Live Wireless Or Die

It’s easy to forget what life was like before global position satellites revolutionized sports technology. I remember rolling my front bike wheel next to a wooden yardstick in my parent’s garage in a desperate attempt to calibrate my sensor that was attached to a couple of spokes. And then using electrical tape to align the wire that ran to the head unit along the fork and head tube. Cumbersome is putting it mildly. And what did I get for all my efforts, a precarious, only mildly accurate set up that constantly needed attention.

Fast forward several decades. Bluetooth, wireless GPS, and (almost always) automatic syncing which results in extremely accurate data recording with a tenth of the effort. Check out what my wrist computer generated during this morning’s run.


When I first returned to rehab running from my hamstring injury, my average stride length was only 1.16m as opposed to the normal 1.2m. How cool is it that satellites in Outer Space confirm that not only do I feel better, but I am better.

A question for the nerds (used affectionately of course). Why is there a net gain of 35 feet when I started and stopped in my driveway?

The more important question is why do we fret about whether life is improving when we don’t have to wrestle with rulers, electrical tape and wires anymore?

Apple’s Sixth Watch

I was trying to teach through my computer during Apple’s new ipadAir and Series 6 Watch event yesterday morning. But it was easy to catch up afterwards given the media’s affinity for AAPL.

How to explain this? I’m a card carrying Apple fanboi, but I’ve passed on the first five watches. Part of the explanation is the Garmin ones I’ve worn instead are so solid. But Garmin aside, I haven’t switched to the Apple Watch for one primary reason—inadequate battery life. Daily charging one more device? No gracias.

Incredibly, not a single media journalist that I’m aware of, not even John Gruber, said anything about the Six’s battery life. The single thing that matters most. Complete crickets. 

A steady stream of words on the blood oxygen sensor, the brighter display, the new bands, the price, but not a word on the most important feature. That’s a serious tech journalism fail.

Dear Tim Apple, the sand in my hourglass is shrinking. Hurry up already because there’s no guarantee I’ll make it Watch X.  

Wednesday Required Reading

1. Canceled Races Aren’t Stopping Endurance Athletes From Setting Wild New Records. I’ve been lethargic lately, postponing and/or bagging workouts altogether. Maybe I should try to take one of these records down, but which one? Wonderland in 18 hours? With the help of an electric mtb.

2. Is Your Blood Sugar Undermining Your Workouts? Uh, maybe that’s my problem seeing that I’ve been hitting Costco’s cakes hard all summer.

3. Garmin reportedly paid multimillion-dollar ransom after suffering cyberattack.

4A. Liberty University Poured Millions Into Sports. Now Its Black Athletes Are Leaving. 4B. Photo appears to show Jerry Falwell Jr. with zipper down and arm around a woman. I recommend college presidents, to the best of their abilities, keep their zippers out of the news.

5. Shira Haas of ‘Unorthodox’ on Sharing the Joys of Her First Emmy Nod. I dare you to try to watch Unorthodox’s four episodes over four days.

6. Make Pizza … On Your Grill. Then invite me over.

Where’s the Romance?

LOVE this guy’s blog; however, I shouldn’t profess my fondness for his blog that way because “You can’t love something,” moms says, “that can’t love you back.”

But as brilliant as Ray’s blog is, there’s something lacking. The same “something” lacking from online triathlon forums like this one—romance.

Not the candlelight hot under the collar type for which the word is normally associated, but the unbridled joy that sometimes accompanies moving outdoors in nature.

Ray, sports science companies, and other triathletes are turning triathlon into a science in which every workout is endlessly sliced, diced, and analyzed.

As a middle adaptor of the personal technology the tri-scientists obsess over, I’m not immune from their privileging fitness science over the aesthetics, art, and romance of swimming, running, and cycling. Consequently, when I run there’s a gadget in my running shorts pocket that bounces signals off satellites so I know precisely how far and fast I’ve run. When I cycle, I lean on my bicycle computer to determine what kind of ride it was based upon whether I achieved a higher than normal average speed.

But there’s no computer that can capture the beauty of a late summer lake swim when the water is glassy and the perfect temperature. No reason to try to measure the rhythm of a long, smooth stroke. No counting of strokes and no measuring of heart rate required.

Nor is there any gadget on the market that can capture what it’s like to run at dawn on golden leaf carpeted Northwest trails in October in a foggy/low light mix. Why even try to quantify how alive I felt last Thursday on my pre-dawn solo eight-miler around Capital Lake. The Capital Dome was lit up and the lake surface was bespeckled with reflections of the Deschutes streetlights. Spectacular.

How do you measure what it’s like to run under the lighting of a full moon or cycle with a friend along the Sound on an unusually warm October afternoon? It’s these experiences with nature and good friends that make me feel alive, not my average watts. And it’s these experiences that clear my mind and strengthen me for day-to-day life.

I’m fortunate to have a great running posse, but lately, since I’m in marathon-mode, I’ve been getting in a few solo runs each week too which has been nice. During one last week, I spent a few of the miles replaying an argument the Galpal and I had stumbled into the previous evening. Reluctantly, I had to admit that the video replay in my head provided inconvertible evidence that I was mostly responsible for the dustup. So when I walked in the house, I apologized. The GalPal was so taken by my (rare) selfless gesture, she violated her strict “no sweaty” hug policy. All of which set me up for a candlelight hot under the collar type of evening. And that my friends is what’s known as the “running romance multiplier effect”.

Credit me when you use it.