Thursday, April 26, 2012

Emerging Runner meets emerging technology at MIT

Fascinating group at the Media Lab this week
Tuesday's run (treadmill): 3.1 miles
Thursday's run (street): 2.5 miles

I'm back to NYC after three days in Cambridge. Normally I'd have run my favorite loop along the Charles River and over to Boston and back, but my schedule at the Media Lab was just too tight. That, plus the early morning weather was chilly and raw and I only packed running shorts and short sleeve jerseys. The events at MIT were great, and I got to rub shoulders with people like Peter Gabriel and Reid Hoffman, among other high profile artists and techno-geeks. But I did miss the experience of crossing the Longfellow Bridge at sunrise.

Virtual meets physical
There wasn't much new stuff that related to running, but I did see a couple of interesting projects that connected physiology to technology. One demo showed a way to train or do physical therapy using an animated virtual trainer. The subject performs tasks like kicking a ball towards a target. The closer the ball comes to the designated spot, the better they have performed the movement.

Much more than a fashion statement
Another technology that caught my eye came out of the Affective Computing Lab. It's called the WristQue, a sensing device that goes far beyond the capabilities of wrist-based devices like the Nike Sports band and the MOTO wristband. It captures the usual metrics as well as bio-indicators like galvanic response. It can even respond to your environment, changing ambient lighting as you move through an area. Cool!

I was pleased with my treadmill run on Tuesday morning. I seem to be able to sustain much better paces on Life Fitness treadmills than on my home unit. I covered 3.1 miles under 9:00/mile and felt strong throughout the session.

Wednesday morning was a washout, I didn't have the time to run (plus I had a pounding headache) in the morning. Today I got outside and covered my route in around my usual time. I was careful to notice my form and how I felt. I'm hoping that I can maintain a credible pace over 12 miles this weekend, my last long run prior to the LI Half. I'm still undecided on which running shoes to use for the upcoming race.

It's been a very busy week and it's only Thursday! Tomorrow morning I'll go out again and finish my training program this weekend, as I start my taper.

4 comments:

  1. All the best on your half marathon run. It will be fun.

    I believe my 4 months of knee ailments..."RICE" is boring.....are behind me now.

    Good luck.

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  2. Thanks Brian. Think about the NHP 8K this year. Let me know if you're up for a training run...

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  3. I'll call you. My plan is to re-start my running this weekend & see if my hyper extension is gone.

    I am optimistic & have already targeted NHP, Dirty Sock & others on my calendar.

    See you soon.

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  4. Hope you had a good run. Let's go for an easy run some weekend after the Half.

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