I did it!

I’m currently house-bound with an annoying dose of (wo)man flu.  This is frustrating me more than anything, because on weekends at this time of year I should be out selling my craftwares at various Christmas markets; and sitting at home, feeling crappy, when I know I should be out working hard during one of my busiest times of the year is quite infuriating!

However, I am finding time to get to things that have been neglected recently, not least of which is this blog.

Today, keeping me smiling through this fat-headed, blocked sinus feeling, is the knowledge that on Thursday, before this cold virus descended onto my chest and effectively put the brakes on any exercise plans, I finally reached my magical 500 miles goal!

500 miles

Not only did I reach the goal I set myself last January, I’ve done it with a full month to spare!  This being week 48 on the calendar, makes a rough average of 10.4 miles a week.  I’d love to say that I could pull off another 40 miles before the year’s end, but with my chest rattling like a bag of spanners, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back walking…fingers crossed its very soon though!  Always happy to be corrected, especially if it means I can head out again; but I was recently advised that if my cold was a head cold then I was fine to exercise, but as soon as it hit my chest I should stop…and so I stopped.

Happily I can at least spend my downtime searching online for some new trainers to do my daily walk in.  I think achieving my goal is a perfectly fitting milestone upon which to retire my current pair of trainers.  If I may propose a respectful moment of silence for these absolute road warriors…

trainer stats 2
They were overdue for replacement a few months ago in fairness, but I never seemed to get around to it…maybe I was waiting for this day?  I’ve tracked 847 miles on Runkeeper since January 2013, and I think it would be fair to say that these poor trainers have done at least 600-700 of those miles!

My beloved hiking boots do sterling work on the hills and trails at the weekends when we get the chance to head out for a decent hike; my hiking boots have even come into service whilst I’ve been trading at festivals during the summer when prolonged wet, muddy conditions have made my other footwear unwearable during the weekend.  However, these mighty little trainers have pounded the local lanes with me 5 days a week, 50-52 weeks of the year. On icy roads, on muddy roads, on sticky hot roads, into brambles, into ditches (narrowly avoiding local rally drivers neighbours speeding around the lanes, practising their Scandinavian Flick technique on the bends), through puddles, through cow sh*t (whichever way I turn at the end of our lane I go past a dairy farm!).  They’ve had an awful lot of abuse and, for what were a relatively cheap pair of Skechers, I have been extremely impressed at how durable they were.  I only hope that my next pair of trainers fully understand that they have a tough job to do, and a lot to live up to!

 So now, I have a quandary.  Obviously I will keep walking every day, religiously tracking and logging my miles on Runkeeper, up to the end of the year (and beyond, of course!).  But I have really enjoyed this challenge: its been something to aim for throughout the year, and some months where real-life has got in the way, and I haven’t been able to get so many miles in, I’ve been crunching the numbers, working out my averages, and checking my events calendar to see if I could still pull it off.  Daily walking is a great habit to have for numerous reasons, with the most obvious being the health benefits…and I always feel a million times better after I’ve come home from a walk, no matter how crappy I was feeling (either mentally or physically) before I set out, or how crappy the weather was…and this challenge has made it more fun, and made me more determined to get out walking as often as I could.  This, however, is my quandary: 2015 – should I re-pledge for another 500 miles…or push myself even harder and go for a higher target?

If you’re familiar with the SMART acronym, you’ll know that a goal needs to be:
Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time-bound
I’d love to try for 600 miles, but realistically, I don’t think it would be attainable in the time.  If I’ve learned nothing else this year I have learned that sometimes life gets in the way, and trying to hit an average of 50 miles a month would be a tough one to face, especially if halfway through the year, after a couple of months of not getting out hiking at weekends due to weather or work commitments, you can see that you’re way off mark, and have an almost impossible mileage to make up.  This year we haven’t managed to get out hiking nearly as often as we’d hoped to, as has possibly been evident by fewer blog posts this year.
If I’m honest, 500 miles has been a decent challenge for me, and at the beginning of the year I did wonder more than a few times if making my pledge public was a wise thing to have done.  Keeping it secret would have made it so much easier to give up.  Fortunately as the months passed by, and the miles ticked off, it looked more and more achievable.  But, I’ve shown myself that I can do 500 miles, with a consistent walking schedule, and some determination on those days when you just can’t find the motivation to put those trainers on in the morning.
I am leaning towards 550 – I may make the final decision at the end of December, when I see what my total for the whole year is.  I know I am highly unlikely to make 550 miles this year, December is a very busy month for my business, but I may well convince myself that with a little extra effort and determination, I *could* do it next year…

Would welcome your thoughts on this 😉

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But I would walk 500 miles…

…And I would walk 500 more…

At the beginning of January, I made a pledge on Fitocracy to walk a minimum of 500 miles in 2014.  I hope to walk more than this, but 500 is my minimum goal.

So, this post serves, in some respects, as a public declaration of that goal, and also as my first monthly update. 🙂

As of the 1st February, my Runkeeper app has calculated that I walked 51.4 miles during the month of January…which means only 448.6 miles left to go

Devil's Bit, Co. Tipperary - March 2013

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I’m really sorry if THAT song is now buzzing around your head… 🙂

End of year stats…

Gosh I have been slack! Previous blog post, 29th November 2013, shameful!

Yes, those posts I referred to back then are still in ‘Draft’ mode, but they will be up within the next few days, I promise!  Plus a few more ambles that we managed to undertake whilst spending a couple of weeks in the UK over New Year and the beginning of January.

But, in the meantime, better late than never, here are a few end of year stats for the Curvy Hiker’s hiking, and the Curvy Hiker’s blog!

Miles walked (as recorded by the Runkeeper App): 345.4miles in total (doesn’t seem a lot, but I could barely walk 1 mile on flat ground 12 months ago, and I definitely couldn’t do it without several rest stops!)

Most miles in one month: 46.4 (October 2013)

Weight change over the year: lost 24lbs (not too shabby!)

I’m starting this year in a much better place health- and fitness-wise than this time last year, so I really hope to be able to vastly improve on those numbers this time next year!

And, just for fun, a few silly site stats…

Total blog views: 2,427 (thank you!)

Top 5 views, by country:

  1. Ireland
  2. United Kingdom
  3. USA
  4. Canada
  5. Australia

Most viewed blog post:

Top 5 Search Terms:

  1. knockshegowna hike
  2. glenbarrow ireland slieve bloom mountains parking lot
  3. keeper hill trail map (I haven’t done Keeper Hill yet, but it is definitely on the list for 2014!)
  4. climate in the devil’s bit mountain ireland
  5. slieve bloom way geocaching

 

And a few of my favourite, silly search terms…I’m always amazed at the kind of things that people search for, the terms that bring them here…some of them must be SO disappointed!

  • what is savlon, pease pudding and savlon
  • begging for chocolate
  • curvey girl in woods
  • hot curvy back in uniform
  • funny ankle swinger trousers
  • curvy rear exercises
  • irish love curvy
  • hot blonde hiker (I wish!)

I have to admit that quite a few of the ‘curvy girl’ search terms are simply not suitable to copy here <blush> those searchers in particular will be HUGELY disappointed that this is not a XXX-rated blog!!  But I guess its nice to see that some folks still appreciate a girl with good curves! 😉

This seems like a good place to end with the final photo, from my final walk in 2013…

Lepe Beach, Hampshire, UK 31st December 2013

Lepe Beach, Hampshire, UK
31st December 2013

(Belated) Happy New Year everyone
I hope you all have a wonderful 2014!