A combination of really nice weather, a shift in my project at work, and a loyal dog (who is now loyally pooped) has let me get some serious Fitbit steps recently:
That 7-day total is my best since I got a Fitbit in October 2014. The previous record was 129,249 set on June 16th last year—the day I walked 40,748 steps over 35.6 km.
Also on June 16th I set a 30-day total step count record of 507,849, which I'm unlikely to beat soon. As of yesterday, my current 30-day count is 435,763, so I've got a lot of steps to get to hit 508,000.
That said, today's steps might set a new 7-day record. I just need 19,300 for the day to do so. We'll see.
A couple of milestones today.
First, just a couple of days before my 2-year anniversary with Fitbit, I've earned what they call the "Africa Badge:" I've walked 8,046 km since I joined, which is approximately the north-south length of Africa.
More interestingly, today is the 235th anniversary of Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown, an anniversary Alexander Hamilton may have been aware of when, 15 years later, he slyly accused Thomas Jefferson of having an affair with a slaves. The allegation was true, though few people reading Hamilton's editorial would have believed it, but it may have nudged the 1796 election to fellow Federalist John Adams.
Neither of these things has anything to do with me walking a lot in the last two years, of course.
My goal yesterday was to walk at least as far as I did back in June, when I hoofed it from Uptown to Highland Park (28.95 km, 4:32:52, 32,595 steps). Well, yesterday I didn't, for a couple of reasons: first, I'm recovering from a cold. Second, it was 5°C warmer yesterday than June 16th. And third, I started later in the day, so I had less time to do the trip. Also I was a bit stupid: around hour 3½, I hit the wall, but didn't realize I had, until I finally stopped in a convenience store and downed a pint of Gatorade. Miraculously, I felt better in minutes. Who knew?
My totals yesterday: 24.37 km, 3:54:25, 25,570 steps on the walk and 32,354 for the day. At least that total count for the day was my second-highest daily step count. Could I have done another 7,000 steps? Maybe. But I was so hot and so done, and nothing was chasing me.
I also need to complain that technology failed me. My Fitbit Blaze lost contact with my phone four times, resulting in me having to reboot both once and to reset the Fitbit three other times. Observe:
The Fitbit lost its connection with my phone (and thus its GPS) at 7.75 km, and I didn't notice until I stopped for Gatorade. Which really, really irritates me. That's about half a kilometer and about 600 steps that didn't get counted.
Yesterday, after a run of 77 days (beating my previous record of 70), I missed my Fitbit step goal by less than 800 steps. So embarrassing.
From May 9th until July 24th, I walked 10,000 steps every day. Then yesterday I didn't notice I was stuck at 9,200 when I was out with friends. An 8-minute walk could have taken care of that.
Yesterday's walk had a number of consequences, including some discomfort that has persisted until today. But I also blew away my Fitbit personal records. Yesterday's results:
Which makes my top 5 now look like this:
Yesterday's weather worked out, too. It was almost completely overcast, until I hit the heavily-wooded sections of the trail up in Glencoe and Highland Park. And it was cool; I don't think it got above 20°C. So I didn't sweat too much and I was able to keep a fairly brisk pace.
I will now limp to my lunch appointment. And I'll post Parker's birthday photo later this afternoon.
Today's light walk: 28.95 km in 4½ hours, totaling 32,595 steps. Voilà:
I am now going to take a shower.
Parker's birthday photo will be up tomorrow. He's 10!
Yes, I'm a little obsessed with finding out how far I can walk in one day, but you won't have to read about it much longer. Tomorrow's forecast looks perfect: sunny skies, 24°C, and some good breezes to keep the air clear and me cool.
And even as I'm contemplating walking 30 km or so, I have to stop and just be awed by British marathoner Sara Hall's Fitbit data from her 2 hour 30 minute running of this year's London Marathon. Her average pace (3'35" per kilometer) is roughly three times faster than I'll go tomorrow. And given that she only took 28,914 steps to cover a marathon, her stride was a full 144 cm—just a few shorter than I am tall.
Also, don't worry about Parker. He's not coming on a five-hour walk with me. He'll be at doggy day camp.
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.
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:
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.
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: