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Fitbit and the Plague January 13, 2019

Posted by mareserinitatis in personal.
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One of my Christmas presents this year was a new Fitbit Versa.  I was overjoyed with this because I had done some serious damage to my previous Fitbit.  I had also been eyeing an Apple watch but wasn’t entirely happy with some of its limitations.

I began wearing it immediately and played with fun functions like assessing my health level and that jazz.

Then I got sick.  It started as just a head cold that I caught from older son.  After a couple days, he was fine and back to normal.  I, however, had started hearing rice krispies and bag-pipes in my lungs.  I had a nice visit with the doctor where he informed me that I was dealing with one of the worst asthma attacks I’d had in years and it was probably set off by the cold and the exhaustion from the semester (and, let’s be honest, probably not taking my inhaler as regularly as I should’ve been).  I came home with a whole pharmacy in my purse and began trying to get things under control.  Of course, a few days later, I had to go on a trip for work.

My Fitbit was my guide through all this.  As I started on the prednisone, it very helpfully informed me that fitness level was rapidly decreasing relative to other women my age.  While I was already aware that slowly walking to my various destinations was causing severe shortness of breath and coughing, my Fitbit so helpfully informed me that was I was reaching the top levels of my cardio zone.  When I would wake completely unrested from having woken up coughing several times, it reminded me that my sleep was incomplete and that I hadn’t met my sleep goal.

Of course, my favorite was the helpful reminders that I only needed 200+ steps within the next ten minutes to meet my daily goal (before I died from pulmonary insufficiency or an aneurism from all the coughing).  I felt like I was being judged worse by the watch than by the people who were obviously angry with me for bringing the plague onto their aircraft.  (The doctor said I wasn’t contagious!)

I was very much starting to resent the thing after a couple days of this.  I kept wishing there was a way to tell it I was sick so it was stop trying to encourage me to hack up a lung.

As much I like my Fitbit, I think that next time I get sick, it will probably go on a hiatus until I recover.  I don’t need to be stressed out AND sick.


Seven-month running update: The Fargo Marathon! May 19, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in Fargo, older son, personal.
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Seven months ago, I decided I was going to see if I could run the full 10k at the Fargo Marathon. I’ll jump to the important part first: I ran the whole 10k and never fell back to walking.  In fact, I must’ve had some major runner’s high because when we got to the ramp going down into the Fargodome, I took off at the fastest sprint I could manage.  In retrospect, that was not the brightest idea (especially since I’d had to use my asthma inhaler during the run), but I was incredibly excited and couldn’t help myself.  Aside from that, I could squeak past 3-4 more people.

The older boy and I met my friend Kari and her husband at the starting line.  They were gone pretty quickly (except that Kari’s pedometer attempted to bail on her, so she had to come back briefly and retrieve it).  There were a lot of fun things along the course, including an Elvis impersonator and this guy, who cleverly located himself at about the 5 mile marker:

Earlier in the week, they were saying it was going to be unseasonably hot.  This morning, it was rather cool but there were thunderstorms.  Fortunately, they finished up just as we were leaving for the race, so it was cool and a bit damp outside.  The only major issue was the last half mile or so where we were out of the protection of trees and dealing with some gusty wind.

I managed to improve my time from last year by 22 minutes.  I also went from one of the last 10 finishers to having about 200 people behind me.  (I also started in the middle of the pack and so had nearly half of the participants in the race pass me.)  So, I definitely improved.  I’m already excited about doing it again next year.  First, however, I have a triathlon in mid-August…so I need to start swimming and riding bike.

Wordless Wednesday: Thank goodness that’s over May 16, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in photography.
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6 mos. running update: 1 month to go April 23, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in personal.
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I’m in horrid pain today.  My quads are protesting at the slightest movement.  On the other hand, I’m damn proud of myself.

When I moved back from Minneapolis two years ago, I learned that my exercise-induced asthma was now full-blown asthma, likely from living in a city with smog again.  When I was at UMN, walking across campus was causing me to have difficulty breathing, and I was regularly getting bronchial infections.  (Last time this happened, I was living in Los Angeles…not a surprise.)  I found out that I was unable to talk more than 2 mph without setting things off.  However, I kept working at it.  When I walked the 10k last year, I was walking 3 mph.  I was still having problems with asthma, though, until last fall when my new doc said we had to do something about it.

Yesterday has me in a bit of a head rush.  The older boy is now ‘training’ with me: my jogging pace is a healthy walking pace for him.  (The fact that he’s about 8 inches taller than me helps.)  We went for our jog/walk yesterday and I managed to keep 16 minute miles for 1 hr. 25 min. in addition to 15 min. of walking.  By the time we were done, we’d gone 5.9 mi.  And no asthma problems, either, despite the trees and flowers blooming.

We still have a month until the 10k!

Now, I’ll admit that I’m really achy today.  I’m used to running on a treadmill for two of my three weekly runs (last week was all three because of uncomfortably cool weather), and I can tell a difference when I run outside (especially when I have some ‘hills’, or at least a dike or two).  It was definitely worth it.  I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to run the whole 10k, and I’ll probably be able to cut my time from 2 hours to 1 hr. 40 min.  I know that’s still horribly long for most people, but it’s a sizable improvement from last year.

If I get any faster, the older boy may have to start running, too.

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