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Posts Tagged ‘Walkman’

Obsessing About Distance and Time

April 2, 2009 Leave a comment

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Nike Plus system for my iPod Nano.  Even when I was just running around the block in high school (1/2 mile loop), I kept track of the time and distance.  It didn’t feel right not knowing how far or how long I had run.

So when my wife bought me an iPod Nano and the Nike+ kit for my 28th birthday, it was quite a revelation.  The year before I had started using an iPod Shuffle, but before that I was still running to mix tapes in my Walkman.

My first couple of runs before I calibrated the distance on the iPod’s settings were WAY off.  Luckily, we have a good track just down the road, so I was able to get the iPod calibrated to my running stride, and it’s been fairly accurate since then. If you run a lot faster or a lot slower than normal, it’s definitely going to be off, so I still tend to run the routes I measured before I had the iPod, just to have a better idea of how accurate it is.

I’m not “hardcore” about running exactly the “right” distance, but I am very obsessive about knowing how far I ran and how long it took. I cannot imagine going out for a run with no way to judge the time and the distance!

For those who don’t know, you have to attach a little white receiver to your iPod Nano for the system to work properly.  I’ve heard the new iPod Touch has this receiver built right into the system, which means you’re not limited in your select of cases and armbands to hold the iPod.  (Because the receiver stuck out of the bottom of the Nano, several very cool cases are not an option.)  If the next generation of Nano has the receiver built right in, I’ll upgrade in a heartbeat.

Actually, I’m kind of surprised Apple and Nike haven’t produced a “special edition” iPod Nano exclusively for Nike+ that has a receiver built into it and maybe a special color scheme.  They could charge $30 more, since that’s what the receiver costs separately right now, and I bet they’d sell a ton of them.

Anyone know someone who works in Nike or Apple’s product development offices?  🙂

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Getting back into the running grove

November 17, 2008 Leave a comment

Yesterday was a perfect day for running.  Cool (40 degrees F), clear, no wind.

So I went out for a four mile run — part of my prep work for my official marathon training program that I’ll commence in December — and ended up running seven miles instead.  I started by running through the old neighborhood as planned, but when I reached the intersection near the house where I grew up, I felt great and I knew I had more miles in me if I wanted to push myself further.

I changed my plan and headed over to the high school and elementary school, around their large parking lots, and then through another neighborhood and up to the old cemetery, which is always a nice run, especially this time of year.

I have a hundred different routes stored away inside my head — which is funny considering how shoddy my memory usually is — and I can tell you the best way to add half a mile or subtract 2/10ths of a mile between where you are in the neighborhood and where you want to go.

For example, if I’m at the old 7/11 on the far side of the neighborhood I grew-up running in, it’s exactly 2 miles back to my current house — but I can add another quarter mile to that by turning left and going around the new grocery store, and I can subtract 3/10ths of a mile by taking a short cut to the local pub near the high school.

I always like to finish right around a mile marker, so this knowledge comes in handy.  With my Nike+ set-up there’s really no reason to try to end right on a mile, but when I was in high school and college I was just using the mix tape in my Walkman (I knew the length of every song, so when I got to “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms, I was 30 minutes into my run, for example) and my stop watch.  Ending right on a mile made it much easier to figure out what I was averaging per mile.  Old habits die hard.

By the time I got home yesterday, I was dogging it, but I felt great — like old times.  And I knew I was officially getting back into the groove when, an hour later, I was wishing I could go back out for another run.  I had set my Nike+ system to count down to 4 miles, so every mile after that, it told me I had gone another mile past my goal — a nice motivator.

Probably the only problem with Nike+, in my experience, is that I had to reset my iPod Nano to the factory settings a few months ago because Paula Radcliffe was congratulating me on running “another 500 km” after every single run.  This is a well documented problem with the Nike+, but Nike claims it is a hardware problem and not a software issue, which is pretty disappointing.  Here’s a clip of Paula promoting Nike:

And here’s “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms:

If YouTube says the Gin Blossoms video has been removed, try the direct link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxQhx4t1FmE

Until next time, thanks for reading.

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