Thursday, August 17, 2006

Should I drink the Kool-Aid?

An orange and white shoebox containing brand spanking-new Nike+ Air Zoom Moire running shoes and a Nike+iPod Sport Kit has been sitting next to my office bookcase for more than a week now.

I pitched a review of the products to a local running magazine. I liked their synergy. And I wanted to give runners the lowdown on whether these cool-looking gadgets really worked or not.

The editor gave me the green light. I called Nike and Apple and a few weeks later, they shipped me the products to test out. I didn't ask to road-test an iPod nano to go along with the shoes and sport kit, as I could borrow one from any number of friends. Plus I wouldn't have been surprised if Apple had said, "Don't you own one? Why not? Everybody does."

And perhaps that's why I didn't drop everything when the shipment finally came. My enthusiasm had cooled. I'm not sure I want to be lured into the cult of the iPod. Don't worry, I'll file the review well before the deadline next month.

Resistance is futile?: But what if I love the products? Does that mean I have to spend $$$ on an iPod and accessories to get my fix? Ialready have a little jetAudio flash MP3 player, which is fine. Except when it acts up. Which it often does. Sigh.

I rarely run with music. I like to think and people-watch instead when I run. I guess part of me is scared that I'll love the blend of the sport kit, shoes, and iPod nano. And I will become one of those white earbud-wearing people with that vacant look in their eyes, pounding down the road and ignoring everything around me.

Does anyone understand my hesitancy? Or is this all much ado about nothing?


  1. hey, some of us just look vacant when really, we're thinking! We're thinking, "When the hell will this run be finally over?!?!"

    hee hee

    can't wait to hear what you think. but no way am i changing shoes.

  2. i totally understand. i usually reserve my 'headphone' runs for those rare days when i am feeling incredibly unmotivated and lonely...or when i have to endure the dreadmill for some unavoidable reason (like a hurricane. or a blizzard.) Other than that, i prefer to be alone with my thoughts, my breathing and the world around me.

    you won't be lured. you'll stay strong! you don't need no stinkin' gadgets. (says the woman with the nike speed-distance gadget).

  3. I'm with you. I never wear headphones when running. Never never never. Part of what I enjoy about running is just being out there with your thoughts.

  4. For me running = reading but I do it with my ears. I love that. Music is nice but I save that for when I'm tanking in a marathon.

  5. I would definately not run with an iPod. I don't run with music and its great.

    Send that damn thing to me immediately and I'll get rid of it for you.

  6. Don't send it to Jon. He has shin splints. Send it to me. Please. Now.

  7. Bex, I'm with you on the pure running atmosphere. It's bad enough that so many people block out the rest of us and the sounds of the city/nature to listen to podcasts/music, etc. It may have virtues but it ranks up there with people walking around in public talking on their cell phone/crackberry.

  8. The integration works so well though, and you don't really need to listen to music or anything at all. Get a mono ear bud or something just for the progress updates from the Nano telling you your time, distance and current pace. I find it helps me keep a consistent pace when I can ask for it at the touch of a button.

    And being able to later have a look at your run graph and keep track of it over time is really nice as well.


    for some notes on the integration.

  9. I'm with you. Have never run with music and probably never will. I like to think I'm a pure runner, fueled only by sunshine and fresh air. Um ... and Gu. And Gatorade.

  10. I understand your reserve. Two things you should know.

    1. You don't need to listen to music to benefit from this system. One of the most valuable parts is the Nike + website that records and tracks your workouts. You can see your duration, distance, and time for every run. Set goals and track your progress against them. Each week you can see how you rank against the entire population of people using the system--or break it down and see your standing by gender or age rank. You can even invite friends to challenges. Worth the price of admission, even if you never play music.

    2. You don't need to use Nike shoes. Dr. Bott has announced a $10 kit that neatly attaches a Nike+ sensor to any running shoe you favor. (provided it has laces... and most do.)

    I think this is a great system--with or without music, with or without Nike shoes.