Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bus Bench Training Has Begun

So I got off the training 'Park bench' that I was coasting on since the beginning of January while I dedicated all my spare energy to benefit related tasks. It took a bit over a week to just relax down to normal. I don't feel 100% yet, but you can't wait for perfect conditions to get started or you'll never start.

I am on day two of the RunDouble 10k event training plan to make me faster at that distance. I've tried two different Vibram five-fingers over two days (running) and I'm not in love with either pair. (More on that later.) Funny how working on speed and endurance has a way of making me feel so slow. Plus, I've been a wuss (maybe I need someone to call me a "waaambulance") and have been doing my running on a treadmill this week instead of outside with the bitter windchill and ice.

Combining the run plan with the Kettlebell Bootcamp should get me rolling on my Tough Mudder training. I will do a little repeat of the 21 day Kettlebell Challenge starting mid-February to give me morning and evening workouts. My goal is to stoke the furnace, burn off about 10 pounds this month to make me faster for Get Lucky 7k. Then I will "Park bench" it until April or later, depending on team feedback when our Tough Mudder team starts seriously training together.

I also went back to eating strictly protein for a week so that my digestive system can really get a reset after the holiday abuse. After that, I will just be back to my normal, whole food protein and veggie (with supplements) eating plan. I look for quick recipes and meals to keep the family meal plan interesting - or rather to keep me interested enough in the 15 things (exaggeration) I eat. I was surprised to find a lot of very doable combinations in couple Dukan diet recipe sites. The first two phases of that plan look very similar to my limitations - except I can add almonds, pears, blueberries, honeydew melon, watermelon(in small amounts), and quinoa.

My mileage goal for this week Monday to Sunday is 20 miles (in the land where 10 min of kettlebells equals 1 mile). I am already at 19/20.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: 42goals Goal Targeting App

You probably are slightly familiar with my quest to go digital/paperless a few years ago. This, partnered with the ever-present need to log every dang thing (not just a compulsion), has me leveraging some online tools like food tracking.

But when I changed from windows phone to android over a year ago, I lost a very cool app (iFitOne) that is only available for windows phones (#fail). Today, I found the replacement in 42goals.com! (free)

42goals.com is a very simple premise - you set targets and check off or tick them up and down. It took me awhile to realize how much I miss this type of goal tracking. It's so simple, but effective. There is a web site and an android app. Setting up all my daily targets through the web site helped speed things up.


The image above is from my set of goals on 42goals.  You can demo the app yourself.

I tried some other apps (like Happy Ritual), but it just didn't like the interface. I prefer to have a mix of things that are count based, measurement based, time based, and Yes/No.  42Goals delivers on that very well.  I also like the custom icons which you can add to goals.  It makes it more fun.  And aren't you more likely to do something if it is fun?  I am!

It doesn't do the quick summary screen or color coding the way iFitOne does, but I didn't have to write it myself either, so there's a compromise to it.

I love this kind of tracking.  It reminds me throughout the day of my goals.  It is also easy to keep on target before the day has expired.  (And, I often record my food when I get home so the little counter helps remind me to record things.)  And, over a period of time, you can see improvement in areas by looking at how close the average moves to your target.

If you purchase the premium version, you can create groups of goals.  I recommend starting with the free version.  If you love it, and have so many goals that it makes sense you view and manage them in groups.  (Here is a link to the user guide if you want more details or step-by-step.)

Oh, the planning on stats... on each goal, you can view the Planning and Statistics tabs.  If you have set targets and dates (which you can do), then you can view the collected information over time in a couple of graph styles by different time periods.  The image below is from the demo for the coffee goal.


For data nerds like me, there is also an Excel export option.  Since I use this to track my pain against baseline for a couple of different areas, mood, general food, caffeine, and activity - this is a nice spreadsheet that I bring to my physician when I go in for a checkup.

42Goals can hook into your Facebook account, but I'm not really about blasting my daily goals around on Facebook.  I guess I want to keep it private until I actually accomplished something.

There is an android app for this built by Fakhri Samara.  I didn't have success with it.  Was not able to get my data to even load in it and ended up uninstalling it.  I would not recommend that.  [Although, I would pay either a $20/year or one-time $45 fee if it came with a nice device app that I could download to my phone(android/iphone/blackberry/windows phone) and an iPad.]

Overall rating of 42goals web and mobile site = two thumbs up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Dashing Through The Snow, The Kettlebell Monster and the Little Piggy That Stayed Home

polar dash -
i ran my first official 10k yesterday (was it just yesterday? wow, time flies when you're having fun). my goal was to finish it before 1 hour and 30 minutes; not be dead last; and finish before the course closed.  it was awesome to cross the finish line with 1:19 on the clock (official chip time of 1:17) and not be last-last.  i was 60 from the bottom, so i'm okay with that.  now there is so much room for improvement.  goal of 60 minute finish for the next 10k and maintain the under 30 min 5k.


lessons learned: i don't need all those clothes!  i was miserable hot (on top) and my [insert rear jiggly part here] was cold.

  • opt for wind pants next time 
  • wear normal winter gear on top 
  • keep face covered, but do not wear a hat because I overheat too easily

this little piggy wished he'd stayed home -
i'm not sure if i posted on here about my trip to IKEA last may? in 4 1/2 inch heels when i got my heal stuck in the mess-bottom furniture trolley while attempting to load a massive shelf into the high trunk of my car - i, of course, dropped it multiple times on my shin, ankle, and foot.  you know that feeling when you say to yourself - that's going to hurt later? it was that feeling until i got into the car and wanted to put my foot on the dash to drive home, because my toe was throbbing.  (i resisted that urge for the hour drive home.)  my toe hurt for a couple of days, and then i forgot about it until many, many weeks later when my toenail just came off pain-free.

one little piggy went to market, but the little piggy that normally stays home went running.  now piggy has a big blister under the whole toenail. the root of my toenail hurts like heck.  it must be something about having lost that nail once before - and it only having grown back in the last month.  it popped it right up and is about to come off again.  weird and gross and kinda interesting all at the same time.

kettlebell monster -
so with all that work on the bottom half of my body yesterday, and no kettlebell class thursday or friday - led me to double-kettlebell class tonight. holy it was upper body workout central tonight.  just in the benchmark swing tests (115 swings and 127 swings at 35 pounds a swing), i moved 8,470 pounds in 10 minutes.  hello. gotta feel good about that.

i'm starting to feel like i went 5k on my arms.  oh wait, that's coming.  just to remind me, my tough mudder training t-shirt arrived today.  easy run tomorrow.