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mdv6

Marshall's Challenge

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Long-term goals: My general fitness goal is to settle into a sustainable routine of eating well and exercising regularly. My specific goals are 1) to run a 5-minute mile and 2) to be able to climb up the front of a chain-link backstop, like this:

.

I've not exercised regularly since I got married 6 years ago (there have been a few 2-3 month spurts in there). I've never been a runner, and most previous attempts at running regularly have ended in shin splints.

I've got a very detailed plan for how I'm going to work up to each of these goals (my target is end of June for both). Right now I'm running 3 times a week on a treadmill, working up speed/distance. I'm also doing the 50 pullup challenge.

Goals for this challenge:

1)stick to my exercise plan for the next 4 weeks

2)stick to my eating plan for 4 weeks

3)Have a specific topic for my dissertation approved by my chair

Here's how I'm going to grade myself:

5 times/week = A

4 times/week = B

3 times/week = C

<3 times/week = fail

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon, smoothie

Snack- nuts and apple for snack

Lunch-salad with toasted walnuts

Dinner- fruit pancakes for dinner (no syrup)

Workout:

Ran 1 mile on the treadmill (1st 2 laps at 6-minute pace, 1 lap at 12-minute pace, 1 lap at 6 minute pace), then I did 10 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike.

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Eating:

Breakfast-egg, smoothie

Snack- none

lunch: whole foods catered: 8-10 shrimp, 2 small chicken salad sandwiches, 2 tamales (one pork, one cheese), handful of potato chips, 2 chocolate brownies (I'm not sure whether these are brownies exactly, but I think they may be the best desert in the world).

Dinner: apple for dinner (I was not hungry, since lunch was at 2:30). A glass of milk after my workout

Overall calory intake is probably about what I wanted (maybe even a bit low?), but the dinner and snack calories were shifted to lunch. This is probably not ideal, but being able to eat a relatively deliscous lunch occaisionally is good for my psyche, and certainly contributes to the sustainabilty aspect of my goal.

Workout:

Pullups: 50-pullup challenge week 4 day 1

Dumbell bench: 3x5x37.5 each hand

dips: 3x7

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs, smoothie

Snack- nuts for snack

Lunch-salad with toasted walnuts

Dinner- thai chicken curry with brown rice

dessert-slice of banana bread and slice angel food cake from my wife's baby shower

Workout:

Ran 1 mile on the treadmill (1st 2 laps at 6-minute pace, .5 lap at 10-minute pace, 1.5 lap at 6 minute pace), then I did 10 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike.

That works out to a 6:30 mile, which seems way too fast for my level of fitness. Does anyone know how a pace on a treadmill relates to a pace on a real track? I'm eager to run on an outdoor track to get a better benchmark of where I'm at, but the track's have all been covered in snow for the last several weeks.

I feel pretty good about my workout tonight because it was a battle just to get myself to do it.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

Snack- nuts and veggies for snack

Lunch-very large lunch--catered by whole foods (large turkey sandwich, bean casadillas, chips, 3 brownies)

Dinner- wasn't hungry--ate some asparagus and chicken

Workout:

Pullups-50 pullup challenge week 4 day 2--struggled to get 6 chinups on the 4th set

lunges-3x5x37.5 dumbells

seated press - 3x5x37.5 dumbells

Well, after a few of these catered lunches where I eat too much (to the point where I'm not hungry for dinner), I think I've learned that I'd prefer to eat less. Even if my total calorie intake for the day is about the same, I think I'd be happier with a more moderate approach. We'll see how I go next Tuesday

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Eating:

Breakfast- egg and bacon, smoothie

Snack- nuts for snack

Lunch-salad with chicken

Dinner- Strip steak (Friday is steak night), baked potato, and carrots

Workout:

Ran 1 mile on the treadmill (2.5 laps at 6-minute pace, .5 lap at 10-minute pace, 1 lap at 6 minute pace), then I did 10 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs, bacon

Snack- walnuts and pineapple

lunch: salad

Dinner: thai coconut chicken with brown rice and veggies

Workout:

Pullups: 50-pullup challenge week 4 day 3

Dumbell bench: 3x5x40 each hand

dips: 3x8 (I was only able to do 6 on the last set)

3 sets of 60-second planks

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Eating:

Being the first Sunday of the month, I was fasting for religious reasons (24 hours starting after last night's dinner).

Dinner: steak tacos with corn tortillas and black beans

Snack: Peanut butter and honey sandwich and milk

Exercise:

Rest day!

Summary of week one:

I feel like I did great this week, particularly with exercising all 6 days I was aiming for. Eating went very well also, although Tuesday and Thursday I pigged out at lunch to the point where I was not very hungry for dinner. I stayed up a bit too late a couple nights so I ended up eating some midnight snacks (peanut butter sandwiches), but overall I pretty much stayed right within my goals.

Challenges for the week ahead:

I slipped and fell flat on my back (boo ice!) this afternoon. So far I feel ok, but we'll see how things are tomorrow. The big challenge is that my wife is scheduled to have a C-section on Friday morning (our 3rd child), so my life is about to get a little crazier. In the past this sort of thing (well, things a lot smaller than this) would knock me out of any sort of regime and it would be a year before I tried to get back on track. If I can get past this with my eating and exercising routine relatively intact, it'll be a major victory for me.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

snack-walnuts and 1/2 apple

lunch-salad

snack 1/2 peanut butter sandwich

dinner peanut butter sandwich, a pear, and some veggies

Exercise:

Ran 1.5 miles on treadmill (3 laps at 6:00 pace, 1 lap at 10:00 pace, 1 lap at 6:00 pace, 1 lap at 10:00 pace), 10 minutes of intervals on recumbant bike

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Eating:

Breakfast-walnuts and a banana, with milk

lunch-sandwich from potbelly's

Dinner-sweet and sour chicken with brown rice, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich, pineapple, bacon (I had kind of a progressive dinner, as I kept realizing I was still hungry)

Exercise:

Pullups-50 pullup challenge week 5 day 1

dumbell squats-3x8x23

seated press - 3x5x40 dumbells

Yesterday was a bit hectic as my wife and I found out in the morning that our baby was coming that day instead of Friday as scheduled (we knew it would be a c-section). Not much sleep last night at the hospital, and I did not have a chance to plan food for today. The important thing is that mom and baby are healthy and doing fine!

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That fence climbing is crazy! Are you training for that in any specific way?

I'm waiting for the weather to get a bit better before I start working on a backstop. There is a park I take my kids to (when the weather is decent) that has a perfect backstop for this. For now, I'm just working on pullups (trying to get up to 50 --I started at a max of eight 4 weeks ago). Also, a general program of exercise and healthful eating will hopefully help me get rid of some extra weight, which can only help.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

Snack- walnuts

Lunch-salad with chicken

Dinner- banana pancakes

after dinner-nuts, whopper candy, caramel rice cakes

I got really hungry at around 8:00pm, but did not really have much here at the hospital to choose from. between the whoppers and the rice cakes, I probably had about 300 calorie of "junk," which is not the kind of snack I'd like to have. On the bright side, I felt like I did exercise good self control in limiting the portion size of the junk.

Workout:

Ran 1.5 mile on the treadmill (1st 2 laps at 6-minute pace, 1 lap at 10-minute pace, 1 lap at 6 minute pace, .5 lap at 10, 1 at 6, .5 at 10), then I did 10 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike.

Running was a struggle, as I was only able to get 2 consecutive laps at the 6-minute pace.

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Eating:

Breakfast-pineapple, banana, grapes, pear

Snack-nuts

lunch-salad

Dinner-a bit of bbq chicken, a couple banana pancakes, a peanut butter sandwich with milk

dessert- throughout the day I snacked on caramel rice cakes and some whoppers candy.

Definitely not the best eating day, particularly with the candy (although, I really did not go too far overboard with it). It's tough to stay on an eating plan when you're couped up in a hospital room. All told, I'm pretty happy with the way my eating went for the 4 days we spent in the hospital.

Exercise:

Pullups-50 pullup challenge week 5 day 2

Dumbell bench-3x5x42.5

dips-3x8--I really struggled to get the last couple of reps on my third set, but I was able to do them. I think I'll shoot for 3x9 next time.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon, smoothie

Snack- nuts and apple for snack

Lunch-salad with diced chicken breast

Dinner- steak, asparagus, and 1/2 potato

Workout:

My foot has been quite sore since Wednesday when I last ran on the treadmill, so I just did 20 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike. I think I'll take a week off of running and maybe ice my foot occaisionally. If things are not better in a week I might wait for the warm weather when I can run outdoors.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs, smoothie

Snack-nuts

lunch-salad

Dinner-Shrimp tacos with black beans and corn tortillas

after dinner-peanut butter sandwich with milk

Exercise:

Pullups-50 pullup challenge week 5 day 3

lunges-1x5x42.5. My knee was bothering me, so I then did 1x5x23, then some 1x5x23 squats...I'll see how my knee feels next time

My workout was cut short because my daughter, who has asthma, had a flare up and I had to take her to the ER (she's fine now).

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Eating:

Breakfast/lunch (I woke up at 11:00 after getting home from the ER at 5:00 am)-2 eggs

snack-nuts and grapes

Dinner-thai coconut stir fry with brown rice and crock pot chicken

Exercise:

Rest day!

Summary for week:

Two weeks into the challenge (and 5 weeks since I started eating healthily and exercising), things are going very well. I managed to exercise every day this week (Sunday excepted, as planned), which is a major victory since I had ample excuse to take some time off. My eating was also very good, under the circumstances--I only ate out once, and I generally was very good about planning ahead and packing food.

Now that I've been on this regime for 5 weeks, I feel like I can see some improvements, although I'm trying to take the long view rather than looking for instant results (i.e., check back in 6 months). I've been consistently dropping a little over a pound a week, which is what I was going for. I've now finished the first 5-week program for the 50 pullup program. I feel like I've gotten much better in the later sets of my workout, but I suspect I'll have made very modest improvements on my one-rep max (which was surprisingly high for me at 8 when I started 5 weeks ago).

The weather is getting nicer (hopefully not temporary), so hopefully I'll soon be at the park starting on my backstop training. I'm going to take this week off from running to give my foot a chance to heal, so I'll be doing the recumbant bike this week instead.

The key for me will be to maintain the lifestyle changes I've made over the long haul. I don't know that my current pace is sustainable (I've not missed a day of exercise since I started, and I've not had a single day that was truly off the wagon), but if 6 months from now I'm still eating well/exercising at 60% of my current pace I'll be very happy. My challenge has always been to keep something like this up for more than a few weeks at a time. At 5 weeks and counting, I'm already off to a great start towards my long-term goals.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

Snack- nuts and apple

Lunch-salad with toasted walnuts

Dinner- banana oat pancakes (with strawberry blended in for pink color! Happy Valentines day)

Workout:

I'm still resting my foot, so I did 20 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike. It actually felt like a great workout.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

Snack-walnuts and 1/2 apple

lunch-salad with chicken

Dinner-leftover casserole--brown rice, black beans, some chicken, cottage cheese and shredded cheese on top. I'm very pleased to have come up with a decent meal using leftovers, as those usually end up staying in the fridge until they need to be thrown out.

Exercise:

Pullups-Since I finished the first 5-week cycle for the 50-pullup challenge (varsity category), I did a test to see where I'm at. I did 12.5 (my 12th was a struggle--had to kick a bit to get my chin over the bar, and I only got halfway up on the 13th). That's about a 4-pullup improvement from where I was at 5 weeks ago. That seems like slow progress, but I guess slow and steady wins the race.

Seated dumbell press 3x5x42.5--I missed these last Saturday so I tried to make them up--I was able to do all of them, but it seemed pretty heavy for me.

Dumbell bench-3x5x45

dips-9 my first set, 8 my second set, 6 my third

Since the weather has been a bit warmer (it was 35 today), I decided to ride my bike to the train (about 12 minutes if I ride vigorously). I love biking to the train because it allows me to bookend my workday with lots of fresh air, but I got a flat about 3/4 of the way there, which caused me to miss my train. I had to wait an hour for the next one. As much as I like biking, this is the 3rd time I've gotten a flat out of the 20 or so times I've tried to bike. I'm wondering if it's worth it.

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Eating:

Breakfast-2 eggs with bacon

Snack- walnuts and apple for snack

Lunch-salad with diced chicken breast

Dinner- tacos with black beans and corn tortillas

after dinner-a couple olives and 1/2 peanut butter sandwich

Workout:

20 minutes of intervals on the recumbant bike. Drenched in sweat by the end!

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