The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Tomorrow: how far can I walk?

FOr a variety of reasons, I've set aside tomorrow to take a hike in Chicago, from home north along one of our Metra lines as far as I can go before saying "to hell with this." My guess is I'll get pretty far. Unfortunately, the weather forecast along the route looks iffy, so I might postpone it until Thursday.

My goal is to go on one walk that exceeds my personal record for distance/steps in one day, 27.08 km in 32,315 steps. I figure that will get me from my house to one of my childhood favorite restaurants, Walker Bros. Original Pancake House. In fact, it will take me past the one I grew up with (in Wilmette) on my way to one of the newer ones (in Highland Park).

Of course, it could rain. Or I could get tired. Or any number of things could happen. Which is why I'm going to walk along the Metra line that passes closest to my house, so I can bail.

We'll see. I think I'll make it all the way up there. But I'll be watching the weather carefully, and may go Thursday instead.

New personal record on Fitbit

After yesterday's epic walk (from which Parker recovered in just a couple of hours) I realized it wouldn't be that difficult to get another 10,000 steps. So I did:

That's a new PR. It was also 27.08 km—another PR.

So the top 5 (as I mentioned back in March) are now:

2016 Jun 8 32,315
2015 Apr 26 30,496
2016 Mar 8 29,775
2015 Jun 15 28,455
2015 May 2 26,054

I'm not moving as quickly today as I did yesterday, but I'm pretty happy about blowing past my previous PR.

Now I have plans for some day in the next week or so literally to walk as far as I can along the U.P. North line and then take the train home. Highland Park is about 28 km from my house, and it has a childhood favorite place to eat: Walker Bros. Pancake House (which, if you think about it, is a great place to end a 28-kilometer walk). And if I don't make it all the way there, I can simply take a train home.

Parker will not accompany me on that walk.

Bit of a hike

The weather today is the kind that we only get about 15 or 20 days of the year in Chicago. It's 19°C and totally sunny with a light breeze from the east. And I'm actually able to take advantage of it today.

That's why Parker and I just got back from a 2½ hour, 14.5 km walk.

Yes. We walked that far. He's now out cold, and I'm having a spot of lunch. And shortly a shower.

The total damage was 14.51 km in 2:24:57 (not including two stops at Starbucks along the way), for a pace of 9' 59" per kilometer—just a shade faster than 16 minutes per mile.

My Fitbit tells me I kept my heart rate between 115 and 125 the whole way, burned 1,289 calories, and took 17,429 steps. The last two kilometers were actually faster than the first two, because Parker always needs to get things out of his system in the first few minutes of a walk, and that takes time.

I don't think I'll make him walk any farther today, except to the front lawn.

We also got our first walk on The 606, Chicago's answer to the New York Highline:

Lots and lots of steps

Yesterday I did, in fact, get a butt-load of steps—and so did Parker. He and I walked over 16 km together, bringing my totals to 26,144 steps and 21.6 km overall. That's only my 5th 25k day (out of the 584 since I got a Fitbit), the last one being on March 8th.

 

Busy weekend

With two performances and two rehearsals over the weekend, I didn't have any time to post. I also didn't have as much time as I wanted to walk, though I did manage 20,249 steps for the weekend. (That was a little disappointing, especially because yesterday's weather was perfect for being outside.)

Meanwhile, the chorus have finally put up videos of our April fundraiser. So, yeah, we did this:

I'll leave finding videos of me holding a puppet as an exercise for the reader.

June to March in 12 hours

The Tribune has a graphic up demonstrating how Chicago temperatures dropped 20°C in one day. We went from a high temperature of 28°C at 4pm Monday down to a morning low of 7°C by 7pm Tuesday.

I should mention that I had several windows open Monday night, and closed them around 4am. That helped a little, but it would have helped more had I turned the heat on.

Despite the colder weather, through yesterday I've had six consecutive days of 15,000+ steps, including two of better than 20,000. Today looks promising as well. Fitbit also has a new feature that awards a pip for each clock hour in which you get 250 or more steps, the idea being to get you off your ass. I've got my app set to count from 8am to 9pm. Since Friday, I've had 13 of 13 hours four of five possible days—and today looks pretty likely as well. (The trick is to take Parker for a walk at 5 minutes before the hour, which gets me two pips in 10 minutes.

Decent weekend so far

Today's weather was finally spring-like, meaning twenty degrees warmer away from the lake than near it. But Parker still got over an hour of walkies, I've gotten (so far) about 18,000 steps, and all the windows in my house are open for the first time in about a month.

Also, I made a decent showing yesterday at a trivia tournament (tied for first place, but lost the tiebreaker), and today at a Euchre tournament (upper half of the pack, 7-2-1 overall record).

That is all. Time to feed the dog, and maybe walk another couple thousand steps.

Fitbit reports the damage

Scroll down and you'll see that I did not achieve my goal of 25,000 steps on Saturday because (most likely) I ate contaminated kefta kebab on Friday night.

My Fitbit did provide some interesting data, however, that underscores how disappointing the trip turned out to be.

Sleep: I average 7 hours a night, generally. Friday night, more because I had absolutely no responsibilities than anything else, I slept in, getting 9:34 total. But then the sleep chart goes almost full-circle as the Fitbit recorded all my naps. Total sleep from Friday night to Saturday evening: 14:11. Total sleep in Bend: 20:41. (Given that I was only in Bend for a little over 40 hours, I slept through more than half of it.)

Steps: Instead of 25,000 on Saturday, I got 11,633. That includes the one-hour hike Saturday morning when the symptoms first hit me, and a shuffle to the nearest Walgreens to pick up some Gatorade. Do you know how much I hate Gatorade? Less than I hate serious dehydration, but only just.

Resting heart rate: My RHR usually hangs out around 63. Give me a good, painful illness, and that goes to hell: 65 on Friday, 68 on Saturday, and 70 yesterday, despite yesterday being spent mostly in transit.

Weight: Well, here's the silver lining. My body mass has remained frustratingly stable about 3 kg over where I want to be since mid-November. While I expected that to drop some as the weather got warmer, as it has every year, I didn't expect to drop all 3 kilos in one weekend. This may have something to do with me having no solid food from my bagel Saturday morning until I attempted (successfully!) some pretzels, saltines, and a hard-boiled egg yesterday afternoon. I also had a bit of success with a container of steamed white rice when I got to O'Hare. It turns out, water has no calories, and Gatorade has just over 200 calories per liter. So altogether, I had perhaps 1,000 calories in two days, at the same time my body was shedding every gram of food and water that got into my system from Friday night on.

Don't worry, I'm hydrating. I might gain a kilogram back in the next day or two. On the other hand, my appetite hasn't fully returned, so I might keep it off for a while.

Anyway, other than being pissed off about spending my one day in Bend asleep or on the pot (and not the pot one would ordinarily want to be on in Oregon), I seem mostly recovered. It's going to be a beautiful day in Chicago, so I plan to get another 20,000 steps today. And drink a lot of fluids.