Welcome to the third installment of the 2014 Monthly Challenges Recap!
Challenge 1: A Return to Running
After a long, long break from running (November – February), something compelled me to go back.
Maybe it was the lack of a concrete challenge on the horizon. Maybe it was the need to have a portable exercise I could do from anywhere, now that I’m back to work and the associated business travel. Maybe it was a deep-seated masochism.
Whatever the motivation, I did two notable things in the month of March:
- I mustered up the courage to run outdoors in an urban setting, where people could see [and mock] me. What urban setting did I choose? Why, only the biggest one in North America, of course: New York City! When I ran the streets of Manhattan a few weeks ago I can honestly say that for those 40’ish minutes I did not absolutely hate running. Now that is a miracle.
- I made the decision to run a 10k. Downloading a 10k training app on my iPhone was a good first step, but it did not mean I would actually sign up for an participate in a 10k. Writing a blog post about it and declaring to the world that I intend to do that… that constitutes a challenge maker. I am absolutely terrified. My longest run to date was 7.5 kms yesterday. 10k seems a looooong way off at this point. I’m committed. I will do this.
Challenge 2: Oil Pulling
Is this ancient Ayurvedic tradition the miracle cure it’s purported to be? The jury is still out for me, but I’ve made the commitment to try this odd [and pretty nasty] practice for at least 10 – 14 consecutive days.
The good news is that 7 days in, I’m gagging far less, and my eyes no longer water incessantly.
The bad news is, I’ve been fighting a bit of a head-cold for 3 days and – if the amount of mucus in my head is any indication – the oil-pulling doesn’t seem to be doing much to remove the germs and toxins from my body, as “they” say it should.
Not sure this is a habit I’ll be holding onto, but I’ll see it through for a few more days to complete my “scientific experiment”.
Challenge 3: 100 Push-ups
No, I haven’t done 100 push-ups. That’s just crazy talk.
Instead, I’m using an app that is training me to, some day, be able to do 100 push-ups without a break. That day seems a long way away at this point.
The app is pretty ingenious, in that it attempts to avoid cheats by requiring you to get low enough with each push-up to touch the phone screen with your nose. Each time the tip of your nose meets the screen, the counter advances. I say it attempts to avoid cheats, although I suppose you could have really bad form (ass way up in air, lower your face, touch screen) and the app would still think you had done a proper push-up.
I’m not cheating. And this is really, really hard. I’m doing the push-up program 3x/week.
Challenge 4: Personal Record – Rowing Machine
If there was only one piece of exercise equipment I could have in my home gym, without a doubt I would have a quality rowing machine. In fact, I’d trade my gym-grade Precor Elliptical for one in a heartbeat. I’ve scoured Craig’s List and Kijiji but it seems there are none to be had.
Rowing is such a phenomenal workout, truly combining cardio with strength training, making it a great bang for your buck, time-wise. When I had previously used the rower at the gym, I had done one of two programs: 5,000 meters or 30 minutes. I could generally complete 5,000 meters in approx. 27 minutes; and a 30-minute straight row would yield a distance around 5,500m.
When I got back from Vegas and hit the gym last month I decided to see what 10,000 meters might feel like. What it feels like is FLIPPIN’ HARD! I hit my longest distance, 10,000m in 58 minutes that first attempt. One week later I did it in 56 minutes – a personal record for distance and time/speed. My hands were calloused messes by the time I was done – so now I’m holding off on anymore play-dates with the rower until after I invest in some gloves to protect my tender paws.
And now for my favourite part of the Monthly Challenges recap post:
Bad-Ass Round-up – March!
- Angelle at She Drives a Vegetable Car who fought through the lure of a comfy couch and Netflix [a killer combo] to get herself to a Yoga class. She has since attended 4 more times. No more lazy goo for you, Angelle. #BeastMode
- Sam at Midsummer 365 Project for overcoming serious mental blockers and fighting self-confidence issues when she decided to make her dream of becoming a Personal Trainer a reality by signing up for a certification course. In addition to all the physical challenges Sam takes on week in, week out in her 365 days of sweat journey, she also found time to get one step closer to her goal of personal training. Did I mention she’s also training for a 10k? Warrior!
- Joanne at My Life Lived Full for hiking all 892 kms of the Bruce Trail. I realize that she didn’t do this in March, but I found out about it in March – and since it’s such a HUGE, bad-ass accomplishment, I just had to call it out here! Oh, did I mention that Joanne is presently training for a Half Marathon in June? Yup. What an inspiration!
- Laurel at Eat Less Sugar who decided to go raw for Lent! She has given up alcohol, grains and dairy. Laurel just updated us all that although she caved to the call of bread and cheese a couple of times, she is holding strong on the no booze thing. Can I get a WOOT WOOT for Laurel??! No booze for 5 weeks? You go, bad-ass!
- Kathy over at Hiking to Healthy who didn’t let winter in Colorado slow her down from her commitment to hike, hike, hike her way to healthy. Nope, instead she bought some snowshoes and made her way up the mountain using those bad boys. Way to get it done Kathy!
- Kate at Did That Just Happen for staring her nemesis, the 1-minute Wall Sit, straight in the eye and showing it who’s boss. Kate also just started training for a 5k, and she officially ran for the first time: Wk 1, Day 1, a few days ago. Kate, you have got this!
And last, but most certainly not least, the bad-ass to end all bad-asses:
- Andra, the Accidental Cootchie Mama, for making it through every one of the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace on her own two [very sore, very blistered] feet. Andra’s 444 mile journey began on March 1st and ended on April 2nd. She walked 15 miles each day, 6 days per week. She makes me feel like a couch potato. –> Have you bought her book yet? It’s amazing! Buy it!
I am so sorry if I have forgotten anyone. If I have, PLEASE leave me a comment with a link to the bad-ass I inadvertently left out.
Angelle, Sam, Joanne, Laurel, Kathy, Kate and Andra – you are too bad-ass for words. Carry on, warriors!