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Salty Bends Over Backward


SaltyDragon

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For those I haven't met yet, I used to work at sea, exploring weird places. Now I don't, though I still do marine sciency things for a living. It's been a big change for me. I'm trying to cope.

 

This challenge finds me reaching for a new plane in my training*. I'm running in a half-marathon during week zero, and I logged a lot of miles during the last two challenges to prepare. After the race, I want to keep up with the running enough to keep building endurance, but I also want to scale it back a bit so I can focus more on other things – namely improving flexibility and strength. To do that, I'll be mostly continuing where I left off last time, just shuffling the focus a bit.

 

Now, on to the goals!!

 

Run
80 miles. I'd like to hit this running only three days a week. The general idea is to do two short weekday runs of 5 miles each, and one long weekend run around 10 miles. If I can keep the injuries at bay, I'll try to do the long runs on trails, because the woods are awesome. I've mentioned the desire to add some speed training, but as yet I don't have a plan for that. I may work it in at some point, so look out.

 

Push-ups
480 total, 3x20 sets, 2/week. I've done pushups to death in previous challenges, to the point I was losing interest. The spark has returned a little lately, so I'm gonna keep this one around, with some changes. I've wondered what the differences would be doing lower numbers over many days versus high numbers only a few days. So instead of doing 20 push-ups 6 days a week, I'll try doing 60 push-ups two days a week. Think of it as an experiment. Yay science.

 

Yoga
32 points, 2pts/session, 1 pt if it's half ass. This is an increase over last time, as I should have more time to commit to it. I will hopefully expand and diversify my regular – admittedly brief – usual routine.
Bonus - Last time, I was unexpectedly challenged by an online friend with a pose I was totally incapable of -- Crow pose. I pushed myself to work on it, and totally surprised myself by actually doing it. This really excited and motivated me, so I'm going to work another difficult-to-me "challenge pose" into the mix, unscored. This time will be Camel pose. Unlike Crow, I've worked on this one a bit already, but I can't quite do the full pose yet, and I've been wanting to work on back bends anyway. Perfect excuse, right?

 

Mindful Movements
Weeks 4, 5 and 6 of the program. This is the Elements program from GMB, which I started last time. It didn't get the attention it deserves, so with the race training over, I really want to spend a lot more time with this. The program aims to develop strength, flexibility and motor control, but I've gotta put more into it to get more out of it. Plus, I think it's really cool what I'm learning to do.

 

That's it, this time. My free time is still really limited, but I want to try to make a few new friends along the way, so I hope to see you out there!


*Speakin' of new planes, enjoy a little ditty on me. No charge.
Steam Powered Aereoplane, Robert Earl Keen, Happy Prisoner, 2015

 

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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Ahoy matey!

 

Working at sea... Exploring weird places...

 

Were you a pirate?

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Currtent Challenge
Previously known as: Curl Brogo, Darwins_Demon, Vincent Van Bro

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Admirable goals, as always. I can't wait to hear how your half marathon goes. It's good to see that you have running scheduled in after your race, though make sure you take plenty of rest afterwards. I know I needed it. As much as you're running, though, you'll probably bounce right back. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of your challenge goes.

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Level 13 Human Assassin

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10 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

Were you a pirate?

 

I like to think so!

 

8 hours ago, Hyrulian Yogi said:

It will be great to follow you again!

 

Thanks, and you as well!

 

2 hours ago, Jormungand said:

make sure you take plenty of rest afterwards.

 

Sound advice. I have a feeling that running only three days a week will feel absolutely luxurious...for a few days, anyway! We'll see how long it lasts.

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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Here's my baseline Camel. This isn't too bad, I don't think. I must have been crazy warmed up, or something here. Anyway, I'd like to get down off my toes, get the arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor, raise the chest higher and deepen the back bend. Shouldn't really be that hard, so it'll be interesting to see where I go with it in four weeks time.

 

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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6 hours ago, Hyrulian Yogi said:

Here's a lovely video for Camel Pose.

 

Cool, she just posted that three weeks ago – aren't you on top of things! There's definitely a thing or two in there that I can use. I like Adrienne, too – after all, she is a fellow Texan and a Shakey Graves fan. (Is it just me, though, or did she seem a little loopy in this one?)

 

7 hours ago, Laghail said:

What're you doing now that you're a landlubber?

 

I'm a technician – I work on all kinds of instruments that collect data in (or on) the oceans. It's really similar to what I was doing before, I just don't go to sea as much, and I don't live on a boat anymore. There's less fish, too, so it doesn't usually smell as bad!

 

----------

 

After a discouraging tempo run last night, I'm resting (and eating) tonight. I did some yoga, and some wrist and back work, but not much. I'm getting up really early tomorrow morning for a short shake-out run – in the rain, it looks like – then shooting for an easy stress-free day, and going to bed early. Go time is 7:30 am on Saturday for me and 1500 other runners, and the weather forecast looks perfect. I'm putting faith in the training, and just pretending last night's mishap never happened. Let's not speak it's name again, shall we?

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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I'm subbed to Adrienne so I remembered she had posted something about Camel Pose recently. My brain didn't play tricks on me this time, woohoo! I haven't finished the video yet as my back bends are... erm... not good, so I didn't notice the change in her energy! (I assumed loopy meant something along the lines of goofy? Pardon my lack of english vocabulary)

 

Also, good luck with the run tomorrow. Everything will go well!

''Do no harm, take no shit.''

 

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On 10/28/2016 at 1:15 PM, Hyrulian Yogi said:

Pardon my lack of english vocabulary

 

If it isn't your first language, I never would have known. (Yes, goofy is right. She was cursing, giggling randomly and getting distracted by insects – I thought it was funny :P).

 

18 hours ago, Jormungand said:

How'd the race go?

 

Well, since you asked... :lol:

 

The crowd was amazing, if not a little tricky to navigate at the start. By about mile 2, I settled into about a 7'50 pace and worked like hell to keep it going. Temps were in the upper 40's – a little chilly at first in only shorts and t-shirt, but perfect once warmed up. It was a lovely course, following the beach most of the route, but honestly I barely noticed. It was really hard for me holding pace after about mile 9, but I wasn't there to slow down, and somehow found the strength to keep going. I ran the last quarter mile at a blissful 7'00 pace (cuz I couldn't really feel anything anymore by then) and finished in 1hr 44min. My goal was 1:45.

 

I first laced up a pair of running shoes in probably 2010. Back then, I was terribly out of shape and probably weighed 40 lbs more than I do today. It took several years of false starts and good tries for running to finally stick. It was last October, 2015, when I finally started working seriously at running. My first ever race – a five miler – was just last Thanksgiving (and during my first NF challenge, too!). I know a lot of people can run farther than I can, and a lot of people finished this race faster than I did, but crossing this finish line felt like such a huge step on my journey, and meant more to me than I can really describe. Then to find out I had beaten my goal time was all bonus. I'm so excited to find out what else I'm capable of.

 

Well, that's my emotional tale of inspiration. After the race, I took the rest of the day off, eating all the foods and taking all the naps. Today hasn't been any better, though I did go out and cheer on all the people running in the main event, because I want to be like them someday.

 

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The best race bling.

 

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Sometimes, I truly amaze myself.

 

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From today's marathon – they are all my heroes.

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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That is truly awesome. Not only is that a kick ass time, but it is doubly rewarding since you beat your own goal. Fantastic job, friend.

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Level 13 Human Assassin

Introduction Battle Log Current Challenge

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"Scars are not injuries...A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole."

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21 hours ago, SaltyDragon said:

 

I first laced up a pair of running shoes in probably 2010. Back then, I was terribly out of shape and probably weighed 40 lbs more than I do today. It took several years of false starts and good tries for running to finally stick. It was last October, 2015, when I finally started working seriously at running. My first ever race – a five miler – was just last Thanksgiving (and during my first NF challenge, too!). I know a lot of people can run farther than I can, and a lot of people finished this race faster than I did, but crossing this finish line felt like such a huge step on my journey, and meant more to me than I can really describe. Then to find out I had beaten my goal time was all bonus. I'm so excited to find out what else I'm capable of.

That's really exciting to see your progress, thanks for sharing it here.

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4 hours ago, Laghail said:

That's really exciting to see your progress, thanks for sharing it here.

 

I like to think that hanging out around here has had a lot to do with my accomplishments, so getting to share them here means a lot to me, too.

 

--------

 

Well. it's about time I got to work again, and did something to count towards my challenge goals. So tonight, I finished an Elements workout, the first in week 4 of the program. It also occurs to me that I haven't really been giving too many details about just what this program is, so going forward, I'll try to be a little more informative. The first two weeks of the program (completed during last challenge) had me performing a lot of dynamic stretching as warm-ups and to prepare for more intense work to come later in the program. Other exercises developed my ability to work in a squat position. Then, there was practice of the three basic movements the course is built around, called the monkey, bear and frogger. All three involve being on your hands as much as your feet, and despite the silly sounding names, can be used to push the boundaries of what we can do with our bodies.

 

The course includes a lot of paid content that I can't repost, but GMB has many excellent articles and videos which are freely available. I'll try to point out a few that overlap with the course for anyone interested.

 

To start, here's a video that is pretty much the same wrist warm-up that comes in my course. Calling it a warm-up is a bit misleading, I think. It's meant to strengthen the wrists in preparation for hand stands and other hand balances, and I think it's really helped me as I work on crow pose.

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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1 hour ago, SaltyDragon said:

 

To start, here's a video that is pretty much the same wrist warm-up that comes in my course. Calling it a warm-up is a bit misleading, I think. It's meant to strengthen the wrists in preparation for hand stands and other hand balances, and I think it's really helped me as I work on crow pose.

 

I need this in my life as someone who has to run super heavy plates at work and ends up with painful wrists by the end of my shift. Yoga has helped for sure but this will definitely be an added benefit! 

 

Your challenge seems to be off to a great start. :D 

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''Do no harm, take no shit.''

 

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On 10/31/2016 at 9:18 PM, Hyrulian Yogi said:

I need this in my life as someone who has to run super heavy plates at work and ends up with painful wrists by the end of my shift.

 

Ouch, yeah be careful not to do any long term damage. I really trashed my wrists (or at least one of them) from years of gripping saute pans – one of the reasons I got out of the biz. Who woulda thought cooking could be so physically demanding? While I can no longer flip two or three hundred omelets a day, I can still make two or three :D and fortunately, it hasn't caused any trouble with my workouts.

 

20 minutes ago, Jayniana Jones said:

I like your idea of focusing on one pose and getting it down.

 

I do too! I've seen other people do it before, but it never really occurred to me to try that approach myself until just recently. Oh, and welcome!! Really glad to see you back!

 

-----

 

With the shifting daylight hours, I've decided to shift my runs along with them. My intention now is to do my weekday runs before work in the mornings. Even though I tend to get up pretty early these days, I'm really slow to get going, so this will be hard for me. The good news is that I don't really have to get to work at the same time every day, as long as I get my hours in, so that takes some of the stress out. I pulled it off with this morning's five miler, and almost liked it, so I call it a win. I plan to do it again tomorrow, then we'll see how well I can keep it up.

 

Also completed three consecutive days of Elements, so that's good. The perk to running in the mornings will be to keep my evenings free, so I can still get a workout in on running days. I think I'll really appreciate that. Tonight, I worked on "monkey 180's" – and I'll just let your imagination run off with that one.

 

Did the first 60 push-ups last night. I'm still focused on form, keeping arms at the sides, elbows back, which is hard. I had to do 4 sets of 15, but hopefully in another week I can manage 3x20's.

 

All that leaves is yoga, which I haven't made a good effort on, yet. If I can get out of bed promptly, maybe tomorrow morning, pre-run.

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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Some mixed successes with the changing schedules this week. It takes work to get up early and get the workouts in, plus coffee, breakfast and shower before getting to work at a reasonable time. So far, I'm not good at that game!

 

Thursday, too slow to get up and decided that if I went for the run, yoga would have to be pared down to 15 minutes or so, and that's just not the kind of practice I want to develop. So I decided to skip the run [gasp!!] and do 30-40 min of yoga. It was a good call, I think. In the evening, I did work on Elements, but rather than move on to the next scheduled workout, I put together a sort-of greatest hits, and revisited a few things from previous workouts (bent-arm bears, high froggers and monkey 180s). It was pretty intense, and squashed any notion I had of doing any push-ups afterward.

 

Today, I got the morning five-miler done. I like having daylight again, but there's a lot of trucks on the road at that time, so I'm not enjoying all the noise and diesel smoke. I'll be sticking with it, though. Tonight, I got the 60 push-ups done (20, 20, 15 and 5 this time – getting better already).

 

So, I'm in pretty good shape going into the weekend on everything except yoga. I was definitely slacking early in the week, so I need to be a little more driven in the coming weeks. Tomorrow, I'm planning an 11-ish mile trail run in the morning, then see what else I can squeeze in rest of the day. I've also started pondering a sort-of-portable home gym, so I'm hoping to get to work on that some, too.

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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Week One Recap

 

Run

17.3 miles, goal of 80. I cut my long run on Saturday short at 7.5 miles, so that's where I got a little behind. I'm still in a recovery phase, and after 5 miles on Friday, I didn't want to push it. It was surprisingly cold in the morning, though, which I actually find pretty pleasant for running. Things should pick up this week!

 

Push-ups

120 total, goal of 480. Right on track, after two days of 60. As mentioned, I'm pretty close to three full sets of 20 in one go. I can already notice myself getting stronger.

 

Yoga

4 points total, goal of 32. A little behind where I should be, but manageable. I kept things pretty easy this week, with race recovery and transitioning to a new workout schedule. This is where I plan to shift more focus, so the numbers should get better.

 

Mindful Movements

3 points total, goal of 18. A little behind here too, but I did one day of unscored remedial work because I thought it would be beneficial. I'm less worried about this one, because ideally I'll be progressing with the program at the pace that feels right to me. Maybe that's in line with the goal, but if not, so be it. As long as I'm not slacking...

 

I had a nice weekend, and I'm feeling in pretty good shape physically and mentally moving into Week Two. Let's go!!

 

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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Well done considering the changes in schedule. Trying to make the shift to an early morning takes time. I've been trying to implement that as well. I've found the best thing to aid in the process is just to get to bed early enough. Also, I like that you decided to still do something even though your time was limited. 

 

Those cold runs are the best. Don't neglect your recovery and you should be bouncing back in no time. Glad to see that you're killing it with the rest of your goals. 

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Level 13 Human Assassin

Introduction Battle Log Current Challenge

Previous Challenges: I, II, III, IV, VVI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI

"Scars are not injuries...A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole."

China Miéville, The Scar

 

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Hello, friends. Well, I've been avoiding the internet all week – or at least all news and social media. I thought I was doing alright getting work done towards my goals, but looking over my spreadsheet, I can see that I haven't done as well as I hoped. Here's where I'm at...

 

Week 2 Recap

 

Run

31 miles, goal of 80. I'm really finding it harder to run only three days a week, and without a set training schedule. I ended up skipping one of my weekday runs, and then doing my long run on Friday because I had the day off. I also forgot to wear my watch for the long run, so I tried to rely on my phone. At the time, it showed I had run 10 miles, but the GPS tracking had got, well, off track. After editing the bad points later, the run was just a little under 9 miles. To cope, I'll throw in an extra run next week. That should help me stay motivated as well as recover some lost miles. One positive – I found a cool new-to-me trail not far from the house.

 

Push-ups

240 total, goal of 480. This is the only goal that's actually on track. I can manage three sets of twenty now, just with a fairly long rest in between. I'll work this week to shorten the allowed recovery times.

 

Yoga

11 points total, goal of 32. This is disappointing to me. Let me now reaffirm my commitment to step this up.

 

Mindful Movement

6 points total, goal of 18. I'd like to think I can do better than three days a week. I'm into week 5 of the program now, which seems to be a repeat of week 3. That means it's familiar. Okay, no excuses.

 

So, overall a bit disappointing. Nobody stopping me but myself, though, so if I want to be performing at a higher level, I need to just do it. I'm going to make a big push for week 3, and see what I can make happen!

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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On Saturday night, I purchased another pair of shoes. I mentioned before that I was skeptical that new shoes would magically solve all my pain and discomfort issues, and that hasn't changed – I think improper form (along with increasing mileage too quickly) is the real culprit. But, I do believe that running shoes tend to encourage poor form. I have already started working on improving my form – a difficult and painful process in itself – but I also believe that a different type of shoe could give a gentle nudge in the right direction. I was somewhat in need of a new pair of trail shoes, so I went looking for something with less "drop" in them. (If you aren't familiar with the jargon, "drop" refers to the difference in height between the heel and toe. Almost all shoes have more elevation in the heel – an unnatural position which some people think is responsible for many common running injuries.) I eventually picked out an Altra "zero drop" shoe.

 

It is recommended that you transition gently into a low drop shoe, so I went this morning to the same trail I had run on Friday. It's short with a good surface and few ups and downs. The difference was immediately noticeable. I had already been working on running with shorter, quicker strides that land more underneath than out in front, and striking mid-foot to to ball of the foot. These shoes made it less work to do that. I kept the run to 4.2 miles, and had no unusual pain or other issues. Again, not a magic bullet, but I'm optimistic they'll be a useful conditioning aid. And since I kept the run short, I took a little extra time to play with the camera, and show off the new kicks.

 

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This way to the good stuff.                                                      Tree pose :P

 

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Be flyin' now!

 

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Okay, last one!

 

For the afternoon, I picked up the intensity of my back bending workout. I'm starting to see a few small improvements in posture and other abilities since starting these workouts. My back is definitely underdeveloped and out of balance with the rest of me. It's a great workout, but the back will complain for days afterward, which is not so pleasant. Since I am seeing benefits from it though, I want to work on it more often – any suffering should only be temporary!

 

Anyway, my camel wasn't significantly better from two weeks ago. I did try the full pose for the first time – dropping onto the insteps. This was much harder, and not so good for my knee, so I doubt I'll try it again too soon. The toe variation is plenty challenging for me right now. One positive though, was my shoulder bridge looked better than I expected. It didn't feel very good as I was doing it, but reviewing the video later, I see I was getting farther into it than I realized. I even tried the full bridge just for giggles. I see a lot of problems looking at it, but considering I'd never really tried it before, I was pretty surprised I could even do what I did! I'll hide the pics here, since this is already a pic-heavy post.
 

Spoiler

 

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-b9geMTH649RHbQayHOPBmqpqDMQwq8GCKM8AhzT


 

 

Yoga and more Elements planned for tomorrow. Have a great week!

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Level 11 Sea Dragon

 

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