Free… Yes, F-R-E-E… Marathon

What does the word MARATHON mean to you? Yes, the obvious answer is 26.2 miles of running, walking or crawling, depending on who you are! To me, it’s one of those love-to-hate things like child birth, deep tissue massage or dieting. You know, the intense pain before the immense pay-off! I mean, think about it… when you decide to sign up for that race, you agree to:

  1. commit MONTHS of your life to training
  2. forfeit a couple toe nails for the cause
  3. run through at least a couple pair of rather expensive shoes
  4. live with the aches and pains in the hams, hips, quads and knees
  5. forfeit your normal social life for one centered around the long weekend runs

AND, for all this wonderful (code word for torturous) fun, you would normally, pay (happily, I might add) a couple hundred dollars just to register!!!! Well, I found a F-R-E-E marathon!!! It’s called The Really Big Free Marathon, and it’s in VEGAS on November 3rd!!! WOOHOO!! Here’s the rub… registration opens on March 24th at 12:01AM PST. Yes, that’s Pacific Standard Time, which is 3:00AM for those of us on the East Coast! UUGGGHH!! Eeeh, what’s a little lost sleep in the grand scheme? RIGHT?!?

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The Nike GPS App

I’ve been an avid user of the Nike Plus system since I found out about it waaaayyyy back when. I bought the iPod Nano, the Nike + shoes with the little hole in the sole for the chip, the chip and transmitter and tons of music from iTunes! Yeah, there was a lot of overhead, but I used it on every run, and even on those rare walks. OK, I admit it… I even used it for my dog’s walks. Hey, don’t laugh at me, a dog’s got know how far and fast she’s moving, too!! Needless to say, I thought it was just the coolest thing ever!!! But… now there’s an even cooler way! It’s Nike GPS!!!

Are you asking “What the heck is Nike GPS?” Well, let me tell you… it’s like the Nike +, but you don’t need the nano, the shoes, the chip or the transmitter!!!! You just need to download the app from iTunes app store for a mere $1.99, and that’s it!! It uses the GPS in your iPhone to track your run and measure your pace. Your runs can then be synced up with your Nike account. Are you running indoors on the treadmill? No worries it can keep track of your treadmill miles too! Just make sure you set for an indoor run before you start! Oh… it even allows you to play tag with your fellow runners!! I KNOW… IT’S SO COOL!!!

Gizmos and Gadgets

So I usually depend on my husband to figure out the latest and greatest when it comes to technology. But I’m beginning to realize that I actually NEED technology for my training! I’ve been using the Nike+ kit and iPod combo for a couple years, now. I LOVE IT!!! I enjoy my music while I run and the fact that I can gauge how fast or slow I am going just by pushing a button is wonderful! I can’t wait to get home and transfer my run over to the Nike+ website! And when my miles get posted into all my challenges, I am in HEAVEN!!!

But what about biking and swimming? Are there gadgets available for these sports too? I realized exactly how much I needed said gadget yesterdcomputeray while on my bike ride. The training plan was to ride for 45 minutes. No problem, but how far did I go? What is my average pace? How many calories did I burn? I returned home feeling a little out of sorts not knowing my deets. So I set out to find some gadgets to help me out!

Turns out that there are these cool little bike computers, we’ll call them bike bling. You attach them to your bike and they will calculate not only mileage and speed, but calories and fat burned, too. Really? And it will even tell you when your bike needs a service! What? Where have I been? How did I miss this amazing advance in biking technology! Oh yeah, the last time I rode a bike…I was 12. So now,  my dilemma is which one should I get. How much is too much? I am not a professional cyclist, just a mom who is hoping to survive her first triathlon. I think I will start with the basics! I can always upgrade it later!

Swimming is another story! I guess my Lucky Brand bikini isn’t going to cut it when it comes to swimming laps, huh? The last time I had a Speedo, I was 6 and I put it on backwards. Come to think of it this might be why I stopped swimming! Anyway, I guess I will need to invest in the latest and greatest Speedo or Nike racing suit. But this one will have instructions on how to put it on and maybe just a little sparkly swim bling!

I also saw this little case that clips onto your goggles and holds your iPod shuffle, so you can still listen to your music while swimming! Major swim bling! Cool, but then I would have to buy the case and the shuffle, because I have an older style nano! Maybe if it kept track of my speed, distance and stroke it would be worth it! And what about the goggles? Can’t I use my cheap ones from Wal-mart? Do I need nose-plugs and ear-plugs? I guess I will find out after my first swim!

I could spend thousands of dollars on all these gizmos. But I won’t! I am a minimalist at heart! Well, a semi-minimalists…a girl has got to have her bling, right?

Do you run with your iPhone?

Good Monday Morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I certainly did, and since the kids didn’t have school today, I got to sleep in a couple hours! 7:30 is a much more civilized wake-up time, don’t you think?

iphone_home

iPhone

So, I was thinking during my run the other day how convenient it would be if I could run with my iPhone instead of my iPod. Sounds silly right? Let me explain. You see, I got hooked on the Nike+ kit way back when and have been using it for a very long time. For those of you that don’t know what this is, Nike and Apple got together and created a kit that includes a chip that fits into the soul of certain Nike shoes and a transistor that fits into the bottom of your iPod nano that keeps track of how far and how fast you run. When you plug your iPod into the computer, it transfers your information to the Nike+ website. This website gathers all your runs and adds up your total mileage and your times. It is an amazing training tool and for those of us that need to see progress, it’s a must!

nike-plus-track-your-daily-runs

Nike+ tracks your runs

So, when I heard that Apple was coming out with a phone, I immediately thought how perfect this would be for runners. We can take one hand held device and have our music, a pedometer and a telephone. No more juggling the phone and the iPod, how ingenious! Right? Wrong! You see the iPhone doesn’t work with the Nike+ kit!  I couldn’t believe it! How could Apple have missed this? It seems so simple, so obvious, right? Well they obviously have the capability because the iTouch not only talks to Nike+, it has a build in transistor. But the iPhone…nothing!

I’ve sent emails and made phone calls asking for an explanation and better yet a fix to this problem, but to no avail! I got info about the GPS applications that will use satellites to determine your location and track your path. That’s cool, but when I used it, the mileage was way off. I don’t know why, but a trail that is marked and should have been 3.5 miles came up to 3.19 which not only messed up my mileage but also my average time/mile. Not to mention the fact that I would have to give up all the mileage I already accumulated through Nike+. BOOHOO!

If any of you have a solution for my dilemma, please comment and let me know! If not,  I urge all you Nike+ lovers out there to write to Apple and Nike and let them know what we want! I know for us it’s obvious, but maybe they just aren’t runners! Maybe they need us to scream for what we want! Did I mention that I don’t want to have to buy another iPhone? I want a fix on the iPhone I just got for Christmas! Am I being too picky?