Friday, April 23, 2010

My Garmin Gives Me Wings

Several months after I first started running (which was more than two years ago), a good friend gave me a running watch for my birthday. It was a great gift, a pink and black New Balance Vent Mini High Performance Running Watch. It was a faithful companion with a timer, chronograph and the ability save runs. I even purchased a cute pink moisture wicking top and pink and black running skirt to match my watch. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t cute.

Since I was new to running, I wasn’t aware of all the running gadgets on the market. It wasn’t until I joined a running club and started reading Runner’s World that I discovered the Garmin. My new friends were able to track their distance, pace, calories burned and so much more. While I was still in love with my running watch, a seed was planted. From time to time I would ponder the possibilities of running with a watch that could do all of that.

Fast forward two years and I finally purchased a Garmin – a 305 Forerunner with heart rate monitor. My first run with it on my arm was an adventure. It was so freeing to be able to run anywhere I wanted to go. I didn’t have to drive the course, consult a trail map or plot my course on a site like Map My Run to figure out how far I was running. I felt giddy. I ran all over a local park that was full of trails. Usually I would stick to the courses with mile markers but this time I ran all over the place. It sounds corny but it was a lot of fun.

I still have my old faithful running buddy. We’ve been through a lot together – three half marathons, a 10 K, a few 5Ks and a couple of 2 mile races. I’ll always have found memories of the track workouts and those killer 400 meter repeats.

I know the Garmin isn’t for everyone. Some say it’s too big and bulky, while others prefer the simplicity of the stop watch but it works for me. If you’re looking for a GPS-enabled sports watch, other popular brands include Polar and Suunto. There are also non-watch options like Nike+ and Adidas miCoach. What’s your running watch of choice?

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