Goal Achieved?

Olympian SandalOn March 30th I blogged about my goal to walk 100,000 steps in a day, and on September 19th I did just that. To put it into perspective:

  • 42.61 miles
  • 5,124 calories burned
  • 19 hours

How did it feel? For most of the day I felt good/motivated, and by the end it was painful… but the worst part was that I didn’t even care the next day, and haven’t cared at any point since doing it.

Goals Are Stupid

I thought I would feel pretty good about doing this, like I achieved something and might be proud. But I didn’t. This might have been because I had a bad week leading up to the Saturday that I did it. I’m not going to get into the specifics, but a family illness has taken its toll on me and to top it off I got a bullshit traffic ticket 3 days earlier. It has been over a month, though. Since I still don’t care, I’m left to assume that it’s just not that important to me.

Now, did I waste my time? Maybe. While one could argue that it was a great day of exercise, it took me out for a few days immediately after. Plus I hurt my knee, which is only now starting to return to normal. I could have easily (and regularly do) spread this out over a few days as extra activity and ended up with a greater net calorie loss and not hurt myself in the process. In the end that doesn’t matter, though. I didn’t do it for the net calorie loss, and I’m not upset about the time. The truth is that I’m disappointed that I don’t care about achieving something challenging that required planning, prolonged effort and dedication. It was challenging, but maybe not the right kind of challenging for me. Maybe speed is more my thing, but as of right now I have no desire to run or speed walk or anything like that.

How I Did It

When I blogged back in March I said it would be 50 miles and would take 13 hours and 20 minutes. It was shorter than that, and took much longer. I’ll cover why in a bit, but the bottom line is that doing a 50,000 day is a lot different than 100,000. Even after 75,000 it was a different pace/feeling/mindset. Anyway, I talked about building up to 100,000 along with plans for food, bathroom stops, routes, temperature, parks, etc…

The reality of it is that while I walked daily more often than not, and I did a lot of longer distance days, there wasn’t a ton of build-up. I did buy a (cheap) treadmill in April, which (surprisingly) has been great. So that changed the process quite a bit.

As far as diet goes:

  • Bananas
  • Clif Bars
  • Kind Bars (for variety)
  • Gatorade
  • A lot of water

I’m not a nutritionist or anything, but after talking with some people and reading online I decided on these items. Bananas would be great for the potassium I needed. Clif bars/kind bars for energy and convenience. Gatorade to replace the salt I was losing throughout the day. And a lot of water, to dilute the gatorade and replace what I lost, no brainer. I avoided caffeine, and think the only real meal I had was a Chipotle bowl around 7pm.

The day itself:

  • Awake at 4
  • 6am: 9,000
  • 8am: 17,500
  • 10am: 32,000
  • 12pm: 43,200
  • 1pm: 48,800
  • 3pm: 60,000
  • 5pm: 70,000
  • 7pm: 79,400
  • 11pm: 100,008

So, the day started early because I couldn’t sleep. It’s a good thing it did, because I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. I set the treadmill up in the living room the night before, and set out 3 sets of clothing so that I could change a couple times throughout the day. I was able to watch some European soccer, college football, Columbus Crew throughout the day. I even played PS4 for a few hours.

I started slow, sped up, and planned to slow down toward the end of the day. I did not think I would have to slow down as much as I did later in the evening, but time allowed for it. Most of the day was spent on the treadmill. At 8am I did walk around my neighborhood until shortly before 10am, as I took brief breaks every 2 hours. During breaks I made sure to keep moving, as to not lock up/cramp. At noon I went to the park, but started to feel the effect of walking about 18 miles and decided to come back in fear that I’d have a problem and be really far from my car. I went around the neighborhood a bit later for variety, but stayed in the remainder of the day after that.

Around 3pm I started to slow down, probably a little earlier than planned, I don’t have my plan notes to say for sure. At that point it was all about going and not stopping for any longer than I had to. Unfortunately, before I stopped to eat, around 7pm my knee started giving me problems. I think I twisted it while turning to look at something my girlfriend was showing me. Stopping to eat (less than 10 minutes) probably didn’t help. It got worse throughout the remaining 20,600 steps, to the point where I was basically dragging it along to finish. There was no way I came that far to come up short in the end.

The damage? Obviously I was in pain, primarily my legs. Immediately after I took a bath with epsom salts and rubbed them for a while. I woke up in the middle of the night and needed help getting to the bathroom 15 feet away. The next day they hurt, but were already recovering and by 3 days later they felt good again. My feet held up well, all things considered. I had 1 blister between the two smallest toes on my left foot. My right knee, that I twisted, wasn’t that much of a problem for normal use or even walking. Uneven ground and stairs were difficult, but in the end it didn’t seem 100% until I bent/used it a lot again, which wasn’t happening at home on the treadmill.

So it wasn’t perfect, or even smooth… but I’m not any kind of athlete or professional nutritionist/trainer/health professional. I picked a day, planned, and pushed through it. Some friends and family doubted me, some didn’t understand it, but that didn’t upset me or change my mind. Looking back, I don’t feel bad or regret it at all, I really just wish I felt somewhat proud of it, but I don’t. It is what it is. I nailed it when I said this, though…

If I am able to do this, I don’t think I would ever do it again. If I don’t get there before winter, then I probably give up and forget about it. Either way, it should make for an interesting next few months.

because I will never do this again, and I am ready to forget about it even though I was successful. Indeed, it did make for an interesting few months, but what now? Probably a pursuit of the mind.

Update

I haven’t wrote for a while but had the itch. I don’t have a specific topic, but figured that I could touch on a handful of small things.

Walking

I had the idea of purchasing a treadmill a couple weeks ago. I looked into the cost, and sat on it for a couple days. I decided to buy it based on the fact that it really wasn’t that much money and it would allow me to get my walking done more efficiently and whenever I choose. In Ohio, now that it is not snowing, it’s too hot to go outside. A treadmill allows me to avoid going outside altogether. It allows me to avoid people. It minimizes discomfort by being in my own home. I don’t have to worry about getting bit by someone’s lost/stray dog, or a snake or something. Yeah, these are actually things I worry about.

I’ve never owned any kind of fitness equipment, mainly because I’ve never needed it. Not only that, it’s so unsightly and most of the time people buy that stuff and use it for a week and then stop. Then it just sits around, looking ugly – a permanent eyesore and reminder of how to not spend money. It’s almost as bad as wasting money on a gym membership. So, hopefully that’s not what this becomes. Seeing that I’ve been walking more for the last 2-3 years I think my habits are pretty solid, which helped justify the cost. I also bought some dumbbells because they’re cheap and apparently a really good/versatile thing to own if you want to take care of yourself just a little bit better than the average person. Too bad I don’t really know what to do with those, but at least I won’t be embarrassing myself in public and wasting money to do it. Anyway, now that I have the treadmill, 25,000 step days are common. I’m making decent progress towards the 100,000 goal.

Beer

It has been a good few months beer-wise. All of the best IPAs come out early in the year, stouts are easy to find, and April beings Founder’s chaos. One thing I’ve realized is that rare and popular beers really are not worth the time it takes to hunt them down. It’s a pain in the ass, and beer nerds are some of the worst people on the planet. I attended a CBS release, which consumed way too much of my day and required me to endure hours of stress. Was the beer good? Yes, of course. Would I do it again? No. For me, once I’ve tried it once, I am good. I’ll save the next event for those who didn’t make it to one yet this year. It helps that they had 2 other beers from Founders that I’ve been trying to get my hands on, so I do not regret going at all. But for me, things become unenjoyable once it becomes repetitive and stressful. Sure, I drink a lot of beer more than once if I enjoy it. I can go to the store and buy at least 5 different beers that are pretty damned good whenever I feel like it. It makes waiting in lines and being breathed on at the bar really unappealing in comparison. Maybe I’ll go to another next year, maybe not. Who knows. I will continue to buy as many different beers as I can, though.. always searching for hidden gems and avoiding hype. In Ohio, distribution includes a few breweries that I’ve found make consistently great beers that you can buy pretty much anytime:

  • Fat Heads
  • Boulevard
  • Left Hand
  • Sixpoint
  • Stone
  • Clown Shoes
  • Ommegang

I am sure there are a few more, but those are the ones that come to mind right now. I will buy anything that these companies put on a shelf in my local store.

Homebrewing

I spent my entire budget this month before I ever finished planning for the Hefe I want to brew for this summer. Brewing this will happen in early May, and it should be ready for June. I don’t really have a lot planned for it, just going to make a decent quality hefeweizen. 5-6%, maybe a little more on the banana side, less on the clove. No funny business.

Sports

Hockey playoffs are going, which is always great.. but better when your team is in it. I still watch every game, but meh. I hope the Caps win, but realistically think the Canadiens have a very good shot. Goaltender is my favorite position, goaltending is so important in the playoffs… and Carey Price is the best goaltender in the world right now. So, there we go. Not going to focus on the teams I don’t want to win and players that I don’t like.. no need.

But I will say that Edmonton winning the draft lottery is terrible (and pretty much killed any belief that it is fixed). Edmonton getting McDavid doesn’t benefit anybody. It’s bad for McDavid, it’s bad for the league, and it’s bad for Edmonton as long as they keep getting fed top-tier talent to waste. The team needs an overhaul, I hope that happens sooner rather than later. A lot of good forwards on that team.. now if they had some defensemen, a goaltender, new coaching staff, and new management they’d be dangerous.

Football (soccer) has started. It’s my second sport after hockey, and seeing that hockey is still going on that still has priority. I have made it to a few crew games, though. They’ve been playing great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Not much else to say there. However, I did have an absolutely terrible experience with their team shop right as the season started.

They sent me a jersey with a hole in it and numbers stuck together. Apparently they outsourced the labor and whoever they hired obviously didn’t give a shit. To make matters worse, they waited until the start of the season to hire some new company to handle food/retail/merchandise at the stadium. I called, and called, left voicemails, sent emails.. nothing. Finally I started looking up individuals that worked there since they weren’t monitoring their store number/email. So, after it took days to get a hold of someone, I was relieved when they told me to bring it up and they would “take care of me.” So I did, then found out that they don’t have a press there. Okay, fine.. I’ll wait for it.

About a month after I placed the original order I realized that I still hadn’t heard anything. So I wrote back, asking if there was any update. That’s when they decided to tell me that they were unable to get any more of the jersey I bought in. They offered me a replica and partial refund, or another authentic jersey. In so many words, I told them no thanks and then asked for a full refund.

“I have to admit that I am very disappointed. This level of customer service is not representative of an organization that values its fans. It has been 3 weeks since I dropped it off, when were you planning on letting me know that you were out of stock?”

This was the reply: “We just found out that we cannot get the jersey back in. There has been a big transition with the merch department and we have been trying to work through all the issues as quickly as possible.” 

At which point I asked them to please issue me a refund or I would contact my credit card company to dispute the charge. They issued the refund and I eventually purchased gear elsewhere after I calmed down.

I was pretty pissed off about it at the time, though. Enough that I questioned if I would even follow the team anymore. After a few days I calmed down and realized that would be a pretty harsh reaction to a bad experience with their retail store. It’s not like I don’t enjoy the sport or the experience of attending games. The players themselves didn’t do anything to me. While I really wanted that jersey at the time, and I could still order one from the league, I no longer wanted it. I would always associate it with this extremely negative experience. Maybe I’ll order another next season… if I do, it certainly won’t be from the team store.

A Goal

I’m setting a goal for myself to take 100,000 steps in 1 day.

Why?

I use FitBit and was recently challenged. During this challenge I walked 30,000 steps in a day because I am oddly competitive about strange things, despite not being a very competitive person. Or maybe I am a competitive person, but don’t have competitive outlets, hmm… Anyway, on FitBit you get a virtual “badge” for the highest number of steps you’ve ever taken in a day. The “badge” is upgraded every 5,000 steps, upto 100,000 steps, which awards the final “badge.” When I hit 25,000 and 30,000 I received new “badges,” since my previous high was 24,000 something. I was curious as to how high it went, and found out that it was 100,000. It seems like an awful lot, and it is, but I realized it wouldn’t be impossible (for me), and I want to do it. A virtual “badge” is kind of silly, and obviously there are other benefits to it, but mostly I want to prove to myself that I can.

By the Numbers

On average I walk about 3.75 mph at 125 steps per minute. With that in mind, here’s what walking 100,000 steps translates to for me:

  • 50 miles
  • 13 hours, 20 minutes

Planning

I didn’t plan a 30,000 day all that well. I actually planned to do 25,000 and ended up doing 30,000 by the end of it, mostly because I wanted the 2nd “badge.” My feet hurt, I was pretty hungry, and my legs were not at 100% the next couple days. While I was able to go out and do 30,000 I know that I couldn’t just go out and do 100,000 without some planning. First, I know that I will have to build up to it, so I will probably start going out every weekend and doing at least 25,000 and increase little by little as time goes on. I’d likely do 50,000 a few times before I go for the 100,000. I don’t think I can make the time to do build all the way up to 100,000 each week or two. Though, I might have to do it that way if the jump from 50,000 to 100,000 fails. I am going to need a route, a plan for food, water, restroom breaks, etc.. Not difficult stuff to figure out, but important to remember. I’m thinking a day in the fall, while it is still warm but not hot. That also gives me all spring/summer to prepare for it. It would be nice if I could find some kind of walk/event to participate in, but most likely I will just spend a full day at a local park.

If I am able to do this, I don’t think I would ever do it again. If I don’t get there before winter, then I probably give up and forget about it. Either way, it should make for an interesting next few months.