Today marks the 100th day I’ve done my regular morning walk since my wife and I moved to our new home last August. This is often what I often get rewarded with as the sun rises in splendor as I start my day.
The backstory? My wife and I moved from our home of 30 years last August to a wonderful new home in Guelph, Ontario, Canada; closer to our sons and their fiancés. It was a big move – working at home for 32 years, there was a LOT of emotional baggage wrapped up in the process. Today, we’re about 70 miles west of downtown Toronto by air; previously, we were about 15. But it’s a fantastic location – and the big surprise is how much I love it!
Particularly, my backyard. We back onto a forest – and never in my wildest imagination did I imagine how wonderful it would be! Case in point – I installed a few webcams out my back door, and this is the type of thing I see out my window or are that are captured in the night!!
And then, there’s my morning walk – I think I’ve become a creature of habit!
In the first two weeks after moving in, we had a lot of painting, moving, and organizing to do, so my time was pretty focused. But being an early morning person – most days with a 5 AM or 530 start – and after finishing my Daily Inspiration, one day I decided to go for a walk, out into the forest trails. It was 615am.
The route I picked? Right into the sunrise! It was epic! I recorded the route on AllTrails and fed the data into Strava. September 16, 2021.
The next morning, I decided to do it again. Since golf season was still in swing, I missed a few days. But on the days I didn’t golf (early), I decided to do it again. And … something took hold. It quickly evolved into a wonderful morning routine, coming right after my Daily Inspiration post and breakfast. A 5.7km walk to start the day! I was hooked!
And so each day, I chase the sunrise, or simply enjoy my moment in time as I start my day.
What do I get for my efforts? This! The sun rises in splendor! Many days, I’m chasing the sunrise as I head for the first part southeast.
And today, 183 days since I began, I marked 100 morning walks on this route. As a bonus, I got both a sunrise in front of me AND moonset behind me!
The fun thing is that I’ve been using both Strava and AllTrails to record the route. And with that in mind, here are a few useless statistics and observations!
- that’s just about 570km on this route – not bad!
- my fastest time was 1:01:15 on February 14, Valentine’s Day. I remember the day – partway through, I realized I was moving at quite the clip, so I picked up the pace. Near the end, I actually ran a few sections to set my record! It was also the coldest day at -28.2C for the start – maybe that’s why I was moving so fast!
- prior to that, my personal best was my 61st time around, at 1:01:59, on January 3
- the slowest day was February 3 at 1:18:48, which interestingly enough, I named “Winter” in Strava. It wasn’t particularly cold at -6, but it was snowing, so that was impacting my pace
- between those two, my pace averaged between 4.3 and 5.5 km/h; my average is 5.0 km/h
- I really seem to average around 1:05:00 and 1:07:00
- as workouts go, it’s pretty low intensity, ranging from 500 to 700 calories, and an average heart rate of around 95 to 105. (I’ve got great cardio!)
So what’s the point of all this? As I often point out on stage, the marvelous connectivity and data that is part of our lives allow us to become more engaged with our fitness and health. At the age of 62, I think it’s pretty good that I’ve got this type of routine happening. I used to jog but this works for me now.
Some other observations:
- my activity isn’t restricted to this walk; I”m often out for a 4-6km walk with my wife through the afternoon. (She is decidedly NOT a morning person!)
- there’s some hardcore ice on the route through the winter and still into spring – if I didn’t have spikes, I’d be flat on my back
- I’m often rewarded with wildlife – deer casually watching my walk through the woods
- there’s often not a lot of people out this time of day!
- many of the quotes that become a part of my Daily Inspiration are formed and established in my mind during this walk; there is nothing like a sun rising in splendor to set your tone for the day and your optimism for your future!
- the first part of the trail is a dog walk – and while I don’t have a dog, I have learned that many of the dog-owners I meet are confused as to why I don’t have one!
- it’s rather interesting doing the walk some days in VERY dark conditions and wondering if the coyotes are about!
- my dumbest move was the day of an epic snowstorm in early January; snowshoeing, I decided to abandon my route and go directly into the middle of the forest. Two hours later, lost and going in circles, my iPhone dying, using my watch compass to establish a path, and my family freaking out – it was an interesting day! Let’s just say I won’t do that again
- many of the other days that I DIDN’T do the morning walk had me golfing (10km walk) or skiing (20-40km downhill!)
- there’s one young fellow who works in a warehouse south of my route, and he’s out walking to work early many mornings!
- there are also two or three other people who ride their bikes – through the snow, ice, fog, or rain! – to get to the very same warehouses!
- I’m under the flight path – and close to an air navigation waypoint – for arrivals into Pearson Airport in Toronto, and so I’m often rewarded with low flying aircraft on approach
What’s next? Finding a new route! That’s where AllTrails will come in – I can plot out a route that still gives me the sunrise for the start, but perhaps find a bit more wildlife along the way!