Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ten Million Steps

Ten million steps in 2016. The phone was purchased
late October 2014 and only recorded a couple months
of data that year.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I would walk a lot of steps, especially with the 2650 mile PCT on the horizon, but would never have guessed I could make it to ten million for a single calendar year.  Today I passed that magic number. I'm not sure why I cared so much and pushed myself quite hard this month, especially after running a 50K ultra marathon on December 4. But with "only" about 400,000 steps remaining after the race I knew it could be done - and I was unlikely to have another chance in this lifetime.

My iPhone has a built-in step counter (with sensors including the accelerometer on the motherboard) that is very accurate and uses virtually no battery power. It is the same technology used in fitness devices like the Fitbit for step counting. All iPhones since the 5 and many Android phones include this technology. The great thing is that you don't have to turn anything on to count steps, it just does it automatically as long as you are carrying the phone. The Apple Health app will display the steps but is limited in summary statistics. I like the app "Stepz" to look at the data but there are many other apps that work well.

With all the training leading up to the PCT I was sitting at about 1.4 million steps for the year. The months on the PCT added another 7.4 million steps. After some post-trail rest, and once I committed to running the ultra marathon, my running and hiking miles ramped back up. December rolled around and half a million steps remained. 175+ miles of running and hiking this month got me over the mark today.

Sand Canyon

We headed out yesterday for a post Christmas dinner exercise hike in Sand Canyon. The snow level from the big storm last Friday night was low and left the Sierra crest blanketed with beautiful white. Eight miles of hiking yesterday got me within 11 thousand steps heading in to today.

Spanish Needle Peak from upper Sand Canyon

This morning we set our sights on Short Canyon, always beautiful year round. Shortly after lunch on the way back I passed the ten million mark. That equates to roughly four thousand miles of running and hiking. Yippee!

Balancing rock in Short Canyon
Sierra Crest from Short Canyon
Mt. Jenkins from upper Short Canyon