Running with Steve
Unlike Dale, I actually consider myself a runner. Not a good runner, a fast runner, or even a serious runner, but running is what I do for fitness and I take it seriously enough to wear a watch and track miles (sort of) and enter the occasional race.
I began running about 13 years ago, right around the time I met Dale. He was cycling and playing hockey and rugby and incredibly fit and I felt all. . . . lazy in his presence and was consumed with fear that my bookish, couch-potato-y existence wasn’t the geeky turn-on I had always thought it was. So, I read a book called The Philosopher’s Diet, written by a philosophy prof at WashU, that touted the benefits of running in metaphysical terms, and hit the road.
I was sort of fast, once, for a brief nanosecond in Salt Lake City. I joined the running club, did weekly runs with people who routinely smoked me, did the occasional track workout, and ran some races. I ran 8-minute-miles for a 5K once and felt liked the winged god Mercury himself.
Then I got pregnant. Oh well, there went that. Two kids later, I’m still running, though slower than I was for that brief, supersonic moment in Salt Lake.
But I do have a new toy. You’ve heard of my LUV for the iPod Nano, no? Well, every new toy requires accessories to make it fully enjoyable and my accessory for the new toy is a Nike+iPod system. This is a little transmitter that you wear in or on your shoe (depending on whether or not you wear Nikes) and a receiver that you plug into the base of your Nano. The transmitter is a wee pedometer; the iPod has a timer and a calories burned calculator and all that jazz. Wearing the toy enables me to run without a watch (though I do have this arm strap thing that holds the nano), since a pleasant computer voice tells me how much time has elapsed. The same pleasant voice then sums up my run at the end, telling me how far I’ve gone in what amount of time and my average pace. If I tell it how much I weigh, it will calculate calories burned for me, too. After my “long run” on Saturday, Paula Radcliffe’s voice came on to congratulate me for completing my longest run to date.
Then–and here’s the best part–when I dock the Nano with my laptop, it automatically sends me to the Nike+iPod website, where my Nano uploads my run information into my Nike account, where it is tracked for me: total mileage, total number of runs, total time. It’s like a running log but no bad handwriting and with my favorite music to listen to. This is, quite obviously, the best running gadget in the whole wide world.
So, I may not be fast. Heck, I’m certainly not as fast as that non-runner, Dale. But, I can tell you how far I went the last time I hit the road (or the treadmil) and how proud Paula is of my committment.