My New Friend, Garmin

This is my new friend, Garmin. More specifically it’s a Garmin Forerunner 410. Garmin was a gift for my birthday from my wonderful husband.

While I was marathon training, I insisted I didn’t need a Garmin. After all, I’m not a serious runner. Only serious, fast runners need something as technical as a Garmin. I didn’t need one of those. They’re expensive and bulky. Unnecessary. All I really needed was a heart rate monitor (a necessity, because honestly I don’t want to have a heart attack and die) and a good pair of shoes. And Bob. Can’t forget about Bob. But that’s it. Certainly, not a Garmin.

Tangent. This brings to light an entirely different topic of conversation – my runner identity issues. Why did I think I wasn’t a serious runner while I was training for a MARATHON??? This is a topic for a completely different post. Maybe I can lay on the virtual phycologist’s couch and tell you about my why I still don’t think I’m a serious runner at some point in the future. Tangent over.

Anyway…

After the marathon was over, I laced up my shoes once again and embarked on something that I’d never really tried before – being a runner without a race. I had decided long ago that a weekly mileage between 30-35 miles would be perfect for weight management so slowly I began inching my way back to that goal. It took a couple of weeks to regain some of the fitness I lost while recovering from the marathon but soon enough I was where I wanted to be.

I never once wondered how fast I was going. I just assumed I was running somewhere in the 9:45 min/mile range. Slow but acceptable.

Occasionally Jason joins me on my daily runs. He has always been faster than me and is well known for poking fun at my slow speed.

“I can’t run this slow. It hurts my shins.”
“I don’t think this really qualifies as running, it’s more of a slow trot.”

Duly noted.

Back in November, after the San Antonio Half Marathon Jason decided he needed to take a break from running. He was burned out. Only recently, he has started pounding the pavement with me once again. One evening a few weeks ago the following conversation took place.

I asked, “How’s the pace?”
“A little fast.”
“Okay, I’ll slow down a bit.”

Wait. What?

Fast? Me? Huh? Our twice weekly runs have now turned into an opportunity for me to kick his butt. Payback!

This, of course, made me wonder..how fast am I really running? Am I really fast? Maybe I do want a Garmin. Conviently enough my birthday was just around the corner. Which is how, on Wednesday of last week, Garmin came into my life. It will never be the same.

Garmin does a lot more than just tell you your pace, time and distance. It records mile splits, running averages of projected splits and allows you to run with a “partner” a virtual running buddy inside your watch that will run a preset speed. Once your run is over you then bring the watch into the vicinity of your computer and it will automatically upload all your data to GarminConnect thanks to a wireless USB connection. Once uploaded, it allows you to analyze your run data in ways I never thought possible!

After my first run with Garmin I realized two very important things. My 6 mile loop was really 5.76 miles, a problem that is easliy remedied by tacking on a few extra few blocks.

-and-

I’m a lot faster than I thought I was! I’m averaging an 8:34 minute/mile over 6 miles! Holy moly! I am fast!

Now, looking back, I’m sad I didn’t have Garmin as a training aid during marathon training. What was I thinking???

I don’t know if I’ll ever use every part of this incredibly powerful tool. But I will sure do my best to try!

Please note: Garmin didn’t pay me to write this. I am only sharing my experience after a week of owning this product. If you’d like to know more about the Garmin Forerunner 410, I highly suggest you read the owners manual for more accurate information regarding features and specs.

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