Ice bucket challenge and fitness trackers

Winter is coming. It definitely feels like it anyway. Blimmin’ freezing, intermittent rain, darker evenings, darker mornings.

Perfect timing for my ice bucket challenge one evening after work after being nominated by my lovely husband. I sat outside and I was so cold before it had even begun. We’ve both donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (find out how to donate HERE – or text ICED55 to 70070 ).

Ice Bucket Challenge It was absolutely freezing and one of the worst experience I’ve had in a while. But I’m glad I did it. I squealed like a girl and ran inside straight away.

I think these challenges are brilliant for raising so much money and awareness for MND, ALS (the US version of the charity) and other charities too. Though I agree that millions of people (myself included) throwing perfectly good drinking water over their heads is a bit of kick in the teeth to the water charities trying to get sustainable and clean sources of water to developing countries. I think Matt Damon’s ice bucket challenge was a good example of raising awareness of this and watching it made me feel bad afterwards. Perhaps I should have run into the sea like I’ve seen quite a few people do? Either way, money is being raised and that’s something at least.

I am trying not to panic too much about the marathon at the moment. I’m living in a little bubble of apathy. I have about 4.5 weeks to go. The furthest I’ve run is 13.1 miles. I’ve run this quite a few times and feel good in terms of endurance. I only ran a few 13 milers (and one 15 miler weeks and weeks) before the Paris marathon. My concern though is that I’m banking too much on how good my experience was for Paris…surely I can’t be that lucky again right?

I can’t run for 10 days (well less than that now) and honestly I don’t even know what to think. If I dwell on this too much I get very sad. Why does running hate me so? Maybe I should have had a long time off after Paris? Probably. But I can’t dwell on what I should have done at the moment. I can’t dwell on it at all otherwise I will get very down – and I sound like such a broken record I’m sure. One thing for certain is 2014 has been an epically bad year of running for me so far.

I’m keeping my fitness up by cycling, using the dreaded cross trainer in our gym at work at lunchtime and have just purchased a floatation belt for…aqua running. I have no idea how that’s going to pan out but I plan to find out at the weekend. My physio said it’s a great idea as it’s still running but without the impact. I can run as much as like in the pool with no ill effects on my shin. Hurrah. I’ve also bought a waterproof iPod holder because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be about as exciting as watching paint dry. And I’m under no illusion that it won’t be hard work either.

On a more exciting note…Ben and me bit the bullet and bought the Garmin fitness tracker the Vivofit.

Garmin Vivofits

We originally had the Fitbits but Ben’s started to play up and there were different things about it that we disliked. For example, you can’t see how many steps you’ve actually done without looking at your phone (though there are lights that give you some indication of how close to your goal you are). You can change your goal but it’s a manual process. Normally it’s 10,000 steps. It does track sleep and it has a nice little vibrate on it for an alarm that you can set.

The Garmin is just so much more superior though. It actually has the time on it, the date, how many steps you’ve done, how that equates to miles, how close or over your goal you are and how many calories you’ve burnt (which I guess is taken from your personal data and steps). It auto updates your goal so if 10,000 is easy for you it bumps it up, or bumps it down if you’re  not hitting your goal. You don’t have to charge it every week which was so annoying about the Fitbit. The battery for the Vivofit lasts a year and then you buy another battery. I also use a Garmin watch to track my runs so it uses the same Garmin Connect app which is nice.


And it tracks your sleep as well.


All very interesting. I love stuff like this as it honestly encourages me to walk and move more. As I can’t run I’m very conscious of the activity I do and take Alfie for longer walks and move more at work.

I’d really recommend the Vivofits if that’s your thing. I’m a data geek so it really appeals to me! I could hook my HR monitor up to it as well (more data!) but I’m still nursing my sore chest (least that will heal nicely before I ravage it again running!)

Have you done the ice bucket challenge? What are your thoughts?

Have you ever done aqua running? Any tips?

Do you own or want a fitness tracker?

25 Replies to “Ice bucket challenge and fitness trackers”

  1. I didn’t realise you were injured 🙁 just remember your running friends know how annoying it is to be out of action, and although it probably feels like everyone is running when you want to be, everyone has their injury/out of action season. You’re right in that yours has been a bit of a recurring bitch this year, but hopefully you’re getting it all out of the way this year and next year will be a season of injury free strong running!
    If it’s an condolence I have yet to attempt any run over 5 miles since starting back… So I’m envying your long runs!

  2. Oooh I am a massive stat geek and that looks amazing! I’ve heard of the fitbits but didn’t realise garmin had their own thing going on…..might have to have a browse :-). Really sorry that you’re still suffering with niggles, it’s just not fair :-(. Try and keep sane. I’d be really interested in hearing how you get on with aqua running. I’ve never tried it, although I can imagine it getting boring after not very long. Having the music with you should help – good luck!
    Autumn recently posted…Crash and BurnMy Profile

  3. I’ve done the ice bucket challenge after being nominated by my colleague. I’ve seen lots of sniping about it online but I think it’s brilliant – it’s raised SO much money for very worthy causes that would have really struggled for even half the attention normally and raised awareness of devastating conditions. I did it at 6.30am, it was definitely a rude awakening!
    Ooo that Garmin looks incredible, I’m definitely going to check it out. I’m a bit of a number geek and if I’m not doing a workout, I like to see I’m staying active so use a step tracker on my phone. It isn’t amazing though and really drains the battery.
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…Hiking, Harry-Dog and the hamsterMy Profile

  4. Oh no I didn’t realise you were off running again 🙁
    Those Garmin things look so fancy- love the look of them.
    I have not done the ice bucket challenge- I don’t mind this viral stuff (like the no makeup selfie) but I really wish people would just give to charity without having to bang on about it the whole time. I think also a lot of people do the challenge and forget to donate too.
    I watched a good clip with a newscaster giving people other tips on how to support charities instead. I just donated to water aid as also I am not 100% sure on the ethics of the charity- I think they perform rather unethical experiments on animals, and also I figure they will get plenty. Plus the UK government were matching donations so it seemed a better one to give to. Not a good time of year to be covered in ice either!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Battenburg BakingMy Profile

    1. I know – off AGAIN. Ridiculous. It’s laughable really.
      Yes it is sad that it’s come to the point that it need something like the ice bucket challenge to get people to donate. My argument for it though is that people are donating as the charities are saying so much money has been raised and it has raised an awareness. I didn’t know that about the charity with the animal testing though. That’s terrible 🙁
      A few people I know have delayed theirs as they have colds! Can’t be good at all really…
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Ice bucket challenge and fitness trackersMy Profile

      1. Oh yes I do think it is good to get people to donate to charities if they don’t usually- I think the charity has raised something like 10x what it raised last August, so it does help.
        I think to be honest that most research and medical charities test on animals- it is terrible but then I think most medicines are tested that way. In the end I figured that they had so many donations that I would go to a different charity.
        Yeah one of our friends is not doing his until next weekend (and he is hoping for warmer weather too). Although the other thing is that I heard that they reckon 40% of people who do the challenge have not actually donated! But at least 60% of people have so it all helps in the end.
        Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Battenburg BakingMy Profile

          1. It was the same with the no make up selfie thing- again it raised money, so all good, but I think a lot of people were more obsessed with getting comments about “oh babes you look fab with no make up on” instead of mentioning the charity. Ah well, so long as some people do then it helps in the end! 🙂
            Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Battenburg BakingMy Profile

  5. Yes, I have a bit of mixed feelings about the ice bucket challenge. I have been nominated a couple of times, but I think I am just going to donate, and not waste the water.

  6. A) Thank you for donating to the cause!! One of my best friends just found out her dad has ALS, and he’s pretty young so it’s really, really sad. When I think about what she and her family are going through/will go through in the next few years, I just want to cry. Thank goodness for the ice bucket challenge. I took the challenge as well. 🙂 B) Those Garmins look awesome! I love that it converts the steps to miles so you can view the data any way you want. My birthday is coming up and I might just ask for one of those…
    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats recently posted…WIAW #85: Meet VeronicaMy Profile

  7. Im so sorry to hear your injured girlie! Please rest and let your injuries heal!

    I refuse to do the ice bucket challenge after hearing that 73% of the raised funds for ALS don’t actually go towards research towards the disease. (read here…

    Its a laugh anyway even if you do choose to do it! haha.
    lucie recently posted…5 Ways To Manifest AbundanceMy Profile

  8. I use a jawbone, and I am a total stats geek, I love all the feedback. I’m not even cross training for Berlin, I’ve done pretty much nothing for 3 weeks and feel like my fitness is ebbing away. I think I should of taken a big break after the ultra, oh hindsight! I am taking a long time off after Berlin (if I make it!) ALS is a cause quite close to my heat as Nick’s grandad has the disease, but I don’t support the challenge at all, it’s an incredible waste of water, especially when you consider the amount of people who are sick/dying because they don’t have access to clean drinking water. Also I just feel like a lot of people are doing it to get others peoples approval/recognition, which I think is sad, I don’t understand why we can’t just quietly donate to charity and why everything has to be so “public”.
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…Berlin (not) Marathon Training Week 11My Profile

    1. Yes I am with you with the waste of water. I regret not doing my challenge in a more sustainable way – like using old shower or bath water (nice eh?), or the sea.
      I do think it’s good when people collectively start thinking about charities though. It is extremely sad that it takes something like this social media frenzy to get people to donate but whatever the motivation, raising money is a good thing. I donate regularly through the year as I sponsor everyone I can in different racing events and challenges. I don’t have just one charity I donate to.
      In terms of Berlin, ack Ben and me are talking lots and lots about doing it or not doing it. It’s horrible 🙁 Fingers crossed you’ll be fine too.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Jam-packed active weekendMy Profile

  9. Firstly, sorry to hear you’re injured… I hope you are back to full running strength soon but well done for not ‘toughing it out’ and making things worse!

    Secondly, well done for the Ice Bucket Challenge. MND is a hideous disease which Phil’s mum suffered from. Although I didn’t know her as she passed away when Phil and I hadn’t been together very long, I have seen what it does to the family of sufferers. I know there have been very mixed views of the challenge but, fund raising aside (although that’s been AWESOME), if it’s meant just a fraction of the participants have done a little research about MND then it will have done an amazing job.

    It’s funny you should post about the Fitbit. I recently ‘enquired’ on a running forum about these activity trackers as I am interested to know more about what they do, how they work and, crucially, if they work.. The varied responses I got was amazing. I was hardly even aware these things existed never mind how many there were and what the various pros and cons are of the different makes. I love stats and can be a little bit of a lazy bones so I might consider getting one. One question though – how does the sleep tracking work? Oh, and another, is the vibrate on them really enough to wake you?

    Keep well, keep cycling & cross training and keep positive.
    Liz recently posted…The Final CountdownMy Profile

    1. Sorry to hear about Phil’s mum. I’m totally with you on the challenge raising awareness. I think it’s a good thing to at least make people less ignorant about things like this. I like that you were sustainable in your challenge!
      I’m quite a light sleeper so the vibrate worked really well for me. It does vibrate quite a few times but I’d say it’s not as intense a vibration as an iPhone?
      For the Fitbit you had to set when you were about to go to sleep on your phone – like selecting a “I’m about to go to sleep” option. Then you’d turn it off when you woke up.
      The Garmin, you just hold the button down until it says “Sleep” and then it automatically turns off when you’re awake and fully moving around.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Jam-packed active weekendMy Profile

  10. I read this last week and meant to post then but obviously never did for some reason!
    Really interested to see you’ve written about the Garmin Vivofit. Loads of people at our running club have recently started wearing fitness trackers. I am a massive data geek as well and have been thinking about getting one for a while. I love that it keeps track of your sleep as well as that’s something I always forget to think about when things don’t go so well with my runs. I’m going to see how much money I have left at the end of the month and then possibly treat myself for my birthday! 🙂
    Mary recently posted…The wedding morningMy Profile

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