Greenleaf 30K VLOG

I’ve spent my free time over the weekend cleaning up the audio of my GoPro footage during our 30K trail run at Greenleaf.  It has multiple issues, a) with the protective case on the mic can’t pick up anything and b) the 3D printed handle I made has a rough surface as does my hands so there’s bursts of screetch noise when I spin it in my hand.

But it was my first time attempting to use a GoPro so you live and learn.

To fix problem a) I’ve gotten an external mic and put a hole in the side of a spare case to attach it.  This is a 360 degree mic and since it’s not in the case it works much better.  Also since it’s separated by a wind foam guard it shouldn’t pick up scratching from my skin on the selfie stick.   I designed the selfie stick so it’s hollow and has four holes in a circle around the top so sound can hit the mic from any angle.  And the cordage fits down inside the handle making for a tidier package. To fix problem b) I think I’ll probably coat the handle in Plasti-Dip as well to reduce friction noises.

Anyway I finally got all the titles, audio, etc’s I care to add to my first running ‘vlog’ and it’s rendering now.   About an hour to render an hour of full 1080p video on my current primary rig using a Ryzen 1700 8 core CPU.

Stryd Live aka Stryd Light

The RW (running wife) added a Stryd Light to her arsenal to get better pacing and distance.   I’ve been very happy with my Stryd, it’s precision is pretty phenomonal compared to GPS.   For example on our recent 20 mile run, it measured 10.1 miles out and 10.1 miles back and the start and stop were within 2 meters of each other.

While you ‘can’ run with a Stryd out of the box with a calibration of 100% I believe you really do need to run a calibration run with it.  For instance during our races she was coming up slower than me and her distance was shorter (obviously).

The calibration is to go to a 400 meter track and run 4 laps and the distance should be 1600 meters (duh) then run 8 laps and the distance should be 3200 meters.   If you get less or more than those values then divide the desired number (1600 and 3200) by the actual value.   And then move the decimal two places to the right.

Example:  You should hit 3200 meters but you ended up with 3100.   So divide 3200  by 3100 and get 1.032.   Move the decmial two places right and get 103.2.  Plug that into your calibration value.    Now your measured distance will be multiplied by 103.2 percent and you should be on the nose.    If you measured high, like you got 3250 meters and it should have been 3200 then  3200 / 3250 = 0.984.  Move the decimal two places to the right and you get 98.4 as your calibration value.

After running the calibration I believe she ended up with calibration of somewhere around 101.7 which sounds pretty close to what she should have comparing hers to mine during the races.

My calibration is currently 99.1.   I also ran (re-ran) a calibration run yesterday of 6k.  I lapped at 4 laps and had 1.6K (400×4 = 1.6K).  I then lapped at 9 laps and had 3.6K (400*9) is 3.6K.  Those were around 11:00 minute miles.   My ankle and arch is still bothering me.   And I weight 250lbs.  Don’t judge me.  After those I did one lap at a walk of about 16 minute and ended up with .39k so it was a hair short.  Then I did 1 lap at a 7:00 minute mile and had .4k.    I’ve seen for a while that the Stryd doesn’t register quite as accurately for me at a walk as it does at a run, it always reads a bit short so the .39 was expected.

We still have some training runs to do so we’ll see if we’re closer to the same ballpark when we run together.

Gimbal not Gambit

After seeing the footage from our Greenleaf 30K I decided to look into ways to making that better and I settled on a Feiyu Tech G5 Gimbal.   In just some quick playing around with it it works fairly well.

I’m going to have to 3D print some shells though to use 18650 batteries as the 22650 it comes with is just super hard to find and I have a bunch of 18650’s for flashlights of various purposes.

It’s heavier than I thought but the craftsmanship is pretty good.

I picked the G5 for a few reasons, looks, it’s just a cleaner look than the other one I was looking at, it has a ‘selfie’ button that makes it easy to do a 180 of the camera, and it was $50 less than the other one I looked at.

Also DC Rainmaker has several months of use with this model and he didn’t say anything bad about it so that’s a big plus.

And a big reason to get a gimbal, a powered one anyway, is I just like toys.  All kinds of toys.   I could have 3D printed a weight based gimbal that would have helped.  But I needed a compact one that I can easily stow in my pack and this one fit the bill.

Stryd Right

As I mentioned prior I’m using the Stryd Marathon training plan.  It’s an interesting plan in a few ways.  The workouts have more variation in the workouts themselves than other plans I’ve used or seen.   Also the initial month is very low speed long distance.  Distances aren’t that long per se but this is obviously not a couch to marathon plan since week 1 has a 8 mile run at the end and the short distance is 4 miles.

Economy of form leads to being able to go the distance”

When I first started I couldn’t do a 4 minute run…

The slow runs also have some kind of ‘strides’ as Stryd calls them or sprints or intervals as I grew up calling them.  The first few runs that have sprints are pretty simple 3 to 6 mile zone 1 running (super slow) and then  100 meters balls to the wall full on sprint with 1 minute jog or walk.  Repeat the sprint cycle 4 to 10 times depending on the workout.

After the first 3 or 4 weeks of training the tail end road sprints change to hill sprints which start at 8 second balls out sprinting uphill followed by 1 minute jog or walk, repeat 4 to 10 times.

What I find the most interesting/intriguing about the Stryd plan is the alleged science behind their rhyme and reason of their training activities.   Each one is, allegedly, designed to target a specific function of the running physiology.  LSD’s or Long Slow Distances which are slow slow are designed to strengthen the heart, promote healing (which I could use right now) and increase oxygen delivery ability at the cellular level.   That all sounds pretty science-ey doesn’t it?

The sprints, especially hill sprints are designed to increase neuromuscular capabilities, strength and leg sprint stiffness.  These lead to more economy of form.   Economy of form leads to being able to go the distance.

There are a total of 8 different areas the various styles of workouts targets.  Remember Rocky 3?  Dolph had all the Russian science behind him and all Rocky had was star power so he won?   In reality science is a pretty big boost toward being able to accomplish what you want in the time yuou want it.   Obviously runners used to just ‘get out there and run’.   But it does make one think how much better those awesome runners of yore could have been if they’d of trained with the knowledge we have now of anatomy, physiology, kinesthesiology and in general just more understanding of the human body and it’s bio-mechnics.

I for one feel my slow, structured approach to running even #notrunning as I do has got me there safely and with minimal risk.   Indeed it was only when I started added extra ‘off book’ runs especially ones on technical trails and hills that I started having problems with my knee.  Just the one.  The left one.

At some point Time will come crashing down with a ‘this is is my friend, this is as far as you can get now, after 5 decades of abuse, this is the maximum your body can output’.  So we’ll see where that line is.

During my sprints on Tuesday, granted just 100 meters at a time, I hit a pace of 6:04 per mile.   All in all I don’t really think that’s anything to complain about given my age, lack of training and the fact that I outweigh the average elite runner by over 100 lbs.   Those are some big handicaps to overcome.  Time will tell how far over that hump I can get.

Jaybird X3 – Warning

So I have a pair of Jaybird X3’s, bought the first couple of weeks they were available.  The sound quality IMO was decent but Bose Sound Sports sound better.   The Plantronics Backbeat Fit sounds better IMO.

Yes I get asked to do the very thing I’ve already told them I’ve done several times.”

But the Jaybirds were oh so highly rated so I bought a pair.  You can probably tell where this is going right?

After at a guess less than 2 full charges worth the headhpones were dead when I went to use them last Sunday.  They’ve never been wet and given I was using them in 30’s and 40’s degree runs they didn’t even get sweated on.  And remember they’re rated for water.

I assumed the battery was dead so I plugged them in for 15 minutes to get me enough battery for a run.  15 minutes and they still won’t turn on.  So I assume the manual is lying to me about 15 minutes will get you an hour’s worth of run time and leave them on the charger and go run.

I get back and check them.  Still dead. Ooooh kay.   I put them back on the charger and try turning them on.  THey come on.  I take them off and they immediately die.   I put them back on and long story short while on the charger they will turn on and act normally with the exception that the right ear piece is dead.   They do their normal OMFG loud startup sequence “Powering on.  Blast of eardrum busting music.   Searching for Music Device.  Fully Charged.”

I can change the EQ using the app on the phone.   I can play music, only through the left ear piece.

So I google and you’ll be shocked to hear there are a lot of folks with the same problem.   I open a case with support and explain everything in detail.

I get asked if I tried turning them off and on.   And to try using a different USB port.

I respond back and tell them I’ve tried the soft reset of go into pairing mode and press the power button twice, the hard reset (that everyone says does nothing) of pressing the power button 8 times, pressing for 5 seconds, and doing that twice more.  I reiterate that the headphones appear to be fully charged, at least they say they are and the power led goes green indicating a full charge.   I reiterate that there is NO sound in the right earpiece and that the thing ONLY works while it’s on the charger.

I get a response back to try pressing the power button 8 times, holding for 5 seconds and doing that twice more, then putting it on the charger and letting it charge.   Yes I get asked to do the very thing I’ve already told them I’ve done several times.

So… knowing I’m wasting my time in doing this… I do it again.  And knowing I’m now wasting my time I re-state everything I’ve already stated twice for the third time.  Emphasizing that it has been reset, that the right ear piece doesn’t work, that the headset doesn’t work at all unless it’s on the charger.

It’s safe to assume at this point that they’re using the delay, irritate and drag the issue out till the customer gives up method of customer support.   And knowing there’s little chance I’m going to get a working set of headphones out of this any time soon if ever and I have a half marathon this weekend and don’t want to run it listening to my own breathing I found that Costco has Plantronics Backbeat Fit for $50 right now with instant rebates.

The Backbeats are pretty highly rated and to my ears they sound almost but not quite as good as Bose Soundsports and with better bass than the Jaybird X3’s.

So there you go.  If you’re considering the Jaybird X3’s then at this point assume they’re disposable and consumable and you might get some unknown number of months out of the or you might get some few hours like a fair number of people based on the views and public support cases on the Jaybird support forum and googling jaybird x3 battery issues, jaybird x3’s won’t turn on, jaybird x3’s won’t charge, jaybird x3’s one earpiece is dead.

I knee this would happen

Did my last long long run before the half coming up in 2 weeks yesterday.  Was doing pretty good up till about 7 miles and then my knee decided to get pissy as hell.

And being curious is how you get into things you might have otherwise not gotten into.  Or that’s what I hear about college anyway.”

I was able to find, eventually, a gait that reduced the pain from WTF to Ouch levels by landing my left foot on the outside edge.   This reduced the stress that was happening to my knee or some reason I have no idea on but for whatever reason it let me maintain my pace for the most part.

We tried a 1 mile run, 45 second recovery lather rinse repeat this run and that worked okay I think.  It didn’t cause problems anyway.   And really not causing problems is something to be desired.

I’m going to put a pair of orthotics into my chosen race shoes, Nimbus 18’s right now, to add some support and help drive my foot to the outside.  When it doubt just force it and hit it with some lube if it sticks right?  It works in a lot of situations at least.

We didn’t quite get the pace I was hoping for but we might hit it for race day.  Regardless the primary goal is just to finish the half marathon and not be last over the line.

I forgot to bring a chest strap which points out the problems I have with the OHR monitor on  watch.  Flexing of my wrist, shifting of the watch over time, this all means it reads funky.   I had to throw out all my HR data for this run as it was all suspect.  And not just mildly so.

Another problem I have is how instant pace using GPS is off.  When you’re trying to run a pretty specific pace for a race and GPS based pacing is fluctuating 10-15% due to time outs and straight line averaging when going curves and corners it can be problematical.

I’m curious about the Stryd and it’s power zone training, the metrics it provides and how allegedly it can have accurate pacing without being calibrated.  Since my stride is not consistent enough at this time it throws off my foot pod which is accurate at a given single stride length.

And being curious is how you get into things you might have otherwise not gotten into.  Or that’s what I hear about college anyway.

I’ve Fallen and I can’t get up

When I started running one of the things that concerned me was dying while running, literally.  Dropping over from a heart attack, zombie bite, whatever.

while a junior wife sounds tempting”

So one of the things I did was get a RoadID from so that if I did expire someone would be able to ID the body and let my wife know.  I’m wearing two charms on it, #NOTARUNNER and 10K which is my current furthest race distance.

Another thing I did was install Automate on my android phone.  Automate is a block based programming application that lets you do a lot of super cool things with an android phone.  Some things do require root of course.

One of the things I was able to do was set up an panic button so to speak.  If I press my power button 3 times in 5 seconds it sends my wife an emergency text with my current GPS coordinates.  Technically it’s the fact that the screen comes on and turns off 3 times in 5 seconds which is what pushing the power button repeatedly does.     It works fine as we’ve had a handful of false triggers due to accidental pushes.  Each time she calls me and verifies I’m not dying somewhere.   If I don’t answer then she’ll pull up the Garmin Livetrack and see if I’m not moving.  Or ping me on Google’s Trusted Contacts app which if I don’t deny the request for my location then something bad is likely happening.

It’s these kinds of things that make running by yourself regardless of the circumstances safer.  Whether a health issue, tripping and smashing your head on the street, getting your throat torn out by a zombie, hit by a drunk or just stupid or texting while driving driver etc, these are all (okay most of them) valid reasons that you might need help quickly and be in a position where maybe just spam clicking your power button is the only option you have.

Now that I primarily run with someone it’s not as big a concern but I still have solo days so having that peace of mind helps.

Other things I’ve set up is to have texts read to me while I’m running, just SMS though so texts from iphone users which use MMS for everythign don’t work.

And I’ve added the ability that calls from unknown numbers, i.e. not in my contacts list, go straight to voicemail, not even a ring on my phone.  I get a jacked up amount of bullshit calls a day from random callers for everything from helping my credit score to getting a second wife.   And while a junior wife sounds tempting, it’s not really something I’m going to interview on the phone for.

But its a training day…

One of my main goals with notrunning is that if it’s a training day then I run.  No excuses.

And measurements are pretty important to guys.”

Obviously life can get in the way of this, things do happen.  But for me in the last 8 months or so, I’ve only broken this rule twice.  Once due to injury, an ankle pain was bad enough I pushed one training day off till the next schedule.  And the other I’d had major dental surgery that morning and had to work a 40 hour day immediately after getting out of surgery for the closing of an M&A where we bought TiVo.

But for me and honestly I imagine for most people letting a day slide makes the next time easier.  And the next easier.   It’s much like dieting.  You have a bite of cake.  So the second bite is easier and before you know it you’re 2000 calories up and the next day you weigh yourself and you’re up 2lbs so obviously the dieting isn’t working so why bother.

One of the big benefits to me is the numbers game.  I export all my numbers to  It makes it super easy to see my real world improvement from week to week and month to month.   I can see my average pace times go down over time.  I can see my PR’s keep getting pushed down by new ones.  So numbers and data are all there for the measuring. And measurements are pretty important to guys.

I think that for me that kind of carrot on my treadmill is a big incentive to keep putting on my shoes and heading out.   And that obvious very visible improvement justifies making sure that every training day, I get out and run.

Even if like today, I end up doing a 15k training session that ends in me doing my first trail race and run immediately after it.  So it was a 19K day for me, one quarter of which was getting off the paved road and running over rocks and dirt and up and down stupidly steep inclines for the first time since my paintball glory days back in the 80’s and 90’s.