a blog.

1 year 4 months ago

I started to notice the change in tone a few weeks ago.

I've been using Strava as my go-to run tracking platform for about 5 years, and in that time I've done so almost exclusively as a mooch. There was a short stretch when I paid for a minor upgrade, but I cancelled out of that shortly after. But clearly, for most of the time I've been using it I've been doing so for free.

Which is great and all, but the world has changed: pandemic economic realities, a shift in the notion of what it means to provide a service for free, and the shift to ad-supported everything. In amongst all that, Strava seemed to have a tonal shift towards that of almost-everything-is-free to the-stuff-that-costs-us-most-is-now-premium-content.

These are the warning shots of a company running out of cash.

Uploading a few megabytes of GPS run data each month is cheap for them.

Processing billions of GPS data point to provide route analysis, segment comparison, and activity breakdowns is computationally expensive -- and cloud providers like AWS and Google are starting to crank up the costs of these services.

So the tone shift is one of trying to keep as much free as possible (which seems to linger in the domain of storage and social services) and get some people to pitch in for the computer power. The too long didn't read version of this is that I like Strava and if a few bucks a month keeps it going for a while longer... then I wanted to subscribe and pitch in. That, and my running world has almost completely collapsed in the last six months, I'm not sure I can deal with another big change anytime soon.

1 year 4 months ago

I'll admit that after being diverted from the humdrum-everyday-work-life-balance that I'd found after a decade of routine, diverted into a work-from-home, ten steps from a fridge, with no structure or plan but pure survival, after that, I'm put on some weight. Shit. The popular, viral (bad) term for this has become everyone's covid-15, a reference to the freshman-15 than new college students, away from home and routine for the first time in their lives, drinking too much, eating garbage, and focusing on school convert into an average of 15 pounds of body weight in their first year.

It really is the little things that all add up.

It's not that I haven't been running enough, it's that we comfort ourselves with dessert almost every day.

It's not the constant sitting, but the constant sitting and nibbling at a 10am snack and then lunch and then a 2pm snack and then some chips while I finish off the day.

It's not that my bike hasn't had enough miles this year, it's that we've logged more time at the barbecue instead.

As always, I look to a bit of public accountability to attempt to cure this. A website. A record. A journal. I'm adding a new set of words to this space to track it all. Even if no one is reading, that it is public is what matters. Starting today -- because this week I learned that I have at least 3 more months of this lifestyle -- I'm reversing the COVID-15. Not sure what that means yet... but probably not a 10am nibble.