Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t retired. I have been resting. Resting my finger that is, and my finger needs resting because last Saturday I had a few friends round for dinner for a celebrate-me-getting-a-new-job thing and while I was being the hostess with the mostest, instead of rinsing the rice, I rinsed my finger with boiling water and then it looks like this:
I ice it with the runner’s obligatory ice-pack-in-freezer and after that goes warm, it’s replaced by a packet of frozen Quorn mince. Then, ignoring my friends’ pleas to go to the hospital, after dinner I drink more wine and watch Sex and the City and then my finger feels better. Until the next day when it hurts like fuck.
I eventually get myself down to the Minor Injuries Unit at Barts after work on Monday (yes it was two days later but I’d rather walk around with a huge blister than go and sit in A&E and queue up for 5 hours behind 20,000 immigrants who are using it like their local GP’s practice) and my blister gets drained and dressed and then I look like some weird alien pointing thing. Cool.
And that is my excuse for not having run this week. Although I did run last Saturday morning but haven’t blogged it yet due to it being necessary to incorporate a review of a cheesy 40 minute workout MP3 I was sent which will mean having to listen to it again to remind myself of it and I haven’t been able to bring myself to do that yet because – unsurprisingly perhaps – it contains no Bobby Conn or Cardiacs, only the likes of the Birds Eye Peas or whatever they’re called. [Update – it is blogged now, see post below]
So this morning I decide to have my comeback. And I decide to ditch the marathon training and concentrate on getting my 5k and 10k speeds up. This has nothing to do with the fact that londonjogger is getting seriously speedy and we’re going to be doing the same 5k soon. Honest.
Also motivating me to get out of the door and stop being a fat bloater is the Nike+ Sportband that I was sent to try out
and as I’m getting dressed I realise my trousers are Nike, as is my t-shirt. If anyone had told me a couple of years ago I’d be wearing head to ankle Nike, I’d have laughed. Then punched them.
As I am only head to ankle Nike-clad, and not head to toe, I haven’t got any of those Nike shoes with the holes in so, following the lead of Joggerblogger, I undertake the Joggerblogger bodge job and tape the Nike+ link to my shoe and now with my weird alien pointing finger and a running shoe covered in masking tape I am going to go outside and look like a freak.
I am slightly disappointed by the fact that I seem to have been sent a sub-standard Sportband that only shows half the display but undeterred I go outside and press the button down for 3 seconds and it tells me to walk so I do as I’m told and I walk and after a few seconds it’s ready to begin recording and I press the button again and start to run. I have already been confused by how it can know how far I’ve gone without GPS and even though it goes by footstrikes, how does it know how long your stride is? I quickly realise that it’s going to need calibrating when, after my Garmin (which I have faithfully strapped to my left wrist) says I’ve gone half a mile, the Sportband reckons I’ve done almost a mile. Oh. As the Sportband ticks over 5k, I glance at my Garmin and it says 27 minutes. Ha ha, very funny. The Sportband is obviously lying.
After my week of eating pizza, chocolate and crisps, not visiting the gym or going running, I am feeling very fat and unfit and the wrong side of 9 stone and this is reflected in today’s run which has me stopping after my dubious 27 minute 5k for a bit of a walk. And there was me thinking I was going to come out today to break all land/speed records. Ho hum.
I walk/run the rest of the way and as I’m going through a particularly deserted bit there’s a young lad by the railings crouching and looking at his phone. I’m deciding whether to be scared or not and I decide not to be scared as it’s a gorgeous day and loads of people around and he walks towards me and I think he’s going to ask me the time or something and I must have my worried look on my face (in fact, I think that’s probably my usual look) and he puts his hands up and says “it’s ok, don’t be scared” and I smile and say “it’s ok, I thought you were going to say something” and I carry on walking/running and I get home after doing the slowest 10k ever (although the Sportband has registered this as 7.2 miles) and I’m going to need to speed up as I’ve got a 10k race in about 3 weeks. And a 5k in about a month. And it’s about time I managed a 5k in less than 30 minutes.
Back to the Sportband. Did I like it? Hmm, yes and no. The display is small and a bit hard to read, although this is because the band is small and cool, unlike my Garmin which takes up half my arm and is neither small nor cool. Also, because I am so used to the Garmin telling me on one screen my distance and pace, having to press a button on the run to scroll through the different units might take a bit of getting used to. Saying that though, distance is the default and that’s the only one I’m really interested in while I’m on the move so I’m probably being picky.
Set up was easy as was uploading the data. Stick the link in a USB port and you’re done. Your run gets automatically uploaded to the Nike+ website and there you can view some pretty graphs and get the code for a widget on your blog/website/social networking page. There’s lots of other ways to waste your time on the Nike+ website too that I haven’t fully explored yet.
No need to stand around for three hours waiting for a satellite signal
Doesn’t take up half your arm or make you look like a Star Trek extra
Can get pretty graphs from the Nike+ website
Fiddly button while on the move
Need Nike shoes or pay extra for a pouch or use masking tape and look like a freak
Looks cool, might work well when calibrated, probably won’t be taking over from my Garmin but would wear on a treadmill
Distance: 6.22 miles
Pace: 12:05 m/m
Huge blisters: 1
Weird alien pointing things: 1
Nike+ Sportbands: 1
Fake 27 minute 5ks: 1
Stats: (Nike+ Sportband)
Distance: 7.19 miles
Pace: 10:28 m/m
The Go! Team
The Cooper Temple Clause