17 May 2011

[running: What I Learned Today.]

I hate feeling like a liar.  I mean, I didn't know ... I wasn't trying to be dishonest ... I just didn't know.  Truly.

What am I talking about?  My runs ... my distances ... my times.


So ... here's what happened.

As you well know, I have an app on my IPhone called "runmeter".  It was a $4.99 app and I have LOVED using it.  It gave me a ton of info, documented my stats, GPSed my routes ... But then - after using it for almost a year *duh* - I started noticing small things.  Like if an email came through while I was running - and I didn't dismiss it - it messed up the time stat.  Or sometimes the GPS would cut out ... and I would run the same exact route, and it was less - or more distance than the last time I ran it.

So ... my hubby bought me the Nike chip for Mother's Day and I slipped it into my bright orange Nikes, started up the app on my IPhone and was done.  Or so I thought.

I couldn't believe how much of a better runner I was *grin*.  I took off 6 minutes on my 5km.  The 10km I was running was now 12km and so on ... How wonderful to think that I was actually doing MORE than I thought ... it was obvious that the IPhone app was a joke.

Beh.  Here's the thing ... when it seems too good to be true - it probably is *wink*.

So after posting a pic of my latest run and it's stats, a friend of mine commented asked if I had calibrated my chip. 


I read the article she had posted ... she said how much she knew I loved accuracy *boy, does she know me well* - and thought that I would want to make sure the chip was doing what it was supposed to.

Well.  That depends ... *grin*.  Is it gonna burst my bubble?  Ignorance is bliss, you know *wink*.  

I wasn't sure how to calibrate ... I've run a few times, tried to calibrate - only to realize that when they say, "how far did you actually run" and to enter the info in - I didn't know the answer.  I mean, that's why I HAVE the silly chip, no?  I want IT to tell me, not me to tell IT *rolling my eyes*.

Instead, I did my homework.  I went to google maps and went through all of my regular routes to see what their actual distances are.  And the short routes were almost exact, but the longer routes got more and more out-of-whack.

What does all this mean?

It means that I haven't run as far or as fast as I have thought.  It's frustrating - in the same way one would be frustrated if they thought they were only 2lbs from their goal weight, only to find that the scale was actually 7lbs off ... And honestly?  It's a bit embarrassing - because the exhilaration I was feeling - it was false.

So ... today I ran the google-maped route of 5km, ran it with the chip, calibrated - and now, hopefully, all of my runs will be accurate.


A small glitch, but a glitch, none-the-less.

The truth is, when it said that I ran 5km in 25min last week - I was rather stunned.  Today - after calibrating - I ran 5km in 00:29:32.  And honestly?  All I have EVER really wanted was to do it in under 30min.  And I did.  So I need to be proud of myself for that ... taking off 5min from my 5km run over the last 4 months is a big accomplishment for me.  And I'm not done ... I can still try to increase my speed.

And the 17km that I ran?  Well ... I can't be 100% accurate on that, but I'm GUESSING it was closer to 15km, based on my google map measurements.  So.  15km.  Not too shabby ... and honestly?  I can do 17km next time, right?

We'll see *grin*.

So ... I learned a lot about fancy schmancy watches and chips and iPhone apps and reality.  I learned that I need to make sure I know what I'm doing, before I start - and especially if I'm going to share it with others.

And again ... if it sounds too good to be true, if it makes you so much better than you actually thought ... you should get a second opinion - unless you're like me and think living in a bubble is actually fun *grin*.

Tomorrow?  I'm heading to the seawall to run 10km with a friend ... the sun will be out, and I am so excited ... but nervous about running with someone.  She and I are both pretty competitive.   I think I might just not time this run - and let myself enjoy it, instead of attack it.  We'll see ... maybe not.  I'm much more of an "attack it" kinda person *wink* ... 

AND ... there's another post on my RedHanded Photography blog HERE ... a little preview ... 

Have a great one! 

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