Breaking away from the machines

Typically I have done all of my exercise at the gym and on my bike. Since the weather in Arizona has cooled off recently I’ve added hiking into the mix more often as well. I decided I was ready for another big hurdle in my world: RUNNING OUTSIDE.

This has always seemed an impossible task. Now, I have no idea why this has been such a struggle for me. I’ve always just sucked at running. Even when I was a petite little school kid I struggled to run a mile in one go. There’s been a few times in my life I’ve attempted jogging outdoors with limited success, but even then I never could do more than a mile or a mile and a half before I felt like I was going to fall over. To be fair — I was a smoker during those later attempts, so I can only imagine my lung capacity was garbage.

I thought since I have had so much success with the long distance running on the treadmill and elliptical at the gym I was ready to take it outdoors. I started my first attempt a few weeks ago. I went to a high school near my home and did laps on the track to see how it felt. I did about a mile and a half before I quit. Not bad. The next week I did the same, another mile and a half, but this time lapping around a park by my house. I mentioned the lap running to a friend who basically told me that sounded boring. I had to agree – I might as well stay on the treadmill, there is no adventure in a circle. Last week I walked to the same canal path I ride my bike on and decided to go for it. Granted, this was no marathon run, but I ran down the path and back and loved it. I went about 3 and a quarter miles total that day, so technically I ran my first 5k… without stopping. This was a big victory for me. It helped me to once again prove to myself that I really can do a lot. I shouldn’t assume I can’t do things – it just might be that I can’t do them yet.

*** I used Runtastic (synchronized with MyFitnessPal and Fitbit Flex) for these outdoor runs to help measure both distance, steps taken, and calories spent.



Fitbit Flex

I upped my application/tool game for weight loss.  My husband and I splurged and each bought a Fitbit Flex! I totally dig it. It counts my steps, it integrates with my beloved MyFitnessPal (which has the best food database, so THANKFULLY those play really nice together), and it’s fun to use. It makes the calorie counting even more of a game. If you have friends who use it, it ranks you against them based on number of steps so you can “win” that. I’ve mentioned this before – I like feeling like I’m winning something.

I also like the way it looks. I checked out a lot of fitness bands; some of them are kinda cool and slim, some are really bulky. This one definitely falls into the slim and understated category. See?


Basically it counts steps, measures activity levels, compares those with your calorie intake and whether you hit the goal range, plus it tracks when you sleep and how well you are sleeping. I am not sure how, my best guess is it runs on witchcraft or magic. Ha.

If you want more in-your-face accountability, I thoroughly recommend this. (And hey, if you are already using it, feel free to friend me!)