2016 Fitness Goals – Part 1

Happy New Year, everyone!

(I know, I’m more than a week late, but… shush.)

I know it’s been a while since December 22, which is the official start of winter, but I wanted to think about what sort of goals to aim for as my Winter Fitness Goals.

I quickly realized that I have a lot of fitness goals and related topics that I want to talk about upfront. So, I decided to extend my deadline to Summer and split my 2016 Fitness Goals post into two.

Running

We finally got some snow in this region of Canada, but Toronto’s still been so mild that it hasn’t really stuck around much. This means I can run both indoors and outdoors, yay!

I initially wanted to train for a half-marathon (HM) distance or race, but then I realized that it’s only 10 weeks until March 20, which is the first day of spring! I’ve started using Hal Higdon’s Half Marthon Novice 1 Training Program, which is 12 weeks long.

This was the main reason for extending my fitness goals to the first day of summer because I’d rather not risk a shorter training period just to end up seriously injuring myself.

… Okay, FINE. I also made a fitness wager with Chris over at The Other Side of The Box!

If I’m running at 32km/20mi distances as my long run by May 15th, she’ll get me a $50 gift card to a yet-to-be-decided store.

If she manages to lose at least 10lbs by May 15th with regular fitness training, I’ll get her a $50 gift card.

If we both manage to achieve our goals by May 15th, we’ll get each other something nice.

If we both don’t achieve our goals by May 15th, the first person to reach their goals will get their prize.

Basically, my running goal is to get up to 32km/20mi without dying.

It’s gonna be a huge challenge for me both physically and mentally because I’m going to have to overcome my anxiety of going back up to 15km.

I hurt my foot pretty badly last year at the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I haven’t gotten back up to that mileage yet so I’m kind of worried that it’s an issue with my feet’s physiology rather than environmental factors. The only way for me to find out for certain is to build it back up and hopefully go even further!

Rock Climbing

I’ll be on the search for a new belay buddy for a little while since the Monsieur has started his graduation proceedings and needs to focus on his PhD thesis. (Go, babe!)

Either way, here’s my goals…

Rock Climbing (at least 1X a week)

Top Rope: I want to be able to do 5.10a grades comfortably. At this point, I should be okay going halfway up 5.10b as well.

This might seem very conservative for a 6-month goal, but there’s a huge difficulty jump from 5.9 to 5.10b!

Bouldering: V1s should be comfortable and some V2s are challenging but doable.

To achieve both goals, I’ll need to learn new techniques and start doing more formal weighted and/or bodyweight exercises to build up core strength.

We’ll see if I need any new shoes by the end of this!

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My current rock climbing shoes

Parkour

I’m on the fence with this sport, to be honest. On one hand, I love flying around and the absolute boldness of parkour.

On the other hand, getting to the gym is such a pain!

At this point, because I’m such a data nerd, parkour has turned into a casual hobby sport rather than a main fitness focus.

So, my goal for parkour is to ho at least once a month!

Keep an eye out for the second part of my 2016 Fitness Goals!

Xoxo,

B.elle

Weekly Fitness Update #13 – Results!

It’s been a bit quiet over in this little corner of the blogging world because I went away to Québec City for about 2 weeks with the Monsieur! Even though I speak very, very little French, they were so friendly and hospitable, but I definitely ended up indulging in more than a few delicious Québecois delicacies. (Tarte au sucre, anyone?)

But, I managed to get some running in before and once during my vacation!

Dec 15 – 5km @ 5’42” avg pace, 28:39*
Dec 22 – 7km @6’19” avg pace, 44:28*
Dec 28 – 5km @6’08” avg pace, 31:13

The stars mean than I was running indoors and I’m still not 100% sure how accurate the Nike+ watch is indoors, so it could be a little faster than I’m actually running.

On December 28, I ran through the countryside in -15C weather and it was a bit hillier than I expected! I was surprised at how much I loved it!

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Running in the Quèbecois farmland in winter

BUT! Did I actually achieve my running goals for Fall 2015 even though it’s already Winter 2016 while I’m writing this?!

Fall 2015 Running Goals (3X a week)

  • Weekly mileage of 20-25km with a 5-7-10 pattern
  • Dream pace goal of 6’00″/km for 5K distance
    1. Realistic pace goal of 6’15″/km for 5K distance
  • Dream pace goal of 6’20″/km for 7-10K distances

Fall 2015 Running Results (mostly 3X a week)

  • I tried my best to stick to the 5-7-10 pattern, but quickly learned that the general weekly run distances were more effective than forcing myself to do 5-7-10 throughout the week.I dropped down to about 10-12km per week in December, which was really not good but I did a pretty terrible job at balancing all my hobbies with the holidays!Otherwise, I think I came up just a bit short on consistently reaching that 20-25kpw goal.
  • I’ve been running at less than 6’00″/km on 5K runs for about 3 weeks now, so I’ll say that’s in the bag!
    SUCCESS!
  • I run as many 7K routes, but it seems to be at around 6’05″/km to 6’10″/km so I’m really happy about this speed!
    SUCCESS!
  • I don’t have enough data on 10K runs because I really haven’t run 10K since the adidas race, where I cinched a PR at 6’16″/km, so I would highly doubt that I can do 6’20” for 10K comfortably.
    FAIL!

Rock Climbing – Dec 20th

We were both feeling sick! My belay buddy lost her voice and I was beginning to feel the beginnings of a cold so I knew our game wouldn’t be as strong as normal.

Top Rope – Not gonna lie… I did really badly. The 5.9s that were relatively easy felt almost impossible that day and I even struggled on a couple of new 5.8s!

But, we both knew that we’d be doing pretty terribly!

Bouldering – I tried out a couple of V0s that were okay but the V1s were pretty much a giant NOPE.

Dec 26th

Bouldering – The Monsieur and I went to a smaller rock climbing gym in Lévis and I was surprised to see that this particular gym had a different grading system. Instead of the traditional V-scale, they simply used ascending numbers to gauge the difficulty of the route.

For example, 7 would be easier than 12, but harder than a 4. I even saw one that was graded with 18 and even the Monsieur didn’t go near that one!

I managed to get up to about 9 on a traverse route, but I couldn’t really go past half of a 12 traverse. It was super fun, though!

So, did I manage to achieve my Fall 2015 Rock Climbing Goals?

Rock Climbing (1X every other week)

  • Work on 5.8 and 5.9 belay routes
  • Work on V.1 bouldering routes
  • Increase grip strength and more confident footwork

Rock Climbing Results (1X every week)

  • I’m comfortable with tackling most 5.9s, so I’d say that this is…
    SUCCESS!
  • I did work on the V1 bouldering routes and I still can’t usually complete a route… But, I didn’t say I’d try to complete one so…
    HALF SUCCESS!
  • Since I saved myself in parkour several times recently, I’d say that…
    SUCCESS!

I’m pretty sure I did horribly for my Fall 2015 Parkour Goals.

Parkour (1X every other week)

  • Work on climb-ups with vertical wall (at least 1 good climb-up per session)
  • Regain balance on rails

Parkour (Very rarely)

  • Didn’t even try climb-ups yet.
    FAIL!
  • At least my foot is completely healed and I’m able to balance and walk along a rail like normal again!
    SUCCESS!

I’ll be making a post of my Winter 2016 Fitness Goals soon, so keep an eye out for it!

xoxo,

B.elle

Weekly Fitness Update #12

It’s the 22nd next week, which is the deadline for my running goals! This is going to be exciting!

But FIRST! Here’s my results from last week:

Dec 9/10 – 7km
Dec 12 – 7km
Dec 13 – 3.5km @ 5’50” avg pace, 20:31

YUP. I totally didn’t run on the days I was supposed to run because life caught up with me!

I mentioned it last week, but the Monsieur was back only for a couple of days, so I wanted to spend a bit more time with him before he left for San Francisco for another business trip.

Then, an art project with my mom went wayyyyyyyyy longer than I anticipated on Saturday, so that was it!

But, I did manage to squeeze in a quick 3.5km on Sunday December 13th after rock climbing, so at least that. I even ran pretty fast!

Rock Climbing – Dec 13th

The monthly issue started on the 13th so having a harness on was clearly not the best idea ever.

Top Rope – I managed to get past the huge challenge on that 5.9 that’s been really bugging me! But, I was already quite tired when I got to it and I’m not that great with inclines, so I stopped 3/4 of the way up.

That specific route most likely won’t be there the next time, but I’m happy knowing that I managed to get past the most challenging part!

I tried going up a 5.10a that looked relatively friendly, but it was a lot harder than it looked! I also made the mistake of tackling this one right before the 5.9, so that’s what really wiped me out.

Otherwise, I went up the other routes pretty well! I’m looking forward to seeing what new routes are gonna be there next week.

Bouldering – Just no. I was way too tired and crampy.

Parkour – Dec 14th

Yeah, you read that right! I WENT PARKOURING!

After a long, long time, I finally went back to the Monkey Vault because I just had an itch to do some jumps and fly a bit.

Luckily, there was an Adult Class scheduled on Monday nights at 7pm that I managed to get on time even though I didn’t know about it. The owner, Dan, and Will, one of the coaches, still remembered me and were more than willing to put me through those drills.

It felt really good to be back at the gym and swinging around, so I may plan on more weekday sessions in the new year!

I’m quite sore today, but I do intend on running later tonight. Am I a glutton for punishment? Probably, but I’m going out every night after work, so I gotta get some mileage in!

Dec 15 – 5km @ 6’00” avg pace, 30:00
Dec 19 – 10km @6’15” avg pace, 1:02:30
Dec 22 – 7km @6’10” avg pace, 43:10

I’m pretty sure it’s a bit faster than what I was intending on doing, but we’ll see if I actually achieve this before reviewing if I reached my Fall goals!

Dec 20 – Rock Climbing

It’s the last day for my belay buddy to be in Canada! 😦

Top Rope – I think I’m going to focus more on 5.9s just to get my confidence back up and then maybe tackle a couple of 5.10a’s just to get the feel of them.

Little to no inclines. My shoulders are screaming at me right now.

Bouldering – Since I’m avoiding inclines, I might go and attempt some routes, but I’m not going to promise anything. I’ll be surprised if I conquer more than one V1!

xoxo,

B.elle

Weekly Fitness Update #4

Last week was an absolute FAIL… I mean, take a look at my results:

Oct 15 – 5km – Rest (still not feeling well)
Oct 17 – 10km – Rest (went to a Farmer’s Market instead, does that count?)
Oct 18 – 5km – Rest (sore throat)

I knew I was being pretty optimistic about running while recovering from the flu, but I was feeling pretty good by Friday. Too bad the weather around here decided to switch from Fall to Winter Mode within a couple of days!

I usually don’t mind running in 3C weather, especially since there’s no ice, but I could tell that my body wasn’t acclimated to that temperature range and it was still pretty worn out so I didn’t run. Instead, I went to the Evergreen Brickworks on Saturday and made some pickled beets in the afternoon.

Yay!

But I started to feel some ominous itching in my throat on Sunday morning and lost my voice by the end of the day! I’m much better today, but it’s still a bit painful to speak. A coworker was sick with some sinus-related symptoms on Friday, so I wonder if I caught something last week when I was super susceptible…

Obviously, I didn’t go to parkour, either… Ugh.

Anyway, I’m going to try my best to get back on the road this week and get my blood pumping again! It looks like it’ll be much warmer this week and I’ll hopefully be all better after today!

This week’s running goals:

Oct 20 – 5km @ 6’10” avg pace, 30:50
Oct 22 – 7km @ 6’10” avg pace, 42:50
Oct 24 or 25 – 10km

Instead of rock climbing as I had originally planned, I will get myself to the parkour gym to do last week’s goals. NO excuses this time!!

Oct 24 or 25 – Balance work, vaults, bar swing exercises

Hope I’ll be back next week with better news!

xoxo,

B.elle

Weekly Fitness Update #3

I tried posting last night, but the WordPress app actually deleted the whole thing! Argh!

Anyway, here’s last week’s running actual results:

Oct 7 – 5km @ 6’04” avg pace, 30:26
Oct 9 – 2km @ 6’25” avg pace, 12:53
Oct 10 – 10km @ 6’30” avg pace, 1:05:05

I’m really happy about my 5km and 10km paces and it looks like I’ve really eased into those speeds. My intended 7km run, however…

I went to the track on October 9 since I wanted to do my Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping after running the full 7km. But, I didn’t know that a high school football game was scheduled for 6pm that day! I got to the track just before 5pm, so I had a lot of time to run, but there was a sound guy setting up some speakers on the track and the home team was already out training and moving the benches off the field. Plus, the winds were gusting around 45km/h!

So, I decided to cut my losses and left them alone.

Rock Climbing

Top Rope – I went to Rock Oasis on the 11th but I didn’t have a belay buddy so I had to stick with the auto-belays again. However, I did manage to do a lot of 5.8s with relative ease! I didn’t get a chance to get to the only 5.9 on the auto-belays but I’m starting to think that I need a more reliable belay buddy system to get better… (Like more climbing dates with the Monsieur!)

Bouldering – I did some pretty easy V0 routes at Rock Oasis, but they were mostly on straight walls instead of overhangs. I was feeling pretty tired by the time I got to the bouldering walls, though

I was feeling pretty good the next day (ie., not sore), so I took a trip to the Hub Climbing up in Markham to take a look. I didn’t know it was primarily bouldering, so that was a surprise! I mostly tackled V1s and managed to complete a handful of them! Yay! I even managed to do a couple V0s on the overhangs, too!

Do you remember how I had a chest cold last week or so? It’s sort of back but it came with friends by the names of Body Aches and Fatigue so I’m not even sure if I can even go out running this week. At the very least, it’s definitely not a wise idea to put a time goal on my runs!

This week’s running goals:

Oct 15 – 5km
Oct 17 – 10km
Oct 18 – 5km at 6’05” avg pace, 30:30

This week’s parkour goals:

Oct 17 or 18 – I’ll be lucky if I actually get to the gym. If I do, I’ll be focusing on balance work and bar swing exercises.

xoxo,

B.elle

Fall 2015 Fitness Goals

Happy first day of Fall, everyone!

Last night, I went on a quick 4km run to test out my new shoes (more on that later!) and realized that I’ve managed to get into a bunch of new things in the past few months. I’m not really someone who gets that worked up over a failed goal, like how I didn’t get a PR at the Toronto Zoo Run, but I’ve found that setting a goal helps keep the motivation up!

Since it’s the first day of Fall, I thought I’d set some fitness goals to meet by the first day of Winter. I’ll do my best to do a Weekly Report on Tuesdays, too!

Running (3X a week)

  • Weekly mileage of 20-25km with a 5-7-10 pattern
  • Dream pace goal of 6’00″/km for 5K distance
    1. Realistic pace goal of 6’15″/km for 5K distance
  • Dream pace goal of 6’20″/km for 7-10K distances

Rock Climbing (1X every other week)

  • Work on 5.8 and 5.9 belay routes
  • Work on V.1 bouldering routes
  • Increase grip strength and more confident footwork

Parkour (1X every other week)

  • Work on climb-ups with vertical wall (at least 1 good climb-up per session)
  • Regain balance on rails

I don’t have any races or competitions coming up, so these goals are purely for personal gain. Now that I’ve written out my goals, I can see how quantifiable each sport can be. Running has so much data involved with all the distances, pace times and even shoe mileage! Rock climbing still has some data that you can measure, like the difficulty levels (5.8 and V.1, for example), and it’s possible to measure grip strength with certain tools. Parkour has almost no measurable features to it whatsoever, except for height!

Do you have any fitness goals for the Fall? I’d love to hear them!

xoxo,

B.elle

Weekly Fitness Update #3

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend! I know I’m stuffed from all the ham I had… Somehow, I managed to get everything done!

Here’s last week’s running results:

Oct 7 – 5km @ 6’04” avg pace, 30:26
Oct 9 – 2km @ 6’25” avg pace, 12:53
Oct 10 – 10km @ 6’30” avg pace, 1:05:07

The 5km run was awesome! I felt pretty good afterwards and totally pleased that I managed to break my goal!

Obviously, the 7km run was a bit different… I decided that I wanted to run at the track before going grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out that the local high school had a football game booked there for 6pm and I arrived at around 5pm.

Normally, it wouldn’t be an issue, but there was a sound guy setting up his gear on the track and then the home team started showing up on the field and moved the benches onto the track too… Not to mention that it was super windy with gusts in the range of 45km/hr!

So, I figured I’d just cut my losses and get out of the way.

Rock Climbing

Top Rope – I did quite a few 5.8 routes at Rock Oasis on October 11th, but they were on the auto-belays so it definitely wasn’t as fun. They were challenging, but I didn’t quite get a chance to try a 5.9 before getting too tired.

Bouldering – At Rock Oasis, I focused a lot of on the V0 routes and managed to do a handful of them, which felt relatively easy! The overhanging routes were a lot harder, but I think I’m starting to learn how to take my time and properly judge how to grab a hold and use ALL of my body to get to the next grip.

I felt pretty good the next day (ie., not sore), so I went to the Hub Climbing Gym in Markham to check out the facilities. It’s mostly bouldering, so I tackled a bunch of V1 routes that also included some that were on overhangs! I got through a few of them, but I quickly got tired so I went back to V0’s.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I met last week’s goals, except for the fact that I’m about 5km short of my weekly mileage…

I’m feeling kind of sick today with symptoms of nausea, weakness, and a dry throat so I’m not sure if I’ll even try to run that much this week. Plus, I have some work in Mississauga later this week that may drain me further, so I’ll aim to get my mileage in without any time restraints.

This week’s running goals:

Oct 14 – 5km
Oct 16 – 7km
Oct 18 – 10km

This week’s parkour goals:

Oct 17 – Just to get to the gym and move around! Balancing is one of the top priorities, but I’m finding that it’s harder for me to get to the gym when I know I’d be facing the absurd traffic on the Gardiner. Ughhhhh.

I’m actually feeling worse now so I’m going to sleep and hope I feel better tomorrow… good night!

xoxo,

B.elle