Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three Things I Love Thursday - Favorite Apps

I make no secret of loving my iPhone.  It completes me.  It's the cheese to my macaroni.  We are basically soul mates.  And before you think that Husband needs to know about my overly abundant adoration toward my phone, please know that he has two of them.
My dad would have loved the iPhone and the technology behind all the apps that can be downloaded.  My phone has more memory than his last computer, and I take full advantage of it so I can spend my time checking Twitter all day playing My Little Pony with HRH creating interesting videos to send to my students and other important stuff.
While some of my apps are admittedly mindless fun (I'm looking at you, Bejeweled Plus), there are a few that I just cannot be without.  These three are my current favorite.

Drink Right
Between living in Arizona and running, I need to stay hydrated.  I had thought that I was doing a pretty good job of it, having a full glass of water at my desk almost all the time.  But I saw this one day in Apps Gone Free and decided to see how well I was actually doing.  Friends, I was sorely underestimating how much water I drink in a given day.
The Drink Right app uses the "equation" that your daily water consumption should be your weight in ounces divided by two.  So, if someone weighed 150 pounds, he or she would need to drink 75 ounces of water each day.  Additionally, the app does not allow a person to chug 32 ounces of water twice a day to get to that total; it is meted out throughout the day to ensure that a person is consistently hydrated (and probably not sprinting to the toilet for a marathon pee session).
The notifications are easy to hear, even when I have my phone on vibrate.  Sometimes, if I forget, which I do, it gets a little bossy, even giving me exclamation points at the end of its warning sentence!  Harrumph!  But thus far I've been able to manage to get my allotted water plus more each day.
For my purposes, I don't count the water I drink while I'm out on a run.  I figure that the water I drink then is rehydrating, not just hydrating.  And when I run now, in the heat of summer (even at 4:30 in the morning), it really should be more than the original equation.
Since downloading this app, I've noticed that I am less thirsty while I run.  I subscribe to the rule of "drink when you're thirsty," and I find myself reaching for my bottle a little less.  Bonus - I can have beer in the evening and still run the next morning without feeling like I want to die!  Hooray beer - I mean water (which is in beer, so hooray beer)!

My one complaint for this is that I can't customize it per day for those mornings I wake up super early (4:15) and those days when I'm lucky enough to not wake up until 7:00 (a luxury when you have an early-rising child).  I've played around with the time settings, though, and I think I've found a happy medium that doesn't have me drinking the second I wake when I'm able to sleep in.

Charity Miles
This is a brilliant concept.  I started running to raise money for the Colon Cancer Alliance in memory of my dad.  It's really what every run is geared toward.  So when I learned about Charity Miles, I was on board.
The idea is this: turn on the app.  Pick a charity.  Go for a run (or walk or bike ride).  Log your miles.
The miles you go earns money for your selected charity.  Yesterday, I ran a mere two miles, I helped send 4 meals to those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.  And all I had to do was thank the current sponsor and send out a tweet to spread the word.
It's a wonderful way to help those who are sick, who are homeless, or who are otherwise unable to help themselves by just lacing up your shoes and heading out.  Even if you're not a charity runner, this is an app that you can have on during a run with literally zero additional effort.

The app is a little tough to read when the monthly sponsor's logo is in the background, and it's hard for me to go back to see the impact I have made each time I ran, but I am looking forward to helping make a difference for so many wonderful organizations.

Saucony is my current shoe of choice (my Guide 5 was recently discontinued, so I have two more pairs before I have to decide whether the Guide 6 works for me or if I have to move on).  While I love the way the shoes feel, I also love Saucony's sense of corporate responsibility.
Run4Good is another app that can enable you to have a major impact with no additional work, even if you don't wear Saucony gear.  Each month, if the goal miles - thus far 10,000 miles per month - are met by the collective runners who use the app, Saucony makes a donation to its chosen charity.  The charities that Saucony features are dedicated to ending childhood obesity in America.  This month's charity is Twin Cities in Motion.  The collective has run 1,739 miles this month, as of yesterday evening.

When I first downloaded this, I forgot that I had it on one day until like ten hours later, so by the time I stopped the run, I had gone something like 50 miles (I was in the car for a while - sorry, GPS).  But I was able to delete that run so as not to cheat, even though I want each charity to receive the donation every month.  At this point, I have a routine at the end of my runs that include the systematic closing out of each app (I run with both Charity Miles and Run4Good in the background while I log my "official" miles on my NikePlus app).

Whether you're a runner or not, we can all benefit from being properly hydrated.  And for those runner friends of mine, even if you don't run for charity like I do, you can make a huge difference in the lives of others when you download and use Charity Miles and Run4Good.

Are you drinking enough water?  What are your favorite apps lately?


  1. Thanks for helping us log miles, Allison!

    1. I'm happy to do so - I love being able to help people move more! Best of luck in all your work!