7th Run – Nike+

What’s up crew…

Hope all is well. After a string of HOT days, the temps have eased down a bit. I packed my gym bag this morning hoping to run, but didn’t think I’d get it in. Boss is back from vacation and had ANOTHER meeting that dipped into my lunch hour, but I went and did it anyway. Turns out, it was my best mile yet, so I’m definitely excited about getting THAT news.

The pace was good, finally getting the breathing rhythm going a lot smoother. and the form is slowly getting better (less and less shin splints).

I’m definitely down with the whole Nike+ system. Always good encouragement:
10 kilometers down. Now let’s see what else you’ve got. You’re off to a fantastic start. Whether your first 10K was a breeze or hard-earned, keep it up.

Anyway, today’s run stats.

Never knew I’d love running so much. Hopefully I can hit the track this weekend sometime.

peace,
F!

6th Run – Nike+

Greetings crew.

This afternoon’s run wasn’t TOO bad. After sufficiently warming up, I hit the treadmill again hoping to better my run time over yesterday. I started at a 5 mph pace and it felt good….up until reaching 400 m left to go. Slow and steady should have been the pace for this beginner lol. Slowed it down to a little greater than 4 mph for 200 m left, then back up to finish it out. Next run will have a slower initial start time. Still ended up improving my run time over yesterday, so that’s cool.

Run stats are here

Have a great day!
F

5th Run – Nike+

Greetings crew:

I hope this post finds you well. Today was the first indoor run using the Nike Plus system. As you already know, I am definitely into it. It was a lunch time run in our corporate gym on the first floor. Turns out that I may be doing a great deal of running here for many reasons (especially during the winter). The run was good, breathing pace was the best yet and it also turned out to be my best mile time to date. Running on a treadmill proved to be the easiest thus far, with running on a track being a very close second. As I get seasoned, I hope enjoy running along various city and landscapes, but right now the terrain is less than desirable.

One of my regular readers, Rezzy asked me, in the previous post, what’s my playlist is. Take a look here. What’s the Power Song? “Housequake” – Prince/Sign Of The Times

Anyway, here are the stats from today’s run. Already looking forward to tomorrow’s “power lunch”.

peace,
F!

4th Run – revisited (Nike+)

It’s about 8:17am. I got into work early this morning (but not early enough) hoping to get into the software lab before my colleagues, to do a run a quick login procedure for a practice demonstration later this morning. Getting in early also allows me to leave early (5pm). With this scorching heat lately, I decided I’d try and run at lunch (no, not outside) but in our fully equipped workout facility on the first floor – complete with three treadmills. If things go as scheduled, I should be down there around 12:30pm (that is if I can break away to go home and forget the shorts I forgot-lol)

Anyway, I was still curious as to why my iPod didn’t record the last run I (umm…”we”) did. I brought it in and decided to have it find the sensor (as I shake it in my hand to simulate walking) and record the data. To my surprise, I booted up the iPod and checked History to find out it DID record the data. Cool. Now when I go home, on the shorts run, I can upload the data to Nike Plus. Gotta love technology!

Here are the run stats:

Time: 8:20pm
Temp: 82 deg
Weather: Sunset
Distance: 1.32 mi
Time 22:52
Pace: 17:13 min/mi
Calories: 178
Type: Run/Walk

Looking forward to the lunchtime run…

Have a great day…
F!

4th Run – Nike+

Greetings….

Just got in not too long ago from run #4. It’s been a crazy busy weekend and I would have much preferred to run early this morning, but that wasn’t possible at all. That being said, I had to wait until late this evening because of this crazy heat. Lately, my eight year old son has taken up an interest in running since I started, and especially having an understanding how Nike Plus works. He’s always asking for “sensor shoes” and I always gotta tell him they’re not made in his size….yet. Anyway, he begged to go along this time, so we both headed over to PGCC’s track. I knew that it didn’t make sense to log this workout data, figuring I wouldn’t get a consistent run in.

We got there and I took him through a stretching routine then we started the jog. I was pleasantly surprised for two things: 1) We did a whole lap non-stop and 2) Running at his pace told me MAYBE I should slow my pace to his on my regular runs!

We completed lap #1 and walked a cool down lap for the second one. Lap #3 was a job again…all the way through…I’mproud ;-). Lap #4, the final lap was a cooldown walk, followed by stretching. Big surprise was a 5th lap…wow, at his request. It was fun, and in hindsight, I might have done my best time in the mile yet…something I didn’t expect this evening. Too bad I didn’t log this data on the iPod! Oh well.

The plan is to hit the track at 6am tomorrow, but the morning rush to work. Which means off to bed within the hour. Have a good night.

3rd Run – Nike+

Good morning crew.

6:00 am: On the move this Saturday morning. Getting ready to head out for run #3. Busy day ahead … 3 rehearsals with three different church choirs (eyein’ my guitar beside me). Finishng up this protein shake, be back later.

7:24 pm: Back from the run. I run at a community college track, at which I arrived at 6:30am. Even at the time there were already folks running and walking, with the parking lot across the street continually filling up. You can’t say these people are not serious about fitness if they are out there at 6:30 am. The temperature was already 76 degrees and the sun was out.

I warmed up by walking two brisk laps and people were still coming in. As I hit the second lap, a guy was slow walking ahead of me. There was a woman walking a little faster behind him. As she was about to pass him, he said good morning. At about two paces ahead of him, he says to herDo you come out here often? (oh boy at old man trying to get his mack on). Ha!

I finish the second lap, stretch the legs, hit the center button on my iPod Nano, and start Nike Plus for the 1 mile run. First lap is good, still trying to get my form right where the stride is easy (daggone shin splint). I brisk walk the second lap, checking my breathing regulation. This run is, so far, better than the 2nd one. Third lap I begin the run, but do only three-quarters. At 6am I had that protein shake, and at the three-quarter mark my stomach was reminding that I only had that shake about 45 min ago. I listened to my body and walked the last quarter lap.

I like “Honey” giving me my distance reminders while my workout jams are flowing in my ears. When I hit one mile, “Congratulations, your workout is complete, please hit the menu button to stop the workout” (which I did). I get back to the car after stretching some, and do just a few more calf raises to stretch them and the shin areas out, then head home. Already getting hotter outside, I noticed a low lying, thin fog. It’s supposed to hit the upper 90s again today. On the way home, I’m listening to my playlist and Honey says “Workout activity paused, please hit the center button to resume workout” (Uh oh….grrrr). I let it go, as the Nike Plus screen is not even showing. I get home to check my workout data – none record. Ugh. Buttons and screens, got it right last run, flubbed it this one…oh well. I’ll FINALLY get it correct!

Ok here are the run stats:

Weather: Clear and sunny
Tenperature; Approx 76 degrees, slight humidity
Duration: 6:30am to 7:10 pm
Distance: 1 mile
Time:About 10 mins (last run)
Run Type: Walk/Run
Run Classification: So-so.

Busy day ahead, next run will happen, at best, Sunday evening around 7:30pm.

Have a good weekend!

peace,
F!

2nd Run – Nike+

What’s up follks? Hope all is well. In our last episode (my first run), I had issues with the iPod Touch seeing the sensor, but that’s old hat. Today I took my second (official) run, which incidentally was a run/wallk. I have no qualms about being a beginner runner, the most impoirtant thing is to get my form right and build up my endurance.

I got to the track about 7:05pm and found it full of activity – excercisers, runners, walkers, joggers. I walked two laps as a warm up and started the run. My current issue, as it is with most beginners, is the dreaded shin splints condition. I attribute it to the way my running form is. Since doing some reading and watching other runners, I thought that I’d try coming down on my toes/balls of my feet vice heel to toe. I tried that today and though I still suffered some shin splints during the run portions, it wasn’t as bad as this past weekend.

I happened to run into a long time friend who is also running for a reason. We chatted and caught up on stuff during the walk portions and he extended the offer to be a running partner…I might take him up on it. I do a lot better on the track than street running, at least for now, so I think that’ll be the plan.

Ok here are the run stats:

Weather: Overcast to rainy
Tenperature; Approx 80 degrees
Duration: 7:05pm to 8:15 pm
Distance: 1 mile
Time: 13:27
Run Type: Walk/Run
Run Classification: So-so.
My run stats at NikeRunning.com

As the skies grew dark, I did some calf raises for a few minutes. Surprisingly enough, that eased the shin splints a great deal, to the point where my lower legs weren’t feeling too bad at all.

That’s about it for now. Thursday, I’ll be back into my gym regimen (free weights and Cybex machines). Thumbs up for having a free, well equopped workout room on the first floor of my building.

Have a good one….

peace.
F!

1st Run – Nike+ iPod (Nike Plus)

Greetings readers…

I hope this post finds you well. Some of you that have known me for years also know that I regularly try to exercise and have been working out more on than off since college. For those that regularly exercise, often times it can take just *one* break to get you to fall off the fitness wagon for a good long time. I suffered such a break and have been off the wagon for about TWO YEARS (thank goodness for muscle memory and a decent knowledge of a good diet), luckily during that two years, people still have occasionally asked me if I work out, so that’s a good thing.

In the same vein, some of you know I’m a techie and a mild gadget guy. Being such, one of the gadgets I own and enjoy is a 2nd generation iPod Touch. Late last year when I graduated up from a failing 1st generation one, I noticed it came loaded with the Nike Plus app. I knew of the Nike Plus system primarily as an app to track runs. There are many other free and paid fitness apps at the iTunes store, a few that I tried, but I paid no attention to the Nike Plus app.

Unsatisfied with being off the wagon for so long, I recently took another look at the Nike Plus app and then went to the website to see how this thing really works. I first found out that the sensor in the sports kit transmits data from your work to your iPod at 2.4 GHz…that immediately interested the techie in me (wireless transmission anything gets me, and as an engineer, I’ve worked for years in fields that use it). Now that I became more interested in it, the biggest thing I wasn’t interested in was……running. I never really cared for it and REALLY had my share of it while pledging a fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha) in undergrad. During those 12 weeks I had to run just about everywhere I went…in combat boots…class to class, class to the dining hall, dining hall to my dorm, my dorm to class…you get the picture.

Consequently, from a fitness popularity standpoint, all I saw around me regularly, were runners. Since I let my World Gym monthly membership go, I wanted to adopt another form of exercise that would get me in shape and keep me that way. After some thought, running seemed to be the best. I went back to Nike’s site, and became wowed not only by their marketing of Nike Plus (this IS Nike, right?) but the resources that it offers to new and season runners alike. Still loving this whole tech + fitness combination, I became even MORE interested.

Nike (unsurprisingly) makes special shoes that house the sensor which sends the data to your iPod Nano or 2nd Generation iPod Touch. The most popular shoes in the Nike Plus line are in excess of $80….I have NEVER paid $80 for a pair of sneakers in my life and wasn’t about to. Even the New Balance and Nike crosstrainers I’ve had over the years didn’t exceed that price. So…of course, I hop on the net to find out other ways of using this sensor on non-Nike Plus shoes. Unsurprisingly, I found hacks, mods, and actual products that allow you to use the sensor with other shoes…hence saving you money if already have running shoes OR don’t prefer Nike shoes for whatever reason (I’ll provide some links below). Along with some Google search results, I decided to hop to my fave place for info, Twitter, to get some feedback on those in my stream that run and post their results to various places on the web. I got feedback by those who use the Nike Plus shoes and those who don’t…a perfect sample size to help me decided which way I want to go. Primarily, I didn’t want to spend that amount of money on a pair of running shoes, but as I gave it more thought, I realized that I’ll be running and should get a pair of shoes designed for that, as opposed to any sneaker. Still seeing some ASICS, NB, Sauconys, Nike and others in excess of $125, I was like…whew. After my three hours of article reading, Twitter feedback, and Nike Plus related videos on YouTube, I decided that as an engineer, I thrive on accuracy. I found that mounting the sensor in the sole of the shoe (as opposed to in the tongue/laces area), would provide the most accurate data results….I couldn’t let go of the need for accuracy LOL (it’s ingrained in my from professional training and being a techie, what can I say?) It was this post that made me decide to get a pair of Nike Plus running shoes (instead of cutting a hole in the current (but old) NB crosstrainers I own (wifey was shocked to see me with a new pair of sneakers on top of that …LOL). That being said, I chose, at $63, the Nike Air Alaris+ (I feel I got the best of both worlds…the tech, and a good shoe at a decent price – think I’ll hit Sports Authority for a second pair):

Fast forward to day one of the run (today). After reading up on how to set up the sensor with iPod Touch, I was psyched to do my first run this morning. The only issue I had was though the sensor was linked to the iPod, when I was prompted to calibrate it by walking around, the iPod Touch couldn’t find the sensor. After a few times last night, I gave up and decided to try in the morning.

I arise at 5:30am, get dressed, grab some juice and a cup of apple sauce and head out. I open the garage door and………….rain….ugh! After watching it for a bit and seeing it let up, I decided to take a first time drive to the nearby community college that has the track that I’ll run on. I stay in the garage and try to calibrate the sensor, but still no luck. The rain let up on my side of town, so I drove out the track and tried once more to calibrate the sensor with the iPod…no luck! Still being excited about the run, the tech, the whole thing. I warm up by walking a few laps. At 7am, in light rain, there were already one runner and another walker. Within 30 mins, another runner and 3 more walkers arrive. After finishing lap 4, I was a bit disappointed that the iPod Touch still couldn’t find the sensor. I knew that it wasn’t necessary to calibrate it but I’m a fiend for accuracy. Being that this was the first time I ever ran for fitness, I stretched, and did one (yes one) lap only. Halfway through the lap, it started raining heavier, but the temperature didn’t make the rain feel that bad. I finish the lap and head home. Soaking wet and still no data to post online, I get home, dry off and hop in the shower.

After the shower and breakfast with my son (who was a lil ticked I didn’t take him with me at 6:30am), I decided to engage in my usual problem solving activity – hit Google search to see if anyone else has had this problem. Sure enough I found good amount of folk that experienced the same. It turns out that the sensor can be put to sleep by holding a small button on the bottom of it for three seconds. Though the sensor, as I understand, is supposed to come in the package awake (ready to use), I suspect mine was sent asleep. I read the guide again (finding nothing about having to wake it upon first use), as well as a few posts online, then flipped the sensor over, pressed the button, placed it back in the shoe, followed the instructions from the iPod Touch, walked around a bit and ….voila…received a sensor found message on the iPod Touch 🙂 Now, I’m definitely happy. I run back up stairs thinking I can do a run around the neighborhood, open the garage and…..rain!. Oh well.

As you can guess, I’m looking forward to my next opportunity for a run AND to be able to post my results on line. I’m excited about joining the Nike Plus running community.

Special shout outs to my Twitterati for the input and advice:

@daniellericks
@bevjack
@fave and Mrs Fave
and my new online running coach (haha..THX!) @FITTorrent

I’m exciting, and hope to keep it alive. Here’s a few links for anyone interested.

Nike Running (Nike+)
Nike + iPod FAQ (Technical)
100 Beginner Running Tips (CompleteRunning.com)
How To Start Running Without Feeling Like A Failure
Hacking Nike Plus, Part 1Creating Your Own Nike Plus Sensor holder in any running shoe sole
Nike Plus Sensor Mod (YouTube)
Tweet Your Run Data
Nike Plus on Twitter

Thanks for the long read! Catch up with u later!

peace,
F!