I’ll Bia Right Back!

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 48/52 recap

5.8 EZ – .4 test run with Bia – 4.9 hills 3:55/3:24/3:25/3:21 – CR (.3 mile 9% grade) – 10.6 EZ 1:54:492014-10-01 14.01.43-1

For anyone concerned about my delay in blogging, I recovered from my fall really well. My days are just filled with training and planning and regular household duties.I vacillate between being excited that the NYC Marathon is just a month away and being totally over it.

The very best part of training week #48/52 was my Bia Sport watch! I contacted the company and they replaced it within 3 days of my having cracked the screen! Seriously, 3 DAYS! I broke my watch on Sunday, emailed them and by Wednesday I was taking my new watch for a test run down the block. Check out the photo to the right. See the color of the metal loop that holds the watch band on? They offered me turquoise as a replacement if I wanted! YEAH! My new watch will now go with my whole NYC Marathon kit and I didn’t have to miss a day of training because even the cracked screen watch still worked (it hadn’t rained on it yet though).

2014-10-05 09.15.17Jim and I were both able to run together on Sunday. We both had 10 miles scheduled and just stayed local. The weather was a bit crisp early on so we were able to wait until later in the morning to start. The leaves were lovely and we passed the miles together joking and having crazy in depth discussions about Star Trek characters. After a mile of discussing Gul Damar, a Cardassian character on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Jim looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “How many other runners do you think discuss Star Trek on their long runs?” I had to laugh and answered, “I don’t know but that is why I love running with you.”

Pausing to catch our breath on the uphill was like a commercial break to our Star Trek conversation. As the path moderated, we were right back on the topic of how easy it seemed just take a shuttle craft from the Enterprise on Star Trek The Next Generation. Laughing and running with my love, nothing beats it.

Broken & Bloodied

brokenBia#52toNYCmarathon
Week 47/52 recap

8 Yassos (4:37/4:25/4:21/4:17/4:20/4:20/4:24/4:23 )– 5.3 EZ – 18.2 EZ 3:25:39
Scratched and dirty, I stand before you with a smashed watch face. I took a tumble just as I hit 18 miles yesterday and, yes, off-leash dogs were involved.

The run went really well. I am slow but felt great. The idiots who had their dogs off leash were slowly responding to my shouts of, “Can you control your dogs?” I made it past them when the dogs started to run toward Jim. I had passed the 18 mile spot and checked my watch to see if I had recorded 18 miles yet as I heard Jim yelling arguments that their dogs were not in control if they ran up to people and BAM, I tripped an went flat down and cracked my watch face.

Today, I am a little sore from the run, a little sore from the fall and a little sad about my watch. NYC Marathon training week 47 of 52 is on the books, I will persevere.BiaBroke

Cross Training

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 36/52 recap

5.3 miles temps – 5. miles EZ – 16 miles paced

I rarely mention the cross training I do as part of my trainphoto 1ing for the NYC Marathon. I have kept up with my physical therapy and added in extra core exercises and yoga stretches. Also, once a week I hop onto my mountain bike and go for a good hard ride.

At the beginning of June I was biking one of my favorite routes, Barnes Lane Loop. I am always excited for my Bia Sport watch to log any of my old route and look at them on the maps online. I also have the data kick over to another social network called Strava where I can compare my times and distances to other athletes.

Strava allows you to connect with groups of friend who share similar interests or other locals who run and bike the same routes that you do. They even have a function called “segments” on which you can directly compare you time to anyone else who has logged the same stretch of road, trail or hill. I mostly like to compare my segments to how well I have done in the past to see if I am improving. Occasionally, when I log a new route for myself, I will see that someone else has labeled a segment in the midst of where I had run/biked.

That is what happened when I checked out my Barnes Lane Loop the first time on Strava. All sorts of segments came up with the times other bikers had traversed the area. I had ridden at a relaxed pace, feeling out where I was fitness wise, and it was no surprise that I hadn’t been the fastest biker on any of the segments.

There was one segment on which I wasn’t too far off the best woman’s pace, a mile section in Spring Creek Canyon. I thought, “I bet I could best that time if I pushed,” but hated to knock anyone off the status of “Queen of the Mountain” (QOM) as Strava calls it. I checked out the woman’s details and the next thing I thought was totally uncharacteristic of me, “GAME ON!”photo 4

I mentioned in detail in (Act 1 – Red State, Blue State) of how I passed a local woman as I was biking to campus one day and she never lets me forget it. That was the woman who was Queen of the Mountain on that segment of Spring Creek Canyon. She had gotten under my skin by showing her competitive nature every year I ran into her and now I could compete with her, beat her, without her seeing me coming. A lot like when I passed her cheerfully on Orchard Road but this time with a different intent.

As each week presented itself, my cross training didn’t allow me to return to the canyon route. Thunderstorms chased me to spin on a stationary trainer at the PSU gym where Jim has a membership a couple of weeks in a row. The cost for a day is only $5 so it was worth it to get my biking done in a different way. It is dry in there but I worked up a good sweat each time.

I biked out to Boalsburg one week so that I could have my Bia Sport measure the one route I like to run for long runs. I helped me know the elevation gain too, since the NYC Marathon is not flat, I am trying to train on a similar course. There are Strava segments on the route too and it was fun to see how fast some locals have accomplished along the bike paths.

photo 2 copyLast week would have been a perfect morning to buzz down through the canyon. It hadn’t rained so there would bee no puddles nor slick muddy spots to slow me down or make the route dangerous. Alas, I had business in Lewistown calling me. I needed to visit my parents’ lawyer sometime during working hours to sign some legal papers. The canyon would have to wait.

No regrets biking to Lewistown! I hadn’t biked the route since I was cross training for the 2012 Wineglass Marathon. I was anxious to see if my fitness allowed me to pedal up and over Front Mountain without having to stop. I loved biking Stillhouse Hollow and skirting the remote Greens Valley. Whether biking or hiking, I usually always see deer or bear or grouse in this section of Bald Eagle State Forest.

This year I opted to stop and take some photos along the way. I started at the top of the Seven Mountains with a head lamp because I knew Stillhouse Hollow would be dense and dark. Just a mile in, I a took a photo of me by the “bridge out ahead” sign because I thought it would make me look tough. For the decades I have been hiking and biking that area, the bridge has always been navigable by foot and really was only a warning to vehicles.photo 2

The hollow was very dark that morning and I was glad to have worn the headlamp to see the deep potholes and jutting rocks on my descent. I was also pleased and really impressed that my Bia Sport and Go-stick had reception. This was one remote area I had not ever expected it to work. I was excited that it would record my whole workout and had a bit of assurance that in case of an emergency I could rely on the SOS Alert for assistance.

Remote, dark and quite, this area of the woods has always been some of my favorite in Central PA. I only set up listening to my podcast of Selected Shorts to help distract my ascent up Front Mountain. As I descended the south face of Long Mountain into the hollow, I was a little creeped-out that I seemed to have chosen a Halloween episode to start with. The woods took on a spooky feel and I stayed hyper aware as I crossed first Laurel Creek on a gated cement bridge then got close to the crossing of Greens Valley Stream.

It turned out to be kind of a funny story, The Cat That Went to Trinity that takes some crazy twists. I am determined to listen to it again because I became distracted with a crazy twist of my own when I came to the bridge that was out.

My Bia Sport recorded my fussing at the stream crossing.

My Bia Sport recorded my fussing at the stream crossing.

No, really, this year the BRIDGE IS OUT! No planks to walk my bike across, no creosote scented beams of yester-year, the only thing left was the skeleton of what had held them. I wracked my brain, “Had I walked across the iron structure with my bike before!? No way!!” The drop from the bridge remnants was significant as was the bank down to the creek on either side.

I stood there fussing about what to do when I found where other bikers and hikers must be using the one bank down, cross the creek and and back up the other bank. The banks were steep, the creek was running strong but not high and I really had no other choice. I resigned my self to having wet feet for the rest of the day, used the breaks on my bike as I walked it what felt like nearly vertical by my side then crossed the stream. I had to leave the bike at the base of the stream and take off all extra weight (my CamelBak and saddle bag) then return to push and climb with my bike up the far bank. It was tricky but I earned the right to feel like I was a bad-ass by the Bridge Out sign.photo 3

The rest of the ride went well and I enjoyed the readings of a couple of Poe stories as I crossed over the top of Front Mountain. I could tell that I was having and would have no trouble with the ascent but the mountain laurel was in perfect bloom so I stopped a few times for some photos.

This week has been peppered with quite a few thunderstorms and downpours. It is also the local Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and my cross training day fell on Children’s Day. I love biking in to see what crafts the kids have made and are selling. I have purchased a lot of great creations from them so it was pretty much a no-brainer that I would use the visit was my cross training. The canyon would be muddy with a lot of puddles from the storms.

The canyon. It was calling me. I wouldn’t have time to bike the entire Barnes Lane Loop but what if I just did that segment and turned around and came back in time to catch a bus into Children’s Day? That would be silly though because I would have to bike up the terrible Shilo Road hill on the way back.

The canyon. I knew I could push harder than before and maybe, even with the tricky terrain, could go faster than the 6:33 that woman had biked that segment. Damn the mud, damn the deep puddles, I was giving it a go and the crawl up Shilo hill could be my victory lap.

photo 2 copyI chose The Moth podcasts to keep me company, put on my Bia Sport on to record the ride and my other watch to time the exact segment. I warmed up for a couple miles and kept my legs active and rotating even on the long descent down Shilo hill. I took a drink of Nuun on the level final 1/4 mile and then saw the gate ahead that marked the beginning of the segment. I got moving as quickly as was safe to bike around the meal gate and punched my timer.

I remembered to stay focused on keeping my effort up even when I would normally back off. The segment was really only 7/10 long and I could rest after I crossed Rockview Road. I knew exactly where the muddy spots and puddle would be and made the best of every tanget. I pushed super hard on the straight-aways upon which I normally backed off and enjoyed the view.

Until the hard left turn onto the bridge crossing, the muddy spots had slim sections that were drying and the puddles never crossed the whole path. The bridge was covered, as usual, with a huge muddy puddle at the near end. From years of running and biking this route I knew that straight through the muddle was the safest and I plowed through it as fast as I could after making the turn. Not a slip nor wiggle as I made it to the far end of the bridge!

The ride wasn’t over though, I had about 1/10 mile until Rockview Road. I saw where the segment ended head and knew it was going to be tricky to stay up to speed and safely hit the rough section that followed. I did hit the final muddy section a bit unsteadily but made it onto the wooded path without incident. I hit my stop watch and glanced down, 5:32 – over a full minute less than her time!

I was pleased and biked on just a bit farther to the dam to cool down before turning back for home. What was almost more gratifying was slowly grinding up Shilo hill without having to dismount. I had a good workout even though it was half the distance I normally bike.

Of course the moment I got home I had to go online to see if Strava recognized my victory n that segment. Sure enough there was a trophy by my workout that signified I had achieved a personal segment victory on this ride. I scrolled over it and it reflected my 5:32 on Spring Creek Canyon as begin second place… what!? SECOND place!?

Not but three days before, another woman had broken the record on that segment by recording 4:50! I had to laugh and I was really glad that I hadn’t been the one dethrone the QOM. I beat the 6:33 that I set out to do and that was good enough for me.

I was also pleased to see that someone had recorded Shilo hill as a Strava segment and out of curiosity looked to see how my time stacked up against the other women. My 11:15 grind uphill actually landed me a second place to the QOM 7:27. Did you guess it? I wonder if she would be cross if I could pass her up Shilo like I did on Orchard.

NYC Marathon Lottery – Who’s In?!

TCSNYC

I delayed writing my week’s recap until today to encourage anyone who got into the NYC Marathon via the lottery to comment below. The drawing is today – sound off in the comments section when you get your acceptance or rejection!

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 20/52 Recap
6.52 – 4.3 – 9 LSR

My middle run this past training week was probably the most memorable. I ran 4 miles to have breakfast with my Dad at a local rehab hospital. My Dad is a pretty private man but has now stated that he doesn’t mind if people know so I am finally mentioning something that happened weeks ago. He is recovering from a pretty significant stroke and is in a rehab hospital just up the road from where we live.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 7.30.07 AMThe tricky part for my run there was making certain I was allowed to run past the grounds of the state correctional institution. I called both townships that the road is on plus the state police to make certain that I wasn’t doing anything wrong by running or biking in front of the prison. I was told just not to hitch hike and it would be fine.

The nights at the rehab are really long for Dad so having me show up bright (albeit sweaty) and early helped break up the day. Mom doesn’t make it over until lunch time so a friend to join him at breakfast is pleasant for him as well as me. I stayed until just about the time he finished eating and I hopped a bus home.

Backing up to my first run of the week, it was to be the first time my Bia Sport could record one of my regular routes but the Go Stick DIED WITH 2 MILES TO GO! Granted, this time I got a little message on the screen of the watch warning me to “make it fast, less than 2 hours battery left”. Ok, I knew my route would take about an hour and was resigned to the fact that it might fail. Sure enough, 43 minutes into my run, the battery died.

NOT my watch. This was posted on Bia Sport Facebook page.

NOT my watch. This was posted on Bia Sport Facebook page.

I decided that 5 hours or less battery life on a product that had just bragged on FaceBook (see photo right) about extending the Go Stick battery life to over 19 hours was a real problem. I had a terrible time navigating the trouble shooting and help desk web pages (it wouldn’t let me log in no matter what I did) and finally resorted to a little chat/email function hidden at the bottom of the page.

On Friday, I wrote:

Bia Go Stick battery life
Sent Friday, March, 21, 2014.

I am having a difficult time navigating the zendesk for help so I will use this function. My Go Stick has yet to give me more than 5 hours battery life over a week. I have been ending the runs properly (not pausing as far as I can tell). I thought the first time was because it was in the city but this past time I had barely used it (after fully charging it) and (for the first time) got an alert that I had under 2 hours battery life. It lasted 47 {sic} minutes to total less than four hours usage for the week. I have fully charged it 3 -4 times since I received it. Thanks for your help.

That evening I did get a response:

Hi Terri!
I apologize for the difficulties with Zendesk. It is on our plate to integrate that page’s log-in with your Bia account log-in, and it is coming just as soon as we can make it happen. We are very anxious to turn that page into an interactive forum. In the meantime, this is the perfect place to touch base.

What you are seeing is about right. The GoStick battery right now has no more than 6 hours of workout time, even in the lab, and the max 5 hours you are seeing is probably much more real-world realistic. Some of the reasons for this shorter battery life is that we are currently running everything in the GoStick every on maximum power and we are running a lot of background debugging and diagnostics that are eating up power as well. We are currently doing a lot of in-house testing on low power modes and extended battery life and those tests are looking very good. We should have the 17 hour battery life rolling out within the next 3 or so weeks, and with that, we all will be much freer of those charging cables.

If, however, you see that your GoStick’s battery life/function is degrading significantly, definitely continue to keep us posted–we will want to catch any bugs or hidden battery issues if they come up and fix them.

I hope this helps–please let me know if there is anything else you need.

Thanks and have a great day!
Rebecca

With my current state of recovery running pace the Go Stick battery life would probably not last through the whole NYC Marathon. I am hoping that it gets ironed out soon, I am already getting tired of running with double watches, the Go Stick and my iPod Nano all just to record a run. Understandably, it will be the less reliable gear I leave on my dresser when I finally reach my limit of tolerating extra stuff. My Wal-Mart watch has never left me down and my iPod Nano recorded my first marathon without a hitch. The jury is still out for a few months on whether my Bia Sport or Wal-Mart watch will go to the NYC Marathon on my wrist but the lottery for runners is today!

So… who’s in!? The drawing for the TCS NYC Marathon will take place all day. Runners will be accepted into the race in waves throughout the day, so some runners may find out their status before others. If you are accepted to run this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, here’s what will happen:

• Your credit card will be charged the Marathon entry fee.
• An alert will appear in your MY NYRR account. If you’ve been accepted, the alert in MY NYRR will say, “You have been accepted into the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon.”
• Your registration status for the TCS New York City Marathon will change in MY NYRR. If you’ve been accepted, your registration status will change to “Accepted.”
• You will receive a confirmation email that you have been accepted.

Sign into the comments section below when you know if you are accepted from the lottery or not.A pitiful moment for me 3 years ago, I took my first NYC Marathon lottery rejection with sadness in 2011.

The Tough Get Going

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 19/52 Recap

4.81 – 5.06 Yasso 800s – 11.03 LSR

Folks closest to our family know how rough things have been for the past month. Not to be a tease but all I can say, for the sake of family privacy, is that we have seen enough of the inside of hospitals and rehab centers.

All of my hard work running, core work and cross training will hopefully prepare me for any unexpected physical hurdles that life can throw at me. I can only hope that persevering in a marathon and all of its training can show me that I can meet other hardships and challenges in life. I think of it as training for life. Life can get tough at times and I hope to meet it head on.IMG_0288

This week, I had the great fortune of being in my home town and getting to run a beautiful 5 mile loop. From my parent’s house along Jack’s Creek Rd and back Green Ave, I was able to enjoy one of the first warmish days of late winter. Birds were singing as I got off a little later than usual. Since the clock change of Daylight Savings I have been finding it pretty hard to rally in the mornings. This 5 mile loop was great for my spirit. The view of the old Stone Arch Bridge was nice and I ran it just a hair faster than a few years ago (when it was my second run of the day and really hot out – HA).

The weather has been really bi-polar and shifted to crazy windy and super cold for my next day. Back to the indoor track I went for some Yasso 800’s. They didn’t go too badly but I am still getting used to my Bia Sport. The Slap to Lap function works but when I glance at my 800 split I sometimes can’t tell if my slap worked because there is a bit of a delay in showing the lap time. So I slap it again and then reset it without really seeing the lap time. My last 800, I slapped it so hard I must have “pushed” the button and it ended my workout. Some new things take getting used to.

Mary Lou Harris who blogs Still a Runner is the race director for the Capital 10-Miler Run for the Arts for the Arts and invited us to join them. Jim and I toyed with joining but decided stay in town for our long run. We thought of them running along the river because it was really windy even amongst our rolling hills in State College.

Jim was went above and beyond, as usual, by driving our fuel cache bag to a spot about 3.5 miles into our run. That set up a drink for 3.5 miles out then 7.5 miles back. It also allowed me to ditch my gloves in the bag as I picked up a little protein mixture for later in my run. Instead of Hammer Perpetuem solids, we have been trying a mixture of hydrated chia seeds with a little almond butter in a flask. It has been sitting well GI wise and seems to provide good energy too. The only real challenge is carrying the flask which is not disposable. Maybe I will look for an alternative container that I can toss in the trash during a race or point to point run.BlueHair

We toughed out the windy 11 miles for the longest run in about 6 month for both of us. Jim overcame shin splints and I am dealing with off my sacroiliac/ psoas/ piriformis issues. It went well for both of us and I encouraged Jim to take the final mile of uphill at his own pace. It wasn’t easy but we kept it slow and steady. Jim had to look at the back of my shirt for some of this run. He said it made him smile so we took a photo to share.

Today there are 3 days left to apply for the 2014 NYC Marathon. I have a guaranteed entry and Jim is entered into the lottery which will be drawn in 10 days. I have a few other friends who are also in the lottery and I believe Mary Lou is a guaranteed entry. Wouldn’t it be smashing if we all got in!? I can’t wait to hear who else is tough enough to be running it this year.

Baby Bia

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 18/52 Recap

5.26 – 7.19 – 8.5 LSR

FirstBiaRunEvery hear of a baby being born that could run before it can walk? Meet my new sports watch! This past week started with the arrival of my Bia Sport that I had backed in a Kickstarter campaign a while ago. I got it set up with only a minor delay that was an issue with the Firefox browser (which they did fix) and got out for a run the very next morning.

The touch screen is quite intuitive but I still miss having a manual that I can browse through and make reference to without digging through the FAQs on the different Webpages. As my Go Stick (a separate clip on that allows gps tracking through cellular towers) charged I explored the functions on the watch. I played with the stopwatch/chronograph feature that allows you to just slap the screen each lap you want to record a split for then the screen goes back to the overall time passed. I know I will dig that feature at the track.

As I explored the other features I found that when I selected some them on the screen the message “coming soon” would appear. The Run/Walk function was one of those which is why I call it a newborn that can run before it can walk. I wasn’t totally surprised, this is a first gen Bia Sport and I am in it for the long hall. I was disappointed that the backlight feature was dropped for this gen and am hoping it can be worked out to add it since it is still being advertised, “Shake to light up the backlight”.

Map detail of where I swerved.

Map detail of where I swerved.

I like the strap that connects with velcro to size, I like the angle and the small lightweight watch. Although it is suggested to wear it higher on the arm like bangles (even shown in the package the watch came attached to) I wear it in the traditional spot on my arm. My arm tapers to the wrist and I have never ever been able to keep bangles up. The watch may touch my hand when I bend it up but it doesn’t bother me there at all.

When my Go Stick was fully charged (a solid red light came on), the watch was able to connect to it and set the correct time. It was like magic. Next, I set up the cell phone numbers that were to be alerted for when I pressed the SOS alert. Indeed, when I held it in for three seconds a few seconds later both numbers I had set up received alerts with a text of my needing help and an abbreviated Google map url. The map was crazy accurate with my location. I pressed and held the button to deactivate the alert and it sent a safe message to the same two cell phones. It is my understanding that alerts will continue to be sent with my location every minute until I deactivate it. This was the main selling point for me because I imagined my running down Spring Creek Canyon and twisting my ankle. No cars are allowed there and I could get chilled quickly. This will at least be able to share my location if I need assistance in a situation like that.

For my run the next morning, it didn’t take any time at all for me to shake my Go Stick to wake it up, press the watch button, select Run on the screen, have it connect with the Go Stick and it was recording my run! Even out in 18° weather I didn’t have any trouble with all of that. I always love to record my out-and-back splits so at the far end of my run I slapped the screen but nothing happened. I slapped multiple times but again nothing. I have since figured that the Slap to Lap function might only be with the chronograph function. That is a real disappointment because even my cheap Walmart watch allows my to save one split.

I took some photos of the watch while out on its maiden voyage. When I was ready to end my run I was able to read the screen prompts even without my glasses on to stop and save my run. A cool little motivational message was across the top along with my total run time, distance and pace. It was pretty sweet.

When I got in to my computer I was then able to see a map of the run on my activity page because it had been uploaded instantly when I saved it. Because it was the same loop we had done (twice) on the weekend, I had already measured it and the Go Stick’s version was spot on. I was impressed that it even caught the little swerve across a lane (see photo above left) I made to try to take a photo of the watch with some ponies in the background. The photo didn’t turn out my weaving on the road was caught and mapped. Very impressive.

I hoped and was looking forward to seeing if the data was being uploaded to my activity page even before I saved the run. That way anyone who wants to watch my progress on a run or in a race can do so without being there. I always enjoy watching my Daily Mile buddy Beth’s progress as she uses some app on her smart phone.

My second run of the week was longer than I had planned for because the hill at the end of my road was so snow packed and ice-covered that I almost didn’t make it down. Jim and I were together and we agreed to find a different way back. I used the Bia Sport to help me plan just when to turn back but I had judged wrongly on the length of my alternate route and we logged over a mile extra.

In Central Park.

In Central Park.

It was nice to just save the run and come back and give it a name on my events page. The only bummer is that I have been logging the mileage of my shoes and all of my other runs on Daily Mile which take GPX files. Bia only connects with run apps that I don’t use like Strava or exports TCX files. Jim was helpful in finding a TCX to GPX converter page (check out the link here if you are interested). Again, remember I don’t have a smart phone so a lot of apps are just a waste for me.

The icing on the cake was to be our long run of the week. Jim and I drove Arron back to NYC and we planned to log our 9 miles in Central Park. I was really excited to see how the Go Stick would handle the urban canyons of NYC and planned to rely on it for up to the moment mileage record. That way, we could decide whether or not to add in a loop here or there to round out our mileage without having to scour over maps or plot exact routes before we headed out.

The start of our NYC run.

The start of our NYC run.

The first test came early that morning because the clocks had switched to daylight savings time. I shook my Go Stick to wake it up and saw the green light. I sat it on the windowsill of Arron’s 5th floor walk up synched the watch’s clock with it in no time at all.

We had a little fuel, filled my CamelBak and got ready to go. Jim and I padded down the multiple flights of stairs and just before I reached the lobby shook the Go Stick and clipped it on the strap of my CamelBak on the same side as my watch, hit the button on my watch to synch and got the message that it was connected. I mashed the button again to start the run and we were off toward Central Park.

Arron lives about .25 mile from Central Park and I estimate that it took about .10 mile before I saw the watch start displaying distance and pace. The buildings there are pretty dense and tall so it was impressive that it got itself together that quickly. Later, when I zoomed in on the map, I saw that the course it recorded deviated in a soft meander a little bit as it got a lock on all of the towers but it did a really great job (see photo above right).CentralPark1

Off we went, joining in the throng of other runners, bikers, walkers and wheelchair racers in a clockwise loop around the park. There was no actual race on Sunday but it was one of the nicest days in months of a really long winter. It was above freezing and the sun was shining so even the brisk 10-mile-an-hour breeze couldn’t keep the spirit of the pack indoors.

I checked my Bia when we hit a spot that I knew we would need to loop back by to make our run even 8 miles. I wanted to check the mileage of that loop and add it to the 6 or so miles that I knew the outer loop was. Then I would know for certain whether or not we would need to add a lap around the reservoir to make our run hit 9 miles.cathill

We snapped some photos here and there along the route because we weren’t really concerned with time. It was beautiful out and we enjoyed seeing the park come to life. Every running style imaginable is on display in Central Park, you are guaranteed to see at least one of each style joked about in the Don’t Be That Awkward Runner video. Now I have Journey stuck in my head again as I usually do when running through this park.

We took some fuel and passed the CamelBak back and forth. During that time I was aware and moved my Go Stick to my vest so it wouldn’t be too far from the watch when Jim took a drink. The Go Stick really stays put no matter where I have chosen to clip it and it doesn’t budge. It is also small and light enough that it doesn’t bother me at all. Note that I am a person who is bugged by stupid little things like my shoelace tickling my leg if I don’t tuck it into my other laces.

Just as we were going to finish the loop and start onto the upper east side section of the park, I checked my watch to figure if we needed to add in the reservoir. I was shocked to see the message at the top of my watch screen, “Battery Died.” What!? It had shown a green dot when I shook to wake it up and I hadn’t had it active for what I thought was maybe 5 hours that week. It was supposed to have lasted 17 hours and thought I had fully charged it at the beginning of the week.

Disappointment over not having my route saved, frustration of having to mentally scramble and do quick math to decide where to run to make our run long enough and relief that Jim was using his cheap Walmart watch to record our overall time were all feelings that washed over me.lebow

We stopped for a photo of my checking my new watch to echo the statue of Fred Lebow near the Engineer’s Gate. This had been the shot I wanted that made me take my camera on the run. I wasn’t as glib nor proud of my new watch at that moment but I was also getting a little tired. I decided at that point that we wouldn’t run the additional reservoir lap.

When I returned to the apartment, the run hadn’t automatically uploaded to my events page as I was hoping people would be able to follow it. Even the truncated record of our run seemed to be lost so I quickly mapped it on Daily Mile before I forgot the route we had run. I was a bit crabby that we had only run 8.5 miles.

I shook my Go Stick and no lights at all came up. I set it to recharge and was extra careful to seat the contacts into place. That is just a little tricky if you ask me and it never seems to close the clip down quite enough. By the time we had to leave it still was not fully charged so I completed the charging when I got home.CentralPaek2

I am hoping that it keeps its charge longer this time and I am going to be hyper aware of its activity. Unfortunately, until I can trust it, I will be wearing my old stand-by methods of recording time, pace and distance. I hate doubling up on little pieces of gear but I like to record my runs with a fair amount of accuracy. It gives me assurance that I am getting the training I hope to be putting in before any races.

I really do love my new watch and I feel like a proud mama that helped it out from its conception. Like any newborn, it is going to have some surprises and hiccups along the way. I will do my best to take things in stride and get to know it as it grows stronger and better as it developes over time.

As a footnote, the truncated run did appear eventually on my events page. Jim ad I both found it curious that I checked my watch seemingly within the minute that the battery died.

Map of my NYC run before the battery died.

Map of my NYC run before the battery died.