April 19th, 2005

bitstrips

Running, with gadgets

boyziggy got the idea that I should try using my GPS when I run, since I had been wondering how far my run to Aquatic Park actually was. I thought it was a great suggestion, but didn't actually try it out until today.

Well, I knew that I would have trouble getting a signal near my apartment, but didn't realize how much. I failed to get enough satellites until I got to Hyde and Lombard, a good 8 minutes into my run. I decided that was fine since I am such a slow runner that 8 minutes wasn't going to make much difference in the total distance.

I also failed to take into account how dark it was at 5:30 a.m., making it impossible to me to see the GPS readings except at brief intervals when I passed under a streetlamp. I didn't want to use the backlight as it would eat the batteries too quickly.

So I ran over the hill, to the end of the pier and back to the cable car stop at Hyde and North Point. I had hoped to run all the way back home, but was getting winded and my hip was sore; I haven't been exercising much at all lately. I was disappointed to see how slowly (if the readings are accurate) I was going; my average moving speed could qualify as "running" only by the technical definition of always having one foot off of the ground. But if nothing else, I successfully got out of bed at 5 a.m. (I even laid out my clothes the night before like all the fitness books tell you to) and got in 30+ minutes of aerobic exercise.

I'm going to register for the San Francisco Marathon 5K (July 31) as soon as I finish this entry. I need a goal to keep me motivated, I know I can do that distance, and in three months maybe I can finish with a time that won't be too embarrassing.