Sunday, April 17, 2005

O Garmin! O Forerunner 201! O digital GPS-based personal trainer of my heart!

Distance: 4 miles
Time: about 45 minutes

Distance: Precisely 6:52 miles
Time: That would be 1 hour 12 minutes 45.22 seconds. Yes, really.

So: I love gadgets. Lovelovelove gadgets - all that sleek functional design. And, as
Jimmy pointed out several times in our flyfishing class, while Aiden and Phil and I avoided looking at each other, Microsoft people like to spend lots of money on things they'll never use.

But oh! I will use the
Garmin Forerunner 201. I felt pretty sheepish buying it - it seems a very big sledgehammer for the nut of my beginner's training - but after reading the reviews on Amazon, I just had to have it.

Out of the box, the unit is a little big: somewhere between an iPod Mini and an iPod Shuffle. I have a little gripe with the strap: it's a velcro-foldover thing, and in its packaging it's settled into a size that's just a tiny bit too big for my delicate, birdlike wrist, and the kink that's developed in it makes it a little hard to adjust.

But man, that's the only drawback so far.

I haven't even *begun* to explore all the features, but the killer one, and the one I'll use it for every day, is the lap timer. Just keeping track of how far you've run totally frees you up from having to run the same route every day. With this baby, I can run everywhere! Take off in all directions!

If it was perfect, it would have a heart-rate monitor, an FM tuner, and an MP3 player. I'm gonna feel a bit like an astronaut toting round my iPod as well. But hell, this is the most motivating gadget I've ever had, and even on the basis of three trial runs, I'd recommend it without reservation.

Next up: I'm gonna download and install the software that allows you to track your training on your computer. Updates later.

In fly-fishing news: we had our lesson yesterday morning at 7:30 AM. It was miserable: we stood for two hours in the pouring rain in Gasworks, shivering and trying to cast. But I really really liked learning to do it, and watching Jimmy cast, you can see what an art it is. I love the thought that Phil and I are learning something we can do our whole lives (we can take our rods to Xcalak!), an activity where there's always something more to learn. So we bought our rods and are planning three trips to actually fish - one around Grand Coulee when I do the Over the Dam Run on May 8; one somewhere else in Eastern WA when we go to the Sasquatch festival at the Gorge; and another when we do our big road trip to Montana. I'm excited. We practiced yesterday on the grass outside L'Amourita and got some pretty funny looks.

No comments: