Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Operation Arm Flaps: The Final Chapter

i did it. It wasn't pretty, nor was it particularly successful, but i did it.


Original goal was focus on upper body work, built around the push up challenge, and to alternate days with core/lower body work. In the end, i stayed with just the push ups...

Minor moral victory? Let's just cut to the wrap-up.

Final measurements: EXACTLY THE SAME AS WEEK 2.

Yep. No additional shrinkage in the last 2 weeks. But perhaps more tone. There's that. And i can definitely do more push ups! Starting 'exhaustion test' had me at 10. i can now drop and give you 30! Stronger. That is good.

Comparing my first "bingo wings, week 0" pic vs "bingo wings, final" shot? Biggest difference is that my shirt is a little rattier (hey, it's ALWAYS laundry day here...).

Why was this second round of "30 Days" so much harder for us all to stick to? i dunno. The novelty had perhaps worn off... Distractions abound, don't they? We seemed to lose a lot of energy around week 2.

Rather than lament what didn't work, however, i'll cheer for what did... We slogged through. We at least felt guilty when we didn't... And for me, i do feel stronger. And the arms are perhaps marginally less likely to take me airborne in a stiff breeze...

Here's to finding ways to keep stretching a bit. To hold ourselves accountable, even without communal accountability. And to the seemingly endless 'little things' we can all find time for that can make us a bit better...

Riding & Reading, final report

I know we're a bit past the 30 day mark, but I wanted to get in one final report. I'm still going. All through the 30 day challenge, my numbers on the exercise bike crept up, bit by bit. But those bits added up. 3.86 miles and 162 calories on the first day, and 4.9 miles and 220 calories on the last day.

I like numbers. They give me some idea how I'm doing. But sometimes round numbers get our attention more. In my case, five miles seemed to be the wall I couldn't cross on a 20 minute ride. 4.86, 4.97, 4.98, 4.90. So close, but I wanted that FIVE.

So a couple days ago, I decided I was going to break the five mile mark if it killed me. No warmup time, just get going right out of the gate. Pedaling the bike when it's at the lowest resistance is actually harder in some ways than when you're really pushing. If you go too fast it feels a bit out of control, like you're going to bang your ankle or your knee or crash through the window. But I needed that five.

By the time I got to the "top of the hill" I was dying. My thighs were burning. I put down the book. On the second "peak" I thought I wasn't going to make it through 20 minutes, much less five imaginary miles. I watched my speed. I watched my distance. I watched my time remaining. I tried to calculate what pace I was on and what pace I needed to keep. But I eventually just gave up and pedaled.

Forget about it. Either you make it, or you don't. Just give it all you've got.


Eventually, I felt the resistance go to nothing, meaning I was near the end. I pedaled out of control again, eyes closed, breathing hard, waiting for the final beep to tell me I was done.

5.64 miles. 247 calories. All those near misses, and I finally broke through the wall and kept going.

And it didn't kill me.

It was the second wall I broke through on this journey. The first wall was back at zero miles and zero calories. Somehow, that one was just as hard to break through.

Tonight, I hit 5.68, and 249 calories. I guess 250 calories is my new wall....