- Drink 100 ounces of water every day [Hydrate]
- Get into the bed by 10 pm [Rest/Repair]
- Run 5 days a week [minimum 1 mile]
I’m almost there. Just a couple days left and the 115 challenge will be complete. So what are my takeaways for this challenge.
1. Drinking anything else but water is enjoyable but I find that it sets me behind in my daily goal of water. Everything else I end up drinking slower. A soda, an energy drink, Alcohol, or hot tea. They feel like they get in the way. I won’t lie and say that I quit them all together. Although I didn’t drink any alcohol during this challenge at all. What did end up happening is that I ended up craving the water more and drinking everything else less. After consistently drinking 100 plus ounces for just a week or two I didn’t really need to make hash marks to calculate how much I had drank for the day. My eyes, mouth, sinuses and lips were all good indicators. If your lips are chapped you don’t need chapstick you desperately need to sit your butt down and drink some water. You are dehydrated. It got to where I could knock back 20 ounces and still be thirsty. Where early on 20 ounces at a time had me having that sloshing feeling in my stomach. I knew if I didn’t make it to 60-80 ounces before I left work that I was going to be in trouble trying to get all my water before the end of the day. Actually in the 3rd and 4th weeks I was pushing for more like 120 ounces rather than just 100. Drinking 20 ounces of water as soon as you sit up in the morning wakes you up. I would find it difficult to go back to sleep after that.
2. Sunday night through Thursday night it was easy to be in the bed. Not always asleep right away. Putting yourself in the bed and turning the lights off is a great way for you to tell your body its time to rest. Side effect of going to bed earlier besides getting a more restful sleep is that you are less reliant on the alarm clock. It didn’t feel as disruptive when it went off because often times I was awake. Even on weekends I try to sleep in and eyes are wide open early. I try to force myself out of the house early so that I can avoid rushing to do things later in the day. You’d be surprised what a different place your favorite shopping destination is at 9 or 10am on a weekend versus 1pm. Some days I got in bed even earlier than 10 pm because I was so sore and tired from a workout. I guess the hardest part about the earlier bedtime is choosing what to watch on TV. You just don’t have the time. The DVR is my friend. I fast forward through commercials and storylines that I find uninteresting. Getting off of work my goal is to eat what I consider to be dinner between 5 and 6 pm. I need an hour and a half to digest and get to the gym. You go any earlier and you’ll be burping up what you ate for the whole workout. If you push too hard then what you end up with a “reversal of fortune” [throwing up]. I know better than that. I try to keep the workout less than an hour. Go home and make an after workout meal. Something light but it has to have some protein in it otherwise I’ll be hungry again before I make it to sleep. Then there also mornings were I was wide awake and rolling out of bed because of soreness and not because of how much I slept. But that’s what hot Epsom salt baths and high potassium foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, and coconut water are for.
3. Oh the running. This was the main focus of the challenge. I can say that I definitely got the habit back. Its not so much that I want to go at the moment that its time, but I know that I should. Not for the sake of the challenge. I am reminded of that feeling. I knew if I could step out my house in my gear then that workout was as good as done. I often groaned to myself as I began. If only you could see the smile on my face when the Nike+ app announces that I’m almost at my goal for the run. Mondays and Tuesdays proved to be the most mentally challenging days. I did not feel like bothering to go on those days. I attribute this to the fact that my longest run was always on Sunday and so Mondays and Tuesdays I was still recovering from that run. By Wednesdays and Thursdays I knew it was almost over for the week. There were even days where my left ankle was sore. My rule of thumb is you get warmed up and just go run. If after you are completely warmed up it hurts more, STOP. Do not continue you are injured. For me I felt some pain but once I was running it wasn’t as big a problem. Especially when I started paying more attention to stretching in my cool down. Rest days felt so much sweeter when you’ve been running the other five.
So were there any dramatic weight changes? Nah. As you can see from the dates and weights there was a drop after the first week but it returned to my starting weight of about 250. Am I displeased? Nah. There’s so much that the scale can’t tell you. I’m waking up earlier , feeling stronger, pants are fitting looser, not having aches and pains from regular stuff like just sitting at work, and sweating like a dog when I do workout.
I flat out refuse to do sit-ups. I just don’t like that exercise. Plus I’m trying hard not to focus on aesthetic goals. I’m not trying to be a bodybuilder. I’m going for performance based goals. Aesthetic goals can do more damage then they help in the short run. When people ask me why I try these challenges for myself or why I run. My answer is always the same. I workout so my body behaves. When I want it to jump, it better jump. When I wanna run, I want both knees to get up there. Not working out can lead you to be disassociated with what your “Current” bodies capabilities are.
My next big hurdle is to figure out what my next challenge is. Creating short term goals is the way that I keep myself motivated to continue. Otherwise working out can feel like an appointment that you can skip if you are “not feeling it”. Especially because I know in the next couple of months I will be traveling a lot. Keeping fit on the road can be difficult when you don’t plan ahead. These are the things that I have to work through.
That’s my challenge. What did you think? Do you have a challenge of your own? Post your comments below or tweet me @SongandCrest