Paul's post on Nike+iPod has got me thinking about running with my iPod again. I love the idea of my MP3 player letting me know how much time is left in my workout, even encouraging me.
But I don't think I can do Nike+, for a few reasons. I own a regular iPod, not a nano. I prefer Adidas for running because I have wide feet and I feel like they give me a bit more room in that respect. And Nike+ doesn't do quite enough for me to pay the money it would require. (You can find plenty of reviews out there that'll mention the system's shortcomings; if they come out with a heart monitor and a way to distinguish running time from walking time in the same workout, I'll probably be sold - if only I weren't such a TIGHTWAD.)
But there's another problem I've had with running with my iPod: when I run, I need to concentrate on my breathing and match it to my steps. Unless I can find a song that matches my pace exactly (I've had luck with "Bombs Over Baghdad" but not much else), I find myself breathing in time to the music instead of my steps, and then everything gets all messed up.
But my search for other Nike+ info led me to Podophile, which led me to this two-part essay by a running purist who tries running with an MP3 player. He does not use music, but rather spoken-word podcasts.
I had recently learned that NPR's Fresh Air and Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me were available as podcasts. Well, that just opened the floodgates. I now have 50 untouched podcasts sitting in my iTunes, with 17 more downloading as I type this. I have the Car Guys' Call of the Week and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. I have the Diane Rehm Show and Groove Salad. Perhaps I will unsubscribe to a few of these as time goes by. Perhaps I will decide that Brini Maxwell's Hints for Gracious Living works better on my work computer. We'll see.
All I know is, I can't wait to have Mo Rocca quipping into my headphones during a workout. Take the pain away, Mo baby!