@Fitbit, Fitness and Other Temporary Obsessions

Birthday Challenge

For my birthday, just because she’s sweet and the medal is totes adorable, S signed me up for the Baltimore Festival of Running. Which is basically the Baltimore Marathon.

I would note the following, all of which S is well aware…

  • There is no circumstance in which I would go run a marathon.
  • Even if I would run a marathon, I would be hard pressed to consider joining a large crowd, for that purpose, during this pandemic.
  • All other things being equal, I have no interest in walking around Baltimore at present. Charm City’s reputation at present is not exactly charming. Not that many places are, in 2020. So for the moment… and with tons of hope for the future… Thanks, no.

(Updated to add: I’m not much one for cities in general. So it’s not really this one in particular.)

But here is what S figured out:

  • The entire marathon is virtual this year. It can be run anywhere.
  • It’s being run over 17 days, instead of just one.
  • I walk the equivalent of a marathon as a matter of course every 5 days.

Now, their intention was still that people run or walk it as a single event. (Or at least, that was the original intention. More on this at a later time.) They just aren’t tying everyone to a single day and time. Distancing, you know.

A single day push wasn’t what S wanted for me. She is very clear she was NOT trying to kill me off.

But I am thinking I’ll try to do it as a single event, even so. Rule follower, and all. And that means deciding on how to approach it. Three options come to mind:

  • Planning out a walking route locally. It’s really hilly here, and not a ton of sidewalks to keep me out of traffic. But there is a route I plotted out that is about 3.1 miles, still wicked hilly but sidewalks along the way, and 9 loops would get me there with room to spare.
  • Finding a high school track to walk it. A standard 1/4 mile track would be nice and flat, and 105 loops might be tedious but it would get me there.
  • Walking it indoors. That’s about 65000 daily steps, based to my stride length.

So with about a week until the kickoff, I went strolling. The morning was drizzly and cool but that’s not a bad thing to try out my 3.1 mile loop and see what I think about do-ability.

It’s doable, but the hills would wear on me. Like, a lot.

Actually I got 2/3 around the loop when the folks reached out in need of an extra set of hands, so I turned back the way I came, over to their place and helped out, before routing home. The net-net was nearly the same as doing 2 loops. Or almost. And I was fine, but for those hills. Seven more loops, for the real thing?

Anyway I now know that the 6 real miles total I did looping all around that trek was about 15K steps, which means my 65k step estimate is probably pretty close to right. I’ll actually need a few more than that for the other .2 miles but that’s doable.

It’s also going to be more manageable in terms of distancing, bathroom breaks, maintaining adequate fluids, etc. to do it indoors. Bonus: no mask required!

So… I guess that is my plan. Wish me luck!

En route to the folks’ – scenic stop before I walk up yet another hill

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