Sprinkles On Top

The little things that make my day…

Workout Apps April 12, 2011

Filed under: Nike,Product & Service Reviews,Uncategorized — Erin @ 7:19 pm

My work out situation:

I’ve always being on a sports team and having a coach throughout my school years to MAKE me work out

– no longer having a coach or team to push me because of a little thing called GRADUATION

+ Iphone 4

= love of work out apps.

You don’t realize the benefit of having a team and a coach pushing you daily to stay in shape … until you no longer have one.

Most athletes believe they will always have the pure motivation to work out daily, stay in shape, and be competitive for their entire life. Then, you have to get a job (*sigh*), and realize there was an entire life of being “social” that you never really developed before…and working out becomes something you have to schedule in, instead of schedule around.

Personally, it’s been a struggle. I know I need and want to work out, but my bed is usually more tempting. After investing in a gym membership and putting some quality effort into making it to the gym on a regular basis, I still know I’m not doing enough. Rushing to my aid were two of my favorite companies: Apple and Nike. Their powers combined *coughcaptainplanetreferencecough* brought me a gym supplement: work out apps.

There are a few I have tried out that are good for different times. My favorites are:

 

Nike BOOM

This app is purely motivational. Whether you are on the elliptical, doing core, or out for a run, the app plays your selected playlist and inserts motivational comments from professional athletes and coaches.

 

Nike Training Center (NTC)

This app is incredible. Gives you tons of options for work outs and has videos of ALL of them.

You can also have a record of your workouts and earn rewards! I’ve used this one at home and rave about it to everyone. Sometimes the hardest part is crafting a work out that is challenging and diverse…this app takes that job out of your hands.

 

Nike GPS

This last app may be the coolest of them all. It records the map of your run, lets you know your pace, AND records it all in a map so you can see exactly how fast you were going at every point of your run. It’s almost too cool to believe…I used this for the last 7 miles of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco last year (First 6 miles I spent chatting with my sister with my iphone off). It was the first time I had ever used the app and was amazed to find my entire run saved with pace records after.

Other features of this app include:

  • a “challenge me” option where you can take on your last run.
  • Tag where you can try and out run your friends and compete against each other with your virtual records!
  • Sharing any of your runs on Facebook
  • You can be “cheered” on by the app during your run

If you are an athlete and have an iphone I HIGHLY recommend downloading these apps!

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Nike Women’s Half Marathon October 25, 2010

A week ago tonight, I was on a flight back to Portland from San Francisco on a plane scattered with women just like me–exhausted, exhilarated, and proud. We felt this way because 8 hours earlier we had completed our Nike Women’s Half and Full Marathons (half for me).

The fun had actually started 2 days earlier when I walked up Polk St exploring the city to discover Union Square covered by tents, sponsors, and women picking up their event packets for the race looming in our immediate future. The expo was run incredibly, I walked right up to the sign-in, got my pink draw string bag filled with coupons, race number, and timing chip. Then, I continued through the tent where I blended my own creamsicle smoothie on a spin bike, got luna bar and POM samples, listened to olympian advice, and admired those getting foot massages.

Little did I know the biggest surprise was just off the square…the outside wall of Nike Town had been covered with a massive sticker displaying all 23,000 runners names. Awesome.

After a sleepless night filled with race jitters and what-ifs my sister (who I was running with), our boyfriends, and I discovered her car window was shattered on the ground, GPS stolen. Our ride to the start line was out of commission and I instantly lost all my nerves for the race…no reason to be nervous, this is for fun! Real life is harder than an optional athletic adventure.

Luckily, after a few blocks of speed walking, my sister and I hailed a cab to drive us to the start line (instead of adding another mile to the 13.1 we were already scheduled to run). We scurried up to the crowd just in time for the start count down:

5-soaking in the experience

4– realizing its 7 am on a Sunday and still dark in San Fran

3– hands up for the countdown music

2– excited nerves hit

1-ready to run!

0-… twenty minute wait until we actually crossed the start line. hah.

Though we were patient and contained our excitement to burst out the gates for 20 minutes, we couldn’t hold back anymore when we heard Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” on the speakers. We decided we had to cross the start line before the end of the song.

The first three miles all 23,000 women were crowded in the city blocks trying to contain our adrenaline to a nice steady start pace–afterall it WAS a marathon, not a sprint. The streets were quickly scattered with clothes that runners became too hot to bear any longer. I was on the edge of outrage at the people littering new, expensive clothing so thoughtlessly on the streets when my sister informed me all of the clothing was going to be picked up post-race and donated. PHEW.

Just when my sister and I thought we might get a window of opportunity to pass some people…you could say we are competitive…we would turn a corner and see the sea of people ahead of us trudging through streets to the pier.

The race course itself was stunning. We started at Union Square, went down to Embarcadero, and ran along the pier, had incredible views of Alcatraz, The Golden Gate, and my favorite: Ghiridelli.

Six miles in we discovered our first big test: 1 mile, straight up. It was time to live the slogan I was sporting on my tank top and “Just Do It”.

We had already faced a few hills, but this winding death trap was something barely anyone was prepared for. After power walking our way up, we got a burst of new energy after passing some familiar faces in the cheering crowd.

The mile down the sea cliff along the ocean made the mile up well worth it. I let my body reach the brink of being out of control and wanted to throw my arms out to my side because I felt light as a feather. The thought of flying down the hill like a child mimicing an airplane made me smile and appreciate the run…though I didn’t actually do it. That would make me look weird.

At mile 7 I channeled the good advice of my BFF Kayla, to “just go for it, it’ll go by quick!”, and I shifted my mind set from “finishing” to “racing”. The last few miles were filled with some more lovely hills…grrr…and inspirational messages from some of the sponsors. Two of my favorite signs posted on the side of the road, and ON the road, were:

  • A series of 9 “reasons” to keep running with the final one reading “that necklace is mine” – referring to the Tiffany necklace waiting for all finishers at the finish line.
  • A Safeway sign: “Jack & Jill ran up a hill. Jill won.”

Around mile 10 my body started to realize my increase in pace and needed something more than some inspirational signs to keep going. And then I remembered: Ghiridelli mile. Yes, you read that right, awaiting me in the final mile were squares of Ghiridelli chocloate. In my dreams leading up to race day, I imagined tables filled with chocolate in an “all you can grab” scenario…turns out it was a couple girls handing you one square from a cardboard box as you turned a corner. At least it was good motivation! And you know I ripped open that chocolate square 1.1 miles later after the finish line.

Speaking of the finish line, it came out of nowhere. I turned a corner after I had just convinced myself the final mile was going to seem like forever, I saw the “FINISH” banner and tents only a few hundred meters away. I sprinted.

…halfway through the sprint I questioned my decision to sprint after 13 miles…and then I saw her: the lady walking who was going to cross the finish line before me. I DON’T THINK SO. She was my final conquest, I sprinted by her just before crossing the line. Success.

After dropping to my knees to catch my breath, I looked up and saw the little blue box that had convinced me to sign up for this race in the first place. My Tiffany necklace was now just that, mine. The weekends slogan, “I Run To Be,” graced the silver pendant. It hasn’t left my neck since.

Hard to see, but you get the idea.

All in all, my first half marathon experience was incredible. I did not expect anything less from Nike, and am contemplating my next athletic endeavor…

 

Nike BOOM July 27, 2010

A few months ago, I registered to run in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with my sister in October. A few months ago, I decided to start training. A few months have gone by… and that hasn’t happened.

I have worked out a bit, but nothing near what I should be doing to train. I have been an athlete my whole life, and am a competitive person, so I want to run the half marathon well, aka not just finish (I’m saving that for a full marathon). Even though swimming and rowing taught me how to train, pace, keep my body healthy, and push through immense pain, I never had to do the training on my own. And that is quite a challenge.

Ever since I graduated, it has been hard to get myself to work out. My first challenge was signing up for a gym. I had been spoiled with facilities to work out in and was reluctant to pay for it. Eventually, I wised up and joined 24 hour fitness, which was a great way to keep me in decent shape through the months of Portland rain.

Even though I had the gym membership, I had no one making me go there, no goal to reach for or teammates to one-up…I mean keep me motivated… 😛 . The half marathon looming in the back of my mind the past couple months has gotten me to work out a bit. But now…less than 3 months away I really need  to kick it up a notch.

The past 2 weeks I have ran around 3 miles on a regular basis. But today, I ran 5. (holler.) This was greatly in thanks to Nike’s new ipod app: Nike BOOM.

This is an app that has athletes and coaches giving short motivational talks to you throughout your workout. They did a great job in the details of this app. For example: if you press pause or say you want to leave the app in the middle of the work out you get a “do you really want to quit?” message on the screen that, frankly, made me feel bad enough to push longer than originally planned (and I was only pausing to stretch!).

I realize the person talking to me is not actually holding me accountable for anything in my workout, or ever going to know that I have the app…but those few messages throughout the work out are all a sport loving, competitive, wants to stay healthy, but has to work out on their own, person needs to get that extra little kick in the booty. Well. It works for me!

BOOM baby.

What gets you going to work out harder, or just work out in general? I’ve got: Nike Boom, cute outfits, and knowing I should.

 

Another Favorite Outfit… June 3, 2010

Filed under: Nike — Erin @ 5:41 pm
Tags: ,

On the topic of great outfits…My favorite work out outfit is: a pair of nike spandex shorts/capris/tights, a nike swoosh sports bra, a loose nike or old navy tank, nike or asics shoes & goody grip head band. If you haven’t caught on, I. Love. Nike.

I love walking to the gym in my Nike flip flops, and start my work out in a long sleeve T.

I’m sure my love for spandex bottoms came directly from my history of tight clothing in rowing and swimming. The loose tank top feels light and comfortable throughout the work out, and its totally cute. It’s also fun to wear bright colors to work out, especially a bright sports bra thats a little flare of color under the tank.

I’m sure this post had a big impact on your day 😛 but a good work out outfit always makes working out more fun, not to mention when I buy new work out clothes I have more motivation to get to the gym!

What’s your favorite work out outfit??

 

Half Marathon…Bid or No Bid? April 24, 2010

Filed under: Nike,Uncategorized — Erin @ 4:46 am
Tags: , ,

Last week I got a gchat message from my sister: “sign up for this!” …I clicked on it and was taken to the entry form for the Nike Women’s Marathon/Half Marathon. The way it works is you submit an entry and then a few weeks later they do a drawing and you are selected (or not) to race. The insecurity of it all was a bit exhilarating and I made the impulsive decision to sign up!

I have been debating doing a half marathon, or full, for awhile now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity–not only was it not guaranteed I would have to do it, but if I got selected it would be a great kick in the booty to get back into running shape! So..drum roll please….I GOT SELECTED!!

Such a cute design, hopefully the race shirt??

Now I realize there is no reason I was selected over someone else, but it does feel like more of an honor to race then an obligation (which will hopefully make training a little easier).

Something I missed during the sign up as well is that the money goes towards the leukemia & lymphoma society, can’t beat that!

So not only do I get to take part in a great womens race, donate to a wonderful cause, get back in shape, (this is a longer positive list than I thought!), take a trip to Cali, partake in the 3 days of events before the race and get a gift from Tiffany’s at the finish, but I get to do it with my sister too!! The last time I was in a sporting event with my sister was Nationals circa 2003 for synchronized ice skating. It’s too bad we are in different states and can’t train together but keeping each other motivated over the next 5.5 months and during the race will be exciting!

Next week: training begins. I think this may require a few more cute nike running outfits…