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Week #2: 2015 Jan 1 – Jan 7

During my first week of using the Fitbit Flex that SuziQ gave me for Christmas, I hypothesized that the gadget might be using some average pace to determine mileage, since I wouldn’t expect it to use a GPS-based measurement system such as that employed by the RunKeeper app I use on my iPhone. So on New Year’s Day, during a walk that RunKeeper measured at 2.44 miles with a rather accurate mapping of where SuziQ and I did walk, I checked that against what the Fitbit Flex was reporting: only 1.82 miles?! As near as I have been able to check by actually counting on my own, the Fitbit Flex is rather accurate counting my steps, but to be underestimating my mileage by that much?!

If the Fitbit Flex is going to be off on either steps or on mileage, I would rather that it underestimate both: if it says I walked 10,000 steps, it doesn’t bother me if I really walked something like 11,000; likewise, if I walked something like 2.44 miles, I don’t mind if the Fitbit says something like 2.2 miles. Rather that it underestimate, than for it to exaggerate. So when I get to my goal and celebrate walking enough to New York City, I don’t mind if the truth is that I walked far enough to make it to Boston, as long as I don’t have reason to believe I really only walked far enough to make it to Trenton, New Jersey!

But to be off by so much?! I was prepared to even make an adjustment and present two sets of figures — as the Fitbit reported my miles, then an adjusted estimate — and figure the truth to be somewhere in between those two boundaries. But if the Fitbit Flex is counting my steps accurately but calculating only about one kilometer for each mile I’m walking (which is almost exactly the proportion I’m seeing in the error), then maybe I have some of my gadget settings fouled up! But no, everything is set for miles, no metric chosen anywhere in my settings . . . .

But what I did discover was that I had not yet set up what my walk and run stride lengths are. Setting my walk stride for 3 feet 0 inches instantly begins to register more mileage per thousand steps than I had been seeing. When I’m doing natural everyday walking around the house or casual walking around the neighborhood or at the store, maybe 3 feet 0 inches is a conservative estimate, still holding to my preference to underestimate. When I’m out exercise-walking as we were doing earlier New Year’s Day, the average stride length is coming in a smidge over 3 feet 4 inches. Depending on future comparisons between RunKeeper and Fitbit, I might increase my walk stride setting by an inch or two. As is, my mileage records should pick up a bit from here on out. And I won’t bother to adjust my first week’s records; just figure that I actually walked some 60% farther than I thought I did. So —

  • Since Christmas 2014, through January 1 of 2015, I had walked far enough since starting to use the Fitbit Flex, that from home I could have walked to Angleton, our country seat, where recently I drove for jury duty. Or if instead I were to head southeast, I could have walked from home to San Leon on Galveston Bay, home of one of my favorite local seafood restaurants. Or if instead I were to head due east, planning on taking the southern route toward my ultimate goal of New York City, I could have walked from home to Baytown. Or if instead I were to choose to take the northeast route toward my ultimate goal, I could have walked from home to Humble. Already close to leaving Houston behind!
  • Through January 2, I had walked far enough that from home I could have walked to Mike & Lisa’s home, with enough left over to add the walk we all did after our Christmas dinner this year. Or if I were to have walked toward my goal at the average pace I’ve kept since Christmas last week, I would reach Times Square ahead of schedule, on November 23 this year, in time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
  • Through January 3, I had walked far enough that from home I could have walked to Galveston. In fact, if instead I’d walked due south, I’d walked far enough that from home I could have walked to Freeport.
  • Through January 4, I had walked far enough that from home I could have walked to Conroe.
  • In our community, when the local town recently swallowed us up, one of the many privileges we lost was the right to set a speed limit appropriate to common sense on our own streets. Except if they’re going to force us to increase speeds in our neighborhood, then they should ban small-minded towns from setting insane speed traps on major highways where there is no reasonable sense behind the speed zone. Oh well. So while I was bouncing around between life and death, almost as insane as a stupid speed trap in the middle of a major highway was that SuziQ had to deal with a speed ticket I picked up during the business trip I’d been on just before my shenanigans. So anyway, since this past Christmas through midday January 5, I walked far enough that from home I could have walked to Cleveland, Texas, where I was hit with that silly traffic ticket. No doubt, they would hit me with another speeding ticket for walking from home to there more rapidly than their brains seem to function. Oh well, by the end of January 5, I had walked quite far enough to put Cleveland, Texas, far behind me, and I won’t ever again have reason to be back through.
  • If I were to choose the southern route to New York City, I’d be taking Route 10 out of Houston toward New Orleans. Route 10 runs straight east past Trinity Bay until it takes a sharp left northeast toward Beaumont. At that sharp left turn sits Winnie, Texas. By the end of January 6, I had walked quite far enough that from home I could have reached Winnie. And Fitbit has given me its “Penguin March Badge”: since Christmas, I have matched the distance of the March of the Penguins, the annual trip that emperor penguins make to their breeding grounds. Now if I could only find me an egg to sit on.
  • By the end of January 7, I had walked quite far enough that from home I could have walked up Route 45 north toward Dallas far enough to have reached the Sam Houston Statue. Hi, Sam!
//] - unfit

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Written by macheide

29 December 2014 at 8:26 pm

Posted in unfit

Tagged with , , ,


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