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My overarching goal for this challenge is to refocus, become better connected with my body and my self, and shake out a little stagnation.

 

As I am primarily an endurance runner, I've been running with the scouts for a while, but there's not much shakin over there lately. My goals have some druid qualities about them, and several of my friends are (or were) druids as well, so I'm gonna pop in over here for a bit.

 

For those who don't know me, I work in ocean science, and I've spent most of the past five or six years at sea, living aboard a research vessel full time. During the last 4WC, I finally moved ashore. There's a lot of readjusting happening right now.

 

There, short and sweet, now the goals...

 

Run
115 miles. This is per the training I am following for an upcoming half-marathon. Just stick to the plan, and this one will be easy. I'll try to hit up some trails whenever practical.

 

Push-ups
540 total, progressive. I've had a push-up goal every challenge for a while, and it has started to get a little monotonous and dreadful. That saddens me because there's been great value in it for me. This time I'm going to try making it a weekly progression starting at twenty, and increasing by one each day to twenty five. This allows one day off (or missed day) a week, and will hopefully add a little interest and incentive.

 

Yoga
20 points total. I've had an interest in yoga for a while, but limited space on a ship and a – let's say – "unstable" platform have left my progress pretty minimal. I'm in a better position now to pursue this one more seriously, so it's time to get to it. 2 points for a good session, 1 point if it's half-ass. Bonus points if I take a real live lesson.

 

Mindful Movement
This is the GMB Elements program that I just picked up. It focuses on controlled body movements to build strength, flexibility and motor control. It could be really demanding with everything else I have going on (goals and life in general), but it looks like it could be really fun and worthwhile. Not sure how to score it – it's a seven week program, I'd like to make it through at least three.

 

Mindful Eating
Living on a ship, meals were all provided for me – and they weren't good. Nutrition and quality eating have long been a problem. Now that it's fully up to me, I want to get smart about it. I will plan and prepare two vegetarian meals (because I am mostly vegetarian) each week, with a focus on recipes that are wholesome and balanced. As a chef in a former life, I've missed cooking, so this should enjoyable as well as valuable.

 

That's it. I do my best to keep things informative, yet light and fun. Oh, and I take a lot of pictures, and I tend to share a lot of those as well.

 

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Let's go!

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Woot! Of course you would join the Druids right when I decide to take a break from them, lol. As usual, you got great goals lined up. Mindful movement sounds really interesting. What is that?  

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7 hours ago, EternalJourno said:

Woot! Of course you would join the Druids right when I decide to take a break from them, lol. As usual, you got great goals lined up. Mindful movement sounds really interesting. What is that?  

 

Aye, yer such a rebel. More about Elements here.

 

----

 

Had a great weekend. The weather was perfect – just a little bit of rain and wind, but not enough to interfere. A lot of running happened. Five miles on Saturday, and a little over nine on Sunday (only Sunday counts towards the goal). I also just recently got a kayak, so I was really happy to spend a couple hours each day out on the water exploring and trying to stay, you know, just a little bit salty!

 

The only thing of concern was my right knee started giving me trouble on the trails again. This came up a few months ago when I was running on mountains in Alaska – long descents in particular could get painful. It's been relatively trouble free since then, though. Running has even seemed to make it feel better. But Sunday was probably the first time since then I've been on the more challenging terrain, so that's obviously got something to do with it. I'm gonna work on my technique and see if I can keep it under control. If it continues, I'll have to get it checked out.

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Definitely here for this. Seems a lot of us are shaking things up this challenge as far as the guilds are concerned. I have a lot of similar goals this time around: looking to up the mileage, develop a better grip on my body movements, and just plain eat better. I'll be looking forward to see how you progress now that you're on dry land full time. 

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12 hours ago, Jayniana Jones said:

Following along this round. I'm glad to read about your kayak because the thought of you being completely out of the water and not on a boat felt strange somehow. :) 

 

Yeah, don't worry. Once a sailor... ;)

 

9 hours ago, EternalJourno said:

Oooh, I like the Elements concept, especially the fact that they form a Triforce, lol.

 

 

Too funny! I'm old enough to have played the original on NES. I've never been much of a gamer, but to date, that's still one of my favorites. I had no idea until very recently there were any other games in the Zelda line!

 

5 hours ago, Jormungand said:

Definitely here for this. Seems a lot of us are shaking things up this challenge as far as the guilds are concerned. I have a lot of similar goals this time around: looking to up the mileage, develop a better grip on my body movements, and just plain eat better. I'll be looking forward to see how you progress now that you're on dry land full time. 

 

Cool. Co-motivational opportunities, or something like that.

 

5 hours ago, Vibrantella said:

Good luck with your challenge, looks very interesting!

 

Thanks, I'm glad you're here!

 

-------

 

Day one of Elements done. I think I'm really going to like it, and benefit from it. There's a lot of putting yourself into positions you wouldn't normally go into. Fortunately, I have enough starting range of motion to perform all the basic movements, but spending time in these positions – especially a deep squat – is definitely not easy. I video recorded portions of it to capture my baseline. It'll be really interesting to see how much I can improve.

 

The thing that worries me is that while the actual exercises took only 30 minutes or less, it took an hour and a half (or more) to do these and get through all the video materials. It's great that the program is so well documented and supported, but I just don't have that kind of time six days a week. Hopefully it goes a little faster as I get further into it.

 

Running recovery day from all the weekend activities. 4.5 easy miles on the schedule for tomorrow, plus hopefully morning yoga, another elements and some cooking. I'm up to 21 push-ups, so 22 tomorrow. What the phở?? That's a lot of stuff!!

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4.5 miles happened tonight, and thankfully the rain let up for me just as I was getting off work. I was a little stiff and tired from the weekend, and there was a little lingering discomfort in the knee at first, but after about two miles, everything shook out and I felt back to normal. Also completed day two of Elements. Also thankfully, it went a lot quicker. The thing about the videos is they go really slow, and everything is presented with different approaches for people of different abilities. This is a good thing, really. And once I get familiar with the material, I think it will go faster. The warm-ups, etc. should be the same most of the time.

 

I also dragged my sleepy ass out of bed for some morning yoga. I don't like running or working out in the morning, mostly. But that is when I like to do yoga – it just seems to start my day off better, even though it's when I'm at my creakiest and really the only time I'm feeling my age. I was even inspired a little bit following my normal "practiced" routine – I had been browsing Instagram as I lay in bed (which I often do...), and someone I follow was starting one of those yoga-pose-a-day challenges. Day one was...crow pose. I'm out! But hey, at least I tried!

 

Cooking didn't happen today – just not enough time. I did, however, get some lunch prep done, which makes me much more likely to take a smart lunch to work, so that's a little victory.

 

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The swan pond is rapidly becoming the most photographed spot on my runs.

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What a gorgeous pond! 

 

Good job on getting all of this done! Morning yoga is pure bliss, it just sets the day on such great positive intentions. Crow pose used to scare me a lot, it seemed impossible but it's really all about finding the right balance. You will get it right I'm sure! 

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Up at the crack of dark this morning for seven race-pace miles so I wouldn't have to worry about what time I left work. Also wanted to build the mental toughness (cuz...doing something I don't want to) and get more practice running on a tired body. Yeah, it felt as bad as you probably think. To make things worse, while fumbling for the "illuminate" button on my running watch, I instead hit "Pause" without realizing it. Well, I realized it eventually, when the miles just never seemed to get to four. :angry: Fortunately, I've got a pretty good feel for the routes around my house now, and I had runkeeper going on the phone in my back pocket. Runkeeper says I did 6.8 miles, so that's what I put on the books. It's less accurate than my watch, though – and often low – so I may have been even closer to seven than that.

 

Finally, cooking happened tonight – excited! Spicy spicy spicy black bean and chipotle burritos with baby spinach, pico de gallo and spicy homemade salsa. It was kinda spicy.

 

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You can't handle these burritos.

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Garmins are by far the most popular, but I went for a Suunto Ambit. It's programmable to a degree as far as what it displays to you while you're running. I look at pace, cadence, total distance and sometimes elapsed time. I used to just hold the phone the whole time, but the watch is far more convenient, especially as my runs got longer. Battery life is better than a phone, too. I still use runkeeper for record keeping, because I like the web interface better and that's where all my history is going back to 2012. I can export runs from the Suunto and add them in runkeeper if I need to.

 

suunto-ambit-3-sport-design.jpg

 

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Oops!

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Week 1 Summary

 

Run

25.3 miles total, goal of 115. Not bad, but I missed a 5-miler on Saturday. More on that below*.

 

Push-ups

110 total, goal of 540. I got myself a little confused on the progressive bit – I missed a day, then did 24 the next day instead of 22. I kinda worked backwards after that, but missed Friday, too*. I'll have to double up one day to catch up, which is totally allowed.

 

Yoga

4 points total, goal of 20. Since these are scored two points for a good session, I'm still on track.

 

Mindful Movements

Completed 5 of six days for week 1 of the program. Since the goal is only to complete three weeks, I'm OK here, too. I'm actually learning a lot more from the stretches and "warm-ups" than I am the movements themselves. That's interesting.

 

Mindful Eating

1 point total, goal of 8. Black bean chipotle burritos. Delicious and super spicy, but probably not the healthiest choice. Work in progress.

 

*Good start to the week, but things did go a tiny bit awry. My Thursday run was derailed somewhat by some negative thoughts creeping in – made me run a lot faster than I wanted to. Running is usually kinda therapeutic, but I just couldn't shake it this time. I continued to struggle into the weekend, hence the low productivity and missed workouts. I think it mostly has to do with readjusting to a "normal" way of life, being somewhere completely new and not really knowing anyone yet. This, of course, is just going to take some time. Eventually, some house cleaning, loud music and guitar playing on Saturday night pulled me out of it. So for now, I'm feeling better and ready to start week 2!

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Today – Sunday long run day – 10.1 miles. Not my longest run, but it was my fastest long run. I did the run in two loops through the neighborhood so I wouldn't have to carry water. But other than the 30 second hydration stop, I took no other stops or walking breaks. I'm actually really pleased, and feeling very optimistic about the training!

 

Also did the remaining 25 push-ups from week 1, and if I don't forget, I'll do the 20 to start off this week before bed.

 

Made a nice dinner, too – lentil "stew" with tricolor potatoes and chipotle. This isn't a new one for me, but it's much healthier than the burritos, and helped to use some of the leftover chipotles. I probably should have scaled the recipe, though – I have a lot of leftovers. Lunches for the week, I guess!

 

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Congratulations on a great week 1! Change is not easy at all but you seem to have a great attitude about it! Cleaning the house is very therapeutic for me, even though I don't do it often enough.

 

You can send some of those leftovers my way if you don't want them. :P 

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17 hours ago, SaltyDragon said:

Eventually, some house cleaning, loud music and guitar playing on Saturday night pulled me out of it. So for now, I'm feeling better and ready to start week 2!

 

Really glad to hear this!

Can you elaborate on what you're learning from the stretches/warm ups versus the movements themselves? I know there's people in the NF Academy who aren't fans of doing warm ups and cool downs, but I'm personally a fan. The warm ups for me are basically a workout on their own, so pairing them with the actual workout makes me feel like I'm really working hard. And then of course the cool downs are my own form of yoga-light and I feel like it helps me avoid overt soreness the next day.

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I imagine making an adjustment of that level can be difficult, but it sounds like you are doing the right thing by maintaining your training. As you pointed out, though, even with the running, things can still feel weird. I hope it evens out for you. Even with the missed workouts, you're still putting up some solid numbers, and it's good to see you sticking with your goals.

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10 hours ago, Hyrulian Yogi said:

You can send some of those leftovers my way if you don't want them. :P 

 

Sure, but you have to take the mac n cheese I made tonight away from me, too (damn, what was I thinking?). :rolleyes:

 

8 hours ago, EternalJourno said:

Can you elaborate on what you're learning from the stretches/warm ups versus the movements themselves?

 

Well, they're not really "warm-ups" as I would think of. They're a series of dynamic stretches, progressing to static stretches, that go from fingers to wrists to shoulders to hips, and so on. It's the kind of thing I wouldn't normally be doing, since it doesn't obviously target the kinds of things I normally train for. I like that, and that's why I'm learning from it. In the end, better range of motion will definitely be good for my running and some of the other things I tend to do. And, a lot of the static stretches are thinly disguised yoga poses, so it's like sneaky bonus yoga, and I think that's cool. In one clip, they explained (very matter-of-factly) how to work your way to a good forward fold – major epiphany moment for me, there (I'm terrible about rounding my back)!

 

13 hours ago, Vibrantella said:

Running is so alien to me, I always admire people who not just do it, but enjoy it too!

 

Thanks! That's what I'm here for – spread the joy!

 

OK, not really...

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It looks like you are trucking right along on your goals.  ;) 

 

I can so relate to feeling extra creaky during morning yoga session. I found my yoga practice is literally like night and day. In the morning I can barely reach my toes and by evening I often stretch and move like Gumby. 

 

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