Monday, May 20, 2013

Musings on a Monday

Hubb was asking me about Strava last night.  Something about QOMs / CRs or something and what did I use to track my runs other than the Garmin?  He isn't quite ready for tracking his rides, competitive, he is very very much, but to own up to it?  I'm a little dubious…   I know a few people who use Stravat and Rhody Seth mentioned you can track shoes.  So, yeah, I signed up last night.  Thanks for the follow Michael.  I can sync with my Garmin, so very cool, quite pleased with that.  I spent the evening downloading and adding in the shoe data for my post MCM race data.  That is when I switched to new shoes.  This is a pretty cool program, I still need to really spend sometime and poke around.  Definitely a data junkies paradise!

I have the Map My Fitness app on the iPhone and I've used that when I forget my Garmin or I haven’t charged it…  that is OK, but nothing I’m really attached to.  I did find I could load my Garmin data but then there was really nothing to do with it, so, yeah, kinda pointless...  I use it more to see what my few MMF friends are up to, and give them some encouragement.  Then there is Daily Mile, Map My Run, and a boat load of other apps I think Nike has one.  I was a little dubious starting yet another tracking devices...

I've seen this nifty graphic in blogs and wowza, so easy to pull into my blog.  None of the cropping and pasting and rigmarole with the Garmin graphics.

So cool they give you the code to down load into a blog.  Nifty!!

Not even a whole day with this and I'm digging it.  I've only spent an hour looking at this so, all y’all experts happy to hear your advice, comments, and/or suggestions smart or smart assy.

Had a nice little 4.1 mile run at work today.  For some reason I had convinced myself it was rainy and chilly outside.  It was when I left for work, and even on my walk to the fitness center it didn't register it wasn't raining.  I even checked the temp, partly sunny 59F with 95% humidity and WNW wind at 8 MPH.  Still I just HAD to wear my long sleeve shirt from the Ice Age 50.  As I ran up the first hill I was greeted by a very wimpy car horn.  One of my co-workers driving back to site.  Oh goodie, I can tease him about his girly car horn.  It went something like this “ahem, excuse me” “beep” and his big burly hand waved out the car window.  Tee hee…  Because yeah, he commented,  Beth are you ALWAYS cold? It was a little warm for long sleeves.  And you really don't wear pants do you...  Oh stuff it Gar, stuff it and turn up the heat, please!!

Nice run, three days in a row, I’ll probably take tomorrow off and go on a hike with Gizmo, he hasn't been out of the house in a while.  Although Gus has been sticking like glue to me since I got home last Wednesday… poor guy, he must have missed me, maybe he needs a hike?  Feh, tomorrow is another day, depends on who is the most pitiful when I get home from work.

Gus, watching me leave for work last Friday, he does pitiful well, doesn't he?
Catching up on current events I found a story in National Geographic on Mount Everest  got me thinking about nature and trail running and endurance.   Somehow I expected that people trained for this feat of endurance and was surprised to learn that 90% of the climbers aren't experienced and expect they will summit.  I guess if you are forking over $30K - $120K you are coming at this from a different expectation level?  4,000 people have reached the summit and the author went on to say it makes it mean a little less than it did 50 years ago.

4,000 people really isn't that many people, far less than complete marathons and ultras.  Got me to thinking about my two marathons in 90 days, my 5:09 and my 5:01, I am incredibly proud to have these times.  I did it, and it felt great don’t get me wrong, but really isn't this kind of like the more people who summit Everest make the prize that much less.  I recall back to a blog post from The EJN Show, about finishers medals and tourists in races.  I’m incredibly torn up inside over this…  I’m not fast by any means, I need to put in the effort and I will be.  It is enough to just have done it? Or not?  I think about the Gansett Marathon, the only means of entry are qualification.  I like that.  Those are some impressive runners, and with only 3 marathons in the state of Rhode Island, adds just a touch more prestige to qualifying and running in it for those folks striving to run a marathon in all 50 states.

Yeah yeah, I get the ‘you are lapping everyone on the couch’ thing.  I love my friends who think I am amazing, special, inspirational.  I love even more the ones I've been able to inspire or support to do things they've only dreamed about doing. (ahem LN)  Either physical or life changes.  But deep down inside of me I wonder, should I even call myself an athlete?  Am I a problem with the runners of today?  Am I tourist in races? To someone who finishes in the top 10 or 20 is my presence an annoyance? I don't need a medal for a 5K but that was a cool medal for the St Pat 5K in Providence... Then I think back to my second lap on the Ice Age 50 ½ marathon.  There were 50K and 50 Milers passing me cheering me on.  Oh you better believe I cheered them on!  

5K Medal...  nifty? no?

Oh good lord, do I need to go to Sports Therapy?  Maybe I need to suck it up buttercup and just do it and not worry about anything? Any of you feel like this?  I can’t possibly be alone, can I?  It’s ok if I am.  

Ok enough of that whiny girly horse crap...  The other part of this article was about the litter, both garbage and human, as in bodies and excrement along the trails.  Oh my…  I've often wondered about the process of climbing a mountain and what gets left behind, I was thinking more of gear, things shoved in the cracks in a rock to harness ropes too, that sort of stuff, not bodies, feces, or even trash.  My hubb rides the trails I run and if he ever found a discarded GU package that could be by a remote chance mine, there would be words, and vice versa.

And I kind of stop musing at this point... and pause in wonder...  I can't imagine having the privilege of climbing to the top of the world and leaving behind those sorts of traces of my presence...  I get that we all have to eat and shit and we die.  But wow.  Fortunately it isn't out of control and can be cleaned up.

Over my vacation things got all out of sorts, I misplaced my nip bottle and found it when digging for running clothes at the gym... that and just a 'few' Hammer Gels my cousin horked for me...  thanks Tobi!!

Someone used my desk at work and readjusted everything and nosed around in the box where I keep my illegal space heater.  Fortunately I don't have to deal with going to Manhattan this week, because wowza it would be car, train, bus, train after the disaster on Friday afternoon.  When exactly would I sleep?  Feh, it is what it is and can all be righted!!

Beth, kinda whiny, apologies, and really geeked over Strava!


  1. Don't be afraid to "add on" small amounts to mileage that your space watch/Strava "misses"/loses in the woods. For example, 4.77 = 5 miles. 9.48 (trails)=10 miles. Seriously, don't short change yourself on a quality effort in the woods because GPS cannot accurately keep up with you on tight twists and turns underneath the leaves!
    Enjoy Strava though. It is fun!

    1. Yeah, I get different readings from the space watch (love that term, cracks me up) on the same courses. Did a little experiment with the Strava iPhone app and it read a little off. I kinda figured it was close enough. Your point on shortchanging is very valid! Thanks!

  2. Agreed, take the trail run mileage with a grain of salt, and I've found that the iPhone seems to be a bit more accurate than Garmin (unleashes firestorm of controversy here)...but is way more bulky and not nearly as cool as your bitchin' space watches.

    As for you questioning your athleticism, the answer is yes, you are an athlete. Elite athlete? No, and neither am I, but I strive to be and so do you, and we're making progress toward that far as other runners go, I use the Nipmuck Trail Marathon as an example: double out/back, and pretty much everyone was cheering everyone on, from the top runners to the slowpokes (myself included) in back. So my presence was noticed, appreciated and encouraged, and that's what it should be like in my opinion. So it's that, or I'm the village idiot of the running scene, and everyone's just humoring me. Could go either way ;)

    1. I've tested space watch (I love that BTW, Muddy) against MMF/the iPhone app and MMF does show a longer run by a few tenths of a mile on a course I've run countless times. I even get slightly different readings from the space watch on the same course.

      Thanks for the therapy session, I'll buy you a beverage of your choice!