Last weekend, I was running on the AT and crossed ways with a few other runners braving the elements. Later, one of them found me on Strava and complimented me on my run. It was a totally innocuous moment, but it made me start to think who could see my data. I had entered into a Lululemon running challenge that had various rules including no treadmills, runs must be public, etc and was obsessing over making up my lost mileage because I have a chest cold (ok, it’s probably bronchitis) from logging 35 miles in the subzero temps the previous week.
I was bored and going through friends runs and saw my last run with my data and noticed my privacy zones were not blocked. I scrolled back to my run where I started at my house and ended at my kids’ school…also not blocked.
I checked my privacy zones and they were there and yet, all my runs showed my privacy zones. So I did some digging on Strava and found this.
The portion of your activity that starts or stops within your privacy will be hidden from other Strava athletes who view your activity.
- If you stop in a privacy zone during the middle of an activity, this portion will not be hidden.”
Anyone else run around in circles to average out a number? Anyone else start and end at a different spot? Yup, I do these on the regular. I started to get a little panicky. I’m old enough to have existed pre-cell phones and though I had a sweet beeper in high school. I’m very glad that my college years weren’t out there on Facebook and while my background was in social media and Public Relations, I’ve gotten used to the decrease in privacy, but I try to keep my kids fairly well shielded. I tend to be really hesitant on adding a ton of Facebook friends b/c I have photos of them there and I never post pics of my kids on Instagram because my Instagram is public. Having maps go directly to their school felt kind of Black Mirrory.
Add to this the fact that Strava has never been my favorite because you can’t edit runs (I had a trail that always measured behind the mile markers because it was in a gps dead zone, this drove me nuts about Strava) and because I always feel like I have to explain myself.
“No no, I swear I’m not always slow…I was running with my dog and she pooped 2 times. It was hilly, check the gain! I’m sick or injured, I was just happy to be outside for 2 slow miles. Or if I was fast, no I’m not ALWAYS that fast, it was a one off in a race. ”
So I deleted my account and felt strangely liberated. I’ll still log with Garmin since the only person that follows me on that is my husband and I’ll screen cap epic runs if I feel like I want to humble brag a little. I may not win any free swag, but at least I’ll have a little peace of mind.