Back in June 2016, I walked 29 km in one go, and posted "I don't need to do this ever again."
You can see where this is going.
Here's what I did yesterday:
That distance, 32.2 km, is exactly 20 miles. I actually walked about 800 m farther than that because I accidentally paused my Fitbit for a few minutes. Also, the map's big red 32.16 km (which is just short of 20 miles) appears to be a rounding error as you can see from the official total at the top.
This time I walked up the North Branch trail, and I'm proud to say I walked the entire length of the Red Path, from Gompers Park in Chicago up to the Skokie Lagoons Trail in Glencoe. It's shadier, and leafier, and doesn't parallel a working railroad. I mean, you don't meet this guy on the Green Bay trail, for example:
The weather was nearly perfect: 25°C under crystal-clear skies. (I might have done better a few degrees cooler.)
And now for my personal records (PRs):
- Farthest distance in one continuous walk: 32.2 km
- Most steps in one continuous walk: 36,942
- Longest continuous exercise (including biking): 5 hours, 15 minutes
- Most steps in one day: 47,452
- Farthest walked in one day: 41.09 km
- Most active minutes in one day: 520
Depending on the weather, on Thursday I expect to hit another PR: most steps in a 7-day period. Currently that's 147,941 (set February 27th), but the 7 days ending yesterday totaled only 144,651.
My top-5 single-day step records are now:
Also, not for nothing, I am kind of annoyed with myself that I didn't sucker any of my friends into a step challenge this weekend.
That's my guess for how often Chicago's weather looks like this. Today's forecast calls for cloudless 23°C skies and a cool, clear evening.
So, naturally, I'm going to try to walk 30 klicks.
And I'm totally not watching the England/Sweden match that's on right now. Nope.
I set a few Fitbit personal records yesterday.
First: it was the first time I've gotten 20,000+ steps three days in a row. Second: it was the fourth-best stepping day since I got a Fitbit (see below). Third: my 7-day total, 147,941, completely blew away the old record of 135,785 set on April 18th last year.
Here are my top-5 stepping days:
On the other hand, Chicago didn't set a weather record, and wasn't in any danger of doing so, despite what I said. I misread the chart: Chicago's record high for February 27th was 23.8°C set in 1975, not 16.7°C, which is the record high for February 28th—and we're in no danger of breaking that one, either. That said, it was, in fact, 16.7°C yesterday.
Today is the last day of meteorological winter, and a cold front is sneaking in from the north. Tomorrow promises to be everything yesterday was not: windy, rainy, and snowy in the evening. I can't wait.
We're now on the third day of spring weather even though spring doesn't technically begin (for climatologists, anyway) until Thursday. Yesterday we got up to 12°C, even more spring-like than Sunday's 10°C. (Those high temperatures are normal for March 31st and 23rd, respectively.)
Today's forecast high is 17°C—normal for April 24th and, if it actually happens, a new record for February 27th. (Note that the current record, 16.7°C, was set in 2016.)
Two things to note: first, weather ≠ climate, though you would be forgiven for freaking out at the Washington Post's latest news on the topic.
Second, this has given me a great opportunity to get steps in.
For the first time ever, I've gotten back-to-back 25,000-step days: 28,828 on Sunday and 28,293 yesterday. This included a lunchtime hike from my office to the end of the 606 Trail and back:
I've hit 25,000 steps only 15 times out of the 1,223 days I've had a Fitbit. That's 1.22%. For comparison, I've hit 20,000 steps only 66 times (5.56%), and 30,000 steps only 6 times (0.49%). I last hit 30,000 on May 27th (33,241), and last hit 25,000 (before Sunday) on August 29th (26,914).
So here's the question: can I do 30k today? Yes. But I'm not entirely sure how yet. Stay tuned.
Yesterday I did, in fact, hit 25,000 steps. I ended the day with 28,828. I considered going for one more 15-minute walk to hit 30,000, but decided I'd had enough for the day, and went to bed—and got 7½ hours of sleep.
This morning it was once again clear and crisp (but above freezing), so I walked to work, just over 6 km and one hour of walking, and about 7,000 steps. So at 11am, I've already got 9,200. With a forecast 11°C and an Apollo Chorus rehearsal 5 km away, I might hit 20,000 again today.
Tomorrow's forecast looks even better for walking. Wednesday looks OK, too. And then it will rain all day Thursday. Still, I'm confident of making a pretty good showing in a Fitbit challenge going on this week.
And as we have just a two more days of meteorological winter, I'm also ever more confident that January 1st will remain the coldest day of 2018. (We'll see what happens in late December.)
And with that, I'm off to Starbucks, and probably 10,000 steps before noon.
Finally! It's a clear, sunny, above-freezing day in Chicago with no snow left on the ground. So far I've gotten over 20,000 steps, and if I keep walking around various neighborhoods, I'll clear 25,000. (I've done that only 13 times since October 2014. I've hit 20,000 on 66 days, or about 5% of the time.)
Of course, that means not a lot of blog posting this weekend. Sorry.
That was my step total yesterday: 9,971. All I had to do was look at my Fitbit before midnight and take 30 steps right then. So frustrating.
My numbers have been off all year, mainly owing to the bitter cold early on and the buckets of snow in the past week. We've gotten some precipitation every day of the past 8 (and on Monday bitter cold as well), so that this morning there was 300 mm on the ground at O'Hare.
Still, if I got 99.7% of the way to my daily step goal, I could have taken 30 more steps before midnight. That feels way worse than the 6,071 steps I got on Friday.
On Thursday I hit all my (admittedly non-taxing) goals for the day. And yesterday, on into this morning, I almost did again, except that making three of the goals interfered with making the fourth.
Goal #1: See the Churchill War Rooms. Having recently seen "Darkest Hour," I wanted to see the rooms where it happened. I did, and they were really cool.
Goal #2: Visit three more pubs. I had planned to check in again at 214 Bermondsey, then head up to Ye Olde Mitre before stopping again at The Ship Tavern. I walked from the Churchill War Rooms to 214 Bermondsey (3.7 km) but it turned out they weren't open yet. So I trundled up to Fleet Street (another 3.7 km) and went to The George instead. At Ye Olde Mitre—which can use the archaic spelling legitimately as it's over 400 years old—I met up with an old friend, went to dinner with him, and then finally made it to The Ship Tavern.
Goal #3: Get to 10,000 steps as early in the day as possible. At the stroke of midnight I set off from The Ship Tavern back to my hotel in Earls Court, a distance of 6.4 km that got me 6,828 steps in just under an hour and ten minutes. I dropped my bag off, ate the curry I'd picked up on the way, and trundled around Earls Court for another half-hour before hitting 10,000 steps at 2:09 am GMT. Someday soon, but not today, I'll get there even earlier. At the pace I set from Holborn to Earls Court, it would have taken me only 102 minute had I not stopped for food.
Goal #4: Read another book. At The George, I started Robert Abelson's Statistics as Principled Argument, and managed to get halfway into the second chapter before getting swept up in conversations with the Aussies who mobbed the area where I was sitting at the Ship Tavern. It's also a bit denser than the Frum I read cover to cover on Thursday, which slowed me down a bit.
Today's goals included stopping in two more pubs, including the Southampton Arms, about which I have blogged frequently, and reading a third book. Alas, neither looks promising, for several reasons including the pouring rain outside right now and the six pubs I've already visited since I got here. So this afternoon I'm going to nap, plough ahead with the Abelson, and head up to Southampton Arms when the rain lets up, which the Met Office assures me will happen around 5 pm.
Between my company's work-from-home week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, and the excruciatingly cold weather the week after, this morning was the first time since December 21st.
It turned out that commuting by public transit took exactly the same amount of time as driving to work, but gained me 2,500 additional steps. That's helpful, because in the last 20 days I've missed my step goal 10 times.
Here's to warmer weather and better exercise habits.
My step count over the last week and a half has really suffered. Between Arctic temperatures and working from home (and a dog who hates boots), my average over the last 7 days of 2017 was just 8,441 steps per day. Throughout 2017, I only missed 10k steps 26 times—6 of them between Christmas and New Year's Eve.
This weekend should be warmer, and I'm back in the office this week, so I expect better results going forward. Both yesterday and Monday I hit my 10k goal, and today I'm likely to.
But wow, I hate missing it. I really do.