Running Redux

I’m doing it again. I said I hated it, but I’m doing it anyway.

I had a private moment in the Jos. A. Banks dressing room about six months ago (wherein I had to opt for the size above “38”), and consciously decided that, after the holidays, it was all going to change — and, shockingly, it has. I set my sights low to begin with, and just decided I’d do two things:

  1. Eat better by keeping healthy foods in the house. I have a tendency to take the path of least resistance, foodwise, so this is key. Keeping healthy choices around means I eat healthy things.

  2. Take an hour-long walk every day. I’ve run in the past, and can’t go daily, but walking I figure I can do. In an hour, I’d typically go something around 3.2-3.5 miles, depending on pace road choice and whatnot.

I kept to that for January, more or less — there were still pizzas and walk-less days, but precious few — and managed to lose ten pounds. Then we got to February, and my walks seemed to need a little something. Then I got to last Thursday and a similarly private yet completely opposite moment in my own closet: formerly tight pants fit again.

Well, there’s nothing like positive reinforcement, so on Friday my walk became about half walk, half run, and I ended up going 4.09 miles, according to Google. It’s not a great pace, but it’s my pace.

I thought the run was going to be a one-off, and returned to walking on Saturday (faster: 3.7 miles) . . . and then on Sunday I did the half-and-half again (just over 4).

And then I got tired of mapping these things manually after Gary told me about the Garmin running GPS devices, and in a moment of weakness I popped for one on Sunday. Today’s run was my first time out with it, and it’s really encouraging to see pace and distance in real time. It’s even more fun for a geek like me to have this data — and even period data, by miles! — available later. How fast was my first mile? My second? Am I keeping pace? It’s all right there, and that’s neat. (Today: 4.7mi in 1:05.)

Even better, the GPS will spit out mapping info that sites like (as well as Garmin’s own will map using GMaps, even creating embed-able maps like below. Delightful.

Well, sort of. MapMyRun is completely overrun with ads and geegaws, and if there were a better option I’d jump on it in a heartbeat. My friend Andrea suggests, but that site, while cool, doesn’t seem to do data import at all yet (at least not inside the browser, which Garmin publishes a plugin for — that’s how MMR works). It’s also essentially the work of one guy, which makes me nervous — I’d rather use a site with a business plan (though, in RA’s defense, it does appear to be endorsed by Runner’s World).

So, Heathen Nation, any suggestions on online running logs with GPS integration?

3 thoughts on “Running Redux

  1. I like the little squiggles in the map. Means you were running not in a straight line. :)

  2. Isn’t that cool? It’s actually sensitive enough to notice where sidewalks get wonky, or where I have to step around dog shit, or whatever. Seriously, I think there’s a bit of error in the signal, but I think much of the wiggle is actual around-this-tree, on-and-off sidewalk stuff. It’s very cool nevertheless.