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.

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.

Fitness update

Fitness update

Back near the beginning of August I wrote about my fitness and plans to get back into a good routine and health. Today I hit a couple milestones so I thought I would give a quick update.

My main goals were to keep my physical activities varied and not only doing one thing. For both biking and running I set some minor goals for myself.

With biking my goal was to be able to make it from the bottom of our hill to the top without stopping. On September 1st I completed that though very slowly.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B14UMVaHhOR/

Since then I haven’t done a lot of biking as I’ve been concentrating on my running. My goal was to be able to run the Valley Harvest Marathon 5K race in under 30 minutes. When I started running again in August it seemed like a long ways away. That race was this morning and I did it.

Another fun milestone that came today was when I jumped on the scale I am now down 30lbs since April of this year. That is when I started but had a few big up and downs before I finally really buckled down in August.

There is still more work to go but I’m finally feeling like I’m back in a good routine with both my eating and activity levels.

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.

My hats

My hats

My family likes to make fun of me because I like hats. They say I have too many and give me a hard time when ever I go to buy a new one. I don’t really have that many and most of them serve a purpose or occasion.

Recently I made a deal though that I won’t buy a new one for a year so that I could justify buying an expensive set of earphones. That got me thinking of all my hats and thought I may as well share all my hats.

Basketball

Probably the biggest category of hats I have. Most are Toronto Raptors hats but there is a Michael Jordan Jumpman hat and a Basketball Canada one. As of this writing I don’t have the Championship hat it is still on its way.

WordPress

Most people who know me know I love my WordPress swag. Numerous shirts, pictures, backpacks, stickers, my laptop, and of course some hats.

Baseball

A couple summers ago we took in a Blue Jays baseball game during one of our trips and they are the only Canadian team in the MLB so I of course need one of their hats.

The red W hat is a Kentville Wildcats one which is Noah’s team he is playing for. We also go watch some of the seniors men Wildcat games so I needed a hat to cheer them all on with.

Running

I have two hats for running. While I don’t run much anymore I do plan to get back into it and they come in handy for other sweaty activities as well.

Brands

These are random ones that I just happened to like the hats. I don’t have much affiliation with any of these but they looked good. All but the Puma hat are pretty old and only usually get worn when out in the yard or if I’m going to get sweaty or dirty.

Local

These are hats from local businesses or groups.

One is from New Scotland clothing. Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland so a local company started up a brand of clothing around that which I really like.

TAN Coffee is one of my favourite local cafes and coffee roasters. They are the main coffee I drink here at home and used to drink a fair number from them directly before I got my own espresso machine.

The Acadia Axemen is the mascot for the local University. This is where I graduated from and we regularly go to watch the basketball teams play during the season.

There you go. That is all my hats. I don’t think they are that many. While I could likely downsize as some don’t get worn very often anymore I still like them all.

This guy wouldn’t let the cold stop him

This guy wouldn’t let the cold stop him

Yesterday I didn’t move very much. Right up until about 9pm my Fitbit was only showing about 1200 steps, that’s pretty lazy. Earlier in the day when it was even lower than that I was chatting with my team about how I should go out for a walk but that I was being a wimp about the cold. Trying to assure them that I wasn’t always so lazy, and afraid of the weather, I shared this picture from a few years ago when the cold didn’t stop me and I’d go out running in about anything.

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This morning my teammate Guga shared this, I think he was trying to make me feel better about being such a baby about going out in the cold that he tried to make me look like a badass. Even funnier this was the only first person shooter style game I ever played any amount of, I was terrible at it.

sandy-counter-strike

 

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.

Worldwide WordPress 5k

During the Grand Meetup one of the events organized was the wwwp5k, a Worldwide WordPress 5k. It’s something that has been going on for few years now where WordPress users can run 5k from anywhere in the world and yet do it together by blogging about the experience. Even though you can do it alone and from anywhere we figured it would be a good chance for a bunch of us to do it together.

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It was a chilly rainy day in Whistler BC, but the scenery was beautiful and the company was lovely. It’s been a while since I’ve done much running and being over tired, wet and cold, so things were very slow. It worked out really well though because part way through I met up with a co-worker who I’ve wanted to spend some time with. It allowed us, through long breathes, to chat and come in together.

wwwp5k

Every time I get a chance to spend some time and chat with one of my co-workers I’m reminded how amazing each of them are. At the Grand Meetup it is even evident without directly interacting with anyone. The level of organization and planning that goes into this event is mind boggling.

Even this event there was about a large number of us who all came together at 7am to run and walk the course. This year it was also arranged that for each Automattician who ran we would donate to Souls4Soles. Just one more thing to make me proud to be working with all these people and for this company.

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