Battery failure, goodbye data

Today’s workout (elliptical): 26 minutes

I was able to sneak in an elliptical workout this morning. I didn’t do a full 30 minutes because of my schedule. I figured that all the city walking I’d planned to do would constitute a full workout. I just checked my Fitbit to see how much ground I’d covered, but it had shut down due to having a low charge. I wouldn’t mind, except the device doesn’t warn you when the battery is low. Neither does it provide you any way of checking the level while in use. I’d write more today, except the battery on my phone has dropped below 10%, so I need to conserve. Technology tools can provide great data, but this dependency on batteries can be annoying.

Stillwell trails and a mystery solved

My Stillwell Loop x 2

Today’s run (Stillwell Woods): 4.2 miles

The Garmin power loss mystery was solved this morning when I uploaded my week’s runs to Garmin Connect. The duration of Thursday’s treadmill run was recorded at sixteen hours and forty-one minutes. I had forgotten to turn off the timer after my run, and it dutifully recorded time until it ran out of juice. I was happy to see that it was my lack of attention, and not an issue with my battery, that caused the power drain.

The Garmin was back to full power this morning when I headed over to Stillwell Woods. It was freezing cold at the start and I expected the dirt paths to be rock hard. Surprisingly, the ground had plenty of give. As I traveled further, I even encountered some muddy sections. My hip did not bother me like yesterday, but I could still feel some soreness.

I followed my usual loop, a route that I favor for two reasons: I don’t get lost while on it and it doesn’t subject me to the extreme inclines that exist further to the east. I was careful not to push too hard and further aggravate my hip, so I locked into a comfortable pace and enjoyed the scenery as I ran.

I saw a few groups of high school-age runners moving rapidly along the trail and figured they were training for cross country. There were some mountain bikers as well, and one rode behind me for a while, but didn’t pass. Knowing he was there made me nervous. I moved far to the right, hoping that he’d take the hint. At that moment, the rider turned onto a connecting path and my problem was solved.

I ended up covering my route twice and even added a little extra distance to make sure I made my targeted distance of four miles. So far my hip is still behaving and I’m hoping the residual soreness will go away. It was nice to be back in the woods and I look forward to more trail running as winter turns to spring. You can run the trails all year round, but it’s far better when the paths are clear.

Today’s fifty step run

No power, no problem, today

I originally thought the theme of today’s post would be about my discovery that my Garmin was out of battery and that would force me to run outside without capturing any data. But that wasn’t the way it played out. Instead, I ended up stopping my run almost as soon as it started. Nothing to do with technology this time.

I was actually looking forward to running free of big brother NAVSTAR as I geared up for the cold morning temperatures (29°). I’ll admit that I wimped out and put on my Garmin 60 to use as a stopwatch, but I didn’t connect the foot pod or the HRM. So technically I was running free. However, between elapsed time and Gmaps, I could still calculate pace and distance. And you know I would have.

After running fifty steps from my house on my way around the neighborhood, I realized that my hip soreness had not gone away. In fact it was fairly painful and I worried that continuing my run might only exacerbate the problem. I decided that getting in a routine run was not worth the possibility of further injury so I stopped, turned around, and headed home.

I iced the spot for about 30 minutes and then continued my day that included lunch with a good friend. I considered doing an afternoon run if my hip felt better (it does) but decided instead to give it additional rest until tomorrow. I may go for a trail run at Stillwell on Saturday. In the past, the dirt surface has provided a good, softer alternative to pavement. It’s a good surface to run on when dealing with an injury. Of course, if the temperatures are still below freezing tomorrow, the dirt may be just as hard as pavement.

My $4 running phone decision

Tonight’s dish: wet phone over rice

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

After my pool screw up on Sunday, I got a tweet from a colleague, who suggested that I place my nearly drowned cellphone in rice. My daughter said that her teacher had done that and successfully restored her smartphone after an accidental bath. I figured, what the heck, I’ll try it. I placed the phone in a small container and covered it with brown rice.

Last night I removed the phone from its rice bed and replaced the battery, but it didn’t power up. That wasn’t a big surprise. I expected that the lithium ion battery would have fully discharged after being held under water for a time. I plugged the phone into its charger and the Verizon screen came right up. I thought I might have lucked out, but immediately after the welcoming message, the screen said, “Use genuine battery. Power Off.”

To be fair, the battery is genuine

Now I must decide whether to invest in a new battery in hopes of bringing this phone back to life. It looks like I can buy one for about $4 online (plus tax and shipping) but I’m not sure it’s even worth doing that. There are still some drops of water trapped under the lens of the TFT that may interfere with the display. Also, the battery cover no longer stays in place and would need to be secured using a rubber band or something similar.

I’ll make my way to the Verizon store at some point to get a new “running” phone. I ran without a phone this morning but felt okay about that, since I didn’t stray too far from my home. Ironically, I looked to take off my SPIbelt when I got back, but realized I hadn’t needed to wear it. I wish I’d remembered it as well last Sunday.