Monday, June 22, 2015
UPDATED June: Climb for Nepal UPDATED
I haven't done a Strava challenge in a long time, but I took interest in the Climb for Nepal challenge when it popped onto my Strava feed as the calendar switched to June. Rather than simply just competing against yourself and/or others for the most miles, etc., this one also had a charity component to it. Doing my taxes earlier this spring, my wife and I were a little disappointed in how much money we donated during 2014, and vowed to not let it happen again. I decided to take the challenge. Through More Than Sport runners could make a donation or start a fund raising campaign. I made a donation, but then decided to make it a personal campaign by trying to run for 29,029' of elevation gain in the month of June (the height of Mount Everest), and donating $.01 for each foot climbed. That meant I needed to climb about 1,000' each day, which is not easy around here, where the biggest hills are only in the 200'-250' range. I love hills though, and I thought it was for a worthwhile cause.
Seeing through this challenge has been tricky. The quest for new hilly routes is the fun part. I've been using the route builder function on Strava quite a bit. I turn on the global heat maps to see where people have run or biked before to get ideas. The builder gives an estimation of elevation gain, but it always seems optimistic compared to the GPS total. In addition, I have been using my Garmin watch (620) less and less. This began in May, as I noticed my watch began losing me once the trees leafed out. Also, when I ran with others, my watch was measuring significantly shorter than theirs. But the main issue is as it relates to my climbing challenge, is that it was recording less elevation than other people and other devices. So I've been almost exclusively been recording my runs on my phone. I've been using a mountain biking app called RideWithGPS. I started using it as a mapping tool when in Big River. All the existing trails are shown on the map, so I could find new trails or get back to places very easily. It turns out that it also measures better for mileage and elevation. It must use different algorithms than Garmin and Strava. The result is better (hopefully more accurate) elevation gain totals. I upload my gpx file from RideWithGPS to Strava. Strava "fixes" the elevation (usually down but still better than my watch - yes I've worn both at the same time and compared more than once).
UPDATE: Here are the final numbers. Very pleased to reach Everest (according to RideWithGPS)on the last day of the month!
This was not an easy accomplishment. Hill repeats on the biggest hills I could get to were the way to go. My body was pretty beat by the end. I'm sure the summer heat didn't help. Going forward, I do think that the hill work translated into fitness and speed. I want to continue hills regularly, but not to the same extent.
Here are the weekly running numbers in June:
Another 300+ mile month that easily could have been more if I didn't have a low mileage week because of the Ragnar Trail Relay. Looks like I'm also on pace for a significant miles run PR this year. That wasn't planned, but I'll take it.