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Today I had my first run with the Garmin watch.  I didn’t take the dog (which apparently meant that she sat by the door looking dejected the whole time) partly because of the heat and partly because I wanted to see what my pace was without her.

I turned on the GPS, locked the touch-sensitive bezel (most of the watch features are accessed through the bezel, and its touch sensitivity ranges from “not at all responsive” to “oh, you were just thinking about touching it?”) I also took my iPod and Nike+ sensor, just so I could see how the Nike+ stacks up.

The View

Once I hiked up the ~700 vertical feet to the shoreline trail, I took off.  The first thing I noticed was that the pace is very difficult to read while running–and this is exacerbated by our trails, which are very rocky, and so I was reluctant to take my eyes off the trail for more than a few seconds at a time, lest I risk tripping over a boulder poking up out of the ground.  (my Dean broke a tooth up there; I know tons of people who have twisted ankles and broken bones).

I like that the watch beeps at every kilometer.  I also like that the beep is loud enough that I could hear it over my podcasts.

Up to about 3 km, the Nike+ was close enough to the GPS that I wasn’t too heartbroken.  But when I got to where the iPod usually tells me is 5 km, my spirits sank.  Not only did the Nike+ randomly pause—at which point I just gave up on it—but the GPS told me that I was just getting to 4 km.


When I came off the mountain at a trailhead 7 blocks away (which the Nike+ usually tells me is around 7 km), the GPS told me I was around 5 km.  I knew that I was about 3 km away from home at this point, and that just made me sad to know that what I had thought was around 10 km for a year now was actually just 8 km.

I fact, the GPS didn’t even roll over to 8 km until I walked just a little past my house.

Totally demoralizing.

I’m going to run my short loop tomorrow with it.  I’m sure I’ll find out that it’s only a half a km.

What’s awesome, though, is the sheer amount of data it provides.

Update: One thing I neglected to mention is that the Garmin sync mechanism is just frakking magical. There’s a USB dongle that attaches to your computer, and when the watch is within 20 feet of the dongle, it all syncs up and uploads to the Garmin site without the user having to do anything. It’s pretty amazing.


Written by srogers

July 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Posted in running

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