Opinions And Ramblings By Adam Kmiec On All Things

Category Archives: Running

200 Miles Logged

Finally hit the 200 mile mark. It was a really cool run tonight. The weather was unseasonably warm; about 70 miles when I did the run. I decided to take Cora with me in the stroller, which slowed me down a little bit. However, I’ll gladly take the slow down in speed if it means I get to celebrate 200 miles with my daughter.

200 Miles
200 Miles

The message from the folks at Nike+ was a little unexpected. I got a certificate for knocking out 100 miles so I assumed there would be some type of message for 200 miles. Never did I think that the message would be telling me to shoot for 500 miles. If the training stays on course, I could hit 500 miles by March. We’ll see!

Finally Broke 20 Minutes

After running in NJ with my old high school coach and his current cross country team I was inspired. I realized that I needed to get back to seriously hardcore workouts that involved hills…lot’s of hills. I ran hills every day that week and things are paying off now that I’m back on flat land. Check out this latest run:

I finally broke 20 minutes again for a 5K; without a warmup. I finished the last mile at 6:17 and that was my fastest mile. Good times!

Nothing Like Youth To Make You Feel Old

I emailed by old coach, Ray Morris, to ask if I could swing by practice while I was in town.  He obliged and I hooked up with the Vernon Township Cross Country team on Monday, September 29, 2008.  Their workout consisted of a 15 minute warmup, a 20 minute cool down, and a 25 minute fartlek workout.  I worked with the men’s varsity team and held my own during the warmup and the first 7 minute fartlek.  But, from there I was spent.  The hills they have in NJ were something I hadn’t been encountering here in Minnesota.  For the most part, the land is fairly flat in and around the Minneapolis area.

Watching these kids run reminded me of how old I am.  They looked younger, acted younger, and clearly had way more energy than I did.  But, then again, they should be when you consider how much older I am.  I left the practice feeling invigorated and even more determined to reach my speed goals.  The runs I did following that practice were all hill based and it really paid off.  I knocked out the first mile of my 3 mile run last night in 6:05.  That’s roughly 40 seconds faster than I had been turning out miles.

I completely believe that you are only as old as you want to act and feel.  I feel young and I definitely act young.  Now, if I could just get my body to play along.

Nike Plus – So Close To 100 Miles

Imagine the shear frustration I had after syncing tonight’s run and seeing that I had accumulated 99.97 miles over my first 33 runs. 99.97! I don’t know whether I should be pissed at Nike+ for not pushing me to keep going toward 100 miles or if I should embrace it because it literally makes me want to go outside right now and run the .03 miles needed to reach 100 miles.

 

Nike Plus - 100 Miles
Nike Plus - 100 Miles

10 Things I Want To Change In Nike+

On the whole, I’ve really enjoyed using Nike+, however it’s not perfect.  So that said, here are 10 things I’d like to see changed, added, edited, etc.

  1. Let other shoe manufacturers into the mix.  This would increase the size of the community tremendously.  If Nike really believes they have the best shoes and are dedicated to continued innovation, they have nothing to be afraid of.
  2. Let me choose how often I’m informed of my pace and mileage.  Having to periodically hit the center button is a pain in the ass and having it only inform me you every .5 mile is adequate, but not perfect.
  3. Stop the crashing and lock ups.  At least once a week the iPod locks up on me when I try to start a run or I pause a run.  Not cool.
  4. Give us settings or options to account for hill workouts and speed workouts.  Nike+ reports things based on your pace.  Well if you are doing a hill workout or a speed workout, your overall pace is skewed.  It’s not uncommon for a speed workout to include running very fast, followed by a cool down.
  5. We need better sharing options.  Their widget is lame.  They don’t offer a Facebook application.  I can’t use a widget in Vista Sidebar or Apple Dashboard.
  6. Provide the ability to manually add runs.  This is really important for 2 reasons.  One, if your run data crashes (this has happened to me) and you can’t sync with NikePlus.com you are screwed.  There is no way to capture that run information.  Two, we need a way to account for situations when you don’t have your Nike+ hardware or the hardware is damaged.
  7. Offer more comparison tools.  I want to see how I stack up against people my age, in my city, etc.
  8. Please for the love of god, simplify the web site and make it run faster.  It’ painfully slow.
  9. Provide alternative syncing options.  This is similar to #5, but is different.  I want to be able to sync my run info with twitter, Facebook status, etc.  When I’m done with my run, I want other people to know it.  This should be a really simple thing to do; just make your run data a feed.
  10. Broaden the apparel line.  The options for clothing that easily let you use your iPod and headphone seamlessly.  Right now, all they really offer is the hatphone.  They should a whole clothing line that focuses on integration of hardware.

Running Part 2

I ran everyday last week.  For the most part Nike+ has been as good, if not better, than advertised.  I had one minor hiccup on day 3.  I started my running indoors on the treadmill because of some serious rain.  However, the rain stopped so I paused my workout.  I clicked the resume button, but apparently the Nike+ system did not resume correctly.  Day 3 shows I ran just over 1 mile when in fact I ran more than 3.  I’ve cut my pace from 8 minutes 3 seconds per mile to 7 minutes 13 seconds per mile in just a week.  I’m expecting it to level off at 7 minutes for the next few weeks.  Ultimately, I’m hoping to get the training speed down around 6 minutes and 45 seconds per mile so that my race pace ends up around 6 minutes and 15 seconds.

You can track my progress here:

Running – Day 1

So I finally made it out for my first run. I had planned to start running on August 4th, my birthday.  However due to some gear arriving late, getting sick, and work travel I wasn’t able to find the time.  This was my first run using Nike+.  I have to say, it worked really well.  The Nike Lunar Trainer shoes were outstanding and the Sennheiser PMX70 headphones were better than advertised.  So the gear was great, but I wasn’t.  The last time I actually ran a real 5K race was in 1996.  I ran a 19:27, which is a 6:15 per mile pace.  My personal best is somewhere in the neighborhood of 16:12.  Tonight was not quite that.  You can see the results here.

So I’m basically 25% worse than I wa 11 years ago. Actually, that’s not too bad. My goal is to get up to about a 25 mile a week base and get back to the 6:15 per mile average for a 5K. We’ll see.

Adam is Getting Back into Running

I love running.  I ran in high school competitively.  I ran in college for fun. But, I’ve taken the last 10+ years off.  Ouch!  Starting 8/4/2008 (my birthday), I’ll be off and running again.  I’ll be using Nike+ to track my progress.  After a lot of research I decided on the Nike Lunar Trainer shoes.  I’m hoping they’ll be as good as my all-time favorite training shoe, the Nike Air Max Triax.

While I love the concept of the Nike+ system, I am a little disappointed that they didn’t take the time to create widgets for each of the major blogging platforms…like WordPress. It would have a been a good move to make something that users could easily integrate.