Nike+

Alright, beerdrinker got a shiny new red iPod Nano for xmas from my mom. It totally rocks. It synchs with my iCal and address book (surprise! yay me!), it plays music, it’s tiny, and it sounds good. Pretty much kicking my Zen Micro to the curb. The only thing it doesn’t have is a voice recorder…and that is a bummer.

But what I’m really stoked about is the Nike+ addon. (Disclaimer: I am a Nike employee. But I’m sincere. Nike, please don’t fire me, I’m saying good things!). I hit the store and picked up a pair of Air Max 90+ shoes (I’ve been running in Air Moto Max IV but I wanted to try something new). They are a sweet pair of kicks, stylishish and comfortable. I had to put my prescription orthotics in them to get appropriate arch support, but they are nicely cushioned and stiff enough to protect my poor banged-up toe.

I also grabbed the Nike+ insert doohickey. Setting this thing up was a piece of cake. Stick the dealie in the shoe, attach the insert thingy into the base of the nano, and a new item showed up on my iPod menu. Then I went for a run. Well, run/walk. Testing the waters a bit since the surgery. I actually felt better afterwards than before!  I was surprised that there’s only one insert.  I’m a bit perplexed as to how it measures distance and speed accurately…I’m guessing that it has an accelerometer in there, but wow.  What bitchin technology.  And no, I’m not worried about being stalked, even though that’s been getting a lor of airtime.  If you’re worried about that, you probably should just stay home.  It transmits like 60 feet, but someone would have to go through a lot of trouble to get any useful info.  And if they’re willing to go that far, you’ve got bigger problems.

There are some nifty features too. You can pick a power song, and play it at any time during the run for motivation. There are a bunch of podcast and mix tracks available just for the Nike+. Nike has some for sale through iTunes that include coaching, but I haven’t checked any out yet.

But what I’m really digging is the community website. My buddy Sean challenged me to see who can run 31 miles first in the New Year. Loser buys a half rack of beer, winner’s choice. After I run I just connect the iPod to the ‘puter and it uploads my info to the website, then I can check out our progress. I also have a personal goal set for the month of January to carry me past Sean’s initial challenge. So if you see me cruising around with painted fingernails, you’ll know I didn’t make 50 miles this month. I logged about 2.5 miles today, and Sean has none…I bet he’s sandbagging. That or just walking around Disneyland with the iPod connected.

By the way…I really don’t enjoy running. But the Nike+ thing is getting me going for now. It helps me set small attainable goals and tracks me doing it.

It’s not perfect though. My main complaint is a small one. When playing the power song, the song in the background is paused, and when the power song finishes you’re returned to where you left off. It’s not a terrible thing, but it seems like it breaks the continuity of the workout a bit, instead of dropping you back in with the playlist moved forward that amount. Oh, well. We’re doing it to sweat.

By the way, you should be sure to checkout the website. You can’t access all the features until you’ve logged your first run, but there’s some good stuff. The resolutions videos are particularly ridiculous.