Another Nike+ Milestone

We are now on the second leg, having flown from Dayton to Chicago on Christmas Eve. We were supposed to fly out on December 23 but our flight (the last one of the day) was canceled due to “flow control.” (Whatever.)

The voice of Lance Armstrong congratulated me on my longest run yet after my workout on December 21. That happened to be the run immediately following the Paula Radcliffe experience. Regrettably, I haven’t run since.

Sicko poster While still motivated, I’ve been sick. I contracted what turned out to be a severe chest and head cold during my travel back to Dayton, Ohio last week. Not wanting to get off track while on vacation, I figured I was well enough to run on Friday. TB and I went to a Dayton-area Bally’s—Bally’s branches offer 2-week complimentary guest passes once per year—and, following the compulsory tour of the facilities, we worked out about an hour.

I’m usually more energetic following a good run, but this time I felt horribly. Sure enough, I’ve spent the past 4 days medicated and (mostly) in bed. Being sick sucks.

We’re now in Chicago and I am feeling much better. If all goes well, I should be back in my running shoes tomorrow. I can’t let Paula and Lance down.

"Um, you don’t know who Paula Radcliffe is?"

This morning I completed my fourth run in five days. The Nike+ System is working well. Today’s run was both my longest (3.51 miles) and fastest (11’55” miles). I was excited while listening as the female voice recapped my stats when I finished running. I was surprised when I heard pre-recorded congratulatory remarks from some woman introducing herself as Paula Radcliffe. Ms. Radcliffe congratulated me on my longest run yet. I didn’t know who the heck she was but it was a nice touch. Fast forward about an hour and follow along as I recap a phone conversation I had with TB (my wife and the marathon runner in our household) who was returning home from the hairdresser:

TB: “Hey, I was calling to make sure you were up and getting ready to head out for our flight.”
Me: [Laughing] “Yeah, I’m up. Actually, I just got back home from the gym.”
TB: “Oh, you worked out?”
Me: “Yep.”
TB: “That’s great. How was your workout?”
Me: “It was good. I ran farther and faster than before. It felt good.”
TB: “Cool.”
Me: “In fact, the Nike+ system apparently has a feature where people congratulate you in their own words when you reach certain milestones.”
TB: “Huh?”
Me: “You know how after I finish a run, a computerized voice reviews my distance, speed, time and calories burned?”
TB: “Yeah.”
Me: “Well, today, since I ran faster and longer, some woman named Paula, I think, congratulated me for setting a new personal best. I have no idea who she is but it was kinda cool and unexpected.”
TB: “Who?”
Me: “Some chick named Paula. Ra-. Radcliffe, I think. I think she said her name is Paula Radcliffe.”
TB: [Chuckling] “Um, you don’t know who Paula Radcliffe is?”
Me: “Uh, no. Who is she?”
TB: [No longer chuckling] “She is an elite runner. She holds the women’s marathon world record.”
Me: [Crickets]
TB: “You know Paula. Paula RADCLIFFE? She has a distinct running form?”
Me: “Naw, I don’t.”
TB: [Crickets]

At this point in the dialogue, I mentally picture TB shaking her head partly in sheer disgust and partly in disbelief.

Shoot, I didn’t know Nike+ has a Trivia Pursuit feature as well. :sarcasm:

Anyway, a few Wikipedia articles later, I am now educated. I know who Paula Radcliffe is. She is indeed a phenomenal runner. Thanks, Nike+…and TB (sike!)

We’re heading back to the frozen tundra of the Midwest for the holidays. I plan to keep running and have already scoped out a few gyms since I am not an outdoor or cold weather runner yet. Here is a screen shot of iTunes which shows my Nike+ running stats so far.

Keith's workout results as of 12-19-2007

Happy Holidays!

When Low Motivation Meets High Tech

As of this morning, I had gained 6 pounds since November 4th. That’s a pound a week. Yikes!

There are many excuses and explanations I could give, but I won’t. I knew I needed to get it together shortly after Thanksgiving, but get it together I did not. My motivation to workout regularly has been low and my success sticking to a balanced diet has been even lower. I have decided to do two things to motivate myself to a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Go high tech. Nothing motivates a gadget geek like electronics so I am investing in the Nike+ running system.
  2. Report my results. Public scrutiny is a highly effective behavioral adjustment tool and I will periodically report my running (and other exercise) progress here on my blog—I have created a new “Lifestyle” category to make future posts easier to find.

4GB 2nd-Generation Silver iPod nano Despite Apple’s iPod nano being the center of the Nike+ system, I must admit it is extremely cool and very well done. Being a Zune fanboy, I decided to stick it to Apple by purchasing a discounted, refurbished, 2nd-generation nano instead of buying a new 3rd-generation nano at full price. I bought a 4GB refurb, silver nano direct from Apple. It cost $99 (reg. $199) and came with a one-year warranty.

Nike+ Sport Kit sensor and receiver Next, I bought the Nike+ Sport Kit which includes the sensor that goes in one running shoe and a receiver that plugs into the nano. The Nike+ Sport Kit costs $29 from Amazon. I already have a pair of Nike+ running shoes which have a compartment specifically designed to hold the Nike+ sensor.

I loaded the nano with music and registered on the Nike+ site. TB is the runner in our household and she was kind enough to join me this morning as I rediscovered the gym for my first high-tech workout. I spent the first half of my workout calibrating the Nike+ system using the built-in configuration assistant. I then ran on the treadmill for another 20 minutes. Here is a neat Nike+ widget showing the speed vs. time plot of that second half of this morning’s workout captured by Nike+:

I will add a couple Nike+ widgets to the sidebar to track the results of my most recent runs and latest challenge. I will start by challenging myself to run at least 12 times over the next 4 weeks. Wish me luck…