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Name: merrymishaps (Lauren)
Home: Annapolis, MD, United States
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

raising the dork level

I can be very particular.

It drives my husband crazy when I correct him with exact details. It's never something that matters. You know, give or take 10 minutes to determine what time something happened, for example.

When following a recipe, I will measure out every amount. Unless it's just a dash.

I'm sure I get this from my mother ... though, when telling me how to make her homemade mac and cheese, she said to "add some milk." I need to know how much "some" is!

Not surprising, my attention to detail has followed me into my athletic activities.

garminEver since March 2005, I have been a loyal user of a Garmin Forerunner 201.

It's a satellite watch that tracks distance and speed. It doesn't have true maps, but it will make a dotted line showing you where you've been. And it connects to the computer so you can download all of your data to their "Training Center" software.

I love it. I have it set to beep every mile so I can pace myself. And I can easily track the mileage on my shoes in the notes field of the software so I know when it's time to replace.

In the "Training Center," I create folders for each year to easily see my totals -- miles, time and pace for the whole year. Last year, I logged 636.67 miles. That's higher than usual because of marathon training.

So far this year, I'm at 330.09, give or take. The Garmin has some limitations, and it isn't 100% accurate. It can lose the signal around tall buildings or trees (like park trails, where I run often). Or sometimes, I can't run outside and instead hit the treadmill, so I can't track it.

Now that I'm biking, it works for that, too. (I've only ridden 111.48 miles so far, but I've only been riding since May!)

Even with the limitations, it's good enough. I'll never replace you, Garmin!*

However, I have recently added another stat-tracking gadget.

Enter the iPod Nano with Nike+.

nano with nike+

I had been thinking about it anyway, but after I switched to Nike shoes (thanks to a trial run during a Nike promotion at our local running store), my mind was made up. (There are third-party shoe pouches so it can be used with non-Nike shoes. But it's nice that I can just slide the sensor into my shoe.)

For the past month, I've been double-tracking my mileage. I upload my iPod data to the Nike site, and my Garmin data to the computer.

I am running with the iPod in either a pocket or the pouch of my water bottle. It's bad enough that I've got two gadgets. I wouldn't want to be that big of a dork to have it on my arm with that huge watch on my wrist!

I knew I'd be able to see all of my runs online with Nike+, but I wasn't aware of the community until I registered. I've been participating in challenges (for example, run 50 miles in a month) with other individuals, and have set goals for myself (my current goal is to run five runs in a month under 10 minutes per mile).

There are some flaws with the iPod as well. Being a pedometer-based product, it had to be calibrated (out of the box, it thought I was really fast!). Even being done, some times it matches the Garmin, other days it's a bit too fast. Not too bad, though.

And once, it lost a five-mile run. The iPod itself seemed to have updated the total mileage, but nothing was uploaded to the site and I couldn't see that run on the iPod. It was a good one, too!

I still like it. And tonight, when all of my friends bailed on our run, I was able to track my treadmill mileage!

*OK, when it breaks, I'll be upgrading to a newer, smaller model!

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At 11:51 PM, August 05, 2008, Blogger SLynnRo said...

See this? This would make me insane! I would become obsessed with checking how far I'd gone every 7 seconds.

At 12:29 AM, August 06, 2008, Blogger merrymishaps said...

It would make me insane if I didn't know how far I'd gone!

(The iPod tells you how long you've been running, how far, and current pace any time you press the center button)

And yes, there are some bad days where I keep looking ... but for the most part I'm good about it!

At 4:50 AM, August 08, 2008, Blogger cecily said...

I totally get your recipe dilemmas (even though the post isn't really about that!). My Mum gave me a recipe for 'economical rissoles'... handful of oats is on the list. Whose hands are we talking about here? Big ones or little ones? Full hand or just a scoop??? I need more specifics than that!

At 9:47 PM, August 12, 2008, Anonymous zandria said...

I have to say, that gadget looks kind of immense! I think it would be very distracting to have it on my arm! But it definitely sounds like it can do all sorts of cool things. :)


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