I am GPS Enabled

My birthday present to myself was a Garmin 910XT and it arrived yesterday.

Who was excited!?

Me!! Me ME!! šŸ™‚

I charged it last night and wore it all day at work today, and even wore my heart rate strap – which took me 30 minutes of fiddling, searching through user manuals online and mumbling at my office-mate to get it to work.

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That's me! Going zero all day at work! šŸ™‚

After work today I went for my first GPS enabled run.

With working heart rate monitor.

I ran 5km and was pleased that my mapped 5km run – mapped first with string on a scale map of town, and later using Map My Run – did match my GPS run, despite the fact that the 1km marker I usually use was only 725 meters according to the watch. I was a bit worried that I hadn’t actually been running 5km all along!

Anywho, I took the first 2.5km to get used to the watch and stop looking at it every 3 minutes or so. But I was interested in my pace. My pace varies quite a lot, but still averages out at 6 minute kilometres (12kph).

Some stats from my 5km run:

  • Total Time: 30:22:25
  • Ave Pace: 6:04min/km
  • Training Effect of 4.7 (quite high, but they say the watch will always register high for the first few runs until it knows your heart rate and fitness level)
  • Calories Burned: 243 (is that all? Man, I was aiming for 1000! ;P)
  • Average Heart Rate: 159bpm
  • Maximum Heart Rate: 172bpm (my calculated Max HR is: 182, so I did get over 90%MHR for an unknown amount of time, but 159 puts me at about 80% most of the time.)
  • Despite setting the units to metric, it still measured laps in miles, so my mileage splits were:
  • Mile 1: 10:12:17 minutes, 6:20min/km average, 152bpm
  • Mile 2: 9:35:62 minutes, 5:57min/km average, 161bpm
  • Mile 3: 9:31:31 minutes, 5:54min/km ave, 163bpm

I like the fact that I get faster as I go along, and that even though I am clearly working harder, I feel better. The first kilometre is the hardest!

On this run, and old guy riding his bike and walking his dog told me to pick up the pace. I was a little worried it was my crazy neighbour at first and thought I might have to knock him off his bike and run away… but it turns out it was just this old guy who likes to play badminton and recognised me and was joking around. I ended up calling back “I wish I could go faster!”

Right near the end of my run I got hooted at by a bunch of yobbos in a SUV. “Keep running” and a few other comments I couldn’t quite make out. At first I thought one of them was someone I knew and was again ‘just being silly’ but in fact these were just some yucky greasy red-necks. Great!

NOT!

I got a little nervous. I’m not normally nervous. I don’t usually worry.

But there I was thinking: ‘What other women do I know of who are silly enough to run alone along the highway on dusk?’

Anyway, turned out to be no biggie – they headed off – but it got me thinking about safety.

I didn’t run with my phone on me today, or my emergency information wrist band. I’ll definitely be bringing those along from now on. Plus, I’ll wear my hydration belt (both for water and so I don’t have to shove my phone in my bra anymore).

On one hand I thought “Man, I’m complicating a simple thing like a run and weighing myself down,” but on the other hand, I need to consider that I do run alone and it’s important to be safe.

Note, I always tell Mat or someone else when I am going, what my route is, and when I plan to be back, and then always message when I get back to say I’m safe, so it’s not like I’m oblivious to safety, but it might be wise to take further precautions.

At any rate, I think the Garmin is going to be a great new toy and a great motivation tool for me.

I need to learn a few more things, figure out all the online features and whatnot, but I have all weekend off (whoop whoop!!) and will get to play around with it and map out my 8km run for Sunday.

Have you ever tried Garmin (or other GPS tools)? Anyone out there just use one of the apps available on their smart phone?

Do you have any other safety tips for runners?

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