Tag Archives: Endomondo

Race awaits in Bighorn Mtns.; follow my progress live

16 Jun
Marta Ostler pauses along the trail for the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run on June 7, 2014. The 100-miler starts June 20 and the 50-miler on June 21. Portions of the trail have been described as a "shoe-sucking bog," and this portion qualifies as that. (Photo courtesy Michelle Maneval and the Bighorn Mountain race)

Marta Ostler pauses along the trail for the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run on June 7, 2014. The 100-miler starts June 20 and the 50-miler on June 21. Portions of the trail have been described as a “shoe-sucking bog,” and this portion qualifies as that. (Photo courtesy Michelle Maneval and the Bighorn Mountain race)

Here we go: Wyoming or bust.

By Thursday night, Barb and I will have trekked the 1,000-miles to Dayton, Wyo., and bright and early Saturday morning, my niece, Melissa Davidson, and I will hit the trail on the Bighorn Mountain 50-mile trail run.

I can’t wait.

After a few setbacks in training after the first of the year, I was finally able to ramp up my mileage in May, logging 173 miles. This is the highest monthly mileage I’ve ever run. Since I limit myself to four runs a week, that means my average run was 10.3 miles. By the end of the month, I had completed long runs of 20, 25 and 30 miles, and those were all done one day after doing medium-long runs of 8-10 miles. When mapping out my training, I had hoped for a 35-miler, but time got away from me.

Most recently, I’ve been on a three-week taper, and my form and speed (all things are relative) seem to be returning. The break from the long runs was needed.

Snow still dots the landscape on June 6, 2014, near the start of the 50-miler in the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run. The 100-miler starts on Friday, June 20, in Dayton, Wyo., and will turn around near this spot. The 50-miler starts on Saturday, June 21, at the Jaws trailhead. (Photo courtesy Michelle Maneval and the Bighorn Mountain race)

Snow still dots the landscape on June 6, 2014, near the start of the 50-miler in the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run. The 100-miler starts on Friday, June 20, in Dayton, Wyo., and will turn around near this spot. The 50-miler starts on Saturday, June 21, at the Jaws trailhead. (Photo courtesy Michelle Maneval and the Bighorn Mountain race)

Some of the best news I’ve received in the past few days is that the trails, even at the highest altitude, are snow-free and passable. But there are plenty of “shoe-sucking mud bogs.” Since there have still been flurries on the mountain and the overnight lows have remained in the mid-30s, the lack of snow on the trails is really welcome news.

We’ve rented a cabin less than a mile from the start of the race, which is a real plus from a logistical standpoint. I hope to get in a short run on Friday morning to test the trail and get a feel for the challenge. The race begins at 6 a.m. Mountain time on Saturday.

Follow me:

  • This link from the race organizers will provide updates at three checkpoints in the race. For the 50 milers, it is will give updates at mile 18, mile 34.5 and the finish. According to the website, “Each time the participant reaches one of these timed points, their pace is recalculated giving you a view of where your runner should be at their current pace on the course map.”
  • Scan for resultsIf you’d like to track the results on your iPhone, look up “It’s Your Race” in the App Store or click on this link to go directly there. Or scan the QR code here to go straight to the site. For even quicker results, you can narrow it down to: 50M race, male, 50-59, Smidt.
  • Here’s a link for the Android version of the official tracking app, via Google Play.
  • Barb will post occasional updates to either her Facebook page or my Facebook page.

I’ll let you know next week how it went.

Powder River!

You can wish me well in the comments below. I could use all the support I can get.

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Happy Turkey Day!

28 Nov

I added a little variety to my Thanksgiving run in Keokuk, Iowa, by creating a GPS drawing of a turkey. I used the Endomondo running app to track the run.

I added a little variety to my Thanksgiving run in Keokuk, Iowa, by creating a GPS drawing of a turkey. I used the Endomondo running app to track the run. You can click on the GPS drawing to go to the Endomondo site.

The turkey itself is not quite 4 miles around. All together, my run was 7 miles.

What did you do for your Thanksgiving run?

Tracking a runner

10 Apr

Both Find iPhone and Endomondo a good way to track runners live during an event

When a runner is out on the roads or trails, how can friends or loved ones check in on them? I’ve been using two programs that makes it pretty simple.

This past weekend, I ran an ultramarathon on the trails near Pekin, Ill. My wife was serving as a pacer, and she needed a way to easily track my progress along the 10-mile loop. For this, Apple’s built-in Find iPhone was a perfect solution. And a number of friends and family wanted to track my progress throughout the day, so with just a little set-up, I was able to allow live tracking via my Endomondo app, which is free in the App store.

Both of these solutions were based on me running with my iPhone, but I use my phone to listen to tunes and podcasts, so I was going to have it with me anyway. Similar programs are available for Android phones or other operating systems.

Find iPhone features real-time immediacy

The accuracy and immediacy of Find iPhone is very good. My wife has used this to track me during my training runs, and it always finds my phone with great accuracy. We use it when my wife wants to meet me at a designated spot to pick me up or if she’s just trying to see where along the roads I might be.

The program is one of Apple’s built-in programs, so it comes pre-installed on iPhones and iPads. You need to have an Apple account, but if you have their phones or other devices, no doubt you already have an account.

Using Find iPhone is as simple as launching the app, entering your username and password, and then signing in. Within 15 seconds or so, it will locate all the devices that have been programmed for tracking.

Endomondo can be used by multiple users

I set up a slightly different arrangement for friends and family to track me during my race. I have used the Endomondo app for several years, and I like it quite a bit. I use it on many of my training runs,  and it will post to Facebook automatically, if that’s what you want it to do.

It uses the phone’s GPS to track your progress, and it maps that progress on a Google map. It also features a dashboard that shows the distance covered, the duration of the current workout, average speed and much more.

When you sign up for Endomondo, you have to create an account. This account will log all of your workouts on a calendar, and you can track mileage and the like over the months.

To enable friends and family to track me live during the race, I pasted a link on my blog to my workout section of Endomondo. You could also email the link to those who want to follow you.

Then when you activate your Endomondo on race day and a watcher goes to the link, it will read “LIVE” at the top of the map. Voila! Live, or nearly live, tracking of your progress.

The link will be: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/user/123456 — where the “123456” is actually your unique user profile number. You can find that number at the end of the URL for all your workouts.

You can also get the complete URL by clicking on “Workouts” at the top left of the Endomondo screen.

The map shown on this page will be your most recent workout, but when the runner activates the app, it will change to “LIVE” and it will be the current workout.

Unlike Find iPhone, the Endomondo app will lag behind your actual progress. I had a niece tracking me during my ultra, and she said it seemed to lag by about 10 minutes.

Endomondo closer than GPS watch on race distance

I also ran the race with a Timex Run Trainer and my wife ran with a Garmin 210. Both of our watches were a bit off in distance for the 10-mile loop, showing about 9.2-9.4 miles per loop.

Interestingly, the Endomondo app logged the entire race at 49.87 miles, much closer than either of our GPS watches. I find that for my usual training workouts on the roads around town that my GPS watch is much more accurate than the Endomondo app.

The ultra I participated in had a Facebook page, and friends and family were constantly posting on the page, asking others for updates on their runners. That worked, but it required relying on others for updates and the updates were really best guesses as to where the runner was on the course.

Find iPhone and Endomondo both have their strengths and weaknesses, but for tracking a runner live during an event, they sure beat relying on updates from others.

GPS drawing: 50 miler pending

28 Mar
GPS drawing of a "50"

Only 9 more days until my ^ miler.

With my long runs behind me for this training cycle, I’ve resorted to entertaining myself in other ways. Like, drawing pictures with my GPS tracker.

The drawing above is the Endomondo route tracking from Thursday night’s run on the streets of Keokuk, Iowa. I only tracked a portion of the run — about a mile and a half of what was overall a 4.3-mile run.

With only 9 days until the Potawatomi Trail 50 in Pekin, Ill., my remaining runs are all short. I ran 6 last night, and I’ll do a 10-miler this weekend, and then just a couple of 3- or 4-milers next week.

I’ve built all the endurance I can hope to build. Right now, it’s all about getting healed. My left hamstring attachment at the ischial tuberosity is hurting again; I’ve been slamming ibuprofen a couple of times a day in hopes of calming the inflammation. But at this point, I’m just going to have to deal with it on April 6. I’ve put in too much time and effort to stop now.

The long-range forecast calls for only one day of rain between now and race day — Saturday, April 6. There is still a bit of snow on the ground from this past weekend’s 10-inch snowfall, but temperatures in the 40s and 50s over the next few days should take care of that. Now, if the warmer temps will just firm up the trails.

I’ve got some packing to do, getting my extra shoes, shirts and socks ready for the race. I need to prepare my race fuel.

But most of all, I’m ready to get this show on the road trail.

♦ ♦ ♦

If you missed it earlier, this post features photos and a scouting report on the Potawatomi Trail in Pekin.

This post details a battle I’ve had with blisters.

And this post tells some of the things I’ve been trying to stay fueled on the roads.

Sunday’s 20-miler

28 Jan

Click on a photo above to launch the gallery.

Freezing rain all morning tested my patience, but by about 1 o’clock the rain stopped and I was able to hit the road by about 2 o’clock. This weekend, I lengthened the long run by 3 miles.

After last Sunday’s bout with nausea after the run, I made sure to drink plenty of water and ingest plenty of calories on the run. I drank 36 ounces of water over the course of the run, and I ate one package of Honey Stinger Energy Chews and one package of PowerBar Energy Blasts. And I ate a half an orange in the last three miles of the run.

Barb had a smoothie ready when I got home, and, after a long shower, I had some home-made gumbo. That entire combination seemed to do the trick. Other than some really sore and tight muscles, I felt great.

For a map from Endomondo on Sunday’s run, click here.

I haven’t had a cutback week in too long, so next weekend I plan to do back to back 9-mile runs on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunny and 50: Let’s run

19 Jan

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” — Dean Karnazes, ultramarathon runner

Today was warm and sunny and a great day for a long run. The temperature was unseasonably high — mid-50s– for Iowa in January.

I was pleased with today’s run. Here is a map of the run. I use either Endomondo or MapMyRun to live-track my runs so the family knows where I am.

The run-walk approach is helping me complete the runs without getting too beat up. I used a 5-minute run, 1-minute walk pattern, which I also utilized on Friday’s 7-miler. I am pairing fairly long runs on back-to-back days in order to simulate the stress of the ultra. I will continue to lengthen these runs in the coming weeks.

The Million Dollar View from Keokuk's Rand Park showed blue skies and a blue Mississippi River on a gorgeous January day.

The Million Dollar View from Keokuk’s Rand Park showed blue skies and a blue Mississippi River on a gorgeous January day.

I ate a package of Power Bar Energy Blasts on the run. Only the second time I have used them, and today’s lemon-flavored chews were yummy! I normally eat Honey Stinger Energy Chews, and they are very good, too. But I’ll have to add the PowerBar chews into the mix.

Unfortunately, I suffered from some nausea after the run. This is generally not a problem for me, so I reviewed this article and this article on the malady.

Since the ultra in April is on trails, that brings a new challenge for me. I ran a marathon on the Wabash Trace trail in Shenandoah, Iowa, in September, but that was on a converted railroad bed. It was wide and flat and covered with crushed limestone.

The Potawatomi Trail run is on a more traditional trail: some single track, some grass, and plenty of ups and downs. Or at least that’s my impression, after reading about the race. I think I need to scout the locale. If the timing works out, I’m going to head to Pekin next Saturday for a trial run.

Proof that it was nice enough to run in shorts in January.

Proof that it was nice enough to run in shorts in January.

I’m concerned I may need to get some trail shoes to handle the terrain. Not knowing how many trail races I’ll run, I’m not sure I want to invest in another pair of shoes. But a trial run will help answer this question.

I do think I’ll invest in some gaiters. In preparation for the trails, I am running on the shoulders and the grass as much as I can. Today, I got a rock in my shoe in pretty short order. This also was a bit of a problem on the Wabash Trace.

Eleven weeks until race day, and there’s still plenty of work to do.

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