Twelve-minute pace: I must break

Twelve-minute pace: I must break you.

Stout-hearted woodcutters and crafty satraps may have been the cultural archetypes for Jung and Bruno Bettelheim, but where in the hierarchy of feudal Bavarian culture can we find the archetype for the Giant-Blond-Russian-Who-Uses-Science-to-Crush-America? I’ll tell you: nowhere, and that’s why Rocky IV’s Ivan Drago is such an important fictional creation.

I invoke Ivan Drago every time I strap on my new FitSense FS-1 Pro Speedometer, complete with wireless, foot-mounted accelerometer and separate radio-wave heart monitor. I asked for the whole Ivan kit for Christmas, and my gracious wife Kate obliged without even a smirk.

It’s pretty smirk-worthy, though. Before putting on the heart strap, I must lick the electrodes. Then, I push the button on my foot pod, causing it to emit a businesslike “ready” beep. Then I give the watch a three-finger salute (“SENSORS: active. LOG: clear. SPEED: reset”), and I’m off, burning up the asphalt at a twelve-minute pace and staring intently at the “elapsed distance” readout.

Afterwards, I wave the watch near the wireless upload pod attached to my laptop, and the watch sends all the data to the Web. And the data is pretty impressive. The picture on the left is of a run I took in January. I jogged for 23 minutes over a hilly course (the blue line is my pace), and then I walked for 7 minutes. The red line is my heart rate. Kate looked at it last night and complimented me on my recovery rate. Yeah!

Anyhow, if you, too, would like to compliment me on my recovery rate, you can check out all five workouts I’ve had since Christmas. Or, if you’re in West Chester, you might see me jogging s-l-o-w-l-y by. You’ll have to honk the horn, though: I’ll be staring at my watch’s readout, mumbling in a Russian accent.

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