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.

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