Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Workout Wednesday: A New Gadget

Earlier this month, my club did a hill workout in torrential downpour.  I am not exaggerating.  It felt like sheets of rain were pouring down upon us.  But my club pretty much runs regardless of what the weather is like, unless it's lightning, so we all slugged our way through a very wet workout.  My Garmin got water damage when I ran the 2010 Portland marathon in heavy rain and since then, it's always been a little sensitive to wet weather.

Well, that workout was just the last straw for my little Garmin.  I tried putting it in a bag of rice to see if it would dry out, but it didn't work, so I had to bid adieu to my trusty little side kick which I've had for over 5 years now.

RIP, Garmin.
I think the fact that it lasted as long as it did is pretty impressive, though.  I know they are a costly gadget, but from a cost/use perspective, I have more than gotten my moneys worth!  After doing some research and ordering a new one from REI, I dug out my original battery-powered Garmin that I used when I trained for my first half and full marathons in 2006.  This thing is a dinosaur!

I felt like I had a small laptop on my wrist.
About a week later, my new Garmin showed up!  I went with the 220 model which I am very happy with.  It got great reviews, had all the features I needed, and as an added bonus, it came in a feminine color! 
Yea!  No more ugly, masculine running watches for this girl!
I've been running with the watch for about 2 weeks and I give it 2 thumbs up!!  Here are some of the main reasons I like it:

1.  Fast satellite connection.  My305 seemed to take FOREVER to connect, but I don't even get the 'searching for satellite' screen on this one.  It seems to connect basically instantaneously which is a huge improvement over my 305.

2.  Bluetooth.  The 220 has bluetooth which means it will sync with my iPhone and upload my workout without me having to plug it into my computer.

3.  Size and feel.  I like that the face of this is smaller than my 305 was, and the arm band can go as tight as you'd like, which is important for a person like me with small wrists as the smallest setting on the 305 was a little bit loose for me.

All in all, I love it.  With a retail price of $300, it is certainly not cheap and is not the right gadget to buy if you are a casual runner.  But if you are like me and running is your jam, it's well worth the money spent.  I expect this watch to last just as long as my 305, so that means I'll probably log over 5,000 miles with it.  So at $0.06/mile, it's an investment that I can justify.  Plus since I have an REI membership, I'll get 10% back in the form of dividends so it ends up being $270 when you factor that in.

Do you use any gadgets when working out?  I've debated getting a FitBit or some sort of HRM gadget to track calories burned when doing non-running workouts but I can't bring myself to spend money on another gadget right now.

16 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

That old old Garmin is HILARIOUS!

I have a 305 Garmin but I hate it for many of the reasons you mentioned. It takes FOREVER to connect... as in I have to put my watch outside several minutes before my run which frankly I'm just not going to remember to do lol.

Now I just use map my run on my phone. Since I don't have unlimited data anymore, I'll probably just only bring it when I don't know my loop/distance. I'm definitely a casual runner though!

Marlys said...

What a difference! The new garmin is very neat looking and I am sure you will get your money's worth from it! I have been thinking about getting a fitbit myself as I should really start working more on my walking and calorie counting. I would like to see how many miles I log in by pushing a mower three nights a week? I may be disappointed!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I have been wanting a fitbit but don't know which one to go with!

Amber said...

I love your new garmin! I kind of hate my 110, it's very glitchy, but I don't think the 220 was out when I got it. At least I don't remember seeing it. I love the pretty colours of yours!

While I LOVE having a garmin my 110 was on the fritz all last year, i.e. my most intense running year ever, and I just used runkeeper on my phone for all my runs and it worked totally fine for me. It was actually nice not to have something on my wrist to look at when I was logging so many miles in the trails (often at a much slower pace than I was used to). So I know I can live without having a garmin, but it's definitely really nice to have. Especially when you are training to hit certain paces!

Stephany said...

I love your new Garmin. It’s so pretty and easy to read! I’m sure you love the upgrade, too.

I don’t have any workout gadgets, but I am thinking of buying a FitBit. I am debating between that and a heart rate monitor, but I like how many more bells and whistles a FitBit has (plus, it’s not that much more than a HRM!). I would like to know, accurately, how many calories I burn during my workouts, how many steps I take daily, my sleep patterns, etc. (I use Sleep Cycle on my iPhone, but not sure how accurate it is. I use it as a loose base for my sleep patterns.)

Nora said...

that dinosaur garmin is hilarious!

I'm a casual runner so I time myself using my mp3 player and I track my distance online. It works for me though it may be slightly imperfect =)

Emilie said...

I use a Garmin Forerunner 310XT. I got it for only $160 from Amazon on Black Friday! I like that it's waterproof (it's meant for triathletes) and it records all the stats I am interested in. It did not have pretty color options or Bluetooth, and it's bigger than I'd been looking for but now that I have it I don't mind the size. It came with a heart rate monitor that I've yet to use but it's nice to have the option. I had a very limited budget when I was looking for a watch, so I went for the most cost efficient option. I prefer using a watch over an app on my phone because it's so much easier to glance down and see my total time, distance and lap pace, and I think it's a little more accurate.

Alli said...

OMG your original Garmin is hysterical. I'll call it the "Zack Morris Garmin."

I've heard great things about the fitbit and I totally want one.

Jeanie said...

I don't have one but I may get a fitbit in the fall when I get back to the gym. We stopped our membership because we're gone so much this summer. I've heard good things about them.

Allison Nimlos said...

I have the Garmin Forerunner 10. I also use the MyFitnessPal app pretty often. I don't really track anything fancy, so it works for my purposes of seeing my speed and my mile splits. I also like that it's small and light. And purple. Can't forget the purple. ;)

Abby said...

Oh my!! #greenwithenvy!!!!! That is amazing ! I love the feminine colors and the bright screen instead of the digital screen.

I do have to say that I love my Garmin though. I have the 310 - and it's the "triathlete version" - so can handle bing submerged in water! It was about $300. But so worth the cost. Use it so much !

missris said...

I use a running app on my phone and while it's not perfect, it's free, and I just can't justify spending money on a Garmin right now. Maybe someday. This post is tempting me to go ahead and do it!

Carolina John said...

I had a 205 that started having battery problems, we had it for about 5 or 6 years as well. Totally got our money's worth out of it. Last year I replaced it with a 310xt, a waterproof model with a heart rate strap. ah-may-zing! I love it too. It's orange, but not nearly as cute as your new one. Great choice! I hope it serves you well for a long time to come.

smalltownamericana said...

I have a Garmin Forerunner 10 for when I run outside - it's quick, simple,a nd gets the job done. Yeah, I have to plug it in to the computer to upload my workouts, but other than that, it's kind of a rockstar.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I need a new running watch as my 405 died AND my little chrono Nike watch seems to be on the fritz as well. I am thinking of either a new Garmin or a Suunto, which has great reviews. I'm just cautious about spending the $$ right now, so I may hold out and then put one on my Christmas list. :) But yes, cost per wear, these things are beyond worth the money!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I missed the Garmin boat by a few years. By the time they were mainstream, marathon running was in my past. I doubt I'll ever be to a point where I'd want one. Fitbit is fine for the "I don't work out and need to track my steps" crowd, of which you are far beyond. Don't bother. =)