Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gmaps Pedometer and Too Far, Too Soon

I'm a map addict. I love looking at maps, drawing maps, charting data on maps, plotting locations, playing navigator... all of it. It really dovetails nicely with my "thing" for outdoor exercise, not to mention my chosen line of work. But it's possible the map thing is getting out of hand.

I map runs and rides in my online training log at Runners World. Have been doing it for over a year now. Works pretty well, and makes it easy to pick a route from a list and have the mileage automatically pop up. Has been fun for seeing how last year's Long routes are this year's Easy. My only complaint is the straight line measuring. If I want to get an accurate number, I have to zoom in and add a whole lot of points. And, should I want to change the route later, I have to zoom in and slide point, after point, after point.

Enter the Distance app. GPS checks in every 30 seconds, and keeps me updated about pace as I go. I can also flip over to "View Route" mid run, to see where I am. (Not that I'm lost, I just like to look at the map.) When finished, the data can be uploaded to MapMyRun / MapMyRide, to keep track in a work out log. Except, I don't use their workout log, I use RunnersWorld. Still gets uploaded though, because when I quit the app, the data is forever gone. I need to be able to look it up when I get back home and add to the training log. Frankly, if not for Distance, I'd be running around staring at Garmin Data on my wrist, and I'm far too clumsy to stay safe with that kind of distraction.

And, from Google, Gmaps Pedometer.


It automatically follows the streets. No more clicking 8,000,000 points to mark an accurate route. It even picks up park trails, such as official National Park Trails. Switch between satellite, hybrid and elevation. Check your calorie burn. Get the URL for your recorded route, so you can bookmark it, email to your workout parter, link in a blog post, whatever.

Seeing as how my last couple of short runs have gone pretty smoothly, I figured I'd map out a slightly longer route, and check it against Distance. Columns Drive is close by, has a clear bike/pedestrian stripe on each side, and is relatively flat. But, mapping to the end of Columns gave me roughly 2.5 miles, for a total of five. And, that little sandy gravel path through the Chattahoochee Recreational Area starts right at the end of Columns. And, the handy dandy automatic path would find it's way to and from anywhere I clicked. Even if I clicked on the parking lot off Powers Ferry, way on the other side of the park.

8.595 miles. Eight-and-a-half. No big deal. After all, I just ran 13.1 last week. I can do 8.595.

It was cold, so wore tights, and a half zip over my shirt. Remembered gloves. Chapstick. Brought along a bottle of water, too. Easy 8.595, if you're prepared & awesome, like me.

It was 43, but felt colder. And windy. Not breezy. Windy. Not in the dangerous way stalwart cyclists of Atlanta endured during the recent storm. I wasn't busy avoiding tornados or anything. But my complaints seem far less whiny if it sounds like I was heading straight into an arctic blast. (Which isn't the case, as it was a crosswind.)

Crossed from the end of Columns onto the path, and still felt pretty good. Mile four, still okay. Turn around point by Powers Ferry, not so great. Approaching the parking area to go back onto columns, uncomfortable. Crossing the bridge, with two miles to go, ouch?

My toes were not ready for 8.595 miles. The poor little deflated blister and purplish spot piggies (wet shoes & socks on Saturday) were only up for six. I had to drop to a 5:00/2:00-run/walk by the last mile.

I'm back in flip flops again. A couple of good notes:
  1. My daughter is taking it as me loving the pink leather sandals, with all their sparkly gems. She bought the lovely "princess sandals" for my birthday, three years ago. I like them, because I love her.
  2. I can play with Gmap Pedometer tomorrow, while I'm NOT running.
Now, to figure out how to protect the piggies during the next half. Body Glide didn't work out so well in wet weather. Maybe the socks with individual toes? Should do the trick, if its just that I need room to spread my toes which my regular socks don't allow.

1 comment:

Slamdunk said...

Wow great stuff with the maps and charting your runs. I can't wait to give some of those programs a try.

I don't have luck with flip-flops--they seem more uncomfortable to me than running shoes.

I also don't see how some runners go with out socks. If I tried that, I would be balling like an infant at the first water stop.