555 before 44: Ending the Streak

I have put a lot of thought into ending my mile-a-day streak. Several things have led me to this decision and, most of all, I’m thankful that it is even a decision I can make. I think if I forgot about a day (which can be easy to do), was injured or too sick to do it, or just plain fed up with it one day and stopped, I might be left with a taste of regret or disappointment in my mouth. But by putting some serious thought into ending the streak – even discussing it with a few others – I really do feel I am making the right decision for me. Since I never did have an end goal in mind, this could go on and on. I feel like it is time to change things up. The running-only streak I did between Memorial Day and the 4th of July really took a lot out of me. I want to free up some time and energy to explore other fitness goals (particularly the swimming) and really give my body some rest to train properly for the upcoming running / training season.

So, as I mentioned, I checked around with a few others to get some feedback. I asked my Ragnar SoCal team if they thought I might regret it and they all agreed that if the timing felt right, I would not regret the decision. When this tool causes more stress than intended, it is time to let it go. I also held on off on a final decision until I talked to Dr. Z about it at my appointment on Monday. He has his own amazing streak of 1000+ days going AND his has run them all (which is even more amazing since doing it for 40 days was about the end of me). So I told him I thought it was time…and we commiserated on what a giant pain it is. We have swapped stories of how we managed to cram it into a day during weird circumstances. He totally understood and didn’t try to talk me out of it (I knew he wouldn’t). He was interested to see how I went on with exercising, etc. post-streak. He wasn’t worried about my weight – I think he knows I’m pretty invested in my fitness at this point.

Nathan and I slummin' in First Class.  We used mileage to fly the family to Florida and it was less miles to get 2 of our seats in first class for some reason...so we are letting one kid fly up front each leg of our trip.

Nathan and I slummin’ in First Class. We used mileage to fly the family to Florida and it was less miles to get 2 of our seats in first class for some reason…so we are letting one kid fly up front each leg of our trip.

And so, here I am, on another airplane heading towards a 3 hour layover in the Charlotte airport. Today is Day 555. Tomorrow I turn 44. I think this is a good day to end it – but like several crazy days before, this one will present one final challenge. We had to wake up at a ridiculous 3:15 AM to get to the airport. We will eventually land in Florida at 6:30 PM and then have a 2.5 hour drive to our hotel, getting us there around 10 PM. I will be exhausted. So I’m looking at my layover in Charlotte as my best opportunity to get it done. My FitBit is gone, so I can’t track steps or mileage with that. I can’t go outside to get a GPS signal (well, I could but I don’t want to go back through security). So, I think my best option is to leave my luggage with my family and take a long fast walk through the terminal…several times… Wearing my Garmin using the accelerometer to calculate my distance. It is wildly inaccurate but, for me, it seems to err on the side of

Treadmill vs. Garmin accelerometer test I did yesterday

Treadmill vs. Garmin accelerometer test I did yesterday

underestimating my mileage. It will be good to stretch my legs.

So, what have I learned these past 555 days? Well, there is very little reason to not exercise, ever. I’ve completely proven to myself that the “I’m too busy” claim is crap.   These past 1.5 years have probably been some of my actual “busiest” while I was doing this streak.  There were, admittedly, some pretty late night walks or runs when I really had to cram my mile in at the least convenient and exhausting time. What is required, is a quick analysis every day or, preferably, early in the week, to see when exercise is going to work best. By looking at what I hope to accomplish and matching that against my schedule, I can be the most successful. It feels good to have a plan – about anything, not just exercise – and execute it the best you can.

Am I scared to give up something that has worked so well? Yep. I’m going to have to be extra vigilant now. 15-30 minutes/day is not a big deal, but sometimes it has created some logistical challenges that change the course of my day. It will be interesting to see how I plan my time a little differently now. I would like to keep a step goal – I’ll probably invest in a new FitBit soon. I think that will keep me motivated.

We are landing soon so I’ll shut this down, and hopefully report back when I’m done streaking!

****** Follow-up ******

Turns out the round-trip distance between the C concourse and the E concourse in the Charlotte airport is just over a mile . After a not-so-light lunch of Carolina BBQ, I put my Garmin on as planned and set off to explore. It looked like a beautiful day outside and the Charlotte airport is very bright and modern with lots of natural light through large glass windows/ceilings. The terminal concourses were very busy

Stuff to look at in the Charlotte airport....

Stuff to look at in the Charlotte airport….

but I walked along at a good clip, avoiding escalators, moving sidewalks, etc. and taking ramps and stairs. I used my Garmin on the treadmill yesterday and I know it was underestimating my distance based purely on arm swing and not gps coordinates, and today it imageshowed my pace as very slow, which I knew wasn’t entirely accurate because I the distance was off. Anyway, it was a little bit of an anticlimactic way to end the streak, but different nonetheless. Tomorrow we will spend all day/night at Universal Orlando at the older and brand new Harry Potter attractions and I’m confident that I will walk many miles. But I don’t want to worry about it on this vacation. It is time to enjoy fitness and not stress about it as much. Our stop after Orlando is a 6 night cruise to eastern caribbean on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships out there. The ship is huge and full of activities that I will try as many as I can, because I can (and won’t exceed any weight limits!). They have zip-lining, a Flo-rider surfing simulator, rock wall ice rink – fun things that I won’t think twice about trying because of my size or physical ability. I’m excited to wear swimsuits on the beaches. I’m excited to snorkel in public. I’m excited to dress up and hit the ship night life with my husband. I’m ready to enjoy how far I’ve come. This is a celebration.

This entry was posted in Exercise, Garmin 220, Optifast Maintenance, Running Streak, Uncategorized, weight maintenance. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 555 before 44: Ending the Streak

  1. Christy says:

    Congratulations on your streak and your decision to let go. Have a fantastic vacation!


  2. Thomas G says:

    Great job on your streak Martha. I am so impressed! Hopefully ending it will free you up to do other things without feeling guilty!


  3. Melinda Keys says:

    I have just atrted my optifast journey in May and have been reading your archived blog posts about your Journey. It is very inspirational to see how far you have come, and that you are keeping the weight off for an extended period of time. I have been feeling hopeful, yet cautious about my weight maintance. It hasn’t helped that there are two people in my support group that are back for a second time after regaining the weight they lost during their first try at the program. I hope you are enjoying your cruz, and I am looking forward to the day that I can be at a place in my life to be excited for some of the same reasons.


  4. Melody Miller says:

    Hi, Martha, Just started following your blog, I am starting optifast 800 tomorrow, I have about 55-60 lbs to lose… any words of advice would be appreciated, and also wondering about one of your post saying you used diet soda (rootbeer, orange) to make or mix with your shake? was curious how u made it? Thank You in advance 🙂



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