August 26, 2014
by shalama jackson

Counting more than steps with Fitbit

fitbit runYou can do more than measure just your steps with your Fitbit? Have you checked out the other areas?

Tonight I opted to click on the section of the day that said “No exercise today” since I was going for a run and my Garmin was dead. I wanted to see what it would say or do because on any given day when I log my walking steps, it never says that I have exercised even if the “active minutes” indicates I have done something.

With Ragnar DC just a couple weeks away, I figured this is a good time to get a few miles under my feet because I haven’t really been running any long distance. I do hill work, but hill work and longer distance running are two different things.

So, with my music playing I clicked on “No exercise today” and let it run.Very similar to using the Nike+ app, it tracked my overall distance along with my current pace and overall mile pace. I put it my SPIbelt and tried not to think about how fast I was going. I wanted to be under 11 minute miles. But what was really important to me was to stay steady focusing on my breathing and form.

All in all it was great to feel my Fitbit vibrate when I reached 10,000 steps. I don’t always hit it depending on what’s going on at work. I try but I’m not always successful.

When I ended the run it indicated that it tracked my active minutes as well as mapping out the run. I actually liked the map because now I know of a couple other turns I can take instead of running the same route each and every time I hit the pavement during football season. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the 10:41 mile pace overall.

When I explored a little farther, I see that the first and third miles were around the 10:30 pace. Mile two was the hardest. It was also an uphill climb. I wasn’t off where I initially wanted to be overall. As I continue to prep for Ragnar DC, I will use the app in addition to my Garmin watch.

There are a few other areas on the dashboard that can be used like how many ounces of water you drink,  food you eat and how much sleep you get. I’ll follow up with those in an upcoming post.

What type of wearable devices do you use? What do you track with it?

August 21, 2014
by shalama jackson

Preparing for Ragnar DC

Ragnar Relay DC trainingThree weeks from now, I will be somewhere in the Maryland/District of Columbia area taking part in Ragnar DC.

I can’t exactly say where I will be because I agreed to join my Black Girls RUN! sister and friend Eboni on a 197-mile journey from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington D.C. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Ragnar Relay, it is the two-day race is a team relay: 12 runners each run 3 legs that range from roughly 3-10 miles. By the end of the relay, each runner will have run between 13-22 miles, and spent anywhere from 16-24 hours in a van with, optimistically, four total hours of sleep.

I am Runner #10 and scheduled to run a total of 16 miles. As it stands right now, no leg is longer than 6.5 miles or so.

In a weird kind of way, I am looking forward to this crazy journey. It ought to be interesting if nothing else. So, for the next few weeks I will take to some trails and adding a little more distance running into my routine because I haven’t been running for distance since Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh in April.

Here’s to another adventure.

Have you run a Ragnar Relay or another relay race before? What was it like?