I lost my pedometer in Hawaii

The title of this post says it all. I lost my pedometer in Hawaii. The second day of my trip to Maui I drove the Road to Hana (see obligatory gorgeous photo above) with three other ladies and at some point my dinky little pedometer fell off the waistband of my shorts. I don’t know exactly where or when it happened, but by the time we stopped at Ohe’o Gulch (aka Seven Sacred Pools) to have lunch it was missing. Oops. I had to guess at my step counts for the rest of my trip. I estimated each day’s step count using my travel day as a benchmark. That day I walked all over the Los Angeles and Kahului airports as well as wandering around the rental house (it was a 15,000 square foot house!) and a trip to Costco on Maui. I was surprisingly active for spending about 6 hours on a plane! It was actually refreshing not having to wear that cheesy pedometer for most of my vacation, but I knew I had to find a replacement when I got home. Fortunately I still had last year’s pedometer tucked away in a drawer for just such an occurrence so I’m covered for the rest of Boeing on the Move 2015. I’ve been racking up the step counts since I got back to California too. I ran 5 miles on Monday night and then last night I took a 4 mile walk in the evening. We are already past the halfway point of Boeing on the Move and I want to make the best showing possible before the end!

P.S. I uploaded a whole bunch of photos from my vacation to Flickr and they can be found in my PJJ Maui album.

On the move again

Boeing on the Move 2015 has started! When I woke up on June 1st I had to remember to clip on my pedometer to make sure I was getting credit for the maximum number of steps. Not only does this eight-week challenge provide motivation for me to exercise more (plus keep up with my chores and spend less time on the couch less), but earning an Amazon gift card is a pretty good bonus. As long as I maintain an average of 13,000 steps/day I’ll get a $100 gift card. And since my normal running/walking schedule makes this a breeze, it’s basically free money. I’ll take it! We’re two weeks into Boeing on the Move and I’m averaging about 21,000 steps per day so far. On the days I don’t go running I take a long walk around Seal Beach in the evenings to make sure my step count average is maintained. Also, it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful June weather. While I was out waking tonight I found myself daydreaming about fall, but then I realized I should be savoring the beautifully cool evening that I was experiencing at that very moment! This weather makes exercising outdoors a pleasure. I know the heat of summer is right around the corner so I want to spend as much time outside as I can before those days arrive.

On a related note, on the second day of Boeing on the Move I registered for yet another Disney race. Last year when I wrote about the beginning of Boeing on the Move 2014 I mentioned signing up for the Star Wars 5K and 10K at Disneyland in January 2015. This year I made an even bigger commitment by registering for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge – a combination of the 10K and half marathon – in January 2016. The reason I’m able to do these races is because I decided not to train for the 2016 Walt Disney World marathon, which is also in January (as detailed in my New Year’s Resolution #1). There’s always a silver living, right? (Don’t worry, I’m still planning to run a marathon eventually. Hopefully the Disney World marathon in 2017.) Not only am I excited for the Rebel Challenge itself, but in general I’m looking forward to participating in the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend when I’m not injured. Last year I was still hurt after the Disney World half marathon so I didn’t really get to enjoy the Star Wars races because I was in pain. I have every expectation that next time will be different, especially since I’ve figured out what the root cause of my knee pain is. No guarantees, of course, but I’m going to do everything in my power to stay healthy for all of the awesome fall and winter races!

Step count challenge 2014 complete

As of last Monday, Boeing on the Move is over. Woohoo! As excited as I was for it to start in June, I was just as glad for it to end. Not that it didn’t motivate me to be active, even more so than I have been since starting my half marathon training, but the truth is, I couldn’t stand my pedometer. The cheap plastic little gadgets that we got in the mail to track our daily steps were a real pain in the butt. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have unrealistic expectations for a pedometer that I didn’t have to pay for, but it was flimsy, fell off a lot, and I felt dorky wearing it. It wasn’t exactly compatible with my wardrobe. Or anyone else’s, really. A few days before Boeing on the Move ended I made a list of nineteen things I hated about that stupid pedometer. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s so nice not having to remember to clip it to my jeans/yoga pants/pajamas every time I get dressed. Not only am I physically free of it, but I’m not constantly checking my step count and obsessively worrying about being too sedentary. Obviously getting up and moving more is beneficial to my health, but I’ve discovered that wearing a device that quantifies my activity level stresses me out more than it motivates me. And in the last year and a half of living by myself I’ve learned that I need to remove as many extraneous stressors from my life as possible in order to maximize my mental health. There are enough mandatory things in my to stress over (i.e., work, chores, bills) to add anything unnecessary to worry about. (Sadly, this also includes my webpage, which I’ve been neglecting recently, but that’s a topic for another time.) But before this post gets too philosophical, I’d like to report that I actually gave my pedometer quite a workout during Boeing on the Move! I averaged over 22k steps per day and almost reached one million steps by the end of the six-week program. And in addition to the payoff of my augmented exercise regimen, I earned a $100 Amazon gift card for my efforts! I’m definitely going to enjoy that. But I think the best news is that I’ve been maintaining my activity level even after setting aside the pedometer. That’s exactly the kind of thing I need to reduce stress and improve my outlook on life. No pedometer required, thank goodness!

Step count challenge 2014

Yesterday I only had one thing I absolutely needed to do (besides work which is more of an ongoing five days a week commitment so it’s barely worth mentioning) – sign up for the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon weekend in January! Early registration for annual pass holders opened at 9 AM yesterday morning and I didn’t want to miss out. I’m not crazy enough to run the half marathon, but I signed up for the 5K on January 16th and the 10K on January 17th. This might still be crazy since I’ve already committed to running the Walt Disney World 10K in Orlando on January 9th (my birthday!) and then the half marathon on January 10th. Yikes! I’m going to be burning a lot of calories in January! I’m probably being too ambitious with the Star Wars races just a few days after I get back from Orlando, but this is a brand new event and I couldn’t resist. The good thing is that I’m confident in my ability to run the 5K and 10K distances without too much trouble so I can still participate in the Star Wars festivities without overexerting myself.

But this story is really just a gateway so I can can inform you that Boeing on the Move has started again! My new pedometer arrived in the mail about two weeks ago, but I didn’t remember to actually put it on until Monday morning, which is lucky because that was the first day of the challenge. Last year I earned $100 for averaging 12,000 steps per day for the duration of Boeing on the Move, and this year I’m determined to get some more free money. However, I have to average 13,000 steps per day for the same amount this year. But I know I can do it. My half marathon training plan is definitely going to help, especially with my long runs on the weekends, but I’ve been making sure to do some other form of exercise on my non-running days. I go to spinning class once a week, I do some weight training at home about three days a week, and when I have the time I like to take walks around my neighborhood in the evening. All of that equals more steps on my pedometer! It’s so much fun watching everyone check their step counts throughout the day at work. It’s so rewarding to see that number increase and know you’re doing something good for yourself. Embracing such a healthy habit is great – even if it is for the money! I definitely find myself getting up from my desk and waking around a lot more when I have that positive affirmation of the click-click of my pedometer with every step I take. It’s almost addictive! I even walk or dance around when I’m getting ready in the morning or when I’m washing dishes in the evening. Boeing on the Move is always a good experience and I plan to log more steps than ever in 2014. I’ll let you know how it goes!

More jogging

I’ve been jogging four times since my knee healed and I think it’s going well! Not as well as I’d like, but at least I haven’t injured myself again! And I haven’t quit. That’s an important point. Here’s how I’ve done so far:

Saturday – 7 miles total, 2 miles jogging
Sunday- 6 miles total, 1.5 miles jogging
Tuesday – 7 miles total, 2 miles jogging
Wednesday – 7 miles total, 2 miles jogging

The last two outings have been tough. I only jog a half mile at a time and some of those intervals have been very difficult. My heart felt like it was going to to crawl out of my chest and pummel me with a baseball bat. I just don’t have much endurance built up yet. But I kept going. I didn’t mind being completely winded and gasping for air as long as I didn’t stop before I reached the half-mile mark each time. Hopefully jogging will get easier if I keep it up. That’s what I keep telling myself, at least. I’ll keep you posted!

More setbacks

I’ve been a bit frustrated lately. Things have definitely been up and down. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling really good after going jogging six times in the span of eight days (I was up to 1 mile jog/1 mile walk intervals without too much trouble), but then everything fell apart. I started my walk/jog a little late on a Thursday evening and it was getting pretty dark as I was in the home stretch. I was running along, listening to music on my iPhone, when I tripped on an uneven portion of the sidewalk. I didn’t fall down, but I stumbled and it took a few hard strides (and some pinwheeling arm moves that I’m sure looked pretty cartoonish) to catch myself. I was pretty shaken up, but I didn’t think there were any other ill effects. I even kept jogging until I completed my one-mile interval. Everything seemed fine when I went to bed that night, but that changed on Friday. My left knee (not the right one which hasn’t been the same since I was twelve and fell down during a ballet rehearsal) wasn’t feeling quite right during the day. I didn’t know if it was the jogging in general that bothered it or the spill I almost took, but I knew something was wrong. So I decided just to take a walk that evening and stretch everything out. Big mistake, I guess because that made my knee hurt much worse. It was pretty excruciating. Things went downhill from there. I could barely walk on Saturday morning. I spent the weekend on my couch, getting up as little as possible to give my knee a chance to heal. It was semi-successful. Unfortunately then I got hit with another setback. I drove over to a local deli to get a turkey sub for dinner on Sunday night and it did not agree with me. It came right back up. I’m pretty sure it was food poisoning of some kind, but I was worried that I had a stomach bug so I stayed home from work the next day just in case. So not only was my knee making me walk like an old woman, but my stomach was betraying me as well! I couldn’t win. Luckily my stomach started behaving again pretty quickly, but I was still limping a week later. Ugh. As soon as I decided that I absolutely had to see a doctor (last Tuesday) my knee finally decided to start getting better. It was like a light switch. I got up one morning and it hurt, but by the end of the day it was feeling almost normal again. I was thrilled! I still babied it for a few days, and it continued to improve. Thank goodness. I even went out walking/jogging tonight for the first time in over two weeks and I think it went well. I kept my jogging intervals to half a mile and my knee wasn’t bothering me at all. We’ll see if that’s still true in the morning. I’ve got my fingers crossed that these setbacks are finally behind me!

Sunscreen experiment #3 (i.e., Setbacks)

First of all I’d like to mention that I went jogging on Saturday and Sunday after my initial Friday outing? I’m so excited about this I could burst! But on to the story at hand.

I was all set to go to spinning yesterday afternoon and then I made a mistake – I went out to lunch. This led to a horrible stomach ache that forced me to go home after work rather than to the gym. Then I fell asleep on the couch and accomplished absolutely nothing for the rest of the day. I thought about taking a walk around the neighborhood in the evening, but when the time rolled around I just wanted to curl up in bed instead. I was such a slug, but I figured I’d make up for it today. Due to some other problems I skipped spinning again this afternoon, but went jogging in the evening after the temperature had dropped to reasonable levels. It’s been pretty warm this week. I ran about 3 miles (in 0.5-mile or greater increments) of the 6.5 mile route that I took tonight so I was pretty happy. It was still excrutiatingly slow jogging, but I’m trying to increase the distance I can run without stopping before I work on speed. Not only did I get some exercise tonight, but I also got to try another sunscreen. This time it was Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen (SPF 70). This is very similar to the Anthelios sunscreen fluid that I tried in my first experiment, but it’s about four time cheaper (I got the Neutrogena on sale at CVS) and it might actually feel nicer on my skin. This sunscreen is definitely a keeper. I think I’ll be using it on all of my walks and jogs.

Free money

I’m mad at myself. I think I lost my chance to get my $100 gift card from Boeing on the Move – and not just because my daily step counts have been pathetic since my surgery. One of the requirements to get the gift card is to record your step counts in the online tool at least once a week. Sounds easy enough, but when I logged in on Friday night I discovered that it had been eight days since I had last submitted any of my data. Crap. I couldn’t figure out if that automatically disqualified me from the potential rewards, but I have a bad feeling that it does. This is bothering me much more than it should. It’s not like I’m going to have to pay $100 out of my pocket so I didn’t really lose anything, but I might no longer have the chance to get the free money I was so looking forward to. I know that I only have myself to blame and I hate it. But I’m not going to let this completely derail my fitness routine! Not that I have much of a fitness routine at the moment. More like plans to resuscitate my extremely neglected routine in a couple of weeks. I’m not allowed to do any strenuous exercise for a little while longer (I have my follow up appointment for my surgery on Friday so I’ll ask about it then), and I’ve been working so much this week that I haven’t even gone outside to take a walk since last Sunday. Pitiful. I really must do better. But I’ll write another post about that soon. But anyway, I’m going to continue to log my step counts for Boeing on the Move for the rest of the program even if there’s no chance to earn a gift card anymore. At least I’ll get the satisfaction of not giving up after this silly setback of my own making. My health is more important than free money (even though I really, really wanted it).

This reminds me of a situation I was in last year. While doing some cleaning and organizing over the holidays I discovered that a few of my college textbooks that I’ve saved for all these years were actually worth some money! It was like finding money in the pocket of some pant you haven’t worn in years! So I went through the Amazon trade in process, boxed up five textbooks that they told me they were willing to give me almost $250 of credit for, and dropped them off at the post office. Unfortunately the box never arrived. I assume they books were too heavy, the box wasn’t properly taped shut and ripped open, and my textbooks that were going to earn me a sizable amount of Amazon credit disappeared into the ether. I was really mad. It wasn’t exactly free money in this case since I had to pay for the books in the first place (even if it was 10+ years ago), but I still lost out an a chance to get something for practically nothing. Even so, I didn’t really lose anything. There are more important things to worry about in my life these days!

Putting back on the pedometer

Boeing on the Move started again this week and I got my new pedometer in the mail a while back. About six weeks ago I would have been really excited about this because I would be keeping track of all of the spinning classes and other workouts I did every week, but things are different now. Due to my medical problems I haven’t been to the gym in over a month and it’s very frustrating. I won’t go into details about that now, but I’m having minor surgery on Friday so I won’t be back at the gym for another month or so. Last year I very successfully used Boeing on the Move to jump start my workout routine, and as a result I lost fifteen pounds and got into the best shape of my adult life. It was great! Since then I’ve been trying to maintain that state and I’ve been doing pretty well, but this medical problem has really knocked me on my butt. It sucks, but hopefully it will be over soon. Because of this problem the only exercise I’m been getting recently is walking. Fortunately walking is extremely compatible with Boeing on the Move! I can wear my pedometer all day and just record my step count before I go to bed at night. I miss my more strenuous workouts, but I know I’ll be getting back to those before I know it. For now I’m just concentrating on walking as much as possible each day. This year Boeing on the Move only has two step count goals/rewards – a $50 gift card for averaging 6000 steps per day and a $100 gift card for averaging 12000 steps per day. (I’ll post a picture of the sneakers my Boeing on the Move gift card from last year bought me. They are awesome!) I’m definitely shooting for the 12000 step goal. Some days this is easy, but others not so much. Like yesterday when I was at work from 7 AM to 6 PM with a doctor’s appointment in the middle. That doesn’t leave much time for walking, but I just managed to meet my goal while cooking and cleaning after I got home. And then today I had to stay home because I have a wicked head cold and I didn’t want to infect my co-workers. So far I’ve run some errands and tackled a bunch of chores around the house, but I’m still working on getting the requisite 12000 steps today. Ugh. Luckily I’ve been averaging about 16000 steps per day for the last week (mostly with trips to Disneyland and walks around my neighborhood), but that’s going to be hard to maintain after my surgery. I’m still going to try and walk as much as possible while I’m recovering. I want that $100 gift card! I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!