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Rebel Five Outruns Zombies!


Ranger Five

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Author's Note: There are a few spoilers for the first mission of Zombies, Run! in this challenge. After that though, I'm taking a lot of liberty with the setting of Abel Township, and making it my own. Think of it as AU fanfiction of Zombies, Run. There shouldn't be any problems with spoilers beyond the first mission, since the setting will be different enough that there'll be no telling which plot points are from the game or not, so any plot points should still come as a surprise. 

 

Dear Reader,

The name's Rebel Five, apparently. The people of Abel Township call me Rebel because I've yet to pick an area of expertise, and Five because I took over for the old Five; Runner Five. How did that happen, you ask? Maybe I should start at the beginning.

I was sent in from Mullins Military Base on a supply run, where I've basically bummed around living on MRE's for the last year and a half like everyone else there. We've got enough forces that we're not in any danger, but not enough to actually make a difference. It was pretty boring right up until our chopper got shot down. I know, right? Who could, or would, shoot down a chopper in this day and age? The zoms are the enemy, we're all in this together. Should be, anyway; in reality it tends to be every settlement for itself. Even so, we don't attack each other. It's just not done. Lack of co-operation is not aggression. Until now.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this post, especially since the network's barely functional these days. I found this laptop in Runner Five's old place. That's where they put me, since I replaced the old Runner Five. I tell you, Five must have been one hell of a runner to be given something as valuable as this. I don't think the higher-ups remembered to grab it before they put me in here. I'm not going to be correcting them, either. It even has the internet. It's pretty awful these days though. Samuel, our radio operator, says it'll probably take hours just to send this.

I think I'll use you to keep track of my goals. That's something my sergeant always tried to drill into us. It's easy to get into a survival mindset, where you're just trying to tread water and maintain ground. The problem is, if you do that, you end each day no better than when you started, and when something goes wrong, you can't make that ground back. Or you get deeper into the water, or something. I never paid much attention, but now that I'm on my own, it seems comforting to at least hope there's someone out there who's got it all figured out, and piggyback off what they said. To be honest, she was probably treading water just as much as the rest of us, but let's just keep that between us, shall we?

So, how can I make sure I'm not just treading water? Fortunately, Abel's given me a list of standards to work towards. Everyone contributes here. I'd bet my laptop that whoever's in charge here, or whoever calls the shots in this area, was military once. It all feels somewhat familiar. Almost like home.

Goal One: Strength train with gymnastics rings.

 

"Why don't we have any free weights here?"
"Well, Five, why don't you go get some for us? There's an old gym about eight k's from here. Barely touched. Just go grab one of those 20 kilo barbells and run it back past the zoms. Then when you get killed, maybe the new Rebel Five won't ask stupid questions." - Ranger Nine. (He's not the friendliest, but he's pretty jacked, so maybe these rings are useful after all.)


Standards - Minimum: 6 workouts. Solid: 8 workouts. Great: 10 workouts. Excellent: 12 workouts.

Goal Two: Go on supply runs, at least 3 km each.

"Everybody runs here, Five. Unless you're disabled, or crucial to the continued running of the township, you run. Without supplies, Abel Township's dead in the water. Runners are just the specialists, who do the dangerous missions. Everyone else does supply runs or training exercises." - Runner Seven. (Head of runners. Unofficially, he claims.)

 

Standards - Minimum: 6 runs. Solid: 8 runs. Great: 10 runs. Excellent: 12 runs.

 

Goal Three: Work on programming for an hour each day, starting next week.

"So, Five, I heard you're good with computers. Is there any chance you could go on over to the old computer lab? Well, it has four computers in it, does that count as a lab? I'm not sure...anyway, it'd just be great of you if you could give it a look. Our head of IT, Emily, says that they're getting some parts shipped in sometime this week and could use some help with something when they get here. Wait, can you be a head of IT if there's nobody under you?" - Samuel. (Radio operator. Chatty bloke, but I like him.)

Standards: - Minimum: 9 days. Solid: 12 days. Great: 15 days. Excellent: 18 days.


"All that said, Five, do right by us, and we'll do right by you. We keep the best stuff we find for our most hard working people. And we don't just hoard it for the fastest or the strongest either. It's all based on your personalised standards. Anyone who does their job well gets some of the entertainment we work so hard to find. Exceed expectations, and you'll get some of the stuff we find that make us better at our jobs." - Runner Seven.

Meet at least "Solid" on all three standards. Reward: Access to a game from Abel's collection.
As above, plus meet "Great" on two standards, or "Excellent" on one. Reward: A pair of specialised running shoes.

 

So that's basically my plan for the month. Run, train, learn my way around Abel Township and the surrounding area. I don't think Mullins is going to send a chopper for me any time soon. I sure as hell wouldn't, if I were in their shoes. At the very least, until the route can be confirmed safe again, there's no way home. It's over forty k's from here...no way could I run that far, fast enough to evade the zoms. I don't know if anyone here could. Runner Seven says they're relentless, and some of them can be very fast. But even the slow ones never get slower. They just keep chasing you down, mile after mile, until you drop. And 40 kilometers is a long, long way.

Rebel Five, signing out. 

Author's Note: I've decided to mess around with doing some posts in character, and some posts out of character. The whole thing'll be explained out of character in the next post. 

  • Like 3

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Out of Character Post: (TL;DR: Just read the bold stuff!)

Hi guys. Glad to be here :) I decided to do something a little different with my challenge and play a role. Instead of Runner Five, the hero of the Zombies, Run! app that I've been using recently, I'll play Rebel Five, the Nerd Fitness themed version. If anyone wants to play along, feel free! I'll be responding in characters to any posts that aren't clearly OOC material. Basically, if it doesn't spoil anything about Zombies Run, or refer explicitly to Nerd Fitness / our modern, thankfully non-zombie-infested world, I'll be pretending it's a comment on one of Rebel Five's blog posts, and any replies will be in character. 

So out of character, what's really going on?


First order of business: I have an out-of-character question for you guys. I'd like to work my strength training, or the results of this training, into the story. Running is baked in already, and I've got IT/technology based stories in my head about improving Abel's tech capability, but I'm not sure how to put strength into the narrative. Any ideas would be great. 

Like about a third of people on the internet, I'm a Computer Science student, about to finish my last exam of the semester. That gives me a month off to get my decidedly inconsistent fitness training into some sort of consistency, and that's where NF comes in. I've discovered Zombies Run, and I'm greatly enjoying it. I'm probably going to go through the 5k training for the story, where instead of walk-run intervals, I do slow run, fast run intervals, until I can run at my current fast pace for an entire 5k. That's why I made a reference to "only runners get missions"; I'll only be doing supply runs, not story missions, for a while. Since 5k training missions are about 30-35 minutes long, and most of my runs are 20-25 minutes at the moment, I need to build up a bit of a base before starting training. That's this month.

Strength-wise, I'm doing the Rings One program from Gold Medal Bodies. I can't do 5 pull-ups yet, which is the pre-requisite; only three. But if I spend extra time on the first phase, I should be able to make up for that if it proves necessary. It's just a coincidence that rings would be an ideal workout tool for a zombie apocalypse; extremely easy to carry and extremely versatile. 

Lastly, I want to work on my programming during the semester break. I've got a story planned out for it, but outside the universe of Abel, my goal is to learn HTML, CSS, and Javascript (I've taken an introductory programming course in my degree so far, so I'm not starting from scratch) and then start work on some proofs of concept for a fitness game. Creating the game itself is a pretty long-term goal. I'm more likely to be selecting courses around it than doing serious work on it any time soon. But I may be applying for a student exchange scholarship soon, and I want to have something concrete to show them when they ask about what I want to achieve out of my education. Words are cheap. 

What I'd like to do this month is learn the necessary languages to put stuff online, then work on creating an XP system for common exercises in weightlifting. The reason I've chosen weightlifting is that it's extremely well mapped out. Between 1RM calculators, strength standards, and the Wilks Coefficient (A rating system that, through the power of MATHS, rates males and females roughly equally) it's very easy to compare reps and weights to each other. For instance, if a 1RM of 100 lbs on a lift means a 5RM of, say, 90 lbs, that means 1 x 100lb and 5 x 90lb receive the same amount of experience. Naturally, a bench press will be worth more XP per pound than a deadlift, but they have ideal ratios between lifts mapped out too. It's got all the info needed for a mathematically solid system, where the best way to get more XP will almost always be to just get stronger. It's the perfect proof of concept.

Finally, while you guys have probably guessed: A reward of "A game from Abel's collection" means any video game I want at a reasonable price.The running shoes are just that; running shoes. My current shoes are alright, but not that great for long distances. Those are the rewards I'll be offering myself for doing well this month, and I plan on continuing the trend; entertainment if I do well, good equipment if I do really well. This seems a bit backwards, but a Steam game is way cheaper than a pair of good running shoes. Hence the reward setup.

Well I'd say that pretty much sums it up. Sorry for the length, and remember; any ideas on how to incorporate strength into the story would be fantastic. Naturally, all such posts would be OOC :) 

  • Like 2

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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OOC -

 

I LOVE this.  As someone new to Able township myself...I finished the Zombies5k separate app (without actually running a 5k yet, but that's ok) and am now on S1M6. :)

 

Good luck, Rebel Five!  All the other Runners Five are cheering for you.

  • Like 1

Rilla - Rebel, aspiring Scout/Adventurer

 

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Author's Note: Rebel Five is a soldier, but I am not. 

Day 1:


Mostly bummed around today, since my MOS won't be coming in until next week. Well, I guess it's just an OS here. Played some low-stakes poker with some of the other rebels. We played four rounds. Managed to win one and place second in another. I guess all the hours at Mullins spent playing cards had some use after all, even if I had the luck of the Devil to get that first place. Twelve's pretty damn good at cards, the woman's impossible to read. 

I did get a workout in however, trying out the rings. They're definitely a lot harder than they look, especially the mountain climbers. Much harder on the rings. It didn't help that the rings didn't go all the way down to the floor, so I had to put my feet on a bench to do them. But I guess out here we have to make compromises. This place has managed to survive without a tenth of the population or resources of Mullins, and that deserves respect. 

Workout details: 

5x5s RTO Support Hold. Smooth, solid. Currently 45-degree turnout. Work up to 10-15s, then get closer to ~75 degrees like the picture.
3x8 Foot-assisted ring dips. Smooth, solid. Get up on tiptoes next. Makes them harder.
3x8 Kneeling ring push-ups. Rough, challenging. Keep those rings from turning inwards!
5x10s Ring planks. Smooth, solid. These are easy, but the RTO plank is much harder. Try going up to 3x15s or even 3x30s, then turning rings out a little at a time.
3x5/side Ring mountain climbers. Smooth, challenging. Work my way up to 3x8 of these at least.
 

Goal progress: 1 strength workout, 0 runs, 0 programming days.


Ranking details:

Spoiler

 

Broken: Bad form, missing many key elements. Either you're just learning a skill, or you're not strong enough for this yet.

Rough: Incorrect form, missing a key point or two.

Smooth: Good form. If your form is here, you can move on if your effort is also Solid or better.

Snappy: Great form. Can do it perfectly, fast or slow. Looks pretty.

 

Max effort: Ridiculously hard, form broke down in the last rep or two.

Challenging: Quite difficult, but managed to maintain form.

Solid: An enjoyable feeling of effort. Not wiped out at the end, could have done another couple of reps if you wanted.
Relaxed: Feels more like play than exercise. Causes no noticable strain. 

 

Objectives: Smooth or snappy form, solid or relaxed effort. 

 


I'll be doing my first supply run tomorrow. It's worrying. I can still see the old Runner Five coming after me. Massive bite wound in her shoulder that didn't even seem to slow her down. Eyes filled with feral hunger and determination, still in the running gear from her last outing. A true runner, not someone like me, who hadn't had a fitness test since the apocalypse hit. Good thing too; I doubt I'd pass, or at the very least I'd barely scrape by. If I'd had to run more than half a mile or so, she probably would have caught me. As it was, it was way too bloody close for comfort.

But she's dead, and Runner Seven told me that most runs are nowhere near that eventful. The ones that are, I won't be getting for a while. Not ever, unless I choose to join the ranks of the Runners, Scouts, or Rangers and go through training first. I don't know what I want to do, but I've got a month to make up my mind. In the meantime, I'm going to be praying for an uneventful run, with not a zom in sight.

I should be so lucky.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 2:

Did my first supply run today. Seven of us were sent out, each assigned a job. I drew medicine today, so I was sent to an old pharmacy to dig around for medical supplies. I was about a hundred meters out the door when a horde of zombies came practically out of nowhere and started chasing me. Fortunately, I was able to evade them, but it gave me a stitch that persisted for the rest of the run. I was definitely slower today than I was when outrunning Zombie Five. Bloody glad that was the only group that made a determined effort to catch me. I would have had trouble evading them otherwise. Very troubling indeed.

Fortunately I was able to fill my pack and get back without further incident. I tried to get into the hospital to search there, but the place was crawling with zoms. Janine, our medical specialist, said that it's almost like they're drawn there. To what, I don't know, and have no plans to find out. Runner Five died in that hospital. The place is a deathtrap, and the only reason I went in the first time was that I was basically blackmailed into it; Janine told me that if I didn't find something, they might not be able to let me in.

Workout details: Medicine supply run. Ran 3.46 km (2.15 miles) in 21:25. (Pace: 6:11 min/km) (9:57 min/mile)

Goal progress:
1 strength workout, 1 supply run, 0 programming days.

 

I went to talk to Runner Seven afterwards. If I've ever met a former military man in my life, he's one of them. Crew-cut hair, and it always feels weird that he doesn't wear fatigues. Looks to be in his fifties, but still in excellent shape. It's like grey hair and a few wrinkles somehow made their way onto a thirty-year-old's body. We had a bit of a conversation. I told him about the chase and the stitch, and my subsequent need to slow down. He advised me to warm up more before leaving Abel. Warming up on the run is a luxury afforded only to those not trying to outrun zombies. Prompted by my trip to the hospital, I also asked Seven about what Janine said during my dash to safety from the downed JA-59. Would they really have refused me entry if I hadn't found that file?

At this, Seven's eyes narrowed, and he asked if Janine had actually said that. I confirmed that she had. He told me that Janine was desperate to get her hands on as much info as possible, and clearly wasn't above lying to a new recruit to get it. I wanted to point out that it was a known dangerous area, since the old Runner Five died there, but I get the feeling someone like Seven already knew that. I decided not to press the issue as the new guy, and trust Seven's judgement.

Fortunately, I didn't have to deliver the supplies to Janine directly; all the supplies are delivered to the farmhouse that makes up the Abel headquarters, to be distributed as needed. Even though it was pretty obvious where bandages and gauze would go, it's still a good system. Plus, it meant I didn't have an opportunity for my mouth to get the better of me, which is probably a good thing. This community's a lot more tight-knit than Mullins, partly due to size, partly due to necessity. As the only doctor, Janine's one of the few personnel essential enough to be exempt from supply runs; a key sign of status in the community if there ever was one.

The point is, she's not someone I want to piss off.

Rebel Five, signing out.

 

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 4:

Got some mail today. 

Dear Rebel Five,

This is Emily, head of IT. Glad to see you made it here in one piece! The whole settlement's been talking about your arrival. Not all of it good, I'm afraid, but I'm on your side! It'll be nice to have someone else in IT, especially a good runner. It gets lonely up here and we can always use more parts. I'm trying to rebuild RoffleNet, the network that connects us with other settlements. If we can do that, maybe we can set up some sort of unified database or warning system to help our runners. Wouldn't that be amazing? As it is, it can take hours to get info through, which might be too late. I'm sure you've seen the delay when posting your blogs.

Yes, of course I know about the laptop, silly! Who do you think gave it to Runner Five? That's one of the reasons I picked you. You clearly know how to use a computer, and you're obvs way into them if your first thought on barely escaping alive from a sprinting zombie is "Oh my gosh, I should tell the interwebs about this!" Oh relax, I'm just yanking your chain. Everyone's got their thing. Just make sure you say nice things about me, since I'll be reading! <3

Oh right, I had to actually tell you some things, duh. First, members of IT get a personal computer "for work (:D)", so I could let you keep Five's old one if you join the department. Yeah, it's a bit self-serving when I'm the only member of IT, but I made a good argument to the major, And So It Was Written Into The Sacred Tome. The major's big on The Rules. Second, stop by Sunday and we'll get you sorted. I'll have you working with me or learning the stuff you need to learn depending on what you know already. Third, if you can, do a tech run between now and then. Moar parts == moar things!  If anyone looks at you funny, tell them Emily (that's me!) asked you to do it. Nobody'll ask why. They all think I'm a bit strange.  Can you imagine? I don't know why they would say such things.

Nah, pulling your leg again. I revel in my weird and wonderful nature :P. See you Sunday!

-Emily.


Upon asking several other members of Abel Township, I confirmed that Emily does in fact talk (or write) like this all the time. I've transferred as many of her drawings as possible into ASCII. (Yes, Emily, I know what ASCII is. American Standard Code for International Interchange.) It'll be interesting to meet her on Sunday, to say the least.  I was planning on running again before Sunday, so that ought to work out. Unfortunately I didn't get the message today until I'd already done my run. Speaking of which.

Workout details: 

Yesterday:

 

3x5 jump to inverted hang. Rough, challenging. Note: Rings were too low. Build up to 3x8.

3x8 ring rows. Smooth, challenging. Note: Work to 3x10-12, then extend legs.
3x8 assisted pull-ups. Smooth, challenging. Note: Continue to reduce leg assistance.
8, 7, 6 negative pull-ups. Rough, max effort. Note: Tons of swinging in last reps. Go down to 3x6 and get better form.

Today: Ammo supply run. Ran 3.44 km (2.14 mi) in 20:04. (Pace: 5:50 min/km) (9:23 min/mile)

Goal progress:
2 strength workouts, 2 runs, 0 programming days.

 

The rings workout I'm doing assumes I can already do 5 pull-ups, when 3 is my limit. So I may need to spend extra time on the first phase, which is made up of the two workouts I've posted here so far; push and pull. May take two months instead of one to move past it, but hey, I'm building strength and that's what matters. It feels good after so long spent sitting around. And I didn't have to sprint to escape zoms today. That counts as a good run in my book. 

Now we'll just have to wait and see what Sunday brings.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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2 hours ago, Rebel Five said:

(Yes, Emily, I know what ASCII is. American Standard Code for International Interchange.)


Ooh, someone decided to be Mister Fancy today :D
 

2 hours ago, Rebel Five said:

 I've transferred as many of her drawings as possible into ASCII.


And yet you didn't mention the bunny rabbit! Did you even try, Five? What kind of work ethic are you planning on bringing to the table if you didn't even draw the bunny rabbit!
 

2 hours ago, Rebel Five said:

Now we'll just have to wait and see what Sunday brings.


Ooh, ominous! I can't wait to see what Sunday brings either! (Hint: It should totally involve Rebel Five's ASCII drawing of a bunny rabbit.)

Author's Note: Yes, this is Rebel Five. I thought I'd try writing a second character, who comments on Rebel Five's blog. Not every post, but occasionally. Too much?

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Hey Rebel Five,

 

it's good to hear that you made it out of that chopper in one peace...

We already got enough trouble out there, getting at each others throats won't be helping.

 

For my part I'm hoping that I will get to the point to actually be helpfull with the runs. For now I'm just able to help keeping things moving in our dugot.

Did you think about helping to strengthen your defenses? That might be able to help rebuild your strength besides your ring-excercises. (OT - it isn't exactly implementing Str-Training but could provide a good reason for buffing up?)

 

Best of luck to you and yours

Casbin

 

PS: Really like the theme

  • Like 1

Challenge: 0.1, 12, 3, 4, 5th, current (lost track)

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6 hours ago, Casbin said:

Hey Rebel Five,

 

it's good to hear that you made it out of that chopper in one peace...

We already got enough trouble out there, getting at each others throats won't be helping.

 

For my part I'm hoping that I will get to the point to actually be helpfull with the runs. For now I'm just able to help keeping things moving in our dugot.

Did you think about helping to strengthen your defenses? That might be able to help rebuild your strength besides your ring-excercises. (OT - it isn't exactly implementing Str-Training but could provide a good reason for buffing up?)

 

Best of luck to you and yours

Casbin

 

PS: Really like the theme


Agreed, on both counts. That's the one good thing out of this whole bloody mess...you don't have people fighting amongst themselves very much any more. We've got a common enemy in the zoms. That's one of the things that makes this whole damn chopper thing so strange.

You've got a good point about the defenses. The zoms don't tend to attack in groups much, and our defenses are quite solid for now. That said, who knows what tomorrow might bring? That's a good reason to keep up with the strength work, and it's probably why just about everyone in Abel does some form of resistance training. Running for supplies, strength for defense. If the zoms ever get something up their asses and start attacking in force, the strength training'll be a damn good asset.

-Rebel Five.

Author's Note: I think you've nailed it Casbin. I'm not planning on incorporating that into the story immediately, but I can definitely see a place for it going forward. Strength training can absolutely translate to working on defenses, just like programming or uni work can translate to working on the RoffleNet network. Plus, in order for Rebel Five to need to work on the defenses, things have to get worse first; the hallmark of all great storytelling.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

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Day 6:

I went on my technology supply run today. Samuel kept me company, and kept up a steady stream of chatter. A little bit of it was even useful. I learnt that RoffleNet was invented by some guy named Aaron or Alan. McMillan, I think. Apparently he was some kind of genius who came up with a way to keep the internet up and running even as the zoms were spreading across the planet. Unfortunately, no matter how smart you are, you can't create a completely flawless system that runs with no parts or maintenance in the near-absence of civilisation, apparently. Our RoffleNet's suffered severe problems, and that's the big thing Emily's working on fixing. 

I also found out that our radio only has a 5 km radius. So no matter how fit a runner is, they can only go 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the base before they're forced to turn back. We need radio support, or else we're dead in the water. Janine was smart enough to capture a good Google Map of the area before the internet went down for good, and the runners rely on that for navigation. She's the one who owns the farmhouse that makes up the core and headquarters of Abel Township. Everything built up from there, and she was one of the first members, along with her elderly mother. Unfortunately, she passed a few months post-apocalypse. The township was named after her; her name was Mabel. Apparently, Abel sounded better. I can't disagree; who could take a name like Mabel Township seriously?

The radio presents another problem. New Canton is about 8 km away as the crow flies, and Mullins is over forty. Thus, there's no way to get in contact with New Canton or Mullins. Apparently both settlements can send messages, but not receive. Mullins sends in word for the monthly supply drops, while New Canton's been basically silent for some time. Hell, theoretically they could have all died out and we'd never know. I made a mental note to ask Emily about anything that could be done. Maybe if I gathered more parts. Is she even in charge of the radio?

I was chased by zombies once about three quarters of the way into the run, but was able to evade them. Is it sad that sprinting away from a horde of hungry zombies is actually becoming somewhat routine? Runner Seven told me that if it ever looks like they're going to catch me, drop whatever I'm carrying. The zombies'll stop to look for food in there, and it'll give me a boost of speed to get the hell out. Of course, this isn't something you want to do unless you have to, since then your entire run up til then is for nothing. Plus, the zombies'll wreck everything you drop, and there's only a finite number of supplies in the area. Fortunately, that number is pretty large.

Maths is on our side. The area of a 5 km radius circle is pi times the radius squared, so about 77 or 78 square kilometers. We've already cleaned out all the supplies within about a kilometer and a half of our position, but again, maths is on our side; the area to cover increases polynomially as we go outwards, not linearly. The ring from between 1 km and 2 km is 3 pi, while the ring from between 2 km and 3 km is 5 pi; 60% larger. The area between 4 km and 5 km is a full 9 pi, so it'll take us three times as long to clear out the outer areas as it will to clear out the inner ones. Apparently all the easy-to-get stuff outside of the outer rings has already been collected, and supplies tend to spoil over time, but even so I'd say we've got another couple of years left before we have to be self-sustainable, or pack up and move somewhere else.

What? I can do maths. I can think long-term. I'm not just some grunt with a gun, you know! I could have gone to college if I wanted! It just seemed too damn expensive. Anyway, now that I've dumped all this long-term info about Abel and my situation on you, let's look at the short term stuff.

Workout details:

 

Yesterday:

 

5x5s RTO Support Hold. Smooth, challenging. Great turnout, but I was shaking like mad the whole time. Should go away with time according to Nine.
3x8 Foot-assisted ring dips. Rough, challenging. I was right, they are harder on tiptoes.
3x8 Kneeling ring push-ups. Rough, challenging. Unsure if form is right here. Get video.
3x15s Ring planks. Smooth, solid. Still easy. Try kneeling RTO plank next time.
3x6/side Ring mountain climbers. Smooth, challengingAdjusted foot position slightly, making them a bit easier and feeling them more in my core. 

Today: Technology supply run. Ran 3.41 km (2.12 mi) in 19:55. (Pace: 5:50 min/km) (9:23 min/mile)

 

Goal progress: 3 strength workouts, 3 runs, 0 programming days.

 

So, quick recap:

- RoffleNet, the post-apocalyptic internet, has problems. Emily's trying to fix them.

- Radio has a 5 km range limit. Could be a problem someday.
- We should have another couple of years before the supplies dry up, assuming the runners search in a pattern. Since we get given specific routes, I assume we do. It's just common sense.

So all in all, plenty of problems to work on in IT, but Abel seems stable enough. We're not going to run out of bullets,, bandages, or beans any time soon. So I don't have to worry about Abel's future. Just have to make sure I don't get eaten, and let everything else work itself out.

Works for me.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Out of Character Post:

Week 1 recap:


So Week 1 when fantastically. Flawlessly, in fact. I got 3 runs and 4 ring workouts. I did one today, and Rebel Five's yet to write about it. 3 and 3 would have been enough to meet the Excellent criteria. Next week it gets more difficult though, as I add programming work to the list of things that need doing. So I hope I can keep it up.

The DOMS from the ring workouts is getting less and less, and within another week or two I should be free of soreness, at least for most workouts. I'm definitely finding the rings a little easier, as well. It's quite challenging, but I know I'll develop quite a lot of strength if I stick with it.

Lastly, I'm quite happy with the story so far. I've been able to keep posts going at a decent length, without Rebel Five just talking about nothing. I plan to continue to write every couple of days, if I can keep coming up with stuff to write about. Sometimes I'll draw inspiration from stuff that happens to me, sometimes from Zombies, Run!, sometimes I'll just make stuff up. Ideally, you won't be able to tell the difference :D I've got plenty of ideas to continue the story, but as I intend to join the Rangers, I'm going to keep the Main Plot in reserve until I join them. I'm guessing there are a few people who are likely to follow me as a Ranger who don't follow the Rebel forums, and I'd like them to miss as little as possible.

Still, I'll be writing stuff here, and I'll be fleshing out the world as I go along. Exposition can always be repeated later when it becomes important, such as the 5 km radio range. That won't be relevant for another few months. My current running plan is to increase my run length by half a km every two weeks. Technically, a 10% increase in mileage / km-age every two weeks is recommended as an upper limit, so I'm being a little aggressive, but I should be okay. I'll slow down if needed, and I used to run 6 km or so regularly (though at a slower pace than I currently run) so I'm not starting from nothing. So at a rate of 1 km per 4 weeks, it'll take five or six challenges before I want to run more than 10 km at a time, and that's assuming everything goes perfectly, which it rarely does. In reality, it's likely not to come into play until at least the new year.

That said, no reason not to think about the future :)

Comments/critique on the story are welcome. One of the reasons I made this challenge was to get myself to write more, and to write fast. So I fully expect it to have flaws, since I'm not taking the time to carefully edit it or to think about it for weeks like I usually do if I write something.

Goal progress: 4 ring workouts. 3 runs. 0 programming days.
On track for: Excellent, Excellent, N/A.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 8:

Today was my first day in the IT department. Emily sounded like an interesting character, and she certainly didn't disappoint. I headed off to the "IT building", which was actually just one of the extensions on the farmhouse. I knocked on the door, and got a "Come in!" for my troubles. I opened the door, unsure of what I'd find, and it was far worse than I thought. Complete and utter chaos everywhere. Tools, documents, parts, devices with their guts hanging out...how was I ever supposed to find anything in this place? Emily was there. She was surprisingly normal looking. Young, black hair, very tall, but fairly normal looking. Apart from the tech graveyard surrounding her. I had a bag full of parts with me. Many of them were damaged, dusty, or completely totalled, and they were tossed in the bag in whatever order I happened to find them in as I ran. They looked far too fancy and organised for this place.

"Ah, you must be Five! Good to meet you!" Emily said.

"Um...yeah. That's right. Is...this where you work?" I said.

"Oh, one of the places. There's a computer room out back, and that's where the servers are too. Oh good, you've brought parts!" Emily said, coming forward and taking the bag out of my hands.

I continued looking around. "How do you find anything in here?" I said.

"Oh, it's organised chaos." Emily said with a smile. "I know exactly where everything is."

I raised an eyebrow. "Alright...where's the screwdriver?"

Unerringly, Emily turned around, moved two folders and a broken radio aside, and picked up a screwdriver from what I could now identify as a table. "Here it is!" she beamed.

"Uh...wow." I said eloquently.

"Oh, you'll get used to it." Emily said, placing the screwdriver in a completely different location. "How's your typing speed?"

I raised an eyebrow again, this time in surprise. "Eighty, eighty-five words per minute." I said. I had already lost track of the screwdriver.

"Touch typing?" Emily asked.

"Sort of." I said. "I don't have to look at the keyboard much, but I generally use two fingers, plus one for the spacebar."

"Could be worse." Emily said. "Still, we'll put you on 15, 20 minutes of touch typing per day. You can always be faster, after all."

"How fast do you type?" I asked.

"Oh, about one ten." Emily said.

"Jesus." I said.

"Oh, I don't think he types very quickly at all. I don't know if he even has a computer." Emily said. "Anyway, one of the things I've been able to get off RoffleNet over the last few days is a pretty comprehensive course. I'll have you working on that for an hour or two each day, plus the typing. Since you're only a Rebel, you don't have to work full time. That'll come later, once you pick a specialty. You'll get the chance to switch jobs then if you want. I hope you won't though. I've always wanted a minion!"

"A minion." I said.

"That's right! One of those little yellow guys. You look pretty short, that's why I picked you for the job! Keep an eye out for yellow paint while you're out running." Emily said.

"You're...you're not..." I said, continuing my eloquent speech.

Emily looked at me with a very serious look before breaking into laughter. "Of course not! I mean, I have always wanted a minion, and a minion too. But if I can't have a minion, I'll settle for a minion."

"You mean the subordinate kind, right? Not the little yellow one." I asked.

"Got it in one! But really, do look out for yellow paint. Warrior Three wants it for something. Can't remember what. Probably not for a minion. I don't see him as the minion type." Emily said.

"Right." I said.

"Anyway, down to business!" Emily said. "So for now, your job'll be to learn how to use RoffleNet, work on typing faster, and do a tech run for us once or twice a week. I've been doing my best, but since I only run twice a week, and at least one run a week is for critical supplies like food, I can only get tech once a week, sometimes zero if we're low on essentials in Abel. But if you run thrice, you should always be able to get at least one set if all goes well."

"You run?" I asked.

"Yep!" Emily said. "We all run, except the really essential people like Janine or the major. IT's important, but it's not on the same level as medicine or running the place. Anyway, unless you have any more questions, let's get to work!"

I had many more questions, but I knew most of them wouldn't be answered, so I elected to start. My touch typing speed is currently about 15-20 WPM (Words per minute), and I'm only dealing with the first eight keys, the ones directly under my eight fingers. This is going to take a lot of time to learn, I think. That said, Emily's not wrong. She types at 110 WPM, about 30% faster than me. For every four hours I spend typing, she spends about three. Hell, if I start working in IT full time next month, that'll probably save half an hour a day minimum compared to my own speed. So I guess spending fifteen minutes a day to work on touch typing is a worthy investment. I wonder how long it took Emily to get that good. I saw her type, too. She really is that fast.

I feel somewhat out of my depth all of a sudden. Emily seems strange and out there, but she's frighteningly competent. I was stealing glances as I studied, and she had those parts removed, categorised, and (presumably) sorted when I had no idea what any of them were. I think if anyone can fix whatever's wrong with RoffleNet, she can. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away at my own stuff. That's the best way to survive in this crazy post-apocalyptic world.

One day at a time.

Rebel Five, signing out.
 

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 11:

 

I've been busy with the IT work over the past few days. Emily's put me onto a learning course as well. She seems to be quite big on sub-skills, between the learning course and the typing. I suppose I shouldn't complain, considering how skilled she seems to be. Her approach obviously works, though I hope it works for more...normal people, as well. Between the subskills and learning the basics of Rofflenet, I'm being kept reasonably busy. It's really only a few hours out of the day, but it's a lot more than sitting around. 

I had a poor ring workout today. I only managed three sets of my support hold, and then my first set of leg-assisted dips were way too easy, since I was using my legs too much. At that point I packed it in, and decided to try again tomorrow. I should probably sleep more. Abel feels much more exposed than Mullins, and so my sleep hasn't been the best over the past few days. Something else to work on, I suppose.

Workout details:

Technology supply run. Ran 3.80 km (2.36 mi) in 23:13. Pace: (6:06 min/km) (9:50 min/mi)

 

Goal progress: 4 strength workouts, 4 runs, 3 programming days.

 

Not much else to say at the moment. Most of the work has been foundational, and thus fairly boring. Learning the interface, learning some of the keys in touch typing, and so on. The learning course did introduce two very powerful techniques that I already know about; the Pomodoro, and spaced repetition. In the Pomodoro, you work intently for just 25 minutes, then take a break. This encourages focus and discourages procrastination, since it's such a short period of time. Spaced repetition involves studying the same thing across multiple days. The good news is, I've used both these techniques before, and I know they work. So if the other stuff is even half as good, this learning course will be extremely worth the time.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Author's Note: Anki is a free flash card program based around spaced repetition. It's extremely good for recall, and has helped tremendously with my exams. I highly recommend it.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

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Day 13:

Workouts are back on track. Ran yesterday, finished Wednesday's aborted ring work today.

Workout details:

Yesterday: Weapon supply run. Ran 3.67 km (2.28 mi) in 21:40. Pace: 6:05 min/km, 9:47 min/mile.

Today:

 

3x5s RTO Support Hold. Smooth, challenging. Forearms started hurting on the fourth set. I've got some nice bruises there from the rings. No RTO for a few days.
3x8 Foot-assisted ring dips. Smooth, challenging. Getting easier.
3x8 Kneeling ring push-ups. Rough, challenging. These are hard to get right, but I think I'm getting better slowly.
3x5s Ring planks. Smooth, relaxed. Couldn't try RTO planks due to forearms.
3x6/side Ring mountain climbers. Smooth, solid. Move to 3x7. Foot position is figured out; about one bench-length closer than floor push-up position.
 

Goal progress: 5 strength workouts, 5 runs, 4 programming days. 
 

In other news, I've begun thinking about what specialisation I might want to train for at the end of the month. Currently, the specialisations are:

Warrior - Warriors focus on the defenses of Abel township, and the demanding physical labor it requires. Digging trenches, building walls, putting up fences, and so on. They focus on strength, and only do short supply runs. They usually train with weights, but Abel's warriors use a lot of weighted calisthenics; chucking bricks and rocks into a rucksack for push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and so on. This is because they don't have access to a proper setup.

Runner - Also known as Scout. Runners focus on runs, of course, especially long distance ones that cover 10 k's or more. When someone wants to check on New Canton, they send a runner to do the 16 kilometer round trip. Runners also tackle a lot of the special missions that are required by Abel, such as distracting zombies, helping to clear out nests, or collecting important or valuable items. Runners naturally train running almost exclusively.

Assassin - Stealth-focused. Sometimes, running isn't particularly applicable, especially indoors when it's easy to get stuck. That's where an Assassin comes in. Assassins are good at sneaking around, climbing, parkour, and other skills necessary to evade zombies in urban environments when raw speed and endurance can't get the job done. Runner Five died because a Runner was sent to do an Assassin's job. She was sent into a hospital, surrounded, and killed. All the speed in the world couldn't help her. Assassins train with rings and bodyweight skills.

Ranger - Hybrids. Usually a combination of Runner and something else, Rangers are jack-of-all-trades members of Abel, with skills suited to multiple groups, or who simply get bored doing the same thing all the time. Rangers act as the glue to hold struggling units together. If there aren't enough of any given specialisation at the moment, Rangers step in to cover the gaps. Rangers split their training focus according to the specialisations they hybridise in.

Monk - Fighters. These people actually fight zombies. Despite the name Monk, most Monks are actually gun experts. Hand-to-hand combat with zombies is insane, since you can break their arm and they'll keep on coming, and the risk of infection is very high. Nobody does it any more, though apparently a brother-sister duo in Abel still spar with each other nearly every day, just in case their skills are ever needed. Monks train like rangers, but less intensely, as they spend much of their focus improving with weapons instead.

Druid - Non-combatants, but important ones. Any essential personnel is a druid, the only specialisation that never has to run. Some druids (such as Emily) do run, but they don't specialise in it. That said, sometimes these druids are the most important of all. If we didn't have any druids, we'd fall apart. Druids like Emily, Samuel, and the Major are crucial to the operation of Abel Township. Druids specialise in their jobs, and sometimes do physical training for health, a backup plan, or for the occasional duties non-essentials are required to perform.

I was thinking of training to become a Ranger. I like the idea of being able to do whatever needs doing. Ranger Nine's told me about them in his usual gruff manner, which I've...cleaned up a little.

 

"The Rangers aren't for people who can't make up their stingy mind, Five. You're not half this and half that, it's three quarters of each, at least. It's a spot of a job. You'll have to work flaming hard, and everyone flings sand at you for not being as good as them at the one thing that matters most; what they do. Of fudging course." Then he spat on the ground and walked off. No, I didn't censor that last bit. 

 

Admittedly, I can't see anyone looking down on Nine, who looks like he could kill a man by looking at him, and probably has. Mind you, that's probably for the best. When the zombies are chasing you, battering down the defenses, or cornering you in an abandoned building, who would you want to have trained you?

The hardass, or the nice one?

Rebel Five, signing out.

Author's Note: No disrespect to the Scouts here. In Zombies, Run, Runners are the canon description; Rebel Five is actually called Runner Five in the game. So I needed to come up with a way of merging the two together, and calling the same class by two names seemed the best way, rather than making up something like Scouts doing long distances and Runners doing short ones.

One of my goals with this challenge is to merge the ZR and NF settings together to create Rebel Five's world. I hope the specialisations do a decent job of that.

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Out of Character Post

 

Week 2 recap:

 

Week 2's gone fairly well, though not as amazingly as the first. I've missed a ring workout, and was only planning to do two this week (since I did four last week), so I've only gotten one done. Running continues to go well, and I've done programming five out of the six days I was hoping for. Even so, I'm still well above the Solid metrics.

Goal progress: 5 strength workouts, 6 runs, 5 programming days.

On track for: Great, Excellent, Great.

 

So that's still pretty good.

 

On a constructive note, I've successfully identified a thought pattern in enough detail that I can now dissect it and consciously work against it. That thought pattern goes something like this:

I want to do Goal X. In order to do Goal X optimally, I should do A. (Often broken into A1, A2, A3...) There is no way I'm going to do A. You'd have to be a robot to do A.
Therefore, I end up doing nothing.

To give an example which happened to me a couple of years ago;

I should donate to charity more. I gave 50 bucks a few months ago, and haven't given a dollar since. How much should I donate? According to GiveWell's top charity, you can save a life for about $2,000. Short of going without necessities, it seems that I should donate all of it. I...really, really don't want to do that.


Want to guess how much I ended up donating?

I think a similar thing happens to a lot of people with diet and exercise, even if they get good information. (Which is no guarantee)

I want to lose weight. To lose weight, I should count calories, throw out all my junk food, give up soda, start running, buy a kitchen scale, eat salads, eat a ton of veggies, avoid processed foods...Eh. That seems like way too much work. (Alternative failure mode: LET'S DO IT! Give up five days later when you realise how impossible it is.)
And a year later, nothing has been done.

The counter to this thought pattern, I believe, requires three steps.

1) Realise that the thought pattern exists.
2) Realise that some sub-optimal step towards your goal is better than doing nothing, which is what you'll end up doing if you try and apply the "best" solution.
3) Create a Schelling point; a natural point at which you declare you've done enough and are officially free from guilt if you achieve it.

For giving to charity, I think a natural Schelling point is 10%. It's what people gave (and sometimes give to this day) to church, it's a nice round number, and I'm pretty sure if everyone in the world did it, we'd end poverty in a matter of years. It would be nice to honestly be able to say, in response to poverty, "Hey. I've done my part. Now it's everyone else's responsibility. If they all do exactly the same as I've done, we'd have no problem any more." Since I hate spending money and am loathe to make an emotional decision, I do intend to think upon this idea for a week or so. But I've put on my to-do list that by the end of Week 3, I'll have made a decision. I'm also committing to it publicly, here; by the end of next week, I will have made a decision, which I will share here. If I don't, feel free to ask me "Hey, where's that decision you promised?" 

Diet and exercise is a little trickier. It seems that the NerdFitness strategy here is less a Schelling point, and more a moving target, where you set a very low, unambitious point you're sure you can reach, and then move the goalposts a little each month. This is good for some, but it's never been my strategy. When I was losing weight, I chose the Schelling point of "Count calories, eat at X calories per day, but other than that, eat whatever you like. And you can have as much diet soda as you want." It was pretty aggressive, but I really, really wanted to not be fat any more. My current Schelling point when maintaining weight is "Don't go crazy, keep a rough calorie count in your head, and don't go more than a few hundred over maintenance in a day, unless there's a special occasion." I think this works as a nice compromise, and thanks to it, I've gained a measly 200 grams (half a pound) in the last month, while working out. Well within the error margin of my bathroom scale, so I consider that maintaining weight.

For workouts, I used to have a Schelling point of "Do X workouts a week, period." Nowadays, my Schelling point is given in my goals: "Determine the optimal, perfect schedule. If you do half of that, that's okay. Two-thirds is good. Anything else is fantastic." As long as I do at least two-thirds of the maximum, I try and give myself permission to not feel guilty at all, and to be proud that I've done well. It's not perfect, but emotions never are. And at least this way, my conscious brain is on my side, rather than my subconscious saying "Yo, Five, you're not doing enough" and my conscious brain saying "You're totally right, bro. We suck."

This probably hasn't been particularly readable, as I've been mostly writing stream of consciousness. But I hope it interests someone, and maybe even gives them a deeper understanding of their own thought processes.

See you next week. Tomorrow, I'll be handing you back to Rebel Five as he survives the apocalypse.
 

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 16:

It was cold today, which was fantastic. I went out for a run near sunset, and it was definitely colder than I expected, so I decided to set a brisk pace. This determination, coupled with the cold weather allowing me to shed heat faster, made for my fastest run yet!

 

Workout progress:

Entertainment supply run. Ran 3.99 km (2.48 mi) in 20:58. Pace: 5:15 min/km, 8:27 min/mile. ***(NEW PR)***

If I'd kept that up, I'd have ended up with a 26:15 5k, which would be a fantastic time for me. That said, before I start celebrating, I want to make sure the GPS I use is accurate, since I've been running a lot faster than I used to, according to Abel's tracker. Samuel knows of a route that's charted out at approximately 4.88 km or 5 km from pre-apocalypse metrics (street address numbers and Google Maps respectively), and we're going to calibrate my GPS in a few weeks once I get up to 5 km runs. If the result is close to that zone, we know the GPS is good. If the result is significantly higher, I'm not running as fast as I thought. Here's hoping it's calibrated well!

In any case, the question isn't "Did I achieve a PR", but rather "Was my PR slower than I thought?" The GPS is pretty consistent, even if it's not accurate, so I'm definitely running faster than before, and since my previous 5k record is about 28:30, I'm almost certain I'm running faster than I ever have before. It's just a matter of degrees; maybe I'm on track for a 27:15 5k, instead of a 26:15 one. And the GPS can't be too far out, or someone would have noticed.

 

I also completed a ring workout yesterday, which went pretty well. Moved up to 3x9 ring rows, and will be moving to reverse row sit backs next pulling workout.

 

Workout progress: 

 

3x5 jump to inverted hang. Rough, solid. Getting easier, but still doesn't look very pretty. That's fine. Go to 3x6; more reps = more practice.

3x9 ring rows. Smooth, challenging. Last couple of reps were rough.
3x8 assisted pull-ups. Smooth, challenging. I probably won't appear to progress here, since progressing means using my legs a tiny bit less every time.
3x6 negative pull-ups. Rough, challenging. First set looked great, fell apart in the third set. Keep at it!

 

Goal progress: 6 strength workouts, 7 runs, 7 programming days.


Reverse row sit backs (RRSB's) are a great stepping stone to full pull-ups, which I greatly look forward to doing for reps eventually! From talking to Assassins and Warriors alike, pull-ups and bar dips (performed on chairs in Abel Township) are the moves they use for their strength standards. If I can do at least eight of each of them, I've reached a good base level of pulling and pushing strength. These are foundational moves for both Warriors and Assassins; after that, the two groups tend to diverge. Warriors add weight, while Assassins focus on more difficult variations. Becoming proficient in these moves will take some time, but it might happen by the end of the year. I just have to be patient. Due to their lifestyle, Abel puts higher standards on their members than Mullins. That said, despite being far weaker and slower than most of them, male or female alike, most of Abel is very welcoming, and always happy to extend the patience that I need to extend to myself. It's very motivating, being surrounded by a community of people better than me, who want to lift me up to their level.

It's only been a couple of weeks, and Abel already feels more like home than Mullins ever did.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Day 19:

Had a great ring workout, where I made solid progress on all my exercises except for the RTO support hold, which has actually regressed a little bit. I felt a bit of pain in my elbow after the last set, and under advice from Assassin Two, elected to keep the support hold at 3x5s for the time being. Straight arm strength, Two explained, is very different from bent arm strength, like push-ups, pull-ups, all those dynamic movements. Bent arm strength is largely about muscles, while straight arm strength is largely about tendons. The difference is, muscles grow stronger much faster than tendons do, and also recover faster. In short, straight arm strength has to be progressed slowly and carefully. It takes years to get good at it. And hey, I've gotten better at 4 out of 5 exercises, so that's fine with me.

Workout progress:

4x5s RTO Support Hold. Rough, challenging. Stay with 3x5s for a while.
3x8 Foot-assisted ring dips. Smooth, solid. These are feeling good, even on tip-toes and trying very hard not to use my legs. I'm going to raise my rings a little higher, so I have to hop up to a support hold at the top before lowering back down.
3x10 Kneeling ring push-ups. Smooth, challenging. Breakthrough! Even moving my bench back a little on the third set, I was able to do 10. I scrutinised my form carefully, but it looks like I've simply gotten better here.
3x20s Ring planks. Smooth, solid. Going to move up to 3x30s before working on RTO.
3x7/side Ring mountain climbers. Smooth, challengingThese hurt, but it's the good kind of hurt that means the abs are working, not the sharp pain of injury. Could probably get 3x8 if I hardened up.

After the very fast run a few days ago, I decided to slow down for my next run. I also practiced with stride cadence a little bit. Apparently 180 strides per minute is normal for experienced runners, or 3 strides per second, so I made a conscious effort to stride less far, but more often. This worked well for about a kilometer before I got tired and kept regressing back to old habits. Still, I'll keep at it, maybe do some truly easy pace runs where I focus on it exclusively.

Technology supply run. Ran 4.03 km (2.50 miles) in 23:21. Pace: 5:48 min/km (9:20 min/mile)

Goal progress: 7 strength workouts, 8 runs, 8 programming days. 

 

I'm still not running at an easy pace, but I'm okay with that. I know I'm capable of running easily if I run slower, and that most of the good Runners do so, but they also run 4, 5, or even 6 days a week. If they went out hard every run, they'd get destroyed. I only run 3 times a week, so I can afford to push it (to varying degrees) each time. Presumably, easy pace workouts will be more a part of my regime if I start running more than thrice a week, or I start being unable to run the amount I want as my weekly volume increases. Until then, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Rebel Five, signing out.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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Out of Character Post:

Week 3 recap.


So a couple of things have happened this week that necessitate some changes; one to this challenge, and one to the plot. 

Firstly, I've decided to rest and relax a bit, since I'm going back to Uni next week. The programming seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'd rather just enjoy my holiday. I'll have plenty of time to worry about uni work in a week, when I go back to it. Thus, I'm getting rid of the programming goal. IC justification; RoffleNet's going to start getting repaired (always planned), meaning Five will have to do a lot more work (also planned), so Emily's giving Five a week off. (Not planned)

Secondly, I've made some arrangements, and it looks like I'll be able to access a gym 2 or 3 times a week. Since this is my preference over the gymnastics rings (as awesome as the rings are, it's complex and difficult to constantly be learning new moves in order to keep the difficulty high, instead of just adding more weight) I'll be doing some slight retconning to the plot; the farmhouse at the core of Abel Township does in fact have a home gym, but due to its limited availability, people have to prove themselves in order to get a spot scheduled. This month will allow Rebel Five to prove himself enough to gain access.

The alternative would be to have Rebel Five or someone else come up with an idea such as a sled that lets them pull large weights to the farmhouse. But realistically, if that idea were valid, in eighteen months, someone would have come up with it already. Canonically in Zombies Run and the Rebel Five universe, bicycles can't even be used properly outside Abel due to the terrain (else all the runners would be cyclists), let alone a giant freakin' sled. It also removes the possibility of using a large object that can't be carried by runners as a plot point or source of tension later.

I don't like retconning, but I'm glad it happened now and not next month. This month was always going to be a test run, as I plan to join the Rangers, which have a lot more people who might see this than the Rebel forums. I'm not sure yet if I'll simply start fresh with the Rangers next month or not; I imagine most of the Rangers who might want to follow along with the plot aren't reading the Rebel forums anyway. It'd be nice to have a plot that starts at my first challenge there, so I may just choose to do that. 

The goals are going well. I'm at 8 workouts and 9 runs, on track for Great and Excellent respectively. Which is good, as I really need those running shoes. My current regular jogging shoes are starting to fall apart, but they'll hold for another week.

Looking forward to joining the Rangers next challenge :)

 

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

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Day 23:

It's official; Warrior One has given me clearance to use the gym three times a week. I chose not to ask if a spot had opened up, because I don't really want to know how that happened if the answer is yes. I'll be doing the beginner Warrior program, which is refreshingly simple compared to the rings. Five exercises total, and that's all I have to do for quite a few months, until I cease to become a beginner. Then I can just ask for an intermediate program, and start on that. Warrior/Scout is the most popular Ranger combo, and I can see why. Assassins love the many exercises and variations and technical permutations of their workouts, and I can see the appeal there. I've seen some Assassins working out on the grass, and they can do some amazing things. But when you're splitting your focus evenly among two disciplines, sometimes you want to keep things as simple as possible. Do the program thrice a week. Add weight according to the program. Run three times a week at whatever pace you feel like that still outruns the zoms. Add half a km to each run each week. Nice and simple.

Because of that, I haven't done any strength workouts this week yet. The plan is to get two gym workouts in this week (achieving Great in the strength department) and get two more runs in, achieving Excellent for the runs. Then I'll get stuck into IT full-time next week.

Workout progress:

Entertainment supply run. Ran 4.07 km (2.53 mi) in 23:44. Pace: 5:50 min/km, 9:23 min/mile.

Goal progress: 8 strength workouts, 10 runs.

Rebel Five, signing out.

   

  • Like 2

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

Link to comment

Day 25:

Workout progress:


Yesterday: Food supply run. Ran 4.10 km (2.55 mi) in 21:14. Pace: 5:11 min/km, 8:20 min/mile ***(NEW PR)***

 

Today:

Squat - 5x5 20 kg (45 lb) - Easy/medium.

Bench Press - 5x5 20 kg (45 lb) - Easy.

Barbell Row - 5x5 30 kg (67.5 lb) - Medium/hard.

 

Goal progress: 9 strength workouts, 11 runs. 


Great couple of days. Got a new PR for running (the key, again, is to run when it's bloody cold!) and started gym work. I expect every gym workout to have multiple PR's for quite some time, given that I'm trying to progress each workout. Thus, I'm not going to mention gym PR's, until it gets to the point where I'm not making them routinely. The rows felt quite heavy for the first workout, and my arm hurt a bit after, so I'm going to back that off to just the bar, 20 kg. Since I did in fact complete today's workout, that means next time I do Barbell Rows, it'll be with 22.5 kg. (50 lb)

The first month at Abel's nearly over, and I'm very happy with how things have gone. I just need one more workout and one more run this week, and I'll have a Great and an Excellent for my standards. That'll be enough to qualify me for a pair of running shoes, which I definitely need. 

Rebel Five, signing out.

Author's Note: Sorry for the short post. I did also do a 3.5 km walk today, since Pokemon Go came out in Australia, and my sister wants us to play. There was no good way to insert that into the story. You can't walk outside of Abel. You'll get eaten.

  • Like 3

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

Link to comment

Out of Character Post

Week 4 recap - End of Challenge

Workout recap:

Squat
- 5x5 22.5kg (50lb) - Easy/Medium

Overhead Press - 5x5 20kg (45lb) - Easy

Deadlift - 1x5 40kg (90lb) - Easy

 

Final results: 10 workouts, 11 runs. (Great, Great) (Both rewards unlocked!)

 

So upon reviewing my calendar, it turns out that today, not tomorrow, is the last day of the challenge. That puts me at 10 workouts and 11 runs for the challenge, and not a moment too soon! My old shoes have just given up the ghost, so I need new ones. And since I've achieved two Great rankings in my goals, I'm rewarding myself with some decent ones. 

I'll be joining the Rangers next challenge, so I'm interested in knowing what you guys thought of the writing in this one. What did you like or dislike about the challenge? Did you prefer the posts where I mostly spoke about my own life, as if the events happened to Rebel Five? Or the posts about the Abel setting, like the conversation with Emily? Did you find Emily an interesting character, or just irritating? The answers will help determine how I proceed when I join the Rangers. I've decided to start from the beginning there with Chapter 1, but I don't intend to just recap the same material. Hence, it's important for me to get any feedback you have. If you preferred the story-heavy posts where I make up exposition about the world, I'll do mostly those IC, and save workout talk for important workouts or the weekly OOC recap. If you guys preferred the autobiographical posts, I'll largely write those, and try and get one solid exposition post in each week, maybe two at the outside.

 

Whether you leave feedback or not (though I could really, really use the feedback even if it's critical), thanks very much for your support. I've been more consistent with my exercise over the last month than I have in a very long time, and I have Nerd Fitness to thank for a lot of that. I'll definitely need to lean on it more heavily going forward, as I start my second year of University on Monday. 

One last note; Pokemon Go is really fun, and a big incentive to get people active. I mostly downloaded it to keep my sister more active, since she doesn't exercise much. But I've had quite a lot of fun myself. It's more fun when you're with someone though, for certain :) 

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

.

5k: 25:01

 

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