Resting, Running and Review (Garmin)

Happy Friday!!!

I passed this adorable colorful pug “sculpture (?)” sitting at The New York Palace on my way to work yesterday. I’m not sure how I forgot to share this yesterday, but it’s a good Friday picture anyways šŸ™‚

I’m working from home today. The heat has been making meĀ nauseousĀ and I am suffering from some major watery/puffy eyes and an overall feeling of “ugh.” I think the extreme change of temperatures from going inside to outside, combined with lack of sleep is making me feel a little cra*py. Working from home means I get to watch favorite show for an extended amount of time- well hello The Today Show!

Notice my cute monkey friends hanging out on the bookshelf, they love the Today Show as well. I usually only catch 15min of the show most days, so I’m excited to get good dosage of Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Ann Curry, Hoda and Kathy Lee!

I slept in the morning and skipped any form of exercise. After 3 days early morning runs and an early morning of yoga, I needed a break. Tomorrow’s my 10mile long run day before I head to PA for my boyfriend’s family renunion BBQ, so I wanted to be well rested.

I recently bought the Garmin Forerunner 410, so let’s talk gadgets for a bit –

I purchased this pricey little running partner because I wanted something that would accurately measure my distance, pace and time. I liked that it was a watch and not an armband. I got an armband to carry my phone with me a few months ago, but had a couple problems with it. For starters, I have abnormally small arms so the band did not fit around my bicep – haha I don’t even think I can seriously call it bicep, so let’s refer to it as my “upper arm.” Now I tried on a few brands of arm bands, so I know it is not the brand I bought that was the problem, it is in fact my armĀ circumference. To get around the size problem, I did a little cut and sew magic and shortened the size of the strap.

* In the picture above, notice the stitching on the left.

This brings me to problem #2 with the armband – in order to get the band to stay up, I had to pull it tight and it was hurting my arm and cutting off my circulation. Therefor, despite the fact that the Garmin is known for being “bulky” I knew a watch would at least fit. I ordered the Garmin via Amazon and got it a week ago. I was immediately excited to play with my new gadget and try it out! I was expecting some really huge, heavy device from all the reviews, but I was actually really impressed with the look and feel of the device. Don’t get me wrong, it’s big, but it’s not a fashion watch, it’s a GPS device that goes on your wrist. The watch face comes attached to a rubber wrist strap, but also had fabric straps in different sizes that you can put on it to adjust to your size (perfect for me!). Weight wise, I don’t feel like it’s heavy at all; definitely lighter than carrying around my phone.

In terms of usability, I haven’t used any of the workout planning tools yet, but to simply use for time/distance/pace it’s extremely easy to use. You essentially tab one button and are ready to go. Now this brings me to the most important part of the Garmin GPS watch for me — accuracy. This is where I’mĀ waveringĀ on my feelings. After my first couple of East River runs I thought it was fantastic and I could see via the maps that are uploaded online that the GPS was mapping accurately. Below is just a snippet of my run, but as you can see it’s staying on the trail. The Droid Phone apps I was using would map me running into the water!

However, I decided to inspect the maps more closely after my “8mile” run on Tuesday. A couple of points from that run made meĀ skepticalĀ of the distance Garmin was telling me:

1) I KNOW from many times testing, that 20 nyc streets is 1 mile. After running 20 streets, Garmin showed me running under a mile (at about 0.75 miles).

2) Garmin clocked my first mile time at 11:51 minutes. Now, I know from tracking my time on the treadmill and races, that I really never run that slowly. ESPECIALLY not the first mile, I usually head of the gate running too fast.

3) Comparing to mapmyrun.com, the distance wasĀ suspicious. I find mapmyrun.com is pretty accurate if your mapping streets and use the “follow streets” button. From my apartment to the entrance of Central Park, mapmyrun.com said it should be 2.19miles, while Garmin put me at 1.88 miles.

Due to my suspicions, I took a closer look at the map:

At certain points, the map had meĀ literallyĀ running through buildings! I’m not ready to reveal to the world that I’m Super Woman, so I am declaring this impossible. It appears that the map only looks off while I was running on the streets, but logged accurately while in Central Park. My theory is that the big buildings block the GPS system and cause it to cut outĀ intermittently. The mapping/distance function, then draws a line between where the GPS was lost and found again and counts that route. I appreciate the devices attempt to draw a complete line and route, however, I’d rather it leave the points blank where GPS is lost so I can at least get an accurate view of how much distance was not mapped; and not have it filled in my a false distance.

Anyways, I’m slightly jaded about my Garmin right now. I was expecting a lot out of the device since it’s expensive. I do still like it and enjoy the tracking capabilities, but I’m just a little more weary now…. And to clear the record, I believe my Tuesday run was between 8.5miles – 8.75miles, instead of 8miles.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

QUESTION: Any thoughts on the Garmin Watch? Would love to hear your opinion! Running in the heat – what time have you been running outside to make it bearable?? Anyone else doing the Queens Half Marathon Next weekend?! I’m getting a little worried that the most I’ve run is 10miles and that the heat may be too much by 7am…

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9 Responses to Resting, Running and Review (Garmin)

  1. Dori says:

    I have a very similar Garmin to you and I absolutely love it. The buildings in NYC are the reason the map is a little odd — it once had me running through Ground Zero. But it is still fairly accurate despite that. The reason the mileage was slightly off though is also because of the buildings. It will be more accurate in the park (and you get a signal much quicker) for the same reason. It is still a really good tool anyway, and it isn’t Garmin’s fault that NYC is all skyscrapers!

    I had the same issue with the armbands. I bought and returned two before finding one with a thin strap that works pretty well for me.

    • Jess says:

      I totally agree with you on all points about the Garmin.

    • Thanks for the Garmin info, makes sense! I guess I dont really need it to measure NY streets anyways, I can do that easily enough myself. I do love running it, it for some reason motivates me to go farther when I know how far I’ve gone already.

      I think it’s really ironic that a product that is made for people who exercise isn’t made in a small size.

  2. Kelly says:

    OMG I love that statue! So adorable. It looks like a French bulldog. I have the 110 and love it – I’ve had it for almost a year without any major problems and think it’s pretty accurate. I definitely agree with Dori – buildings screw with the satellite connections, so maybe that’s why it was a little wonky. It should work perfectly in CP though!

  3. Amy says:

    First of all, love that you worked from home yesterday! I was THISCLOSE to pulling that, too šŸ™‚ second, so cool that we both did the whole quit your job and up and move to SF thing!! What part of the city were you living in?! I ran my first half-marathon there in November and and trying to pick running back up, so loved the Harmon review. I’ve been thinking of picking one up! Also! My boyfriend is running the queens half next weekend…have a great race! Totally loving your blog by the way šŸ™‚

    • I know that’s such a coincidence! I was living in North Beach, what part were you living in? I chose North Beach because it was the closest to the NY feel of being crowded and having stuff around haha…Why’d you stop running after your first half? If I survive Saturday’s race I want to pick one in the fall to do because that’s the best time to run in ny :-)…Tell your boyfriend good luck at the race next weekend!

      • Amy says:

        ah, I was living in north beach when I first moved there!! then I moved down the street a bit to nobhill/chinatown…i called it chinatown heights haha. I was on Washington and Powell! I just kinda trailed off for some reason, but I’ve been gradually picking back up. I’m looking for fall races, too, to kick my rear in gear šŸ™‚ i told him i can’t wake up that early to see him start, but i’m going to be there for the middle/end of the race. good luck to you too!

  4. Dang that’s crazy about your garmin!

    Maybe you are superwoman. is there something we should know? šŸ˜‰

    dont have a garmin.. but would love to get one some day!

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