I run with a Nike+ Sportband that operates with a sensor that fits into the insole of your shoe that sends signals to a wristband that measures your distance, pace, elapsed time, and calories burned. Last year, two weeks prior to running the Boston Marathon, the Sportband readout stopped working. I took it to the Nike store and confessed that the immediate feedback mechanism had become my security blanket, my pacifier. They replaced the Sportband free of charge and didn’t ask if it was still under warranty. The sensor that originally came with the Sportband finally gave out last week. I purchased a replacement sensor, but with one dilemma. It has not been calibrated.
What does that mean? Calibrating the sensor requires running anywhere between 400 meters and a mile on a carefully measured route and adjusting the distance to be more accurate. It’s a dilemma, because running without the calibration, the Sportband thinks I'm super speedy, shaving at least a minute or more off my pace and it thinks I’ve run farther than I’ve actually gone. It's great for my self-confidence, and it makes my workouts go faster. But the truth of the matter, it’s not real. All it takes is running a timed race to bring out the honest truth. Today, I ran 400 meter intervals with an extra mile around the neighborhood to cool down. I thought I would use that to calibrate my sensor and make an honest woman out of me. When I went to sync the Sportband with my computer, it came up with a message: “No runs to calibrate.” I had the sore muscles to prove that I really did run, and the mud on my running tights and shoes was also ample evidence. Upon further reading, I discovered that you can’t calibrate an interval run or runs that vary the pace.
So, calibration will have to wait another day. Until then, I will pretend that I can run intervals at a 5’28” pace and run an easy cool down at a 7’ pace. Not bad for this middle-aged woman. Boston should be a piece of cake.