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InDestructiBull: Back for Round Two


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6 Week Challenge, Take Two!

I had a blast with the last 6 Week Challenge. I may not have been 100% successful at meeting all my goals, but I'm proud of what I accomplished and I'm eager to keep working. 

 

Starting Point:

Level 2 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 3 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 7.25 | CON: 5 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

 

I worked a lot on building up my fitness, endurance and speed last challenge. This time around, I'm going to back off a little with my running and instead concentrate on building some muscle.

 

Challenge Goals:

Keep running: [+2 STA] [+3 DEX] Complete a 30-minute run, 3 times per week

Build strength: [+5 STR] Complete 3 workouts per week, each consisting of:

   - three Beginner Body Weight circuits and

   - one One Hundred Push Ups Challenge workout 

Eat Better: [+3 CON] Prepare all my own meals (no takeout, etc.) 5 days a week.

Pick and/or Grin: [+2 CHA] Spend at least one hour per week playing my banjo

 

Weekly Plan:

MWF: Begin workout with push ups, working my way through the One Hundred Push Ups workout plan. Finish with three Beginner Body Weight circuits, omitting push ups.

TTh(Sa/Sun): Run continuously for 30 minutes, with or without the Zombies, Run! app for interval training. An ideal run will cover 2.8-3 miles, but doesn't necessarily have to. This is about the pace I'd settled into by the end of the last challenge, so I should be able to maintain or exceed it.

Diet: I enjoy cooking, but during the school year I got into the habit of grabbing quick meals between classes or after my late night classes rather than making my own meals. I tend to cook mostly healthy things for myself, so over the summer (when there's no excuse for being too busy to cook) I'm going to prepare my own food for all meals during the week. That could mean making myself something simple like a quick pb&j sandwich or something elaborate like one of the recipes in my Moroccan cookbook, but I'll take the time to do it myself. Over the weekends I'll let myself go out for fun, with friends, etc. Hopefully this will mean I'll eat a little better and save some money.

Banjo: Whether it's for 15 minutes 4 times a week or for a full hour once a week, I'll spend at least an hour practicing my banjo each week. I bought it last summer but I haven't made learning to play it a priority. It's time to change that a little at a time.

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #1

I made it through Week 1 Day 1 of my 100PUC progression plus 3 BBW circuits and MAN am I sweaty. It's early, but I think combining those two workouts and doing them three times a week will be a good challenge without taking up too much time (about 30 minutes total) or being too frustrating. Rather than doing fewer regular push ups, I've chosen to do more incline push ups. I've never been good at push ups, mostly because I get frustrated too quickly, so this is my way to combat frustration. I made it through one challenging workout without wanting to quit and never do it again, so that's a good sign. I had to back off on the number of lunges I did for the 3rd BBW circuit because they were getting uncomfortable. I am definitely better at walking lunges than regular lunges, but it's POURING rain outside and there's not enough room in my apartment to do walking lunges. Considering how sweaty I am, maybe I should have done walking lunges outside anyway. I might go stand in the rain for a few minutes; there's nothing quite like rain after several >90 degree days...

 

Today I learned that I type "lunches" instead of "lunges" if I'm not paying attention. Whoops. Speaking of lunches...

 

Buying Paleo groceries is expensive... Considering how much amazing produce and meat I got, I'm hoping it'll be worth it. However, I'm pretty broke, so if it gets too expensive I may edit my goal to be a little easier on my wallet. I never realized how much I rely on cereal for meals, especially on early mornings or late nights when I don't want to cook. Does anyone have a favorite quick-and-easy Paleo breakfast idea to recommend?

 

Last challenge I gave myself success ratings with each update (so pretty much every day). This time around I'm only going to give myself success ratings at the end of each week. It makes more sense to me that way. 

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Some combination of fruit and nuts would probably be my go-to for quick Paleo eating. And I can't eat them, but of course many other people are heavily reliant on eggs, especially since you can hard boil a bunch and store them for later. 

Le cÅ“ur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. (The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know.)

@kawaiidragoness || @KawaChallenge || Reddit || Tumblr || Youtube || Dropbox (cloud storage) || Kiva (microloans for the world's economy!) || Universe Project 

L2 Spriggan AssassinSTR 5 | DEX 3 | CON 7.67 | STA 6 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 4.67QUEST || CHALLENGE: Lair (0) Start-Scummer (1) UD (2)

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Mini-Update: I decided to change my diet goal from eating Paleo (which was proving a more intimidating, big step than I thought it would be) to limiting the amount of takeout/diner/fast food I eat per week. This way, I can eat whatever I want, so long as I take the time to make it myself. Rather than controlling my diet by eliminating foods, I'm going to take control of my diet by becoming more involved with the process. I tend to cook healthy food (healthier than Chinese takeout, by a long shot...) and I plan to cook with lots of veggies and fresh meats anyway. I made portobello mushrooms and roasted red peppers for dinner last night and they were delicious. I've got chicken, steak, eggplant and avocados for the rest of the week. This is gonna be great! 

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #2

It's kind of amazing how a few weeks off from regular runs will set you back. I started out making decent time but I burned out quickly and had to cut way back. My muscles are pretty sore from yesterday's workout, which doesn't help. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll catch up a little. Despite being sore and slow I feel pretty good! I missed running (I never thought I'd say something like that!). The Zombies! Run app is less motivating than I thought it would be. I'm involved with a voice acting competition right now, so I probably spent more time analyzing the acting than I should have. I'll stick with it, since the story seems cool. I definitely need to build a more appropriately-themed music mix to use with the app, though; the one I use now has too much upbeat pop. It's hard to get into running from hordes of zombies to the musical stylings of Ke$ha... 

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #3

Somewhat uneventful day today. I made it through the 2nd day of the HPUC and another 3 circuits of the BBWW. I had a lot better luck doing actual walking lunges rather than stationary lunges. I set the smoke alarm off making dinner for some unknown reason, and then the cat stole my girlfriend's steak right off her plate. I guess they smelled amazing to him, too...

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #4

Week 1 of the HPUC down! I'm feeling really great about it. I did 59 push ups during today's workout. I also made it through another 3 BBWW circuits, though I wish it hadn't been raining so I could have done them outside. My apartment is really cramped and the cats like to plat tent under me when I plank. It's cute but also very warm and furry. I also wish it hadn't rained all day because I was supposed to go trail running "with" Doc Brian for the Ranger's mini-challenge. Hopefully it'll be nicer tomorrow.

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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You've got some great goals and attitudes going for you. I know paleo can seem pretty intimidating/expensive, but it's not too bad if you ease into it. Personally, my favorite websites for paleo food are paleomg.com (her meat sauce is fairly cheap if you sub ground beef, not to mention delicious) and civilizedcavemancooking.com. They have some great recipes that you can monkey around with to match your budget and tastebuds. Keep up the awesome challenge!

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

 

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Thanks for the links! I'll definitely have to try them out. Now that I've decided not to hold myself to a Paleo diet for the challenge, I'm less intimidated by it. I've really enjoyed this past week's worth of cooking, most of which has been Paleo anyway! I'm going to take it slow and just have fun with it.

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #5

I had a very productive day today, which is good considering how lazy I was during the rainstorm yesterday. I played my banjo for a full hour. I'm sure my neighbors are really sick of 'Oh Susanna'... Once I've gotten a bit more practice I'll be able to branch out to other songs.

 

I intended to go trail running (or at least as close to trail running as I can get in my corner of the Bronx) yesterday 'with' Doc Brian, but went today instead. I brought StriderSenshi along with me. She's working on C25K so I coached her and stopped for pictures rather than running my usual 30 continuous minutes. All told we were outside moving around for over an hour, so I got a good workout regardless. Most of the photos came out a little blurry, but that's alright. They're uploaded to my gallery if you want to take a look. Here's one of me on a rock!

 

Trail Running 5

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Weekly Update #1

 

Week one went really well!  My push ups and BBW workouts are fantastic so far. I can feel myself getting stronger already. I went to a family gathering and my relatives were impressed with how much I've slimmed down and toned up since I saw them last (Christmas/New Year's, I think) I'm definitely eating better, I've saved a bunch of money, and I've really enjoyed cooking. I even inspired my girlfriend to start trying to cook more often. My banjo is back in tune and I haven't forgotten nearly as much as I was afraid I would have. I even participated in the Rangers' first mini-challenge! Bring on week 2!!!

 

Success Rating: 4/4 goals addressed! A

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update #6

 

Not much to report from day 1 of week 2. HPUC and BBWW are still on track. I didn't cook tonight but I had leftovers from previously-cooked meals rather than takeout, so that's fine in terms of my goals. It rained all day today, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be less wet so I can run outside. I'll be on campus tomorrow so I can go to the gym if I have to, but I'd prefer to run outside...

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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You're doing really well! Keep up the great work!

Le cÅ“ur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. (The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know.)

@kawaiidragoness || @KawaChallenge || Reddit || Tumblr || Youtube || Dropbox (cloud storage) || Kiva (microloans for the world's economy!) || Universe Project 

L2 Spriggan AssassinSTR 5 | DEX 3 | CON 7.67 | STA 6 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 4.67QUEST || CHALLENGE: Lair (0) Start-Scummer (1) UD (2)

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Status Update #8 (and 9 and 10, since I missed yesterday and the day before. My Bad.)

Actually, now that I think about it, I probably haven't updated because I don't have much to report. My workouts continue to be pretty darn good. I did 91 push ups today! I've been running with StriderSenshi, which is a lot of fun. My home-cooked meal plan might end up falling by the wayside for the weekend because my parents are visiting and want to check out a bunch of restaurants while they're in NYC (who could blame them?) They've been nice enough to invite me out with them all weekend, and as a grad student, I feel I am obliged to follow Diet Rule #1: Always accept free food. I have yet to decide whether that means I fail at this goal for the week. On one hand, I am not cooking for myself for 4 days rather than 2. On the other hand, I am not being lazy and choosing takeout, nor am I buying the restaurant food I'm eating. Maybe I'll just cook for myself all 7 days next week to make up for the extra meals out this week. 

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Weekly Update #2

Week 2 fell apart  a little bit compared to week 1. I fit in all 3 runs, all 3 HPUCs and all 3 BBWWs. However, with my parents visiting and treating me to dinner for several days, I didn't do much of my own cooking (only 3/5 days). I also didn't manage to fit in any banjo practice (but I did win immunity for my voice acting competition this week, so the time I spent recording for my challenges rather than practicing my banjo were well-spent!).

 

Moving into week 3, I'm still messed up in terms of my schedule. I didn't work out on Monday and I did my push ups and body weight workouts today. Looks like I'll be doing TThSa HPUCs/BBWWs and WFSu running this week. I also didn't cook for myself Monday or Tuesday so far, but I will definitely have to cook for myself for the rest of the week and all weekend, so I'll get my full five days this week. I've moved to the land of farmers markets and co-ops for the summer, so I'm eager to get to cook with some great local produce. I don't yet know how my new roommates will feel about me playing my banjo, however...

 

Success Rating:  C (2.5/4 goals addressed)

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Status Update (I stopped numbering them because I keep getting off-count)

Feeling like a badass because today I had my first 100 push ups workout! It kicked my ass, but I made it! I even switched to doing knees-down push ups (I'd previously been doing incline push ups but they weren't challenging enough) so I'm feeling really proud of myself. Saturday's workout will be 120 push ups. We'll see how much I miss incline push ups then...

 

My BBW workouts are getting easier after only two and a half weeks. I'm already noticing a difference in my strength and muscle tone. I'm going to finish out the week doing the same rep count and circuit count that I have been so far, then next week I think I'll up the number of reps for each circuit. I've been doing 20 of everything (squats, lunges, dumbell rows, and seconds of plank) so I think I'll go for 30. I'll stick with 3 circuits for now.

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Weekly Update #3

Week 3 was a little rough for me: my push ups have gone to shit. I made it through all three workouts, but I get a pretty bad headache when I do more than 30 or so. I'm concentrating on my breathing and form, so I'm pretty sure it's not related to either of those. I could probably stand to drink more water, so maybe that's the problem. I don't have headaches any other time or during any of my other workouts, so maybe it's just weightlifter's headache? I am going to skip the push ups this week and start again at a lower level next week. That should give my body some time to recover and get its act together. Ouch.

 

My other goals are going much better in comparison. I made up for the cooking I didn't do last week and the banjo practice I didn't do last week. I got a full two hours in, in pieces here and there throughout the week. I can sit by the creek in the back yard and pick away for a half hour or so at a time. I love it up here! My BBWWs have been uneventful. I added 10 reps of everything to each circuit today. It's a little harder now than it was at the end of the week. I may up the reps or add another circuit next week or the final week, but for now I'm feeling good. I deviated a little from my running schedule, but I am going to give myself full credit because I skipped a run in order to spend the day hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I covered about 7 miles of trail, 5 more miles than I usually run. It wasn't the most challenging hike I've ever done, but it felt damn good to be on the AT again. My life goal - the goal that inspires me to work on my strength and fitness - is to hike the whole thing, so I am 100% ok missing a run for this opportunity. The best part is, I only live a mile from a trail head, so I can go on more hikes all summer!

 

I also achieved a different lifelong dream today: I held a falcon on my glove for the first time. I've wanted to get the opportunity to work with raptors pretty much my whole life and this summer I get to do it. Words can't describe how happy I am.

 

Success Rating: (minus points for struggling with the push ups, PLUS A BILLION POINTS for hiking and achieving a lifelong dream)

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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Weekly Update #4

 

I took this past week off from push ups to let myself rest a bit and maybe see if the weird headaches would go away. I rebooted my HPUC workout today and so far things are going well. I started over from week 1 doing knees-down push ups. I think my problem was I upgraded from inclines to knees-down too fast and pushed myself too hard. I had no problem (and no headache!) doing my workout today. Hopefully I'll be able to stay on track for the last two weeks!

 

As for my other goals... I pretty much dropped the ball on them too. It rained pretty much all week, so I didn't get to run at all. Also no banjo practice since my housemates were always around. I did cook for myself all week, though, so not all was lost...

 

Success Rating: C- (Only one goal completed. Womp womp...)

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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I ended up bailing on this 6wc. Maybe I should have known better than to take on a challenge when I knew I was going to start a new job/move to a different state/deviate significantly from my usual life/etc. in the middle of it. Maybe I'm just making excuses for myself. Either way, I didn't finish this challenge and so I'm not going to claim any points for it. I'm not even going to level up. I do plan on rebooting this challenge for the next 6wc next week. I may tweak some goals for the next go 'round, we'll see. I know I'm capable of succeeding at these goals when the time is right.

Level 3 Mord'Sith Ranger

STR: 7 | DEX: 2.5 | STA: 11.25 | CON: 10 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 5

Challenge 1 | Challenge 2 | Challenge 3

 

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