How to Strava like a local

How to Strava like a local
Jennaye Derge - 06/27/2019

There’s such a thing as healthy competition, and then there’s Strava. Strava isn’t necessarily unhealthy, per se, but anxiety is, and every once in awhile I blame Strava for my mid-run stresses.

Strava is great, or whatever, because it tracks every tiny movement you make when you run, bike, or swim on an app that is obviously meant for triathletes and not people who just want to take their dog on a morning jog. It follows you by GPS and records all of your stats including pace, elevation, your hopes and your dreams, then saves them into geographical segments so that next time you exercise, you can make sure that you do slightly worse on that big uphill and cry in shame before starting your Monday--or, if you don’t cry and if you beat your stats, you get a medal, and that feels pretty good.

I first downloaded the app on my phone so I could be in “healthy competition” with myself. I wanted to see the stats and get the medals. I wanted to be faster, stronger, and better--that is, until I suddenly started getting “followers”.

I’d had the app for a few weeks before I realized it was a social app; that my friends could see the days where I couldn’t make it up the hill and quite possibly saw me cry, too. They could see the days when I didn’t earn any medals or the days, or, weeks, I didn’t even go out at all. While I personally may have come to peace with popcorn and Netflix instead of “crushing” and “sending”, I can’t be certain that my Strava friends could. All this “following” made me feel a little self- conscious, anxious, and therefore, slightly unhealthy.

The obvious next step was to change my Strava settings to “private” and ignore all my follower requests, totally defeating the purpose of Strava to begin with, but I was still anxious on days with a headwind or when my dog needed to stop and sniff something because that meant my stats would be compromised and I wouldn’t get my medals and I needed my medals--give me my medals!!

This “healthy competition” was truly bringing out the worst in me so, one day while running, I decided to create my own version of a running and biking (not swimming, because, honestly, who uses it for swimming?) app that gives or takes away points based on situational variables; awarding points when there is an unavoidable hindrance and taking away points if you have noteworthy advantages. Making things a little more fair, a little less stressful, and a little more healthy.

How to “Strava” like a local:

The weather is perfect. You’re feeling great, perfect for a run. +0 points
*Treat yourself to some new shoes at Durango Running Company or Backcountry Experience where you should also treat yourself to a new climbing harness and base layers because you’re a winner and winners deserve it.

You got in a fight with your significant other because you bought too much gear. You need to run out the rage from your fight, so you go faster for longer: -4points *Get an “I’m sorry” card at Urban Market, “I’m sorry” flowers from April’s Garden and a gift card to Ken and Sue’s.

A storm front is moving in and you have a headwind of 30mph: +3points
You turned around so the storm front is giving you a tailwind of 45 mph: -5points Now It’s raining, snowing, and hailing all at the same time: +4 points
*Next time bring a rain jacket: Pine Needle Dry Goods, But for now, give up. Go get a beer and a burger at 2nd Deli and Spirits.

You’re going on a first date tonight and your favorite t-shirt is fitting a little snug (maybe all the burgers and beer?). The motivation pumps you up: -2 points
*Just buy a new shirt at Crow’s Closet, Rose Duds, or The Sparrow. Consider fruits and vegetables from Durango Natural Foods and don’t forget deodorant, and a razor at Nature’s Oasis.

The date went well and now you have a hangover: +5points
*Drink your weight in coffee from Durango Coffee Company or Magpies Newstand and follow it up with a hearty breakfast from College Drive Cafe, Durango Diner, or Oscars.

You get a bad side-ache from eating and then running. You have to walk. +3 points *Grab some tummy-nourishing herbs and teas from Dancing Willow Herbs, Old Barrel Tea Co., or Create Art and Tea

Maybe just give up on running and go get a bicycle instead. Don’t forget to Strava your rides.

Mountain Bike Specialists, 2nd Ave, Pedal the Peaks