Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I know what you are thinking, "Does this girl ever stop talking about her birthday? Wasn't that like three months ago?" Yes, you are right - on both accounts. I am obsessed with my birthday and it was nearly three months ago. But we are celebrating (at least I am) today. Because, drum roll please ... I finally got my GPS watch!!

If you have no clue about what a GPS watch is, let me fill you in. Simply put, it is an amazing way for the government to track you. (Personally, I like this - What if I was abducted? or dead? You would be able to find me). But, once you get past that whole "Big Brother" thing, it's a really great piece of equipment for a runner, cyclist or outdoor enthusiast to have. Basically, by using satellite signals, the watch records how far and fast you are going. An excellent thing to know if you are training for a race, or like me, in a personal quest to be faster than all of your friends. (If you haven't figured it out yet, ladies, slow down).

Now, I'm sure you are still wondering why it took so long to actually get the watch ... and here is the saga.

I ordered the Garmin Forerunner 405 (the newest model) on my birthday. It had an release date of February 28th, just in time for the marathon. But then suddenly, on release day, Garmin pushed back the launch until second quarter 2008. I was mad. And rightly so. How was I ever going to stay on pace without it? Looking back now, I am sure that my ankle injury and subsequent time in the marathon were actually caused by the postponement of the 405 release and not a cyst like my doctor said.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. Never getting a straight answer as to when the 405 would actually be released (looks like August). Seeing no end to the waiting in sight, I started to research both the 405 and the older model, Forerunner 305, a little more in depth. And all the reasons for getting the 405 (smaller size, wireless sync, ability to wear it as a watch) were losing their validity. It turns out that the 405 isn't much smaller, and you can't really wear it as your primary watch (it's battery life in training mode is only 8 hours). So I cancelled the order, and bought the 305 that afternoon (for a hundred dollars less!!), and it arrived here today. It's charging now. I'll be running with it in the morning.

What did I learn from all this?
1. Don't trust "release dates" - they are like due dates ... only accurate 20% of the time (ok I am making that up, but you get my point).
2. GPS is GPS, regardless of the packaging - the older model will do just fine.

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