Tech tuesday because I seriously love my gadgets.

I am the luckiest person I know. For real.

I'm so luckyYou probably won’t think so when I tell you what happened in the last few days but Im’ma tell you anyways cause that’s the kind of girl I am.

First, on Sunday when I was out running, just after mile 5, silence. That may not seem like a big deal but it is because I had my iPhone on and I was listening to Pandora and I had the Runkeeper app tracking my run. When I left the house at 7AM, the phone was at 100% but after less than an hour, silence.

phone fail
Just after mile five the battery was at 1%, wtf! So, yeah, it died. Fortunately I run that route almost every single day so I knew how much farther I had to go to get to my six miles.  And I knew what time I left that morning so all I had to do was quickly run into the house and look at the clock when I got home thus determining my time and pace. Easy peasy.

Except it wasn’t because I had to first enter the code to open the garage door and then I tripped over the dogs who were waiting on me to walk them and finally I made it to the kitchen where there are two clocks and both of them displayed a different time.

Oh GodI was able to make a fairly good estimate and I just had to live with it.  Do you know how hard that is for someone with OCD and a stat addict?  HARD.

Y’all know what happened later in the day right? Yeah, I lost my Motiv Ring. So on Monday morning I had to rely strictly on my phone for my stats. I mean I could have charged my Garmin but I didn’t and that’s probably why at mile 2.4, crickets.

The phone battery diedThe technology Gods are laughing at me, hard.

In light of all this trouble I was having I decided to dig out my trusty old Garmin 620 yesterday and charge that bad boy up. While searching through all of my electronic gadgets I happened to find my Lumo lift and my Lumo Run. I totally forgot I had the Lumo Run. Seriously. I know, that’s bad.

A year and a half ago MacGyver bought me the Lumo Run and at the time I wasn’t running because surprise, I was injured. So, I put it in my ‘electronics drawer’ which is basically a pile of gadgets and cords in a box. Yesterday, I found it and I am so excited to use it. I remember when I first got it I was so upset that I couldn’t use it because it has so much info. You can read more about the Lumo run here.

Anyway, I was having a real hard time focusing on work yesterday so I went outside to finish cleaning up the back patio and maybe to add a few more lights.

light display
That picture above might just be the end result I was going for but I’m nowhere near that yet. It’s so magical, but I digress, as I was outside preparing to sweep the back patio I moved a plastic lawn chair over to the side and as God is my witness, there it was, right there just lying there on the ground.

MY MOTIV RING!

Crazy Dance
I mean, how freakin lucky am I? It was right there. I was so excited to have it back and also to realize that I racked up 541 active minutes last week. I still can’t believe it. I found my ring!  I FOUND MY RING!

Anyway, because I don’t trust my iPhone right now, this morning I decided to go ahead and run with the garmin as well, just to be on the safe side. But guess what? The iPhone worked for all 5 miles and it was pretty fun to compare the stats between the runkeeper app and the garmin. (They were almost identical.)

And now I’m back on my gadget kick so for the rest of the week when I run, I’m going to use the Lumo run and the Garmin and some of the other tech gadgets I have. I forgot how much of a stat geek I am. And also how lucky.  Really lucky.

What tech devices do you use to track your exercise and what do you like the most and the least about it?

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?