More fun with the iPhone

I love my iPhone. Even though it doesn’t have Siri, who I have a mad crush on, I still adore it and all I can do with it..

There are some non-traditional (read that non-phone, non-messaging) things I can do with my phone and all the lovely apps, that just make me crush on it.

I already shared with you the fun Instagram Challenge app that helps me see things differently. And today, because I can’t seem to get tomorrow off my mind, I want to tell you about the running apps I use.

Yes, I run with my phone.

It started as a safety thing for me. Since I took up running in my forties, it just seemed like a good idea. And then I started learning about, and trying out, all the different fitness apps available. Now I carry my phone for those too.

For some time, I’ve been a big fan of Runkeeper. It’s a great way to keep track of all your moving fitness activities. It uses the phone’s GPS to track and map your progress, giving you stats as you go, and of course, when you’re finished. It makes it easy to share your runs and rides and walks with your friends on Twitter and Facebook, and within the Runkeeper interface.

It also has some advanced features that are pretty great too. You can get coaching on your runs, and a not too weird voice will tell you your pace, distance, and a whole host of stats while you’re running. You can set it to tell you at certain time or distance intervals or both.

This is a great training feature, especially for a pretty new runner like me. It helps me get a better feel for my pace and maintain my training plan.

But, it doesn’t have crowns.

If you’ve been hanging out around here for any amount of time, you have probably noticed that I get all excited about virtual treats. And for all the bells and whistles that Runkeeper has, it doesn’t have crowns or trophies. And it never names you Queen of the Mountain.

For that, I have Strava.

I’m new to Strava, but I’m already hooked.

Strava tracks popular segments for rides and runs and then ranks all Strava users automatically on those segments. If you’re the fastest female for a particular segment, you get the crown and are named Queen of the Mountain. I currently hold that designation on one tiny little segment in Portland. It’s been more than a week, and no one has taken it from me yet.

It also turns out that I’m more competitive than I thought.

I love seeing where I fall in the rankings, and they encourage to push a little harder than I might otherwise.

Racing with friends.

Back to Runkeeper. There’s one last thing that’s possible with it, and why I still use it. The subscription version, Runkeeper Elite, has a live tracking option that lets people follow my progress on a run. Live, while I’m actually running. I used it last year during the marathon, and it allowed friends and family to track me and cheer me on from multiple locations on the route, plus from afar as they watched me progress from their homes around the country (and world).

I’ll be using this feature tomorrow during the half marathon. If you’re curious, feel free to check it out. I’ll be running between 6:45 and 8:45am. And then the strawberry shortcake. But then, I think I might have already mentioned that.

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