MAGIC watch!

For a couple of years, I’ve been itching to buy a GPS watch; I borrowed one to train for the half marathon and found it so useful. I finally caved after being given some money for my birthday and tested it out on friday.

Running isn’t going so well for me lately, it’s hard to motivate myself to go out in the miserable weather and once I’m out there it’s fun, but so hard! When running was fun – around my last half marathon last September – I was training for running 3 or 4 days a week. Since then, I’ve been training for martial arts 4 or 5 days a week and just ‘going for a run’ once or twice a week. I suppose, therefore, it’s not really reasonable to expect running to be as easy as it used to be. Either way, it’s frustrating. There isn’t time to really improve at both and I seem to cycle between running and martial arts enjoying one and neglecting the other.

I’ve got a tough 10 mile race coming up next weekend and I’m hugely nervous – I hadn’t done more than a quick lunch run for quite a while. So when a colleague suggested an 8-miler on friday, I knew I had to, but Iwasn’t sure I was up to it. As usual the first two miles were hard (especially as the start is a pretty steep uphill!) and it wasn’t very helpful to have a nice display right on my wrist letting me know I was doing 11.5 minute miles and was in the first 1 of 8! As we ran through the deer park on the local estate in the snow, my spirits lifted. To cut a long story (without much interest to be fair) short, we made it, wooooo!  Plus, I managed to do the circuit’s class I’d booked for the evening, wooooo! Then I came home and ate lots of well deserved expensive chocolate WOOOOOO!

I’m feeling so much more confident for next weekend and I totally fell for the watch. I can’t believe I didn’t buy one before. I also had an opportunity to test out the heart rate monitor function in a circuits class; it works perfectly and I’m looking forward to learning more about how to use it to help make me awesome!

For the running gadget geeks, I’ve gone for a Garmin 405 CX:

When I went through my last “I must have a Garmin” phase, I was going for the older 305 model, on the basis of slightly better reviews and my experience with a borrowed 205. However, now that the 305 has gone out of production the prices have gone up and the 405 is quite a bit lighter and smaller which is nice as I’ve got quite tiny wrists.

The 405’s bezel is pretty controversial (best review I’ve found is at DC rainmaker – http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2008/10/garmin-forerunner-405-in-depth-review.html). I can certainly see how buttons would be easier to use, and it is an odd decision. They seem to have gone for a ‘cool’ feature, which is maybe not quite appropriate for a device that needs to be used without too much accuracy of touch (i.e. while moving and totally knackered!) and in the wet. However, I’d never needed to use the buttons on the 205 while running and the 405 has buttons to start, stop and change laps so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for me.

The watch found the heart rate monitor and the computer perfectly using the ANT+ on the first test at least and I’m truly loving it. I suspect this watch will feature here again.

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