The Beauty of the Garmin

I started casually running back around 2005. Back then, I didn’t know anything about wicking clothes, Road ID’s, or compression socks. I would just run at the track once a week, and then head to my favorite trail on the weekends. Nothing over 6-miles. Fast forward a couple of years later, in 2007, and my friend Vicki and I used to run a few miles around our office after work. One day she sent me a link on the Garmin 305. I had no idea what it was, and she explained that it would track our pace, distance, calories, and had GPS. I thought it was rather pricey, but she bought one so I did too.

I remember the first time we ran with it. We were changing in the locker room at work and I had no idea how to put the heart monitor on. But once we ran with it, I was hooked. I would say I have used it 90% of the time ever since then.

{Another memory from that time: Vicki signed up to run the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half-Marathon and tried to get me to sign up too. I laughed and told her there was no way I'd ever run anything over 6-miles...LOL}

{Me and Vicki}

Fast forward to February 2011, I am running with the Garmin 310XT and now have a running coach who schedules my workouts for me with specific instructions on what paces to run for each workout. Problem is I have zero ability to pace myself. Seriously.

So today he suggested I set my Garmin to a certain pace so that it will alert me if I fall off pace. Problem #2 is, I don’t know how to work the Garmin. I only know how to turn it on and off. Up until 2 months ago, I didn’t even know you could program stuff like alerts and workouts into it.

Flashback to December. After the LA Holiday Half-Marathon, Sandra and I were sitting at LAX waiting for our delayed flight. Of course, we were chatting about running and she told me about all these neat things at the Garmin could do. I was shocked – honestly, I had no idea. I distinctly remember her saying, “That’s the beauty of the Garmin!”

Since then, I have tried to program these so called alerts and workouts into it. Didn’t work. (I guess I should also mention I have never read the User’s Guide). I even met up with Sandra after the Coyote Hills Half-Marathon just so she could show me how to do it. But I ended up forgetting it at home and instead, gave her a tour of the Lululemon store (...and a new addict was born).

So back to this afternoon. I was determined to figure out how to program this darn thing. After a ton of beeps (by the Garmin) and a lot of cursing (by me), I did it. At least I hoped I did. It only took me all afternoon.

Since I had to work in San Jose today, I had planned to run at the Stanford Track after work, but when I got there it was closed for Track practice. The high schools local to me had soccer games going on so I ended up coming home, and running around my neighborhood.

I was anxious to see if my programming worked – and it did! I must say, it was rather exciting! It normally drives me crazy to keep looking at my Garmin while running, but today I it was so much fun!

Not only did it beep every time I finished a programmed step, but it also counted down the mileage instead of counting it up. For some reason, that little change was huge for me. And, instead of seeing how much time has passed, all I could see was the distance countdown and what my current pace was. If I went too fast it would beep, “Slow Down!” and if I went too slowly it would say, “Pick it up!” (or something like it).

I can’t believe I’ve been running with a Garmin for so long and never knew about all these bells and whistles…I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me!

PS It was 70 degrees with plenty of sunshine during my run. Don’t you love California?!? ☺