At least, that's what I'm calling it. C keeps reminding me, politely, that its really just a fitness-oriented fanny pack. I don't care. It is AWESOME. I'm also in love with my fitness app, but more on that later.
This is how not fitness-oriented I am; when I signed up to run my first (and again, I stress, only) 10k a few years ago, I had to then go out that evening an buy a sports bra because I did not own one that fit me. I also had to buy shirts made of wicking fabric (since I had long learned the dangers of running in straight up cotton) and shorts of reasonable length. I mean, my Soffee shorts from high school are comfy and all, but I really don't think they're made for you to ACTUALLY work out in. Maybe I'm wrong.
Because of this, I don't really own any of the "proper" gear for regular exercise, other than running shoes. When I signed up for a trial period at a local yoga studio last year, I had to go out and buy a mat. I had to buy an armband for my iPod, and a water bottle with the type of lid I could pop open easily, for hiking or (maybe) running. I'm just not naturally inclined to own the things I'd need for these sorts of occasions. Having unexpected guests over? I have a bottle of red and white ready to go. Going on a 2 hour hike? Now I need to go to Marshall's.
Until I bought this sweet, neon orange, elastic-banded wonderful thing, I was hiking with a mini-travel case to hold my phone, key and emergency Benadryl - super annoying. I very briefly considered shorts with pockets, but didn't trust that my things wouldn't fall out. I also wasn't in the mood to stick stuff into my sports bra (like so many fellow female hikers I see) and have my phone get all sweaty - no, thank you. This solves so many problems, I don't even care if it looks stupid!
For his birthday, C got a FitBit, and has been wearing it ever since. I found myself wanting one, especially to figure out how many steps I'm taking and therefore how many calories I'm burning during the day, but didn't have the money to swing it just yet. Then I realized that MapMyRun has an entire fitness devoted app called MapMyFitness, which allows you to record and/or log pretty much any workout ever. I downloaded it immediately and took it on our next hike, and not only did I know how far we went, how many calories I burned, what my pace was, but also how much of a gain we made (we had been wondering just how high up we were at the peak) and it was incredible.
The combination of these two things has seriously changed the way I look at any sort of workout. Before I never really understood the want or need to keep track of how many calories your burning, or what your splits may be (unless, of course, you're trying to PR a race), but I find myself really taking all of these things into consideration. We go for a 2 mileish evening constitutional many nights of the week, and I've noticed that each time we go, we shave a bit more time off than the previous walk. The one night I walked the majority of it alone (as C ran the neighborhood instead) I managed to shave a whole 2 minutes off my previous time (since I wasn't as distracted, I guess) and when I used it at the park, I was a minute faster. (I think part of what slows us down is the uneven sidewalks that we have to be aware of - at the park, you're just walking/running on flat dirt paths.) I even use it when we go for our bike rides down the bike path. We noticed the first time that on the way out, we're definitely heading downhill for part of it, although its just barely noticeable. On the way back, however, you really feel that tiny, slow incline in your calves. After using the app on Sunday, I realized that over the span of 2ish miles, the incline is about 30ish feet - pretty steady!
In fact, I'm becoming so enamored with this app, I'm considering signing up for a month unlimited at the local yoga studio... and trying to do a yoga class a day. A lofty goal? Maybe. But it would be cool to track my progress!