I recently hit another mileage goal on the running app that I paid just .99 for nearly five years ago. Let me just say that this has been the best money I’ve spent for extra exercise motivation and accountability as a runner. Less than a buck on my iPhone keeps me moving with goals and fist pumps when I hit them.
Before this I had to find other ways to calculate my runs. I’ve been an adult road runner for the past ten years. In 2006, I got this playful golden retriever puppy, Italia, and she needed to score some neighborhood walks that she “helped” me turn into runs.
Back then, my running tracking system included the following: a basic digital watch and pedometer placed on the waistband of my pants (Sadly I drowned many pedometers in toilets when they unknowingly popped off my pants and got flushed away like county fair fish.) To record the mileage, I drove around my “courses” before heading out then estimated how many pedometer steps equaled a mile based on my stride.
I wore a lot of extra devices for those runs and had no room for my Samsung, slide-out touch pad, non-data phone. My athletic armband secured my iPod instead (Music is a must when I run.) Luckily, I never got lost or needed to call for help on those no-phone runs. Occasionally, I got chased by a trio of wiener dogs, but Italia and I were faster than their dozen of stumpy legs. Italia scoffed at the ankle biter stooges as we sped away.
That was such an old school, clunky way of calculating steps/miles/pace, but it was what worked for me then. I even trained for my first two half marathons using that method and finished strong with expected times. It was certainly cumbersome and less accurate than how I currently track runs.
When I got my first iPhone in 2011, I discovered a more convenient all-in-one system through the *Nike+ Running App. It had everything I needed and more, tracking distance, pace, and time while providing a GPS for my routes. The GPS is pretty reliable and has been a true asset at getting me to venture off the beaten path; switching it up has helped me enjoy new sites and terrain while avoiding traffic, boredom, and road kill.
My power songs can also sync to the app and are only interrupted by the friendly cheerleader voice that lets me know my pace and time every mile. This motivates me to speed up or take a breather when needed.
Now, when I’m ready to run, I just plug in my headphones and put the phone in my SPIbelt (a fancy name for a mini fanny pack that still looks dorky but takes the pressure off a swinging armbanded bicep. Then I hit start on the app, get a 3-2-1 countdown, zip up said dorky fanny pack and go. That’s it.
Since December of 2011, my app has supported me on the past 555 runs in which I travelled 2555 miles. **For the past two months, I wanted these exact numbers to happen, full of 5’s. This forced me to go on many longer runs than usual.
I do whatever it takes to keep me motivated to move, and running is my favorite way to do so (dancing is second). The app is full of the data, technology, and convenience to keep me grooving on the asphalt in my Asics.
I’m much sunnier being a part of our current convenient tracking society. Two weeks ago I started using the Fitbit Charge HR and joined a new club, Weight Watchers. Combined with my Nike App, I’m racking up some major health benefits that I’m excited to share in future posts.
I’m a word lover, not a numbers girl, so it’s a true treat to count on technology to count for me.
Good luck to you with all the health and wellness goals you set for yourself. If you find a great tracking motivator, share what it is.
*The most recent updated version of the app is called Nike+RunClub, and it still has all the features that make it such a useful tool for me as a runner. There have been a number of complaints about the update, but since those features aren’t used by me, I have nothing negative to report. Ten toes and two thumbs up!
**I would have gotten to 555 in September, but I broke my pinky toe in a shopping cart accident at Kohl’s at the end of August. I’m finally healed and ready to keep at it. Besides running in the rain, tracking autumn miles in rural Pennsylvania is truly a gift.