October 3, 2011

gps fail, again.

Yesterday I set out for my nine mile run.  Because the trail I had been running on is closed after 3.5 miles in one direction and I didn't want to have to run in one direction than the other, I decided I would just run to the trail and then only run on it for a bit before heading home.  I strapped on my phone, plugged in my headphones, and grabbed some Jelly Belly sports beans.  Which I ended up having to carry because I didn't have anywhere to put them.  Mildly annoying, but I ordered a spibelt on Amazon last night.

The first mile was excellent, seriously when the voice prompt told me I'd already reached a mile I wasn't expecting it at all.  But then it seemed to take FOREVER for the second mile prompt.  I'd checked the mileage to the trail the night before, so I knew I should have at least hit two miles... stupid freaking gps malfunctioned at 1.69 miles.  I wanted to chuck my phone in the street right there.  I'm not looking to set any records or anything, and I had an idea of mileage, but I'm just the kind of person who wants to know EXACTLY how far I've gone.  Not to mention I'm paranoid I won't hit the mileage, and that just isn't cool with me.

I had no choice but to keep going.  I figured I'd use time plus the mile markers on the trail to roughly gauge my distance.  I thought it was about 3.3 miles to the trail, so I'd need to run for just over a mile on the trail (I walk about .2 miles before and after my run, so I needed around 9.5 miles total).  I made it to the trail in almost 30 minutes flat and was feeling pretty good.  It was probably only a tenth of a mile before I saw the first trail marker, so I knew I'd have to run for a couple of minutes after I passed the next marker.

With probably half a mile left on the trail I started to feel a little out of sorts.  I don't carry water with me (bad, very bad, I know) and I'm guessing that was part of the problem.  I took a little walk break and ate some of my sports beans right before getting off the trail.  I figured I had a little over three miles to go.  I started running again, but literally, it was a slow and steady uphill climb for almost the next two miles.  I was EXHAUSTED.  Last week I was on such a high, making it my 8 miles without walking at all, now I was feeling a little defeated.

There were definitely way more little walk breaks towards then end than I would have liked, I figured my pace was super slow.  But the hills!  Seriously, it was killing me.  And I knew I started out too fast if I had made it to the trail in half an hour.  Eventually I made it home, after an hour and thirty-eight minutes.  My guess was that I had covered 9.5 miles, which would have made my pace just over an 11 minute mile.  Not the end of the world, but not really what I was hoping for, based on my last couple of runs.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon, I was really irritated not knowing exactly how far I'd gone.  Chris found me a website to calculate my mileage, runningmap.com.  It was pretty easy to use, just click along the street where you'd gone.  When I put in the last location point I checked the total mileage.  10.48 miles.  No wonder I was freaking exhausted!  I definitely felt a little bit better about my walk breaks and my pace (just over a 10 minute mile).  And holy cow I did a double digit run!  My guess is that I was actually running for just under 10 miles.


The half marathon is in less than two weeks!!  I'm getting more and more confident that I can actually do it.  Really I have almost no doubt that I can cover the distance, my worries are more about what my time will be.  I would LOVE to finish in under 2:15, but I think I'll still be happy with under 2:30.  Obviously just crossing the finish line will be a great accomplishment considering where I started six months ago.  But I'm one of those people that can't go into something just hoping to 'pass' if you will.  If I'm going to do it, I'm going all out.

Questions for any runners out there:  how do you deal with hydration while on a long run?  I really don't want to actually carry a water bottle in my hand, but I also don't want to pass out on a sidewalk somewhere.  That probably isn't good.

And for everyone, does anyone have a recomendation for a mileage tracker app for the iphone other than imapmyrun?  I'm very close to smashing my phone into little pieces. 

Please link up any of your health and fitness related posts! I love reading them.


Ashley said...

You can def. do the half! I'm excited for you:) I use the runkeeper app to track my workouts. It has a GPS feature but Ive never used it but its worth a try.

Amy said...

Hydration belt, hydration belt, hydration belt! Seriously life-saver!! Plus they have zipper pockets for keys and beans. I use the 4 bottle holder one made by Nathan. I freeze my bottles the night before so the water stays cool longer. You for sure want to be drinking water with those sports beans too because the sugar in them will dehydrate you. I usually take 2 beans and then a gulp of water afterwards (about every 2 miles during a long run). I think you are doing just great!! I am hoping to finish under 2:30 as well, but will be happy just to finish my first half. Keep up the good work!!

Kelly said...

I love Cycle Watch but every so often it poops out on me and stops tracking my info mid workout. Very frustrating. The reason I keep coming back is because it stores my workouts in calendar form and I can see which days I missed. I know I could just as easily write them down and use a program that is actually consistently reliable, but I'm lazy. hahaha

christa said...

I hate carrying water, i did buy a nathan hand held for longer runs (over 6ish miles). Sometimes I put water out on my route, You'll do great on your half!

Rebecca said...

Hey Ashley,

I'm seriously thinking about starting to run. My hubby has lost 30lbs since the beginning of the year by running and cutting back calories. Plus, I've watched your incredible journey and I'm inspired! I think I need baby steps so I was thinking about getting a C25k app on my phone but there are 2 at the top of the list: Felt Tip, Inc and The Active Network, Inc.

Did you use either of these? Do you have a recommendation?

I'm SCARED to run, but I think it's time I challenge myself!

Sharstin said...

good job girly!! that is great--but go ahead and get you a garmin! you will love it--tracks your mileage--spilts, and shows your pace--it's a runners must have. You will rock the half marathon~

B Walker said...

You are doing SO good. I can't wait to hear all about your 1/2 marathon!

I completely know how you feel about the phone app failing. I think it's my GPS in my phone, not the app, for me. I love the Nike App and I've tried mapmyrun and runkeeper. I've found it to be the most accurate.