Monthly Archives: October 2015

My First 5K – The Color Run

So for a while I’ve been watching a few of my friends showing off their post-race selfies with medals from different events and I got kind of into the idea of actually doing some kind of event.  But part of me was a bit sad because I can’t run (my knees are too far gone already) and the only things around are always races.

Then somebody told me that nobody cares if you walk the entire race, and that you just have to look to see if the race posts a max time for the course to see if you can beat it.  And I started looking at how much I was walking every day and my increasing mileage with Fitbit, and realized that I was walking nearly 5k on a pretty regular basis anyway.  So my best friend and I decided to sign up for our first 5k, The Color Run.

I had been keeping track of my pace for a while on Map My Fitness, and so I decided my goal was to finally crack an hour for a 5k distance, which would mean I needed to be slightly faster than my normal 22 min/mile pace.  We actually went to the race in Richmond instead of doing one closer to us, because it was on a better weekend.

We got together a team, mostly consisting of my best friend’s family, and showed up bright and early to get ready to race and have some fun.  One of the great things about a Color Run is that there are stations throughout the race route where they throw colored powders at you, and by the end you’re covered in bright, fun blotches.  This year was also the “Shine Tour” where they were throwing a fun silvery glitter at around the halfway mark too.

I pushed myself to go as fast as I could the entire time, only stopping a few times to take pictures.  I ended up outpacing the rest of my team, but I had fun chatting with a few random people I was walking with as we went.  But the best thing about the Color Run is that it’s a family event and really welcoming and open to people of all abilities and speeds, so I didn’t feel bad about the fact that I’m “slow.”  I saw plenty of little kids (plenty of them way faster than me) and people of all ages just having fun and enjoying themselves.

The color run is not officially timed, but I ran my own tracking and I crossed the finish line at 48:46, which is still currently my personal record.  And I got my first race medal!

All in all, I highly recommend The Color Run as a first 5k.  It’s the perfect environment to really get into the feel of how this kind of thing should be fun, and be around a lot of people that are also just having a good time and just trying to do something cool.

Next year, we’re really hoping to do a Color Run: Night where you get pelted with UV reactive powders, so hopefully they’ll have one near D.C.

Posted in 5ks.

One year with FitBit

My FitBit Flex

My FitBit Flex

So, I’ve been feeling under the weather lately with a bit of chronic pain, and haven’t been updating.  But in the meantime, my first year anniversary with my FitBit went by last month!

As of right now, I’ve taken 3,220,528 steps since I started tracking last September.  That’s 1,324.11 miles!  My lifetime distance badge right now is “New Zealand” which just makes me want to travel there to celebrate.  Alas, not really something I can do.

I started out with my lovely red FitBit Flex, which lasted me a good long while.  It did start to break along the edges of the band (right under the little window where you see the display lights).  This is apparently a common problem with the design, I know of two other people that have had the exact same issue.  So my advice on that one, if you get a Flex (and I did really like it) then be very careful with how you remove the tracker from the band.  Maybe hold the sides so they don’t bow out too much.

My Charge HR in Black

My Charge HR in Black

I upgraded to a black Charge HR in May, because REI was having an amazing sale and I could rationalize the expense for a couple reasons that I outlined in my post.  At the time I commented on a few issues I was having.  To be honest, I still haven’t figured out where to wear it or how tight, but I just kind of wing it and it works okay for me.

The sleep tracking is still a bit off, though it syncs better than it did before, so that feature seems to be fixed.  But it has a tendency to assume I’m asleep when I’m watching TV or listening to podcasts, so sometimes I have to go in and fix it.  I am still very annoyed with the fact that the band really retains heat and that it’s easy for sweat to interfere with the functionality of the heart rate monitor.  When I go out walking on warm days I almost always lose the signal two or three times, and that’s still a pretty big issue.

But in general, I’ve really liked it.  I like the additional features and tracking that it provides (who knew how much elevation I was covering, way more than I expected since I avoid stairs because of my knee issues).  I would say that I agree with most reviews that if you’re looking for one of the higher end trackers, then don’t bother with the Charge and just pay the extra for the Charge HR.  Since I got mine they’ve come out with blue and tangerine bands, both of which are cool looking but unless they release a red band I don’t think I’ll be too tempted.

The best thing though about having the FitBit for the last year is that I can say I reached my step goal every single day for 365 days.  When I got it, I immediately lowered the step goal to 5,000 because I knew that for me the most important thing would be the accomplishment, not the number.  And that is the biggest piece of advice I have for everybody that talks about getting a FitBit: lower your goal immediately, before you even put it on.

You can always increase your goal after you’ve had it a few days, once you know what your standard average is.  Then every few months, if you’re consistently reaching your goal, take it up higher.  Because mentally, it is a thousand times more effective to be actually getting that goal accomplished every day, no matter what size it is, and wanting to keep your streak alive will keep you going even on the worst of days.  But if you leave it at 10,000 and that’s difficult for you to achieve on a regular basis, then you’ll get used to not getting to your goal and you won’t be as motivated, and it’s easy to say “eh, I’ll just skip it today.”

Even when I’m sick, I still reach my step goal, because I am not going to lose this streak.  It’s been over a year, how could I possibly give up now?

Posted in FitBit.