Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shaking the sinus cold and favorite app

Yesterday the sinus cold that I picked up over Christmas was really kicking me, and a four mile walk pretty much took it out of me. Felt pretty rotten last night, but got to bed by 9:00 and slept straight through until almost 7:00 this morning...I almost NEVER do that. It seems that I'm almost always up to answer a nature call, or let one of the dogs out to do the same, but for some reason the dogs left me alone and I slept straight through. My head feels quite a bit better this morning (not perfect, but much better), although I do seem to have picked up a bit of a dry cough. Hopefully this will all subside so I can still do the long run tomorrow...if not I'll postpone a day or so, since I don't want this to be an epic fail due to any lingering weakness from the sinus thing.

I think I mentioned previously that I'm a RunKeeper fan. I found this application at the end of May, and since I was primarily walking right at first (and then cycling), it was easy to carry my phone with me. I just put it in a fanny pack along with a copy of my drivers license and insurance card. The application is very good with it's accuracy...probably about 96% to 98% accurate. It can be a bit weird on corners sometimes, but with the various twists and turns I typically do on routes, it all evens out. I've checked the reported distances with the car odometer several times, and it is always spot-on. After the workout, I just hit the Done button, then Save and it saves it on the phone and uploads the data to the cloud / website for further review. It reports mile splits, and elevation which is kind of cool. Of course it also reports an overall total elevation climbed, calories expended (based upon weight that you enter on the website), MPH, pace, distance, and overall time.

After the workout, you can access three screens of information on the phone. The first is sort of a summary page. The screen shots are from my walk yesterday...

The second gives you mile splits:

And the third provides a map of your route:

In years past I was never a fan of running with anything, but I found that when I added running to my workouts this summer that if I simply put a wadded up plastic Wal-Mart bag in the pouch and then put the phone in, it didn't bounce around, and I've been doing it that way ever since. I also added a flashing red clip-on bicycle light to the back strap (so I can be seen from behind), and due to some dog / people issues, started carrying a small pepper spray canister (about 4 inches tall, and an inch around).

Another "toy site" I also use (it's free to do so) is the Earndit site, which is kind of interesting. This company has several partners that offer discounts that you can "purchase" with points you earn from workouts. It interfaces with RunKeeper (as well as Garmin Connect, Nike+, FitBit, BodyMedia Fit, and check-ins at Fitness Centers via Foursquare), and will give you 10 points per mile for walking or running (as long as there is map data, which means it can't be on a treadmill), and 3 points per mile for cycling. There is also 15 to 20 points given per day for a check-in at a gym (20 points if you are a mayor). There is a maximum of 60 points per day, and virtual trophies for various accomplishments. That would certainly not appeal to everyone, but it is kind of cool and the price was right.

Till tomorrow...happy running everyone !


  1. I hope you feel better!

    Cool apps, it is nice to have a way to track your workouts if you don't have a running watch. When Mike and I first started running I wish we had downloaded some of these apps!

  2. I hope you feel better! Coughs can make running hard!

    I've heard great things about Runkeeper, but I've only ever used my Garmin 305. :)

  3. My husband loves Runkeeper. Sorry to hear you've been ill - sinus colds are just awful, those knock me out. My entire family LOVED your comment on my blog about your embarrassing story - it got tons of laughs here. Totally cheered me up! Thanks!