Of walking (or not) and dodgy pedometers

Once upon a time I walked 100km. In just under 36 hours. I did this as part of the Oxfam Trailwalker fundraising event back in 2010. The challenge was to walk 100km as a team of four in less than 48 hours. It was an amazing experience — and very very tough. (If you’re interested, our Trailwalker team blog is here.)

The reason I bring this up now is because all I can think about is how much I wish I was wearing a pedometer back then. Not only during the event, but during all the months leading up to it. I hate to think how many kilometres I walked from October 2009 and April 2010 as we trained and trained and trained.

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I’m participating in the Global Corporate Challenge — a 16-week event aimed at getting desk-bound workers moving. I’ve been wearing a pedometer for nine weeks now, trying to average 10,000 steps a day. I was managing it for a few weeks, but recently I’ve been struggling (partly, I recently discovered, due to a dodgy pedometer) and my average has slipped.

This is really difficult for me to handle! Just as I set out to walk 100km within 48 hours two years ago and succeeded, I embarked upon this Global Corporate Challenge with every intention of blitzing it. Surely it couldn’t be that hard to average 10,000 steps a day? Even when I determined it was around an hour a day’s dedicated walking, I thought it would be achievable.

Moreover, this weekend, there’s an added challenge to coincide with the start of the Olympic Games… Over four days (starting yesterday) we’re supposed to target a marathon distance. That’s 42km — approximately 65,000 steps — in four days. Or 16,500 steps a day. Show me such a challenge and all I want to do is achieve it.

After all, it’s less than HALF the Trailwalker distance, and I did that in under two days…

It all comes down to time. One of the reasons I probably won’t ever do Trailwalker again is because of the time investment. For seven months the training consumed me — every weekend and most weeknights. I certainly didn’t make any progress on my WIP. But I considered it a worthwhile endeavour.

With the Global Corporate Challenge, it’s been a challenge to squeeze in the exercise required to average 10,000 steps. Despite my fully functioning elliptical trainer — which I love. But invariably, it’s eating into my evenings — which is my writing time. My time. While I believe the Global Corporate Challenge is also a worthwhile endeavour, this time I’m not willing to make the same sacrifice.

It doesn’t seem possible to succeed at everything, all at once. Alas.

So this is why, when I consider the Global Corporate Challenge and my sub-par average of 9,400 steps, I can’t help but think wistfully back to when I did put walking before writing for a brief period of time… Man, I would have nailed this weekend’s marathon challenge back then!

7 thoughts on “Of walking (or not) and dodgy pedometers

  1. Wow – 100km in under 36 hours? That is impressive. So is your daily average of steps. While it may be under your target goal, walking over 9000 steps every day is nothing to sneeze at. I walked a marathon a few years ago and the training was so time consuming, especially when you worked up to the the 20 mile training days. When things start eating in to our writing time, it can get immensely frustrating. That’s why I still have the fantasy of getting a treadmill and outfitting it with a desk/shelf to put my laptop on at work. That way I can be walking (at a very slow pace, but walking nonetheless) all day long.


    1. It sounds like your training for walking the marathon was similar to our training for 100km… Our longest training walks were close on 50km! Yes, it was a massive effort.

      I fantasise about treadmills and writing too — but the sheer fact is I don’t actually think I could do it. I suppose if it were slow enough…


  2. 9400 steps a day. Wow. That’s fantastic. So it doesn’t EXACTLY meet your goal, but that is an incredible achievement. You inspire me to walk…say../ummm…a 2000 steps, maybe. I’ve got to get my pedometer out and get going. Keep on writing.


  3. You go, girlfriend! I’d say if you’re hitting 9400 steps and getting some writing done, you’re winning.


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