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Wingfoot Gets Stronger


Wingfoot

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Hello all,

 

Here I go on challenge #2.  It feels a little soon -- I'm still getting used to the changes that came from challenge #1, but hey, maybe in 6 weeks I'll be just as astonished at the change from this challenge.  Nonetheless, with everything that's happened in the past few weeks I'm having a little bit of trouble articulating new goals.  I'll do my best.

 

Main Goal: Feel like the master of my body.

I've been thinking about the "main goal" a lot lately.  I could set another interim one, like run a half marathon, but it really wouldn't be the main goal.  And I could say lose weight, but (1) with my thyroid issues I don't feel like I always control that, and (2) if I woke up thin tomorrow I don't think I'd really have what I want.  What I want is to feel like my body is MINE, like I know how to tell it what to do and it can do amazing things.  The last challenge helped with that (when I found out Wingfoot could run!), but I have a long ways to go.  

 

So I've been thinking about smaller goals for this challenge that can move me in the right direction without pulling me in too many directions.  Hopefully I've found some useful ones.

 

Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  This is the same goal I used last time, but it's working for me.  I'm working on increasing the distance of my long runs (8 miles last week) and am thinking about running a half marathon in October.  By the end of the year, the goal is to run 9 qualifying races for the NYC marathon, but since I can't fit that into 6 weeks, I'm using this goal as a proxy for moving in that general direction.

 

Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  I am going to do the beginner body weight program at least twice a week. I'd like to try for 3, but I'm trying to keep my goals reasonable, knowing that my time and willpower are both limited.

 

Goal 3: No Alcohol.  I don't drink a ton, but it is an expected part of my social time with friends.  But I don't like feeling dehydrated the next day, I don't like how it affects my running, it's kind of expensive and I don't see what I'm gaining from it.  I'm going to build in one free drink sometime in the next 6 weeks, but any others result in a 5% reduction in my overall grade each.

 

Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  I had my diet completely under control and it was working well for me -- that is, until I started running 20-25 miles a week.  I was eating 1400-1500 calories a day, which was just right for me and didn't cause any issues with my thyroid problem.  I have quickly realized that is NOT enough with the running I'm doing.  I'm hungry, I crave carbs, and if I don't eat more than that I feel weak when I run.  I don't want to just start eating whatever I want, though, so I need to spend some time figuring out what is going to work with the increased exertion, and I might talk to my endocrinologist about it when I see her in October.

 

Life Goal: Frugal October.  I tried to do Frugal September.  It did not work.  The idea is basically that I want to figure out where I'm spending money that doesn't really improve my life.  There are things I can do without, like taxis and online shopping.  If I can trim that fat, I can use the money toward my student loans instead.  Frugal October is an experiment and I'm not sure exactly how to measure it -- I'll establish more grading rules around this one within the next week.

 

I'm looking forward to the challenge, and wish everyone the best of luck!

 

 

Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

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Wow.  Can I just say "ow"?  I looked at the list of BBWW exercises and thought "I can do all of those" (with modified pushups).

 

But wow.  Did my first BBWW workout yesterday.  My glutes hurt so much I'm practically limping.  Clearly, these are muscles I have not been using enough.  I guess that means the workouts are a good idea...

Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Hi all!  Time for a recap!

 

Week 1 Recap

 

Overall, I think it was a good first week.  My first efforts at the beginner body weight workout were, well, humbling, but I had a good running week and followed all the rules.  Let's review:

 

Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran 4 times this week.  I did my weekday runs Monday and Thursday, of about 3.5 miles each.  Saturday I wanted to run 9 miles, but I ran into one obstacle after another (5k walkathon in the middle of my route, detoured, got lost in hill country, got a leg cramp, etc) and ended up cutting it short at 8 miles.  I felt bad about that for about 5 minutes until I realized running 8 miles is freaking awesome, especially when I started less than 2 months ago not knowing I could run a mile.  Then today was a qualifying race for the marathon.  It was only 1 mile, which gave me a chance to try and set a new best time.  Up until now I've been running a 12-minute mile.  I wanted to hit 11 minutes today but would have settled for 11:30.  So imagine my delight -- I came in right at 10:30!!  It couldn't have been better timing, either.  Since I've been doing longer runs I've been slowing down, which is to be expected, but it was shaking my confidence a little.  It's good to know that I'm not permanently the slowest person on the planet -- progress is being made.

 

Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  I barely got this done.  I did my first BBWW on Tuesday.  It completely kicked my butt.  I was sore for days.  I was afraid if I attempted another one I wouldn't be able to manage my long run on Saturday, so I put it off.  I only scraped through with 2 because I did the second one about 15 minutes ago.  But hey, if it leaves me that achey, at least I know it's working.

 

Goal 3: No Alcohol.  No alcohol this week.  I was tempted once when I was at a work dinner and everyone was parading around with their glass of wine acting cultured.  I treated myself to a ginger ale.

 

Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  I'm working on this.  I increased my intake to about 1700-1800 calories.  I feel great at this level and have more energy for my runs.  But I'll have to give it a week or so and see if I can continue to lose weight at this level.

 

Life Goal: Frugal October.  Not yet!  Since I gave up on Frugal September, I went ahead and bought some warmer running clothes and 2 new pairs of shoes that I've been needing.  Funny how when you can't spend money you can suddenly think of so many things you legitimately need.

Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Good goals and it looks like the first week went pretty well. The BBWW is pretty good. I thought the same as you when I first started it and was surprised that I got sore (and it was my glutes, too lol). Keep at it, though, and you'll improve your strength. Just remember that with an increase in muscle comes an increase in weight. 

Level 5 Wood Elf Assassin

STR 11.25 | DEX 9.5 | STA 15 | CON 11.75 | WIS 13 | CHA 13

Current Challenge - 4th3rd | 2nd1st

Accountabilibuddies - 3rd | 2nd | 1st

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Hi all!  Sorry for the delayed recap this week, things have been absolutely crazy (let's just say the week 3 recap may be dismal if I can't turn it around...).


 


Week 2 Recap


 


Awesome week, capped off with my longest run yet.  


 


Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran 4 times again this week.  I did my weekday runs Monday (2.9 miles) and Wednesday (4 miles).  Saturday I did an easy run of 2 slow miles, just to loosen everything up for the next day.  Because Sunday was a big deal!  Sunday I ran a 10-mile race!!!  I was in the back, as usual.  I find it really demoralizing when people who are doing it as a walk/run average out to my pace, so that we constantly pass each other, back and forth.  The reason, of course, is that they're doing their runs at a pace they can't sustain, and then have to walk.  I could run that fast, too, if I didn't want to keep it up for 10 continuous miles.  But it's hard to remember that in the moment.  But at about the halfway point (when I was feeling a little down), a volunteer shouted "your race, your pace!" as I went by.  Which, ok, is a little condescending since I'm sure she didn't say that to the fast people.  BUT it worked, because I cheered up when I realized, heck yeah!  I went from running my first mile about 2 months ago, to running a 10-mile race!  Of course I'm still a little slow!  But who freaking cares, this is an amazing accomplishment!  When I got near the finish line, I sped up and this huge grin spread across my face.  I kept alternating between absolute joy and wanting to cry, it was a little ridiculous (I'm going to blame low blood sugar).  But also fantastic.  I'm so, so proud.


 


Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  BBWW on Tuesday and Thursday.  It's not kicking my butt anymore, so I think I'm going to switch from 2 rounds per workout to 3.


 


Goal 3: No Alcohol.  Yup, did it.  Helps that I had a big race and didn't want to be dehydrated.


 


Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  Still feeling great at 1700-1800 calories with more carbs.  But I feel like I have less window for error than I did at the lower level.  This is a mental issue, I just have to get used to the change and trust that it won't derail me.  I might try doing some meal planning when things calm down at work -- knowing in advance what's on the menu might help me feel less anxious.


 


Life Goal: Frugal October.  I enjoyed every last minute of September ("Spendy September"?) while I could.


Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Running a 10 mile race?!?! That's awesome! Think of it this way, you may not be as fast as others (or as you want), but you kick butt for endurance. That's something that's a lot harder to achieve, in my opinion. Great job on your other goals, too. I say bump up your sets to 3 for the BBWW.

 

I'm still super impressed that you can run 10 miles. It's just so awesome!

Level 5 Wood Elf Assassin

STR 11.25 | DEX 9.5 | STA 15 | CON 11.75 | WIS 13 | CHA 13

Current Challenge - 4th3rd | 2nd1st

Accountabilibuddies - 3rd | 2nd | 1st

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Thanks Gyro and Carniepoet!  I'm still really excited about the 10 miles, and even though it was just over a week ago, it's kind of hard to believe it was real.  :)  Continuing what seems like a constant process of "well, if I can do that, maybe I can do that times 1.2", I'm going to try a half-marathon this weekend.  It all still seems a little crazy to me, since I wasn't running a continuous mile until about 2 months ago.  After this weekend, I think I'm going to scale back on the long distances though (still running, just keeping it around 3-7 miles) and give my mind a little time to catch up.

Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Week 3 Recap


 


Week 3 sucked.  Let's call this Setback Week.  I worked 3 back-to-back 17-hour days at work, was very stressed out and tired, failed over and over again to get up early enough to exercise, and then traveled for the weekend.  I tried really hard to do what I could, but, well, that wasn't much.


 


Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran twice -- a 1.5-mile run on Thursday (squeezed in between oversleeping and leaving for a morning meeting at work) and a 3.75-mile run on Saturday through an unfamiliar town while my travel companions slept.  I did also go hiking on Saturday, but alas, I don't think that can count as my third run.


 


Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  I did one and a half.  I did a BBWW on Wednesday before work, and did 3 circuits.  It was definitely more of a workout with the third circuit!!  Then I tried to do another one Thursday morning, which was silly because I was still sore from the day before, but I knew I wouldn't have another chance during my trip and I wanted to meet my challenge goal.  After one circuit, I decided it didn't make sense to do something that didn't make sense JUST because of the challenge goal, and I gave up.


 


Goal 3: No Alcohol.  I had wine at a birthday party.  This is my 1 free pass -- anything after this costs points.


 


Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  Eh.  Absolutely no progress on this goal, but it's the side goal and a little vague anyways.  This was a bad week all-around.  I overate, but mostly healthy food.  But since I didn't exercise as much, I wish I would have worked harder to keep my diet in control.


 


Life Goal: Frugal October.  Stupid October.  I hate being frugal.  But I didn't take the taxi when I was running late, and I didn't buy the random tea I didn't need, and I didn't go shopping for cute boots.  So I guess I did ok on this one.


 


Overall, it wasn't a great week.  But honestly it wasn't the worst either.  I didn't really meet my goals, but in the midst of a sucky stressy exhausted traveling week, I managed to exercise multiple times and stay away from fried food and sweets and Starbucks and online shopping.  I just hope missing my long run this week doesn't disadvantage me in my long race this coming weekend.


Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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I think you still did pretty good with the work schedule you had. Not only are hours lost for working extra, but those kind of hours tire your body and mind for a day or two after. Seriously, you did a fantastic job for working 3 17 hour days. And wine for your birthday? Darn right it doesn't count. You deserve to have something special on your birthday. Keep up the good work!

Level 5 Wood Elf Assassin

STR 11.25 | DEX 9.5 | STA 15 | CON 11.75 | WIS 13 | CHA 13

Current Challenge - 4th3rd | 2nd1st

Accountabilibuddies - 3rd | 2nd | 1st

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Week 4 Recap


 


After a not-so-great Week 3 (thank you to those of you who reminded me that the suckiness was not as bad as it could have been), Week 4 was a big improvement.  I still struggled to get up early enough for my work-outs, but I managed to meet my goals and reach a big accomplishment over the weekend.  I RAN A HALF-MARATHON!!!!  Is it possible it was uphill both ways??  It sure felt like it...


 


Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran three times -- a 3.4-mile run on Tuesday and a 2.3-mile run on Saturday.  I would have run further on Saturday, but I needed to keep it an easy run because Sunday was a big day -- my first half-marathon!  I dragged myself to Staten Island on Saturday to run 13.1 miles.  I'm still exhausted.  I missed my goal time by about 5 minutes (an old man power-walking actually passed me at mile 12, a sad moment for me), but the important thing is that I finished!  I'm very proud of myself, but also at the same time I'm relieved that I can ease back my mileage for a little bit and give my body time to catch up to all this running.  I've definitely been feeling runner's fatigue and have been breaking the no-more-than-10%-increase-per-week rule, so I think I could use a bit of recovery time.  I'll still run at least 3 times a week, preferably 4 -- but I'm planning to keep the weekend "long runs" under 7 miles for a few weeks.


 


Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  Did it.  I'm starting to feel stronger on everything but the push-ups and jumping jacks.  They'll get there too, I'm just trying to be patient.


 


Goal 3: No Alcohol.  I had wine at a business dinner.  I already used my free pass, so this one costs 5% from my final score.  I was already the one vegetarian at the steakhouse, so I just didn't have the heart to be the teetotaler too.  I did a good job of counterbalancing it with water, though, so I didn't have my usual dehydration issues.


 


Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  I do a great job with breakfast, lunch and 4pm snack.  I realized this week that I really need to start planning my dinners in advance -- those are my weak spot.  I used to cook a lot of food on Sunday so I would have meals ready for the week.  Now that work is calming down I really need to get back into that habit. 


 


Life Goal: Frugal October.  October is going ok.  I don't like it, but I can get through it.  I definitely have a couple of things I need to buy (a couple of articles of clothing because most of my wardrobe doesn't fit me any more), but what I'm learning from Frugal October is how to think about purchases in advance, decide whether I really need it, and plan ahead to make sure I buy 1 right item instead of bouncing between 2 or 3 so-so purchases.  Planning like this lets me wait for sales, too, which is nice.  The point of this was really to make me more mindful about how I spend money -- I'm not going to start living like a monk, but I want to be sure I'm not spending money out of laziness or habit when I could be paying that money toward my loans.


Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Week 5 Recap


 


Ugh, I so didn't want to write this recap.  After week 4's half-marathon, I was sluggish in week 5.  I went for one run and did one BBWW session, but for the most part, I just took a rest week.  I felt bad because I knew I wasn't meeting my challenge goals, but I also just didn't want to work out this week.  In a non-challenge world, I wouldn't feel bad about the rest week at all, but I hate failing to meet clearly defined goals.  Ah well, it's behind me now, so all I can do about it is focus my energies on week 6.


 


Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran once -- a 2.6-mile run on Tuesday. 


 


Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  Just one, on Thursday.  I had to work out in a different location than usual, which meant going back to a slightly higher surface for my modified push-ups where I used to try push-ups long ago.  While I still don't notice a difference in the difficulty of push-ups in my standard work-out location, I definitely noticed that the ones in my old location were way easier than they used to be, so I guess that's progress?  Overall, I admit I'm a little disappointed that I haven't gained more strength in the past few weeks -- maybe I need to increase to 3 BBWW sessions per week to see results?


 


Goal 3: No Alcohol.  None.


 


Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  Eh.  I think when I increased my carbs and calories I used that as an excuse to eat things that are a little more processed than I prefer (saltines, store-bought granola).  This week I decided that was about enough of that, and switched back to my usual, more "pure" diet, but it certainly seems to take more planning for me to get enough calories from whole foods. 


 


Life Goal: Frugal October.  I'm really happy with how this is turning out, actually.  I already had a monthly budget spreadsheet google doc for tracking budgeting and expenses.  Having recognized my tendency to identify any number of things that I "legitimately need" throughout the month, I've created a tab in the budget spreadsheet for "shopping list".  Whenever I think of something I need during the month (other than normal planned weekly expenses like groceries, of course) I add it to the shopping list spreadsheet instead of buying it.  Once a month on payday, I can go to the shopping list and identify the most needed items on it, up to a pre-determined budgeted amount of money, and then I can buy those.  The unpurchased items can stay on the list for consideration in another month.  That way, I'm not denying myself anything (which could potentially incite a rebellion), I'm just postponing the purchase until a more appropriate time, which may or may not turn out to be never.  I'm loving this system, and don't think I would have come up with it without the Frugal October experiment (and the failed Frugal September).  I've also successfully cut out a number of things I don't even miss, like taxis and Starbucks.  Still...  I'm so glad October is almost over.  :)


Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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Challenge Recap


 


Overall, I think I managed to build new habits and reinforce others during this challenge.  I sometimes found the challenge a bit constraining, though, when I didn't think meeting the goal for the week was what my body needed.  That's probably a failure on my part to design the goals properly, knowing that I had a half-marathon to run halfway through the challenge.  I think I'm going to sit out the next challenge and see how I do without the accountability factor -- I want to make sure these habits are solid on their own.  


 


Goal 1: Run 3 Times.  I ran 17 times over 6 weeks.  The weeks I ran less were ones where I had big runs, like the half-marathon.  I really feel like this has become part of my routine, and a valued part of my lifestyle.  I'm so proud and happy about this.  17/18 including 2 very long races (10 and 13 miles) = and A for me!  (+1 STR, +3 STA, +1 CON)


 


Goal 2: Strength Train 2 Times.  I did 9 and a half BBWW work-outs plus a yoga class -- let's call it 10?  I guess I can't complain that I haven't gained as much strength as I hoped, since I wasn't very consistent about these.  Still, they have gotten easier and I've started adding new things like bridges to the circuit.  10/14 = a C on this one.  (+1 STR, +1 STA, +1 CON)


 


Goal 3: No Alcohol.  I used my 1 free pass for my birthday, and had 2 cheats, which lose me 5% each.  So this is at 90%, which I'm going to call a B+.  I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do during a work-related cocktail hour where they only have wine and soda, neither of which I really want to drink.  Still, I think I've managed to get my friends trained not to expect me to drink wine with them on Friday nights because I so often have races on the weekend.  Small victories. (+2 CON, +1 WIS)


 


Diet Side Goal: Figure it Out.  I used the diet experimentation to eat things I shouldn't for a couple of weeks.  I'm back on track now, and am happy with the level I'm eating.  Oddly, I think my favorite night-before-a-long-run dinner is rice and beans.  Hey, if it works, I'll take it. (+1 CON)


 


Life Goal: Frugal October.  I dragged myself through Frugal October kicking and screaming.  It was not fun, but it was successful.  I learned a lot about my spending habits, and I learned about the expenses I could give up and those that are valuable to me in other ways -- for example, I have no problem spending money on race entry fees for my new running habit, but I do have a problem spending money on shoes I don't need.  I developed some new habits from this experiment, now I just have to work on making sure they stick. (+1 WIS)


 


OK, so an A and a B+ and a C, I guess that averages out to a B or a B+.  I'm changing my attributes as follows, granting a total of 13 out of the 15 available attribute points for this challenge:


 


Previous Attributes:


Level 2 Adventurer, Hobbit


STR 1 - DEX 1 - STA 3 - CON 4 - WIS 2 - CHA 3


 


New Attributes:


Level 3 Adventurer, Hobbit


STR 3 - DEX 1 - STA 7 - CON 9 - WIS 4 - CHA 3


Wingfoot

Level 4 Adventurer

Hobbit

I can always take one more step.

 

Battle Log  ||  Epic Quests

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