Friday, May 24, 2013

All GPS Are Not The Same

Michael (or do you normally go by Mike) these shortened names befuddle me.  My name as it is on my birth certificate is Beth.  My hippie parents tell two stories:
  1. My father wanted my initials to spell something and my last name starts with an L.   They also wanted to name me after a very strong woman, Elizabeth, on my mom's side of the family.  This sort of left them with not a lot of options:  EARL, EGAL, ENOL, EORL, EVIL, EXUL.  But B, come on, BELL completely cute for a little girl.
  2. They both wanted something easy to spell, and some variation of Elizabeth, again the whole strong woman thing.
Elizabeth, went by Lizzie, was mugged once, the Chicago police had to pull her OFF the mugger as he was yelling for her to stop.  That is the story as I remember it, and I'm sure it is pretty darn close to the truth.

Oh and I get referred to as BLS because I married a man who's last name is Smith and there was no way I was ever going to be Beth Smith, because, yeah, no...  I'll hyphenate, thank you very much.

Anyhoodles, got WAY off course there, but that plays well into my experiment today. Michael mentioned that the iPhone app for Strava was more accurate than the 'space watch'.  Muddy said that the 'space watch' looses you under cover of woods so up the miles, example 9.48 trail miles is more likely 10 trail miles.

Tuesday night I took Gus on a hike and tracked the miles using the Strava iPhone app, to see how the app worked.  Easier to fiddle with something hiking than running, right? Worked very nice. I even used it on my run with Nicole last night because I misplaced my Garmin.  Called home to see if I left it on the kitchen counter.  Hubb assured me I left Herman, wait Herman, it has a name now? on the kitchen counter and that my sunglasses were still very much lost.  My Midwest enunciation, or lack there of, gives him plenty of fodder for teasing.

This afternoon I took Gizmo on a hike and used both the Strava iPhone app and Herman.  I started both at the same time and off at the same time.

Herman tracked 2.1 miles
Strava iPhone tracked 2.8 miles

0.7 miles is a HUGE difference.  However on a very short number of miles.  There is probably something statistically significant about this, what that is, not really sure.  However, there is a high probability of a discrepancy.  I'll try both on my next longer run in the woods and see what happens.  This also explains why most, probably all, of my races in the woods come up short on miles?  Wonder if this would qualify for Mythbusters?

Oh and my miles, to the tenth, 5.3, matched Nicoles Garmin, we were running in town not totally relevant to the experiment, no woods. However, thought it was a good thing to mention.

Tomorrow is the Delaney Dash 4 Miler in Old Saybrook, CT part of the Shoreline Road Race series.  Bib pick up was today and the swag was a tote bag (never have enough of these), bottle opener for the key chain, and a beverage cozy.  Very cool!

7 is generally a good number for me,  714 would have been pretty cool, though...
Looking forward to running, or with the weather forecast, sloshing, with Don, OK reality -->  meeting up with him and his Bride at the finish line.  I'll also be on the look out for Jim aka Pete Zaria...  nice to finally put a name or rather names with a familiar face from so many local 5Ks.

Beth, curious about this GPS and looking forward to a run in the rain!


  1. Ok, can I call you Bells now? LOL I cannot explain the GPS thing and I think my head would explode if I tried. Have a great time tomorrow. 707 would be a good number for me. I like anything that reminds me of airplanes and the 707 was a good one!

    1. Good luck to you to tomorrow!!!

  2. Good luck with the race!!! And thanks for reinforcing the iPhone vs. space watch theory, I've used both at the same time and had them chirp my miles out totally differently. I don't like getting shortchanged on my mileage...

    And I go my Mike or Michael, although my running peeps have been calling me Crutch, which I'm also cool with :)

    1. Thanks Crutch! The race was good, cold and flat. I'm pleased with my 38:15. I went into it with no time goal, mostly because it was so frigging cold and windy and who knew what was going to happen...