We had several options for group activities today. I did not choose the golf or spring training options. I chose this:
I should have photos of this and other bits (including two extra Brews & Choos stops!) over the weekend.
I made a note to myself a while ago that as of today I've had a fitness tracker for 3,000 days. Sadly, my past self got it wrong: I got my first FitBit 3,029 days ago. Oopsi.
But it did give me a moment to check my lifetime stats. They don't suck. As of yesterday:
- Total days: 3,028
- Total steps: 40,490, 400
- Total distance: 34,076.1 km
- Goal hit (10,000 steps): 2,771
- Minimum hit (5,000 steps): 3,025
- Mean daily steps & distance: 13,372, 11.3 km
- Median daily steps: 12,770, 10.6 km
- Best 7-day period: 171,122 (7-13 July 2018)
- Best 30-day period: 537,798 (2-31 July 2018)
Not bad. And I'm still getting about 12,000 a day on average, even into my decrepitude.
We've now got two full years between us and 2020, and it does look like 2022 got mostly back to normal.
- The Daily Parker got 487 posts in 2022, 51 fewer than in 2021 and 25 below median. As usual, I posted the most in January (46) and fewest in November (37), creating a very tight statistical distribution with a standard deviation of 3.45. In other words: posting was pretty consistent month to month, but down overall from previous years.
- I flew 10 segments and 16,138 flight miles in 2022, low for the 21st century but about average for my lifetime.
- Once again, I visited only one other country (the UK, of course), but 8 other states: North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, California, Texas, and Michigan. In 2023, I plan to visit a bunch of new countries, but we'll see. Altogether I spent 107 hours traveling.
- I walked Cassie for a little more than 369 hours, somewhat fewer than in 2021 (422) but still an average of over an hour a day. It's about half as much as she wanted.
- I got 4,537,290 steps for 3,693 km of walking, a little below 2021 but about average overall. I only hit my step goal 327 times, though, due to no longer getting worked up about missing it in bad weather. I still averaged 12,393 a day, which doesn't suck.
- I drove 5,925 km on 144 L of gasoline, for an average of 2.4 L/100 km (96.4 MPG). The last four months of the year I used only 4 L of gas over 1,179 km, meaning I'm heading into 2023 with a nearly-full tank I last filled on August 21st. I do love living in the city!
- I worked 1,894 hours for my real job, including 1,260 from home and 580 in the office. The remainder went to conferences and work events. Plus, I spent 103 hours commuting, all of it by public transit (see above re: gasoline use).
- My commitment to the Apollo Chorus went up by a third this year, with 318 hours overall split between rehearsing and performing (220 hours) and my responsibilities as president (98 hours). Last year I spent 57 hours on rehearsals and performances and 71 hours on board stuff, but the first half of 2021 we were still virtual. In the last full year before the pandemic, 2019, I spent 200 hours overall (27 for the Board, 144 on rehearsals and performances, 29 for the fundraiser), so we really did do more this year than in years past.
- Finally, reading stayed the same, with 27 books started (cf. 28 in 2021) and 24 finished (cf. 23 in 2021)—both numbers exactly at median for me. But I watched a whopping (for me) 56 movies and 50 TV show seasons or miniseries. Yeek.
So, yeah, except for the permanent, post-pandemic shift to working from home 2/3 of the time, 2022 really did get back to normal in most ways. I'll take it. Here's to continued normal in 2023!
Can you tell when I moved from a first-floor walkup apartment into a 3½–story townhouse?
I figure, Cassie has about 7 years of climbing stairs in her. We're both going to have much stronger legs (though only one of us needs them).
It’s not “purple mountains majesty” for hiking, Jason King knows, but Illinois, Indiana and southern Wisconsin, are not without charm — they’re free, they’re close, their trails are uncongested and they offer a solace and beauty all their own.
“I love Illinois, I’ve lived here all my life. If you like simplicity, if you like the feel of the wind blowing through the trees … there’s no place better,” King said.
One of King’s favorite solo hikes to “get the world behind me” is about 90 minutes away from Chicago near Gary, Indiana, in the little-used western part of Indiana Dunes National Park. The Paul H. Douglas center is currently closed but the namesake trail (1) winds through Miller Woods and across the Grand Calumet River. It was named after the Illinois senator who helped make the Dunes a national park. It’s a moderately challenging 3.5 miles out and back, partly through sand dunes — which make it a workout.
King identified 19 other trails near Chicago that reporter Zachary Nauth listed in the article. Maybe next weekend? Cassie would probably love all of them.
As I feared, yesterday my body really did not want to walk a full 42.2 km marathon. In fact, around 14 km, I decided to turn around and get a beer:
I maintained a great pace, though: 8'54" per kilometer (14'24" per mile). But wow, it was exhausting:
I sense a nap in my future...
I started Friday by having lunch with a colleague in the picture-perfect Hare & Billet in Greenwich:
After lunch I hopped a Southeast service to Otford, Kent, where I embarked on the 6.5 km hike I mentioned Saturday morning. Otford looks like something out of a Brontë novel (either sister), surrounded by farms and walking paths. And sheep:
The village also sits in what I believe is a washout valley bisecting a long moraine known as the Kentish Downs. After a 75-meter climb, I got to this vista:
About 3 km of the walk looked like that. At the end of the ridge the trail sloped into the village of Shoreham, which made by brain hurt. I think I want to retire there:
I ended my journey at The Samuel Palmer, which opened in 2019 in a building continuously operated as a pub since the 15th century. Somehow, this village of 2,000 people supports three pubs, but I only stopped in this one. I might have to try all of them next time I visit the UK.
More photos later this week. Meanwhile, I've got to figure out a tricky security configuration and rehearse Mozart for the rest of the day.
I exhausted myself yesterday with a walk from Otford to Shoreham, in Kent, along the Kentish Downs. I'll have photos after I get home, but until then, here's the Garmin plot:
The bit right around 4km included a steep climb to an amazing view of the Downs. Again, photos next week, which will also demonstrate why I want to retire to Shoreham now.
I've written often enough about wearing a fitness tracker, and I've been pretty happy with my Garmin Venu. The device has a feature called "body battery" which uses heart-rate variability and other measures to estimate how much energy you have. I've actually found it a reliable measure, in that when I check in on how I feel and then compare that to my body battery score, it seems right.
For instance, I would say this chart is a pretty decent proxy of how I've felt for the past week:
My symptoms hit Thursday night, were worst on Friday (I took a rapid test when I woke up Friday), but by this afternoon almost non-existent. In fact, I feel better today than I have in a while,
I've found the body battery metric useful in other ways, too, mainly in timing activities and socializing. That Scotch right before bed, even if it's the only drink I have all day? There's a cost. I've also learned that as much as I enjoy traveling, being in a moving vehicle is draining.
I've got a stressful week coming up, followed by a couple of very-low-stress weeks. I'm interested to see how I manage my energy levels with this metric.
Cassie and I walked all the way to the Horner Park Dog-Friendly Area yesterday, taking advantage of the 19°C weather and forbearance of rain clouds. We went a little out of our way on the first walk, so I could get a look at what was left of Twisted Hippo Brewing:
Yikes. Still, only one person was injured in the fire, and he's expected to recover completely.
After a 48-minute walk, Cassie ran around like a puppy at the dog park for about 20 minutes:
The return walk took another 45 minutes, after which both dog and man took a nap.
Then this happened overnight:
Well, I mean, it's Chicago in March. We got lucky to have one warm day.