I’m a fan of gadgets. Gadgets and programs that measure performance in very efficient (and cool 3D!) graphs and give you great feedback on exceeding targets while providing colour coded levels and whizz bang cool trackers. Yes, I’m a bit of an amateur tech geek.
I have my Polar HRM which tells me exactly how may calories I’ve burned. I love this piece of kit mainly as it helps me work out if that double chocolate brownie is going to start showing up on my muffin top, or if I can have a few kals to spare, I’ll know I don’t have to feel guilty about the cheesecake I saw the other half whipping up while I ran out the door pre-run. It also tells me if I’m running too hard or not trying hard enough. Particularly satisfying when having completed a really tough hill and the blinking percentage point indicator looks like it may explode. HA! Yes! Take that! *cough splutter fall over*
When I started running last Oct I was very attached to the Couch to 5K (C25K) app. It got me from huffing and puffing around every 20 seconds to comfortably jogging for twenty minutes and then to completing a whole 5K in just under 9 weeks. I logged my moods (sad face/happy face/I was nearly sick face) and terrain and weather and with every green light I ticked off by week, I grew more and more confident I could actually do this running, even in the British mid winter – and that it made me feel great.
Once that ran its course, I fell out of love with the inflexible schedules, I started cheating on the C210K program with the very sexy and sassy Nike+ GPS app. Its red. And has Power Tracks. I have been hopelessly devoted to since January. It’s sultry voice over has congratulated me on personal bests, she’s given me encouragement when I’m almost at my goal, marked my pace, time and distance and even shown up race organisers when they the track proves short of the advertised distance. Faithful and reliable, my routes have been downloaded and my miles logged religiously ever since.
Until today. With one week to go, this was to be my penultimate medium run. I made time for it this morning sacrificing the much needed lie in, sorted out Stella, got the cap on (in case of the looming rain). About half a km into the warm up, something starts to go wrong. The ipod starts skipping tracks. There goes my pace and this is enough to completely distract me. I run straight into a scary lopsided looking youth, with an equally scary looking lopsided hound (Stella held her ground!).
2kms later and without any warning my iPhone’s voice control takes control of my phone. SAY A COMMAND! it shouts at me through my head phones – this gives me such a fright I actually shriek out loud, giving a small elderly woman I’m passing with her shopping, a bit of a start. This Voice Control also stops all music and makes the Nike+ app start sending paniked notifications, ‘Weak GPS! Move app to the FRONT’. So I do. I have to stop and remove the iphone from the equally snazzy armband. Swipe, click. Nike+ is reinstated. Music is back on. Running again! This time I only just about get back into my stride and the music stops and again….SAY A COMMAND! This time I give a group of small children a rather colourful demonstration of every cuss I know. Stop again, close apps, open apps, shut down phone, open ipod. Stella is now getting agitated, bored, beginning to protest – wondering why on earth we’re not in Holland Park yet. Where there are squirrels.
Further into the run I finally give up. Nothing helps. Nike+ FAILS to log runs, or logs four runs that make no sense or any relation to reality and the entire iPhone crashes. Now I have no reception. There’s no app for that.
I’m hoping for salvation in the form of an Apple Genius. Or an upgrade. Or both. Either way I fear the love affair may be over with Nike+
Mapmyrun, let’s give it another shot.