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Aisle4b's Figurative and (Possibly) Literal Marathons: The Warm Up


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You know what I'm tired of? Getting myself stuck in a stressful or hard situation and realizing that damn, I really should've seen this coming and if I'd just planned better it wouldn't even be a big deal. To get out of this bad habit, I'm looking forward to the year ahead and starting to plan now. And really, I actually have a lot going on this year. I think a marathon is a good analogy since I'm pretty good at sprinting through something and then losing steam, this will require building and maintaining new habits throughout the next 10 months. It even has a nice little character arc to it, with everything building toward my wedding late this year with a nice vacation afterward (and a good reminder that I'll be on the beach in case I feel the urge to fall into old habits post-wedding).

Unfortunately the picture of my year-long marathon shows up rather small due to size, but you can click it to see more detail:

2016 Marathon March Challenge

As you can tell from the class I put myself in, I also really enjoy running as a stress relief so I've been toying with the idea of running an actual marathon this year, maybe somewhere in that gap with no big events. But I'm not quite willing to sign up yet :)

This challenge is the first three miles; the warm up, getting into the groove and avoiding starting at an unsustainable pace.

Week 1 Daily Goals:

  • Plan food in MFP and to-do list with approximate time to finish items (I'm so bad about planning too much into my day!)
  • Read before bed to de-stress from the day
  • Meditate
  • Journal to troubleshoot what went well, what I want to work on next, etc.
Week 2 Goals:

Daily: Same as previous week

Weekly: Clean, organize, and plan how to use up extra supplies in the: kitchen (who wants to wait until I move to realize I have three extra bags of rice? Not this girl!)

Week 3:

Daily: Same as previous week, plus daily exercise

Weekly: Clean, organize and plan in the: bathroom

Week 4:

Daily: Same as previous week, plus stay under daily calorie goal (1200 + 1/2 exercise calories).

Weekly: clean, organize, and plan in the: bedroom, especially craft supplies

Tracking:

I'll be tracking my daily goals through Strides and calculating whether I stuck with 80% of my goals for the week [completed goals / (number of goals x days in the week)]. My loot is the same as from last challenge as I found it super motivating!

Each week, if I reach 80% of my daily goals I get to select a loot option below (or another one I come up with that is less than $30):

  • New board game
  • New video game
  • Supplies for a potluck style girl's night
  • Crafting supplies
  • Extra yoga supplies like blocks
  • A get out of jail free card that allows to me spend one weekend day, guilt free, being lazy without counting against my score

If I complete the boss level week (week 4) with 80% or higher completion, I've earned a big reward of up to $100:

  • Massage
  • Spa day with facial, manicure and/or pedicure
  • Clothes shopping trip

Here's to another great month!

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That marathon map is fabulous idea i'm tempted to steal! :P

 

Wedding planning is definitely turning out to be a marathon like task for sure, so i'm excited to follow along with your challenge and see if I can pick up any good tidbits! 

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Thanks, Chelkie! I like the visual representation too - helps me really notice the passage of time and how much progress I'm making :)

 

I thought this week would be tough, coming off my work conference high (at conference, basically everyone is running off sheer caffeine, alcohol, and optimism)

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But overall, not too bad! I got a healthy 82% for the week, along with a few workouts. Half marathon, here I come!

 

My workout audio book this week has been "Fat Chance" and, while at first I found the narrators annoying for making a lot of presumptions about what other people thought of them and adding on negative language in their descriptions due to the weight of the people they met, I'm starting to enjoy it as I see the characters grow over time. It's subtle but definitely there and it's been extra motivating as I wonder how I'm changing during this journey too!

 

 Btw, a little non-scale victory for me this week: I've never really gone faster than a 10 minute mile but, due to weather, I've been stuck at the gym a lot this week. I decided to test myself and ended up running close to a 9 minute mile! While I couldn't maintain it for my whole run, I still ran the full 4 miles (so I didn't completely burn myself out on that 1 quick mile). Going so far above and beyond my usual pace felt awesome! However my shoes ended up rubbing against my heel and giving my a blister, so I'm taking it easy on the running for now. Still doing strength work (and suitably sore!), but lower on the cardio scale for awhile. This has gotten me thinking about my boss fight for this challenge: I'd originally put it up as a 2x/day workout, but I wonder if switching the focus onto my diet will be more helpful? It's really hard to outrun my diet, and I think it'll have better long term effect on me. Anyone else have any thoughts on or experience with putting more emphasis on exercise than diet?

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Hi!! 

 

I'm just reading your topic for the first time - and I think your goals are wonderful - I love the visual too. AND - in response to your last post, I HIGHLY recommend conquering that diet. It will make you feel better, happier, and lighter all around. I have had LOTS of experience waffling around with diet and emphasizing exercise too much. The diet is the key. The absolute key. MY issue is eating enough though, now that I eat very little carbohydrate product and run every other day. 

 

Like you, I had a marathon goal - and I completed my running marathon this past January. There are things I did really right, and things I wish I had done. So if you ever need support, or a little advice, or just a little push, please let me know. We can talk in posts, or I'm in the Facebook group, or I'm also on twitter @vrobin1000 and I LOVE to talk training with people who like running too. 

 

Cheers! Good luck! 

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Skaði Thistleside

Half Dwarf/Half Human : Scout 

 

 

My 3rd 4 Week Challenge

 

Level 4

 

STR 4/ DEX 1/ STA 4/ CON 3/ WIS 5/ CHA 4

 

 

 

"Je suis Prest." 

 

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Hi!! 

 

I'm just reading your topic for the first time - and I think your goals are wonderful - I love the visual too. AND - in response to your last post, I HIGHLY recommend conquering that diet. It will make you feel better, happier, and lighter all around. I have had LOTS of experience waffling around with diet and emphasizing exercise too much. The diet is the key. The absolute key. MY issue is eating enough though, now that I eat very little carbohydrate product and run every other day. 

 

Like you, I had a marathon goal - and I completed my running marathon this past January. There are things I did really right, and things I wish I had done. So if you ever need support, or a little advice, or just a little push, please let me know. We can talk in posts, or I'm in the Facebook group, or I'm also on twitter @vrobin1000 and I LOVE to talk training with people who like running too. 

 

Cheers! Good luck! 

Aw, thank you! I've been so bad about updating my thread this challenge, but all week I look forward to coming back to telling you guys how it's gone (and that definitely helps keep me on track too! :) ) I've kept putting off conquering my diet because, well, it's hard and I purposefully distract myself with other goals instead. But I think you're right that it'll make the most difference not only to my weight but also to how I feel!

 

I can't quite give the final tallies yet for this week since we still have Sunday, but currently I'm at 18/24 (75%); after I meditate today and so long as I do that and journal tomorrow I'll have easily met my 80% goal with a 24/28 (86%). Now that I've knocked out the data (one of my favorite parts!), a couple reflections on this week:

 

Failing to plan is planning to fail: I didn't expect it, but planning out my day in food on MFP and in tasks has made such a huge difference! Though I often end up changing what I eat due to preference, having the numbers in front of me has helped me make better choices. Since starting this habit, even on "rougher" days that merely means I ate at maintenance or a couple hundred calories below, rather than 5-600 calories over maintenance!

 

Moving my legs rather than my mouth: I've had a harder time incorporating meditation into my daily practice, but a lot of success in adding running. It's funny because I know that a strength work out or a 10 minute meditation would be way faster, I've found myself drawn to after work runs, sometimes continuing walking long after my mileage goal is met. This gives me some extra leeway with calories, but honestly I've found it incredibly stress relieving!

 

Oh and by the way, I just discovered a new site I've found incredibly helpful - if you punch in your weight and your calories for the day, over time it calculates your TDEE based on the weight you lose (with smoothing to account for water weight fluctuations). It's FitLegit, and it's pretty amazing paired with HappyScale to break my weight goals into manageable pieces and help me see the big picture. 

 

Now, I have to admit I've let the kitchen cleaning/pantry organization get away from me - I know it needs to be done but I've put it off. So I'm going to go ahead and end this, and just...go do it, rather than making excuses. I'll be back tomorrow to give you the final weekly recap!

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So this is embarrassing.

Oh no, don't worry, I hit all of my goals for the week (I see a Hobby Lobby trip in my future!)

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The embarrassing part was that my pantry cleanup I'd been procrastinating and feeling guilty about ALL WEEK took 10 minutes.

No seriously.

I really need to stop procrastinating...

In other news, I incidentally got up to a 4 day workout streak last week before forgetting that it was my goal for this week, now I've got a nice groove going! Admittedly a lot of that can be attributing to me rushing to finish the second Outlander book before it was due at the library, and man reading a 700 page book means a LOT of sitting!

Oh hey, look what arrived in the mail:632ce11d3ec9fc63d498aeeb71bfe427.jpg

I was super confused when I saw the customs label, like wtf did I order from Amazon?! ;)

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The embarrassing part was that my pantry cleanup I'd been procrastinating and feeling guilty about ALL WEEK took 10 minutes.

No seriously.

I really need to stop procrastinating...

 

 

I read somewhere (or maybe it was a podcast) that keeping your kitchen in order will help you be better with food. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 10 MINUTE CLEANUP!! 

Skaði Thistleside

Half Dwarf/Half Human : Scout 

 

 

My 3rd 4 Week Challenge

 

Level 4

 

STR 4/ DEX 1/ STA 4/ CON 3/ WIS 5/ CHA 4

 

 

 

"Je suis Prest." 

 

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I read somewhere (or maybe it was a podcast) that keeping your kitchen in order will help you be better with food. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 10 MINUTE CLEANUP!!

Thanks! I definitely think it helps, particularly because now I've put the things I should eat right at eye level where I'm more likely to grab them, and the treats/ snacks up and less visible. It probably helps that now I know what I already have so I'm less likely to run to the store for something when I can make do :)

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Ooo are you doing the Zombies Run Virtual Race? I was kind of tempted to try that but I wasn't sure it was worth the money, especially because I don't have anyone here I could run it with. Let me know how it goes!

 

 

Level 11 - World's Smallest Norn

 

 

Challenges: | Current |11 |10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am! I just ran the first training run for it and had a lot of fun. No telling whether it's correlation or causation, but I also set a PR for my 5k time at 34:15, and then kept right on running!

I've kept right on with my exercise goal and kept my streaks for other goals - perfect score so far this week! I've started journaling in the note app on my phone so I'm not scrounging for (and then losing) scraps of paper to jot thoughts on. Updating this thread more frequently has also been easy and helpful now that I finally installed Tapatalk. Looking forward to keeping up my momentum this week!

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Another week, another wrap up! I came in again above my 80% goal, just squeaking by at literally exactly 80%. It's the journalling and meditation goals that I've been slacking on, and I can't help but notice that I have an easier time with my goals that require doing something (running, cleaning, etc) and a harder time with those that require me to not do something (keeping my diet in check, being quiet to meditate). 

 

I'm feeling pretty pumped up for my next week of challenges, and as I mentioned earlier I'm tweaking them slightly:

  • Meditate daily
  • Journal daily
  • Eat at 1200 + 1/2 exercise calories
  • Read  or listen to an audio book
  • Log calories and weight in MFP, Happy Scale, and FitLegit
  • Weekly: complete current happify track

A few modifications here, since I've noticed that I have no problem planning my calories for the day, but a harder time coming back and changing them and logging everything even after a rougher day. In lieu of my original cleaning goal for this week (which, after a quick look this evening would mostly amount to moving things around rather than truly decluttering or using anything up) I'd like to complete my Happify track since I've recently picked it back up and found it really uplifting and helpful.

 

I did well with exercising after work this week, but I also found that it pushed everything else back and resulted in not getting a whole lot done in the evenings; tomorrow I'm trying out going back to a morning workout to get my day started well. Wish me luck getting up early!

 

Oh! And I almost forgot that I finally cashed in my reward from most of the last challenge and this challenge: a FitBit Charge HR is making its merry way to me, and I scheduled a mid-week massage (which right now feels like the height of luxury). I'm hoping that my Fitbit can help replace a couple of apps I've been using and minimize my data entry fatigue / phone battery life constraints. 

 

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Wow, it's already almost the end of this challenge, it's hard to believe!

I've gotta be honest, yesterday was basically a perfect day; yes, I had to drive a lot, but I decided to drive all by my introverted self so that it would be relaxing instead of draining and was then able to enjoy the actual event a lot more. I knocked out 100% of my daily tasks and even took a nap before heading to my massage.

Have I mentioned that I love massages? I didn't realize just how tight my legs were until the masseuse worked them out, and she gave me a few tricks to keep them loose and flexible.

Time to wrap up this challenge and move on to the next level!

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