Runner’s World Run Streak – AKA Senff’s Bootcamp

Runner’s World has a holiday run streak challenge that it does. This is heavily US based so it runs from their Memorial Day May 25th until July 4th. That’s 41 days where you commit to running at least 1 mile each day.

One of my co-workers, Senff, recruited a few of us to join him in this and he ran a tight ship. I wasn’t sure I’d really be able to do it, as I usually require some rest days and I planned on doing some other fairly heavy exercising as well. In the end 1 mile works out to be only about 1.6 km, so I decided I would do at least 2 km each day and joined in.

There were a few days where I found it really tough to go out, but being with friends kept me going. I didn’t always live up to Senff’s expectations, but I did at least 2 km every day. Total I ran 178 km over the 41 days for an average of 4.3 km a day.

This was a great way to build the habit of running again. It took a bit of planning, especially around days when doing a big bike ride or something like that. I had to plan out a few days of only 2 km runs and time them so I’d be good to do the rest of what I had planned.

In the past couple weeks Noah has started coming with me as well about 5 times a week. So far he’s running anywhere from 2 – 4 km with me. It’s fun to have him with me. On days he’s running he gets up and gets dressed for running right away, and as soon as I’m ready to go, so is he.

There was one weird aspect of this challenge that I allowed to get to me. Because I knew I had to run each day, I didn’t really push myself to run further, or faster. I did some, but never pushed it as far as I could. I was scared I’d hurt myself, or it would ruin the next days run, and never ran more than 7.5k.

During the whole challenge I never ran a 5k run in under 30 minutes. As today as the last day and I don’t feel the absolute need to run tomorrow, though I probably will, I pushed it. I managed to run a full 10k in under 1 hour.

Though a few times it felt like a real chore, I’m glad I was pushed to keep going and was able to complete this streak and fell good about running again.

Cape Split

Cape Split

Today was the first day of my Sabbatical from work. Three months were a all my typical excuses are no longer valid. I have the time and ability to do a bunch of things I’ve been putting off.

I started today with one thing I’ve been putting off for a long time. Not really intentionally, just never prioritized it and fit it in. We live near Cape Split which is a great Provincial Park on the Bay of Fundy. When I was about 12, long before I moved to the Annapolis Valley I went on a hike there. It was a cold rainy day and I didn’t have fun at all. We never made it to the top either. Even though I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and we’ve gone on lots of hikes and trails, I’ve never been back to do Cape Split. This morning I biked to the top.

It is a little more than 6km each way and meant more for hiking then biking, but most of the trail is pretty good. There are a number of spots I needed to walk over some big roots that I didn’t think I’d make it over though. It was worth the trip and I’ll be going back and hiking it for sure.

This is just the start. I have a list of things around the house I’ve been putting off, but will now get done, and I’m going to continue building the good habits to get myself into shape. I’ve been doing well for a few months now in the last 80 days I’ve had 56 I’ve considered a success by getting enough exercise and eating healthy. There have only been 6 days that I consider a failure in that time. I still have work to do though and and will be putting in the effort.

Isolation Fitness

Isolation Fitness

With the isolation going on I’ve been working hard on building the habits to become healthy.

I bought a new bike which I absolutely love. The weather hasn’t been the best but I’ve gotten out on a couple good rides. I can’t wait to ride a bunch more.

After a few recommendations I also purchased a book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. It has lots of exercises that you can do anywhere without any real equipment. One of the exercises is called Let Me Ups. They are sort of like pull ups except you’re lying down and your feet stay on the ground. You can use things like a table or anything like that.

I really didn’t have anything to use for these so I built something to use. A couple stands with a pole in between. They are really simple and cheap but does the trick.

I have been using them for the pull ups and seated dips. Excuse my poor form and pyjama pants.

I started a push-up program trying to get to 100 pushups. I’ve been doing them every day but took today off as things are getting hard. I’m up to 68 pushups and tomorrow it jumps to 78, so I took today to let the muscles rest and be ready for tomorrow.

I’ve also been running a lot. Mostly indoor on the treadmill. Usually 5Ks sometimes just going for 30 minutes.

It goes really well most of the time, but tonight I had a bit of a mishaps. I went to wipe my head and drifted a bit to the left. I hit the edge and slipped. I skinned my knee and I think I may have broke my big toe, or at least sprained it really bad. That takes skill let me tell you.

So far I’m building good habits again and while the scale isn’t moving I feel like I’m getting stronger. I think I’m in a good place and will be able to keep this up.

Building Habits

So often I’ve written these type posts, about getting started again when it comes to fitness goals and habits. This time I’m going to start at a different approach.

I’ve just started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and I’m not far in but I’m already seeing benefits and advice I can take. One of the first items is about the different types of habits. There are Outcome based habits and Identity based habits. When it comes to fitness habits in the past I’ve always focused on outcome of goal based. One of them was an actual example used in the book.

Years ago I had a goal to be able to run the 10k race. I made it and ran the race in less than the time I wanted and then ended up not running for a long time after. That’s happened a number of times over the years. I reach the goal and then stop the good work.

The book says identity based habits are more likely to stick. The idea is you decide who you want to be and focus on habits that get you there. So in this case I want to be a healthy person. What things do healthy people do. They exercise regularly eat proper.

The section I’m in now for the book is talking about Implementation Intentions. You are much more likely to stick with a habit if you create a clear plan about when and how you are going to complete it.

This makes sense to me as I’ve had the most success when I’ve written about my goals and outline my plans. I’m going to combine these two concepts a bit and focus on being a healthy person and consistently write about my plans and what I’m doing.

Instead of overloading this blog with posts about that I’ve created a new blog I will post daily on with the habits I’m working on https://sandys.fitness.blog/ If you’re interested you can follow along, if not no worries this is mostly to keep myself honest.

Fitness Roller Coaster

Fitness Roller Coaster

Fitness, or lack there of, has been a reoccurring topic on this blog and my life. Like many people who struggle with weight things have been a roller coaster. A few years back I thought I had finally broken that and had built all the good habits I needed to stay fit and healthy, but something came a long and I slowly fell back into my old ways.

Fast forward to now and I am at another point of working to get into better habits again. This isn’t new either. I’ve ended up doing well for a couple or few weeks and then slipping again. Right now I’m about two weeks into trying hard to get with it consistently. I’m trying to take a bit of a different approach this time though.

Each time previously I would find essentially one thing and go with it as my go to means of exercise. Julia Michaels fitness videos went a long way to getting me in shape in the past. Now between all the times I’ve started and stopped I’ve done these videos a lot and find it hard to stay interested. For a long time running kept me going. I was able to push myself and I ran a lot. Since March of 2016 I haven’t really run very much except a couple attempts. Back then I hurt myself by pushing too far running and taking the time to get better never really got back into the habit.

This time I’m trying to mix it up and have a number of different things I can do. Things I enjoy. Things I’m not just doing for the sake of getting into shape but for other reasons as well.

There is of course basketball. From helping out coaching and playing with Noah I always end up in a sweat. Basketball is something I really enjoy and it is mine and Noahs thing. We get to spend time together doing it.

I’ve added in biking again. Last year I bought a bike but haven’t used it much yet this year until recently. This is something I’ve always enjoyed doing since a teenager. There are lots of good trails around to explore and I’ve done a few good rides over the past few weeks. I have a good friend who has been coming with me as well. This keeps me motivated and someone to help push me to go out, and push me to go further and harder when we do. It’s also something I can do on my own and am setting a goal for myself around it. Before the end of the season I need to be able to bike up my road with out stopping.

We live at the top of a good hill so it takes a lot to get up. It is about 120m in elevation over 1.5km road. That is almost 400″ over a mile. It’s not a big deal for some and I see people biking up it, but it is a work out for me to even walk up it. I’ve made it up once so far peddling the whole way but it involved a number of stops. Most of the time I have to walk some of the way and take breaks. If I can make it up without stopping I figure that will be a good indicator I’ve made really solid progress.

In the middle of June after a random conversation with my Brother in Law I’ve started playing a bit of tennis. He previously played a lot but hasn’t in years. So I went out and bought a racquet and he is teaching me how to play. I’m terrible so far but he is patient and helping me a long. It’s a fun sport and I’m enjoying learning. This is also another person who invites me out to play. Peer pressure and learning a new sport are both good motivators to get a workout in.

To add another alternative I’ve recently started running a bit again. This might be the hardest one for me. Because I did it a lot in the past and was getting fairly good at it. My brain things it wasn’t that long ago, but my body tells me differently.

Back in February 2016 I ran 10k at a pace of 5:15 min/km. Today I went for a run and could only go 3k and my pace was 6:48 min/km. I’m trying my best not to get discouraged because of where I was a few years ago and use it for motivation to make progress back to that place. I’ve also signed up for a 5k race at the Valley Harvest Marathon. In the past I’ve done the 10k at this event twice. My goal is to be able to run the 5k in 30 minutes. It is in October so I have some time to get there, but need some training.

Now
Then

With all these different items, each with their own motivations, and different people to support and push me I think I’m on a good track.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve managed to have fun and drop about 10 lbs. There is still a lot more to get to my goal, again, but I’m determined to do it.

Stupidity and Laziness

Back in August 2014 I had reached a big milestone after a lot of hard work. I was so proud of myself and swore I would never go back. At that time I reached my goal weight of under 180lbs after months of hard work and dedication. Things went up and down from there but for a long time I stayed in pretty decent shape. In March 2016 I ran my longest distance ever, 20km. Since then though I’ve been on a pretty steady decline health wise and really broke the promise to myself. I’m getting pretty close to having put back on all the weight I worked so hard to lose in 2014.

For the past bit I’ve been in a pretty big funk, not myself, unhappy. This is a big part of that, though there are other factors of course. Most of them are beyond my control, but my health is solely mine to control. How could I be so stupid and lazy?

Today I went on the incredibly demoralizing task of organizing my closet. Over the past few months I’ve been slowly buying new clothes that fit because I’ve gotten too fat for the ones I had. My closet was getting overrun with clothes because I still had all the clothes that I should fit in but they were making their way to the back of the closet. So today I moved everything out that I no longer fit in and put them into storage under the bed. Time for things to change, again.

Instead of just keeping up with a pretty healthy eating plan and exercise I reverted back to my old ways and now need to go through all the hard work again. Of course as I get older that will likely be even harder than it was almost four years ago.

Last time I blogged and shared on social media constantly about my progress, how far I ran today etc. I won’t put people through that again, especially because it isn’t nearly as meaningful the second time around, but I’ll work hard anyway. I’ve ordered myself a new Fitbit to help me track progress and keep my honest. Last time that sort of tracking was really motivational, I just won’t publicize it so much.

So I’m getting started, again, and hopefully I’ll finally be smart enough to get off this weight roller coaster I’ve been on permanently.

Angry Legs

Two nights ago on Friday night I set out for a long run. Pretty much my maximum distance has been about 10k for my runs. I did do 13k once by mistake when I had gotten lost at one point when out for a run at a friends place.

My original plan for the night was to do 15k but when I make it to the 7.5k point in the run I felt so good that I kept going. I should have turned around then as I had a limited amount of time but it completely slipped my mind. When I made it back to the 15k mark I still felt pretty good but was also lots tired. It would have been a good ending point but the car was still 5k away. Around the 18km mark Jen called and she had to leave the house to pick up the girls, but I still wasn’t home. Thankfully my Mother in Law looked after Noah when he was a sleep so Jen could pick them up.

Not sure I’ll ever try for 20k again though. I made it but my legs are still hurting and very upset with me right now. I am proud that I made that far though and that I did it at a pace that I was running 5k at just a couple months ago.

first-20k

FFF Final Update

February is over which means this will be the final update for my Fight Fat February challenge. This week  was rough my knee had been bothering me some, I lapsed in my eating habits, and my weight actually started to go up!

Food

Really I was good over the whole month for eating. I had a couple days where I lapsed but I don’t think with the level of working out I was doing that shouldn’t have been enough to cause my weight to go up. That was my thought process, but I was obviously wrong. I don’t really think it was the little bit of extra snacking I did though. I made the black bean chili I made in the first week and had it for my lunches this week. My guess is that because I was at the end and pretty much at my goal weight I was eating to much of the chili. Portions were the same as the first week, but it was probably too much.

Five Fitness Workouts

For the last week I was able to get in all five of the workouts I wanted to. About mid week though I switched it up from doing the Ripped in 30 to doing cardio workouts from Jillian Michaels Body Revolution.

Forty Kilometers

My running went awesome this week. Was able to get in a total of 45km even with the sore knee. I also had some really fast runs, for me anyway. On Sunday I did a personal best on 10k with a pace of 5:15 min/km which is awesome. There were also another two 10k runs that were in my top four fastest and my fastest 5k since back in 2014 as well.

fast-runs

Fifteen Pounds

Around midweek I was actually up a couple pounds and was really worried. On Friday even it was showing 185lbs which was up two from the beginning of the week. After switching up lunches, and switching to the cardio workouts instead, along with keeping up the running I managed to hit my goal. This morning on the scale I was 182lbs which means I dropped 15lbs exactly in February!

goal-weight

FFF Week Three Update

For week three of my Fight Fat February I had a couple slight setbacks. Nothing super major, but a little disappointed about one day in particular. Thursday this week had me off my game.

Food

For the most part food was still pretty good. There was one day I planned for that Jen and I went out for lunch and I ended up ordering a club sandwich. I did opt for the salad instead of fries but there were still quite a few more calories involved then my typical lunches.

Thursday night, which was my off day, I ended up having my usual night snack of a yogurt. When that was done I added a helping of nacho dip and chips. Because that obviously wasn’t enough I finished off the night with a blueberry bagel. Not good choices and even with Jen reminding me I would not be happy with myself I kept going.

Five Fitness Workouts

Reading back over week one and two I realized I’ve been saying I’m working out with Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. It is in fact her Ripped in 30 program I’ve been doing. This is week three now and I don’t believe I made it this far with this series before. This one I missed my goal on this week. On Wednesday I was pretty sore and tired so I decided I was going to take the day off and do Saturday instead. That would still give me my five workouts and would have been fine. But then Thursday happened and I flaked on my workout as well as stuffed my face.

I despise the fact that I’m still letting my emotions dictate my eating and activity levels.

Forty Kilometers

This is the one area that I really kept up with this week. In fact after taking both Wednesday and Thursday off from working out on Friday I was able to do my fastest 10k run since late 2014. If I hadn’t ran through a busy area at dinner time causing me to get stuck at red lights and crosswalks I would have creamed my personal 10k record from back then. That Friday run also put me to 40k for the week.

Fifteen Pounds

Even though I messed up on eating and only completed four workouts during the week the weight loss still turned out OK. From 187lbs I am down to 183lbs. That four pounds puts me at 14lbs all together. So close to the fifteen goal and I still have one last week to go! If I could pull another 5lbs in this last week it will put me at 178lbs which puts my BMI in the normal zone. No longer would I be classified as overweight. Not sure I can do another week of 5lbs lost and I won’t be disappointed if that doesn’t happen.

FFF Week Two Update

This is my second week update for my Fight Fat February month and things are still on the right track.

Food

Food went again this week. My usual breakfast, but switched up lunch. Most of the week I had a spinach salad. Stuck with the same snacks, carrots, apples, and yogurts. Again had the same dinners as the rest of the family, we even had cheese burgers one night!

Five Fitness Workouts

Moved on to week two of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. This week is a lot tougher than the first. I had to take a break one night during the week so I did Saturday night as well to get my five in for the week.

Forty Kilometers

We had some rough weather the beginning of the week that kept me from getting out running so it made the rest of the week tougher between the sidewalks and running so many days in a row. However with a 9km run on Saturday it took me to 40km even.

Fifteen Pounds

This week ended up being a surprise to me that this goal went as well as it did. I’m down another five pounds. That’s down to 187lbs and 10lbs total in the two weeks. Only 5lbs to go in the next two weeks.