Welcome to the fifth installment of the 2014 Monthly Challenges Recap. And the second month in a row where I was unable to attain all the goals I set out for myself. Yay me! 😛
As a reminder, my May goals were as follows:
- Run at least 60 kms in May — with a stretch goal of 75 kms.
- Run a 10k in May
The month started off strong with the following runs:
- May 4: 5k run / avg pace 7.30/km
- May 5: 5k run – treadmill – total time 34:30
- May 7: 5k run – treadmill – total time 35:28
- May 8: 5k run – treadmill – total time 36:20
- May 10: 2.6 k run / avg pace 7.27/km
- May 11: 4.9k run / avg pace 7.52 /km
And I haven’t run a lick since May 11th.
So…what happened? Well, two things: I travelled to NYC for work May 12 – 14th and then began the crazy 3,400 km road trip on the 15th. I sat in a car all day from the 16th to the 18th.
Once I got settled at home in Vegas on the 19th, running was my lowest priority. I had just over a week to train for the killer hike at the Grand Canyon. You better believe I used all my allotted workout time to get VERY familiar with the Stairmaster, in my estimation the only piece of gym equipment that comes even close to approximating the climbing of a mountain.
So I chose to do 45 – 60 minutes of that each day the first week instead of running on a treadmill. Because running outdoors in 100+ degree desert heat was not happening. Not in this lifetime. Nor in the next.
Needless to say, a sum total of 27.5 kms in May was a pitiful result against a goal of 60 kms. And, it also goes without saying that, I did NOT run a 10k in the month of May.
What might come as more of a shocker is that I’m actually really okay with both of those outcomes. I’m not beating myself up. I’m not feeling like a failure. I made choices, and I’m good with the choices I made.
My dear, sweet friend, Sam, picked this particular squat challenge, The Bombshell Bottom 30 Day Squats. To save you the math (because Sam already did it for me), this is a total of 4,817 squats in a month, culminating in the pièce de résistance, 300 squats on the final day (all in a row, no breaks). GAH!
I did it!! Although having to do the final 300 squats days after the Grand Canyon hike was really not my favourite. Verdict on going forward: I’ve always loved squats – I think it’s a great all around exercise, and I especially love doing them with a heavy weighted barbell on my back for maximum results. I’m not sure that this much repetition of body weight squats is as effective as a smaller number of weighted squats, but I’ll definitely keep squats in my multiple-times-per-week regime.
3. Better Nutrition:
- Kale or Spinach-based smoothie every morning
- 1 tbsp. of Bee Pollen daily
- 1 garlic supplement daily
- 3 flaxseed oil supplements daily
Okay I’m calling this one a draw.
- Green Smoothies: I managed to get lots of green drinks in before I left for my trip to NYC, then none while I was away that week, and then none during the 3 days road trip, and only one since I’ve been in Vegas. That said, I have been getting tons of fresh veg and fruit daily – so I’m good with that.
- Bee Pollen: I threw that shit back like a champ every day in May that I was actually at home, which was exactly 12. So for 12 of 31 days I ate bee pollen, which I’ll remind you tastes like ASS. Once I got to Vegas I had no intention of buying more of that assiness. And I have no intention of eating another bite of it when I get back home to Toronto in 2 weeks. I’m over bee pollen. Over it.
- Garlic Supplement: Yes – every day – and now fully stocked here in Vegas, too.
- Flaxseed Oil Supplements: Yes, same as above.
In addition, due to the great feedback and suggestions I got in the original May Challenges post about supplement y’all are taking, I also invested in some other stuff here in Vegas. Specifically an MSM supplement which I take twice daily (it’s good for joint health and also for hair and nail growth/strength). I also added a Probiotic supplement which I take once/day. I love how I’ve been feeling so I plan to add those two to my regime at home in Toronto too.
4. Bonus Activity:
Remember when I originally plotted out what my 2014 health and fitness goals should look like? And how I wanted to take on “big challenges” but I struggled with how to define them? I actually knew exactly what I meant. I meant things like a rim-to-river (and back) hike at the Grand Canyon. I meant things like crazy outdoorsy vacations to Glacier National Park (on the wish list) or climbing Mt. Whitney (also on the wish list), but because I couldn’t pin down dates and specifics, it felt wrong to put them out there as goals without a clear plan for completing them.
So, while I didn’t declare a big hiking challenge for May, I knew I would take one on. And I did! My most challenging hike to date: 19.43 miles and a total elevation change of just under 9,000′. Want to get a glimpse of that action? Watch the youtube video here.
To recap: my original May goals were to Run, Squat and Ingest healthy things. Sure, I only did the squat & (mostly) ingest healthy things part, but I ALSO killed it on a killer hike. So I’m calling May a resounding success.
Running can go suck it.
And now for my favourite part of the Monthly Challenges recap post:
Bad-Ass Round-up – May!
- Kate at Did That Just Happen who increased her daily workouts from 30 minutes to 60 minutes through the month of May as well as a continued commitment to the dreaded wall sit!
- Sam at Midsummer 365 Project for always being awesome and inspirational – and also for having some crazy May goals. Love this girl!
- Helen at 26 to 12 who took on the massive goal of working out every single day in May, and is KILLING IT! Go girl!
- Fi at Fi’s Mutterings who also took on the giant goal of working out every day in May!!
- Rose at From 2 to 3 Kids who has gone 100% gluten-free and also took on a zero added-sugar challenge for May!
- Kerry at Winding Road for setting great May goals. Kerry was hit with the unimaginable in May: a massive flood in which she lost her home. Kerry’s amazing spirit, in the face of so much loss, is truly remarkable. A warrior in every sense of the word.
- Joanne at My Life Lived Full who competed in a 10k race and is still training for a half marathon in June.
- J at As My Camera Sees It for signing up to a Fitness Photo challenge while she trains for a 5k walk in June, which she is committed to completing in under 1 hour. Go J!
- BB at Bulging Buttons who hit the reboot button on her health and weight loss goals in May. She committed to rejoining Weight Watchers and kicking off healthier lifestyle choices!
- John at A Napper’s Companion for declaring his goals to workout five days a week; row 12k meters in an hour; and inch nearer the illusive goal of having a fly booty! 🙂 How’d that work out for you, John?
- El Guapo from Guapola for borrowing one of his wife’s hula hoops and hula hooping his heart out! I saw a picture, so it definitely happened. 🙂
- Lisa at Northwest Frame of Mind for taking on the Bombshell Bottom Squat challenge AND the Les Mills Ab challenge!
- Lynne at Curvy Roads for continuing her commitment to yoga both in a class and on her own.
- Freebutfun (I’m so sorry, but I don’t know your name!) She took on a challenge to focus on the back muscle groups in May and also to continue her boot camp participation!
- Maria at Brick House Chick who is awesome in so many ways(!), but rose to a new level of awesomeness with her commitment to walk 3x/week in May. Maria suffers from two chronic illnesses: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, which means each step can be a painful one. Maria is a my hero.
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.
Carry on warriors!