A gadget I didn’t even have to buy! #RunKeeper

Well – truth be told, this is the USE of an existing gadget, but is cool none the less!  Many of you know I use a Garmin gps unit on my bicycle to keep track of speed, heart rate, cadence and way more data than I need.  It’s fun, I like it, but even a cheap one will set you back $200.  I’ve always wanted one for running, but that might get me classified as a runner – and even a cheap on is $200.  Ick.

I found out that RunKeeper is offering their app for the Droid and iPhone so I said “Free is good, allow me to try this!”  Try it, I did!  Install it however you install apps, I’m not going to teach you that part… from there, you create and account on your phone and  you are off and… pardon the pun… running!

I played around on the website a bit and it was kind of cool, but I was like … this isn’t much fun.  Today, the “fun” began.  I went out for one of my normal runs with one of my normal (well, that is debatable) running partners.  A bit time crunched – we just did a 3.24 mile run, leaving off “Four Tenths Loop” to get Walt back for his conference call.

Walt wore his Garmin watch and we did our best to sync them at the beginning.  We were off by 7 seconds.  I can probably sort that out quickly, but we were off by 7 seconds.

Through the run, I set it up to notify me every 5 minutes and every 1/2 mile.  My digital mistress came on and told me Time, Distance and Average Pace. It was nice, but I wish they faded the music out before talking.  it may not be possible, but it would be nice!

At the end of the run, unlocking the phone, getting through a few notifications, getting back to the RunKeeper app was a bit cumbersome, but not too bad.  It added about 30 seconds to my already pathetic time.  It would be really nice if it “auto-stopped” like the Garmin does.

Those two little gripes put aside, over the distance of 3.24 miles, we were only off by .03 miles (156 feet).  That’s accurate enough for me.  The data was posted to Facebook and Twitter automagically (this is an option, you don’t have to do that).  I can control which runs you see my route, which ones  you don’t.  I can finally know how far I have run without buying another watch or carrying my bike computer.  This was very accurate – even though it was literally just stuck in my shorts pocket.

There are a metric ton of options – but it’s very easy to figure out.  If you run, walk, occasionally bike… whatever, this may be a lot of fun for you!  I know I like it! It’s not a precision timing tool, but it’s good to keep your run!

Today’s Run: http://runkeeper.com/user/Scottpatton/activity/22161909
Get it Free: http://bit.ly/FreeRunKeeper