Laura and I have been burning up the streets lately with our walking. I’m not sure what happened, but it seems that we’ve put the nighttime humidity out of our minds and have gotten back into our exercise regimen. So far, in the past few nights, I’d say we’ve walked about twenty miles. Give or take, of course.
When we first moved here, the weather was much cooler than it is now and we didn’t hesitate to do what we’ve been doing for years – walking through neighborhoods at midnight. If we were part of the old “Neighborhood Watch,” we’d be the perfect volunteers – weaving in and out of unknown streets – combing the area with our acumen. But since mid-May, things have heated up quite a bit. What was once 65 degrees during the day has turned to 85. It’s actually not as hot as I was expecting, but the humidity gets to you. Not terrible, just consistent and enduring.
The night hours are different. While we’re not able to sleep with the windows open, we’re able to walk in much more comfort than if we did during the day. For one, the sun isn’t shining. And the sun is what I’ve determined to be the number one culprit down in these parts. If I go outside at noon on any given day and stand out in the open too long, I’m sure to get burned. But if I stand in the shade, it’s actually quite pleasant. At least the Florida sun didn’t come as a complete surprise – I did vacation once in the Bahamas, where I witnessed the tops of friend’s heads burn in no time flat.
So, if you can manage to stay out of the sun during the Summer and manage to make time to walk at night, when the temperature hovers in the mid-seventies, Florida isn’t bad. I’d say it’s actually downright inviting. But if you stray from these suggestions, you’re going to have a tough time. Laura and I continuously tell each other that our adventures are going to pick up steam in mid-October, when things begin to cool off. That month seems to be the agreed upon month of change.
During our first few foot-bound journeys, we stayed close to home. We weren’t all too aware of the lay of the land and we managed to explore only a few close-by neighborhoods. But as time went by, we ventured further and further – as far as our “section” would allow us. As a matter of fact, we walked so far that we covered every single road in our vicinity. But, if you’re a walker as well, you’re well aware of the boredom that traveling the same streets can cause. It can become mundane rather quickly.
Because of this tendency, we threw caution to the wind a few nights ago and opened a new chapter in our walking book. We broke through the barrier of an entire new neighborhood. Now, that’s exciting.
Our latest walk was last night. According to Laura’s built-in IPOD pedometer, we walked over 7,500 steps. I’m not sure if that’s a lot or not, but what I am sure of is the ache in my legs when we returned to the house. After two hours of intense Jiu-Jitsu practice and a good long trek through Palm Coast roads, I was finished.
But what helped keep me going last night, as I began feeling the effects of fatigue, was the climbing number of that pedometer. I kept stopping to ask, “What’s it say now?” She’d reply, “4,000, 5,000, 6,512” and so on. It was incessant and surely annoying, but what it did was to help me set short goals for myself. What I wanted was a nice cool shower, dinner and a long sleep, but what I truly craved was to beat our previous high number of steps. That lingered somewhere around 7,000. To beat that would make a good day, better. And that we did. We beat it by approximately 500. Not too shabby for a worn out old man.
Laura’s IPOD pedometer show us steps taken. I believe that’s it. There may be something that has to do with calories burned, but what we really want is mileage. While having to calculate how many feet an average step is and then multiplying that with the number of steps taken isn’t an unduly burden, it is annoying. Especially when I know there are apps for my DROID RAZR MAXX that will simply give me miles walked. I believe they use GPS to track our movements. Creepy? Yeah. But I’d say our movements aren’t all that important.
Today, I downloaded a pedometer app called, “Accupedo Pedometer.” I installed it, opened it and gave it a try. After altering the settings from metric to English, I began walking around the yard to see if it worked. Happily, I can report that it does.
When you first open the app and hit “Go,” there’s sort of a pause. It doesn’t start recording steps until the tenth one taken. But when it begins, I can see how people turn into fools, walking down the road, measuring their MPH and steps taken. “Hey, guess what. We’ve already traveled .045 miles.” This is huge.
Now, during our midnight adventures, while the rest of Palm Coast is in bed, we get to cruise the streets, measuring what we do in a different way. Instead of steps taken and a very inaccurate number of miles walked, we get to see exactly what we’ve done. And for people with a slight obsession with measuring distance, this is a good thing.