RunKeeper is a Keeper

I’ve got a new equipment routine now for running. Out is the iPod Nano with the Nike iPod+ and In is the iPhone 4, now using the RunKeeper app, which actually measures with GPS where you ran (I did get the new Nike+ GPS app, which some report is better GPS data than RunKeeper… more later). So what I get is a detailed map and record:

and has hooks to post to twitter, etc. And I can play whatever I want on the iPod, including podcasts… and I now have a camera when I run.

I still have numerous data tasks. RunKeeper does not have a blog widget, so I am adding each run to DailyMile. I do a data tweet to my Flowing Data which collects data listed on my Run Alan Run display. I add the time and distance to my Google spreadsheet which dynamically updates the stats on my sidebar, THEN I write a blog post.

Today’s run was supposed to be the 4 miler scheduled for yesterday, which was not possible since I flew back from Boston, and that took all day. It’s hard to rack up miles in a plane.

I’m also looking at the Runmeter iPhone app, which has a lot of compelling features. So many apps, so little time!

Scary Treadmill

What’s scary is that for so many times I have B&M’ed amout running on treadmills, today I had actually a good feeling while on the rat trap, an almost scarily enjoyable one on a hotel in Cambridge, MA.

I’m here for meetings for Thursday and Friday. While a run along the Charles River would have been nice (we’ll see if there is enough time Friday), I opted for the dreaded machine… and had a great 30 minute workout!

If this keeps up, I may have to change my whole blog.

Labor Day is Over!

After a weekend of traveling for 2 weddings in 2 cities, it’s time to get back to the labor of running. I set out to do the 30 minute loop I did last week; a shorter variation of the regular 40 minute one I did a lot last year (this one has fewer hills in it; those will come).

I did feel sluggish but felt better after the first 3/4 mile.

The next 2 weeks present some more schedule challenges with 2 more trips to 2 more cities (Wednesday-Saturday in Boston; next Tuesday to Thursday in Boise).

If I can add one more gripe on the Nike iPad+ on the iPod nano– its how freaking hard it is to tell the damn thing you are done. After running, and sweating, how logical is it to have to manipulate a click wheel and navigate to a menu? My fingers kept slipping on the damn wheel and it took well over 70 seconds to make it cooperate.

It should be a one button click or at least something easier to do to tell the #*#&^$ that you are done.

Oh, and one more– why the heck are my podcasts not a choice to listen to? C’mon, where are the interface designers? Running?

My Tuneband gets here in a week; I look forward to running with my iPhone and a GPS app.

Three The Tired Way

I got home last night at 7:00pm from a work trip to Madison, and today at 3:00pm I’m headed out again- to Phoenix for a wedding tonight and to Denver Sunday for another wedding.

Although I thiught I had a solid night’s sleep, my feel to day was really lagging. Maybe its fatigue, maybe it was the heat, maybe its the running hate kicking in. So I just plodded along, and did a few walking stretches. At least with a holiday weekend there were a lot of things and people to gawk at. An old guy I passed who was walking gave me the big “thumbs up” and yelled, “IT’S SURE EASIER GOING DOWN THIS HILL THAN UP!”

Today I ordered a Tuneband so I can run with my iPhone 4 strapped to my arm and use RunKeeper– I’ve used the app for biking and love it’s maps and stats. The iPod+ is a neat idea, but in execution its lacking. It is not measuring distance at all, just counting steps, so when I walking today, I got more credit than I covered. If it were smarter, it might detect a slower pace, or be able to slip into a walking pace calibration. And why when I set the units to be miles, for a distance run does the last bit countdown revert to meters?

Just curious.

And tired.

Down By The Lake

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

This was the first out of town run of the season (not even a week old)- I’m in Madison Wisconsin for a site visit in the planning for the 2011 NMC Summer Conference. Today’s weather was gray and moist, but the trail along Lake Monona was a great spot for a 30 minute outing.

It was nice to chat with Lance Armstrong.

Well, it was one way.

I heard his voice on my Nike iPod+ chime in.. “CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just reached the 250 mile mark.”

Thanks, buddy.

Two in a Row!

I ran again. Second time this week– first time I’ve done that in…oh… 8 months? Sunday I did 1.5 miles for first time out, this morning I did 2.6, so at this rate, adding a mile per outing, in a month I might be running 18 miles a day! Ha.

I just am going slow and steady as my body wakes up and says, “Hey, this routine is different.” I’m already feeling that bit when exercise seems to kick up the metabolism, with a midnight wake up to low blood sugar that was again sub 80 in the morning.

Now the real challenge starts as I being a September full of travel. I am headed to Madison, Wisconsin Wednesday through Friday; Saturday night I am in Phoenix for a wedding and Sunday I go to Denver for another wedding, and next Wednesday through Saturday I am in Bioston. Like the kid in Sixth Sense, “I See [dead people on] Treadmills”.

Just gotta keep going.

Note I’ve now registered for Team Diabetes to run the Jaunary 16 PF Changes. I’ll be bagging soon for sponsors, but the door is open.

Rewind. Again.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

I’m back.

I ran today for the first since, oh, since February.

2010, yes.

I had planned to take a year off from the PF Changs; I was going to get into biking, spend more time hiking, paddling. And KAPUT- I did hardly none. I need to get some regular routine for exercise; my A!C’s are still in the low 7s and I want to knock them under (I just tried the home test, which is useful, registered a 7.3) and I really need to shed 20 pounds.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Last week at a friend’s house, their Wii board rated me obese. Ouch.

But I wanted to try running silently, with no promise, before signing up for anything, or making a Big Announcement. So I charged up the iPod Nano, found my remote for the Nike+, found the neatly folded running shorts, and headed out for a short loop, expecting to collapse in a sad heap of fatigue.

For a late August Arizona day, it was delightful overcast, windy, and clean mountain air.

Actually it was not bad- pretty much my same slow pace, but I ran 1.49 miles. It’s the first step- you cannot get anywhere without doing that.

So next is to sign up again for Team Diabetes, start perstering people for pledges– and than I cannot make excuses to sit on my arse.

Gotta run. Even if I am not crazy about it.


Just Say No to Treadmills

I’m in Austin for an in Monday out Tuesday trip, but there’s nothing like being in a different city to make a run a little better. At 6:30am it was pretty damned dark out. Would this mean having to fight my hate of treadmills?

But after a light breakfast, at 7:30 it was light enough, though gray and perhaps rainy cold…. but 41 does not feel that cold compared to home.

Ran down Jacinto to the trail along Town Lake, a great running route. Just going easy, ignoring the little old ladies and crippled snails running past me. That last climb up Jacinto was an, er… nice way to finish.

Rewind? Who Me, Run?

Well, it has been 2 weeks of blissful non running, the shoes were sitting in the closet, still sporting the timer tag from the half marathon. I’d been doing some self beating up feeling like I had not run very strongly the whole route, and had to wake up and realized that all I needed to accomplish was finishing.

I’m never going to run a Boston pace, never going to blaze across the line in glory, but finishing a 13.1 mile run is something like only 1% of the people do (according to my coach, who sent a very encouraging email).

And yes, my colleagues online have called my bluff on all my “I Hate Running” attitude- if you hate it why are you doing it, they tweet.

There is a point. I don’t really like running, but doing it makes me feel healthier, and has done some good with my long term blood sugar levels. And it does feel damne good to cross that line, no matter the form.

So I want to see over the next week how it feels, and I am eyeballing a possible half marathon in April.

Today I just went out casually, doing a short run out on the muddy streets, among a lot of snow still sitting on the ground. The temperatures were nice, 50 degrees and sunny.

Ran, Run, Done.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

This, for me, is the nice part of running.

Being done. Looking back on it.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Conditions were perfect today, at the start at 6:30am it had to be close to 50°F and must of peaked in the 70s during the day. I was surprised at how many people were cold, shivering, huddled in front of generators for heat; I was comfortable, and if anything, you want to start out a bit underdressed as the body heats up.

With the staggered start, it was almost 9:00 by the time I ran under the start line, trying not to lauch too hard at our Senatorial greeter, maybe politicians should really “run” to get elected?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Today’s experience was mixed. I went out feeling great, and was doing good 10:30 paces til about mile 7, when I tooka first walk break, and at about mile 10, I was feeling the signs of low blood sugar bonking me. I had to slow down to take some glucose tablets, grab the sweetened sports drink, and I shut my insulin pump off, but it just sapped me of energy, and the last 3 miles were more walking than strong running.

And I was so excited to see my friends Lisa, Psyan, and Devon waving wildly as I went by at 59th Street- thanks for coming out to show support! That boost got me up the next mile. Devon got a picture of me smiling, hardly looking like a guy who hates running.

But I finished at 2:41, far from my best time, but also far from the worst. Without the low blood sugar, I ought to have come in in around 2:25 or 2:30 easy. It all counts as having it ran, run, and done. And nothing beats that thrill of finishing.

For fun, or maybe distraction, I carried by small, old Canon pocket camera, and tried to capture the look of the experience by holding the camera chest high with my right hand, and taking a photo about everytime my music changed on the ipod. I also took my own photo, by while running, they way I did this was to rotate the camera over towards me, so my images are mostly upside down, somehow fitting. I mixed this into a movie :

Congratulations to all 30,000+ runners today, especially my fellow team-mates on Team Diabetes, and thanks also to Coach Dave for tireless effort in leading us, as wel as Brian and Jose for helping run the organizational aspects.

And thanks to everyone who sponsored me, the response rate to my early requests were astounding, and I was able to raise $2600 towards diabetes education and care.

Don’t ask me now about any future plans to run! I am just enjoying being done