Gadget Girl

I’m not too technically advanced.  My cell phone is usually at the bottom of my purse either turned off or with a dead battery because I forgot to turn it off.  I can text, albeit painfully slow and I barely know how to IM through Gmail.  I have an Ipod shuffle that I use for short runs only and finally learned how to delete songs so I’m feeling pretty savvy!

When it comes to running, however, I love having a gadget.  For years I ran with a Timex contraption – a pod strapped to my arm and a nice fat watch that linked with the pod to track mileage, pace, run time and about a dozen more things that I never learned.  My group would inwardly and outwardly groan when I stepped out of my car for a run and I was “wired”.  That usually meant a longer run or one that was in the hills and thereby not easily measured by a simple watch.

The Timex had its advantages, namely it was accurate and the watch was simple to use.  The disadvantage was that the batteries burned out quickly and I would have to stand around waiting for a satellite to sync up with my watch.  Many runs started with me holding my wrist to the heavens waiting for a signal.

Sadly, I left the pod on the bumper of my SUV one day because the battery died and forgot about it.  I most likely obliterated it while backing up or it held on until I hit the freeway – regardless I was adrift for a few months.

A friend of mine had a new Garmin 405 that I became enamored with.  This beauty came in a pretty lime green color and most importantly, had the GPS inside the watch so no need to strap on a pod or other piece of hardware.  It came with a hefty price tag as well, they retail for about $350.  But I was in love and shelled out the dough.

I was told that this was not a simpleton’s gadget.  It had uber-advanced technology and wasn’t what one would call user-friendly.  At least not right away.  And as one who does not follow instruction booklets very well, I did find it  a challenge.  After multiple failed attempts to go for a simple run using the darn thing, I relied on fellow Garmin users, strangers and friends alike ( thank you  Elisabeth who taught me how to freeze the bezel).

The advantages of this watch for me are that it’s cute, easy to read and once you get the hang of using the touch screen, easy to manipulate.  You can also track runs online through a sync funtion.  The few things I don’t like about the watch are that you have to remember to charge it or else it can die on a run,  the watch itself is big for my wrist so I can’t use it like an everyday watch.  The old Timex still gets the call for that.

One tick that has me stumped is the pacing portion of the watch. Like my Timex, at times during a run, the pace that I’m running is not the pace that is shown on the watch.  I don’t know if it’s a dropped satellite connection or what, but the pace bounces all over the place during my run.  I’m a consistent runner with my pace so to see the watch show 10:32, then 9:04, then 9:30, then back to 8:45 in two minutes can be frustrating.  Being the problem solver that I am, I simply focus on my time and the distance portion of that screen and disregard the pace.

Other than that, it’s a great product and if you like to know how far you’re running or you care about your pace, I’d recommend it.   And if you figure out that pace issue, please let me know.
Run strong and remember to have fun!


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