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App Review: Google Play Music

Friday, September 14, 2012

So, as I previously complained about today, I found myself in desperate need of a workout workaround.

Let me tell you for a moment about my normally ridiculous routine.

I am essentially tethered to two cell phones.

I use my Motorola Atrix to track my runs. It gives me distance and pretty graphs with the Endomondo App. I love the App. In fact, I love it so much I paid the $5 to go Pro.

I use my old iPhone 3G OR my iPod for music. I don't have ALL of my music on the old iPhone; but, sometimes I forget to charge the iPod.

So, strapped to my arm is my music and in either of my hands is my phone. Ridiculous, no?

This whole problem actually stemmed from my inability to get the "Get Running" App (3.5 out of 5 stars from me) on my Android enabled device. I found myself just sucking it up and carrying both.

Well, today, I was forced to either run with no music, not run, or find another solution. Well, the other solution I decided to try was Google Play Music. Similar to the iTunes store, Google Play allows you to download music. "Fine," I thought, "I'll pay a stupid tax of 10 bucks to get some music so I can complete my run." So, loaded up with Lady Gaga and Pink I looked at my player and smiled.

I only had to lug one damned electronic device. How liberating!

Well, it was all downhill from there.

1. Making playlists from my device is not a possibility.

All I wanted to do was put my songs in order and maybe omit one or two which were bad ideas. Instead, I was stuck with an all or nothing in terms of songs or albums or artists. Lame.

2. Apparently, my 4G device is not nearly -snappy- enough to keep up with streaming these songs.

Like a lot of people I am INCREDIBLY fixated on my music while I run. It's simultaneously a distraction AND a pacing device. Well, 15 - 30 seconds of silence doesn't do much for my pacing.

3. Streaming media and GPS connection - not happy company

I wound up with less than a third of my run tracked by Endomondo because my GPS wouldn't connect. I don't know if it's because my phone wouldn't allow me to do both things at once (stream media and be located) or because the Apps aren't friends. Either way, the fact that both can't happen for me, make me sad.

I had initially been so pleased at the thought of getting all of my music accessible in one place, out on this amazing cloud, that I could grab and play with depending on my mood. Instead, with Play Music, I don't get nearly the functionality that I want. I get something that doesn't give me everything that I feel like I should, at least not in the way I want.

So, my advice to you is to skip this one for workout purposes. It's just going to be distracting.

Now to figure out how to get those purchases onto my phone...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSMOSTIMPROVED 9/15/2012 10:25PM

    You have NO idea how much I feel your pain. I've got a Nikeband on my wrist (when I don't forget to charge it or worst yet leave it on the charger), my Iphone on my arm to run the Nike Running app (cool graphs and "awards") and a playlist that used to be awesome but after 40 mins on the phone with Apple, my songs are cutting in and out. For the last 2 weeks, I never know how long I can run before I have to run with NO music or a song cuts off in the middle of my jam. I tried running with my husband's phone in my running belt on my waist but, Pandora kept cutting off.

I think this is the reason I hit a wall last week. The runs haven't been as much fun with sucky music.


Let's keep pushing until these technologies can catch up!

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GINGERLY4 9/15/2012 8:24PM

    Good to know about Play Music. I'm lame, I just drive my!

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CANDOSUE52 9/15/2012 8:01AM


Sometimes I hate technology, LOL !!

Cute blog, thanks!

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Day 87 - Workout Work Arounds

Friday, September 14, 2012

Goodmorning, Ladies and Gents.

Welcome to Friday! Friday is the day I usually bike after work. I put in a solid hour or two and then I go home tired for the weekend!

Well, this morning I packed up my exercise clothes, decided it was better to break in new sneakers on a run than on a bike, and headed out the door.

Sans bike.

That's right, I walked up to my bus stop without the bike.

I have no idea where my head is, but it must be somewhere near my rear end!

So, today I need work arounds. I also, conveniently, left my iPod which has all of my fitness music at home because I knew I'd need it for this weekend's 5K dry run again... So, what to do? I have workout clothes by none of my usual equipment! No bike to bike with, no iPod to run with!!

What do you guys do?

There's no way I can scrap this workout today (not with 201.4 staring me right in the damned face..); yet, I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure sans music.

Yesterday was a 'forced' rest day. I say that because I actually forced myself not to push for another run. I felt so sore on Wednesday evening, clearly my ankle needed a rest. Yet, come morning, I still considered running. After all, I have this magic 3lb gain staring me in the face, what else am I supposed to do aside from work harder?


In other news, I'm back to pouncing on everyone's pages; since I've been Debbie-Downer the last couple of days I feel like I have some making up to do.

Keep on sparking guys; if anyone has any suggestions on how to run without music, please let me know!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSMOSTIMPROVED 9/15/2012 10:37PM

    Run faster and get it over with! I also sing, practice my breathing and form. I make up characters and athletes to be as I run. Flo Jo- I toss my head a lot, Madonna- I snap my fingers like in a music video, So You Think You Can Dance contestant- I-2-3, 1-2-3 as I run like I'm doing the foxtrot. When I run out of ideas or I can no longer entertain myself and the other runners passing me, I try to focus on why I run-- to get healthier, faster, and look even more fabulous LOL!

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GINGERLY4 9/15/2012 8:21PM

    Running w/o music is something you have to teach yourself. I tend to think about what I want, make goals, reflect on things, pray, and just day dream.

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LILAC_LANE 9/14/2012 3:14PM

    I always have music in my head, so hen I forget my earbuds, or Ipod I just sing in my head.
Usually something I can sync my pace too. BTW: I might be able to beat you in the Debbie Downer contest. :)
Hope your day gets better. I'm sending some peppy vibes your way...

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SKEETOR 9/14/2012 12:01PM could join the army and learn their cadences... :)
But, seriously, when I ran all the time I would just imagine the song in my mind. I also like to repeat mantras.
emoticon emoticon

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POMATOJUICE 9/14/2012 10:26AM

    Aw, damn. Stationary jumping jacks? Well, that's not much fun either. Sorry, you've stumped me! lol

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POMATOJUICE 9/14/2012 9:48AM

    Do you have the option of lifting heavy things? Maybe today can be a strength training day instead!

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CKMATHERLY 9/14/2012 9:26AM

    Sadly, I am one that would forget my head if it wasn't attached. I often forget my key or my knee support till I'm well on my trail. I hope you are finding a better place mentally too.

Don't let the scale get to you. I find that when I am down and stressed that my weight will spike 3-5 lbs for no reason and within a few days go right back down.

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Day 86: Hello 3 pounds I thought I'd banished

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone has been doing well while I took yesterday off to try and get my head on straight. I have no idea what hit me - just this wave of failure, depression, and angst came at me out of nowhere. It started about a week ago and it hasn't really let go yet. I've been working really hard at keeping my spirits up and my focus where it needs to be.

What can I say, even the most driven people falter sometimes.

The not-so-pleasant surprise I woke up to this morning was a scale that read 201.4. I thought I was out of the 2's. Apparently not. I know it's all related to stress. I know it has at least something to do with the aspirin I took after I pushed too hard on a run (Aspirin makes me retain water like no other.) I know that you don't magically put on 3 pounds of fat in two days. I know. I know.

So. I'm focusing. I'm looking at what I can do and what I will continue to do. Yesterday I had a short run of 1.6 miles - half of a 5K. I completed it. I do have to admit, I need to get new fitness music, the new stuff I downloaded is really, really SLOW.

I am going to continue to eat well. I've stuck within my calorie range (1200-1400) and my fat range (40-50) and I've drank my water. I am going to continue to do that and be more vigilant about finding new ways to encourage good habits. (This week I've snacked exclusively on fruit and veg while at work.)

I am going to continue to recognize the scale for the liar that it is. It lies. We all know it. The scale doesn't tell you how many inches you've lost or how strong your heart is. The scale has no idea how your mental toughness has improved and how your drive is so much stronger than it is.

So, 3lbs. It sucks. It made my daily chart look all icky...

What it hasn't done is take away from the awesome that is my weekly tabulation of fitness minutes or average weight:

My head's on straighter - my self-esteem is getting better. Just by writing this down I'm affirming myself. I have a meeting this morning and I'm going to go into it for what it is. My supervisors have lost confidence in the accuracy of my work product. They want to know my process is sound and that I'm thinking clearly and that it's not laziness that's causing me to look like an idiot. I'm going to go in there and blow them away. I'm going to gain their confidence and respect back.

Consider me Affirmed.

Let the noise Frakking Commense.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OKBACK2ME 9/22/2012 12:42PM

    Love the charts too!

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GINGERLY4 9/15/2012 8:19PM

    I love your charts...stupid scale!

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BECCABOO127 9/13/2012 5:21PM


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ELLISH 9/13/2012 4:10PM

    YOU GO!! FRACKING AWESOME YOU ARE!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Affirmed love! This is where we separate the warriors from the girls. You are under pressure, work challenged and the scale ain't movin. Stay focused pepper. We're in this for the long haul! You can and will do this. These are the challenges we'll use in our acceptance speeches-- The road was long and hard but, I managed to persevere. Go for a run and leave it all on the pavement.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRACEOMALLEY 9/13/2012 1:51PM

    Allow me to affirm you as well. You are doing a great job and out bodies DO NOT function on an absolutely smooth system. Stress, hormones, lack of sleep, illness, emotional turmoil, allergies, weather - can all affect your mood and your weight. Scales can only reflect a moment in time and that moment is NOT the whole story. You are absolutely correct to refuse to let the scale run the show - this is your story and you get authorship.


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MIKIBA 9/13/2012 10:38AM

    Your charts are super amazing! I can gain 3 pounds sitting next to someone else who is eating! It will be gone in a flash. I hate when I think I am past a stage and then bam, just for fun, one more goodbye- sort of like the ex who won't get the hint!

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CKMATHERLY 9/13/2012 10:21AM

    Whoa, you made charts. I barely keep up with the ones on Spark. Cool.

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FUZZIEBEAR3 9/13/2012 10:19AM

    That 3 pounds is just a fluke. It will be gone next time. Keep up the good work, you are doing great!!! Congrats on the running too, that is awesome! emoticon

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JANELLE86 9/13/2012 9:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SKEETOR 9/13/2012 9:29AM

    Wow! I love your charts! I can feel my little brain working out my own!
I'm glad you've adjusted your attitude and are getting out of your funk. emoticon
Have a great day!

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YOBOELI 9/13/2012 9:18AM

    Keep working hard I know that it is disappointing when you aren't expecting that. YOu can do it just keep up the hard work and it will get better. Good luck with your meeting, blow them away

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Day 85: A short, appreciative blog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This needs to be a quick one today, ladies and gents.

I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate the encouragement (and dare I say Pep) on my last blog. I'm not quite out of the woods yet; but, I'm doing the best I can.

I hope you all have a good mid-week day and make the most out of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Right back at you sista! You always make my day. Going to bed now so I can have a decent run in the morning.

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BECCABOO127 9/12/2012 10:06AM


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AZMOMXTWO 9/12/2012 9:37AM

  You have a great day also

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Day 84 - Brain dump.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I don't even have a cheeky title for today.

Yesterday, after I had a rather cheeful start, my day imploded. Really imploded. Like a work of art implosion.

Sometimes when people get angry or upset they channel it. They might yell or take it out on some sort of physical activity. I am the exact opposite. I shut down. I want to be alone. I want to just stop everything. My brain tells me my world is crashing down and I believe it.

Things fell apart at work. I'm making stupid mistakes and being an idiot. I know better, or at least I should. Yet, I'm stupid enough to keep failing. So, I thought I'd go for my run after work. Issue 1 (that I should have realized) is that when I'm stressed I don't eat. I also don't drink. Issue 2 was that by the time I got my shoes on I'd already so thoroughly absorbed myself in my cloud of anger and frustration that there was no way I would be able to keep up the positive self-talk necessary to make the entire distance I had planned.

Which only made me more upset.

I wanted to go home and die.

Here we are on a new day and I'm sitting here waiting for my reprimand for being an idiot at work to roll down. I'm so emotionally shut down that a couple more whacks with a baseball bat and I may just fall over. I don't need someone to come in and reprimand me and tell me what an idiot I am - I'm already telling myself that.

There is so much running around inside my head - doomsday and angst, that I should really just cut this blog off here.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCABOO127 9/12/2012 10:29PM

    Don't ever beat yourself up! Mistakes happen. It is a normal thing that happens to the best of us, even when we are trying extra hard not to make mistakes. Don't take the "reprimand" personally either. Mgmt has to bring it to your attention. I usually smile and say that I will work hard to ensure it doesn't happen again. (Whether it does or not is another issue.)

Hang in there, and be happy for any progress that you make. Just because you intend to walk a certain distance doesn't mean it has to happen. I would take walks just to destress and look at the few bushes and trees that were around, and yes I worked in a major metropolitan area, so there wasn't much but concrete.

I shut down some too. Try to get outside yourself and try not ponder too much about what happened. I know it is easier said that done, but try some form of distraction that will work for you, like a good uplifting movie, gardening, or some other activity that will keep your mind from worrying.

Sending hugs your way. Hang in there.

emoticon emoticon emoticon


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GINGERLY4 9/12/2012 10:03AM

    You're awesome and don't believe anything else!

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 9/11/2012 12:59PM

    Girl, some days it's tough but you have to catch yourself before you sink to far! Realize everyone makes mistakes but the strongest of us will learn from them and get better. You are strong- remember the miler? Remember when you couldn't run at all? You are awesome and amazing. I will hear of nothing else. Now frack that noise!

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GRACEOMALLEY 9/11/2012 12:50PM

    Give yourself permission to be imperfect, then take responsibility to the appropriate person(s) for what you goofed up, do your best to fix it as quickly as possible and move on. We are our own worst enemies and critics in so many ways, but beating yourself up and not eating and stressing out is NOT doing anything to fix the problem and doing damage to you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CKMATHERLY 9/11/2012 9:37AM

    You are human. Therefore, we make mistakes, even idiotic ones on occasion. Normally a nice jog clears my head or a kick boxing class...

As long as the person reprimanding you isn't an ass and makes you cry ( I had a boss like that) you'll be fine.

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SKEETOR 9/11/2012 9:25AM

    You're not an idiot! Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. The important thing is to realize it, adjust and keep moving forward.
I hope today fares better for you, you definately deserve a better day.

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OLIVIANIGHT 9/11/2012 9:18AM

    emoticon You're not an idiot, you're my inspiration. We all make silly mistakes so try not to let it get you down.
You're awesome : )

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ELLISH 9/11/2012 9:15AM

    Can you just go to the person bringing down the reprimand and just head it off.

Yesterday must have been the day. I about blew my top and over the years I've actually learned to be a mellow fellow! Suprised me to how fast I got my nerves in a mess. I was able to sit still and let the moment pass before I made it worse though. Sitting idle isn't the worst thing. My problem is that I'm usually the typical blow off valve that shoots steam out my neck like the Munsters. I told myself yesterday, this too shall pass and it shall. I want to shove the shall with a high turbo engine to speed it up but I'm letting it go! Hope yours "too shall pass" :)

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TAROTLADY 9/11/2012 9:11AM

    Hang in there. emoticon

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