Posts

Stepping out - A question of algorithms

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I have two devices and three algorithms that count my daily steps...

(The fitbit died)...

An Apple Watch...

The iPhone health app...

The Fitbit app on the phone...

Never do the three agree.

I can understand the watch being different from the other two, I don't normally leave it on the desk when I get a coffee, I rarely wander off leaving it on the side.

The other two are using the same hardware - the phone, with its accelerometer and inbuilt gizmos...

How much of a difference?  Well, I've had an interesting day at work, where I've been shackled to the desk, have been feeling rough and headachy - so a good wish test, no runs or gym sessions...

The watch - 8315
Health App - 7713
Fitbit - 7106

That's 10% difference between the two on the same hardware.

The next question is should I be bothered?  The scientist in me is, I want to unpick what the difference is and why it's so stark on the same hardware.  But there is a bigger question, how accurate are step trackers any…

Getting Chilly, Going Large

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As regular readers may have noticed I often follow my own advice and take things easy, slowly build up my distance and speed and generally just add 10% a week to my mileage...

Those of you not choking on your cornflakes may not realise that this is cobblers... Upon occasion, especially on a run where I know the time cut offs are generous, I will take a punt and start the exercise regime for a year with something fun...

So, Jiminy Cricket and I headed north, to the wilds of Lancashire for the Fylde Coast Runners Central Lancs New Year Half Marathon - my simple target get around and have some fun while I did... And to try and make sure Jiminy wasn't sat around in basecamp (the local primary school) for too long while I trundled along.

Unlike most runs I do, this was on open roads so there were cars on the roads with the runners - which wasn't the problem I feared as the run was on quiet lanes, and most runners were sensible and tucked in when cars went past.  Did mean that the …

Running Review 2017

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Its been a year... a complete desertion of the mojo, a niggling hip injury and a tad of achilles tendonitis has meant that the training has gone for a long walk... even that didn't run away, just gently sauntered into the sunset...

However, I am and will always be a medal whore, so whilst I've not run consistently I have got my sorry arse out of bed for runs and events.  The inaugural Wirral trail half marathon started the year, a gentle cold slog along the Wirral Way, flat with squelchy bits... The glory of the MadDog 10k - with its awesome goody bag - containing a bag, well rucksack.  The National Trust run around around the grounds and deserted airfield near a Tudor mansion - Speke Hall.  The horror of the BTR half marathon... BTR Half, guess what, still no explanation... let alone an apology!

The double header of the Spring 5 & 10K in Sefton Park showed how cock-ups should be dealt with - a shortage of t-shirts meant that names were taken and a little while later a ver…

It’s been awhile…

Oppsy – the blog has been unwritten for many a month.  There has been a series of very good reasons, but still the blog has been unwritten.

However, I’ve said I write the blog best when I’m running well – and I’m not running well, the hip injury from months ago is still lurking, mainly hurting when I’ve sat down for far too long.  Which given I have a sitting down job and spend significant hours sat on a train getting around the country is a bit of a bugger…

So as I’ve started groping towards getting back into the running its time for a catch-up montage blog…

The degree is over; I’ve submitted my last Tutor Marked Assessment and passed the last module and now have a silly amount of letters to add after the other letters after my name – BA (Hons) Open (Open) – so I stand astride CP Snow’s two worlds, a scientist who loves science and a student of the Arts (as in Art History) with large dollops of Religious Studies and Heritage Studies.  The Open University is a curates egg – at its be…

The end of an era...

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The time has almost come to say goodbye to a good friend, one that has been mistreated by those who should know better and which despite everything I still love...

Yes, I'm talking about my mobile phone.

I'm normally a sticker, if I start with something I stay with it... And so my first phones, with almost no exceptions were Nokia's... The sporty ones, the business ones (oh E71 what a phone you were), the N78... my first phone which had a camera worthy of the name.

The came a mild flirtation with Android... a HTC Desire... and the realisation that not all phone companies bothered keeping phones up to date... and that Android was a buggy, laggy mess with lousy cameras.

And so I fled back to Nokia... this time with windows phone... Seamless integration with social media, excellent camera, useable versions of word and powerpoint that helped with charity and OU stuff.  It just worked, where there was an app gap nokia provided good or excellent alternatives - nokia music for na…

Never say Never Again... Apart from this time

I'm a simple soul at heart...

All I really want from a race is good organisation, and some form of thing for finishing... Yes I'm a medal whore, but I've a set of mugs, t-shirts and even a small number of cuddly toys...

Good organisation however is not something I tend to negotiate on, yes if its organised by a small charity and there's a cock-up I may be diplomatic. However, when your t-shirt claims you are the Premier Road Race in Liverpool then you have zero degrees of freedom in providing good organisation.

A long time ago, I swore I wouldn't run a BTR event again - the endless arguments that I should get a t-shirt when I finished (the excuse always being someone else took them), the times they ran out of water (always due to someone drinking too much) and the marathon that started 50 minutes late with no explanation, water stations closing down and the final indignity of my bag being left in a muddy puddle (that was all Merseyside Police's fault).

I would …

Heroes

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I've said before that I'm a lucky sod, I've met many of my heroes, that strange mix of people who inspire me and keep inspiring me.

And so on the way back from a weekend in Scotland we took a detour, rather than head straight to Liverpool we went down the the east coast to see one of these heroes of mine.

Kieran is a try-er, he doesn't stop trying... I remember walking with him up Mam Tor, him in not a good way, his heart not in the best of conditions.  His humour and sense of wonder of being in the outdoors was infectious.  He fell asleep in his pint, but a legend was born.  The next day he pulled on his boots and walked again.

That was a while ago and since then he's been given one hell of a gift, he's had a heart transplant and is trying again to do what he can to say thank you for that gift.  He's run the London Marathon, twice, and jumped out of a plane.  All of which have raised cash... But he's had a dream, for as long as I've known him of wa…