Karin gave me a Garmin Vivofit for Christmas. It’s one of those little wrist-mounted activity trackers. Being a Garmin, it fits in nicely with the fitness gadget ecosystem I have going already (running watch) and tracks my steps and sleep… or at least how much I move around when I sleep. It looks like it’s going to form the core of yet another step-up in my self-quantification efforts as we move into 2015. Turning everything I do into a number… does that make me more aware of what I do and thus healthier? Or does it just make me neurotic? We’re about to find out, I guess.
Tomorrow is New Years Eve and I’m pretty sure I won’t have time for a run between now and the stroke of midnight. I guess that means my 2012 tally is officially in and I can tell you how far I ran this year.
And it’s only fair. I started this training way back in March, and a mere ten days into the plan was posting all about this thing called a virtual run.
Ten days into this little project I’d run a mere 41 kilometers. Oh, and plus the little bit of distance I covered in the months leading up. And… blah… blah… blah. Read the posts if you’re interested.
What followed was a series of tracking posts. For nine months I’ve sporadically updated this blog with something called a virtual run. Simple explanation is this: I run real distance — real feet on real asphalt in every kind of weather — on sidewalks and trails around (mostly) Edmonton. No treadmills. No Wii Sports. No faking it. Real runs. I log all that distance on my GPS watch. Then I record those numbers into a spreadsheet on my Google Drive. And — mathe-magical! — the spreadsheet tallies the big column of all distances (to one decimal point) since January 1st and outputs a single number. That’s my distance-to-date for the year: kilometers run in 2012.
I take that number and using the modern marvels of point-and-click-map-based pedometers (such as the one at Trails.com) I chart out a “virtual” distance that — were I to have run all those kilometers end-to-end in some epic multi-fold mega-death-race marathon — would map out from Point A to Point Z. Screenshot. Upload. Blog-post. Voila!
Now, Point A has always been the corner near my house. But Point Z? Point Z was simply an unknown up until about 10 am this morning when I sprinted in the last few hundred meters of a chilly ten klick Sunday morning run. I had a goal, but there was never any assurance I’d make it.
Back to the virtual run? Roughly mapped out (and this isn’t exactly a precise science here, folks, me sitting at my desk clicking thousands of little vectors along a medium resolution map) this kind of distance takes me from (Point A) the corner near my house, down through Calgary, over the mountains, down the Coquihalla highway, into the Fraser Valley, and lands me — at Point Z — on the highway passing through Langley, BC about forty klicks outside of Vancouver and approximately (oddly enough) about two blocks from where Karin used to work.
And that’s it. Done. The great virtual race of 2012 is complete. It has been run. It’s in the books…. blogs… whatever.
On Tuesday — New Years Day — the virtual odometer resets back to a big-ole-goose-egg: zero. Nadda. And I’m off to run towards the great white north… virtually, anyhow.