Posts Tagged ‘bounts’

Ok. So it’s a blatant Juneathon (exercise-and-blog-every-day) fail. Tooth infection and subsequent extraction put a halt on things for a while.

Weirdly, half my face still feels sore, painful, enlarged, etc. Not as painful as it was…. But I can’t quite smile properly and the tooth was removed on Wednesday morning :-/

I can live with it compared to how it was.

I’m at the doctor’s next week anyway, heaving recent received a text saying…

You’re getting old now. Please come in for an MOT

So if it’s still not right then, I’ll get it sorted.
I was down at the tennis courts again yesterday though and played a couple of sets while my son had coaching on the other court. Today, has been a heavy gardening day, though I’m currently taking a break, doing this, and watching Murray/Wawrinka on the telly-box.
I’ve just had a nice delivery, too.

Do you remember ‘BOUNTS’? I wrote a blog about it once. It’ll be out of date now, in the sense that it WAS amazing… But it was too amazing and collapsed under its own success. 

Let me explain…

You basically did tracked activity/sport/steps etc linked to your Garmin/fitbit/etc and you got points.

When you had enough, those points could be directly exchanged for actual monetary vouchers. I exchanged mine and got £15 sent to me a couple of years back. I guess (and this is purely a guess) they accessed these themselves through advertising revenue. 

I would have exchanged points again because I had loads of them but Bounts never had any stock to give anyone. People got upset. Personally, I didn’t. It was frustrating, yes, but it was all free. I’d not lost anything.

Except, some people had lost out. Bounts offered a premium service which did cost, but meant you earned points more quickly. Earning points quickly is kind of pointless though (pun intended) if those points can’t get you anything. 

In summary –

Bounts basically had too many people on their books, all with loads of points, all wanting to exchange them for vouchers that Bounts didn’t have.

So they changed their model. Some people, (though, I understand, not all) who paid premium, got a refund, and vouchers were no longer available. The company now offer an entry into various competitions to win prizes if you manage to complete the accompanying challenge – e.g. Run 20 miles over the month; do 10,000 steps every day for a fortnight; cycle 5 times in 30 days, etc.

To cut an already long story not a lot shorter, I won one of these competitions! 

I’d played tennis the required four times in May and along with a few other people* I won this funky tennis backpack!

…and his has this cool,  weird, dodgy-looking handle zippy thing attached to a zip pocket at the back so the racket fits in securely…. Err… Let me try and show you…

Well I think it’s quite a good, funky design feature anyway.

So… I’ve certainly not lost out by doing Bounts. I’m sorry if you have. Here’s a link anyway if you’re interested  >>BOUNTS<<

For balance. Also check out, Running Heroes (link included, but I think they might be entirely app-based now) – they also do challenge-based competition entries. I think I’ve won a pair of socks and a £20 voucher through them.

Incidentally, mentioning ‘balance’ reminded me, New Balance used to send me stuff for free to review on occasions but in my efforts to be honest in my reviews (I didn’t really think the last pair of shoes they sent me were great for running), I… Errr… Don’t really hear anything from them now**. Oooops.
*as in, other people also won a bag. I did not win other people as well as winning a bag.

**Maybe they found out only 3 people read this. That could be it, too.

P.P.P.P.p.P.P

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Juneathon, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Poor 

Planning

Prevents 

Predicted 

parkrun 

PB 

Performance 

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I was so up for a parkrun this morning. ‘Up’ mentally, and ‘up’ physically… I’ve been getting faster and fitter (just not any lighter… But that’s all part of my cunning training strategy!).

I was actually out of bed and everything!…

…Well… nearly everything. After yesterday’s ‘out of the house all day’ adventure with the kids, we ordered in a pizza that evening. It was lovely.

And then everyone went to sleep. Which was also nice…but it unfortunately meant that this morning, there was all the morning stuff to do plus all of last night’s ‘last night’ stuff to do, there was no milk, hard-working wife still had hard-work to do, the kids were up, tennis coaching and ballet lessons awaited the little people and the in-laws were due round at some point today too.

I should have done it last night. Then I could have been off and out this morning.

Despite having got all dressed up in my running gear, I traded the run in for a proper breakfast, numerous cups of coffee for myself and my good lady wife (I only have one by the way – that term is not used to differentiate between different wives, like I have a ‘bad manly wife’ or anything), and getting both the kids and the house looking moderately presentable… 
…this included eating a cold slice of pizza.

Having taken Child1 to tennis, I met a fellow club member there and we ended up playing a set ourselves so I did at least get some decent exercise in.

As a bonus, Bounts – the website I have reported on before where you can earn points for exercise – redeemable for real world cash gift cards (sign up here for 100 points to get you started), have recently started magically recognising my attendance at my local tennis club and awarding me attendance points too. That would have been extra handy if it had started a month or two back, based on how much I’ve played recently. 

After lunch I took Child2 to ballet, did some food shopping and then I’ve spent the late afternoon cremating meat on the BBQ and drinking cold beer with my wife and her family. 

There are worse ways to spend the last part of the day.

Tomorrow’s breakfast

Why do I run?

How many blog posts try to answer this question?

I’m not sure I know the answer…to either of the above. Partly because the answer changes day to day, month to month, year to year.

I started initially so that a female friend at university didn’t have to run alone at night when we were on placement in a new place. But I found myself still going for runs when she said she couldn’t make it.
Stress relief. I think that is still the main reason for me.

One of the best explanations from someone else that I have seen, is one with which you may already be familiar if you are within the running world.
It’s by ‘the oatmeal’ and can be found here.

Gimmicks can help get me out running too. I remember being given an iPod and a Nike+ foot pod thing many years ago now. Then using the Nike+ app with its sort of internal pedometer (my iPod didn’t have gps).
When I eventually got a smart phone, that opened up a new means of run recording, via gps tracked runs. I used apps like endomondo, runkeeper and more recently Strava.  Seeing the miles clock up and seeing speed and distance improvements certainly helped, along with the various other stats.
Also parkrun – the run not a race  (but where you push yourself hard over that final straight so that person you’ve been ‘leapfrogging’ with over the past 4.8km doesn’t overtake again over the final 200m) adds a new element to running motivation for some. Some people don’t miss a week.

This Juneathon and Janathon malarkey… Exercise everyday, blog everyday for a month… Or doing a ‘runstreak’… Motivating? Definitely at times. But if you miss a day, what happens to that motivation?

Jantastic – the initiative from the marathon talk folk was really useful for helping me to get out and running over the first three months of this year in preparation for a marathon in April.

Would I have got out and run without it? Probably. But I think it helped.

Or did it?
Do any of these things?

Or do they do the opposite?

Would I still do Juneathon if nobody read/liked/commented?

Does the motivation come from within (intrinsic), or externally (extrinsic) in the form of whatever ‘reward’ we perceive we get?

Moreover, does the introduction of extrinsic rewards lead to an overall decrease in intrinsic motivation once the external rewards are removed?

I remember the above hypothesis was a generally accepted one in sports psychology around the time that I did my GCSE in physical education …errr…a few years ago.
There was some experiment where people were observed regarding the length of time spent playing with a puzzle. They were then paid a small amount for solving puzzles the next day, and then the day after that the pay was removed and the puzzle playing dramatically decreased. (If I was still at university, I’d have to reference that, but because I’m not, and I’m feeling lazy, I’m not going to. Such a rebel!)

This hypothesis – that intrinsic motivation was decreased by the introduction and subsequent removal of extrinsic rewards – was perhaps a rather sweeping statement to make anyway as more recent studies seem to suggest things are a little more complex and that in some circumstances extrinsic rewards can actually enhance intrinsic motivation. (If you are interested to read more, there’s a bit of a summary at www.appliedsportpsych.org )

This is good news, I think.
I don’t want to be decreasing my desire to be active by using the various gadgets/apps/rewards-websites that I do. But… and unfortunately, I have to admit, I can think of times when this has happened in the past… I don’t want to not get out of the house because I can’t find my phone/ipod, or stop a run because my app has crashed and ‘it won’t count’.

So maybe it’s good to get out every now and again without an app, without an iPod, without even a goal or a session plan in mind. Just go. If you don’t think you would, or could, then maybe your intrinsic motivation has been decreased?

Now… not to undermine all of that… but intended as an extra, an add-on, a ‘sign-up and forget about it’ sort of thing, I have joined up with two rewards sites. One (Bounts) has been going for a while and the other (Running Heroes) only started up in the UK in this past month.
Both sites award points for the exercise you record via any number of apps and you can then exchange these points for tangible rewards such as discount vouchers, gift cards, etc.
It would be a real shame if it ever got to the point where anyone just ran for the purpose of earning these points, but personally, I figure, “if I’m running anyway…why not?”. I am currently at a point with Bounts where I’m just a few runs away from being able to get a £10 supermarket gift card… effectively for runs I’d have done anyway.

If you haven’t already signed up to Bounts and you are thinking about it, then for a limited time we can both get a load of extra points if you sign up through this link or quote avery1132 when you sign up.

I was also contacted by Running Heroes recently and in addition to bonus points if you sign up through this link, they also sent me an instant 100 point bonus code ‘run67run‘ which they said I could share with my readers.

My personal idea with these sites is, having signed up, just to forget about them for a while. They sync up automatically with the apps I use and the points build up over time for what I do anyway. If someone wants to send me vouchers for doing that – great.

Yesterday, I played tennis. I didn’t get any (website-related) points for that. I still enjoyed it. Intrinsic motivation still intact there. Today it’s back to running, though…and I’ll probably get a few points for it… But that’s not the reason I’m going.

If you use these sites, I’d be interested to know what you think of them too. Let me know.

Juneathon (the month-long exercise and blogging challenge) is a lot like my breakfast time.

The day starts and I am full of good intentions.
[The month starts and I am full of good intentions]

I decide I am going to be super healthy and rather than eat that sugary cereal, I am going to eat those bananas swinging delicately in that little hanger thing we have.
[I decide that, in addition to running, I am going to be super healthy and do stretches every day and strength work and use the foam roller that is still in its packet…in the shop… because I haven’t bought it yet]
image

I peel a banana and decide fairly quickly that it’s too ripe for me, I won’t like it.
[I attempt to touch my toes and decide fairly quickly that it just hurts and so give up on it as an unrealistic and unachievable goal]

I move on to a second banana and decide fairly quickly that it’s too ripe for me and I won’t like it.
[I attempt some strength work but also give up on it as an unrealistic and unachievable goal]

I look at the third banana and figure there’s little point in even peeling it. It will only be like the others, anyway.
[I figure it will l be pointless to buy the foam roller thingy anyway as I’m unlikely to use it after the first couple of days]

I don’t want to waste the bananas so I mash them up, add an egg, flour, vanilla extract, butter, pinch of salt, baking powder, crushed nuts and half a ton of sugar and bake in the oven at 175°C for 70 mins, and await my wife’s recognition of my culinary genius as the sweet smell off bananary bready gorgeousness wafts its way upstairs.
[I spectacularly fail to do the ‘healthy thing’ for a month but jabber on regardless via this blog, believing that somebody somewhere might at least appreciate my efforts]

I slump down in my dressing gown (‘robe’ for my American followers) and cry at my pitiful attempt at a healthy breakfast as I cut myself another slice fistfull of banana cake moistened with a generous helping of a non-specific, generic delicious nutty chocolate spread (otherwise known as Nutella – if they’d like to send me a free sample crate of the stuff!)
[I cry at my pitiful attempt at a healthy Juneathon as I cut myself yet another slice quarter loaf of banana cake… and can’t even be bothered to get changed out of my dressing gown before I go to parkrun]
image

(That was a photo from last year). Read the link to that post here.

So, here we go. Juneathon all starts in a couple of days. Let the randomness begin!

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Extra bit

Now to help maintain the motivation (and there are arguments against this, that I’ll perhaps cover another time) I have also signed up to BOUNTS which is a free service that links to numerous existing exercise apps as well as FITBIT, JAWBONE, etc and basically gives you points for doing exercise that you do anyway. These points build up over time and you can trade them in at the ‘shop’ for various high street gift vouchers.

If you decide to sign up to Bounts then do it soon (ideally before Juneathon to make the most of it) because for a short period we still both get 100 points if you use the link below (normally only 20).

See you in June 🙂

Sign up here to give us both a healthy 100 points to get us going

No. Not a typo.

If there has been any progress at all, it has been very weak.

It seems that in order to lose the 10kg I want to before I will allow myself to enter the Nottingham marathon, my body has decided it would be easier if I first gained a bit of unnecessary weight first. Hmmmm.

I blame my children.  Well one child in particular. My son. It was his birthday, you see and he wanted me to eat loads of bbq food – two types of sausage, chicken, burgers, steak, spare ribs ( + the usual extras) all in one sitting.  And then he didn’t want all that cake and those crisps hanging around for too long afterwards, of course.

I’m obviously being very unfair to him there. It’s not his fault. He didn’t buy all the food. He didn’t choose to be born.

It’s clearly my wife’s fault.
But all blame aside. I’ve not been very well this week either. Just colded up, not breathing well, sleepy, sore throat, etc.

I’ve not done parkrun for ages for various reasons but I think I’ll give it a miss this morning too. I’m supposed to be playing in a tennis match this afternoon and it is my son’s school’s 5k run this weekend too. I think those activities might do me in enough on their own.

It’s amazing how little I have run since the marathon, actually. An element of ‘post-marathon blues’ is there, I’m sure and I’ve got out of routine.

Here are a few things that might help with motivation though:

1) Juneathon is coming up again! If you are uninitiated then click the link and have a look.  Basically, it’s an activity/blogging challenge requiring some form of activity (and activity reporting) each day in June. 

2) Bounts. I came across this fairly recently. It’s a website/app that links to various fitness apps/gadgets and awards you points based on the exercise you do. When you reach a certain number of points you can trade them in for various £5 gift vouchers in their ‘shop’. In addition to the points, for every activity you do, you get a credit to spin the reward wheel – and in doing so have a slim chance of gaining extra prizes.  It’s totally free (unless you want to pay to get extra points per exercise) and if you exercise regularly anyway, it is essentially something for nothing.

They are doing a bit of a reboot of systems at the moment so if the website is down then just try again in a day or two.

(If you do sign up however, use the code ‘avery1132‘ and we’ll both get a few extra points!)

3) Do you remember that rubbish run I did a little while back? …which was followed up a few weeks later by another rubbish run ? Well those lovely people at New Balance decided they liked it as part of their #UseYourRun campaign and so have informed me that I have won ‘head to toe’ New Balance gear. Nice eh?

Of course, I don’t know what ‘head to toe’ entails. Possibly it’s a New Balance  onesie, I have no idea, except I know it does include their new ‘fresh foam’ running shoes.  I shall let you know when it arrives and let you know what it’s like.

So there you have it – my weakly weekly update.

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At 94kg I am a bit further away from my 82kg marathon-entering weight. 

(This isn’t going to turn into a weight-loss blog, I’m just doing this at the end for a little extra accountability/motivation)