Saturday, May 30, 2015

My first official/unofficial 5K race - for Jessie!

Well,  I'm going to do it.  Most of it will be done at a fast walk, and maybe a very slog jog for part of it, but I'm going to hop on the treadmill this afternoon and run my first 5K.  It will be my first official (well, with me officiating) 5K in decades, but since I'll be competing with myself here in my home and not in the actual race, my time will be unofficial by race standards.  No matter ... Just doing it at all and showing support for Jessie and her family is good enough for me.

Jessica Torres was severely injured in an auto accident several years ago, but her family never gave up on her.  I served with Jessie's dad years ago when we were both stationed in South Weymouth, MA, and Tony, his lovely wife Lenore, and their son Derrick are wonderful people who still believe the best is yet to come in Jessie's progress towards healing.  This 5K race for Jessie is one way we can help support them while they support her.  Even if you can't be in Tennessee for the race, you can still help with a donation, and of course prayers are always welcomed.

I'm still having knee trouble (with both knees now!) but have started physical therapy and ohmy, the therapists are working miracles.  Separate posts forthcoming about that, but I'm definitely glad I'm pursuing it.  I'm taped up with kinesiology tape and going to complete this 5K in one sitting if it kills me.  I just need to remember that pushing too hard is what got me into trouble in the first place, and pay attention to my body.  I know I can walk the distance a couple of times over with no trouble, so if I don't kick it into a jog for too much of it, I should be ok.  I want to do my best, but I also don't want to lose ground that I'm finally starting to gain after the knee injury more than two years ago.  It's been a long journey filled with setbacks, and I want to keep moving in the right direction.

So ... I'll be lacing my running shoes and revving up the treadmill at race time, scheduled for 5:00 pm eastern today (4pm Memphis time), May 30 2015.  I'll post my officially unofficial results later, embarrassing or not!

~ Marie Anne

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fitbit 'Beat Your Best Day' Challenge 2015

Well I did it.  Fitbit challenged all users on Saturday, May 16, 2015 to beat their best Fitbit day ever.  I needed to beat 25,585 steps (over 10 miles) and since I haven't even been making my goal of 10-12K very often lately due to some health issues, I didn't think I had a chance.  Still, I wasn't going to give up before trying.

Once I got a couple of miles under my belt, I couldn't stop, not without giving it my best.  I took all three dogs out separately for a walk first, and logged about 2.5 miles.  Then I went out by myself and ended up doing something else I'd never done before - walked all the way down the big hill on my road.  It's about a half mile to the point where the big hill starts, and then it's downhill all the way.  I'd only gone about halfway before and even that only a few times (and that was a year or two ago), but I figured it was as good a day as any to make the attempt, so down I went.

Hooo boy, it was rough.  It's a single lane road with drop off on one side and ditch on the other, poorly paved, and the township decided to put crush and run on it a while back, making it precarious to walk on with such a slope.  It was pretty stupid of me to try it since it's a remote area that's a dead end road, and only two houses down there, so if I'd hurt myself, it could have been disastrous.  I've been using my walking time as quiet time with the Lord, and believe me, I did some praying yesterday!

You can't really see the slope here, but it's a steady decline

I made it to the end of the road, enjoying the sounds of nature during my trek.  I got to rub noses with my neighbor's two horses, smile at squirrels scampering about, saw one woodpecker a short distance away and heard another while headed downhill, but didn't see him.  At the bottom of the hill was a very vocal Canada goose that apparently didn't want any strangers in his/her area.  The honeysuckle was in bloom and tickled my nose with delight, just as the things I saw along my path made my eyes smile.

Good morning, boys and girls!

That walk took a lot out of me and only ended up with 2.2 miles for my efforts, but I'm glad I did it.  Will I do it again?  Maybe, maybe not.

I logged the rest of my miles between a few minutes on the treadmill here and there, and two more walks down my road (not down the hill, though).  When I saw how close I was getting to meeting my goal last night, I decided since I was only a few thousand short of the 30,000 step badge, why not go for broke?  I was beat, but I knew I'd never be this close again, so I grabbed my headlamp and flashlight and off I went at 11:00 pm.

I did it.  I busted my previous 'best Fitbit day' out of the water.  I needed to get to 25,585 and I ended up with 30,101 steps by the time I fell into bed.  I also finished up with the equivalent of 59 flights of stairs which topped my previous best too (I think it was 54), and got my skydiving badge for reaching 1000 flights of stairs since I got my Fitbit last September.

Yep, I'm crazy, and paying for it today, but I made it.  I knew I'd  probably never see a day like that again, so grabbed it while it was within reach.

More than 30,000 steps, which is almost 13 miles.  Church activities are about all I have planned for today, and I think I've earned a day off.

Did you accept Fitbit's challenge yesterday to beat your best day ever?  How did you do?

~ Marie Anne

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fitbit Step Challenge on Saturday ... Are You Ready?

My personal best day at 25,585 steps
Are you ready for a challenge?  I am!

I was doing pretty good with keeping up with my walking for a while until some health issues sidelined me for a short time in February/March of this year, but I was given the go-ahead to resume normal activities, so I'm starting to get back at it.  What a great time for the Fitbit folks to issue this amazing challenge!

The challenge is a big one.  In an effort to beat Fitbit's total highest number of steps in one day, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, Fitbit is challenging all users to beat their best day ever.  They've leveled the playing field by asking each of us to beat our own personal best day, rather than set a specific step goal for all.

Mine will be tough to beat.  My best step day recorded since I got my Fitbit One was 25,585 steps on October 22, 2014.  At my stride, that's more than 10 miles!  I haven't even come close to that before or since, and I've only occasionally been meeting my 12,000 step daily goal lately.  I've got new health issues cropping up almost daily, and some of them do affect my walking, so it might not be physically possible to make it, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I just checked my specific stats for that day and wow, I can't believe I did all that in one day.  I walked up and down the big hill on my street several times that day, enough to log 54 flights of stairs, and almost 11 miles!  Once I got going and did several walks throughout that day, I decided to shoot for the 25K badge.  You can see by the chart that I was a walking machine that day, LOL.

Did I really walk almost 11 miles that day?
(Click to enlarge)

I'm going to try to build up to it by walking a little more each of the three days until goal day on Saturday, and hope I don't burn myself out in the process.  My feet have been swelling horribly lately and we haven't been able to pinpoint why yet, and now other areas of my body are swelling too, so hopefully this push won't do further harm.  I'm not going to give up, but not listening to my body could have serious consequences (remember that knee injury over two years ago?), so I need to be smart and find a balance.

Are you up for the challenge?  What record will you be trying to beat?

~ Marie Anne

Don't have a Fitbit activity tracker yet?  What are you waiting for?