Many thanks to my new running log site – Final Surge – which contains all the elements I need to keep track of my miles, and easily allowed me to upload data from my Garmin.

Even better, through some file conversion I was able to upload my entire SportTracks history, all for free.

The real benefit, though, is that I am finally able to retire my netbook, and say goodbye to Windows once and for all.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 27, 2016 at 10:30

Categories: Product Reviews   Tags: ,

Help! I’m In Running Log Hell!

Between 2002 and 2009 I logged all my miles manually, with a pen in a bound notebook. Then I bought my first Garmin and experimented with the running activity software available then until I settled on SportTracks, which I’ve used ever since.

I love SportTracks, since it provides everything I need – miles run, pace, cumulative pace, miles on a particular pair of shoes, and a space for notes. It also provides mountains of data I don’t need, but these are easily ignored. It does have one very large drawback: It only works with Windows or Mac.

Last year I finally took the plunge and changed everything from Windows to Google’s Chrome OS. And my phone runs Android. Despite my initial trepidation, it has worked out beautifully and I would never go back. Everything I used to do with Windows I can now do with Chrome.

There were only two apps that resisted the move: Quicken and SportTracks. The Quicken equivalent was Mint, but it required access to bank account passwords, which I was unwilling to do. Last week I finally found a substitute financial management app that met all my requirements, leaving SportTracks as my lone Windows app. So while I do everything else on my Chromebox or Chromebook, I have an old netbook with Windows 10 installed sitting on my desk for the sole purpose of logging my running miles.

Now there are scores of apps out there for tracking miles, but I can’t for the life of me find one that allows me to do what I am doing with SportTracks, only without Windows. The minimum I need is the ability to easily transfer the data from my Garmin Forerunner 10 to a web-based log. It would be a miracle if I could also transfer my SportTracks history files into a new home.

I’ve experimented with various combinations of Garmin Connect, Runkeeper, Strava, and SportTracks mobile, but I keep running into a (tech) brick wall. I’ve been reduced to manually entering my runs into Runkeeper, which apparently doesn’t even have data fields for mile splits.

So if I have any Chrome pals out there, how did you square this circle?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 26, 2016 at 11:20

Categories: Columns   Tags: , ,

It Overstent Its Welcome

God willing, this is the last kidney stone update I will ever write. Yesterday the urologist removed the two-foot-long stent lodged in my left ureter.

I had done a lot of Internet research on stent removal, which turned out to be a mistake, as I came across this YouTube video of a guy screaming like a little girl during the procedure, and this article, headlined “The Worst Pain Your Penis Will Ever Endure.”

So I was prepared for agony, but I also knew the entire procedure takes only about a minute. I resolved to soldier up.

I won’t saddle you with the details, but suffice to say it was much ado about not much. I’ve had more pain just urinating during the two weeks the stent was in, and the only discomfort was the intense urge to pee while the cystoscope was doing its stuff.

A look at my records afterward revealed the stone was one of calcium oxalate, the most common type, and was 7 x 11mm. A dime is about 18mm in diameter.

With all foreign objects now out of my body, I am free to resume training and concentrate on funny running stories. What a relief.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 24, 2016 at 11:48

Categories: Columns   Tags: , ,

Sweatt Shop

Sweatt is a dating app for fitness enthusiasts, or maybe it’s just a way to find a running or workout partner.

I’m sure that’s great if your idea of a good time on a date is doing stuff like this:

But who looks happier to be together? Those folks, or these folks?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 20, 2016 at 09:35

Categories: What's New   Tags: , ,

Run Interrupted by Flying Kangaroo

There are lots of running hazards we all face, but this one is very specific.

A jogger was struck by a flying kangaroo in Kangaroo Flat on Wednesday morning.

The kangaroo was hit by a car in Phillis Street shortly after 6am, the impact pushing it into the path of the passing male jogger, aged in his 20s.

…Sam Walter said he ate kangaroo the evening before the event, a strange coincidence in an already bizarre episode.

The 28-year-old was on one of his regular runs before work on Wednesday morning when he saw a car approaching on the opposite side of the road.

He said it turned its high-beam lights on just moments before the kangaroo bounced into its path.

The kangaroo was flung from the car and into Mr Walter, flying towards him “like a football”.

“It was actually airborne and it took me out,” he said.

Mr Walter said the marsupial was bigger than him, at 69 kilograms, and knocked him down “pretty hard”.

While he was only assessed by paramedics at the scene, Mr Walter later visited hospital to borrow some crutches for the leg injury he sustained, something he believed was muscular.

Mr Walter said the incident had not put him off running, although he would perhaps be a little more careful when cars approached.

“It’s pretty bizarre,” he said.

The kangaroo had to be euthanised.

No word on whether Mr. Walter asked to nosh on his assailant.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 19, 2016 at 10:34

Categories: Outpost of the Odd   Tags: , ,

The Grooveyard of Forgotten Hits

Yes, it’s time once again for that once-in-a-while Running Is Funny feature, where I introduce you youngsters to songs I heard in my youth, didn’t hear again for decades, then suddenly heard again recently.

I usually don’t pay much attention to the music playing in Starbucks, but during a lull in the conversation yesterday morning this tune struck a chord, so to speak.

Rising from the Grooveyard are the Tremeloes and their 1967 hit “Here Comes My Baby.”

That song was written by a 19-year-old Cat Stevens, and the Tremeloes are still around, which is frightening.

Pretty obscure, but not nearly as obscure as “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” by Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Previously interred in the Grooveyard:

Pata Pata Time by Miriam Makeba

The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel

Pictures of Matchstick Men by the Status Quo

Soul Finger by the Bar-Kays

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 18, 2016 at 10:00

Categories: Columns   Tags: , ,

Right on the Button

Gabrielle Jennings gained national attention in 2009 by winning the 3,200 meters at the Louisiana State High School Indoor Championships… as a 10-year-old fifth-grader. Flotrack interviewed her after that performance.

At the time I took Runner’s World to task for emphasizing that she was “cute as a button.” It was an amazing feat that did not require cuteness.

Now, seven years later, Jennings wrapped up her high school track career by winning her 44th state title, and gave this emotional interview to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Jennings received a cross-country scholarship to Furman University in South Carolina.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - May 17, 2016 at 11:22

Categories: What's New   Tags:

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