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tinkerer returns to the workshop


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I climb things. Climbing is hard. I will train.


It's been since December of 2012 that I was active on NF. Recently, I've moved to a new location and want to make sure that I build good habits. In general, I am an active and fit person but I miss training for and achieving goals.

After re-reading my last challenge (link) I see that I wandered away for two reasons. One reason is that my goal of making new fiends and finding new activities worked. I joined both a running club and a mountaineering club and was swept away with activities. Those led to friendships with people who pushed me to go faster, to climb higher and harder.


Having moved from those friends, I miss the thrill of tackling new physical feats. I still run, climb, and hike but I am not pushed in the same way. I'm hoping re-joining NF can lead to more of a goal-oriented training plan. I was in the Assassin Guild previously but my goals seem to fit the Ranger idea so I'm giving this a try.


The second reason I faded into the background is that NF takes time. I had recently taken on a new job which was eating me alive. I was spending more time posting than accomplishing my fitness and life goals. For that reason, I won't be spending hours on the boards this challenge. I'll dedicate some time to posting and keeping up with other challengers but will keep in mind that my true intentions are not to spend my days tapping a keyboard.


I'm posting this now while I have time. I may try to make it more interesting as time allows.


The Challenge

Main Quest - Develop Solid Training Routine

I've continued to sporadically work out and stay active as I've settled into my new location. I have also developed some bad habits like putting off workouts and skipping breakfast. My mission is to ingrain better habits into my life.



Rock Climbing more than an average of 1x per week

Points Available - 4 Str

My wife and I enjoy climbing together. We can either go to a crag 15 minutes from our house or a couple of gyms. A small one 10 minutes away and a larger one 35 minutes away. Once a week is doable and is a good starting place.

1 Pt - Average .25 to 0.5

2 Pts - Average 0.5 to 0.75

3 Pts - Average 0.75 to 1.0

4 Pts - Greater than 1.0


Morning Routine

Points Available - 2 Str, 2 Con

On weekdays I will earn 1 point for eating breakfast and 1 point for completing a morning ab session. A banana is not breakfast. An ab workout must involve at least 5 minutes of work. These are not amazingly difficult because the important thing is to do them EVERY DAY. An exception to ab workouts will be made if I bike to work; I still get the point for that day. I'll track the two activities separately.


1 Con - 24 Breakfast Points

2 Con - 27 Breakfast Points

1 Str - 24 Ab Points

2 Str - 27 Ab Points


Run an average of more than 8 miles per week

Points Available - 4 Sta

This one is pretty self explanatory. I expect to set speed goals in the future but for now consistency is key. Biking to or from work counts as 5 miles each day I do it (15 miles one way).

1 Pt - Average 2mi-4mi

2 Pts - Average 4mi-6mi

3 Pts - Average 6mi-8mi

4 Pts - Greater than 8


Life Quest

Work on new house >6 hours per week average

Points Available - 3 Cha

My wife and I just bought a new house. We hope to move in sometime in October but it needs a lot of work.

2 Pts - Average 2-4 hours

3 Pts - Average 4-6 hours

4 Pts - Greater than 6 hours


Side Quest

Dog Training

Not that kind of training. My dog needs to work out. Quest is to run with him >15 miles over the next month. He only runs about 1 mile at a time currently, so this is a big thing. I don't want to over-train or injure him.

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Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

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Too bad this weekend doesn't count toward goals: worked on the house for 19 hours this weekend. That would be over half the needed hours for that goal!


Some background on my goals:


I'm hoping to climb some harder mountains next summer. This summer, I climbed Colchuck Peak in the Enchantments and Eldorado Peak in the North Cascades of Washington. I also did a bit of backpacking and hiking. My wife and I made it rock climbing about once a week and I can now somewhat comfortably lead 5.10a routes.


The winter will become a bit of an "off-season" as rock climbing will need to move indoors. Leading up to winter, we have this enormous house project. I'm concerned that I'll get into full "project mode" (as my wife calls it) and forget to eat well and exercise. This challenge is intended develop good habits despite the busy-ness of major projects and other distractions.


Looking forward to getting started tomorrow morning!

Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Yesterday I headed to the local crag after work for some rock climbing with my wife. We are taking a class on Trad Climbing and spent our climbing time practicing gear placement and anchor building. We were treated to a great sunset with the red light streaming through the trees and lighting up the granite - really beautiful. Unfortunately, that is a reminder that our climbing hours grow shorter each night. Soon our outdoor climbing will be limited to weekends. This isn't really bad as climbing indoors allows for a little more physical training versus the mental aspect of climbing real rocks.


I'm glad to have laid out the goals I have. While many of the elements seem simple, having goals listed out really helps me to actually perform ____ activity.


So far, I'm 100% on morning routine. I also made a simple tracking sheet which is boring right now.



Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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The morning routine goal is going great, 100% so far.


Yesterday, spent 3 hours after work working on the new house. Didn't make much progress, which is frustrating, but hopefully I'll have a few hours this weekend to put toward that goal.


I have yet to get out running. That isn't super surprising, but I need to get moving to keep the 8 mi/week average attainable. My rough plan is to run a couple of times this weekend and drag the dog along for a mile each time. We'll see how that works out. My (non-running) friend is in town and we haven't visited in about 3 years.

Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Week 1 Summary




Rock Climbing - 1 time

Miles Run - 4.9 Miles

Dog Runs - 1

Breakfasts/Abs - 5/5

House Projects - 5 hours


All in all a reasonable start. I had Big Big plans for Saturday which we derailed by having too much fun with my out-of-town friend on Friday night. Pretty dissappointed in that but I was able to make up a little lost ground this afternoon. Spent a couple hours putting up a new mailbox. My friend had some ideas on other projects which should speed them up too.


If I was to grade today, I'd get a C. Luckily, I don't have to do that!

Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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Week Two: Completed!


My big regret is that I have hardly been rock climbing at all. Work on other areas of the challenge is going great though! My fancy progress spreadsheet doesn't cut/paste into the editor for some reason so here's the text version:


Week 2 Summary


Averages to date:


Rock Climbing - 0.5 times (down from 1.0)

Miles Run - 7.5 Miles (up from 4.9)

Dog Runs - 2 (up from 1)

Breakfasts/Abs - 10/10

House Projects - 9 hours (up from 5)


Basically, the second week was right on target. This was a very busy week for me at work so I'm content with being on-target. I'll shoot to make up the lost ground from week one in the next couple of weeks.


Running tonight was not the greatest. There is some sort of blue-bug hatch going on right now and I have never felt more like the windshield on a car. I looked down and my shirt was covered with the little buggers! Kept getting them in my eyes, mouth, etc. Good run but maybe not the most pleasant in recent memory.

Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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