My New Running Buddy: Apple Watch!

So for those who know me, it’s probably no surprise that I am an Apple Watch owner, basically as soon as possible for the general public. As a self proclaimed gadget-geek, I’m easily sold on the latest technology trends.  I’m even more into the fitness and healthy living technology and have pretty much owned every major fitness tracker out there.  So clearly, with that background, being an early adopter of the Apple Watch Sport was a no brainer.  When I pre-ordered on April 10th I was dismayed to be told that it would be “available to ship in June.”  I did have a moment of “damn, I should have set an alarm for 3 a.m. when the east coast sales opened!” but I did move past that like a mature adult and just dealt with the sad reality I would have to wait.  That’s why it was an extra awesome surprise to get an alert on my phone this week that my Apple Watch was shipping and expected to deliver on April 24th, the actual release date!  It doesn’t even matter what happened because it arrived yesterday and so far I am very pleased with this purchase!
Being only a day old it’s hard to speak to a lot of the features.  The voice to text is awesome and it’s been 100% accurate for dictating and sending texts without feeling like I’m over annunciating.  What’s great is that if I’m going to wear a fitness tracker, this at least offers some other perks. I think the design and capabilities are just perfect as it allows you enough “to do” and check out, but not so much so that you’ll be glued staring at your wrist for hours on end. Especially living in the city, I see lots of benefit to mapping walking routes to wherever I’m going, checking a text or phone call, or looking for some local deals, all without having to take out my actual phone.  I guess more to come on all these features, but to start I clearly had to take this thing out for a run!
So I will say that overall I think this is going to be great for midweek runs and probably shorter runs.  I don’t know how much I trust this on battery life so I’ll probably be wary of going for super long runs, at least until I see how the battery wears.  But let’s be serious, I won’t be running a sub-3 hour marathon any time soon and for that reason I’m pretty sure I’ll be keeping my Nike+GPS watch around as my mileage creeps up for my marathon this fall.  I’m very loyal to my Apple gizmos, but I don’t think the Apple Watch will stand by me for hours upon hours of running.  Guess TBD!
But here are my thoughts after a 6.25 mile run with the Apple Watch Sport.
The functionality was a bit tough to pause my workout while running.  It has been years since I used the Nike+ app, which the Apple Watch needs in order to function, so I’ll have to explore some of the settings as I think it will automatically pause if I stop running which would take away a lot of the cumbersome pushing and tapping. But I didn’t check my app settings ahead of time so  throughout the run to stop as I crossed a few streets and to take a few pics (it was a beautiful Boston day!) it was a bit challenging to get the screen active, get to the Nike+ app, get to the pause button, hit pause, and then ultimately resume.  It may get easier the more I get used to the tap pressures but I did learn that if I put Nike+ in my Glances on the watch, that’s a relatively quick way to get back to the Nike+ screen once the watch screen has faded to preserve some battery.  
Otherwise on the run the watch was light and comfortable, maybe even a little moreso than my Nike+GPS watch, so no complaints in that area.  I know a gripe people have is if you want to use the Nike+ app (which I do because literally all of my runs from my entire few years of a running “career” are all linked to this!) is that you have to carry your phone.  Well you all know that’s not an issue for me because I want to take pictures anyways!  So that’s no big deal to me. The Apple Watch seems to access the Nike+ app on the iPhone but doesn’t fully open the app. I don’t know if that helps with battery life or whatnot, but it seemed like a bonus that the full app was not running on my phone.  
I literally ran the entire time very excited to see what happened when I hit “end.”  I had seen screenshots and it looked like a map of your run would actually pull up right on your Apple Watch screen.  Well, I think it still might, but today’s run did not end with that.  As I said, it’s been awhile, years even!, since I’ve used the Nike+ app on my phone.  So I didn’t even think to look at the settings before I got going and sadly did not have the GPS enabled 😦 So no map of my run today. But the distance seemed pretty accurate as I knew the route I was doing should have been a bit over 6 miles.  
It was an absolutely beautiful day and I ran through the Navy Yard, across Paul Revere Park,  through North Point Park, over to the Memorial Drive side of the Charles River, to the Mass Ave Bridge ,  down to to the Esplanade , by the Garden, through the locks, back into Charlestown and back through the Navy Yard by the Constitution to home.  I wanted to take some more pictures than I did, but as I recounted I was struggling a bit with the stop and start (though I guess I could have taken some more moving photos).  We’ll pause for a second for some pics from my run!
In North Point Park, spring has sprung in Boston, looking over through the flowers to the Prudential.
On Memorial Drive side of the river, looking over to Boston with sailboats and Kenmore Square in the background.
One running selfie while crossing Mass Ave bridge 🙂  Note, this was taken not long after I unintentionally photo bombed a couple’s engagement shoot.  Whoops! Congratulations on that memory, I don’t have one decent looking action running photo of me ever!  (But actually if your photographer got one of me, will you email it to me before you photoshop me out!?)
The sailboats were beautiful!  It was a bit more bluebird skies earlier in the day, but I kind of like the drama of the clouds.  (Who wants to try sailing with me this summer!?)
Loved this view!  Not pictured is the gentleman lounging in his kayak watching the sailboats. Not a bad Saturday!
Stopped to take one selfie with the sailboats.
And just a shadow selfie, for fun 😛
One thing I absolutely love, and is a huge perk in my book, is that my runs will be automatically uploaded to the Nike+ site instantaneously.  I mean, that’s a given since you’re using the app, but with my Nike+GPS watch you actually have to hard wire it to a computer so getting your distance and route synced is dependent on how soon after your run you have access to a computer.  That’s always been annoying but I dealt with it. Being able to skip that step entirely for my runs is a huge perk (and just means I’ll get to my blog posting all that much sooner! 😉 )  I’m very loyal to the Nike+ app because as I mentioned my entire running history is synced there and I’ll admit it, I get a little OCD and don’t want to miss tracking a run with the system I have always used.  However, there is an activity app that I may try, but if not for running I can use it to capture cross training so I’m looking forward to seeing how that works. 
Here’s the completion view (without map 😦 ) The size is honestly great, in my opinion, because when I wear watches I’ve always been into the larger face styles anyways.  I opted to go with the 42mm version.   I’m happy with my choice of the Sport, which is not only lighter (so I hear) but also was cheaper and I think it’s supposed to be more durable.  I don’t think it’s horribly sporty looking, but later this year I’ll probably invest in a more everyday wear band.  
Alright, so my final verdict after day one….stellar investment!  More to come, and until then, happy running!
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