Running – seriously this time

For years, a full marathon continues to sit at the top of my bucket list. I get the feeling that this will be much more achievable next year if I get a half in this year and substantially build my base. It is my agenda to be moved by mid spring to a home much closer to one of the best trails in the state. Living less than a half mile from it will remove excuses to get out there both on my feet when running and on my bike for excellent cross training opportunities. While I have used this trail a dozen or more times for good bike rides, it is a 25-30 minute drive from my apartment so not ultimately convenient. Living 1/2 mile from it takes that excuse off the table. One of the issues I have with my current apartment is that to run, I need to run through an area that is not the safest area. To address that, I could get in my car and drive but I’ve found that to be the reason I’m not running.

As 2016 starts, I find myself joining the hoards of people headed back to the gym after a long absence. The thing is, I haven’t been absent that much. I have pretty much skipped the mid-week workouts and only have been hitting the gym on one of the two weekend days. My intent this year is to get back to running consistently. I have been doing a Runner’s World 45 minute treadmill workout for most of my runs. It allows me to run without killing my knees and, generally, feel good when I’m done. The one thing about that workout is that it starts with 5 full minutes of running – and I find that difficult to do when not properly warmed up. But, I work through that and move through it. There is a 4-minute run, followed by a minute of walking, then a 5-minute run. Those about kill me, but it’s time to set hitting them as a goal over the next month or two.

One concern I have regarding running both a half and a full marathon is that I plan on doing the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method. Finding a group for long runs will require that I find another group using similar methods. But whe running o. My own, using my gymboss timer is challenging at times because I cannot hear it or feel the vibration at times, and it is set to a solid number of minutes in and with the intervals. That said, in the gym, the timer works very well. I have no idea how the Galloway method works with group long runs. I guess I’ll figure that out!

Making the switch to fitbit!

I have used my Nike FuelBands for about 18 months now. I say Fuelbands because during those 18 months, Nike has replaced the band twice. I purchased my fitbit flex at Costco for $95, so the cost was significantly less than the original FuelBand ($149).

One of the reasons to switch to a Fitbit is the number of integration points with other apps. For example, the MyFitnessPal integrates beautifully with my stats from fitbit. The new fitbit app for my iPhone also works with the GPS integrated into the iPhone to provide closer approximation to where you walked when outside. I have yet to try this since it is a recent update, but will try it over the upcoming 3-day weekend.

Another reason to switch is that it was reported this spring that Nike will exit the wearable tech business. As a lifelong technologist, there is just no reason to stay tied to a company where there will be no further development on the platform you use. The closed technology environment and lack of integration with other platforms always bothered me and I failed to listen to my own gut for staying away. I’m just sorry I talked my youngest into the same platform, although she is more aware of her activity and can use that in time display mode to get away with wearing it at work (watches only are allowed, no other jewelry).

Among my friends, many more have fitbits than Fuelbands, so it’s way easier to challenge people I know. Among my co-workers, almost none had even heard of a Fuelband – and many know about fitbit. And finally, among people living in my part of Connecticut, it’s a no-brainer – fitbit is king (at least between Nike and fitbit).

So I’ve made my switch and will track metrics for a while. So far, I don’t really understand the lights but do use my iPhone to turn on and off sleep mode (for tracking sleep) and for managing the silent alarms that buzz the fitbit on my wrist so I can get up without waking up anyone else.

For a review and images of the Fitbit Flex, click here!