Race Report: Greg Fried 5k in Roslyn

Today, I ran the 2nd Annual Greg Fried Memorial 5k in Roslyn. The tragedy in Boston made it somewhat somber for me, but I did my best to absorb being back and running through my historic and beautiful childhood hometown.

Like last year, it was nice to meet some friendly runners before and after the race.

As I’m sure will be commonplace at races everywhere, we observed a moment of silence for the victims in Boston. This course starts and finishes at Roslyn High School. Along the way, it goes down through the Roslyn Village, back up Roslyn Road, through the neighborhood around the high school and finishes on a nice straightaway with bit of a slope downward. So despite the hills, you can finish this race with a sprint.

The interesting thing about this course is how different mile 1 and mile 2 are. Mile 1 is almost completely downhill whereas mile 2 is almost completely uphill. What goes down must come up I suppose. If you’re going to start and finish at the same place and lose about 200ft along the way, you have pay for it somewhere. Mile 3 contains another rise in elevation as you go up Magnolia Lane, but, as I mentioned, you can cruise through that last half mile on Harbor Hill Road.

Where I normally run, there are no hills, so I’m not accustomed to steep downhill runs and it can be a bit awkward for me. Today, I found a stride that got me down to the village pretty comfortably and quickly. Hopefully I can find it again in Northport, because I probably won’t see hills again until Cow Harbor.

Everyone gets a finisher’s medal and packed goody bag. They do a great job with the refreshments and have the awards ceremony on the high school track.

No question, I will run this race again next year. Yes, I’m biased, but there’s no denying it’s a fun and scenic course.

Posted in Running | Tagged , | Comments Off on Race Report: Greg Fried 5k in Roslyn

Race Report: Race for Spinal Victory 5k 2013

I ran this last Saturday and didn’t have time to write a post until Monday, but by then it just didn’t feel appropriate.

I ran another race today, but I wanted to cover this one first, because it’s a great race!

First, the course is terrific — a fast and flat run up and down Wantagh Ave. I haven’t recovered the loss of fitness from my bout with pneumonia a few months ago, so I knew a PR was unrealistic. Instead, I decided to run it easily with a friend.

When I ran this race two years ago, I was treated to quite a surprise when I found out I took 2nd in my age group with a subpar run. This year the surprise was winning the grand prize in the raffle! It was a bike!

To clarify, I was the first winner of the raffle which gave me the option to choose any prize. At first I felt a little funny about accepting such a prize from a charity, but I immediately realized the next winner behind me would just take it anyway. I already have a bike, but I also realized it would be pretty easy to find a good home for it if I didn’t use it. I rode the bike home and, on the way, I decided to forward it onto another charity, but it turns out a family member of mine could really use it and I think it would fit him perfectly. It’ll have a good home and a grateful owner.

So anyway, I highly recommend this 5k race. It’s a great course and they do a great job with the post-race refreshments and party. Provided I can avoid major illness, I’d like to take advantage of the course and run it fast next year.

Posted in Running | Tagged , | Comments Off on Race Report: Race for Spinal Victory 5k 2013

Font Runner Update

I made some updates to the Font Runner project.

First, I cleaned up the project and put it into Git. It had previously been in my Perforce depot, but as I have mentioned before, I prefer git these days.

Then, I replaced the old license with the GPL license and removed any references to things I am not going to support any more, like the Check for Updates feature. (Maybe I’ll bring it back, but it will take some effort to get it going again on my non-corporate website)

I made some instructions on how to build it, including cloning the repo, building the program and even creating the installers. I then followed these very same instructions to make a fresh build, which is available here.

I pushed the Font Runner repo up to Bitbucket, a very nice service from Atlassian.

Finally, I removed the Font Runner downloads from SourceForge.

This really worked out for the best. Since hosting the files on SourceForge a few months ago, I have heard some complaints about the incredible number of confusing ads they bombard you with. Many of the ads contain big, shiny-looking download buttons, so you had to click carefully to get Font Runner.

I have no ads on this website, nor did I receive any revenue from SourceForge’s ads. I have always thought of SourceForge as a reputable entity, so I’m a little disappointed with the way things turned out there. In the end, the source code and binaries are now available in a clean, convenient way at no cost to me or you. Thanks Atlassian!

Posted in Font Runner | Tagged | Comments Off on Font Runner Update

EasyRoute 1.1 now available

After about 8 days in review, EasyRoute 1.1 is finally available.

The big new feature is the elevation graph. In addition, there were some minor bug fixes and internal cleanup.

When I released EasyRoute 1.0, I felt it was in a useful state even without the elevation graph — this is particularly true since I mostly run in places that are very flat. However, with the elevation graph, 1.1 feels much more complete to me.

I am by no means “done”. I still have a long list of things to add to EasyRoute and I already checked a few of those items off while waiting for 1.1 to be reviewed by Apple. I should have another release in Apple’s queue within a week or so.

If you’ve bought it, thank you! Feel free to contact me with feedback or leave a comment.

Posted in EasyRoute | Tagged | Comments Off on EasyRoute 1.1 now available

Pray for Boston

I was going to make some announcements with tonight’s post; instead I sit here wiping away tears.

Logic is an essential part of computer programming, thus who I am. When these things happen, I ask why? How could this happen? Even to a deranged mind, how could this make sense? I don’t get it. Marathoners? Moviegoers? First graders? These people are targets? Really? Why?

In December, I was committed to training for and running my first marathon. Before pneumonia wrecked my training, I dreamed of capping off all the work by celebrating at the finish line.

Now to see the finish line at Boston — the holy grail for many marathoners… horrific.

As with all the other horrifying murders we’ve had to deal with lately, my heart goes out to the victims and families.

Posted in Running, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pray for Boston

First Races of the Season

I thought I overheard someone say something about it being spring a couple of weeks ago. It sure doesn’t feel like spring with daytime temperatures still down in the 40s, but the spring 5Ks are here anyway.

First up, on April 14, 2013 is the Race for Spinal Victory (online registration here). I ran this race two years ago. It is one of my favorite 5Ks not only because it is indeed a fast, flat course as advertised, but it is also the race that provided me with my first age-group medal.

When I ran it two years ago, I was actually disappointed with my performance. I hung around for the awards and raffles and was shocked to hear my name called for 2nd in my age group. Honestly, the age group was a bit weak that day, but considering all the running I had done up to that point (early in the morning, late at night, brutal heat, frigid cold, dark, rain, snow, wind, etc) I proudly viewed it as validation of all the hard work and it motivated me to win one again only with a performance I would be happy with. (Which I did; I took 3rd with a PR a few months later.)

My next race, the following weekend on April 20, 2013, is the 2nd Annual Greg Fried Memorial 5K Run/Walk (registration link). I wrote about this event last year. I said that I would do this race again and I am. Once again, it conflicts with the St James 5-Miler, which I also said I wanted to do again, but as much as I want that rematch with the Cordwood Path hill, it doesn’t stand a chance against a race in Roslyn.

Granted, I am biased because the race goes right through my childhood hometown, but it really is a beautiful run. It goes completely around the scenic duck pond surrounded by historic homes and through the Roslyn village. I’ve been looking forward to running it again.

Finally, I’ll be running some kind of longer race in May or June. Due to pneumonia, I will not attempt the full, 26.2-mile Long Island Marathon, but I will run the half if I can either change the registration or just finish in one of the half chutes. I was also considering the Lake Placid Half Marathon. I thought I had missed the registration deadline, but I see it has been extended, so I’m thinking about that again too.

Posted in Running | Comments Off on First Races of the Season

Happy Birthday Douglas Adams

Today’s Google Doodle honors one of my all-time favorite authors, Douglas Adams. Without him, I don’t think any of us Earthlings could ever fully appreciate a just how incredibly useful a towel is.

Mr. Adams, if you’re still plugged into our Internet somehow from whichever other universe you’re in now, thanks.

Posted in Geekiness | Tagged , | Comments Off on Happy Birthday Douglas Adams

EasyRoute: For Sale!

It’s finally here!

I submitted it last Friday where it stayed “Waiting for review” for 6 days. (4 business days.) It seems to have been “In review” for exactly 25 minutes before changing to “Processing for App Store” and then “Ready for Sale”.

I’m hoping others will find it as useful as I have. (Thus, well worth $0.99)

Posted in EasyRoute | Tagged | Comments Off on EasyRoute: For Sale!

EasyRoute Back in Review

I re-submitted EasyRoute to the App Store.

As I mentioned previously, I self-rejected EasyRoute so I could integrate the Google Maps SDK for iOS.

This was not just so it could feature a Google map instead of an Apple map — whatever opinions may be about Apple’s maps had nothing to do with the decision. Apple’s map was more than adequate for EasyRoute’s purpose.

The problem was with using Google’s data with Apple’s maps.

When I first began development, EasyRoute was using the system-provided map, so when Apple switched away from Google, it meant EasyRoute switched away from Google. Shortly after the switch, I discovered section 10.1.1 (g) of the Google Maps/Google Earth APIs Terms of Service:

(g) No Use of Content without a Google Map. You must not use or display the
Content without a corresponding Google map, unless you are explicitly permitted
to do so in the Maps APIs Documentation, or through written permission from
Google. In any event, you must not use or display the Content on or in
conjunction with a non-Google map. For example, you must not use geocodes
obtained through the Service in conjunction with a non-Google map. As another
example, you must not display Street View imagery alongside a non-Google map,
but you may display Street View imagery without a corresponding Google map
because the Maps APIs Documentation explicitly permits you to do so.

So, this meant I could no longer use Google’s data in EasyRoute. I checked with the other major map providers out there and they all had a similar clause in their Terms of Service. I spent some time researching alternatives and even considered scrapping the project.

Then, I discovered MapQuest Open which is powered by OpenStreetMap and is very permissive about use of its data. I finished work on 1.0 sporting an Apple map and OpenStreetMap data. Problem solved?

Not really… the problem was I really missed the Google data for a variety of reasons. When Google started handing out keys for its iOS SDK, I signed up for one…and waited. I knew if I got a key before I released EasyRoute, I would take the extra time to bring back Google. So, I got my key in the nick of time.

I think it was worth the wait. Along the way, I discovered how to best utilize data from Apple, Google and MapQuest/OpenStreetMap, so now EasyRoute provides the best of all worlds.

Posted in EasyRoute | Comments Off on EasyRoute Back in Review

Stop the presses!

I self-rejected EasyRoute while it was waiting for review.

Why? This happened.

I mentioned on the EasyRoute page that I was waiting for something from Google. My API key is what I was waiting for. I had applied for one more than a month ago and now, finally, they are available for everyone.

The Google Map makes EasyRoute a much better app and it will be worth having it in the initial release. I’m already almost done putting it in and when I am, I’ll discuss it a bit more.

For now, back to work.

Posted in EasyRoute | Tagged | Comments Off on Stop the presses!