Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Like an Old Boyfriend

I am the first to admit that technology intimidates me. I get into my comfort zone with certain items (i.e. laptop, watch, etc.) and I don’t deviate much. Anytime I get a new device, I get in a bad mood. Which is weird because a true materialist would never be in a bad mood when they got something shiny and new. So, I am either 1) not materialistic or, 2) easily overwhelmed and resistant to change. Between you and me, it’s #2. It’s always about #2.

I got the Timex Global Trainer for Christmas. Ever since I laid my eyes on this GPS watch several months ago, I’ve been drooling over it. Or, the idea of it. Multisport distance/pace tracking, water proof, altitude indicators, heart rate monitor, bike mount. When I priced it however, it was $300. Turns out, the price came down considerably and Ken found it on Amazon for $122. Major score.

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For the past ten days, the watch has sat in the packaging on the table. I’ve been afraid. My brain was so fried from Christmas, work, having the kids home and The Bachelor that I didn’t want to learn something new. But, last night I did it. I decided to do something that scared me because I preach that shit all of the time.

The almighty watch came out of its packaging.

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At first glance, this thing is freaking huge. Like the size of a microwave. I already run with a ginormous (hate that word) watch (the Garmin 205), but this is bigger, or at least feels that way on my wrist.

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The “little” watch is not synched

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I knew to really understand this watch I’d have to invest some time. I sat on the heating vent with my iPad and read DC Rainmaker’s review, which is like the War and Peace version of a gear review it was so thorough. (BTW, what you are reading here is not a review, but more my personal experience. For kick ass reviews on many things do check out DC Rainmaker’s blog).

I stole this picture from DCRM if you want to compare the Timex to your own watch or need another use for your rolling pin:

Timex Global Trainer Size Comparison

I also read all of the reviews on Amazon (some good, some terrible) as well as the user manual. I charged the watch, did my set up and went outside to test the satellites. I couldn’t get a signal (one of the problems many people had reported). “It’s nighttime,” I thought. “Maybe the satellites are having sex or are asleep.” Benefit of the doubt. Wishful thinking.

This morning I quickly learned that the sheer size of the watch is not the issue. It is the way it fits on my wrist. It knocks up against my wrist bone and hurts like a mother. If I wear it further up on my arm, it slips. I decided that if I ran with the watch and LOVED it, I could find a way to deal with the “fit” issue, maybe by wearing an armband underneath or gaining weight in my wrist.

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I got to the trailhead in Boulder, ready to go with my new watch and my new Asics running mittens. Yes, mittens. Genius. Totally necessary for someone like me who has Raynauds and needs the whole team of fingers to keep me warm. Gloves just don’t do the trick.

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Yeah, as always feel free to go on about what a crap hole I live in

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The six mile running experience with the watch stunk. Some of it was admittedly user error and a learning curve so tight it looked like this:

However, these are the non-user-error-issues:

  • Took a long time (2 minutes) to get a GPS signal. My Garmin never takes more than 30 seconds.
  • The watch wasn’t comfortable. I wanted it to be, but it wasn’t.
  • Despite the size of the watch, the display is harder to read than on my Garmin

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  • And, one last complaint that I did not experience today, but found out last night: while the watch is waterproof, the GPS signal does not work in the water. This means if you want to track your distance while swimming, you can’t or you have to wear it in your swim cap.

Like an old boyfriend who you ditched because you wanted to have a quick and exciting fling with your neighbor (not that I ever did that or anything), I longed for my Garmin. He’s so dependable. He starts and stops when I need him to. He doesn’t hit up against my bone (TWSS). He tracks distance in the water. What? No. Never mind that last one.

Some may say I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I say that it’s just not worth it to me. My Garmin is  fine. Maybe when they work the kinks out of this one or make it sleek enough for my tender and petite wrist, I’ll be back. I mean, really, it’s not like I’m some pro athlete who needs all the bells and whistles anyway.  Maybe I’ll go back to driving my car before a run to see how far it is. Like the good ol’ days.

What kind of watch do you run with? Love it, hate it or indifferent?

SUAR

78 comments:

  1. Haha this post spoke to me-I get so mad when I have to upgrade to new technology. For Christmas I bought a new phone (I've had my old one for over 5 years) and was in a bad mood all day. Just because. Because technology sucks!

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  2. I hate learning new technology as well, especially when it comes to watches with all sorts of buttons! Timex does have a female version I believe which is called midsize so the watch isn't so big. Too late for that though! ;)
    Your trusty Garmin will be happy to have you back I'm sure.

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  3. Forerunner 305 - it's big but I love it - TWSS.

    Only thing is that it doesn't do so hot under tree cover, which happens all the time on the trails.

    Minor bummer

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  4. Great post! i just got the new Garmin 405, and it is massive too! i'm indimidated too, so i'll follow your lead and try to hook mine up and figure it out soon. I've never had a running watch, just a Polar HR monitor watch for general working out, so it does a stop watch, calories and the like, but I've been longing for distance/pace/splits!!! I noticed at my 1st 1/2 that EVERYONE was wearing microwaves, and some had TWO?!?! here i had my baby pink yard sale 15$ polar jobby. hhaaa. I did notice my Garmin is pretty uncomfy, so we'll see how that plays out. Thanks for the post. I'd seen that watch too and wondered about it:) sucks.

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  5. I despise learning how to work new things! I have owned a back country GPS for about 2.5 years now and I still don't know how to work it. That baby sits on a shelf in my garage and watches me leave for all of my hut trips with a trusty compass and topo map :)

    I run with a Garmin 305 and love it. Super user friendly and crazy easy to figure out..which is obviously the only way I roll.

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  6. Ok that watch is HUGE!!!!!! I mean so is mine but it looks enormous! I think I'd like the new one better though I like that it's round.

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  7. The watch looks ginormous. ;-)

    That alone would bug me.

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  8. I don't mind learning new technology, but I am very particular about things I know I like/what works for me. For YEARS I had the Garmin 305 and liked it, but once it bit the dust I was seduced by the sleeker, smaller 110.

    I LOATHE that watch. It just wasn't my old watch; I didn't find it nearly as capable or user friendly as my 305. Literally, I moped around the house about missing my 305.

    My husband kept the 110, and I then bought two more 305s. Just in case. Sure, the 305 is huge, and it looks like I'm wearing a computer monitor on my wrist, but I love that little thing like no other, and I will use it as long as Garmin makes them.

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  9. I have the Garmin 310xt, it's shown in the picture you posted, and it's smaller than the Timex and even older Forerunner 305. It's easy to use, easy to understand, quick to find satellites, and not intimidating. Give it a try...

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  10. 405CX - Only GPS watched Ive ever ran with.. I would go so far to say I love it.. but again, its the only one Ive had.

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  11. I got a garmin 610 for Mother's Day and absolutely love it. It picks up the satellite quickly, it doesn't bother my wrist and it auto pauses the right way. (LOL). But, it you love your 205 then I say stick with it!

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  12. yep - that Timex Ironman gave me a nice bruise on my bony wrist - wearing the watch face facing inward didn't help either. I went out and bought a garmin 310xt - I wear the watchface facing inward and no more bruises!

    i'm super data geek and I love gadgets and technology!!!

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  13. I didn't think that it fit the female wrist very well either. And just so you know, that new one they came out with that's a little bit smaller and sleaker is still too long on the watch face part, so you still get that gap that makes it knock your bone. I worked at a running store so I got try all those things on.

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  14. I love my Garmin 310xt. I was really worried that it was going to be too huge but it seems fairly comfortable. I also love DC Rainmaker... that guy's reviews are amazing. The way a watch fits is a huge deal to me, it would drive me crazy to have it bouncing all over the place. I would imagine if they made the Timex with a more square face it would fit better... it's just too big to be round.

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  15. had garmin 305 - loved it, just got for xmas the garmin 610 have yet to try since i can't run till the boot is off.

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  16. My husband bought me the IronMan for my birthday last year and I promptly returned it and got the Garmin Forerunner 110. It is simple to use and I love it. The IronMan was just to complex for what I needed. Too many buttons to mess with.

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  17. Holy shit, that thing is HUGE! (twss)

    It would be like running with a hot tub strapped to your wrist! I get that 'up against the bone' thing with my 305 and wear a supersonic wristband made from the top of a sock as padding.

    I am so sorry your slick new gadget didn't totally float your boat like it should have :( I love your candor about the item!

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  18. I got the Garmin 405 (Walmart $165!) for my birthday. It's big too and I almost didn't buy it because of that. But, then, some one told me there is a velcro wrist strap that you can buy to replace the harder plastic one. Voila! It fits much better! I like it a lot so far. Still figuring out the bells and whistles. And, I always forget to stop the thing when I'm done with a race. It's my first training watch. :-)

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  19. What a bummer! That thing is HUGE. I thought the Garmin was "ginormous" but that sucker takes the cake.

    Oh, darn. Glad I read this before investing in a new watch.

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  20. Holy crap - how many channels do you get on that thing?

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  21. I have that same garmin forerunner, but sometimes it takes a few minutes to warm up and it drives me crazy! Other than that, I like it.

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  22. I run with the 205 and have to wear a sports band under it or end up with a bruise

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  23. I got a Garmin 305 for my birthday last year and I'm in love with it. I refuse to even look at anything else until this thing bites the dust so bad it can't be brought back.

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  24. You had me laughing my ass off with "it's always about #2". That said, I love my 305...although sometimes it takes forever to find the satellite, too.

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  25. I've used my iPhone4 along with the RunKeeper app since I started running this last summer (a noobie...I know) and carry it along in a pouch around the waist. Never thought I'd get used to something like that, but I don't really think much about it anymore.

    I just love the way you share your stories...nearly always brings out a chuckle if not a laugh, and your refreshing candor and no-holds-barred addressing of whatever subject is on your mind. Wish I could write like you do... :-)

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  26. I have a Garmin 305...it's the only "sport" watch I've tried, but I absolutely love it! It gives me all the information I would ever need. Hope it lasts forever, or I can find another when it dies, because I don't want to try anything else.

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  27. I have a Polar RS300X with GPS. My only complaints are that the GPS is an arm band unit, not integrated into the watch, and it doesn't sync online. I have Garmin envy, but there's nothing really wrong with the Polar to justify replacing it anytime soon.

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  28. Beth, try wearing it so the face is on the inside of your wrist. That's what I have to do with my garmin 305, otherwise it rubs my wristbone and by the end of my run, my knobby wristbone is woefully swollen. HTH!

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  29. Not for nothing (do you like that cliche?) The Timex works in the water. My large two cents on that is user error. At the end of the day when I use my Timex in the water it tracks my distance with no issues.

    That being said (how about that clich?) It does take forever to find a signal but I just turn mine on about 45 seconds before I know I'm going to start and no issues.

    The display can be tough to read but it is what it is, but you can adjust the display to show only the things you really need. Just sayin'. Since you aren't a professional do you really need to see avg ascent, avg lap, stop time and HR all on the same screen?

    When all is said and done you have to live with the watch so just use what works for you even if it is not the ginormous Timex.

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  30. I love my Garmin 205 so much and I'm afraid to try anything else... don't see the need to! Too bad your new toy didn't work out. I guess it wasn't meant to be!

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  31. I don't have a gps watch. Waiting for the Garmin 605 to come down in price. Sounds lame, but if I want to know my distance I run with my phone and use my run keeper app. I do have an Ironman watch that controls my I-pod and is a stopwatch. It even tells time! :)

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  32. I've owned one version or another of the Garmin Forerunner since they started making them. I have always been an extremely happy Garmin customer. I currently own the 305, prior to that the 205 and before that a few 101's that actually took 2 AAA batteries. For ultra running replaceable batteries are a good idea because you can run longer than the internal battery of the 205, 305 and even the 310XT.

    In spite of the 205/305 and 310XT being large, it is a trade-off to having a large screen with 4 data fields.

    As far as a running GPS goes, I may change models but I doubt I'll ever switch from Garmin. That also goes for the portable GPS in my car. Garmin all the way.

    Dana Roueche

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  33. I watched youtube videos to figure out how use my Garmin. I just don't have the attention span to actually read the manual.

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  34. I recently started using the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch and I absolutely love it. I also have tiny wrists and hands. This watch is smaller than most of the other GPS watches, but the display is very large in comparison with an easy to read display. The price is nicer than others and it is simple to use. I can't find any faults with it yet.

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  35. I've experienced the same thing with a similar watch - it went back to the store. And doesn't Raynauds suck - try living in Northern Minnesota with it - ugh!! Crazy hands, crazy feet!

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  36. I currently use a 405 -- but wish I still had my 205. yes, I want my 205 back........

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  37. I use the Nike+ watch. It is a little big but I got used to it. Also, the GPS takes a bit when I use it in new areas but the more I sync it the faster the GPS responds

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  38. Garmin405 is the one and only GPS watch I have had and it works for me! It seemed large to me when I first got it, but I am now use to it and compared to your Timex trainer the garmin is pretty small.

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  39. garmin 305
    I love it
    It took me some time to get used to the size..my 5 yrs old has bigger wrists than mine!
    now I dont notice it.

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  40. I LOVE my Garmin. I have the 205 and it is fabulous...cannot imagine life without it!

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  41. I started running with a garmin 405 a few weeks ago. I love all the information, but I'm so petite....I have to wear it with a tennis-style wrist band . It works beautifully, and I've even figured out how to make it run my interval workouts. Its still intimidating, but I just keep pushing forward.

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  42. That thing is huge (TWSS). I'm a no watch while I run, and count my laps while I swim kind of girl. Works for me. Go back to your Garmin.

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  43. I have the Garmin 305. I also have the wrist bone/nerve issues and have found I have to wear it on the underside of my wrist. I like my hand not to be numb and tingly when i run :)

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  44. Looks like I'm odd one out on this one. I bought a Soleus GPS for $99 a few months ago and love, love, LOVE it! Being a new runner, I didn't want to spend a lot of money but I really wanted a GPS. It's much smaller than the other watches I looked at, has all the features I wanted (pace, distance, splits, calories), and I figured if I become a hard-core runner such as yourself, I could upgrade. I don't have nearly enough miles on it, but as long as I keep trying, I'm making progress. Just wish I would have started this 20 years ago!

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  45. OMG!!
    First, the shithole you live in is one of the most gorgeous shitholes in America, poor you for having to run there! ;)
    Second, I laughed out loud when you said your newly acquired item sat on your table for 10 days! So did mine!! It is scary to branch out and have to live sometimes...I get it.
    Thirdly, ...girl, never stray from the Garmin!
    My boyfriend (Garmin forerunner 310xt) and I are enjoying each other very much!
    There is still a ton I need to learn, but the fact that all I have to do, when done running, is plug in my USB ant stick and all the info imaginable from my run is transfered to my computer and I can read it immediately, is absolutely amazing to me!
    I think this will be a long, wonderful relationship and my husband likes him too! ;)

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  46. I'm a loyal reader and just had to tell you....I'm watching Biggest Loser with my 11 year old daughter and she sees Dolvett and goes, "Woah, he looks like a guy that could a wife easy!" I thought you could appreciate :)

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  47. That sucks. Sorry it didn't work out for you. I'm the same way about gadgets. I love drooling over them but when it comes to figuring out how they work I get all lazy. It's gotta be intuitive for me or forget it. I have the Garmin 210 which I LOVE. I have petite wrists and that microwave you have there would be like a fridge on my wrists. ;)

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  48. I just got my Garmin 210 for xmas, and ran with it a couple of times...<3 it!! That is, once I figured out how it works LOL! Hubby took me to the store to try on the Garmin and the Nike GPS sportband....both were really good, but I picked the Garmin purely for how well it fit my wrist. Haven't regretted that decision at all!

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  49. That sucker is huge!!! (TWSS) I'm sure that's been used before but I didn't have time to read all the comments. :)

    I have a realllyy old Garmin 301 I think I've only seen like one other person with one, but it still works and I'm cheap. I will upgrade one day.

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  50. I feel your pain with new technology! I also recieved a new running watch and luckily I figured it out! haha great post thanks for sharing!

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  51. i have the gardmin
    305 and have teeny tiny eeny weeny wrists and find it bugs my wristbone too so I wear it upside down with the face on the underside of my wrist...problem solved!

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  52. I have had the Garmin 405 for 3 years and have no major complaints. Sure, it would be nice if the battery life was longer than 8 hours (there have been races and rides longer, after all). I think GPS not working underwater is common to all GPS units. The 405 is water proof and I have worn it in a race, it just doesn't get the swim. It also is smaller than that Timex.

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  53. I have had the Garmin 405 for 3 years and have no major complaints. Sure, it would be nice if the battery life was longer than 8 hours (there have been races and rides longer, after all). I think GPS not working underwater is common to all GPS units. The 405 is water proof and I have worn it in a race, it just doesn't get the swim. It also is smaller than that Timex.

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  54. Is the wach band removable? What about turning it into something you could ware on your bicep? Just a thought :)

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  55. Why, why, why would they make it so big?
    I love my stoneage Garmin 205, even if it does hit up against my bone. Nothing a wrist band can't solve. And I know I don't use half of the capabilities on my Garmin. Less is more right?

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  56. Thanks for the personal review, I have the 305 and I kinda want something new and have eyed this

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  57. OMG I'm challenged by a Polar HRM so I would be totally overwhelmed by that gadget. I wear either a Timex Ironman watch I got for free in a DM contest (!!) (and am overwhelmed and only use the TOD since I can't figure out anything other than the stopwatch feature) or my Polar HRM watch which gives time, TOD, HR and average HR. And that's it.

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  58. I have the Garmin 310 which is waterproof :) Not that I can swim, but I guess it will help if I am floating around for locating where to find me. I have a petite wrist (wear little kid bracelets) so I find during anything over a half marathon I'm switching arms.

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  59. Like a lot of others, I have the Forerunner 305 and absolutely love it!

    Before the 305 I had a Sunnto HR and wasn't impressed. Of course it didn't have the GPS tracking so my opinion might be different if it did.

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  60. I use a standard stopwatch, and even though it isn't all that big, I too have the same issue about it slinging around on my wrist and bumping my wrist bone, which gets more and more irritating the longer the run. When I am wearing long sleeves and/or a jacket, I strap the watch over my sleeves and in the middle of my arm, which works well. I also have the whole raynauds thing in my hands. Gloves inside of mittens help. I also use those "lil hotties" packets that you shake and they get warm. I put them inside my gloves.

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  61. In my house we have a couple of 305's and a 310xt. The complaint with the 305 is the battery life blows, especially with some of the long ass training days I have.

    The problems with the 310 is that my wife hates her 305 and steals the 310! ha!

    My solution - pick up a Garmin FR60. I found it online for $68. It came with a footpod and HR strap. This watch is non-GPS. It has a battery life of ONE YEAR!! I took it to the track and "sync'd" it to an exact distance. This watch has become my go-to running device.

    It is small, shows me pace, avg pace, time, and miles. It can do a whole bunch more too. I have done 20mi runs with it and the 310xt strapped to my wrist and they are within .01 of mile from each other in terms of accuracy!

    Best $68 I have spent in quite some time! Pretty sure my wife will be stealing it from me soon (-:

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  62. I am so "old school". I wear and run with a Silva Tech 4o watch which is battery operated! :-) It measures my speed, distance, calories burned and steps taken...LOVE IT!!! I actually hand write my results in a paper log book. The irony is that I'm married to a "high tech geek" who has all the latest and greatest technology at his disposal.

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  63. Garmin!! Their satellites are NEVER having sex. :)

    I need to find more trail runs in Montrose. I am jealous of yours.

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  64. I got the 305 for Christmas and although i ve only usedit a few times, i really like it. I dont think i will go to anything other than a garmin when it pooches.

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  65. I had the Garmin 405 and loved it. The Hubs got me the 610 and loving this one now. I love learning new techie things and am an avid manual reader. I'm a data hound and love seeing seeing what my body can do. Sorry about your watch. I'm hoping it's returnable for you.

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  66. I am a gadgetholic/cmputer geek, so I love new techy toys. That thing is just too huge, though! The manufacturers obviously were not targeting female customers with the design. I love my Garmin 305, even if it is bulky.

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  67. I have a garmin 110 (?). It is on the smaller side but I wear it with the face on the inside of my wrist. Wearing it that way has helped me a lot. Good Luck!

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  68. http://www.atrailrunnersblog.com/2012/01/does-this-water-bottle-make-my-shlong.html This has nothing to do with today...but I know you will love this! Runner friend

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  69. I run with a Garmin305 and I love it. It's huge and red and ugly but I love it and can't imagine running without it.

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  70. a friend of mine has this watch and I always think that the display must be so hard to read. also, I'm curious about how you will gain weight in your wrists. I have my garmin on almost the tightest loop and it still clanks around. if only i could move some of the weight from my ass.

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  71. I love my Garmin 305.

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  72. I know nothing about Garmins or other contraptions like that so I can't comment, except to say use what works for you. :)

    BUT. OMG. I think I have Reynauds too! Seriously. I just read the whole Wikepedia article and self-diagnosed myself. Totally explains things. Like the tingling fingers when I get cold and the blue lips when I get REALLY cold. I can't wait to tell my husband. He always just tells me I need to eat a sandwich. Ha!

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  73. Can't believe that out of all the comments, I may be the only one still running with a Garmin Forerunner 101. It still works and is still very accurate. My husband got me a 305 for christmas one year - but it got stollen out of my luggage.

    The 101 is just so comfortable with the velcro strap. You would think that with many marathons now 60% women, Garmin, Polar, Timex would get the hint that they need to design a comfortable watch for smaller wrists.

    At every Expo, I visit the booths and look at the watches. When they are uncomfortable, I let the people know - maybe someone will get the hint.

    Love the post - you just say out loud what many of us think to ourselves.

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  74. I absolutely ADORE my forerunner 405. Won't leave home without it, right up there with the best things I've bought in my life.

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  75. Let me first say, these are first world problems for sure. Like when our iPads run outta juice. Realizing that others have it *way* worse than me, I am glad to live the life I lead.

    With that said.... I hear ya! I really don't like having to get acclimated to new stuff either! I say stick with the Garmin. Return the IM Timex and use the credit to stock up on SUAR tech shirts!

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