Okay, so it was more of a fast shamble.
I was still faster than the zombies, though.
And, there weren’t actually any zombies. It was all in my head.
Well, actually in my ears.
I was listening to the introduction mission for the Zombies, Run! 5K training app. Which, by the way, at first blush seems really nifty. I love stories, and becoming invested in something is a great motivator for me. Plus, I can run Map my Walk in the background and log these walks with them as well, giving me dual layer metrics and a more complete look at my activity overtime. It’s not all story either, if it were I might have just chosen to listen to an audio book or podcast, no, Zombies is more like passively interactive theater. As far as I know the story doesn’t actually “respond” to your pace or direction, but rather has preset dialogue at certain points in the mission. That being said, the writing is so good that I found myself instinctively wanting to change direction when instructed to and looking for the landmarks they were pointing out. Not like I was going to run out into a busy street or anything; the directions are always landmark oriented, “veer towards the old mill,” for example, so it was really just a momentary urge, but that definitely helped immerse me in the story. Oh, and it integrates with your music player, allowing you to listen to your custom playlists while you walk/jog/run, and it even has a shuffle feature for variety. I haven’t used this feature yet, since I am sorely lacking in the MP3 department, but I plan on putting a playlist together soon. I think it will add another layer of depth to the already impressive audio cinematics. I think I’ll go classic rock, it seems appropriate to the setting.
Oh, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t do zombies. Period. At all, ever. Ever since the chick opened her eyes in the flooded office in Resident Evil I have been scarred. I just don’t do the whole zombie genre. It makes my skin crawl.
But, I’m using this app.
- It is extremely well written.
- I never said I didn’t like the post-apocalyptic genre.
- I don’t actually have to see any zombies.
- It is seriously immersive.
- The zombie sounds, so far, have been kept to a bare minimum.
That’s right. It’s a zombie based app focused on good writing, and good story. Had I been subjected to walking around with the sounds of moaning, gnawing, screams, shuffling, and other “sounds of the living dead” in my ears I would have shut it down as fast as I could and listened to just about anything else instead.
So, for those of you who are geeky enough to even consider a story based 5K training app, I say check this one out.
Even if you don’t do zombies.
So, how did I do on my very first day?
I’m not sure I’m in their intended audience.
You know, the one that has a decent chance of being able to complete a 5K in thirty minutes after training for only eight weeks.
I walked 1.35 miles in 31:57 minutes. Which means that the fastest I could move was a 22.5 minute mile. And, yeah, it was the fastest I could move. My right calf was cramping after the first ten minutes, and by the time I climbed back up to my apartment my legs felt like they’d gained ten pounds.
At least I’m still faster than the zombies.
All my times mean is that this is where I’m starting. I can replay the missions as often as I want. There’s no rule that I must finish the program in only eight weeks, and the app isn’t going to disappear either. A twenty-two minute mile might not be something most people brag about, but I’m going to brag on myself that I rolled out of bed and walked a mile first thing in the morning. Plus, I’ll get to brag about cutting seconds off my time for a lot longer than someone who started out with better times. Progress is motivating, and so is success. My times give me the ability to experience both for a longer period of time before entering maintenance.
I’m happy with my 22.5 minute mile.