest part of the night, there's no day this week where I wouldn't be running in the 70s). I do feel like the HIIT sprints really paid off. It takes so much more out of me than the regular run, but it also feels like my best way to make progress.
 

Mongolia
I had a great lesson this morning. I'm planning to apply for a research grant in Mongolia, and when I talked to my tutor about it this morning, she seemed really happy/excited to help me write letters to the contacts I'd need in Mongolia to get the grant. She also gave me homework from chapter 5 (my goal was to get through chapter 4), so I guess I really need to step up my practice.

 

Everything Else
No major updates for anything else. I didn't do the unicycling. I guess tonight? Hit 6 pull-ups, which is awesome. Tried a new yoga series. I won't have succeeded at all of my goals by the end of next week, but I'll have made enough progress to feel pretty good about it all, I think.

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On 6/2/2020 at 4:43 PM, Mudd said:

I won't have succeeded at all of my goals by the end of next week, but I'll have made enough progress to feel pretty good about it all, I think.

 

I feel like that's the great thing about the concept of the 5 week challenges.  It's enough time to make some progress, but short enough to remember what it was like before you 'started', so you can look back and really recall Mudd-of-5-weeks-ago, and look at Mudd-of-the-now, and marvel at your accomplishments regardless of if you checked every box of the many you put forth.

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Training Log/Progress Pics: Harder to Kill

Current Challenge: Zach from Water, to Water

Challenge History: 1 2 3 4 

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Thanks for the support!

Update!

Running

I hit my goal!
I did HIIT sprinting on Saturday (still 30 second sprinting, 2 minute walking, for 3 miles). I ran a mile as fast as I could the next day, just to see what my time would be (7:56), and I was really in pain afterwards. Not just regular running soreness. For about 30 minutes after I got home, I couldn't even lie still because my legs hurt so much. I gave myself an extra day of recovery (which aligned well with the weather forecast) and just ran again this morning. Personal record. I hit my first week goal of running this 3-mile route around my block in 28 minutes. It feels so good. And recovery time was actually even shorter than usual (which I'm sure was at least partially because of the better weather).

Push-ups
I hit my goal of 40 consecutive push-ups! It was a struggle. I definitely won't be testing my max again soon.

Everything else
My yoga buddy hasn't been up for yoga much recently. I did it solo all last week, but I lost steam for this week. I should try to fit in at least a couple this week. I've been attending my Mongolia lessons, but I really need to step up how much effort I put in outside of the lesson. Still haven't done any unicycle practice. Missed a couple core workouts. Have fallen off the meditation habit. Time to step everything up for this last push, especially now that push-up, pull-up, and running goals have been met.

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Here's how I'd rate my final results:

Diet: A+
I stuck to the plan, every single day. Even the one time I ate pizza, I fit it within my calorie and macro goals. I actually ate out less than my plan would have allowed (the pizza was the only time). I experimented with new foods and tried out intermittent fasting. I did everything with this goal that I wanted to. I'm proud of my success here, but I also think I might want to allow for a little more slack next challenge. I haven't had dessert in months.

Running: A+
I hit stretch goals both for how fast I could run my 3-mile route and for doing longer runs. I actually didn't exactly hit goal 3, which was to run in two new parks, but I did run in one new park and also in new parts of my neighborhood, which sort of counts. The intent was to find new places to run for the summer, but I'm moving tomorrow anyway, so the reason for the third goal is gone. I'll for sure be running in new places, just in an entirely different state. I also feel like I learned how to train in a way that works and is sustainable for me. I'm super happy with my success on this goal.

Pull-ups: A
I sort of slowed down a bit at the end. I could have fit in more workouts if I'd stuck to my schedule a little better, and this last week in particular, I haven't really been pushing myself. Still, for the most part I stuck to the plan, and I did hit my goal of being able to do 5 pull-ups in each grip.

 

Push-ups: A
Basically the same situation as pull-ups. I hit the goal I wanted to hit, but I know I could have done even more if I'd pushed a little harder. I eased off a little bit (but not entirely!) when I hit my goal, instead of continuing to train just as hard.
 

Core: B-

I was so good about this for so long, but this last week, I've fallen off the wagon. I can tell that I made progress, but it's hard to quantify in the way that I can for push-ups or pull-ups. I'd give myself an A or A+ for every week other than this last one.

Unicycle: F-

Didn't even practice once. If I had to bomb one goal, this was probably the best. It's not like it's super important to me; I just thought it would be fun.

Get NerdFit: A+
I hit my stretch goal of level 20! This is also one I pushed more on at the beginning, but it was always meant to be flexible. I did a LOT of quests this challenge. I got what I wanted out of this goal, pushing myself to explore new kinds of getting fit.

Yoga/Friendship: B+
I wanted to try out yoga, but this was mostly just a vehicle to hang out with my friend Bob and support his fitness goals. For at least partially valid reasons, he's put his yoga on hold. I continued through last week without him, experimenting with different kinds of yoga, instead of the power yoga we used to do. This week I've stopped entirely, but I'm also pretty okay with that. I've been supporting my bud in other ways, and I think we'll get back to yoga when he's ready.

Meditation: B+?

This is a hard one to grade. I didn't stick with the plan all the way through, but I actually think I succeeded at my goals regardless (though I wish I could have found a way to make them more concrete). I'm glad I explored some other kinds of meditation, but I think metta meditation (sometimes called loving kindness meditation) is the only kind of mediation I want to continue.

Leisure Reading/Sleep: C+
Three weeks of moderate progress, most of which I lost this week. My sleep schedule has been way off, and although I did read pretty consistently, it wasn't for as much time each night as I would hope. Sleep affects so many other things in life; I really need to make this a priority next challenge. I think being bad about sleep this week is probably a large part of why some of my other good habits started to fall apart.

 

Mongolian: D

I did get back to regularly scheduled lessons, and I never canceled one. I actually even had a bonus one. BUT, I meant to read 4 chapters of my textbook, and I only read one, and I didn't build the study habit I want to build. Unlike with unicycling, this is something I actually care about, so I think this is the grade I'm most bummed about.


Overall, I think I did okay. Not a strong finish, but I made a lot of different kinds of progress over the last month. I'm glad I tried for something that required me to push myself a bit. And now that I've done one, I have a much better idea of how I want to approach the next one.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me! Every single response was helpful.

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Frankly, I think you did awesome. I don't know of anyone who could put maximum effort, every day, into 11 different habits. I know I couldn't. The usual advice is to choose three or four, and you knocked at least that many of your goals out of the park.

 

Curious to see what your next challenge will be like. Do you know which guild you'll be moving to?

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Cowardly Assassin
Training Log | Challenges: Current8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st

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