Feb 20 2012

Self Motivation with RunKeeper

Category: MiscPhil @ 2:13 pm

I started jogging a little over 4 years ago after seeing a story on the news. The story was about the benefits of only 20 minutes of daily exercise! My metabolism had definitely slowed down as I got older, combine that with expanding responsibilities and time demands, meant less time for to stay fit. The only exercise I got was mowing the yard! So, I started jogging every morning before I went to work and it honestly made (makes) me feel a lot better; I did lose some pounds, but more importantly, it energizes me for the day.  It gives me about 25 minutes of me time, to listen to a podcast, music, or just think. It is a really good opportunity to get your day started on the right foot.

I basically run everyday on a treadmill; bad knees prevent me from running outside. So, unless I am not able to get out of bed, I am on the treadmill by 5AM.   I was running one morning last December and I smelled something burning, I thought the house was on fire! Unfortunately, the motor burned out and put a damper on my running! I figured it would be easier to fix it, rather than figuring out how to get rid of it! I had previously replaced two circuit boards in the treadmill, so I knew a guy in Michigan who dealt in treadmill parts (I found him on eBay!). He was a pretty interesting guy; he knew exactly what I needed and even through in a new belt. After a couple hours of fun and a lot of little adjustments, I had a brand new treadmill! I wish I knew how many miles I have logged on this thing; I assume that I have at least 3000+ miles on it… I know I have been through quite a few pairs of Brooks shoes!

One of my goals this year was to actually track my running.  I decided to  give RunKeeper a try. There are numerous web site / mobile application suites like this, but I had seen some good feedback on this one. The Android application is pretty basic and did what I need it to do.  The mobile applications are much more useful if you run out side; they are GPS enabled, recording your path and mileage, pretty cool! The RunKeeper website is actually pretty nice. I don’t really use it that much. You need to be an Elite member to get access to all of the interesting graphs and reports. I would actually like this information to be integrated with my blog, but have not found a WordPress plugin that does exactly what I want.  I might actually use this as an opportunity to create a small plugin that will let me manage my data the way I want! I actually have the whole thing designed in my head, it is just a matter of prioritization!

I thought that I would share my progress today, since I ran my longest distance of the year. Sometimes, if I feel the desire or need, I will actually run again when I get home from work; those are days that you see the unusually tall lines in the graph! I unfortunately broke my daily streak in January due to an illness, but have been fairly consistent ever since. It is kind of amazing, according to the treadmill’s calculations, I have burned an extra 22,000 calories this year!

My next challenge is to make it through a P90X session… I friend loaned me his DVD series to try… Sadly, my 4+ years of running has done nothing to prepare me for those workouts. I’m not very consistent with them, but will keep trying.  The problem is, I usually cannot walk the next day, they are seriously hard! Jogging is so much easier!

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