Friday, January 18, 2008

My new Nike+

My new Nike+ is cool. I’m a gadget geek I’ll admit it I am a self confessed gadget geek. I think it comes with gender I’m not sure. I’d being willing to bet that the lion’s share of geeks out there are men. I use to run with a Forerunner which is a GPS watch. It looked kind of like a hockey puck on my wrist but it worked sort of.

I think I’m one of those runners who has to measure every workout. Not to say I stare incessantly at my watch to get split times but at the end I like to see how far and how long it took. I usually start some sort of measuring device at the beginning and don’t look at it until I’m at the end. Whether it’s the stopwatch on my wristwatch or the Garmin Forerunner I simply had to know. It was a basis for comparison. I would record it either in a journal or calendar or spreadsheet and compare the time with previous times.
Some days I would benchmark thinking that run felt awful I would record my time and sure enough it was an awful time. I wasn’t addicted to the gizmos . . . well okay I still am but I didn’t need them. There were and still are some days where I would just go out and run.

The Forerunner was great. It served my purpose fulfilled my need for knowledge but there were several annoying things about the Forerunner that made me leave it for a Nike+:

1) The Forerunner 101 is one of the first GPS device Garmin put out for sport use. As such the receiver was old and took a long time to find a signal from the satellite network up in the heavens. This was extremely annoying when its freezing, windy, and raining and you are out on your driveway at 5 am waiting for your signal strength to be adequate.
2) It’s probably better for the 205 and the 305 but I kept getting the message signal strength is weak. I always thought that although the signal was weak that somehow it would continue to measure and extrapolate the distance. I mean come on it’s not rocket science. I am going 7.4 mph which is 39072 ft/hr or 10.85 ft/s. If I lose signal for 30 seconds I should travel a distance of 325.5 ft or 0.06 miles. But guaranteed I would get a weak signal on at least 80% of the runs. And my mileage would vary. I do the same route every weekday morning on my Nike+ the distance varies by no more than 0.01 miles. The same route on my Garmin has varied by 0.4 miles. The route is only 4.3 miles so that is roughly ± 5%.
3) I could never download from my 101 although 201 and above is capable of this information. These models are also capable of plotting your route which never really interested me. I don’t need to know where I’ve been. I know where I’ve been.
4) The Forerunner 101 was a bargain at <$100. The models above that cost significantly more. I believe the 205 is around $200 and the 305 is close to $250. The Nike+ retails for $40. An iPod Nano retails for $150.

That being said the Nike+ does not plot maps, nor does it do elevation, there is no functionality for heart rate.

I also like the Nike+ website where I download all my info too. I like the challenges and have already signed up for several.

If you have an iPod already I highly recommend getting a Nike+. It’ll be so much fun.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The new iPod

When Christmas came I was extremely pleased with what my wonderful wife gave me for Christmas. From my last post you knew that I had my iPod stolen from my car. Well guess what I got for Christmas. Yup you guessed a new iPod. But just not any iPod, I got the new 3rd generation Nano, which is a cut above my old Nano. For all those who have an iPod they already know how much better the new 3rd generation is. But for those who don’t . . . well let me tell you the 3rd generation has 4 Gigabytes for the same price as my old Nano’s 2 gigabytes. The screen is bigger because it plays video. I don’t know much more except it seems smaller and lighter than my old Nano. Although my old Nano was like an old friend was being taken away I feel almost guilty in saying my new friend is better. Yup I was really happy on Christmas morning.

Accessorizing my new friend does come at a cost you see the new 3rd generation is a completely different shape so any wallet or cases or other accessories made for previous generations won’t fit the new one. I think Steve Job’s does this on purpose to get kickbacks from the accessories manufacturers. I had this bomb proof case for my old Nano made by H²0 Technologies or something like that. It was clear hard plastic with a waterproof seal that totally encased the iPod so that the controls were through a weatherproof wheel cover. It was cool but it was about $75 to replace up here. The cool thing about the case was it had a belt clip, an arm band and was near waterproof. I could wear this thing in the pouring rain and not worry about damaging it. I ruined my very first iPod shuffle in the rain. So I was in the market for a cheaper replacement that could protect my new found friend.

Also around this time, actually it was during the time I was in mourning; I saw this add for a Nike+ shoe pod wallet. I light went on in my tiny little brain that I didn’t need to own a pair of Nike’s to take advantage of the Nike+ Technology. I’m sure that Phil Knight will get over it.

So now I wanted a Nike+ for my new friend. In Canada unlike in the US we get Boxing Day off. I believe there must be some long since lost historical significance to Boxing days but these days Boxing Day in Canada has come to mean Sale Day. A chance for retailers to grab the last bit of cash that consumers didn’t spend prior to Christmas. You have to really love shopping to go out into the mayhem of Boxing. . .So while Jenny was off Boxing Day shopping I asked her to look for a deal on the Nike+. If there was a deal to be found Jenny and her shopping savvy was going to find it.

The sign said 20% off everything in the store, no asterisk, no fine print. She proceeded to purchase a Nike+ kit and the clerk was almost certain that the 20% didn’t apply to the technology items. But when the sign says sale and there’s no fine print don’t mess with my wife. Needless to say I got a Nike+ kit for $32 which is 20% cheaper than anywhere else that day. I love my wife’s shopping ability. Born to shop!

My ensemble was made complete a few days later when picked up an iPod cover. Although it wasn’t nearly as waterproof as my old one it was a $50 cheaper than a waterproof case and it had a belt clip. I was still able to use the armband from my old setup so now I was styling.
Now all I had to do was go running