A pretty good (but freezing) run

This morning was pretty cold but I decided that I would brave the weather and run outside. Instead of my usual weekend neighborhood run I decided to go to the track. I tried to anticipate how cold it would be and wore three long sleeve running jerseys under a lightweight running jacket and lined running pants. I also brought my fleece hat and gloves.

As I drove toward the school I had to move into the center of the road to avoid hitting two runners who decided to run side by side up a very busy street in the same direction as the traffic. I couldn’t believe those guys and I hope they didn’t get hit.

When I got to the track I saw a couple of people running. They were bundled up much more than me, both were wearing hoods and hats that covered most of their faces. The other runners seemed miserable and I figured that they overdressed and were paying for it or they were just pushing too hard. I began my run feeling really good. The sun had come up and it didn’t feel cold at all. As I came around the second curve the wind hit me straight on. It was painfully cold and difficult to maintain speed. I realized then why those other runners dressed that way. Note to self: Buy a running balaclava.

I toughed it out and ran 13 laps, the equivalent of 3.25 miles. My Nike+ Sportband was off by quite a bit (32%) and reported that I ran 4.84 miles (see above) which calculated to a pace of 6:58/mile. Not quite. With the wind I was pleased with my true pace, calculated by MapMyRun at 10:24. I felt I could have pushed it another mile but the wind was picking up and I really didn’t like how my face was feeling. I may return with my son later, hopefully it will warm up by early afternoon. In the meantime I will try to recalibrate the Sportband. It’s been very accurate against the treadmill speed and distance but on an actual track, not so much. Maybe I do need a GPS watch.

Improving my 5K pace

Instead of merely getting through my morning run today I concentrated on maintaining a faster pace. As I gear up for my first 5K (144 days from now) my focus has been on increasing my distance and duration rather than speed. I think we all have a natural pace where we run without thinking about running. I’m guessing this is why most people run, to reach a state where exercise and enjoyment come together. This morning was not one of those times. I started out at a 9:55/min pace as a warm up and brought up my speed to the point where I finished with an average pace of about 9:15. I have run faster than that – in fact I once did a mile in about 7:50 but I haven’t come close to that time again. This leads me to think that I never really attained that pace in the first place, perhaps my Nike+ Sportband was not properly calibrated. By the way, it appears as though Nike is no longer listing the Sportsband on their online store. I hope they decide to fix the problems with this unit rather than give up on it. There’s nothing else out there that provides the same utility for anything close to its $59 price. The alternative is to use the Nike+ sensor with an iPod but since many (including myself) don’t own an iPod or like to listen to music while running it’s an unsatisfactory solution. Besides that, an iPod costs a lot more than the Sportband.

Nike+ Sportband recall

I am currently on my third Nike+ Sportband. My first two became unusable after the display failed. My current Sportband is beginning to corrode the same way. Yesterday I saw an article online that said Nike was doing a voluntary recall of the Sportbands due to display failure. It’s really too bad that they introduced a product with such a bad flaw. I rely on the Sportband because it tracks distance whether I run indoors or out. I may end up getting a Garmin Forerunner 405 or Polar RS800 watch with GPS if my Sportband fails again. These are good watches but they are much more expensive than the Nike+ Sportband. Also, unless you invest in the footpod option (on the Garmin) you can only track outdoor runs.