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!!!

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Hot and Humid Running…UGHH!

So as you know, I’ve been a little lazy about running lately! OK REALLY lazy! But… I’m trying!  I did run a 5K charity race on Saturday after NO training! And frankly, IT SUCKED!!! Not the race itself, but my performance! It was SO hot and humid! I know, I know… I live in FLA, I should be used to it. But to run in the sun is just not fun! Now I sound like Dr. Suess… great! Anyway, I had my iPhone with me and had the Nike + app running, but for some reason it didn’t register my pace or distance only my time. FRUSTRATING!!! So at 1 mile there was a sign, and at 1.5 miles there was a water station. But the entire rest of the race was unmarked. I was convinced at about mile 2.5 that we had run at least 5 miles. That’s what I get for not training! I did finish, even though my time wasn’t good! YAY ME!

Now I’m back on my schedule of 1 charity race a month. I figure it’s the only way I can keep myself motivated. I’m actually hoping to do a couple of half marathons in the fall! Notice I didn’t say FULL! Yes… I still have it in my head to someday run a full marathon, but for now I’ll stick with my halfs. I just want to keep my knees healthy and after my training injury, I decided to take it really slow! Really, really slow! So, I’m starting with an easy 3 days a week 4 miles a day schedule. This should get me through to summer. Then I’ll kick it up a little and add some extra miles! Because I love to run in 120ºF temps! 🙂 The sun beating down, and the sweat stinging your eyes… you’ve got to LOVE it!!!

Running With My iPhone…Yikes

So I finally talked my hubs into buying me the new 3GS iPhone with the Nike App built in. I’ve been bugging him relentlessly, so I wouldn’t have to keep carrying my iPhone and my Nano on my daily runs. I even tried the whole “I’m getting carpal tunnel syndrome and stress in my shoulders” and he would just laugh it off. Arrgghhhh! But with the help of my kids… mostly my daughter who ended up adopting my old iPhone… he relented on Valentines’ Day!

I absolutely LOVE my new iPhone!!! But I’m a little nervous about taking it on my runs. You see, in my head I have a vision of me running down the street, without a care in the world, when all of the sudden something happens… a snake jumps me… or gigantic Blue Heron pecks me… or a raccoon startles me… (Funny that these things have all happened!) and my precious iPhone goes flying from my hand … in slow mo… and lands in pieces on the pavement. NOOOOOO!!!! This would be a TRAGEDY!!!! A MAJOR TRAGEDY!!!

You see, I’m not a strap lover, because I prefer to see my screen while I’m running. I tried the armband, but found it was itchy and I got a bruise on my arm from tugging it to look at the screen constantly!  I tried the waist belt, but it bounced around so much that I was afraid it would break something inside. So, I bought a rubbery case that I can grip, and I’m hoping it works!!! Stay tuned!!!

By the way…do you think the iPad is too big to run with? I get separation anxiety when I’m without mine!

Gotta love Race Day!

dsc03038Yesterday was race day!! And as predicted it was FREEZING!!! Well, at the beginning it was cold! But then, about a mile in, I was wishing I had left the fleece in the car! You see there were so many people crammed into the street that our body heat temperature was probably a good 30° F higher than the air temp. Overall, The Run Around The Pines 5K was great! But it was especially great if you like running (or drowning) in a sea of people! There were 1316 people participating and I think they all ran right with me the whole way! Wait, am I the star of the remake of “The Truman Show”?  It sure seemed that way!  I was dodging and weaving around people of all ages. It was more a test of my coordination than a foot race.

While I was dodging and weaving, my mind started doing it’s thing. I started watching people and their different running styles. Some styles you would like to emulate and others you wish you had never witnessed. (You know what I’m talking about!)  It made the race go by faster and I found that I would sprint ahead just to see different runners. So I thought I would share my findings with you…but first you have to pledge not to be offended if you fall into one of these groups! Promise? Ok, here goes…

Let’s start with the group I call the Über Runners. These are those people that run the entire race with ease. While I’m panting my way through every step and hoping that my breakfast doesn’t reappear, the Über runners are gracefully prancing at break neck speeds with out even breaking a sweat!  How do they do that? Better yet, how can I do that?

Then, we have the Painful Overachievers. These are those runners that run fast but look as though they are going to keel over at any moment. They are moaning and groaning somewhere near the front of the pack, while their knees are buckling and their stride is floundering. You know you can beat them, and yet you don’t!

Then, there are the “Made You Look” Loud Landers. You know, those people that have no control over the impact their feet make on the pavement, so it sounds like they are flopping their size 14 clown feet as loud as they can. You hear them coming, even over the music blaring in your ears. You can’t help but turn around to see what’s making all that noise. Surprisingly, it’s usually a 9 year old with teeny-tiny feet.

Oh and there are always those people that run with intermittent walk breaks. Let’s call them the Hurry Up and Wait Runners. Why do they get to take walk breaks while I struggle to stay on pace and yet, they still beat me across the finish line? I know, they are following the training plan of the great Jeff Galloway. I get it! I even tried it, but it’s not for me! Once I get this train a movin’, stopping before the finish line is not an option! But anyway, according to my calculations, I should beat these “hurry up and waiters”, if for no other reason than the fact that I ran the whole way and they didn’t!

The list goes on and on! There are the Spitters, the Up-Chuckers, the Boogie Blowers that you really don’t want to run behind! The Constant Talkers, and the Singers that you can try to ignore, but somehow get inside your head. And, of course, the Finish Line Picture Bandits that throw themselves between you and the photographer just as the picture is snapped.  Are you kidding me?! Will I ever get a picture of me crossing the finish line?

All in all, it was a wonderful race! I ran faster than my last race! And I have to thank all of my fellow runners for keeping me entertained throughout the race! I hope I did the same for them!

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?