Garmin Fenix 2

Well I couldn’t take it any longer. I bought the Fenix 2. Look for a review on this beast soon.

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Strava v.s. DailyMile v.s. Garmin Connect

I love to use technology. It is what I do for a living and what I do in my personal life. I am a geek in just about everything I do. Gadgets, gadgets, and more gadgets!  Running is no different.  I need to be able to track my progress and view routes or races, give encouragement, and get feedback. It motivates me! I have also always been into GPS and mapping even before I became a running.

dailymileI started using DailyMile a few years ago and loved the social aspect of the site.  The DailyMile team is a small team of part-time developers the last time I checked and their site suffers from it.  I decided to support the site and pay the $50 a year membership fee a couple of years ago. Not because of the features they offered but just to support their growth.  I figured I can’t complain about what the site lacks if I don’t support them.  Fast forward two-year and to be honest what you get for the premium account just isn’t worth it any more.  The rate at which additional features and functionality get added or even fixed is so slow.   Stagnant is a better word for it and to top if off many parts of the site are just too difficult to use.  The races feature is one of those features that is borderline unusable.  The stats page is just so-so. As anything but a weekly stats option it is frustrated to use.

The best thing about Daily Mile is the social aspect and I have met many of the people who read my blog on DailyMile.  But lately since my Garmin 305 battery has dropped down to only 2 hours of life I have had to use the Garmin Fit app to track my runs.  It is an automatic upload to the Garmin Connect site and that means Daily Miles is now the bastard son. Most of my runs now get added once a week to DailyMile and this just about kills the social aspect.  Don’t even get me started on the issues that DailyMile has had with their sync option.  It is better today but for a good year it only worked a third of the time.

garmin Garmin Connect has always been my back up for tracking runs since it lacked the social aspect of Daily Mile.  Having had a Garmin device since I started running it is just easy to get the data up to their site.  Looking at past data is a breeze and everything is right in front of you for filtering.  They recently added a calendar system that is better than what you pay for with DailyMile.  Lately I am going to the Garmin site almost exclusively to review run data.  Garmin just released a big update and the new site is even better.

The Garmin site does lack the social aspect and that is my biggest complain of using Garmin Connect exclusively.  I do follow a few other runners on Garmin Connect but it is only looking at their runs and not interaction at all.

strava_logoNow enter Strava. I fist heard of Strava a couple of years ago when found a Gu challenge online. You ran some distance over a month period and Gu would send you a pack of Gu samples.  The package was better the farther that you ran. That was why I created a Strava account. After the promotion was over I never really paid much attention to their site.  But I have to stay the Gu promotion was great!

After my frustration with Daily Mile the past few weeks I happen to check out Strava again via their iPhone app a few weeks ago.  The design of the app and their website is fantastic and very easy to use.   The social option seems to be much better than Garmin Connect but I don’t know anyone that uses Strava right now. If you are on Strava find me please!

The big question mark for me with Strava is how to sync past data.  I wanted to export all my Garmin runs and import them to their site to test their stats page out.  After a little digging I finally found the answer to the export problem. Tapiriik.com worked flawlessly for me last night. I moved 2-3 years of runs and bike ride in about 20 minutes with a few clicks. It support a lot of other sites when transferring data.

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Now that I have all my data on Strava I am finding that to really use the full features of the site you need to pay for their premium site. Right now I am debating if I cancel my DailyMile premium account and move that over to Strava.

I am having a new running watch delivered today. Another Garmin watch so Garmin Connect is here to stay. I am struggling with how to get the social fix since Garmin just doesn’t cut it. So my question for my visitors is what site do you use? Maybe I am too narcissistic and you don’t need that feedback as much as I do. Maybe this has to do with the fact that train alone. I don’t know. Either way I am frustrated right now with the technology, tracking data, and the social aspect of it all.

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2014 Race Schedule Update

I am so ready to race I can’t stand it.  I have been fairly consistent in my winter training since December. I never seem to run enough training miles but what else is new.  Regardless, let’s race!  Here is a quick update on what I am thinking for racing now.

I am still looking for a July and August Race. If you know of any in the midwest post a comment with a link.

  1. April 26th: Frisco Railroad Run 50m in Missouri
    I am running the 50 mile and my wife and son are running the half marathon. All recovered old railroad tracks filled over with crushed gravel.  Very flat course so hoping for a 50 mile PR.  This will be the first half marathon for by my wife and son.  It should be an exciting race!
  2. May 10th: Rock-On, Lake Perry! 50k in Missouri
    I love running the Trail Nerd events down in Missouri.  Bad Ben is the best race director and there is always a lot of running having a great time! 
  3. May 31st: Dam to Dam Half Marathon in Des Moines
    A local half marathon never hurts the ultra training. I may run this with my wife and encourage her along the way. This is another race my son is doing as well.
  4.  June 28th: North Fork 50 mile in Colorado
    My second year running this race.
  5. November ??: Wild Sebastian 100 mile in Florida
    My first 100!
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Golden Gate Bridge Run

I had the opportunity to get out for a run in San Francisco. I was there for work last Tuesday and had a few hours to burn. I thought it would be around a 10 mile run but it turned out to be just over 14 miles. Crossing over the bridge on a run was on my running bucket list and I’m happy to say I have checked that one off!

This was my second attempt at using the new GoPro while out on a run. After I returned home and started to edit the video I quickly realized I would have shot a lot more video. I’m looking forward to getting out on our local tails for my next installment of running video adventures. The trails just need to dry out first.

Categories: Training, Video | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

GoPro Testing

I picked up a GoPro last this week. I am going to document each race this year with video.  Today was super windy and I am really impressed how well the GoPro eliminated any wind sounds.  That is always a big problem with shooting video outside.  The only odd sounds were when I was switching hands in the video and my wedding ring hit the GoPole than I am using to hold the GoPro.  I can’t want to shoot video durring a race out in Colorado so you can see the epic landscapes I get to run through.

I will be posting more on the GoPro and the accessories I purchased in a later post. For now check out the video from today’s run.

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2014 Ultra Race Schedule

I have been thinking of what ultra to race in 2014.  To raise the bar this year I want to complete a 100k and maybe 100 miler.  The 100k has been on my mind for over a year now.  My lack to training in late 2012 cost me the chance to run a 100k in 2013.  The 100 miler is aways on my mind and is my ultimate ultra goal.   I did take Oct. and Nov. off this year and it did help the nagging injuries I had from the North Fork.  Now with Dec. coming to an end I am very happy where I am at in my training. I am back to a solid base with the DecemBeard 100 challenge I have been doing.  Legs feel strong and despite running every day all month I feel refreshed and excited for the 2014 season.

Here is what I plan to run in 2014.  This works out really nice since it builds the distance of each race to the final race in November for my fist 100 mile ultra.  Here is the schedule.

  1. Feb 8th: Psycho Wyco 50k in Kansas
    This is a race that I have not done before.  Being in Feb it will be interesting how I do since I will only have 2 months into my training.  I only hope it is not cold and snow on the group.
  2. April 14th: Free State Trail Run 40 mile in Kansas
    I have done the Free State race for the last three years. Each year I did the trail marathon distance.  They also have 100k and a 40 miler. I won’t be ready for the 100k but I will move up to the 40 mile distance in 2014.
  3. June 28th: North Fork 50 mile in Colorado
    This will be my second time running the NF50.  Last year it was very hard due to the CO elevation.  I completed the race but with a few injuries. This year the goal is to cut an hour off my time and come out of it injury free.
  4. November ??: Wild Sebastian 100 mile in Florida
    The race date for the Fall version of the Wild Sebastian is not set yet but last year it was November 16th.  This entire month or December I have been asking myself if not 100 mile race this year then when?  2014 seems as good a year as any.  With a November date I really don’t have any excuses not to be ready.   I picked this race for a few reasons. First my in-laws are in Florida so it is very convenient.  Next it should be right around my 47th birthday.  Last, this event has a very unique race format.  The course is 25 mile loops. They offer a 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile options.  You register for the distance you want to complete.  If you fall short then you are credited with the last full lap you completed.  So as long as I register for the 100 I could still PR on distance even if I fell short and only completed the 75 mile distance.  The farthest distance between aid stations is less than 4 miles.  When I add it all up it should be an excellent way to run my first 100 mile ultra.

I may have a few other races in between these around Des Moines that are not ultra distances. If I can make the entire year injury free then the 100 will be clearly in my sites come November

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DecemBeard 100 – Week 3 Update

Not a very good week.  The weather was terrible. There is only one weather issue that I can’t manage running in and that is ice.  We have had sheet ice on 80% of all sidewalks for the last week. It has made running outside slow and a dangerous.  I don’t mind snow or low temps but ice makes it impossible to keep any pace up.    I am just doing what I can right now. It is going to be a rough week to reach 100 miles but I am giving it my best.

 

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DecemBeard 100

It is hard to believe that it has been September since my last post.  For December I set a 100 mile month goal to start off the 2014 season.  This will get me into a good spot come January and I should be able to  hit the trail running.   Pun intended!

Here is the current progress with 2 weeks into the month.  I should also note that November I did not run at all.  The schedule below has me at 116 miles for the month. The extra 16 is a nice buffer since I knew it would be slow going for a few weeks with a no run November.  If I hit all projected miles the last two  weeks of the  month I’ll be at 113 miles.  All the miles so far except 3 have been outside.  The coldest run was -1 last month for 5 miles.

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I hope the winter is treating you all well and you are ready for 2014 ultra season!

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Quick Update

It has been a while since I posted. I am happy to report that I am 100% off injured reserve. The knee took some time to heal. Much longer than I was expecting but I am going on two weeks now without any knee issues. I am feeling really good and up to this week legs have felt really fresh. 

Last week I post a 40 mile week and I was pretty excited about that. I am currently running a 9 day run streak and plan to keep it going to the end of this week. A full 14 day run streak will be a nice accomplishment for me.  After this week I will get back to a couple rest days and plan my weekly running around the long run.

Here is how last week looked. No long run but pretty steady with half of these being trail runs.

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I still plan to get in at least one 50k this year. Maybe a second one if I can siwng it.  I am started to think about my first 100 in 2014 so I need to get on finding the right race and registering for it.

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Knee Injury Update

I have not been running much at all since the NF 50 mile. I think only two runs to be exact. After a week of vacation post race the knee was feeling just fine. I attempted a run two Monday’s ago. Ran about 4 miles and after the run the knee felt like it did right after the 50 mile. Very painful but reserved to a specific part of my knee cap. Very painful on the top inside of the knee cap. No pain inside of the knee at all. No pain on the sides or below the knee cap.

I decided to take another week off of running but I have been biking. Biking gives me no problems at all. So the issue has to be impact related that is aggravating things. After another week of resting I ran on Sunday with my wife. After the first 1.5 miles it started acting up. Not as bad as the previous Monday run but still painful. After I stopped running there was no chance of running any more that day. I iced it and stayed off of the leg as much as possible. Within 24 hours is feels fine to walk and bend the knee. That is the same it felt after the first run a week ago. I feel like I could go run right now. But I know it will act up after the first mile.

Here is a photo of my knee and I have circled the issue area.

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The pain during and after running is entirely on the surface of my knee cap. It never extends past the circle I drew for the photo. I’m convinced that I just tore the ligaments attached to the knee cap. I should also point out that I had swelling after the race but nothing after the first week post race. I also never had any bruising at all.

So another week is my guess of light activity and hope the pain keeps receding.

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