Stopped in my tracks


My plan to test a connected fitness device in preparation for my first 5k run this September has suddenly stalled on two fronts within the past two weeks; one on a technical front, and the other on a “logistical” front.
First things first: The technical front. Everything was going along fine with my connected fitness device: I went through each of my scheduled workouts; went home and plugged it into the computer where my workout data would then sync to my personalized workout dashboard.
Then came the day of the program update. One day, a new message was waiting for me on my personalized workout dashboard informing me that a new version of the program is available with a link to download, which I proceeded to do.
However, the next time I went to sync my device with the computer an error occurred telling me that the device could not communicate with the Web. A link was provided for terms of troubleshooting, yet when I clicked on the link I was taken to a page that did not exist.
After a few more times of trying to successfully update to the latest version, I decided to call the person I had been working with to set up my device. Only, instead of getting her in person or her voicemail I was greeted by a general ‘media inquiry’ message, leading me to believe my girl was no longer with the company. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to find an alternate contact, I left a message in the general mailbox, which was never returned.
I felt a bit abandoned, to tell you the truth. How was I supposed to push forward with my training without my coach ‘UK Female’ telling me when to speed up my pace; when to lower my pace; what my stride rate is currently at; and most importantly, who would tell me, ‘Workout complete, great job’ after each workout?
Nevertheless, I had a goal and needed to push forward; sadly though it would be sans automation. Over the next week I did as best I could to try and keep with the schedule I had in place—I increased my pace periodically, slowed it down on occasion, but it wasn’t the same. Still, I worked into a comfortable pace and am currently up to more than two miles.
All was still on pace. That is, until I received an email from the people organizing the event, saying it has been postponed until spring 2011 due to “logistical difficulties.” Not too sure what that means, but needless to say I once again felt abandoned. What the heck? First my coach refuses to communicate my progress to the computer, now the race gets canceled.
Do you think I’ve enjoyed the running these past two months? Well, actually I have!
Race or no race; device or no device; I am in running mode these days and plan to continue my running schedule going forward—at least as best as my non-connected memory serves—with the intent to run in my first 5k this fall. I have a few new races in the area in mind that I think should fit the bill. Granted they won’t include obstacles, mud pits, and barriers—but maybe it’s for the best.
Overall, I must say that I am disappointed in my connected fitness device trial. I understand product mishaps, but to have no easy way to get in touch with someone to troubleshoot is simply inexcusable. That is the problem with new technology sometimes; you run into some hiccups. Would another person be as patient and persistent in trying to figure it out? Who knows.
Would I try another connected fitness device? Probably. Will I be reticent to upgrade to newer versions when offered? Perhaps. Will I run my first 5k this year despite the two barriers that came in my path? Absolutely.
Maybe I will even look for a different device to help coach me in my run. But for now, it’s goodbye Coach ‘UK Female’ I will never forget what you taught me.


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