Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I love/hate technology - Polar S625X and Map My Run

I have a love hate relationship with technology, especially when it comes to fitness. I have been known to stop in the middle of a workout or run and leave the gym or walk home if my ipod dies. That's actually why I quit running with my ipod, b/c it is so frustrating to rely on the music for distraction and get to the third or fourth mile of a long run where you are fatigued and crabby and you just want to be done, and then.... the music dies. Uggghh... it frustrates me even now to think about it. So I stopped running with my ipod, but I will never stop running with my Polar S625X running computer and foot pod.

The running computer is actually a watch with a heart rate monitor that you wear around your chest, the foot pod is this light weight egg shaped thing that you strap to your shoe and it tracks your distance and your ascension. It is so light weight if you were to blind fold me, put it on my shoe and not tell me which one I would never know which shoe it was on. It tracks everything about a run. Your fastest and average speed, the temperature, your highest and average heart rate, your miles, your pace, the change in altitude, you can track how fast you run each mile of a multiple mile run, it tracks your calories burned, the distance that you run. It will tell you your average and max speed and heart rate per mile and overall for the whole run. And so, so much more. I love it, it's made me a smarter runner. And if you go to Lifetime Fitness the great thing about the Polar Heart Rate monitors is they automatically sync with any of the equipment at the gym. If I'm on the stair climber wearing my heart rate monitor, then the display actually shows me the results from my heart rate monitor. This is not a paid advertisement, I bought the heart rate monitor last year with my very own hard earned dollars.

I have had the S625X for over a year and never had a problem, until last night... three-ish miles into a four mile run the foot pod battery dies, I hear the beep indicating the battery is dying but am so focused on my run that it doesn't register. I included three fairly large hills on my run, and I'm still ahead of pace. I'm so proud of myself, b/c it looks like even with the three big hills I'm going to run my 4 miles in about a 10 min/mile ave. pace... so I look down it says that I've run four miles and I'm not quite done with my route... I used the mapmyrun website to measure my run before I hit the road (FYI the website is about 95% accurate) and it said that my route was 4.29 miles. I decide since I held such a good pace and I was only supposed to do 4 miles today, and I've hit 4 miles, I'm going to cut my route short and head home. I turn on a street that's about .3 miles from my house. Halfway down the street the polar says I've gone .6 miles... suddenly it hits me, something is very wrong. I stop to check the foot pod, sure enough the battery is dead. A wave of disappointment washes over me, that means that I have no idea how far I've run or how fast I did each mile in. As soon as I get to the house I map the shortened route on the mapmyrun website, and sure enough... I only ran 3.8 miles... and here's the kicker  I ran it in 44 minutes and 50 seconds. Which puts me at a 12 min 20 second pace... uggghhh... discouragement all around. But, and this is a big BUT, I did run without walking for 44.50, which is a big improvement over the last few weeks. Albeit, it was slow, oh so very slow running, but I think had my foot pod been tracking my distance accurately I might have pushed a little harder, because I was saying slow down, slow down you're aiming for b/t a 10 and 11 min mile pace, don't over do it.... Don't get me wrong the hills, and especially the 200 meter hill at the end of mile 2 KILLED ME... but overall I'm proud of myself, and really do think I can do better. Which makes me want to head out today and prove it! 


Chris@Polar said...

Great post=) The S625x is to this day one of my all time faves.
-Chris @ Polar

Blue-Eyed Runner said...

Ughhh that is soooo annoying! It still sounds like you had a great workout...

Unfortunately I will not be buying the polar because...I just got the garmin 405 for a early bday gift! So funny how that works I am def hearing you on the hating technology as I get this thing set up :)