So I’ve been running.

posted in Running on Aug 7, 2010

As you can see, I'm sluggish!“This isn’t new news! This is old news!”

You are absolutely right. I have been doing this running thing for a while, but I have finally decided to create an account with RunKeeper so that I’ll have a little diary journal of what I have done so I can keep track. It’s the hip and trendy thing to do. If you haven’t heard about this site, let me tell you of its greatness.

RunKeeper works by using your GPS enabled phone device to monitor your run. Afterwards, when you are finished, you can type in a little message about how it went (ex: “I totally suck at this!”) and share that information with your friends. Tonight, for example, I ran 1.7 miles and the little bugger posted it to Twitter for me.

Once you get up off of the floor from your half hour of pained exhaustion after your run, you can log in to the site an it will show you a map of where you went using all of those GPS datas. I’ve noticed in the short time that I’ve been using the service that upon viewing the map I see that sometimes I will be running through peoples’ houses or in a creek. I don’t know how much this is the phone’s fault or the software’s fault, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. It is somewhat fun to look at that and laugh, though. Laugh and laugh and laugh.
Not only do you get to view your own pathetic results, but, like mentioned above, you get to tell your friends all about them! Via Twitter or Facebook, you can have the service automagically update your status for instantaneous gloating. Even better, if your friends also use RunKeeper, you can create a little network, or Street Team, for maximum gloating encouragement. You can see their maps and comment on their runs. After a while you may even be inclined to meet up with them and run together. At that time you can also do massive fist bumps at the end of your run in acknowledgment of your success.

“But I don’t like running! I do have this awesome hipster, fixed-gear bike, though! I like riding around town wearing scarves.” Well, you sir are in luck! RUNKeeper should really be called MOTIONKeeper because it can track multiple forms of locomotion! Reading from the list in the app of things it’ll keep track of: Running, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Walking, Hiking, Downhill Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Skating, Swimming, Wheelchair, Rowing, Elliptical, and, of course, Other. My one question is: “How does swimming work?” The answer is that no one knows. But it does, as evident by it being in this list. The better question, I suppose, would be: “Where can I buy a pair of swimming trunks with an iPhone pocket?”

I am going to devote this last paragraph to talking about the other two, big, self-explanatory features of the service: Routes and FitnessReports. Routes, as you might imagine, is a place where you can chart down routes that you take quite often so that you can compare (or contrast, if that’s your intent) runs that you’ve done against them, seeing changes. You can also share them with the whole world and other people can see how awesome a Google Maps cartographer you are. The other thinger, FitnessReports, tells you how little calories you actually burned when in the back of your mind you wanted them to be so much more. That bag of M&Ms you ate while watching M*A*S*H reruns was a lot of calories, and now you’ll now just how little that twenty minute run did to chip away at them.

All kidding aside, RunKeeper is pretty sweet. There’s even an “Elite” version ($20/year) that gives even better fitness reports and the ability to do live streaming of your runs for friends and family if, say, you are doing a marathon. As soon as I get to marathon levels I am going for it.

So that’s RunKeeper. If you want to have someone one your Street Team that you can consistently beat, look me up. No stalkers, please*.

*You can be a stalker if you are an attractive lady