Wednesday, May 24, 2006

First Garmin Impressions

In a word....

AWESOME

I had so much fun on my run today and I didn't even do anything with the watch. I asked for auto....wait....a quick word about what a garmin is (for Bridgette ;-) )

I am talking about a Garmin Forerunner 205 which is a watch type thing that is oh so much more. Ok before I go any farther, for a really really good review of the watch, all the features and tricks you can do, head on over to runningdevices.blogspot.com and read John's many part review here. But quickly...

It has a GPS receiver in it, so it tracks your on your run and gives you distance and pace updates. It also has capabilities to race against a virtual partner in which you give it a pace you want to run and then on the screen there is a little guy running which is the partner running at the pace you should be running at and you, hopefully not too far behind. You can also upload courses that you have already run and race yourself to compare how your workouts have been going.

I totally haven't used any of the advanced options, but just distance and pace and that's awesome enough!!! I was worried because along my run, I have to run under lots of roads because I'm in the city and the running path goes under roads and lake shore drive and so on. I was worried that it would lose a signal when I went under there and never regain it. I was right on one of these. It did lose the signal when under the concrete....BUT the second that I stepped out from under it, it went back to receiving which calmed all my nerves about the watch.

The only thing I set on it was to do AutoLap every mile and that was awesome. I didn't have to keep staring at it, waiting for it to hit whatever mile. I would just hear a small beep and then I could look down and see how the last mile went. I still need to figure out....well everything, but I absolutly loved it. Even though we don't have the best computer situation for this right now I was able to get the gpx and kml files from motion based and upload the runs to www.favoriterun.com (gpx files) and the kml files to GoogleEarth. I am so amazed with this technology because at times I was running on a very narrow sidewalk and it had me right on it! It's so awesome. You can check out the run here at favoriterun.

The splits were good as well:
Ok, now it's time for dinner! But GoGo Garmin. I am highly impressed and excited to try all the features out.

19 comments:

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

It is so weird that we received our new Forerunner 205's (and posted about them) on exactly the same day.

Perhaps you two have been an influence on me.

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

You two run a great pace, by the way.

LeahC said...

Thanks Josh! You can totally see where we lost protection from the wind though in Mile 4 since our pace went up by almost 30 seconds!

Bob said...

All I can say is I know the feeling, it has gotten to the point that I hate running without my Garmin now. Sad so so sad. You will have a blast with that thing and now I know how fast I need to go to keep up with you guys (and your pets)
I am looking forward to seeing your tracks in Google earth. Chicago is "clearer" then my rural area of the world. I zoomed in on Grant Park and the resolution was incredible.
Anyway have fun with your early B-Day present. The wind killed me yesterday afternoon too. Go Go Gadget Garmin.

LeahC said...

if you go to the run in favorite run you can switch to sattelite and zoom way it, and it's pretty sweet.

It looks like major thunderstorms this afternoon so I don't know if i'll be able to use the watch :-(...although i guess it should be water proof?

Haight said...

On Lap 6....where did that burst of speed come from? Were you being chased by a dog?

LeahC said...

ha, yeah i don't know. i did run under lake shore drive between mile 5 and 6 so maybe something got wacky there...i'm not sure though

Jason said...

No, Leah, we are just really fast. We just don't want to get all showy by always running over 17 mph. Besides, I hate the way my jowls flap when I'm running that fast.

I thought you got the memo that this was going to be our new policy on speed. Check your inbox.

Josh said...

I'm jealous. I've sent your blog to my parents in hopes that they'll need to look no further for my bday present. But I am definitely jealous.

LeahC said...

ha! I love it. It's really a fun present...see we are never to old to get toys for presents :-)

Running Jayhawk said...

I'm interested to see how the 205 fairs downtown...you know, big buildings and what not.

My 201 won't calibrate to save my life in the loop. I have to be on the lakefront. BOO!

John said...

Glad to see you resolved your PC issues. Enjoy the new toy!

LeahC said...

Jayhawk-

Supposedly the 205 is supposed to do a lot under tree cover and between the big buildings. I am going to do a 5 mile run in the neighborhood today which isn't downtown, but i'll try and go by some bigger buildings and let you know. I'll also try it out downtown and update on how it does.

Joe said...

Cooooooooooooool! I'm so jealous! Can I borrow it some time?

I like the favoriterun mapping feature as well as the PC import feature. BTW, what are your PC import options? Does it only import to a proprietary file format or can you import the data into say an Oracle, Access or MySQL database? That would be cool. The data analysis options would be endless then.

I definitely want to get one of those bad boys, perhaps even the 305 with the HR. But I think my wife gets the next new toy...she wants a new notebook and her birthday is coming up.

LeahC said...

joe-

no i don't thiink you can upload it to anything. I think it's the garmin training center or nothing. However from there i suppose you could copy and paste the values into a database program.

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

I think FavoriteRun.com allows you to updload Garmin data, but only if you upgrade to their Premium service.

John said...

You can also upload to SportTracks, MotionBased and other apps/services. All of these apps/services can then export the data into XML type format I believe....

Mike Paus said...

Wow that puts my old school Garmin Forerunner to shame! I'm going to have to upgrade soon.

LeahC said...

josh-

yes i did upgrade my service on favorite run because i think the guy running it is doing a great job and so wanted to support him a little. It's really cheap to join the subsription (only $12 for the year). I very easily uploaded the data in .gpx format and it put it on the graph for me.