Yo, check out this website.
Basically, you find a challenge with a distance you want to complete, set a goal date, log your miles, and if you succeed in your goal, you get a shiny medal!
I wanna do one. ‘Cause we all know I like shiny things.
I’m going to try for the longest distance one (of course I am): The Route 66 Virtual Challenge. I want a pretty medal!
Edit: hahahaha I completely forgot I signed up for this. I logged a grand total of 30.9 miles and it’s May now. Oops. I wonder if they’ll let me do a mega-update?
So I want to do a little product review for you all today. As I’m sure you’re aware, ever since I started making walking a “serious business” sort of thing, I’ve used the iTreadmill app on my iPod to track my steps/mileage/calories burned/etc. I started doing so on an old iPod touch.
But due to years of use and several winters during which he was exposed to very cold temperatures for very long walks, his battery eventually crapped out to the point where even during the summer, he couldn’t last a full 15-mile walk. So a few years ago I upgraded to the next gen iPod Touch.
I’ve tried to be more protective of his battery, especially in the winter. During winter walks, I’ve kept him in a plastic baggie in my pocket and did my best to cup my glove around him to protect him from the cold and wind (I think the wind really zaps the battery life).
Over Christmas break, I decided to go on Amazon and see if there were any products designed specifically for insulating cellphones (and/or iPods) against cold weather. Turns out that most products of this sort are mainly designed to protect cellphones from too much heat/sun, but are also supposed to work in the cold.
I searched around for a bit before I found a reasonably-priced product that had a few good reviews discussing its performance in cold weather, so I decided to buy it.
It’s called Phoozy and it looks like this (iPod for scale):
And it really makes a difference. It’s been cold as all hell up here ever since I got back from Moscow, but with this little insulator, my iPod can make it all the way through a 15-mile walk without needing a recharge (I used to have to stop in the one heated public bathroom I pass on my walks to give my iPod a few minutes of charge in order to get it through a winter walk).
So that’s pretty freaking awesome. It’s too bad I wasn’t doing this from the start, but hopefully this will help preserve the battery life I have left.
YOOOOOOOOOOOO so I botched up my leg again.
Or rather, my ankle/heel?
I think I must have pulled/strained something down there while walking on the treadmill these past few days. I suspect I take much wider/longer strides on the treadmill than I do when I’m outside. Thus, since I’ve had to spend every freaking day this past week on the treadmill (due to the fact that the outside temp = death), I think I just messed it up through the repetitive unnatural stride.
So that’s great.
It’s not nearly as bad pain-wise as whatever I did to my leg/knee in 2017, but it definitely hurts. Now that I’m able to walk outside, maybe if I go slow(er) with my natural stride, it’ll just kind of self-correct and get back to normal on its own.
I’ve already been to the doctor once in the past year; my quota has been used up.
Edit: I got coolio prescription sunglasses now, though, so at least that’s snazzy. How do I look?
Happy New Year! Happy New Decade! Let’s do the annual madness that is my review of last year’s walking stats.
Here they are for January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.
Total number of walks: 348
Total mileage: 4,836.81
Total number of steps: 11,813,295
Total calories burned: 304,776
Total walking time (minutes): 80,420.25 [that’s about 55.84 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.64
4,836.81 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Seattle, WA and London, England or between Constantine, Algeria and Cape Town, South Africa.
Let’s do as well (or better!) this year.
How quickly my sleeping schedule reverts back to “lol 4 AM is dinner time, 6 AM is bed time, 9:30 AM is time to get up” when it’s allowed to.
I must confess, though, that I’m already missing those early morning walks. I’m not missing getting up early, but I’m missing being out there in the dark when there’s no traffic on the streets and everything is dead quiet. It was enjoyable in a weird way.
I mean, I have to get up a little early tomorrow because the calc final starts at 3:30 PM and I want to give myself a good amount of “wiggle time” so that I’m not getting there at the last possible minute, but I won’t be getting up at 3:30 AM and leaving at 4.
Hello, nerd bombs! To everyone’s shock, today will be a walking-related blog.
Why? Because counting today’s walk, I have walked a total of 20,000 miles since living in Calgary!
Here are some stats (as always, haha):
Total walks: 1,610
Total distance: 20,002.96 miles
Total steps: 44,913,637
Total time: 307,098.13 minutes (that’s 5,118.30 hours, or 213.26 days, or 0.584 years)
Total calories burned: 1,341,926.0
The median* distance per walk was 15.02 miles; median steps per walk was 33,055; median time per walk was 214.98 minutes (3.583 hours).
Here are boxplots of distance by year. Notice how my walking distances become dramatically more consistent as we move from 2014 to 2019.
*Medians are used instead of means, as all of the distributions of the above variables are highly skewed
It’s FREAKING SNOWING RIGHT NOW and I am NOT READY FOR THIS WEATHER.
It’s supposed to get worse over the weekend, too, so that’s great.
So in the spirit of “I need to pretend to look on the bright side of things unless I want to shoot myself in the face,” let’s list all the pros of winter walking.
- I use my on-ear headphones as a way to keep my ears warm, which means I get to listen to music when I walk (I don’t walk to music in the summer).
- I have to wear a coat, which helps hide my ugly body from the world.
- I don’t have to wear sunscreen (and thus don’t have to hose off in the bathroom once I get to campus).
- There are fewer people out on the sidewalks/river path due to coldness/bad weather.
- You burn slightly more calories in the cold than you do in other temperatures.
…I think that’s it.
So yeah. Things are supposed to improve by the end of the coming week, but it’s hard to see beyond the FREAKING SEPTEMBER SNOWSTORM right now.
Today marks two years since I busted up my leg/quad/knee whatever walking to Pullman. At the one year mark last August, it was still giving me a decent amount of trouble. Twinging on and off and the like. I was still pretty scared to try running.
Now, though? I barely even think about it. I start my walk and head down the hill toward the river without that fear that I’ll somehow mess up my leg on the hill (going downhill had always been the most painful). I’ve spontaneously started to run (with my backpack on) on some of my walks, barely even worrying about the injury. I am seriously considering trying to get back into running enough to be able to do the Calgary Marathon next year. Like I’ve said, the cardiovascular endurance will probably not be the issue—the only issue might be the injury. But I’m feeling so confident in it now that I feel like I can finally stop using that as an excuse.
So that’s pretty awesome.
Hopefully I won’t hurt it again.
Hopefully I won’t hurt anything else.
So guess what? Today was the first time since I’ve gotten injured that I walked a mile in under 14 minutes.*
I actually walked two separate miles in under 14 minutes, so that’s even cooler.
I was so pumped, yo. I’m finally getting some speed back. It’s been almost two years. And now that I’ve got the Garmin, I know that that speed is legitimate and not just due to a miscalculation in my stride length.
*Last year I posted a shot of my speed being 4.50 MPH, but that was WRONG because it was based on an incorrect stride length. I think this time is really the first time I’ve done a sub-14 minute mile.
Also, I still think these out-of-order signs at North Hill Mall are (unintentionally?) hilarious.
Today Nate and I adventured to a new part of the city on our walk and I remembered that I’m really bad at re-applying sunscreen to the backs of my hands after I wash all the sunscreen off the fronts of my hands (‘cause I hate the way it feels).
That is comically horrible.
I have to teach on Monday, which means this weird-ass sunburn is going to show up over the projector. Awesome.
‘Sokay, it’ll tan out in a few days and then I’ll be left with a weird dark patch of skin on the back of my otherwise pale hand…which is…even more attractive…
But anyway, we did almost 18 miles and it was great. Walking in 70-degree weather in the sun is way better than walking in the cold, blowing snow (which is what we were doing last weekend, haha).
Check out that resting heart rate, yo.
And people say walking isn’t good cardio. It is if you walk fast enough and long enough.
(Yes, I know fitness tracker-based heart monitors aren’t the most accurate, but I suspect it’s accurate within a range. And I actually did calculate it the “manual” way (taking my pulse) a little bit after I took this picture (after my heart rate had calmed down a little; I’d just gone up the stairs) and it was 49, so.
Alrighty, so now that I’ve got my Garmin and can actually walk an accurate 15 miles instead of “15 miles” based on an estimated stride length, I now know that I was shorting my distance by a few miles each walk. This also means that my actual speed is quite a bit slower than I had previously thought.
That also makes walking 100 miles in a day a lot less realistic, because I’d have to go at a pace of 4.17 miles per hour, and I don’t think I can do that. Especially for 24 hours.
So here’s a more realistic goal: walking 100 kilometers in a day. That’s 60.2 miles, and at my current pace of 15 miles per four hours, that’s about 16 hours’ worth of walking (assuming I can keep my pace that whole time, which I suspect I can).
I bet I could pull that off, huh? My only concern is the leg…would that set back all the progress I’ve made in getting it to the point where it doesn’t (usually) hurt on my walks?
Maybe we’ll see.
to be able to walk outside and not fight hypothermia the whole way.
Seriously, if you ever hear me complain about any temperatures higher than -10 again, punch me in the face.
Yeah, I was right: now that the weather is (at least currently) not deadly within 10 minutes of exposure, I’ve abandoned the gym and am back outside.
Which means no more running for now.
I’d like to make running a more frequent thing, but I’m not sure that can happen this semester with how busy I am and how little time I have in the morning to get my 15 miles in before calculus. If I go to the gym, that means I have to spend time changing into and out of my gym clothes, which chews up a decent amount of minutes.
Maybe once spring gets here and I (maybe?) have some more free time.
Also, I know I’ve been complaining about the weather a lot, but I would honestly have Calgary’s absurd winter cold snaps than have the Koppen climate equivalent of “fuck you” that Vancouver has.
Deadly cold > rain. Any day.
There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.
It hurt. It hurt good.
(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)
Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.
Hello again, all.
So it occurred to me that I have thousands of data points in the form of my walking data that I haven’t shared in any form other than yearly summaries and graphs.
So I’ve decided to post a link to my entire Excel file of walking data since moving to Calgary. You know, for anyone who needs data or wants to analyze it or who just thinks I’m making it all up.*
So here ya go! Nerd it up.
*I’m not. Do you know how lazy I am? It would take a lot of effort to realistically fake that much data.
This is the most relatable, terrifying article I’ve ever read.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how maintainable this “15 miles a day six days a week” thing is. When will things start breaking down? Is this making me stronger or is it going to cause a whole ton of issues?
I’m terrified of the day where I can’t do these 15 miles a day anymore. Walking is really the only thing that keeps me calm, the only thing that keeps me from just absolutely hating every aspect of my existence. What’s going to happen when that’s taken away from me?
YOOOOOOOOOOO Happy New Year!
It’s January 1st yet again, so let’s do the thing I always do on January 1st and review last year’s walking stats.
Here they are for January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
Total number of walks: 338
Total mileage: 4,328.61
Total number of steps: 9,996,535
Total calories burned: 280,626
Total walking time (minutes): 71,430.14 [that’s about 49.6 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.71
4,328.61 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Dubai, UAE and Seoul, South Korea or between Rio Gallegos, Argentina and Caracas, Venezuela.
Let’s do better this year.
So I was looking over my old blogs (because THAT’S THE KIND OF OBNOXIOUS HUMAN I AM) and noticed that on December 8, 2013, I hit 1,300 walking miles for the year.
I hit 1,300 walking miles on April 29 this year.
My old distances were garbage, yo.
My cold weather endurance is garbage right now. The temperature on my walk this afternoon ranged from 14 to 3 and I felt so freaking cold.
I need to get back into winter mode. The negative Fahrenheits are coming, yo.
Edit: hahahaha, FEBRUARY 2019 IS COMING
Man, I wish Pokemon Go had been able to read your phone’s health app data from the very start, because now I’m getting these kind of results:
Which is great for hatching eggs and acquiring buddy candy.
Edit: prof, u ok?
So remember that L.L. Bean backpack that was brand new last October?
Yeah, it looks like this now.
Faded, just like my will to live.
This is what happens when I take it out walking for four hours a day (and occasionally haul around $12 worth of broccoli for several miles).
I’m pretty rough on backpacks.
So due to the OH GOD IT HURTS unseasonably cold weather we’ve been getting this month, I’ve had to transition (at least temporarily) to my winter walking clothes.
This made me realize that I’ve never told you what I wear on my walks based on the season.
I’m sure you don’t actually care, but I’mma talk about it anyway. Because this is my blog and I suck and thus this blog should suck accordingly.
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (stretchy, breathable, has a butt pocket for iPod)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
- Same as summer, except add a light jacket
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (thick, not breathable, fuzzy warm)
- Tights (extra protection from cold)
- Headphones (to protect my ears from the cold)
- Gloves (I dual-wield those cheap $2 gloves because I’m pathetic)
- Winter coat (I swear this thing is made of the same stuff that protects the space shuttle during re-entry. It’s such a good coat and it only cost like $5 because I got it at Goodwill)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
HEYOOOOOOOOOO so I hit the 15,000 mile mark today. More specifically (because who the hell knows if anyone remembers what I’ve posted in the past), I’ve now walked 15,000 miles since I moved to Calgary in September 2014.
- Number of walks: 1,242
- Total mileage: 15,003.38
- Total steps: 32,508,966
- Total time: 221705.16 minutes (or 3,695.09 hours, or 153.96 days)
- Total calories burned: 1,027,018
- Average speed: 4.01 MPH
That’s a lot of walking, yo.
Distance by Year
Distance by Month
Distance by Day of Week
Distance for each walk, color-coded by the year
Snazzy! I hope to add on to this quite a bit.