Adventures In Running

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2012

Wishing all my family and friends a Merry Christmas 2012.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review of UP by Jawbone

I purchased an UP device by Jawbone a month ago. For $129.99 I was expecting great things.

It advertises sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, food and drink tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, idle alert, nutrition database, barcode scanner, and an insight engine. For full disclosure, I purchased this right when I was having foot surgery. I only have experimented with the sleep tracking, 24/7 activity tracking, smart alarm, power nap, stopwatch mode, and idle alert.

Given all the talk I was hearing about how awesome this device is, I've been pretty disappointed. Basically, it is a wristband (available in multiple colors) that you can wear non-stop (except for swimming and deep sea diving). You download an app on your iPhone/iPad and can plug it in once or twice a day to do a sync. You also plug it in to a charger every 10 days and charge it from your computer. Those parts worked well. Here is what I found on the various options I tried:

  1. Charging cap – the stupid charging cap falls off all the time. I lost it 6 times in the first five days and was not happy hobbling around trying to find it. I finally kept it off. Either figure out a way to keep this cap on (screw method) or get a better cap or provide all users with 20 free caps. EPIC FAIL
  2. Sleep tracking – didn't work so well. Some nights it seemed to come out of sleep mode even if I didn't get up. I would be told I only slept 1 hour or so a night. It's amazing I am still functioning. They state that walking over 250 steps will take it out of sleep mode. Either I walked to the neighbors' bathroom if I got up or I sleepwalk. And what's with this 11 minutes to fall asleep every single night? FAIL.
  3. 24/7 activity tracking – I didn't do a lot of activity because of the foot surgery, but it seemed to do OK on this. PASS
  4. Stopwatch mode – I only did one calibration using the stopwatch mode, but it was ok. However, it takes a lot of button pushing to get it in the right mode. MEH
  5. Smart alarm – It is supposed to wake you up during a certain time period when you are in a lighter sleep mode. This seems to work well if you are still asleep. However, if I have already gotten up and turned on awake mode, you would think it could figure out it didn't have to wake me up. MEH
  6. Power nap – wakes you up after 30-45 minutes when you are in a lighter sleep mode. PASS

Luckily, there is a 60 day money back guarantee. Mine got packed up this morning and is being shipped back. The charging cap falling off constantly was actually the deal breaker for me.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have had different results.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baby It’s Cold Outside + Post Surgery Follow-up 2

Once the boot was off, I was allowed to walk one slow mile a day. Monday – very miserable. The foot hurt a lot and Twilight kept looking at me with an "Are we really going to walk this slow?" look of disbelief on her face. A very unimpressive 2.3 mph pace. Tuesday was slightly better and I got up to 2.7 mph and it hurt a bit less. Wednesday I had to walk a bunch for other things, so didn't walk.

Today was my second post surgery follow-up with Dr. Royall. I was expecting to hear that I would still be limited to 1 slowwwwww mile a day. Instead, he said my foot was coming along well and that the plantar fascia was nice and soft – which meant it was healing well. New rules:

  1. Walk one hour a day at 4 mph for therapy.
  2. I can still only do two hours at the New Years Revolution Run.
  3. No running until pain is no more than a 1 or 2 at the worst during the day. Then only increase no more than 20% every 2 weeks.
  4. Sleep in a night splint/Strassbourg sock.
  5. Stretch the foot before getting out of bed.
  6. Ice the foot 1 or more times a day, ibuprofen as needed, Biofreeze 3 times per day
  7. Start stretching the calf and ankle.
  8. I can start riding the Elliptigo again for cross training since it is not a pounding motion. Yay!

He thinks that the numbness I am experiencing on the top of the foot is from the boot and that it will gradually go away.

At the end of the appointment, he asked if I would consider being a sponsored athlete for him. In exchange for some race entries in local races, I would wear a shirt advertising his podiatry services. I indicated that this is definitely something I would be interested in.

One month more until the next follow-up appointment.

Taking my "therapy" to heart – Twilight and I bundled up and headed off on a walk to the library and back. The heel is still tender a bit and I had to push myself to get up to the 15 mm pace, but soon got in the swing of things. Dang! It is cold outside. Usually by now my body has started to adjust to the cold, but not running for four weeks has put me behind. This is going to take some adjusting to.

Coming back was when I realized how quickly the body gets out of shape. The last two miles were harder than the last miles of my last two marathons. The legs are stiff and heavy. Speed was okay – but it was definitely forced. I'm going to feel it tomorrow. However, it sure feels good to be getting back on track.