Yeah, I know, its been a while since I mentioned anything about running. Well, its because I basically hadn’t been running at all until recently. The combination of extremely hot weather and the fact that I don’t have any races planned in the near future allowed me to slack and not run at all for a few weeks, and not run regularly for about a month. I didn’t really intend to stop running for that long, it just kind of happened. I knew that I didn’t want to push my body in the crazy heat for pretty much no reason, so I opted not to run. There were days that I checked the temperature hourly until 9pm, hoping that it would be below 90°F (which for whatever reason is my “I will not run above this” temperature) but most days it was still hot and humid into the dark.
Recently (finally!) the weather has been a bit cooler. Though there are still some days that the temperature is well into the 90′s, by the time the evening comes around it cools down at least a bit so that I feel like its safe for me to be running. So, good news, this past week I’ve run 3 times! Even though I’m not planning to run any races in the near future, I’d still like to be running 2-3 times a week, just so that I can keep up with the fitness I’ve gotten used to since starting the Couch to 5K program last summer.
That is the other thing – I’m not doing the C25K program anymore. I got to a point where even though I wasn’t at the 10 min/mile pace that the program is supposed to bring you to, the intervals and doing the same thing over and over with the same results was getting monotonous and boring for me. I knew that if I wanted to keep running semi-regularly I needed to make it fun again. I am not the kind of person who can force myself to do something just because “its good for me.” I had been still using the C25K iPhone app for a while and just setting it to 30 minutes, but I just wasn’t loving it anymore. So I went on the hunt for a new iPhone app to use for running. I focused on mostly the free options, but I was willing to spend a couple of dollars for good one. I tried Runkeeper, Nike Pro Training Boom, and Runmeter before I found one that really worked for me: WalkTracker. This actually came out of the blue – it happened to be the free app of the week that I picked up at Starbucks! (It is normally $2.99 in the iPhone app store) I’m not exactly sure why its called WalkTracker because it definitely tracks running and other activities as well.
The app is very simple to use – but you can program different interval workouts and change settings as well if you are looking for more. I use it pretty simply – Start Running Acivity, Basic, Go! It uses GPS to track distance and speed, and it will update you with your pace and other details with audio cues as well – I have it programmed to do this every 5 minutes. I really like it because I just run and while the details of pace/mileage/etc are available, they aren’t so focused on so I don’t get attached to having to run a certain distance or speed. Recently I’ve been running about 2 miles each time.
Oh! Another reason why I love it is because the music option is easy to use. You can set it to a pre-made playlist and it also has a “power song” option – which I LOVE! Everyone has that song that they know will always make them run harder and faster and you never know when you might need that motivation. This way, you have it at the touch of a button at any moment.
There is another thing that has recently motivated me to be more active….my new FitBit! After seeing it come up more and more with my Twitter friends, I finally bit the bullet and bought one. I’ve only worn it for a couple of days so far, but I’m already pretty excited about it. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable and annoying to wear – its not. I’m still a little bit worried that its just going to be a passing phase and I’ll be bored with it in a month – but since I have so many friends using it as well, I’m hoping that will motivate me to keep loving it.
One of my favorite parts about the FitBit – and something that I feel like really sets it apart from a simple pedometer – it tracks your sleep patterns! Check it out:
Yes, I am also amazed at how sound I slept that particular night!
I’m excited to see not only what my normal daily steps numbers are like, but what the numbers are when I feel like I am walking a lot – like at trade shows for work.
Full Disclosure: Every company I mentioned in this post have no idea who I am, all of the opinions are completely my own
Hooray for new motivation to be active!
Do you have a FitBit? Have you thought about getting one?
How do you feel about running in the heat?