Monday, June 21, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 305

As most of you know, I have taken up running as a form of exercise and mental health therapy. I find that if I am just plain exhausted, I don't worry so much about the little things, or the things that seem little after I have left half my DNA up and down the 3+ miles of roadway, I like to call my perimeter.

I have long debated the benefits and financial risks of purchasing a new heart rate monitor. Countless hours were spent figuring out the best one for the budget and the features offered. As my birthday neared, I changed my mind and decided that the 10 year old Polar HRM I had was just fine. I planned to just hang on to that one until it died. Well guess what? On the mornng of my birthday, I was headed out the door and ......gurgle sputter, crash.... my HRM finally kicked the bucket. GRRRRRR! Time to go shopping!!

A few short days later and several attempts to revive the old heart rate monitor, I finally zoned in on the Garmin Forerunner 305 . I had read so many good reviews on this peice of glorious machinery, I decided that it was for me.

When I arrived at the store, I couldn't help but think I was in the Laptop section of the store. This thing is HUGE. This quickly got me to thinking maybe I had made a mistake. How could my wrists , can't handle this large apparatus? I might as well be carrying a set of dumbells on my run with me right? Well, after a litle more convincing from the friendly sales staff, I had it on my wrist and well, it really wasn't heavy. Just large. I have to tell you, this is the only caveat to the Forerunner.

After getting home, and charging it, I had little time to get to know my new running buddy before it was time to go to bed and get up for my early morning run. On the first morning, I turned it on, hoped for the best and off I went. When I got home, I plugged the Forerunner into my computer and like magic, everything synced up to my computer and there in front of me, was a map of my run, my pace, heart rate min and max, calories burned and whole lot of other information I just wasn't prepared for. Truly amazing! Did Garmin know that I spent an hour coming up with a spreadsheet that contained all these formulas already and didn't look near as "put together" as theirs? WOW, that is truly all I could say "WOW."

Since that day a few weeks ago, I have learned that my new running buddy can do so much more. For instance, when I get lost (it happens), I can tell it that I want to go back to my starting place, and it actually takes me there. This of course only works if you know where you are when you start. So aside from the regular features you would expect, like tracking your pace, heart rate, calories and mileage, the Forerunner also, maps out your locations, tracks your distance, marks specific locations, automatically tracks your laps, stores your history, customizes workouts (great for beginning runners), it also works with other sports such as biking or swimming (and more).

To say I am loving the Forerunner, is an understatement. The only feature I could think to add to it, would be the ability to send someone to me with a bottle of water when I am on that last stretch in the Florida sunshine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The ChocoVine Experience

Ok, so yesterday while out enjoying some free time, and by free time I mean I am finally learning to enjoy my unemployment while I can, because I know I have to go back to work eventually. I wandered into my favorite Wine Styles, only to find that my favorite cheap wine, Tiz Red, is no longer being stocked in that location. BUMMER!! So I did what any other semi-wine enthusiast does in that situation....FIND ANOTHER FAVORITE, or get drunk trying.

I stumbled across a new wine called ChocoVine, which is a mix of fine red wine and chocolate. ChocoVine is a product of Holland and after living there for 3 years when I was just a pre-teen, I decided it was somehow my duty to try the wine. There was a cute picture of tulips and a windmill after all, that reminded me of Holland. 

Not knowing exactly what to expect but deep down kind of expecting it to be like a chocolate liqueur, I chilled it as advised, twisted off the handy cap, and poured a small amount in my glass. At first, yes, just another chocolatey tasting liqueur. Then I read the bottle, which told me to shake first (SHAKE WINE)???? So being the direction follower I am, I drank what was in my glass and jumped up and down.... Not sure what the purpose of that was. LOL

After shaking the wine in the bottle and pouring the second glass, I still think it tastes like a chocolatey liqueur. There is no shame in that game, but honestly, it isn't the way to enjoy wine if that is what you are really after. Next time, I may just sit down with a big hunk of cheese and some chocolate covered strawberries with my wine. Seriously I don't think I would spend the $17.00 on that again, but I can tell you what I will have in my coffee tomorrow. :-)

So for all those inquiring minds, there ya have it.