Monday, March 24, 2014

nike plus for the win.

I consider myself fairly technologically advanced. Fairly being the operative word.

I downloaded the "Nike+" app on my phone mostly because I was just curious how far I was running and how fast (err...maybe I should say how slow) I was going. But hey, at least I was moving!

Download the Nike+ app here
First run:
The first time I used it, I tried to listen to my Spotify playlist. I went to start my run, then the music stopped. I ended up listening to my old old old "work it" playlist that hasn't been updated in years. #firstworldproblems amiright?

About 3/4 of the way through, I wanted to snap a picture of the sunrise over Lake Michigan (because that will never ever get old in my book). I paused the run and clicked the camera icon onscreen, but the app wouldn't let me. Something about "not having access to my photos". Ho hum.

After wrapping up the run, I really did love the way it laid out my route, pace, time and overall calorie burn, but I knew there was room for improvement.

Second run:
Still learning to use it - not feeling comfortable with it. Nothing interesting to share (although this sentence implies my first attempt with the app was actually interesting to you...)

Third run:
Flash forward to this past weekend when it was warm enough to run outside again without all the snow and slush jumping. I was determined to get this app going. Good news! I figured out how to listen to Spotify while using the app:
1. Open up Spotify and start music
2. Open up Nike+ app and once you go to start a run, select "no music"
3. Wabaaam! Enjoy your personally selected ditties as you jog

So already, run #3 was off to a strong start. I was feeling good and wanted to knock out at least four miles at a slightly uncomfortable pace - pushing myself a bit.

I was just about halfway out when I noticed how absolutely gorgeous the Chicago harbor was so I paused to snap a photo (that's what I love about running: you can PAUSE any ol' time you want if you see something pretty. It's your run. Do what you want).

As I finished up the run, I was feeling strong and happy. I think I might have "mastered" the app. I'm excited for spring to come around and I can really take this puppy for a spin.

How does it work:
Well I don't really know, but I know GPS is pretty important. I'm so helpful. While I can't explain how it works, I can share with you some screenshots to make you feel like you were there!

This is how the app shows off any pictures you may have taken during the run. There are different format options if you want to show multiple pics. Win!


Here is where my "mastering" (or lack there of) of the app may come into play. You see that big ol' gap across the river and a few blocks? That's because I forgot to hit "resume run" while I was standing waiting for a red light to turn green. So I guess I ran a bit farther than the 4.27. I'll get there.

But I love the below screenshot shows you: route, time of day, length, total time, average pace, calories burned and temperature. The "happy face" is something I chose because that's how I felt about the run...which is most definitely not always the case.


If you're a curious runner like me, I highly recommend the Nike+ (far better than RunKeeper in my eyes).

Please note: the above review is entirely my own and in no way affiliated with Nike+.

Just for funsies: Ten Commandments for The Runner

Monday, March 17, 2014

now that's what i call talent

Watch this incredibly talented male take "Let It Go" from Frozen to a whole new level:



He actually sounds like each character...in a singing voice...without missing a beat.

I hope he finds a way to make some moola with this talent. Because daaaaaaaaaamn, son.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

sunny sundays

I really love Sundays.

Especially when the sun is out and the lakefront trail is "closed"...and packed with runners, walkers, bikers, photographers, all kinds taking advantage of the 40 degree sunshine in all its glory.

Hot damn, I love this city!

Friday, March 7, 2014

what happy-ness means to YOU

Happiness.

It sounds so simple, yet we make it hard. Stressed out with everyday life. I mean, you guys, I get "stressed out" when I go to the grocery store. Ridiculous, I know.

My friend, Helen, posted an intriguing link on the Facebook yesterday and ever the eager clicker, I clicked.

And it took me here:
100 Happy Days.
What? What a silly question! The easy answer is yes, duh. But then I got to thinking about how I've been living my life these days (whoa, deep thoughts, Ker) and I realized this is a challenge I need to accept.

I'm a happy person anyways but 2014 has been stressful. I need a change in perspective so I started the 100 Happy Days challenge today and already LOVING it.

Basically, you sign up on said website above. Choose which platform you want to share your "happy" pics (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or email) then have at it!

So day one of happy looks like this:
Morning workouts with this on the playlist make me happy.
The real question is: can YOU be happy 100 days in a row too?

And if you feel like groovin' to that happy tune also, have at it:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent it be

And we've arrived at the Lent season once again.

I've decided to do two things:
1) give up sweets (you've been warned)
b) get back to blogging more regularly
3) listen better

If you're paying attention, I've just listed three things. I never said I was great at math.

See ya after Easter, sweets
I've given up sweets before and it was not easy. I have a sweet tooth. I embrace that sweet tooth. I can happily share that day two is going quite swimmingly and so far, so good. We'll see what the weekend brings.

Back to blogging
Back by popular demand (by me), I want to get better at writing and sharing unnecessary stories with you, my dear reader. Sharing things like this: I went to Arizona last week! It was a new state for me and I was ready for some sunshine. I needed a reset button and this trip was just delightful. We'll ignore the fact it rained for much of the day on Saturday (apparently the first time it had done that since November...real cool, Tucson). And we'll ignore the fact we switched hotel rooms once. And we'll ignore the fact the resort restaurant couldn't cook my mom's cheeseburger properly. But hey - all those facts we're ignoring lead to memories.

Also we hiked and shopped and celebrity stalked (actually, that was just my dad):
We found Kimball Peak! Wait, did we?

Spotted: Rick Sutcliffe in the white hat and Dad's second margarita in 20 minutes.

From 60s and sun to 30s and snow. All in the matter of an hour.

The windy twisty road up to Mount Lemmon was worth this view.
My stomach might not agree so much though.

The best people I know.
Let this be a lesson in: May you never get too old to take a trip with your parents. Because it's the best thing ever.

The art of listening
I think we can all do this. And it's something I know I need to work on. Whether it's listening to others or heck, even listening to yourself: I'm gonna do it...better.

So happy Lent to you! What are you giving up?