4 Down and 1 to Go (and it is only Friday)

This 2 month fitness challenge I am on to do five 45-minute workouts per week from November through December is turning out to be not as much of a challenge as I thought. It is pretty easy actually.

Today I ran a 5k at a very modest pace (10 minute miles). I can't believe I am still able to run in shorts in late November in Wisconsin. But I can't complain. Running has become a lot easier for me too. When I first started this, running was killer. Now I can get through it pretty easily.

And I think I am a little bit faster roo, as evidenced by the fact that my dog Buddy now has to trot, rather than just walk, to keep up with me. He even galloped a couple times.

The run was my 4th workout for this week. I attribute being ahead of schedule to the 2 days off for Thanksgiving, and the fact that I did a double workout yesterday - 90 minutes on the stationary bike (it wasn't as warm outside as the forecast had indicated). I also did the stationary bike for 45 minutes on Monday night.

I was supposed to run with a co-worker on Wednesday, but she bailed. I had a lot of work to do, so I also bailed. Otherwise I'd be at my 5 workout goal and could pretty much take the weekend off from exercise.

I have a rock show tomorrow night, GUPPY EFFECT's last show. That will be pretty much of a workout in and of itself. However, I can't count it. I have to do a "real" workout that I can document on My Fitness Pal, which I am using to track my exercise and calorie consumption. Although dietary restriction is not required on this challenge, it is kind of nice to know when I am over or under my caloric intake goal.

My basement smells like kitty litter, and that's really odd, because I don't have a cat.


One Down and Four to Go


I did 45 minutes on the stationary bike this evening, knocking off one of the five 45-minute workouts I have to accomplish this week in keeping with my 2-month fitness challenge to do five 45-minute workouts each week for November and December.

So far I have not missed getting all five in a week. I even got 6 one week. I might get 6 again this week, because Thursday and Friday are holidays from work.

I am going running on Wednesday. I may or may not get a workout in tomorrow over lunch, depending on workload, what with the short week and all. But if I get them in on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will be up to 4. So then I have the whole weekend to get the fifth one in, and I will probably get a sixth one, the way things look now.


Five 45-Minute Workouts Per Week


This morning I accomplished my goal of five 45-minute workouts for the week by doing 90 minutes on the stationary bike. This counts as two 45-minute workouts.

I also did 45 minutes on the stationary bike on Monday and Friday this week. On Tuesday, I ran 5K with a co-worker.

It is not too difficult to maintain a fitness goal if you plan for it. Optimally, I would accomplish all 5 workouts during the week. But this week I had conflicts on both Wednesday (band practice night) and Thursday (just lazy). I got up super early on Friday to squeeze a workout in before work.

That is also what I am hoping to do tomorrow.

I hope you will join me in my fitness challenge for November and December. All you have to do is find time to do five 45-minute workouts of mild to moderate exertion. Nothing crazy, just get active. 120 bpm is totally easy to achieve and not a struggle.



My Fitness Pal App


As part of my 2 month fitness challenge to do five 45-minute workouts per week, I have been logging my diet and exercise using the MY FITNESS PAL app for Android phones (it has a web browser version too).

I have not been restricting diet as part of this fitness challenge, as far as what I eat, but it is kind of nice to know the calories in and calories out each day.

My friend Wendy hooked me up with it. You tell it how much you want to work out and how much weight you want to lose, if any. Then it gives you a daily calorie budget and let's you log diet and exercise.

When you exercise, you add points to your calorie budget, allowing you to eat more.

The diet log is kind of difficult to use because it is really hard to search for the exact foods I am eating. A lot of them are based on brand names and I do not eat branded packaged foods that much. It is more difficult to find just a generic boneless chicken breast of about 8-10 ounces.

That's what I had for breakfast today, FYI. I am going to eat another one now, and then go for a run.

This morning I did 45 minutes on the indoor stationary bike, but I am only up to 4 workouts for this week so I need to do another one today. My week goes Monday to Sunday.

Recall that last week, I had a bonus workout because I did 6 workouts. I could credit that one to this week and not have to run. But it is actually kind of warm out for early November and my dog Buddy could use the exercise.

The problem is it might rain. There's a chance.


5K Run Indoors

Wisconsin got its first light snow yesterday, but I wasn't going to let that dissuade me from achieving my weekly fitness challenge of five 45-minute light to moderate workouts per week.

Normally when I exercise indoors, I do the stationary bike. But yesterday I decided to do a 5K moderate run on the treadmill. My pace was an easy 11 minute mile on average and I got my bpm up to about 140 at peak. I inclined the treadmill to 0.5% for a little extra challenge but it was still an easy run.

It only took 37 minutes. I walked the last 0.2 miles to cool down. When I run, I only have to achieve 3 miles of distance regardless of time. That is one of my allowed exceptions to the 45 minute rule.

On the down side, it hurt my arthritic left big toe and I chafed a bit on my inner thighs. Anyone have any suggestions for minimizing chafe on the legs? I am all ears.

I logged yesterday's workout on Fitocracy. I have only done 2 workouts so far this week, not including today's planned workout and the freebie I achieved by doing 6 workouts last week. So theoretically, after today, I should be up to 4 on paper.

I am also going to do the stationary bike at home tomorrow morning before the weatherization inspector comes at 9. On track for this week.

No weight loss, but recall that this 2 month fitness challenge does not have a dietary component and I am in fact doing it at this time of year for the very reason that I want to enjoy all the holiday food from Halloween through New Year's (hence the Nov - Dec time frame).

Conversely, I have not gained any weight, notwithstanding a higher than usual carb intake. Basal metabolism is definitely higher.

I might lift weights a little today.


Join "Getting Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse" Via Fitocracy

As part of my two month fitness challenge to do five 45-minute workouts per week until the end of the year, I joined FITOCRACY's "Getting Fit for the Zombie Apocalypse" group via my buddy SparxMind.

FITOCRACY is an online game where you earn points and gain levels for various fitness activities.

However, it is only in BETA now and you can only get invited via someone who is on it already.

I found out I can invite you via my Zombie Apocalypse Readiness group.

Here's the link: http://ftcy.co/vSvdgj.

The group code is XKFFH, but I don't know if you need it.

There are 87 invites left as of this posting. Hurry. Zombies are coming.

Once you get on there, find me (Cactus Joe) and add me as a friend.


90 Minutes on Stationary Bike Today - One Workout Surplus


With today's 90 minute bout of stationary biking, I surpassed my goal of five 45-minute workouts per week this week.

Having worked out for 45 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, today's workout puts me ahead by 1.

This is not to say I am going to skimp on one this coming week. I still plan to do five workouts this week. But if for some reason I can't, I won't feel too bad.

But that is a slippery slope, and I am not going to start down that path.

So I am going to add a caveat to my fitness challenge these next two months. If I have a surplus of workouts for a week, I will only be allowed to roll one of them forward.

Chances are I will never achieve more than six in a week, given my schedule. But there you go.


2-Month Fitness Challenge on Track


I am about to go do workout 4 of 5 for this week.

My 2-month fitness challenge to do five 45-minute moderate to light workouts per week is going well.

I haven't missed any workouts yet, although I am definitely not ahead of schedule this week. It's Saturday and my workout week is Mon-Sat. I worked out Mon, Tues, Thur, and (in about an hour) Sat this week, which means I will need to do one tomorrow too.

Last weekend on Sunday, I did a 2-hour workout in one day, counting toward 2 workouts, but I do not roll them over into the next week.

No noticeable weight loss, but recall that this challenge has no dietary restriction component, other than to eat sensibly.

So far it has been easy. I am dutifully NOT doing more than the minimum effective dose. I like to get my heart rate into the range of 120-140 and I have been hitting that easily, without undue exertion.

When I use the gym at work, I usually read a book to make the time fly by. On the stationary bike at home, I watch episodes of decent shows on Netflix.

Well, I had better go do this...