Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Garmin is go!

Celebrated my LAST WEEK OF C25K (holy crap!) by trying out my New(used) Garmin Forerunner 305 for the first time today and it was pretty snazzy! I bought it off of The Cheerleader after she decided to upgrade so I don't have the heart rate strap in hand yet (it's hiding), but I think I have more than enough stuff to look at for the moment anyway.

I spent about half of last night trying to get used to picking through the menus and confusing myself about all sorts of things, until finally I was so out of sorts I just stopped altogether and loaded up this highly soothing picture of a baby spotted skunk to reset the switches on my brainmeats.

Ridiculously soothing image shamelessly yoinked from Cute Overload

Having restored my brain to functionality (yes, for real, beats taking a cigarette break) I was able to sit down, read through the manual, and actually learn things sufficient to finish setup instead of just button clicking myself into a confused tizzy. I literally spent the entire evening poking at it in some way or another last night and I still barely feel like I have the slightest handle on what I can do with it. It was definitely overwhelming at first, but once I calmed down I could see that as a sign that I will be able to grow into this thing for a long time to come.

I was very surprised at how quickly I got used to wearing it, and I didn't pay much attention to it at all as I was running. Though it may help that I very commonly wear large bracelets on my left wrist (wearing them on the right interferes with computer use too much). It may also help that we were amping up to tornado conditions and watching for flying tree limbs and kicked up road debris was a more immediate issue.

I looked at my pace a couple of times and noted the degree of synchronicity between the audible mile markers given by Nike and those given by the watch (not dead on, but close). It did also occur to me that I now had an even BIGGER chunk of change strapped to my left arm and it may be worth obscuring some of that if I can. I might have looked at the watch more toward the end of the run but my phone decided to keep pausing my music and turning on voice control for no apparent reason (I think because I had baggied it in my armband to protect from rain). It's has however been awfully cool poking at the various graphs and metrics now that I'm back home. I feel a little lost in this glut of info, but I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with it in the long run.

The main setting I'm trying to decide on at the moment is whether I want to set it to ignore any time spent moving slower than a certain pace so that my warm up and cool down time isn't affecting my overall pace. One the one hand since my goal as of next week is to start running for the entire 5K and see what kind of time I can do it in that will be handy, but by the same token they don't pause the race when you take a walk break on race days. I will have the phone for backup though.

I will say that I feel Garmin (and MapMyRun now that I'm mentioning it) have made a SERIOUS oversight in how they share info on their social sites. I do not mind at all sharing the nitty-gritty details of Who What When Why and How, but people really do NOT need to know about the Where. Both Nike+ and Active have the ability to turn on or off sharing options for maps and I feel this is an essential safety feature. I plan to contact both sites about this issue.

Do you run with technological assistance?

What are your favorite and least favorite features?

Would you set a minimum speed for readings if you had the option?

How do you feel about the location sharing issue?

September Blog Challenge Day 18 Does Nike’s ‘Greatness’ ad exploit fat people?

I feel that pretty much all advertising is based on manipulation and exploitation in some way or another, advertising exploits people. Full stop. I don't think that this manipulates fat people any more than typical Nike ads exploit fit people (as products or consumers).

They're using an actor with a specific look to sell a product, just like any other advertisement, but it is an unusual take given our culture's obsession with appearance. I do applaud their willingness to take a chance on a different look and a different method, and to use a more broadly uplifting narrative rather than a generally unattainable one, but in the end never forget they're still still hawking a product.

That being said, whether it's exploitative or not (it is) I do feel that the message that it is sending about determination and will is still both positive and more generally accessible and that is worth keeping out there.

My run today: C25K week 9 day 1 (holy crap again!)
3.13 miles at 12:47 per mile. (full workout per Garmin 3.48 miles at 13:16 per mile - I planned a longer route and walked the remaining 0.35 miles)

Added bonus info (since I feel I can trust the Garmin more than the phone) -
Top pace 7:03 !!!
Average pace of the splits where I was actually running 12:26

A bit harder to keep pace today but I'm finding my breathing is getting MUCH easier. My phone kept spazzing toward the end of the run and pausing my music to turn on voice control (I think it was due to being in a ziplock baggie IN my armband) so I was pretty distracted. New water bottle worked very well on most counts but I may have to drill an air valve in it as I get VERY little water in each pull.

I didn't have enough to go all out at the end (I lie, I had it but I didn't commit it), but I did commit enough to pick my speed up considerably for the last minute and a half and finish at a strong pace.


  1. I keep all my social networks so private/friends only (including running ones) that I do not mind the map feature on any of them as the people who can see them would be allowed to know where I am anyway.

  2. I finally found more detailed privacy settings for MapMyRun so I've set that up correctly. Garmin seems to have an all or nothing attitude toward privacy so I may just keep that entirely closed down as I'm cross-posting my workouts from there to MapMyRun anyway.

    For the most part I'm with you on the "Friends can see maps" settings, but now that I'm running this blog I want something with a middle ground that I can associate with it and connect with people.

    Now I just have to figure out how to stop Nike+ from updating to MapMyRun! I uploaded all of my older workouts and now it's auto updating. That'd be fine if I didn't also have the Garmin updating it :p

  3. Daily Mile is a good way to cross post. You get a widget for your blog and it is really just how far and comments. No maps.

  4. Oh and I don't have any auto uploads except my nike+ to facebook when I start a run (i like the cheers). After I still have to manually post it. All other things I upload the Garmin with the connect software then export the file and then upload that file into the other programs. These I am starting to cut down as I get bored with them.

  5. Ooh thanks! I've been looking for something with a blog widget.

    C25K - auto posts to FB
    Nike+ - is manual to FB but apparently started auto posting to MapMyRun after I imported my old workouts???
    MapMyRun - I'm not even logging things directly with mapmyrun (I've only imported to it from Nike and Garmin so far) but it's still somehow auto posting to FB

    I think I need a flow chart :p

    After this week I' m done with C25K so at least that's one post down. I really have to go through and see which apps post the best spread of info and clean up my crossposting accordingly.

  6. I think mapmyrun has it in the settings to autopost. I do know that with the way mine is set up even if it posts to FB you have to be my MMR friend to see the details.

  7. Yay I just found the MapMyRun autopost toggle!

    I have my routes set to private but everything else is set to public so it should be generally viewable.

    I *think* I was able to directly upload from the Garmin to MapMyRun without saving a file first but Tuesday was a bit of an uploading/crossposting frenzy so I'm not sure. I'll try it again tonight and let you know if it works.