I'd felt a cold blast of "reality" running with my Nike+iPod setup, which told me my pace, which I knew was sorry, was over 10 minutes a mile. I knew I was out of shape, but that was PAINfully embarrassing.

Well, after a week of no runs whatsoever, I got the bright idea of running in an official 10k race. Turns out my virtual reality was more virtual than I'd thought. After finishing the 10k, complete with in-race weaves and wanders, Steve Jobs and friends told me I'd only run 8.70k! That's a pretty serious screw-up.

Yes, you can calibrate the Nike+iPod setup, which I'll be doing as soon as I can make it to a track, but this shatters, for me, the idea that for most runners Nike+iPod does a good enough job out of the box. It doesn't. Calibration is an absolute requirement, and it's a disservice that Nike+iPod doesn't require it as part of its setup.

(My mile pace for the 10k was under 9 minutes, thank you very much. Not great, but -- thank heavens -- it's ego reassuring after believing I was chugging in at 10+.)