I’m still sort of in shock at the fact that I attended my first organized Marathon event, the Las Vegas Marathon. Okay, I did the Half. And I walked. Slowly (3.5 hours). But I finished. And I even got a medal.

While I’m glowing over the accomplishment, I’m trying to get myself kick-started into a regular fitness program again (sadly abandoned over six weeks ago, thanks to a “grape picking related injury”.) So now I’m in Motivation Mode. And for me, it’s all about the technology.

My hot list of Technology Motivators:

1) iPod Nano and Nike+ Kit

This is a little chip that fits in specially designed Nike running shoes and communicates with your iPod to record your distance, time, speed and all the other details of your run. Then you can sync it to the Nike site which will keep a log of your runs, let you set yourself challenges and do other fun stuff. Best part is, if you run faster or further than the chip has ever recorded, one of the Nike athletes comes on and congratulates you. Loved having Lance Armstrong tell me, “Keep up the good work.” Did I mention that this package is pure marketing genius on the part of Nike and Apple? The chip kit is $29.00. But you need an iPod Nano and special Nike shoes to make it all work. So my existing iPod and shoes had to be replaced. Many expensive purchases later, I’m kitted out. I hear there is now a wrist band that works with the whole apparatus which may negate the need for new shoes. But where’s the fun in that?

2) Polar Heart Rate Monitor

I have the F11 model which, I think, has been recalled. At least my local REI has stopped carrying it because there were so many returns. Never mind. It took me so long to set it up and get it working, I can’t be bothered to get a new one. Now, it’s not as if I ever train hard enough that my heart rate is going to get in any sort of danger zone. But it’s still fun to have. And lately, now that the battery is wearing down, it occasionally veers from 280 BPM to 0, which means, I guess, that I’m clinically dead at either end of the spectrum. I’m sure there are better monitors out there. If you know of one, let me know.

3) JustFinish.com Website

This is one of those Ning community blogs. If you’ve ever done NaBloPoMo, you know what I’m talking about. This one is geared to be a support group, bragging board and resource for runners, walkers, cyclists and other athletes, especially those involved with organized events. I didn’t find them, they found me after I posted my wrap up of the Las Vegas Marathon. Browsing through the profiles, it looks like I’m the least serious athlete here. As in “not even really an athlete”. Maybe I could be team mascot. Anyway, it’s inspiring. Except that most people are trying to break that elusive 3 hour Marathon time. Not figure out a way to stroll across the finish line of a Half Marathon. But my father always said, “Associate with your betters and they’ll lift you up.”

4) Runners World Magazine

Not really technology, although they do have a great website with lots of stuff like BMI calculators. I picked this up yesterday for a laugh, since I haven’t been a runner since college and can’t imagine I’ll become one anytime soon. I was surprised at how many great articles they had for Newbies. And their comprehensive 2009 Running Event Calendar is a great resource. I’m already mapping out events I might sign up for. My criteria: walker-friendly, great views from the course and lots of prizes and parties at the end. Oh, and a start line right outside the event sponsor hotel. If I have to get up for six AM starts, I better be able to roll out of bed and out to the elevator pretty quickly.

Well, that’s my motivating list. As you can see, I operate largely on guilt. Spend enough on the gadgets and I’ll feel that I HAVE to get out of bed and at least go around the block. I’ll keep you posted on whether any of this is getting me any closer to a goal of restarting a regular fitness plan. Until then, my credit card, at least, is getting workout.