Friday, April 9, 2010

Time is on my side

The Stones had it right. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ve been wanting to write about my newest acquisition—the Garmin Forerunner 405. But… well, I’ll keep waiting until the story finally unfolds. It’ll have to be a two- or three-parter as well, because it’s taking forever to make it’s way into my possession. It’s winding journey is so time-consuming that it (among a million other things) is wearing me down and making me feel like taking a mental health day. “Patience…” I keep telling myself. It’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to!

What I will talk about tonight is the Nike+ Sportband that I got last summer when they released their newer colors. It’s a great device if you’re just getting started running or aren’t as serious about time and mileage like some of the hardcore Garmin runners are. Don’t get me wrong—once you get the Sportband calibrated, the mileage/pace/calorie count are pretty accurate! I say it’s great for entry-runners because of the price. $60 will get you on the trails in a great, lightweight product that will give you a pretty decent estimate of your mileage and pace. (As opposed to the $150-$370 Garmin's!)

sportband Yellow/grey Nike+ Sportband

Other colors available are white/pink, grey/powder blue, and black/red. The watch has two simple buttons so the learning curve is maybe 30 seconds. The display shows the time when not being used to keep track of your run. When you want to record your run, you hold the button shown above (to the right of the display) for three seconds to activate the sensor you placed in your shoe. The watch will flash “WALK” to let you know to scratch your butt. No—to walk! Duh. Once the Sportband and sensor are in synch, you simply push the button one more time and it begins recording. Easy peasy japanesey. To end the run, hold down the button for three seconds again. BAM! You’ve just recorded your first run. There’s more stuff you can learn about the watch here.

A few suggestions… I wouldn’t start the recording until after you get into your comfortable stride. If you start it before you take off, your Nike graph will show a slow pace to begin with and you don’t want that! Same with your finish—stop the recording before you actually stop running. Also, if you need to stop in the middle of your run for red lights or to help an elderly woman in distress cross the street or whatever, just press the button once and it will pause your recording. Your current mileage will flash on the display until you press the button once more to un-pause the recording and resume your run. Lastly, you do NOT have to own a pair of Nike+ shoes in order to use this device. You can get whatever shoes you want and then buy a ‘shoe pocket’ at your local running store. They typically cost between $8-12…not bad at all. I got a $10 Nathan’s Sensor Pocket at my local Luke’s Locker.

Nathan's Sensor Pocket on Asis Gel Cumulus Nike+ Sensor in Nathan’s Sensor Pocket attached to Asics

Some of the things it shows during your run are mileage, pace, time, and calories. Here are some pictures I took last month:

mileage Mileage
pace Pace
length Time of run
calories Calories burned

The clock looks like this:

clock Clock

It even shows total mileage recording on the watch, as well as weekly mileage:

total mileage Total Mileage

Now as to why I’m leaving this product behind? Well…I guess as you progress in your training and your pace changes, you have to re-calibrate…and then you get a little stronger and faster,then recalibrate. The recordings were always within 0.1 miles, but that can affect an accurate pace calculation. I didn’t calibrate mine for a while and I thought I was running 8:15 to 8:30 minute miles. Then in January I run the Houston halfsie and I finish with a 7:49 pace! What? How did I improve 20-40 seconds? I didn’t. Not overnight at least. It was my watch needing to be recalibrated.

halfsie 2010 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Did I realize it back then? Maybe. Was I too lazy to dedicate one evening to run a set mileage at a track so that I could properly recalibrate? Yes. I workout every evening I can. I don’t want to waste an evening doing this every time I feel like I’ve grown better, faster, stronger.

So I run the Rodeo Run 10k the next month and set a new PR (personal record) with a 7:28/mile pace. Que? I was shocked! I didn’t even feel like I’d done all that awesome. I felt like I’d taken care of business—what I wanted to, but not 60 seconds faster pace than normal on this notoriously dangerous course…

Then in March, I attempted my first 5k in years at the Stride 4 Stroke event. I pulled a 6:46/mile pace out of my posterior for another new PR! How was I deviating so much from my normal pace? I wasn’t. After this run I soon realized I was a 7:15-7:30 minute miler now. So I tried recalibrating my Sportband, but I think I messed it up. I thought I’d run 10.01 miles on Good Friday, but turns out it was only 9.61 (which was a stupid idea btw, because I hadn’t run that long of a distance in a while…and so I got a few blood blisters on the old dogs).

So I decided after constantly seeing Joe’s Garmin 405, I wanted to try to find one on eBay (to save some money…I’ve still got financial goals this summer, ya know!) I see Danica’s “Claude” (305) but it looks too bulky for me, even though it’s more in my price range. I want something that can double as a watch as well and the 405 does that for me. It will give me a better distance and pace, which is something I’m looking forward to being able to track with more accuracy. Once I get it (again/back/etc.) I’ll post a sweet review!

cap10k Cap10k runners crossing the Congress Avenue bridge

No more posts for me until next week when I write about the Cap10k this weekend I’m running with my brother! It’s the largest 10k in the state (and fifth largest in our great nation), with more than 18,000 participants. EIGHTEEN THOUSAND! Makes for a fun weekend in the ATX. Hopefully I’ll have some great pictures to show. Wish us luck for some great weather!

1 comment:

  1. good luck this weekend!!!! i am so jealous - i want to run this!!! you guys will do great though!!!