The case for wearables.

I got a Fitbit after I registered me and Austin for one as a wedding present.

Correction: I did not register for anything.  I owe my life to Chelsie, my bridesmaid, who, when I was overwhelmed registering, went to Target and she registered me for everything I needed, with a few requests from me.

So once I got the Fitbit, the Fitbit Flex, I was absolutely hooked to that thing.  At $99, it wasn’t a huge investment, but it really shifted the way I did things.  I synced it to my computer and my phone, and immediately started adding friends on their network.  Though I was already pretty active, I was able to actually visualize how much movement I was getting throughout the day.  I could figure out when were peak times for me, and what tough times were for me (Sundays when I didn’t meet my running friends and wanted to watch Bravo all day.)  I started getting really competitive with my friends and was really impressed with how good the customer service was when I lost my Fitbit drunk twice.  Once at my sister’s wedding afterparty, and once at Elon Homecoming.  Hence the sober month I’m taking right now.

After my time with the Flex, I upgraded to the Surge.  I felt like it was sort of weird to wear my Flex at the same time I was wearing my Garmin – like I just had too much on.  The Flex boasted GPS as well as step tracking, so once I got it, and witnessed personally how quickly the Surge hooked up to satellites, it really rendered my Garmin pretty obsolete.

The Fitbit Surge. Great as your everyday wearable, but also awesome for runs and cross training.
The Fitbit Surge. Great as your everyday wearable, but also awesome for runs and cross training.

The case for wearables/should I get one?

I’m already active.  But a Fitbit, or similar products (Garmin has ’em, Pebble, and Jawbone are some of the big players in the game), really, to me increases your awareness.  You may think you’re active, when in reality, you get one 25-minute run in a day, and sit at your desk the rest of the day.  While your run is excellent, it’s not going to cut it always, and you have to keep moving around to meet your daily minimums.  These tools are awesome for figuring out where you are, and where you might need to go.

So are you a person that loves apps?  Do you love data?  Do numbers really speak to you?  Then a “wearable” is for you.  If that stuff isn’t really your jam, I always encourage figuring out what your “love language” is as it pertains to working out and keeping yourself on track and accountable.  But for me, counting, visualizing, and competing works.

Do you use a wearable?  Wear a Fitbit?  

How long have you been wearing one?  

What do you like/dislike about it?

The Fitbit Surge

Hi.  I’m still sober.  Still enjoying myself.  Might kill my husband because he’s talking over my show on Bravo, and I’m not 100% able to handle that with the greatest of ease.  Saw this little baby snake last night while I was walking with Austin.

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Garden Snake – NOT a Copperhead

Now unlike my run in with the baby copperhead last year, this guy was a million percent not poisonous, but he was laying in the street, and I almost stomped on him before Austin stopped me and we sort of helped him over to the side of the street.  Once we realized he wasn’t poisonous, I touched him with my finger even.  Call me whatever you call someone who’s all about nature!

The Fitbit Surge

See the fitness schedules that I'm working on for April and May beneath my new toy?
The Fitbit Surge

So, a month or so ago, I got my hands on a Fitbit Surge. Before, I had a Fitbit Flex, which is the plain band that you see a lot of folks rocking. I really loved it, but last year, just before the holidays when Fitbit announced their new lineup, including the Charge, the Charge HR, and the Surge, I set my sights on the Surge because it was like Fitbit had reached into my brain, and came up with what I’d been on long runs.  A lot of time, when I’d been running with my Fitbit AND my Garmin, I’d often wonder how and when the company would come up with something that combined the GPS with the activity tracker.  Garmin had come out with the FR 15, but I wasn’t super keen on the look, and I really wanted something that I could stay Fitbit friends with all my Fitbit friends with – I wasn’t a million percent ready to make the leap to a non-Fitbit product.  Call them illuminati, or whatever, but they totally got me.

Surge 2

So I got this thing a month ago, so let me run down what it is this thing does.

This is the Fitbit Surge, the activity tracker that combines GPS with step-counting.  It can be worn all day, just like your FItbit Flex, but it also can track your workouts, and keeps track of your heart rate through your wrist.  The app keeps things fun, and looks exactly like the interface for the Flex, however, it includes the stair floor equivalents of what you’ve done.

IMG_0217[1]IMG_0218[1]

A few other points you should consider before you buy:

  • Unboxing is ridiculously simple, and that’s what Fitbit has gotten right.  You can take it out of the box, charge it for a relatively short period of time, and pop in on.  Fitbit has also made it really simple to set up the device, or set up a second device on your phone.  The site is really really fun too!
  • The GPS hooks up really really quickly.  One of the complaints I’ve had with my Garmin (that’s overall amazing), is that depending on where you are, your Garmin might take its time to hook up.  That has not been the case with with Fitbit.  Most of my experiences with it and running (which admittedly hasn’t been a ton since my knee has been acting up), have been 20 seconds or less.  I’ve done about  dozen runs in it, so it’s pretty decent. [I have NOT tried it on a run longer than like 10 miles though, so I’m interested to see how it holds up to 20-milers.]
  • You aren’t gonna lose it like you did the Fitbit Flex.  I’m not proud.  I got drunk and lost my Fitbit at my sister’s wedding.  Also at Elon Homecoming.  Fitbit was great, and replaced it, but because there was that weird band thing, it would just pop off and lose itself.  This one has that watch band, so it won’t just run off.
  • The price.  Eh it’s $250.  That’s annoying.
  • Notifications.  It’s smart, so it hooks up to your Bluetooth, and your texts and phone calls come through.  Honestly, it was really cool at first, but kind of annoying when you’re on the treadmill and you’re being notified of this and that.  Like…no.  I don’t want you to be able to find me.
  • Custom workouts.  Love this feature.  You can turn on a timer/tracker thingie for weightlifting, elliptical, running, hiking, and just a general workout.  Very very cool.

Overall, I think if you have $250 and the itch for a new toy, this is a decent buy.  I definitely see it making some cool improvements over the years – I would love to see color and a more sleek face, similar to the Apple Watch (come to MAMA with that bit of tech), but for us mortals, I think the Surge is a fun and really useful addition, especially for us runners who’d been asking for something like this from FItbit for a minute.

Do you have any type of Fitbit or activity tracker?  Why or why not?

Weekend updates!

I hope your weekend was really good.  I’m surprised I’m still standing upright, because I got a toooon of stuff done.

BeagleSo for starters – if you’ve come to our house in the last year or so, I’ve sworn up and down that we were not getting any more pets.  We have two cats, and a poodle that I love dearly, but of course, I could not keep my word.  We inherited a sweet beagle named April, and we’re fostering her until we can find her a nice, sweet home to stay at.  Prilla is a typical beagle, and unlike the poodle, who’s often off the leash, sniffing around the backyard, when you open the door, Prilla jets off.  But we’re enjoying having her!

I got notice that my replacement Fitbit has shipped!  If you’ll remember, I am a complete idiot, and mere weeks after getting my Fitbit, I was dancing, and looked down a few minutes later to discover that my new fun toy was missing.  I spent the week on the phone with the company, who very graciously decided to send me another, since I’d already replaced it.  All this, just in time for my next new toy…

fitbit.0The Fitbit Surge, the answer to the problem that EVERY single runner that owns a Fitbit has – how dumb do I look wearing my Garmin and my fitness tracker at the same time….

Now to convince my husband that I need another gadget (I don’t)….

CardSpeaking of that sweet man that I love, I was at the paper store to pick up some cards, and found this!  How cute, right?  It’s by a company called Emily McDowell, and the creativity that just oozes off her work is simply inspiring.

Which brings me to this!

My letterpress machine showed up!  After deciding just after our wedding that I was obsessed with all things paper, I called around to some folks, one in particular in Asheville, who have antique letterpress businesses.  One girl in particular, the very sweet Nicole, from Mink Letterpress, actually called me back and walked me through getting started with pressing beautiful paper.  She told me about the Evolution Letterpress, and about a few local paper specialty shops that have workshops, so those are things that I’m really looking forward to in addition to the stationary conference in New York next Spring (if I can afford it 🙂 ).

And finally…

IMG_1454The weather here is gorgeous, and I finally, finally feel like I can run without getting nauseous.  Which comes just in TIME for my Ragnar in Vegas next month.  In two weeks, I’m running 35 miles over the course of a weekend, along with 5 other girls.  Eep!

How was your weekend?