Bramble Berry Athletic Club

Some of you may have seen my posts over on our Facebook page and I also wanted to share formally over here on the blog too. I was selected to be part of the 2013 Bramble Berry Athletic Club (BBAC)! I am super excited! I applied right after we got back from NYC. Being part of the Golden Ticket has given me the empowerment to share about my heath in the Old Town Suds bubble. I have been working on making myself stronger and a healthier person through various activities the past few months, so that is why I applied to the BBAC.

342 days after I had my brain surgery, I ran a half-marathon, that would be 13.1 miles for the non-runners out there, with my best friend. It was a big goal and I was SO HAPPY I accomplished it. I went with several doctors to the event. They also just happened to be my best friend's parents :) Also in tow came all of my paperwork, the will, and the advanced directives just to be safe. I knew what I was doing was making my neurologist not extremely happy.

Several hours later, and at the course time limit, we finished the race. Here is a video of us crossing the finish line:

Finishing the Princess Half Marathon from Steffanie Housman on Vimeo.

Now, I want to make myself even better by restarting my training. I want to concentrating on having the best 5K (3.1 miles) ever! I want to fully run them and not have to do a run/walk combo which is how I did the half. I know I can do it! I have until May 18th and I am running the Back to your Health 5K for Spinal Health.

Then, who knows? Maybe I will make my dreams come true of running the London Marathon? I've already contacted a foundation in London who raises money for neurological research in exchange for entries into the race. It's similar to Team in Training here in the US. 26.2 miles is a LONG race though. Mind over matter though, right?

Day 342

Today, is the day I have been waiting for. It has been exactly 342  days since my upgrade. To say it has been an easy year would be complete and utter BS. Most of it has sucked, big time. There have been many days where walking wasn't possible. Days where the only think I could do after work was sleep. Days where I knew I had to cancel plans because I knew I wasn't going to be good company. I've hit my head, been hit IN the head, and pushed my body extremely hard this past, almost, year.

Today, I am doing something I never, ever dreamed of doing. I'm running a half-marathon.

Today, I am doing something I never, ever dreamed of doing. I'm running a half-marathon. At Disney World. The happiest place on Earth.

I'm not running by myself, my best friend, Amy, will be there every step of the 13.1 miles. With our many setbacks since we started training, our goal is to just finish. My mom, Joel's parents, Amy's Parents & her Aunt will all be there cheering us on. We've been doing odd things together since we met in our Freshman year gym class in high school, so our parents know what to expect. (Though, I think my mom is still scared that a car will get plastic wrapped or a pick flamingo will show up somewhere or that we will get the idea to move to Europe...again.) See, crazy things, that is who we are.

Hopefully, by the time this posts, we will be well on our way through the course around the different Disney parks.

Day 342 is the start of my celebration

I am just shy of my one year mark, and day 342 is the start of my celebration. I'll be posting regular updates to twitter so be sure to follow us on our journey there. I hope you will join me, my family and friends in our celebration!

The Wee Little Fit Bit

Since I knew something was going on with my body, my doctors grounded me. I haven't been able to exercise. The list of can'ts was really, really long. But, one of the things that I can do is walk. I walk everywhere I can. Given I wasn't really feeling up to running I have been looking for ways to just get myself up off the couch. As if you didn't know, I am a gadget person. Enter, the fitbit.

I first saw the fitbit around the holiday season and remember contemplating purchasing it when we were back in Indiana. I passed on it at the time. Then, well, it was time to get back into my work wear and see what my recovery has done to the rest of my health. I had a gift card (for three years) for a chain electronic store so I used that to purchase this nifty device.

How it works

Basically, the fitbit tracks your activity and your sleep. Both things that I am interested in learning more about. It measures steps, distance walked, calories burned and your activity level through a motion detector in the device that is simular to what you would find in a wii remote. I have found it to be pretty accurate. I was wondering how it would handle metro and, so far, I haven't seen it counting metro jolts as steps.

The little device can be hidden really easily. So far, only the people who know about it know I am wearing it. Most of the time I hook it to a belt loop or put it in a pocket. It may get interesting when I bust out the summer dresses though. You can wear it when you sleep too! It comes with a wrist band and I hardly notice it. Though, I can tell you the sleep portion isn't that accurate. It only really monitors when you toss and turn. If you are like me and lay still and start counting sheep; it is going to count that as sleeping.

The Perks

I have found that I want to be more active when I wear the fitbit. The trainers at fitbit set a goal of 10,000 steps a day which I usually get close to and really want to beat. I've only surpassed that once so far. For a regular day, with an effort placed on walking a bit more, I hit 8,500 steps. On Saturday when I didn't have access to a car I walked around DC, took metro home, walked into Old Town; then walked home. All together that was just shy of 13,000 steps. I probably would have caught a cab on the final leg home if I didn't have the fitbit. Partly, because I wanted to prove I could beat the 10,000 mark now.

The Needs Improvement Part

I've had syncing issues with the device. Based on the forums, it doesn't seem to matter if you are on a Mac or a PC - they are all having some issues. The good news is that the fitbit staff are responding to issues and trying to come up with solutions. I also noticed that Wednesday morning I started the day with 495 steps. Which is odd because the fitbit slept on my bathroom counter that night. But, since I forgot to put it on after I got out of bed, and in the process walked about that amount, I wasn't worried.

Would I buy it again?

Now that I have owned the cute little gadget for almost a week, even with its flaws, I really like it. If I hadn't had the gift card I don't know if I would have spent the money on it (I can be cheap like that) but I'm glad I did. (If I hadn't gotten it, I most likely would have annoyed Joel enough saying I didn't want to spend the money that he would have gotten it for me.) There are online parts to the fitbit that I haven't talked about which are sufficient for what I am doing, it basically charts your data, and you can learn more about that on the fitbit website.


*In case you missed it in the post, I bought the fitbit & wrote the review because I chose to.