Showing posts with label AKG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AKG. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A trail marked "UH OH"

I returned to the trails this morning to continue my training for the 8/23 race. I now know that the Dirty Sock 10K course is fairly flat compared with Stillwell Woods so I figured that the more rugged terrain at Stillwood would be helpful in terms of developing leg strength. I decided to bring my iPhone along and I listened to the Tiesto Club Life podcast (per a suggestion from a commenter on my blog - thanks anonymous!) using the AKG K321 in-ear headphones. They work great and I kept the sound low enough to detect the sound of the many mountain bikers that I encountered during my run. I liked the mix a lot more than the Podrunner podcasts and I took some different routes than ever before. There are so many twists and turns and ups and downs through Stillwell that I believe you could run it 50 times and not cover every trail. At one point I encountered a particularly scary descent that was marked with a sign that said "UH OH" (see above). I took the bait and with my trusty NB 460's I had little trouble with that long sharp decline. The path wound around and took me through a short paved area that led to a trail marked "No Trespassing" so I doubled back and found a different route that led me through some sandy trails that led further to a large construction site.

I turned back and switched the MotionX to compass mode and redirected north. I was hoping that after looking at the KMZ files from the run that I would get a good idea where I traveled but the files didn't work on Google Earth although they do show the course on the iPhone itself. Some of the trails I navigated were so steep that I had to slow to a walk a few times. I was very pleased with myself at one point when I encountered a couple of guys also running the trails who reached a sharp incline and proceeded to walk it while I breezed by running. They may have already covered a lot of distance and had hit the wall but all the same it was better to be the passer than the passed. I ended up running about 4.25 miles and my pace wasn't too impressive but the workout was daunting. After my cool-down I stayed and watched a few minutes of an adult league flag football game that was being played where I'd parked my car. It looked like fun but I'll leave that for the very fit 20-somethings I saw on the field.

After yesterday's run with Dave and today's rigorous run at Stillwell I'm feeling good about the upcoming race. I'm thinking of getting the Garmin 405 beforehand so I'll have a reliable GPS device to help capture the run. Either way I can't wait to hit the trails again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good things in small packages

Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to receive a pair of AKG K321 In-Canal Bud Headphones from the manufacturer. In the past I have written about running with a music player and my position on that has been quite negative. For one thing I'm reluctant to carry anything at all when I run so the thought of bringing along a device that weighs a third of a pound is unappealing. I've run with the Qstarz 1300S unit a few times, carrying the device in a holder that straps to my upper arm, so I've become a bit more tolerant about the idea. I've also had bad experiences with ear buds in general, their shape and my ear never seem to be compatible. I also have some hearing loss in one ear and that has taken away some of the pleasure of the headphone experience.

This is not my review of these headphones, only an initial impression. I will be posting a full review in Runner's Tech Review after I've had a chance to take them out on a few runs. I don't have my company-provided 3GS yet (I'm going to miss my Blackberry but I need the iPhone for research) so I borrowed my daughter's iTouch to try out the K321's. My first impression was "Hey, how come this doesn't hurt?" The ear buds conformed to the shape of my ear and felt fine. This was a good sign. I began playing a song and noticed that the balance was better than the outside-of-the-ear headphones that I usually use. Despite my asymmetrical hearing it sounded very natural. I haven't run with the headphones so I don't know how the fit will be when I'm bouncing down the street or following trails. Honestly, I don't think it's something I'd use for trail running anyway - I don't need any distractions when I'm doing that. More to come on those.

The other surprise I received in the mail this week was a nice plaque from the Long Island Marathon for my 2nd place finish in my age category in the 5K. I can't remember the last time I earned an award like that other than something related to business. I will display it proudly in my guest room next to my plastic Fun Run medallion.

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