Thursday, January 1, 2015

#66 - There and Back Again

A couple of years ago, I found this wonderful (to me) website that had a health challenge that actually made me feel inspired to try it.  The Eowyn Challenge is named after the most prominent female character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - note that I am talking about the books here rather than the movies.  The challenge itself is quite a simple concept - the route that the characters take through the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books has been mapped out with corresponding mileage and is available on the site ... to take the challenge, you keep track of your own mileage (walking, biking, etc) and compare it to the site's form at the end of the day to see how far you have progressed through the books.  Because this is an older website, some of the features are no longer actively supported - alas, I could not send out virtual postcards from the Prancing Pony when I reached Bree - but there are message boards on the My Fitness Pal website where you can discuss your progress with others.

I decided to keep track of my walking (with a pedometer worn daily) and my exercise biking (mileage counter built into the bike).  I lost multiple pedometers in the course of the project - mostly as part of my daily routines.  I've tried to meet the 10,000 steps per day ideal in the past, but it didn't not keep my attention in the same way as this goal.  A lone number goal was not as inspiring as seeing if I could make it to the next landmark in the books.  I definitely got more mileage from riding the bike than walking ... I tried to console myself that the characters in the books were on horseback or in boats for a surprising amount of the distance they traveled.  I had always mostly pictured them on foot, but when you look at the distances on the website, it is clear that much of the distances were covered in a different manner (although the problems always seemed to come when they were on foot).

In all, I traveled over 8,943 miles to meet this goal over the course of about 22 months  That number includes the side trips listed on the site as bonus miles and the extra miles that I put in on the last day of working on each section of the trip.  Definitely a great challenge and a good way to inspire a Tolkien lover like myself to move around a little more each day!