dedication, perseverance, self-discipline

May 2017

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Member Since:

Jan 01, 2008



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

3K: 8:58 Pocatello, ID 2003 (indoors at Idaho State)

5K: 14:55 Salt Lake City, UT 2010 (Law Day 5k)

10K: 29:33 Salt Lake City, UT 2010 (Des News 10k)

1/2 marathon: 1:06:59 Provo, UT 2010 (Utah Valley Half)

marathon: 2:21:59 St. George, UT 2009 (St. George Marathon)

Short-Term Running Goals:

To get running higher mileage more consistently without getting injured

Sub 2:19:00 marathon


I used to run competitively, and maybe I will do so again someday.  Right now I am primarily running to try and get in better shape, and to maintain both physical and emotional health, but also for the simple joy that comes when I run.

I am also the proud daddy of five little ones.  I love the opportunity that I have to be a daddy, and my challenge is to balance my family responsibilities with work and running.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Asics Speedstar Lifetime Miles: 2020.05
Asics Gel Ohana Racer Lifetime Miles: 2332.20
Adidas Adizero Lifetime Miles: 1364.30
Barefoot Lifetime Miles: 183.10
Nike Free 5.0 Lifetime Miles: 2221.85
Saucony Kinvara Lifetime Miles: 795.92
Puma Faas 200 Lifetime Miles: 373.50
Puma Faas 250 Lifetime Miles: 460.60
Altra Adam Lifetime Miles: 1836.85
Baretrek Lifetime Miles: 290.15
Hoka Conquest Lifetime Miles: 41.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Altra Adam Miles: 16.00Puma Faas 250 Miles: 4.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I haven't blogged about my running in a long time.  I wasn't running consistently, and when I did run I didn't run far enough to justify blogging about it.  At the same time, I have been dealing with a number of different personal trials over the last few years which have led to the development of depression.  Depression can cause people to lose interest in things that they really enjoy, and on many occasions I didn't run simply because the motivation to do so wasn't there.

However, there is lots of research that shows exercise can be helpful as a treatment for depression.  Knowing this, I wanted to start running more consistently, however it was really difficult to find the necessary motivation to get out the door on a daily basis.  On top of the lack of motivation, I was in poor enough running shape that I knew I could not run farther than a couple miles on a daily basis or risk injury.  Unfortunately, the prospects of a daily 15 minute run which seems to finish right after it has started didn't help to increase my motivation.

Eventually, I did find the motivation to start running consistently again.  I had been praying a lot, asking the Lord to help me finish my dissertation and find a job.  Over the course of a few weeks, as I prayed I did not receive direct inspiration regarding the dissertation or a specific job, instead I consistently felt prompted to start running again.  These promptings helped me to find the extra motivation to really make the effort to run consistently again.

I had previously been running approximately two miles once a week or so, with a couple weeks last summer in which I ran more frequently, and many weeks in which I did not run at all.  I wanted to keep the daily mileage low until I was running 6 days a week in order to avoid potential injuries.  I started in late January by running 2 miles per day, 3 days per week.  By the fifth week I was running 6 days per week, and I have only missed one day of running since (a red-eye flight, subsequent nap, and six hour drive round trip with temple attendance trumped running that day).  Once I was running 6 days per week, I started to slowly increase my mileage.  It took me until approximately the 13th week to get to where I was running 3 miles a day, and I am now at the end of week 18, having run 4 miles per day so far this week (20 miles total; Mileage during weeks 14-17 was 20, 19, 21, 22).  I am not sure yet how high I will push my weekly mileage, but for the foreseeable future I plan to continue slowly building mileage/fitness.

Today's run:  4 miles in 30:38.

I helped with some testing and validation for the XXXXXXXXXX watch (edit: I removed the watch name just to stay out of trouble with the manufacturer), and since we appear to be mostly finished with that work, my advisor at ISU gave me one of the watches yesterday.  I won't speak about our test results as I'm sure my advisor signed a non-disclosure aggreement, but I plan on providing some commentary about the watch as I use it on a daily basis.

Today I ran the standard 4 mile route that I have been running lately (measured using the blog course tool), however the watch was measuring things slightly shorter so I ran just a little farther to satisfy my desire to see 4.00 miles appear on the watch face (I measured the route on the course tool afterwards at 4.05 miles, which is within the range of error I would expect from a device like this, especially since my course tool measurements are not 100% accurate either).  However, once the run was uploaded to XXXXX (edit: also removed to stay out of trouble), it changed the distance to 3.9 miles for some unknown reason (Possibly related to my fumbling with the pause button when I resumed running after stopping at a stop light?  Tomorrow I will try the auto-pause feature instead).  During the early portions of the run, my HR was reading about 50 bpm high as well (I was measuring my HR manually, so my own readings were crude, but 50 bpm is a lot).  This problem seemed to go away about halfway through the run as my HR on the watch dropped from about 190 down to about 140 (this was similar to what I was measuring by hand).  I will watch this to see if the problem repeats itself.

Altra Adam Miles: 4.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4 miles in 26:xx.  I started off at around 8:00 pace but then decided to speed up, and slowly picked up the pace until I was running sub 6:00 pace during the last mile of the run.

Regarding the new watch: I learned today that I can't start running immediately after hitting the start button on this watch as it can take some time for the software to get started (maybe related to auto-pause since this didn't happen at the start yesterday?).  I had been running for maybe 10 seconds before the watch actually started timing me.  This repeated itself both times I stopped at a stoplight, as each time, auto-pause stopped the time immediately after I stopped running, but failed to start again until I had crossed the street (maybe 8-10 seconds later).

HR measurement issues popped up again as well, except today HR bpm started in the 90's (it should have been in the 130's), and then it jumped up into the 180's before finally settling at a more accurate approximation just over a mile into the run (better then yesterday I guess).  Step count was off today as well, as during the last mile of my run it dropped as low as 102 steps per minute even though I was running sub 6:00 pace while chasing two people on bicycles.

Altra Adam Miles: 4.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4 miles in 28:17.  

The watch again had some lag on starting, but not as bad as yesterday, maybe only 1-2 seconds.  However, it took a long time to find a GPS signal (maybe 15 minutes) and I ended up closing and restarting the app multiple times before it finally decided to find the GPS signal.  The step cadence was again messed up today.  The watch cadence read zero when I checked it during the run, and is recorded as zero online as well (with a giant but brief spike partway through the run), yet somehow the total step count measured by two different apps on the watch (including the built in app that measured the run) seemed to be fairly reasonable.  Who knows what was wrong there.  HR again had issues during the first part of the run, alternating between 90 and 190 bpm, before finally settling in a reasonable range just before the halfway mark.  Total distance was a little better with auto-pause turned off, but still only measured 3.98 miles for a course that measures 4.05 on the course tool.

My initial thoughts are that that there is no way I ever would have paid for this watch.  As a watch it is nice, but as a dedicated sports running watch it is garbage.  The GPS is not bad, but is not as accurate as I would like.  The HR only works about half of the time, and is still a little noisy when it does work, and I can't even trust running cadence to be measured accurately.  I can't help but think that I could have done a better job if I were developing the filtering algorithims myself.

Altra Adam Miles: 4.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4 miles in 31:03.  I felt a little tired today, so I just took things easy.

Regarding the watch, I was able to fix the step count problem with a restart of the watch.  I'm still not sure why it bugged out on me to begin with.  HR again was off for the first mile of my run, recording values below 100 bpm, and above 200 bpm, however it gave me reasonable values thereafter, except for a few instances when there was some obvious noise in the signal and there were brief dips or spikes in the recorded HR.  I wish that I could get my hands on the raw data to see what is causing problems as I wonder if I could devise a filtering routine that could fix things.

The distance run is consistently measuring short, as over the past 4 days the watch has given me a total distance run of 4.00, 3.94, 3.98, and 3.96 miles (measured on the course tool at 4.05 miles), while each of the individual runs is showing as 3.9 miles when uploaded online by the watch.  Part of the variation I am seeing in distance is due to some of the inherent limitations of consumer GPS devices, and I can't complain too much about the amount the recorded distance is off, however there are still some issues that I would change if I were in charge.  I would allow for more user control by allowing the user to force the sample rate to increase to 1 Hz.  Currently, data is only collected when movement is noticed, which means that sometimes there is a 1 second gap between data points, and sometimes the gap is 2 or 3 seconds.  That is not adequate when you are shooting for peak accuracy.  I would also try to improve the TTFF (time to first fix) so that it would not be necessary to wait for so long before collecting data, and improve the app start time so that the app started recording immediately when data collection was initialized.  I would also smooth out some of the pace readings.  Currently, pace is recorded on a more absolute level so that any inaccuracies in the GPS show up as large variations in the pace being run and make the pace readout look silly.  I would smooth out these curves so that the absolute pace being run is actually displayed as a running average over multiple data points.  This would tend to smooth out some legitimate brief surges in pace, but would also eliminate the crazy changes of pace where it looks like the running pace has changed by 1:00/mile from one second to the next, and would make this type of data more usable.  Finally, I would allow for data to be collected even without a GPS signal.  Currently, the watch will not save a run if there is no GPS output from the watch.  Sometimes I might want to use a treadmill, etc, and it would be nice if the exercise time could still be saved in these instances.

Altra Adam Miles: 4.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

4 miles in 31:52.  Feeling a little under the weather.

I'm not going to comment much more about the watch accuracy, unless I see something notable, as the lack of accuracy for the HRM is fairly consistent, as well as the decent but not perfect accuracy for the GPS.  Stride rate is the one sensor where I got bad data randomly, but a restart fixed that problem.

Puma Faas 250 Miles: 4.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Altra Adam Miles: 16.00Puma Faas 250 Miles: 4.00
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