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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.


New Year’s Goals: The 2015 FCIWYPSC edition January 1, 2015

Posted by mareserinitatis in career, family, grad school, personal, religion, research, running, work, writing.
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I’m not doing resolutions and haven’t done them for a while.  Goals, however, are another story, particularly when they’re of the quantifiable type.  While some of these are large goals (like with running), I break them down to weekly and daily goals, as well.

Writing this out is helpful because not only does it provide me with some accountability, it helped me realize I was bogging myself down with too much.  I had to cut a few items.

These are the things I think I can manage with some consistency:

  • Career/Work: Publish at least one paper and attend at least one conference.
  • Career/Dissertation: Set a minimum amount of time to work on my thesis each week, though the weekly total will vary if there’s a holiday involved.  (I do some version of this, but I think I need to make my planning a bit more specific.) Also, attend one conference this year.
  • Family time: Family play day once per month.
  • Marriage: Keep up with the weekly date with the spousal unit.
  • Self-care/Religious: Center down (or if you prefer, meditate or pray) for at least ten minutes a day, not necessarily all at once.
  • Self-care/Sleep: Stick to a consistent (and early) bed-time at least 4 days per week.
  • Self-care/Physical activity: Run or walk 500 miles by the end of October.  I did about 200 outdoor miles this year but didn’t keep track of treadmill time at all, so I think this is doable, especially in light of my next goal.  I’ve also learned I like to ramp down the activity around the holidays (too much to do), so that amounts to about 11.5 miles per week.
  • Fun goal: Do half-marathons in two new states this year.  Two down, 48 to go. I’m hoping to cross Wisconsin and Michigan off the list this year.  (And I’ve already registered for one of them.)
  • Misc/Blog: Post on the blog at least twice per week.  (I do that on average, but sometimes there are long gaps in between.)
  • Misc/Email: I will keep my main mailbox below 3000 messages.  That may sound horrible, but this is 1/5 of what it was just last week.  I need to either delete those messages, read them, or unsubscribe from all the spam I’m getting…probably mostly the latter.  Lots of unread email makes me overwhelmed.

So do you have any goals for the year?

Last, but not least… June 29, 2013

Posted by mareserinitatis in running, societal commentary.
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I had a busy morning.  Today was Fargo’s Run or Dye 5k, and a friend came in from out of town to run with me.  It was a very casual race.  No one was timing it, a lot of people were walking, and it was just a lot of fun.  Well, except for the part where I got some dye in my eye and everything on the left was blue.  When I got home, I realized that I was covered in colors from head:


to toe:


In fact, I remarked to my friend that I looked like a troll with a funny tan line.  I discovered that, aside from giving great impressions of mammograms, sports bras are also the only thing that keep out powdered dye…well, except for the tiny bit of green that crept in from the top.

(This is the point where I’m going to go from a fun, light-hearted post to something more serious.  Sorry about that…but keep reading.)

I was all excited about my experience and was about to post something about it on a fitness board that I frequent.  When I got there, though, I saw that someone else had said something about how they had done a race today, but at least they weren’t last.

Am I the only one who hates that particular comment?  It makes it sound as though the last person in the race is some sort of loser.  I guess I resent it a bit because I WAS the last person in a race the first time I did a triathlon.  Yes, a triathlon!  I finished a 500m swim, 12 mi bike ride, and 3 mi run.  And I was last.  But I finished a damn triathlon folks!  There’s nothing to be ashamed about there!  I worked my ass off (hopefully a bit literally) in order to get through that experience.  As a friend reminded me on the run portion, I was still moving faster than everyone watching back at the finish line.

Last year, I was reading the times for a 10k I participated in and while I wasn’t last, I was pretty stunned when I saw that the person who did finish last was 80 years old.  You know, somehow that seems a lot more impressive than dragging my then 36-year-old butt across the finish line about 15 minutes ahead.

I’d just ask that we not diss the people who are last.  How about, “I wasn’t fast, but I improved on my time.”  Those people in last place may have been working just as hard (or harder!), may be fighting with medical problems, may have hurt themselves, who knows!  It’s a much better idea to celebrate our accomplishments and not compare ourselves to anyone else…especially the person who has to be the last.  The fact that they were last just means they didn’t quit when they could’ve and made someone else be last.

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