{Training Log} #6 – Geeking Out and Recognizing Rules

In 2011, I started running. In 2014, I’ll be running the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon. With this series, I’m sharing the techniques I use to coach myself (mentally, emotionally and physically) through six months of training. Thanks for joining me!

Birds lined up by species on the Willamette River in Portland, OregonRunning Nerd

Not so long ago I was at a dinner party where we went around the table and shared the nerdiest thing about ourselves. Put on the spot, I was stymied for something to say. The hostess volunteered that the million pedometer/running tracking apps I’m always using are pretty nerdy. Ha! Yep, she’s right, when it comes to tracking my stats I am a total nerd.

I’ve talked about my favorite running/cycling/being active apps before. But since they play such a big role in my training, they definitely deserve a little more time.

The one I pay the most attention to these days is Strava. I love how it tracks my runs and lets me compete against myself and other people who run the same segments I do. Right now I hold 11 crowns on Strava, including three Category 3 climbs (one is Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles). This means, I’m the fastest of all the women who have recorded a run using Strava on that particular segment. Strava can be used as a smartphone app, or you can upload your data from a GPS watch, like I do with my Garmin.

(That paragraph alone is a perfect illustration of how I geek out on this stuff.)

Another long-time favorite app is Runkeeper. Just in case my GPS watch bites it during a run, I have Runkeeper going on my iPhone. I also use an upgraded version of Runkeeper, called Elite, that I use during races. It has live tracking so my friends and family can follow me (in the form of a blue dot on an interactive map). The basic app is free.

If you aren’t so much into running or cycling, but would like to track your daily activity (for Active Every Day perhaps?) the app Moves is fun to use. It automatically determines whether you’re walking, running, cycling or driving. Plus it shows a history of where you’ve been throughout your day. You can label places you visit. It’s super-easy to use, just open it up and stick the phone in your pocket. This is a free app.

Another great option is the iPhone app that made me sleep with my iPhone, MotionX-24/7 (formerly Sleep by MotionX). As I’ve shared before, it has an activity tracker that monitors your steps throughout the day. You can also program it to remind you to move at certain intervals. It has a couple of other fantastic features, such as you know, sleep tracking! I paid $2.99 for it, and believe it’s worth every penny. However, the company is offering my readers a discount code to get MotionX-24/7 for free.


The past couple of weeks have required me to really live that flexibility in training that I’ve been talking about. I’ve managed to get my long runs in each Saturday, but between time and energy constraints, I’ve only been able to do one other run during the week.

It feels a bit like failing to me. And I see where there’s room for flexibility in what counts (for me) as training. If it’s something I’d be doing anyway, like riding or walking to meet someone or run errands, it doesn’t count. If it’s not at least 30 minutes, it doesn’t count. Making these rules conscious, is helping me decide whether or not they’re useful, and if it’s time to let them go and put more useful rules into place.

Active Every Day


We’re in the final stretch of the November Challenge: Active Every Day. It’s a fun way of not letting the shorter, colder days get the better of you.  And by you, I also mean me.
The idea is that you don’t have to do anything specific, it just needs to be purposeful and more active that you might otherwise be. One participant walked to the store instead of driving, another ran up and down the stairs while working instead of walking them, several went on runs when they really wanted to stay inside where it was warm.
I’d love to have you join me. Get the details about Active Every Day here. Or simply, do a little more purposeful activity today. (And tomorrow. And the next day.) And if you’d like, share it!

Photo: Seeing all these birds lined up on the dock by species cracked me up. I had to interrupt my run to capture it. John’s Landing Dock on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.      


1 comment to {Training Log} #6 – Geeking Out and Recognizing Rules

  • Casey


    Now that November is over, I wanted to thank you for the #ActiveEveryDay idea. Though I didn’t post every day, it definitely stayed in my head and had me doing things like parking at the far corner of the lot when grocery shopping, walking instead of driving, walking circles in my hall/living/dining rooms, and having Dave show me how to work the weight machine in our basement. I also reassembled my “going to water aerobics” bag, so when the opportunity arises, I can grab and go. You really helped inspire me to move my ass!

    I have the Motion-X app, but it eats so much battery that I can’t use it for the daily-tracking stuff unless I’m plugged into my computer half the day, which kind of defeats the point. I wish my phone wasn’t so weak on that, but, it’s an iPhone, so YRMV.

    Thanks again!

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