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.
Heyo, so as you all probably know by now (if you pay even the slightest bit of attention to my rambling (wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t)), I like to walk. I like to walk for relatively long distances, which takes me quite a bit of time.
A while ago, I was thinking that there’s probably a name for that type of exercise—doing something relatively “mild” but doing it for a long time.
Turns out there is: LISS cardio.
“LISS” stands for “Low Intensity, Steady State.” Basically, you do an activity that raises your heart rate to about 60% of your max heart rate and then continuing to do that activity for at least 45 minutes.
(I do it for about 240 minutes, but I’m bad at moderation.)
It’s kind of the opposite of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), during which you hit 90% of your max heart rate during short intervals, then take short “break” intervals in between. I used to do HIIT when I first started working out at UBC. I’d get on the elliptical machine, go at a moderate pace with little resistance, and then crank up the resistance for a minute and a half every three minutes. This worked really well for 30-minute workouts, but I don’t think a 30-minute workout could make me feel worked out anymore, no matter what I did during the time. I need to be exercising for a long period of time to feel like I’m getting anything from it.
But yeah! LISS is great. My resting heart rate is in the 40 BPMs most of the time (my Garmin says my resting average is 47, but I don’t have my Garmin on all the time) and I feel like I have really good cardiovascular endurance. My heart rate still shoots up when I go up hills and stuff (~130-140 BPM), but very quickly comes back down to normal.
I’d say it’s the LISS.