Tuesday, December 10, 2013

40K step day!

For those of you that didn't know, Lizzie and I wrote down a list of goals that we want to accomplish in our second year of marriage. We're over halfway through the year, but not quite halfway through our goals. I blame this mostly on my own lethargy -- I feel that if these were individual goals, Lizzie would probably have all of them done and would be working on a color-coded list for the next set of goals. But I'm not here to place blame or discuss our overall progress thus far. I am here to discuss one goal in particular. The 40,000 step day.

This was a goal that we both agreed on -- our biggest step badges on fitbit so far was 35,000 steps, and it seemed like a very reachable goal. For those of you that don't count your steps, a mile of walking in doug steps is roughly 2,000 steps. So to put this in perspective, we're talking about walking about 20 miles in one day.

Several times this year, I personally crested above the 39,000 mark. When we were in Alaska earlier this year, I had gone for a run in Anchorage that ended up a little bit longer than I planned. I mapped it out well enough, but I felt really good and just kept running. Later that day, Lizzie and I went for a long hike that involved escaping from bird-sized mosquitoes. When we got to the airport and all was said and done, I had 39,000 steps. Lizzie pleaded for me to sit down so that we could hit the goal together, and I obliged. We can't very well have a group goal that I accomplish on my own. Where's the fun in that?

The summer months came after we got back. Unbearably hot day after unbearably hot day. We never even entertained the idea of walking 20 miles in that heat.

In the last few months, though, I've been stepping up my long runs. I signed up for the Dopey Challenge in January. This involves 4 straight days of running. Thursday starts with a 5K. Friday is a 10K. Saturday is a half marathon. Sunday is a full marathon. 48.6 miles over the course of 4 days. Naturally, as the heat started to subside, I started to increase my mileage to prepare for this race. Admittedly, I'm nowhere near the level I'd like to be, but I'm not far off the mark. Over the last few weekends, as my mileage was increasing, Lizzie would ask me what my step totals were. I think when I hit 33,000 in a single run, she saw the writing on the wall, and once the weather cooperated and we both had a free weekend -- we went for it.

We started the day a little late. I had planned on going out for a long run in the morning, but sometimes the blerch gets the best of even me. We didn't roll out of bed until 10 or 10:30 that Saturday, but it was so pretty outside, I knew I was still going to go for a run. On the training schedule was a 17 miler, and as I was getting ready, Lizzie made the call to make it our 40,000 step day. She posted our plans on facebook in order to get some support while I was out on my run, and we took a couple of pictures before I took off toward the
city. The day was absolutely gorgeous. Lizzie definitely picked a winner to hit our milestone. I didn't map our my route, I just winged it based on some of my previous runs, but I clearly got the distance wrong. I realized I was only going to get 15 when I flipped, but rather than drag out a 2 mile out-and-back dogleg down St. Charles, I came straight back to get a few more steps in with the Lizzie. What's another 2 miles, anyway? :)
I got back in the middle of the afternoon, took a shower and watched some football for about an hour while Lizzie caught up in steps. When you're running, you tend to knock out the steps a lot faster than walking. I found I only get about 1,500 steps per mile at my run pace, but they get knocked out in 8-9 minutes instead of 2,000 steps in 15-18 minutes. So when I got back, I had about 33,000, but Lizzie only had 24,000.
(I might be fudging those numbers a little bit there, but it was close to that) I started marking down miles with her as the sun started to fade, and we kept walking until well after the sun went down. In all, it took nearly 8 hours to complete 40,000 steps with breaks for food, nature calls, taking pictures, and talking with new people. Lizzie will fill you in on the details that occurred during her walk as I hammered out my run in the city. From the stories she's told, she rarely had to walk alone.
I am happy to say that we did it, we did it together, and I am very proud of my wife for accomplishing this goal with me.
I'm not yet sure what the goals for our third year of marriage hold in store. A 45,000 step day? 50,000? The gift for the third anniversary is leather. Perhaps some leather toenails to replace the bruised ones that fall off after all those steps?

1 comment:

  1. I just hit my first 40k day yesterday. Even more proud of myself was the fact that it was over uneven alpine ground.