Tech Tuesday, Every runner needs this! Every. Single. One.

When I got back from my walk this morning I went out back to get the dogs leashes and this mom came running up to me.  She said she heard I was really generous with the food.

ducks

It’s a good thing because poor girl has 10 kids!  TEN!  I’m so glad I’m not a duck.

Since its Tuesday, why don’t we talk tech cause y’all know I love my tech gadgets!

Have you ever thought about things that would make your run a little more convenient?  You know,  something that could help when you go running?  Like for instance, having a spi-belt to hold all your pertinents or a water bottle that allows you to still use your hand yet carry it effortlessly?

I love it when I hear about products that I can use that are helpful and I also love it when I think about something I could use and then I google it and find out that it’s available and all I have to do is buy it. Unfortunately there are sometimes when you have an idea for something that would really be helpful but you can’t find it because it isn’t available.  This has happened to me.

Because I mostly run alone, there have been a few occasions when someone has approached me and scared the hell out of me.  Most recently it was in Nokomis when the homeless bicycle guy sporting the Not guilty tattoo rolled up on me and told me I was hard to catch.  Um, yeah, scary.

not guilty

Sure.

And it’s not just the scary people I worry about, it’s also dogs and other animals.  Many times I’ve been approached by stray or off leash dogs, and a few random animals as well.  Girl does not need rabies people!  Just no.

For a few years now I’ve thought wouldn’t it be great to have an amplified set of earphones so that you could hear someone approaching?  And wouldn’t it be even better if they could work with music so that you didn’t have to run in complete silence only hearing the annoying sound of your breathing?  Well, I searched high and low and nothing.  There wasn’t a single product out there.

As luck would have it, a few weeks ago I got an email from a company that answered the call,  Defend Six.  They’ve developed a product that actually alerts you if someone or something is approaching and, you can even use it with music!  What I really like about this product though is that the concept was conceived by a runner who often runs alone and likes to listen to music.

defend six

From the Defend Six website:

In the news report, law enforcement advised runners to not wear headphones and always go out with a partner. Although the advice was sound, these measures didn’t seem like an acceptable solution. After all, I enjoy my music—it allows me to clear my head, and provides a sense of escape. In a split second, I begin to wonder…Does a device exist that alerts me of someone approaching from behind so that I can still listen to music and run solo? I searched far and wide, but didn’t find a thing. Unwilling to sacrifice, I determined I’d better create a solution. And DefendSix was born.

Instantly, I wanted this product so I emailed them back.  There was just one problem.  It’s not available yet.

what

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I know, I know, you wanted one too, didn’t you?  Fortunately, we can help them get this thing out there.  In six days, they’re launching a kickstarter campaign and I’m determined to help.  Yes, I have ulterior motives, I want one, but this is a necessary thing for any runner who runs alone, and if you want one too you can also help.  If you want to know more, visit the Defend Six website and help me spread the word.

Let’s get this thing out there.  What could be more important?

What’s the one product you don’t have but wish you did?   (I want the defend six and also a Not Today Motherfucker T shirt.)

Tech Tuesday, I need a Jigglypuff, a Charizard and Pikachu

As much as I tried to teach him the benefits and the joy of exercise the kid has never really cared for it.  He prefers to be doing something he really enjoys and if exercise is a side effect, he’s okay with it but he never intentionally sets out to exercise.  So you can only imagine how delighted I was when this past weekend he asked me to walk a 5K with him.

Unfortunately, he asked me on Sunday when I had a raging migraine so I asked him if we could go on Monday after he finished work and he said sure.  I was worried he would try to get out of it but he didn’t.  In fact, he woke me up from my late afternoon cat nap.

napping

By this time I was sure he needed to borrow money but when I asked him why the sudden love of walking he pulled out his phone and said ‘Pokemon Go’.

For those of you who aren’t aware of this latest viral phenomenon, Pokemon Go is an app based on the original game using augmented reality.  In other words, you walk around your street, neighborhood, city or wherever searching for and capturing pokemon.  The game utilizes your GPS and random pokemon appear around you.  You then flip a ball to capture them.

Besides capturing Pokemon, there are also Poke Stops.  Poke Stops are landmarks, parks, grocery stores or places of interest where you can get poke balls, eggs and other items.  You can also go to gyms which are locations where you fight and my favorite part of the game is the eggs which you incubate and then hatch by walking.  Most eggs take 2 to 5 Kilometers to hatch but some take 10 and usually the longer it takes to hatch the rarer the pokemon could be.

Pokemon Go

When the kid first explained the game to me I realized it was somewhat similar to the card game he played when he was little.  I never really played the game and I wasn’t sure that I would really care for the app either.  Also, I had always been annoyed by the game because when the kid was little we had rabbits and when it was his turn to name the babies he chose jigglypuff and Charizard but I digress, if the kid was willing to walk a 5k to hatch a damn egg, then I was on board.  Let the hatching begin.

We left the house and turned toward the grocery store.  I had already mapped out a 3.2 mile trek which would take us by a restaurant, a grocery store, a small plaza and eventually to the park.  In the first 15 minutes we walked by 3 people who yelled out, ‘Pokemon Go?’  We yelled back, YES!

screen shot

Here’s what I learned.

Everybody is playing this game.  By the time we finished, we had run into at least 40 people playing the game, both young and old.  I never see that many people out in my neighborhood, ever.

Its good exercise and you don’t realize your actually exercising because you’re having fun.  I’m pretty sure Pokemon Go got more kids to exercise in one weekend than Michelle Obama did in the last 8 years!

You don’t have to be a fan of the original pokemon to like the Pokemon Go app.   For some reason it’s addicting and there are pokemon everywhere but you are going to look a little weird when you’re searching for them.  It’s okay, chances are there are 4 or 5 other people doing the exact same thing.

I have to admit that after only a few minutes I grabbed the phone from the kid and played myself and you know what?  I loved it!  It was a blast and yes, it’s addicting.  I’m still learning the game and I don’t know how often I’ll play but if you want something fun to do with your children or your friends or family, I’d recommend it.

You definitely want to be safe because you don’t want to end up finding dead bodies so don’t go into areas where you shouldn’t and if you want to play at night be sure to take along some friends and play in well populated and well-lit areas.

The app is based on the original 151 Pokemon characters and I’m not sure how many levels there are as I only made it to level 7.  That being said, the kid informed me that the original game had many generations so maybe there will be additional apps too, who knows?

Have you played Pokemon Go yet?

Tech Tuesday – Shorts that measure muscle imbalance and more!

When I’m looking for workout routines, I usually turn to my smart TV and YouTube for the best variety and endless options and when I’m looking for stats to help me with my running, I turn to my Garmin. Technology is extremely helpful in providing me with the things that I need to improve my fitness without having to join a gym, hire a coach or a personal trainer.

But what if my form is bad? What if I’m favoring one side of my body over the other? What if certain muscles are weaker than others? How would I know?

Recently, I read about a gym in California using products from Athos Wearables and in researching what the wearables actually do I found out that they are available to the general public. I don’t have to go all the way to California to join a gym. I don’t have to join any gym.  I can just go buy the shorts myself.  But then I wondered, would I want to?

Athos wearables with sensors

Introducing Athos Wearables. Athos Wearables are smart. Very smart. The shorts and shirts have built-in sensors that can track muscle effort and activity. It then sends that data to your smartphone giving you real-time information about how you’re doing. It shows you exactly what muscles are firing, how hard, and in what sequence, so if you need to you can correct your form immediately.

Athos WearablesHow cool is that?

For someone like me who tends to suffer from hip issues, this product would be an amazing advantage. There’s also the added bonus of not having to remember to charge and then put on the Garmin, the fit bit, and the HRM.

This clothing comes with two different tech components, the built in sensors located in the actual clothing, and the core, which is a small plastic accessory that snaps into the pants or the shirt or both. The great part about this clothing is that it measures your muscle effort and then wirelessly displays it on your iPhone. Typically equipment like that would cost a fortune and only be available in a gym.

Athos wearable shorts
To purchase the core and both the shirt and shorts be prepared to spend around 400 bucks. If you’re new to exercise or just a casual participant, this may not be the product for you. There’s also the matter of washing. Right now the company recommends hand washing but then that’s how I wash most of my work out clothing anyway.

I haven’t purchased the products yet as I’m still in the research phase but this may be a product I’d like to have. The price is a little steep but if I can correct my form before I risk or suffer an injury, it’s worth so much more than that. If you’d like to learn more, click here to visit the company website.

Tell me what do you think about the Athos wearables?
Would you purchase them?