BOOKS ARE ENERGY: Day 12 and 13 of 28, Fueled by The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Unfortunately, I have to report that I have been really slacking on this whole exercise thing. Last week I had so much work and some colleagues were in town on a business trip and so I had to go to dinner with them. Therefore I really did not have time to do any exercising. Therefore, I ended up picking up back where I left off, at Day 12, only a week later. I am really disappointed in myself, that I have been unable to keep up with this goal. I really need to make the time for myself.

On Friday, Day 12, the goal was 30 minutes of non-impact cardio. Since I am in Vienna visiting my boyfriend, and we were going to dinner at a pizza place (they have some really bomb GF pizza!), I decided that I was going to walk there.

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On Saturday, Day 13, the goal was to run intervals of 20 x Walk 1 min and Run 1 min.

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During the Friday workout, I finished listening to All The Light We Cannot See and started listening to The Scorch Trials, which is the 2nd book in the Maze Runner series.

I read The Maze Runner a while back — you can see my review of it here. I wasn’t too thrilled with it, because the ending was rather stupid, but okay. I thought that maybe the second book would be somehow better. I am a little over 2 hours into the book, and it does have a bit more action than the first book, but I still found my thoughts drifting a bit. I had to go back a few times to listen again.

Essentially, in case you have never read the first book, a bunch of teenagers (this is a YA novel) are stuck in this maze. They use different words (like “Schuck” instead of you know what). I am not sure if this is supposed to make it more “sci-fi” or “cool” or whatever, but I just find it rather annoying, especially because the author doesn’t use it correctly. “What the schuck” — correct. “This schuck door” — not correct (assuming the grammar is the same in this other world, which it seems to be.)

Anyway, so they are stuck in this maze and they have to figure it out. After having figured out the maze by the end of the book the group are taken to some government facility and it is revealed to them that it has all be an experiment because the world has a virus (wtf?) and that the trials are somehow going to help save the world (double wtf). Not sure how that makes sense, but okay.

At the beginning of The Scorch Trials only a day or so has passed and they find out that there was another experiment going on at the same time (Group B) which mirrored the experiment going on with Group A. Now they are told that there will be a second experiment, and oh by the way, the Group also has the virus so if they don’t do what they are told, then they won’t get the cure. I still don’t really get what solving a maze has to do with an epidemic or how that will help at all — however, the book has been entertaining so far, so let’s see if this continues.

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKS ARE ENERGY: Day 9 to 12 of 28, Fueled by All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I am a date late in posting this because last night I was just too tired. Yesterday’s goal in “Couch to 5K” was 15 x Walk 1 minute and Run 1 minute. While I was running, I was listening to the book All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I have read this book before, but it was at a time when I was not blogging, so I decided to read it again.

I am about 4 hours into it so far (yesterday I had read up to 3 hours), and it was a really good book to exercise to. The story starts off before World War II and alternates between a young blind girl in France, and a teenage orphan boy in Germany. So far in the book, the blind girl and her father have to flee their home in Paris because the Germans start bombing them. There is a side story about a famous (possibly cursed) diamond that also really caught my attention. As can be expected, the German boy is indoctrinated into the Hitler youth.

In total I ran/walked 4.81 kilometers in about 40 minutes. I wasn’t too thrilled about the route I picked because I was essentially running along sidewalks the entire time. In addition to passing cars, I was running passed smelly garbage cans. Nothing like a whiff of garbage every now and then to really pump up your run!

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When I look at my times, from yesterday (above) and Saturday (below), yesterday’s are only slightly better than on Saturday, but I think that’s because I was running more and walking less each kilometer. The fact that they are really only seconds apart isn’t such good motivation, but I hope to get better with time.

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On Day 12 (Friday August 9, 2019), I ended up having to do two workouts (Day 11 and 12) together, since I missed Day 11. Day 11 was 15 x Walk for 1 minute and Run for 1 minute. Friday was 30 minutes of non-impact cardio. Therefore, I did the 30 minutes interval training and then walked for another 40 minutes, for a total of 1 hour and 11 minutes (7.41 kms in total)

I am still reading All the Light We Cannot See, and it is really strange reading about WWII, and walking / running along the WWII Bunker trails where the abandoned German bunkers are. On Day 12 I had read about 50% (about 8 hours). Things were starting to get serious — WWII was starting. The two main characters are getting older and their lives more complicated, and the story about the cursed diamond plays a much bigger role in the book than I had originally anticipated.

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Living the “Less Experiment”: Week 1

As I mentioned in my previous post on this subject, In December/January, I read the book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. It has inspired me to try my own “less” experiment. Since I know that it will be difficult, I want to try it 1 week at a time.

mug photoThe “Less Experiment” started out as a spectacular failure. On Monday, I had two cups of coffee, a piece of chocolate for someone’s birthday, and because I had already failed by eating junk food, I stressed ate a handfull of chips before stopping myself. I worked until 7pm, and wasn’t able to muster the motivation to arrive late to my German lesson. My boyfriend insisted that we watch Bandersnatch (the interactive Black Mirror movie on Netflix). The movie was good, but I probably could have spent the 1.5 hours doing something more productive. Lastly, even though I didn’t go shopping myself, my boyfriend bought a package of apples wrapped in plastic.

Tuesday and Wednesday were no better than Monday. I worked again until 7pm both days, which meant that I missed my German lessons. Since I was so stressed at work, I ate some chocolate to keep me sitting at my desk. By the time I got home, made and ate dinner, there was no time left to do any exercise. In the last three days I have only walked about 10,821 steps (only about 30% of my goal).

By Thursday, I decided that I had to give up. When I analyze why last week went so wrong, I came to the conclusion that it was because I was working until 7pm every night. When this happens, I don’t have time to do anything when I get home. Therefore, I am renewing my goals for this upcoming week. Wish me luck!

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  1. Leave work by 6pm;
  2. Excercise for at least 30 minutes per day, with 10k excursions on Saturday and Sunday;
  3. No alcohol (for losing weight reasons);
  4. Write my book for at least 30 minutes per day, but in a week write no less than an additional 1,000 words;
  5. Declutter the living room area;
  6. No Netflix;
  7. Study German for at least 30 minutes per day
  8. Don’t buy anything containing plastic
  9. Only buy things based upon need and not want

 

 

My Own “Less” Experiment

In December/January, I read the book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. It has inspired me to try my own “less” experiment. Since I know that it will be difficult, I want to try it 1 week at a time.

My rules for the first week of less, starting on January 21, 2019 and ending on January 27, 2019 will be a little different from the rules set out in the book. I am not so worried about shopping, as I do not have a shopping addiction, except for maybe books. Therefore, I will not be allowed to buy any books. I will be allowed to check out books from the library and to get them free from Netgalley.

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The 2nd rule, is that I am not allowed to watch any television (which means Netflix since I don’t have a T.V. or cable). This will be rather challenging, since I usually watch television at night while I am preparing and eating dinner. I also tend to watch movies on the weekends.

I am hoping that by banning television, I will use the time to listen to books on tape, or other things such as learn German, clean up my apartment, and write more blog entries.

The third rule is that I am not allowed to buy anything containing plastic. This will be rather difficult, because mostly everything at the supermarket comes in plastic packaging.

My goals for the first week also include, 1) walking / running 70,000 steps, 2) writing 3,500 words of the fiction book I am writing, 3) only drinking water — the only exception allowed is 1 cup of coffee per day and kombucha (but without syrup), 4) no junk food including but not limited to chocolate and chips, and 5) attend German class.

I hope that I will succeed!

Pictures of Linz on a Snowy Day

I found a little trail by the Schlossmuseum which led me to the below view of the Donau river.

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On this little trail, there was also a statue of Johannes Kepler.  He was a 17th century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. There is a university in Linz named after him.

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What I really like about Linz, is finding unique art on the side of buildings.

 

Linz may be an industrial city, but sometimes it can be rather beautiful.