I started running again about 18 months ago. Starting again is hard work, harder than maintaining. I kept wishing I had never stopped as I huffed and puffed myself back into shape.
To get me motivated I began using the Nike+ iPod Sports Kit.
Nike and Apple teamed up to connect your running shoe to your iPod and created a simple system to keep you motivated and informed during your workouts. Via a sensor in your shoe and a receiver on your iPod, information about your pace, time, miles and calories is sent to your iPod. Of course they want you to buy the Nike shoes designed with a space in the cushion of the shoe for the sensor, but that is not necessary. You can buy a small pouch for your sensor which attaches to your laces.
Here's mine. (My shoes are in great shape because they are new)
It has made it so easy to just go run - I select my workout on my iPod by choosing to run a certain amount of time, distance or calories. Next I select my play list and I am done. Throughout my run, the system tells me how far I have gone and after the halfway point how much longer I have left. Some days I listen to music, other days I listen to books. I have gotten to "read" so many more books this way, plus it makes the miles fly by. I have the freedom to change my route at any time, but still know how many miles I ran.
At the end of the workout, you hear get an audible update of your workout totals (time, distance and speed) and when you reach certain milestones (longest run, fastest run, mile markers, etc...) you get to hear words of encouragement from people like Lance Armstrong or Joan Benoit Samuelson. Plus you can see your totals on your display screen.
I also like that I can save all my running data on the Nike+ Dashboard for free. It synchronizes automatically every time I connect my iPod to my computer. It has great charts for viewing your running history.
I wouldn't say I'm addicted to my iPod but it has been a reliable running partner and has helped me get me through some tough runs. If you're looking for a boost to help you get running or to stay on track, it may be just what you need.
Do you have gear that you use during your workouts to help you stay motivated?