So long Runkeeper, hello Strava

I had been using Rukeeper since about 2009.  Recently, about the same time Jo and I upgraded to new iPhones, Runkeeper’s GPS tracking became so inaccurate it was virtually useless.  Runkeeper would report my runs as more than twice the actual distance, and the GPS points during a run were mostly a jumbled mess.  At first I thought it might be the new phone or the new version of iOS, but after a Runkeeper update and the issue was still not resolved, I submitted a bug report to Runkeeper.  I received a very generic response of trying the various basic steps which I had already done, so I wasn’t very happy with that response.  The response from Runkeeper also reminded me that I could manually edit my run data to remove inaccurate GPS points along my run, which I had been doing but it was extremely tedious and annoying.  Meanwhile there were other various minor issues with Runkeeper, but the poor GPS tracking was a deal breaker.  I mean, a run tracking app at the very least should track runs fairly accurately, otherwise they are kind of missing their whole core competency.

So I started researching other running apps.  If a new run tracking app would track my runs without issue then I knew it wasn’t my new phone.  That’s when I ran cross this thread on reddit.  After reading this thread I knew I was not alone with my issue.  Also, one of the really cool pieces of information from this thread was the Tapiriik site. This site allows you to migrate your running data from one service to another.  This was awesome news.  That was one of the biggest downers about potentially leaving Runkeeper is that I’d lose my running data history.  So after reading the thread I decide to give Strava a try.  After installing it and setting up an account, I went for my first run, and sure enough Strava tracked my run with reasonable accuracy.  It also syncs with the heart rate monitor I was already using and I like their web site well enough.  The only thing Strava doesn’t do that Runkeeper did was during my run, Runkeeper audio cues would also provide my current heart rate.  Strava does not do this so that’s a nice to have feature they could add.  Other wise I am totally happy with Strava, and it’s free.  I was paying for Runkeeper Elite.

Notice I said Strava tracked my run with reasonable accuracy.  One of the down sides to running in the city is the large buildings will interfere with GPS tracking.  See the image below.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.27.12 PM

You can see as I run along Bush Street there are portions that look like I’m jutting off the street and running through buildings.  Obviously this isn’t the case and Runkeeper even used to have this level of inaccuracy as well, but with the more recent versions it went from this to something that looked like I was running a full block or more off of Bush Street, or running back a block, then forward a block, or running in complete circles.  It was basically just a jumbled mess.  I should have saved one of my unedited runs in Runkeeper to show here.  You can see that with Strava, once I get out onto the Embarcadero the GPS tracking improves quite a bit.  However this was not the case with the more recent versions of Runkeeper.  See the following image.

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 3.55.24 PM

It was sad to leave Runkeeper since I had been using it for a while, but there was a noticeable increase in issues that both my wife and I noticed.  With that said, it was nice to run across Strava.  It offers all the features I had, minus one, and for free, and they have a great web site.  Strava also has a cool social aspect and a really cool feature called Flybys that shows other runners on Strava that you run by during your route.  It’s a very cool app and well worth checking out.

Thanksgiving San Francisco Turkey Trot, and more …

Jo and I started our Thanksgiving morning by running the 5 mile San Francisco Turkey Trot in Golden Gate Park.  It was a very cold morning and unfortunately before the race, the race swag, signage, and snacks were stolen, but the race went on.  More info on the theft.  Jo’s new company, Chegg was kind enough to provide us both with running shirts, go team Chegg!  Oh that’s right, I haven’t mentioned that before.  Jo recently left Gap Inc. for a director position with Chegg, a company that provides services to students.  The race was a blast.  While getting up before sunrise and freezing our butts off was not that great, the run was well worth it.  So after a nice 5 mile run, Jo and I had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Sutter Pub.  The food was excellent and best of all, no clean up afterwords.






Walking home from work through China Town

While walking home from work I sometimes cut through China Town.  This evening was especially lovely out.  Every once in a while, even as someone who lives in this city, I just have to stop and recognize how beautiful it can be.  I think in our day to day lives we can get jaded or at least just take for granted that we live in a city in which tens of millions of people visit per year.  Also as anyone living in San Francisco knows, more and more people are wanting to live here resulting in outrageous housing costs.  So, who knows how long we’ll even be able to live here, but for now, I’m just going to try to appreciate my surroundings a bit more.




Migration from Blogger to WordPress

Well, that wasn’t so hard now was it? has a new home on WordPress!  I migrated our blog from Blogger this morning and it was pretty easy.  WordPress has a nice tool in which you load a Blogger export XML file and voilà!  A new WordPress blog is born.  Well in this case, maybe reincarnated.  Of course with any migration there are some things to clean up so bare with me while I fix a few links and images.  So, I have a lot of posts and content to go back through and check.  After all has been around since 2004.  It started out as a hosted static web site, then moved to Blogger, and now to WordPress.

Update:  Well, not everything went perfectly smooth during the migration.  When I imported from Blogger, only roughly the first 2 pages of posts had images migrated so I had to use the Import External Images plugin to complete the image migration.  That worked pretty well.  I did have to restart it once however, I assume because my blog has a lot of images.  The other thing that didn’t go as smoothly with the migration was that the labels from my posts in Blogger were migrated as categories in WordPress.  In Blogger, labels seem to function more like tags in WordPress.  I like the tag cloud feature so this wasn’t so great.  I have to manually copy all of my categories from each post into the tags field in WordPress.  The only other minor snag was that comments from posts didn’t seem to get migrated either.  I’m not terribly concerned about that however.  So other than these few snags, I was pretty happy with the migration experience.

Another Update: So the whole image transfer was a bit of a train wreck. Somehow I ended up with many duplicate images and broken image links in my posts. I’ll have to go through almost every post and manually clean things up.  I’m not sure if this was an issue with the the plugin that imported images or something I did.  In any case it is a bit of a mess.

Final Update: So after many hours of clean up the images and links to images are fixed. The image migration was probably the worst part of the experience. Like I said I’m not sure if it was a mistake on my part or an issue with the plugin.  However there were some strange inconsistencies.  Photos from newer posts seemed to migrate fine, but some photos were migrated only in the small thumbnail size so when clicking on some images only the small size is shown. I’ll have to update the small images in posts manually over time. Some of the images don’t even have links to larger sizes and this is due to prior migrations and inconsistencies in image loading from Blogger.