A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

Category: Fitness Page 1 of 3

FitBit: The Ending of an Era

I recently talked about running my first half-marathon at the Flying Pig. I had fun doing it and I’ll think about if I want to do it again however it marks the end of an era. The half-marathon was my FitBit’s swan song. I am officially retiring my FitBit and it feels really weird; I have “phantom device” syndrome.

A few years ago I bought an Apple Watch but I kept using my FitBit because it had so much of my walking/running data that I didn’t want to give it up. Essentially I had two fitness devices and it was time for one to go.

Half-Marathon Achieved and the Future of Running

I did it! Earlier this month I completed my first half marathon. This is the culmination of all the running I have been doing for the past 10 years. My journey here has had its challenges from weight issues and prescription painkillers to a global pandemic. This is, essentially, a bucket list item for me so where do we go from here? What does the future of running look like for me?

Fitness Update; Beast Mode!

About a month ago I wrote a mid-year review of my 2021 intentions. In that time I have made some changes to my workouts and running goals. As I said in that post, I have a strategy for improving my daily run distance to 6 miles a day. I am officially running that distance. Granted it’s not quite 6.2 (i.e. a 10k), however adding two-tenths of a mile is a very minor adjustment.

I have not run 9 miles on my push day, yet. I am still calculating how I can achieve that distance given the geography of my location. My hope is to try to hit that goal by mid-to-late August.

Beast Mode Engaged

So this brings me to the pre-workout. There are two areas I focus on as part of my pre-workout; core and strength training. Three days a week my pre-workout focuses on strengthening my core. I tried a few exercises while attempting to keep the reps and sets within 15-30 minutes.

Core Strengthening Exercises

This is the pre-workout Core exercise routine that is working well for me:

  • 30 sec planks x 3
  • 10 squats x 3
  • 10 doorway rows x 3
  • 1 minute farmer’s carry x 2
  • 10 kettle bell swings (with a dumb bell) x 2

Strength Training Exercises

Then, two days a week, I focus on strength training. This is where I get a little intense. I initially started with doing push-ups, which I hate doing. Then I saw my sister and her husband doing burpees and I thought, well if they can do burpees then so can I. So I changed my push-ups to burpees.

Burpees suck as much as everyone says they do. They. Are. Hard. I changed my push-ups to burpees and I was doing that for about a week. Then someone told me about a similar exercise called the devils press, which is aptly named. It’s basically a burpee with dumbbells. Watch this short video to see how to do this exercise.

I changed my burpee to this exercise starting at 15 lb. dumbbells because my upper body is still a little weak. So this is my strength training routine:

  • 6 Devils Press (burpee) x 3
  • 10 Dumbbell Dead Lift x 3
  • 10 Dumbbell Row x 3
  • 8 Dumbbell Standing Curls x 2
  • 8 Seated Dumbbell Tricep Extensions x 2

By the end of the week, assuming I complete all of these routines and my 6 miles each day, I feel pretty good. My body feels like I’ve had a decent workout and I’m not too sore or too tired. My goal is to stick to this routine for a couple months and see how I’m feeling by the fall.

/cheers

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

The (Belated) Bad Idea Birthday Challenge Post

I’ve been lazy. Actually I’ve been busy with a few real life things and I’ve been learning a new programming language. When I start something new like that, I get a little obsessed and I lose track of my other hobbies and activities. I’ve also been rebuilding my NAS server. I will write more about that stuff at a later time. My birthday was a month ago and I’ll be honest, I haven’t completed a Bad Idea Birthday Challenge this year and I don’t know if I will do one.

In the past years I’ve calculated a distance based on my age using some kind of conjured equation. First it was my age divided by 10, then it was my age in kilometers, divided by 10. Obviously the pandemic changed everything last year.

What’s In Store for 2021?

I don’t know. We are still trying to come out from under these pandemic restrictions so most races are still virtual, delayed or cancelled (again). I kind of made a fitness goal in my 2021 intentions by completing a 15k and I may still do that but I haven’t decided if I’m going to do it as part of an official run. My daily average is up to 5.3 miles with my farthest 2021 distance at about 7.3 miles. Perhaps it’s best if I make it a flexible challenge this year.

My new daily average goal is 6+ miles (roughly a 10K every day) and to finally break the 9 mile mark on a push day. I will try to sign up and complete some kind of organized race (virtual or in-person – I am fully vaccinated now). If something strikes me as a worthy “birthday challenge” then I can revaluate my goals. In the mean time, I guess my “bad idea birthday challenge” and my 2021 goals are one-in-the-same.

Also, a quick amusing side note. I’ve kind of become a neighborhood celebrity. People are always waving at me from their cars or their front yards so frequently it feels like I’m in a parade. A few people have commented on how much weight I’ve lost or ask far I run every day. I also receive many “thumbs up” and even the occasional applause. It’s actually quite motivating.

/cheers

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

Race to Wrigley Charity Run 2020

Completing any race has been extremely challenging this year, for obvious reasons. All the usual races I run were postponed and ultimately cancelled (i.e. Red Legs and The Flying Pig). I have always wanted to run the Race to Wrigley Charity Race but I could never arrange to make the drive to Chicago. So I was very excited when I found out I could complete the race, virtually, this year. While I won’t be finishing inside the Friendly Confines, I’m still glad to have the opportunity to participate.

The race is only a 5K and I run farther than that 5 days a week, during my lunch hour, so this is a fairly easy race for me. Since this is for charity I feel that I needed to do something to try to make this a challenge. I decided that I wasn’t going to be lazy and submit one of my normal workouts. Instead I suited up and completed the 5K on a Saturday morning.

My total run time was 35:57, which is just under a 12 minute mile. Considering some of the hills I had to tackle on the route I chose, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

It’s Time For A Fitness Update

It's Time for a Fitness UpdateIt’s been a while since I regaled you with my fitness efforts so it’s time for a fitness update. I believe the last time I wrote about it was my “Bad Idea Birthday Run” challenge. The COVID has created new challenges for staying in shape. Stress and quarantine create the perfect storm for indulging in snacks, desserts and vegging on the couch. It’s a huge motivation killer.

I don’t know how other people are managing, especially when gyms were closed. Personally, I never went to a gym because 1) I’m cheap and don’t want to pay for a membership and 2) I’m too introverted to workout in front of strangers. Be that as it may, I’m still maintaining a consistent workout during these crazy times.

Going The Distance

I haven’t had any spikes in weight gain, on the other hand I haven’t had any record weight loss either. In fact I’m more or less maintaining my weight. Granted that’s far better than consistently gaining weight. I am, officially, running 5+ miles a day and I’ve run 8+ miles at least twice on my push days during this pandemic. If you do the math there, that means I have run a combined 13.1 miles (aka a half marathon) over two consecutive days. I’m honestly thinking about just skipping the Flying Pig this year and just push for the Half Marathon in 2021.

As I said, the current state of the world has really negatively impacted my motivation. Sudden changes in my daily routine makes me quite uncomfortable and stressed. It’s been a Catch 22; running reduces stress but I’ve been too stressed to run. Now that summer is officially here that means heat and humidity which makes running especially difficult. Despite all that I’m still trying to run 5 days a week (I might miss a day or two depending on weather and other curve balls). At the time of this post I’m at least 63% of the way done with my Walk to Mordor challenge and I suspect that is a little behind my progress at this time last year.

I feel my motivation slowing returning but with the brunt of the summer upon us it begs the question, how long will it last? Enduring the heat is a challenging obstacle. Time to dig deep!

How have your fitness goals been during the COVID, before the gyms reopened?

minions_icon

I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!

 

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