Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Summit subscription and Strava merchandise as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Happy Summer everyone! I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying the amazing summer that we are having… now that we finally got rid of the chills of winter!
A few months ago, I share with you my 5 favorite things about Strava. I felt that I needed to follow up on one of them… Number 1 on that list was that Strava works right from your smartphone. No smart watch or tracking device needed. This is great for someone just starting out and maybe does not want to spend a nice chunk of change on a running watch or fitness tracker yet.
Anyone that knows me, can attest to the fact that I NEVER leave home without my Garmin. whether I am running, cycling, walking, going to work or even going to a wedding, my Garmin is always on my wrist. The only time I take it off is to charge it!
Earlier this month, I was at a retreat in Colorado with a few hundred amazing women and part of the events included running the Colorado 13er on Sunday before we all started heading home. On Saturday night, after all the retreat festivities were dying down, a few of us decided to jump in the pool. Something I have done many times without thought, and without taking my watch off… why would I? It’s designed to track swimming too so obviously it can get wet! After about an hour, we headed back to the room and to took my watch off to charge it so it was ready to go in the morning. I noticed that the display looked a little weird but didn’t really give it much thought. The batter was almost dead so I thought it might have been going into some sort of power save mode.
By morning, my watch was dead. When I looked at the screen, I saw NOTHING! If I tilted the watch and looked at the display from the side, I could see the display very faintly. But this was not good
I will not lie. I had a mini heart attack.
I was 2 hours from race time, halfway across the county from a spare watch and the watch in my hand was not going to cut it!
Then I remembered my Strava app!
I also always run with my phone (yeah you all know I like to take a lot of pictures!) so this was going to work!
We headed to the race, with me leaving my watch behind. It felt weird to NOT have my watch on!
When the races started, I turned opened the Strava app and turn on the option to “record activity”, locked my phone and slid it into the pocket of my running skirt. This was the hardest part about not running with my watch. I am a creature of habit and always find myself checking my stats on my watch… pace, time, mileage etc. Yes, Strava will tell me all of these things at a glance also, but not when my phone is in my pocket! Taking my phone out every few minutes was just going to get annoying, so in a sense, I was running blind…
I ended up spending the morning covering the course with my friend Cara from Oklahoma and honestly, we were having too much fun chatting, laughing and just enjoying the morning and views that I didn’t even worry about my pace or where we were at! This half marathon was all about the fun and sisterhood of this amazing weekend so I was glad to not be worried about the numbers!
In the end, over the course of those 13.1 miles, I did take my phone out to check it a few times, but with views like the one above, why worry about time? I was able to see my distance, my overall time, pace… everything that I normally monitor on my watch. It was just in my pocket instead of my wrist!
It was nowhere near my fastest half marathon time and I knew that was going to be the case. It was my first race at elevation and my body didn’t want to go very fast! But I enjoyed the day, had fun, and was still able to record my run using my phone!
Because we all know that if you don’t track it, it didn’t happen!
Yes, the first thing that I did when I got back home to Wisconsin was to call Garmin to see what I could do about my watch (and that is a whole different post!) but I was just glad that I had my Strava app to help me out when I really needed it!
It’s times like this that I love having little bits of technology at my finger tips or in my pockets! If you have not checked out Strava yet, download the app and give them a try! Being able to track with your smartphone is just one of the amazing features!
Now time to get back to enjoying the sun and getting ready for the next adventures!
See you on the wild side!