Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Monday, August 24, 2009

Et tu iPhone?

What my iPhone looked like when it was alive

My frustrations with the iPhone as a tool for tracking activities using GPS were further aggravated yesterday when I finished my run but could not shut off my tracking app. The process of unlocking the iPhone was difficult enough with the glare of the sun obscuring my view but when I finally got to the application it appeared to have stopped on its own. It turned out that it didn't stop and later, when I went to relaunch the app, I saw that it had continued to run and so any hopes of getting an accurate accounting of my race speed and distance were gone forever. Happily the race used timing chips because my backup, the Garmin 50, was over counting distance by about 5%.

We're on vacation this week and we decided to go for a hike at Cold Spring Harbor. It's a great trail, very rugged with lots of elevation. I turned on my iPhone, switched to AllSport GPS and selected "Hike" but the GPS would not acquire. I pushed the power button on the iPhone and did a soft shut down hoping that after rebooting it would do a better job with GPS. When I hit the power button to restart nothing happened. I tried holding it down for different lengths of time but that resulted in nothing but the same blank screen. No power. We headed home after the hike (which was fun) but I had my mind a little too much on my iPhone problem. I went online to see if this was a known problem (it is) but the remedy they suggested, holding down both the Power and Home buttons, did not restore the unit. I plugged it into wall power, connected it to my iMac, tried to restart in every combination, but nothing is bringing this iPhone back to life.

A call into my company's IT service desk has started an investigation but I don't hold out too much hope that I'll have a working device this week while on vacation. My wife will probably be happy because I tend to check business email two or three hundred times a day (an exaggeration but just barely). If that was my only use I could easily work around it but I've come to depend on my iPhone for so much more now. I'll recalibrate the Garmin for my runs this week and table the GPS apps until this is resolved. We are thinking about looking for trail shoes for my wife a little later today and although I love my NB 460's, yesterday's experience is making me think I also need a new, higher end pair for long runs. While we're out I may take a look at pricing on the Garmin 405's although everything I'm reading about them makes me worry that I won't get much more accuracy than on the iPhone. Maybe I should take a break from technology for a day. It certainly hasn't helped much lately.

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