Metafilter runs in August July 30, 2007 3:29 AM   Subscribe

We're near the end of the month which means Metafilter run 5.0 for mefites with the nike+ kit is almost over. I'll post the final July standings in this thread in a couple of days. As always, if you want to take part in the next mefi running challenge, post your nike+ screenname in this thread, and I'll send you an invite. (FAQ : yes, it only works with the ipod nano; no, you don't need nike shoes) - (Previous challenges : 1.0.,2.0.,3.0.,3.1.,4.0.) However, we're a little bit in a existential crisis. Some fine mefites joined the running challenge, but proved to be formidable long-distance walkers, crushing all the other running competitors distance-wise. How do we keep it interesting for everybody? Separate MetaWalk challenge?
posted by pj_rivera to MetaFilter Gatherings at 3:29 AM (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If only Nike allowed you to issue challenge based on pace, and not distance.

How about a separate "Fastest Run" challenge, perhaps giving us one month to complete 5 miles as fast as possible?
posted by oddman at 5:48 AM on July 30, 2007

Don't know how I missed this for so many months. My nike+ screenname is RunRoofusRun. I would vote for a fastest 5km, not that I have any chance of victory over any distance.
posted by roofus at 6:50 AM on July 30, 2007

I typically wear Asics. Will I need to prostitute myself in Niketown to join in the fun totally win?
posted by four panels at 7:54 AM on July 30, 2007

If you'd like, I can withdraw (Nike+ ID: shinypenny)? I think I'm the only long-distance walker left, now that sequential withdrew(?). I don't want to ruin it for the runners and I think I'm the only person walking in any case. A MetaWalk challenge would be nice, but how many MeFi walkers are out there who are using Nike+?
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2007

four panels: just search the Nike+ forums - there are many sensor holders that enable you to use the system with non-Nike shoes.

I use this for my sensor and the Marware case for the Nano+receiver.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:16 AM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

How do we keep it interesting for everybody?

Posting it elsewhere.
posted by trondant at 8:16 AM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

All the fat people hate this thread.
posted by smackfu at 8:40 AM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

Anyone has any technical info on how to sync your runs without itunes?

This sounds fun and while I've found leads on the data format in these files (which makes cheating easy I guess) I've found no information on how to actually upload the files to the nike site.
posted by uandt at 8:50 AM on July 30, 2007

longdaysjourney, I am a walker and if there is a seperate Metawalk, I will certainly join. There must be more mefites interested in walking, eh?
posted by metasav at 8:53 AM on July 30, 2007

Omigod (less than) one thread a month using this valuable space. Seriously - more than a few people have been turned on by this MeFi run stuff getting posted here, with benefit the their own health and that of the community.

Fundamentally, if MeetUps can be discussed here there is no valid reason this shouldn't.

Back to the real discussion - I don't really mind about someone walking beating me, I'm challenged just getting it together to actually run, with my Nano set up, and so forth. But I see how it is a little wierd. What about going back to a pace challenge - they support fastest 10k/etc, or first 100mi, or something like that?

This time I'm determined to accept the damn challenge in time to get credit for all my runs, and keep my gear together, and actually run :) Thanks for pulling these together, they've actually really helped me get my running going again.
posted by freebird at 9:01 AM on July 30, 2007

uandt - I don't remember the details, but if you check the older MeFi runs threads there are links to a bunch of options - both for handling the data without using Nike+, and (I think) iTunes.

I don't use Nike shoes, I tape my sensor on to my shoes and it seems to work just fine.

Independent of "messing up" the run challenge (again, not really a big deal for me) the idea of a Walk is a pretty nice idea on its own.

Hey - even without doing the Nike stuff. I'd honestly be more inclined to a "HikeUp" where some MeFites actually met in person to share a nice favorite hike than to the usual BoozeUp, these days.
posted by freebird at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2007

Maybe we could do the HikeUp, then a BoozeUp afterward?
posted by box at 9:23 AM on July 30, 2007

Since when is it not kosher to post this stuff here? Chill out, you two.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:49 AM on July 30, 2007

I've been busy lately, but this competition got me exercising again, so I'm all about it. If runners are feeling burned out as of late, I'm totally down for a MetaWalk. I imagine more people would feel comfortable joining if they are competing with only other walkers, too. Great stuff. Thanks for maintaining this.
posted by phaedon at 10:24 AM on July 30, 2007 -- sounds like an awesome idea to me.
posted by boo_radley at 10:31 AM on July 30, 2007

freebird - Could only find info on how to get data off nike+ and then putting it in your wordpress blog or on runners+ or whatever.

There seems to be no information out there on how to actually post the data in the first place. Runners+ seems more straightforward in this regard.
posted by uandt at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2007

longdaysjourney - No need to withdraw from July's challenge. As far as I'm concerned you won it fair and square. (As long as no one runs 100k in 2 days...)

But I do feel you're in a league (and discipline) of your own at the moment, and as such a bit out of place in the future running challenges. I think the sentiments in the thread above justify setting up a walking challenge. If you want, you could set it up on nike+, and I'll mention it in my monthly call for participants.

I'll set up a parallel 5k speed challenge and invite all the runners who show up for the distance challenge.

One other thing: I'm not married to the nike+ site (with its incredibly slow flash interface). If we could find an alternative site which has a similar functionality (and accepts the Nike+ data) I would not hesitate to switch. I like, but it still lacks some functionality.

Finally, thanks for the words of support. I was a bit bummed out earlier.
posted by pj_rivera at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2007

There is no legitimate reason for me to post this, but I just had to brag. The guy who is #1 in the world for all-time distance & duration on That's my dad.

That is all.
posted by designbot at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

As far as I'm concerned you won it fair and square.

Only because sequential withdrew. :(

But in any case, I'll go ahead and set up a walking challenge for the MeFi Walkers out there: MetaFilter Walks v.1.0: Most Miles in 31 Days.

metasav: I'm going to set up a "most miles in 31 days" walking challenge to start off with, but if people want to go with "fastest pace" or "first to walk "x" number of miles" we can do that too, later on. Just to give you fair warning though: my monthly mileage is pretty high. (I usually average around 26-28 miles a week, although August will probably be higher for me as I'm off work that last week and hope to get some more walking time in than I usually do.) I've sent an invite to your g-mail address, but if that's not ok with you, just ignore it.

designbot: Damn, your dad is amazing. I've always been a bit doubtful of the leaderboard because of hearing tales of people editing their xml files to futz with it - it's neat to know that there are people on the leaderboard who are for real. Hats off to your dad - that's an incredible achievement!

Pj_rivera: Add a "thank you" from me for organizing everything each month. It's very much appreciated!
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:37 PM on July 30, 2007

I'm coming back off a repeat injury, so I think I'd actually be better in the walking challenge than the running. I'll remove myself from the running one. Can you send me an invite, longdaysjourney? I'm "web-goddess" over there too.

And pj, definitely please keep sending me the running challenges. I hope to be back to kicking all your asses someday. :)
posted by web-goddess at 2:35 PM on July 30, 2007

Thanks longdaysjourney. I had not heard about this until today, so i'm pretty excited about Mefi Walkers. I'm going to get myself set up tonight!
posted by metasav at 3:36 PM on July 30, 2007

Thanks pj_rivera for organising the challenges each month. It definitely motivates me to keep putting in my mileage each week.

And I don't mind sequential and shinypenny taking part at a slightly different pace. If anything, that helped me occasionally put in an extra K or two.
posted by ponystyle at 3:57 PM on July 30, 2007

Wouldn't some kind of pedometer challenge me more appropriate for the walkers out there?

The walkers with ipods can still join the runners since noone seems to mind but pedometers are cheaper and arguably easier to use and gives more fair results (no bonuses to those with long legs).
posted by uandt at 4:48 PM on July 30, 2007

uandt: Well, presumably there are runners out there with long legs too (I'm only 5'6) so I don't quite get that argument as it applies to walkers vs runners. (And given that the Nike+ system is in fact a glorified pedometer, I don't see why I should get a separate one. You can calibrate your sensor for walking and running separately, which I've done. It's not like I'm somehow cheating on my miles - all non-treadmill, all walked outside. ;))

There is an argument to be made that running typically is more arduous than walking, at least in terms of energy expenditure. But it's all moot - there's a separate walking challenge now.

web-goddess: challenge has been sent.. :)

Pj_rivera: thanks for mentioning I hadn't heard of it before and it really does kick Nike's site in the ass in terms of functionality. (I just wish that web designers would get over their obsession with flash - does every Web 2.0 site have to be completely flashified?) I've signed up over there using my Nike+ id and I'm looking forward to playing around with it. From what I've seen, Nike should hire the designer - I hate the way their site works.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:08 PM on July 30, 2007

hey Pj, I just wanted to take the opportunity, while this is still fairly high on the gray, to say thanks for organizing these things. The MeFi challenge has finally gotten me off my butt and running once again. (I just got back from my first run in over a month, and I'm sweating buckets.)
posted by oddman at 7:59 PM on July 30, 2007

longdaysjourney, please add me to the walker's challenge. My screen name is "donajo".
posted by donajo at 5:53 AM on July 31, 2007

This might not be the thread in which to mention it, but next year (by which I mean next racing season) I'd like to start a MeFiTri group - that's right, triathlon. Just keep it in the back of your mind...
posted by Miko at 10:38 AM on July 31, 2007

Saw these today and thought of youns.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:10 PM on July 31, 2007

Final top 5 standings for the July distance challenge:

longdaysjourney - 229.85k (gulp)
ponystyle - 81.71k
pj_rivera - 80.67k
middleclasstool - 59.64k
freebird - 50.22k

Congrats to all!

On the site it's possible to output your run data to a csv-file. Another way to escape nike's smothering proprietary embrace of your run data.
posted by pj_rivera at 3:29 PM on July 31, 2007

Add me to the thanks to pj_rivera for issuing these challenges.

I'm looking forward to the next one as well -- this one I didn't join until 12 days in, so I would have totally smoked all you fools if I'd been in from the first (except longdaysjourney, natch -- you'd have to be in ultramarathon training mode to keep that pace, and I ain't half that kind of man, so extra kudos to you).

New challenge for next month? Well, I've got two, actually: I (or more accurately, my wife) just had a baby on Friday, our very first (if it hadn't been for that, I would have run an extra ten miles on Saturday), and I've registered for my first ever marathon in Memphis on December 1, so the challenge will be both to make time to win the challenge despite sleeping three hours a night, and also adequately train to run 26.2 goddamn miles without stopping.

This is the sound of me shitting my pants.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:30 PM on July 31, 2007

Holy crap. 229K??? Maybe I'd be better off with the runners after all!
posted by web-goddess at 9:31 PM on July 31, 2007

designbot just between me, you, and the rest of metafilter, does your dad cheat by artificially recalibrating his stride length? As in he's like 4'4" but has the machine set to believe he's 6'4" and covering way more ground than he really is? I don't mean to knock an awesome record, but I'm curious.
posted by roofus at 2:10 AM on August 1, 2007

The nike+ thingy stores data as simple xml. An 8 year old could edit the files so no need for miscalibration or anything. When cheating is easy and the only thing at stake is personal pride and reputation my guess is that people don't cheat because it's to, uhu, easy or something.

designbots dad's probably didn't cheat which makes the whole thing insanely awesome but with a bit of extra emphasis on the insane part. 5000 miles is like half a marathon every day for a year. Crazy! (unless you're walking)
posted by uandt at 3:39 AM on August 1, 2007

web-goddess: I walk about 26-28 miles a week. August should be a bit more (150-175-ish miles for the month) as I have a few days off. Sorry, I know it's not very motivational. :( If the walkers would like, I can withdraw (but I'm not sure if the challenge will persist if the challenger withdraws?).

I was also thinking it might be fun to do a team competition, walkers vs runners. The walkers are vastly outnumbered by the runners of course, but we tend to rack up higher mileage. >:D
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:40 AM on August 1, 2007

I don't think it's even possible to withdraw from your own challenge. A team challenge might work with sequential on your side...He's worth at least 5 mefi runners!

I forgot to put this in the earlier standings post, but AJR ran the fastest 5k in July (22'49'). Not too shabby, dear sir!
posted by pj_rivera at 4:37 AM on August 2, 2007

No, he's not cheating.

I'm just speculating, since I haven't asked him, but my guess is that most people use the Nike + to record "a workout" at a time, whereas my dad uses it more like a pedometer to record throughout the entire day.

Also, he walks a freakish distance every day, which probably helps. :)
posted by designbot at 1:43 PM on August 2, 2007

pj_rivera writes "I like, but it still lacks some functionality."

What is it missing? My wife uses that site after every run. Nike+ site sucks in comparison. Plus the guy who runs it seems like a nice guy, from the conversations I've read. He's adding things all the time, and it's free (plus he's committed to keeping it free once it's out of beta).

Also, according to the posts on Runner+, he's currently working to get it to accept other data, as his sister uses a Polar monitor and won't buy the Nike+ - more motivation for him, as it's a family request.

Personally, I would love if the damn Nike+ thing worked with anything except the Nano. I have a 5G video iPod and it annoys the hell out of me that Apple can't take 30 seconds to enable use of the device with all the other models. I'm not shelling out another $150+ for an iPod when I already own an iPod.

(I'm also not joining any running challenge any time soon, as I managed to screw up my right phrenic nerve and now can't breathe properly. I'm lucky if I can make it 5k before I am forced to stop due to lack of lung capacity. Hopefully this is temporary.)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:56 PM on August 8, 2007

well, it is a great site, but challenges are not yet possible, although they are about to be implemented. When and if they are available on runnerplus, I am in favor of organising our challenges there, since different running systems would be supported. (even garmin, i believe) It is even possible to enter running data manually.
posted by pj_rivera at 7:50 AM on August 10, 2007

Personally, I would love if the damn Nike+ thing worked with anything except the Nano. I have a 5G video iPod and it annoys the hell out of me that Apple can't take 30 seconds to enable use of the device with all the other models.

My understanding is that Apple has said this will never happen for a hard drive iPod, for the simple fact that running with one could damage the drive (high-impact jolts, up-and-down shaking and all). By giving you access to running products for them, they'd be essentially encouraging you engage in an activity that's potentially damaging to your iPod, so they'd be liable for any damages.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:09 PM on August 12, 2007

Here's all about the september running challenge. We've moved to
posted by pj_rivera at 2:52 PM on August 26, 2007

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