Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Confessions of an Appy Man

It seems my hypocrisy knows no bounds. For years, I've railed against those who are slave to their Garmin. Look at me, I would say, I get by with a Timex I bought on clearance back when I first started running. I need not the wonders of GPS. I log my runs manually. Praise he who manages his running life with little use of modern niceties.

For shame, I have fallen from my Luddite perch.

Late last year, in the act of combining our lives in marriage, I dropped my old cellphone carrier and joined Mrs. Viper's plan. In the process, I upgraded to a smartphone with an Android platform and delved into the world of "apps." Lo and behold, I found a free one for running by MapMyRun, a website I've used for years to sketch out various routes.

For the last run of last year, I used the GPS app for the first time.

Tucked into the breast pocket of my vest, my phone is barely noticeable when I'm on the move. I set it and forget it, as they like to say on those infomercials. And Mrs. Viper likes it because she feels more comfortable knowing I have my phone in case of an emergency.

My wife would be an easy scapegoat for betraying my anti-technology stance, but the fact is the phone is just as convenient as running with my watch. I only fear what will happen when the weather is nicer and I don't have a suitable pocket to stow my phone. I'm against armbands or fanny packs. But I was once against GPS devices too.

Using the MapMyRun app has had other benefits as well. I have started using the site more to track my eating habits with the food log, which has helped me with that thing I'm not going to mention even if it's my own blog and I can write about whatever I want however much I want. Of course, I can also use my app to log my meals.

Sometimes it's difficult for me to admit the benefits of technology. I like simple things. I like old things. I need to realize it's OK for me to like new things too.

Maybe you Garmin people aren't so bad after all. Except Nitmos, he's the worst.

7 comments:

Al's CL Reviews said...

I like the running technology...
Other technology, like DVRs, I can't get on board. Nothing on TV is that important. Not even J-Lo's nips.

Xenia said...

Sell out! I still don't have a smartphone so I don't understand all this app talk. I embrace my ignorance.

BrianFlash said...

I use Zombies! Run! app and my Garmin. I'm a slave to technology.

Except for runs shorter then six miles - the music and phone stays home...

Nitmos said...

Yes, yes, feel the technology flow through you...

I just wonder how the phone handles the sweat. I already have to wrap my iPod nano in a plastic baggy as otherwise it seizes up after just a few runs (2 replacements last year!) so I don't even consider the phone. I'm surprised Garmin has lasted this long (4+ years). My sweat is toxic.

Oh, and...Shut up, jerk.

Sun Runner said...

I have to give a shout-out to the iFitness belt (http://www.ifitnessinc.com/). It's unobtrusive, comfortable, holds my phone with ease, and best of all, DOES NOT JIGGLE. I mean, this thing is rock solid. When I have it on, I can't even tell. It simply does not move. I love it.

Congratulations on entering the digital age! Do you still have dial-up Internet at your house? There's this thing called DSL, or, if you're really crazy, a cable modem. Look into it. ;)

Cheers!

B. Jarosz said...

I broke down and bought an android smartphone when my old phone died a few months ago (after 4 years! that last phone served me well, may it rest in electronic peace!)

As for garmin-ness... I don't even wear a watch on every run. Maybe one day I'll drink that kool-aid, but not just yet.

Carolina John said...

The MapMyRun app is pretty popular. It can drain the battery pretty fast though, esp if you ever decide to go for a long bike ride. I have avoided getting a smartphone for years, even though I work in technology.