Monthly Archives: February 2009

Google Earth – Enhanced Features Free

You can do some great things with Google Earth if you spend some time getting to know the program.  It can be fun to zoom around the world and look at different city and countries.   Lots of organizations have created mashups using Google Earth, like this one about the genocide in Darfur.

I wasn’t convinved about Google Earth until I found the feature that allows you to add your GPS “tracks” and create an image of your run.  Most recently I did this for the Securian Frozen Half course.  Here is what it looked like:

You can spin it, zoom in on the image, add the 3D skyscrapers, add landmarks, and a lot more. Last year I paid a whopping $20 to have the privilege of adding GPS technology to my free Google Earth software. I thought it was a small price to pay for some cool images.

I recently received an e-mail saying that the latest upgrade to Google Earth 5.0 will now include free GPS data imports. Err they took my money and now offer it for free. If you still want to pay you can get a Google Earth Pro account which offers some excellent features (but not ones I need).

The latest version of Google Earth lets customers import and track global positioning system (GPS) data. Our Google Earth Plus customers told us GPS tracking is one of the main reasons they choose Google Earth Plus. Now, since you can use this feature for free in Google Earth 5.0, there’s little separation between Plus and the free product. In order to simplify the decision of which version of Google Earth best meets our customers’ needs, we decided it no longer made sense to continue Google Earth Plus.

So if you’d like some new images and a different look at your running routes via GPS download Google Earth 5.0, for free!

[tags] Google Earth, Earth, Google, GPS, Garmin [/tags]

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Week 2: Half Marathon Training

3 m run + strength
7 x 400
5-K pace
3 m run + strength
45 min tempo
3 m pace
90 min run

Monday was President’s Day and I didn’t have to work so I took some extra time to go to Fort Snelling for a run on Pike Island. I knew it would be pretty icy so I took my new Yaks Tracks along for the ride. Good thing since the trails were solid sheets of ice. They worked pretty well and I never really slipped too much. It wasn’t the easiest 3 mile run due to the choppy conditions of the ice. It was 23 above and 12 wind chill. The Garmin battery malfunctioned again so I didn’t get an exact time or distance.

Tuesday was a nice morning for a speed workout! It was 23 with the wind chill around 15 and sunny!  I ran 6 miles out and back on the Greenway using my Garmin to clock the 7 x 400m intervals at 5k pace.  I set the plan for today of running sub-90 second intervals and nailed it.  1:23, 1:30, 1:29, 1:29, 1:28, 1:30, 1:29 I did 400m rest after each interval as programed in the Garmin. There were still small patches of ice on the trail but none that really hindered my running.   The wind was also in the face on the way back. I finished the 6 miles in 47:42 and felt pretty good about it.

Wednesday brought a much needed 3.25 mile recovery run on my Metrodome loop.  My legs were pretty tired and I ran it in 27:09 which is well over 8 minute miles.  We had just gotten a dusting of snow and the temp was 27 with a 15 degree wind chill, so not too bad!

Thursday was a well deserved day off! It was like 4 above when I woke up so I was doubly glad not to have to run.

Friday was supposed to be a tempo run but my legs felt very sluggish. It was 9f without any wind so that didn’t really have too much of an impact.  I think it was mainly just my tired legs.  I barely even made it under 7 minute pace and my tempos should be at 6:30.  Oh well.  I ran 6 miles in 47 minutes.

Saturday we had planned to meet at Theodore Wirth park and run on some different trails.  We got 5 inches of snow overnight and the Park Board hadn’t plowed any of the roads or paths yet along that stretch so we opted to go down to Cedar Lake and run some of the lakes because they had been plowed.  We got 11.5 miles in 1:33:00 for the morning.  It was around 18f with a pretty rough wind chill.  When we were running on the east side of Calhoun it was quite brutal.  Some places still had significant snow but for the most part there was decent footing.

Sunday we met at the falls again.  We ran west on the Minnehaha Parkway and ran around Nokomis.  The paths were pretty clear except for a few parts that had drifted back onto the trail.  Mike even brought Poncho along, who did quite well for the 6.25 mile run. The temp was 2 and the wind chill was back down to -12 which wasn’t too pleasant, but it was a good run at a relaxed pace.  We finished in 54:44.

Weekly Total:

Running -36 miles

Biking – 9 miles

Last Year

Run: 28.8 Miles
Bike: 12.5 Miles

Week 3 of Half Marathon training last year included supersets as part of the Running Planet training program.  The plan also included hill repeats, much like I did last week.   Foto Friday was a caution sign posted on the hill at Fort Snelling.

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Indulgence: Ultra Running

That was a clip from Indulgence: 1000 miles under the Colorado Sun.

From their website:

Indulgence: 1000 Miles Under the Colorado Sky features ultra-marathon phenom Anton Krupicka in a high-definition running film inspired by mountain ski and bike films. The film will offer the viewer a first-hand look at Anton’s life as he trains in the mountains of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California during the summer of 2007. The film’s presentation will reflect Anton’s simple approach to life and running and his continued pursuit of this minimalist ideal amidst the expectations of modern society.

It looks pretty good.  Anyone seen it yet?

[tags] Indulgence, Ultra-running, movies [/tags]

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