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Starstuff

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Main Quest: Run a Half Marathon

 

I'm almost there! If all goes according to plan, I'll be running my first half marathon on December 14th. At first, I was a little disappointed by the two week challenge break, because I had thought I was actually going to end up finishing my quest on the last weekend of this challenge, but I realized that this way I can include my recovery week in my challenge, which is important since I have a tendency to overextend myself when I'm excited about something.

 

Missions

 

1) Train Smart, Train Hard (+3 STA, +2 DEX)

 

This one is pretty straightforward: Stick to my training plan. What does my training plan look like? Except for my taper and recovery weeks, it looks something like this:

  • Monday: Easy Run

  • Tuesday: Intervals

  • Wednesday: Rest or Cross-Train

  • Thursday: Hills or Tempo Run

  • Friday: Rest

  • Saturday: Long Run

  • Sunday: Cross-Train (preferably hiking with lots of hills, since it does wonders toward helping me actually run hills)

If I'm sick or feeling any non-DOMS pain or wobbliness, I can sub out intervals/hills/tempo for easy runs without penalty, since I don't want to go courting injury or serious illness. As a bonus, if I stick to my plan, I will also finish listening to all of the currently available Zombies, Run! missions at my half.

 

2) Track Your Progress (+1 STA, +1 WIS)

 

If you've followed any of my previous challenge threads, you've probably noticed that I have a terrible tendency to wander off and forget about them after a week or two. Thankfully, I'm much better at keeping up with my challenge goals than I am with my challenge thread (I only failed my last challenge because I stopped updating my thread!), but I'd still like to actually, you know. participate and stuff. And I'm also much less prone to making stupid decisions about my training when I'm posting regularly here. So, my goal here is to update my challenge thread at least four times a week once the challenge officially starts.

 

3) Kick Butt, Take Names

 

This one is actually a series of performance mini-goals for my half marathon and the 10k I'm running on Thanksgiving morning. They're all pass/fail.

  • Half Marathon: Cross the finish line (+1 STA)

  • Half Marathon: Cross the finish line in under 2:50 (+1 DEX)

  • 10k: Cross the finish line in under 1:16 (+1 DEX)

  • 10k: Cross the finish line before my brother does (+1 DEX, +1 CHA, + bragging rights for at least the rest of the year)

 

Life Quest: NaNoWriMo (+1 CHA, +1WIS, +1 STA)

 

Yup, it's November again, and that means time to write like a crazy person (which my husband, upon hearing I was still planning to do NaNo while training for my half, assured me that I am). I'm a NaNo "rebel" this year since I couldn't bear to put away my novel-in-progress to start something new, so my goal is to add an extra 50k words to the manuscript by 11:59 p.m. on November 30th. I totally slacked the first couple days of the month, so I'm already behind, so I've got some catching up to do.

 

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only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Goals look good, good luck on getting your bragging rights!

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Scout 30/Ranger 1 (3 skipped)

Spoiler

"I must not fear. / Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
-Litany Against Fear

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Shukar Still Isn't Lion

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Thanks, guys. The bragging rights are probably my most ambitious goal, but I think I've got a decent shot if I'm careful with my pacing.

 

Thanksgiving morning races are awesome. It means I get to do four of my favorite things in one day: run, then nap, then cook delicious food, and finally eat delicious food. I'd say that's an all around win.

 

A brief night-before-the-challenge update: My nine-mile long run yesterday went really well, but between that and my bi-weekly Saturday dinner my grandpa, I didn't get much writing done, which means I'm even more behind in NaNo. I managed to recoup some of that today, but I'm still about 5k behind par, so I've got some serious writing to do.

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only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Sounds like you are on the right track for your half.  If you can complete you 10mile run at pace, you have the half marathon bagged.  The rest of your training is gravy to make it work better!

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

 

Mileage

Swim 11.1/18 miles

61.7%
61.7%

 

Bike 207/465 miles

44.5%
44.5%

 

Run 44.9/101 miles

44.5%
44.5%

 

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Week 1, Day 1 Recap

 

Ran 3 miles easy. This week is a recovery week in my half training plan, so everything is pretty scaled back this week. I think I made a mistake deciding to take the stairs up to my office for the first time, though. I work on the 8th floor, and this was after my 1.25 mile uphill walk from the ferry carrying all of my work gear and my lunch. It didn't feel too rough at the time, but I had some jelly-leg moments during my run that just shouldn't happen during an easy run. I think maybe I'll try taking the stairs for just one flight at first and then building up to 8.

 

My NaNo progress was a complete disaster. Between not having my laptop to write on the ferry in the morning, which is where I've been getting in the bulk of my workday word count in (stupidly left it at work on Friday and didn't realize until I got home) and having company over after work, I wrote a grand total of 374 words, bringing my overall word count to 12,083.

 

So far, today's been much better on the NaNo front. I've already written 1,246 words, and I should have plenty of time after my evening run and dinner to get another substantial chunk in. Shooting for 2k total for the day. Also, I changed my avatar to a picture of me in my Runner 5 costume from Halloween.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Week 1, Day 2 Recap

 

Did a 5 minute warm-up jog followed by six 1:00/2:00 intervals and then another ~15 minutes of easy running while I finished out my Zombies, Run! mission. It felt really good, with none of the weird jelly-leg stuff from Monday, so whether that was the extra stairs or not, the issue seems to have corrected itself.

 

I met my 2k word NaNo goal for the day (2,044 words, to be precise), which brought me to 14,137 total.

 

I'm planning on another 2k word day today, and for excercise, it's cross-training day, which I'm on the fence about. Normally on Wednesday I'd go for a walk around my neighborhood (which is crazy hilly) or do some dancing, but all of the lifting goals in other people's threads are getting to me, so I might see about doing some easy strength training on my cross-training days.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Strength training rocks. Makes you run better, sleep better, live better. 

This spring I shaved about 3 minutes off my 10K time by doing bodyweight training - squats - only - no running! ;)

 

Nice!

 

I've done strength training before, and it does make me feel and perform better after the fact, but it's always incredibly unpleasant when I'm in the midst of it. I suspect the unpleasantness is at least partially related to my dyspraxia (which screws with my balance, proprioception, motor control, and sensory processing, among other fun things), especially since it doesn't get better with regular workouts, but I really wish I could find a way around it. I'm seriously envious of those who enjoy the act of lifting.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Nice costume

 

Thanks!  :victorious:  I'm a little sad that Mr. Starstuff didn't catch my legs in the picture, because I had a great time doing mud/blood spatter and bruise makeup on my calves.

 

 

Week 1, Day 3 Recap

 

I did, in fact, end up strength training. I did one of the "Basic Training" workouts from the Rebel Strength Guide and was happy to discover that I haven't lost nearly as much of my strength as I feared in four months of completely neglecting strength training. My reps were as follows.

  • Incline Push-Ups (on my counter) - 15, 15, 15
  • Bodyweight Squats - 19, 16, 12
  • Planks - 0:35, 0:35

Next time, I'll have to move my incline push-ups down to the coffee table and grab my dumbells for squats. Oh, and find my lifting gloves, which I haven't seen since we moved. Does anyone know how to make planks less queasy-making? I always feel like I'm not pushing my muscles as much as I could be with planks because they make me so stupidly nauseaous.

 

I did not meet my personal goal of 2k words for NaNo, but I did manage to keep from falling any further behind. I got in 1,773 words for the day, bringing me to 15,910 for the month so far. Since I don't have any social plans for this weekend and my recovery week means my long run is only scheduled to be 4 miles, I'm pretty confident I can make up the bulk of my behind-ness over the weekend. I just need to keep reminding myself that I hate everything I write from 15k-25k words, and I'll probably think all the stuff that's driving me nuts now is complete genius when I look at it again in a month.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Good luck Starstuff

 

Thanks!

 

 

Week 1, Day 4 Recap

 

I had an obnoxiously-scheduled 8 p.m. meeting, which messed with my usual groove, but I still managed to do all right. For running, I did a quarter-mile warm-up followed by a 2-mile tempo run and then some easy running to finish up my Zombies, Run! mission (season 2, mission 31 is awesome, btw). I wrote 1,668 words, bringing me to 17,578 total for NaNo.

 

Today, I woke up with a scratchy throat and drippy nose (thanks, lady who decided to ride the ferry next to me the other day while sick enough to be sniffing and coughing every few seconds), am PMS-y, and just generally want to curl up under a big, fuzzy blanket with a cup of cocoa and a brainless book. Thankfully, Friday is rest day, so I don't need to worry about over-taxing myself physically. I just need to work up the energy to get that word count in. Since Friday is also my higher-carb day, perhaps I'll let myself have that cocoa once I've gotten my minimum word count in.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Week 1, Day 5 Recap

 

This one's easy: Nothing! It was supposed to be a rest day for exercise, but I was still planning to write. What actually happened was that I got home from work, had some soup, and promptly fell asleep and slept for 15 hours. Guess I was sicker than I thought.

 

My throat is less sore today, but I'm still really tired and I think maybe a little more congested. I've already gotten 2.5k words in on my novel today, and I'm hoping to double that before bedtime. I'm scheduled for a 4-mile run today, but I'm debating whether it would be a better idea to skip it given that I'm still sick and feeling more tired than usual. I guess I'll have some tea and do a couple more writing sprints and see how I feel after.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

Food Log

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Week 1, Day 6 Recap

 

Right after updating yesterday, I started coughing, so I decided not to run, since my experience has been that running with a cough or chest congestion is a Really Bad Idea. Have I mentioned I hate being sick? Because I really, really hate being sick. I did, however, write 5,880 words, bringing my total to 23,458. Still not quite caught up, but I'm getting closer!

 

My coughing has been much less this morning than it was yesterday, so I'm going to try going for a walk in a bit. But first, more writing!

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Week 1, Day 7 Recap
 
My walk was shorter than I planned, since my walking partner got help up at an interview and it gets dark way too early this time of year, but I also did some strength training:

  • Bent-Leg Body Weight Rows: 4, 2, 2
  • Body Weight Lunges: 14, 10, 8
  • Planks: 0:43, 0:37

I wrote 2,445 words, bringing me to 25,903. Still a bit behind, but catching up!

 

 

Week One Progress

  • Goal 1: I completed 4/5 of my required workouts. I missed the last one because it was sick, but I still get a B for this goal this week.
  • Goal 2: I rocked keeping my challenge thread updated, so A for this one.
  • Goal 3: I haven't done either of my races, yet, so nothing to update here.
  • Life Goal: I wasn't as consistent about my writing as I wanted to be, and I'm still behind par for NaNoWriMo, but I started the challenge almost 5k behind and have cut that in half this week, so I'm calling it a B+ for the week.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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Well, I obviously failed miserably on my keeping updated goal, but let's see how I did overall.

 

 

Challenge Recap

 

 

Goal #1: Train Smart, Train Hard - 15/27 - F

 

I did pretty well for the first half of the challenge, and not so great for the second half. Some of it was due to illness and injury and some to just plain lazy. I did manage to get all of my long runs in, so that's something at least.

 

 

Goal #2: Track Your Progress - F

 

Pretty much just completely dropped the ball on this one.

 

 

Goal 3: Kick Butt, Take Names - C (+1 STA, +1 DEX)

 

I only met half my goals here, but I'm really happy with my performance, so that's a major plus.

  • Half Marathon: Cross the finish line - COMPLETE!

  • Half Marathon: Cross the finish line in under 2:50 - I was doing great until I injured my foot at mile 10 and had to walk most of the last 5k. Final time was 2:03:02.

  • 10k: Cross the finish line in under 1:16 - COMPLETE! Final time was 1:13:08.

  • 10k: Cross the finish line before my brother does - It was fairly close, but no bragging rights for me this year. Next year, though, that kid is going down.

 

Life Goal: NaNoWriMo - A (+1 CHA, +1WIS, +1 STA)

 

I finished November with 51,959 words. I even like most of them, and I'm planning to keep working on my novel over the next challenge.

 

 

Overall Grade: D

 

I think I made the mistake of biting off more than I could chew here. I'm really proud of the things I did accomplish, but in retrospect, it's not really all that surprising I burned out and got sick twice during the course of the challenge. So, I might not be moving up a level, but I know I need to look at some smaller goals for next challenge and probably include at least one self care goal in there, too.

only what you take with you

Challenges: Starstuff Wars Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI  

NF character ~ Fitbit ~ Strava ~ Smashrun ~ MyFitnessPal

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