Monday, October 22, 2012

Cheap(er) Gadgetry

I say over and over that I am not a gadget girl, and that's true.  Recently though, I stepped a toe into the waters of the future and bought myself a GPS running watch.  This is a completely nonessential item that I have lived without happily for years, but I finally decided that I wanted one after a few things became apparent to me.

  1. Running this year has been hard.  I've been battling injuries, loss of muscle from having to recover from said injuries and gaining weight from being unable to exercise (and, to be honest, from eating too much...).  My stride is off and running just feels like a lot more work than it used to.  Because I just wear a stopwatch watch when running, it's easy to sort of fudge my times and think I'm going faster than I am.  Now, thanks to GPS technology, I know that I have slowed waaaaaaaay down, and I have goals to work toward.
  2. Better/ easier organization.  I've got a pretty good system with using google maps to plot out running routes, but they don't allow a lot of room to mix things up.  For instance, I have a four-mile route, a six-mile route, seven, eight, etc. I do not vary from these routes, but sometimes I want to.  I also still want to hit the miles I set out to do when I left the house that morning.  GPS watch will tell me how far I've actually run if I veer off my usual route for a change of scenery, which also makes running more fun.
  3. Digital record.  I can just plug my watch in at the end of a run and upload everything I just did to Garmin connect.  This gives me my split times (time per mile), and houses all of my previous runs so I can track progress. I just found out (though I suspected) that my six mile running loop is actually 5.8 miles, so I've been cheating myself a bit in training, now I won't let myself get away with that anymore.
So, those are the positives about this little gadget, and I apologize if I sound like a shill for Garmin, it's just that I've been researching these devices for over a year, and most runners conclude that this is the best brand.  Problem is, they are not cheap, there are about a million models out there, and some of them are just huge.
That's like a computer on your wrist--not interested
So I went for the brand new Forerunner 10 because I figure since it's new and Garmin has been doing this for a while, they've now worked the kinks out.  At $129.99, it's much more affordable than other models, and it's small!  It looks like a regular watch.

I could even wear this in real life
 $129.99 is not a price that I scoff at, which is why I've been contemplating buying one of these gadgets for over a year but have been unwilling to shell out the cash.  This time around though, I used the 43 points I had on my Amazon.com Visa to bring the price down to $87.  If I had been more ambitious, I could have brought my change collection to the Coinstar and gotten another Amazon gift certificate.  I do wish I had done that, but I was too lazy/ too eager to place the order.

Either way, it's a win/win for me!  I don't super love Amazon, but I do love that you can buy from a third party through amazon, and save money plus get extra points.  After listening to a co-worker go on about waiting in line for hours to buy an Xbox 360 just because it was painted red (he already had an identical Xbox--what is up with people?), I started to feel pretty damn smug about being a discerning gadget shopper.

3 comments:

  1. I totally support this gadget purchase! My Garmin has made a huge difference in my running, especially since I've moved to two new towns since I got it. It helped me get back into running way faster than if I'd just been mapping out my routes. I also find it to be extremely helpful when I travel and run in an unfamiliar area. Good luck with your running recovery!

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  2. The travel aspect was also part of my thinking! Thanks!

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