Thursday, 23 August 2012

I Learned Two Things Yesterday...

#1. Going for a walk in my chunky work heels feels fine when I start out, but feels like I am walking on razor blades by the time I get home.  A 10 minute walk is fine in these shoes.  A 25 minute walk is stupid.  Mental note: change into walking shoes before trying that again.

#2. GPS reception in downtown Toronto is really craptacular, what with all the towers. 

The GPS track for my walk home last night looks more like a random drunk walk than a track of where I actually walked, as you can see from the trace, above.  You have my word that I did not do nearly as many loop-de-loops as is suggested here, nor did I tunnel through several buildings.  You can trust that I am lazy enough to take the most direct route places on most occasions, even when I am going out of my way to do so - - no loop-de-loops for me!

Last night, in a fit of enthusiasm (no doubt brought on by lack of chocolate), I decided that instead of doing the direct 4 block walk to my apartment (which takes all of 8 minutes), I would walk one block west and then one block north before heading back for home.  I tracked my walk with the Runkeeper app, and along the way I kept checking to make sure that I had a GPS signal. 

I had a GPS signal all right, but I work in the financial district, at King and Bay street for the locals, which is essentially a forest of skyscrapers in all directions.  If it isn't the office buildings, it's the new condos that are springing up like mushrooms wherever there is undeveloped or underdeveloped land.  There are sidewalks that are constantly in shadow from all the towers, a reality which I find a little bit sad. 

As you can see, all of those towers do a really good job of reflecting GPS signals all over the place, turning what is otherwise a fairly straightforward walk into something much more exciting looking. 

When I got home I was initially thrilled to see that I had [allegedly] walked 1.8 miles, at least according to Runkeeper.  When I looked at the map, however, I saw why the mileage was so high - - the GPS had me walking three steps back for every one step forward, making extra laps of some areas and completely skipping others.  While I trust that I did walk 25 minutes (at least according to my sore feet), the mileage is completely fictitious.  Too bad - I would have liked to see how it turned out.  But this neighborhood is brutal for GPSs, at least the commercial kind in my iPhone.

#3. [I know, I said I learned 2 things when there are really 3 things.  There are always 3 things with me, and you just need to get used to it].  Wearing a suit when going on a walk is a really stupid idea.  I sweat like a linebacker at the best of times, and doing so whilst wearing a black suit is just plain uncomfortable.

Lesson learned - - my next intentional walk will be in appropriate sweat-wicking clothing,  with comfortable walking shoes.  The hiking shoes and workout shirt I have worn on my past few walks are perfect for just this kind of thing.  Almost as if they were designed for walking.  Hmmm...

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