Running around Albany

I wasn’t much of a runner growing up, but over the past couple years I’ve begun to really enjoy it. Last year, I trained for and ran a half marathon and a handful of shorter races, finishing with times that I was pretty happy with!

Santa Barbara Half Marathon

Having a race to look forward to and train for helps motivate me to run more frequently and to run longer distances. I’ve found that when I don’t have a race coming up, I’m much more likely to skip days or cut my runs short.

Because of that, I’ve been interested in finding other ways to stay motivated, and I think that’s why I found Tom Murphy’s movie about his project to run the length of every street in his home town of Pittsburgh so inspiring.

At the end of the movie, he encourages viewers to take on the same challenge in their own cities, so that’s what I’m doing! I live in Albany, California, which is way smaller than Pittsburgh, but I’m way less extreme of a runner than Tom, so I think Albany is a proportionally reasonable goal for me.

I’ve started documenting my progress on this Felt map:

Like I said, it’s a lot smaller than Pittsburgh, but if I finish this and am feeling strong, I may bump my goal up to something more ambitious.

My current method for recording and processing the data is:

  1. Track the run using the Apple Fitness watch app. I like tracking with the Fitness app rather than Strava because it seems to record a superset of the data that Strava records, and the auto-import into Strava has always worked perfectly for me.
  2. Export the .gpx file from Strava.
  3. Import that file in Felt.
  4. Clean up the data a bit. I’ve described my process for that in a note that’s embedded directly into the map so that it’s right there when I need to remind myself what to do.

If you’re reading this and have any tips related to the running or the data collection and processing, let me know!