Fitbit vs Runkeeper

For the past few days when I’m out running I’ve been tracking my runs with both Runkeeper and my new Fitbit Surge. Even if I was extremely happy with Fitbit’s tracking I would still be doubling up with Runkeeper at least until the end of the year when my goal is reached.

The first day I ran with the Fitbit I was impatient and didn’t wait for it to find GPS and hit quick start. It seemed to be taking a really long time to find and I just wanted to go. Since then I’ve waited for it to connect to GPS before starting out though. Today I started both Runkeeper and the Fitbit within seconds of each other and the results were pretty off. It looks like Fitbit didn’t really have a good GPS signal after the first km it seemed to catch up and track things properly.

You can see the difference between the maps above, Runkeeper on the right is pretty much bang on what I ran. Fitbit on the left should have started the same place as the ending is marked.

Has anyone else had issues with the GPS in their Surge? It’s not a really big deal, but I’d like to be able to depend on one and so far I love everything else about the Surge so I would like it to be it.

Stepping It Up With FitBit

Today I jumped on the FitBit band wagon. Only I won’t actually be on the wagon because that won’t up my step count 🙂

This is either going to be a real good thing for me or a bad one. This could be the push and the motivator for me to get back on track. It could also make me a bit obsessive. It put it on around 4:00pm today and was at times walking laps around the main floor of the house just to make it to 5000 steps. 

I also started tracking my food and water intake as well. At least I drink enough water. I tried eating well today and still ended up way over the calories. Tomorrow I’ll do better and I’ll also burn more calories. 

The FitBit is one of the newest benefits from Automattic which is amazing. We have a group setup and I know there is no way that I’ll keep up with some of my coworker leaders but it will be good motivation to try. 

I’m looking forward to trying out the run tracking on it tomorrow and seeing how many steps I get on a regular full day. 

  

Stressful Couple Weeks

Glasses seem to be a common thing in our family. Jen wears glasses for some things, for the past few years I have worn glasses pretty much all the time, Caile now wears glasses, and Alex did wear glasses when she was younger to help with an eye turn. So even though Ella hasn’t had any problems with her eyes yet we figured we should get her a proper eye exam.

She was pumped for the idea, in fact she hoped she would have to wear glasses. She counted down to the day of her appointment. Everything went great, but they did determine that she measured about +3 far sighted. However her eyes were able to pull things in to focus so she was still able to see everything. In fact when they had her test through lenses that matched her measurement it made things worse for her.

We ended the appointment where they gave us some of the pupil dialating drops to take home and take before a follow up appointment. They wanted to test her with her eyes relaxed to see what she could read at that point. Figuring it would be closer to what their measurements showed. Shortly after getting home though the Doctor called and told Jen that she hadn’t wanted to say anything in front of Ella but she had seen what looked like could be swelling near her optic nerve. It could be something called drusen, or something causing pressure behind the nerve. They referred us to an Ophthalmologist who works in the same building for further tests.

At this point Jen and I were pretty nervous and feeling a bit of stress wondering what could be wrong and what it would mean. Sometimes with all it’s resources the internet can be scary for situations like these. Luckily we received an appointment fairly quick and this past Friday we went in for some more tests that would be shared with the Ophthalmologist. This included more imaging of her eyes and a field of vision test. The whole time with all these tests Ella is being a champ and very interested in what’s happening and all the cool machines. Seeing the back of her own eye in a picture was one of the highlights.

We had another appointment booked for the 24th to see the Doctor and so he could run some more tests and give his diagnosis. Not knowing what was actually wrong is probably the worst part, but I was doing OK. During the last round I heard them saying that some things looked good and she was doing well etc. So when I was out for a run this morning and Jen wrote me to say the office had called and asked if we could bring her in today because they wanted to see her, that’s when all kinds of horrible thoughts and worry started going through me.

Once I was home and clean I picked her up from school and took her to the Doctor’s office. We had a fair amount of waiting and some more tests. Finally the Ophthalmologist came in and gave asked about the results of the last tests and perform his own visual inspection while her pupils were dialated and eyes relaxed. When he was done he was pretty certain that there wasn’t any actual swelling at all. It looked like things were swollen but that it was tissue and the way the nerve was looked like there was swelling because of it. Being far sighted as she is he said that it all fit. Given she has no eye or neurological problems he was confident everything was fine. The next step would be to do an MRI or a Cat Scan to get a better look to be 100% sure, but he said if it was his daughter he wouldn’t and would instead just keep an eye on it to make sure things stayed as they are. To top it off because she has no eye turn and her eyes are able to compensate so she can see fine, she isn’t even getting glasses at this point.

With great deal of relief we booked a follow up appointment for two months out so he can see her again and make sure all is still good. It is amazing how much stress and worry can take out of you. Even after being hit with the feeling of relief, my brain was scrambled for the day. It wasn’t just my mind though, I was physically exhausted as well. Thank goodness I’m starting to feel normal again now tonight, but I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow fresh with the good news we received firmly settled into my thoughts.

Week Eight Summary

The end has come of my eight week session. The results weren’t as good as I wanted when it came to the weight loss part, but I can live with the results. In mid July I started at 225lbs, which is very disappointing because last summer I was basically where I wanted to be for weight but then fell back into old habits and gained a bunch of it back.

July was when I decided to get back on track and lose the weight again. I made it down to 216lbs on August 16th, and that’s when I decided to start this eight week plan. There were a couple weeks where even though I worked hard I saw no results and that caused me to get discouraged and slip, but in the end I kept going.

This week I didn’t expect to see huge weight loss as I held back the running so that I could have a couple of rest days before the 10k race I ran today. There were also birthday celebrations again as well as two thanksgiving day dinners. Didn’t always do well with eating right.

The week started off with a few fast 5k runs and I was worried because early on into each of the runs I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish. My energy level was very low and they took a lot out of me. Luckily after a couple of rest days I was ready for the race today.

It was pretty cold this morning, but it was mostly my hands that were bothered. After a bit into it though I warmed up and in all reality I probably didn’t push it hard enough. The pace I had in my head was faster than any 10k I had done in training, but I don’t think I set the goal high enough. Most of the race felt really comfortable and like a relaxing run. When 7k came around I pushed it harder and speed it up for the last 3k. I ended with an official time of 58:14 and a pace of 5:50 min/km. Both not as good as last year, but I’m happy with it.

Tomorrow I jump on a plane to go to a company meetup. A big part of my motivation for this was to be in decent shape so that I looked good again when I meet these people and so I can participate in some of the fitness activities without killing myself. Feeling good about how I look will help me to be less self conscious and therefore be able to get concentrate on making relationships more fully. I feel good about meeting them with where I am today.

Running not only help get me to this point of better self confidence it has also helped me clear my head when the stress for planning for this trip was getting a little much. The two rest days I took, even though they were good for the race, didn’t do well for my head. I wanted to go run so much those days to help relieve the stress. The run today made me feel much better though and I’m all set to jump on the plane.

Results:

Last week: 195lbs
Now: 194lbs
Lost: 1lb

While I didn’t make it to my goal of 185lbs in this time frame, I’m still doing well and I know I’ll get there. As of right now I have basically 20 more pounds that I want to lose to be my end goal weight. If I can make it to 175 and stay there I’ll be a happy guy.

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Week Seven Summary

This past week has been birthday central for us. We’ve celebrated so many birthday’s it’s crazy. I believe there has been 7 birthday celebrations I’ve been a part of. Some of those are duplicates for people where we had a small get together and then an actual party, but it still caused me to give in and eat more treats than I normally would have.

This week I didn’t track my eating either. It started right at the beginning of the week with the snacks, so I though I would feel better not tracking it. For the most part I stayed good though and when I did snack only had small portions. Besides the extra treats I still did good with the rest of my eating. My runs also went really well.

Five days of running with one day being short but fast, then a few quick 5k days. Saturday I did my last long run before the Valley Harvest 10k which is next weekend. Figured I would push it for distance instead of speed, but keep the pace at what I want to do for the race. 11k was pretty manageable but I figured that was far enough. I’m glad I stopped because my legs were pretty sore later on.

Results:

Last week: 197lbs
Now: 195lbs
Lost: 2lbs

Even with my treat eating I was still able to drop a bit of weight which is great news. I’m 10lbs from the original goal I set for myself but I still have one last week before the race to lost as much as I can. I’m going to try to eat as well as I can but for running I plan to only do probably three 5k runs. Then take a couple days off before the race.

We’ll see where I end the eight weeks in terms of weight. Even after these eight weeks are over I’ll still keep working because my true ideal weight I’d like to be at is 175lbs. That’s 20 more than where I am right now.

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Week Six Summary

It’s been coming for a while, but this was the first week where I didn’t do any evening workouts. My big change this week was I started actually keeping track of my eating. Counting calories is no fun and I’m sure I’m not really accurate, but I did track everything I ate and used best guesses with the help of the My Fitness Pal app.

My goal was to eat 1600 calories a day and I was able to average that for the whole week. There were some days where I was a little below that but others where I was a little above. The funny thing is, leaving last week out of it, this is pretty much the same way I’ve been eating all along. Previously I just didn’t track it.

Counting calories always confuses me anyway. In My Fitness Pal it gives you your goal calories and that is what I tried to stay close to. But then if you had exercise it it basically gets you to eat more calories. Is that right? I just kept eating the original goal and trying to stay close to that number.

My running wasn’t great this week. I only got in four days of running. I did try a couple of short days where I only ran a couple of kilometers but tried to do it fast. One day isn’t shown in the image below, because my technology wasn’t working great, but I’m pretty sure I kept a sub 5 min/km pace for the two kilometers. Yesterday I was able to get in another 10k run. It’s looking like my 10k pace is going to stick around 6:00 min/km but I’m hoping I can lower that a bit in the next couple weeks.

Results:

Last week: 201lbs
Now: 197lbs
Lost: 4lbs

It feels really good to get below the 200lb mark again and to see the scale actually go down again too. It really confuses me though because really I’m confident I ate about the same as previous weeks but worked out less and now my weight is starting to go down again. It’s all very strange to me, but I’ll take it. I’ve conceded that I won’t hit my goal weight in my desired time frame, but I’m going to keep pushing forward anyway. Two weeks left and 12lbs to hit the goal I wanted. I might come pretty close but 6lbs a week at this point is a lot of weight to lose.

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Here’s the day that I had the technology issues. Not completely accurate but I still went fast 🙂

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Week Five Summary

This week it has become obvious to me that I know nothing about how to lose weight. In my week four summary I was still working out pretty solid and eating pretty good as well and I lost no weight. This week however I gave in many more times on my eating and snacking. Then pretty much gave up on my evening workouts. I think I only did one maybe two this week.

I was scared to get on the scale this morning for my weigh in but as it turns out I was still the same weight. This makes three weeks in a row my weight hasn’t moved but I’ve been doing worse with my eating and working out, so it is very strange to me.

Running however has still been going well. I had five runs in this week for an almost 30km total distance. My 10k run this week was under an hour. Not as fast as my last years Valley Harvest run, but it is getting closer.

Results:

Last week: 201lbs
Now: 201lbs
Lost: 0lbs

Starting this week I’m going to start tracking my eating more. I hate counting calories but I think I need to for at least a bit so I can bet back into the swing of things.

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Week Four Summary

This has been a rough week. Typically I check in on the scales to see how I’m doing throughout the week to make sure I’m on the right track. This week when I checked in I was actually up a considerable amount. This had me feeling very down and unmotivated.

Up until that point in the week I was still doing great with my eating and exercise and yet somehow the scale had me up over 3lbs from what I weighed in at last week. I let this get the better of me. I let me eating slip a bit. Not much but I did give in and have a few treats that normally I would have stayed away from. I also skipped two of my evening workouts as my desire and drive were way down, and especially at night all I wanted to do was lie on the couch.

Luckily I was able to keep going with my running and even had a great win yesterday and was able to go the full 10k I wanted to. When I was back from that run the scale actually showed me at 200lbs which would have been down 1lb on the week. That is far from what I was looking for but still better than where I was mid week. To bad my weigh in day wasn’t yesterday morning because today I was at the same spot I was last week.

Results:

Last week: 201lbs
Now: 201lbs
Lost: 0lbs

It’s obviously better than going up but still makes me feel really crappy. Starting at 216lbs and being four weeks in I’m now officially behind on my goal of 3.8lbs per week. Realistically I know I need to look at the big picture and the fact that since mid July I’m down 25lbs and 15lbs in the last four weeks, but it’s hard especially when I can’t point to something that I know I did wrong the beginning of this week.

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Week Three Summary

This week I maid much closer attention to how much food I was eating. Even though I’ve been eating and snacking on pretty good and healthy food I’m pretty sure I was still eating to much of it. Meals were OK but I was eating a lot of fruit especially in between meals as snacks. As a result I’ve been much happier with my results this week.

Due to some scheduling things, just generally being sore, and not feeling overly well this week I only put in four runs. Even though they were only four I was still pretty happy with my progress. The two 5k’s this week were at a pace I was happy with, and I put in two longer runs this week working my way towards my 10k goal. I did a 6k earlier in the week and a 7k this morning. Evenings worked out better and I was able to get my six workouts in this week. 

Now for the results:

Last week: 206lbs
Now: 201lbs
Lost: 5lbs

Now that’s more like it. A total of 15lbs lost since I started documenting this for formally. Puts me back on a good track to be at my end goal after 8 weeks.

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Week Two Summary

It is a good thing that I started out with a good week because this past week didn’t see the results I was hoping for. I still did pretty well, but if I keep having weeks like this I won’t hit my goal when I want to.

My workouts and running have been on track, I ran five mornings out of the week. Three of them were shorter runs but I went at a faster pace than I had been going. Just this morning I came very close to hitting my goal of a 5k run in under 30 minutes. Not quite there, but very close. For my evening workouts I put in six, so just the one rest day.

Even for my eating I’ve been making healthy choices. We had a family BBQ this week and instead of the hamburgers and sausages others were eating, I made myself some pork kabobs instead. Last night we had hamburgers here at the house and I made myself a chicken breast instead. The only thing that I figure is I’m still snacking to much. My snacks are now fruit or vegetables but I really if I’m eating to many it’s still to many calories. I didn’t want to get into counting calories this time but maybe I’m going to need to.

Now for the results:

Last week: 209lbs
Now: 206lbs
Lost: 3lbs

Although I’m not overly happy with the weight loss I’ve seen, my running is progressing well and yesterday when we were spending time in the water I was able to wear a pair of swimming shorts we bought last summer. I wasn’t able to fit into them at the beginning of the summer, but now they are good!

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