Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Walk the Plank Challenge and how I found myself doing a 10+ minute plank.

Planks are super boring and who planks for 10 minutes?? Well, the official world record is 1 hour and 20 minutes by George Hood. My office's fitness center organizes new Fit-Game challenges every year and this time it was walk the plank. I signed up with two weeks to go.

Plank was never part of my regular exercise regime- and my first day hold time was 2 minutes. I did some research and laid down a plan to reach at least 8 minutes in two weeks. I made huge strides-- increasing my timing by 20 to 30 seconds everyday.  Today (Feb 25th , 15) was the challenge day. The last few long planks I have done were around 6 minutes but I knew that a 10 minute plank is going to happen soon.

I turned on my playlist on the phone, got into position, and the organizer started the stop watch. There are 20 more people competing at the same time. In the beginning of the plank I had to distract myself as much as possible and keeping my mind zoned out. I started enjoying the music --the first song came up in my list "Lets go - Calvin Harris". Who wouldn't get inspired with these words yelling in your ears?

Then I looked at my side buddy on left . He really started to tremble and I knew he is going to drop anytime-- and boom, he dropped. Looked at the clock and it was somewhere in the area of 5:20. OK- great, I told myself I am halfway done and I would keep going. Another song came on - "I am the beast"... looked in the sides and everyone else had dropped except one guy.

I yelled at myself- how I can drop at this point. I thought of how it would feel to say "I held a plank for 10 minutes". -- and I did not want to have to go through these first 8 minutes again.

The other  remaining gentlemen  on my right was sweating badly and screaming like he is giving an unmediated childbirth! Who knew just planking could cause such sweat?-- that guy dropped around 8.25. I am the only one left and still doing well.

My shaking started- I stated to blow out my breath -controlled and strong -- and suddenly I was at 9.50.. the lady standing in front said- 10 more seconds.. and I hold it for another 40 seconds.. (that brings total to 10:30)

I am writing about this  not because there’s anything special about 10 minutes. I’m not stopping here. For people, who are doing a 1 minute or 2 minute plank now – the shaking, muscle burning, sweat.. all of this is normal, and it doesn't mean you have to quit. Next time you try a plank, when you think you are done and can’t do anymore – hold on for 30 seconds longer. It’s not just core strength and stability muscle strength – although these are key – it’s that mental toughness that keeps you holding on.

Some Tips I found useful for holding plank longer:
  1. Do a little warm up -- but do not get tired
  2. Distract yourself by listening to music, watching a video and reading an article, counting backwards..
  3. Do not look at watch frequently- my advice is look only when you start shaking
  4. Breathe- Big & deep. Focus on it.
  5. When shaking start- squeeze everything. Flex your quads, tighten your core and squeeze your Tush.
  6. Pretend that dropping on floor is going to crush you and you are stronger than you think!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Volume shadow copy issue with Win8.1 and alternative

In windows 8.1, microsoft has limited the vssadmin functionality. For example vssadmin create is not supported anymore.

Here is the alternative:

#In power shell:
(Get-WmiObject -list win32_shadowcopy).Create("C:\","ClientAccessible")

#On Win7 machine you can create vss directly by running command vssadmin create shadow /for=c: 

#Now check with:

vssadmin.exe list shadows

#mount what you see after "Shadow Copy Volume:"

Exit from powershell

mklink /D C:\myshadowcopy <here>\    #you need to add a trailing slash after the address.

Or You can also download the shadowexplorer GUI tool:

How to exclude file and directory from VSS snapshot:

You can add entries to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\BackupRestore\FilesNotToSnapshot to exclude files from VSS

 For e.g. in my case it was C:\Users\test\Documents\* /s