Saturday, July 10, 2010

Data Quest

I have a fairly well-developed geeky side; my close friends and relatives will attest to this. I enjoy a well-designed gadget, handy piece of software, or random piece of knowledge. I enjoy clever maps using Geographic Information Systems, baseball statistics, and good grammar. And my passion for my Droid has been documented. I once worked for a, and I have been to multiple Renaissance Faires. In costume. As a member of a guild.

So when I decided I needed a new heart-rate monitor, I did a little research. I was pleased to find that the Garmin wrist-mounted GPS units, the ones that also happen to tell you how fast your heart is beating, have really come down in price over the last few years. Score! A few clicks later, and my new Garmin Forerunner 305 was on its way. Whoo hoo!

However, when the thing arrived, I was in the middle of something or other with work, and it took me quite a few days to open the box. When I finally did, I was chagrined to learn that I would need to update either my Mac or my Windows operating systems in order to run the Garmin software. And in order to upgrade, I need more disk space. I may be a little geeky, but it doesn't mean I always have the latest hardware.

Still, I could use the heart rate monitor and watch, I just couldn't upload the data and make maps and graphs and charts out of it. So I strapped on the rather bulky wrist unit and the chest strap, went outside and powered on. I watched the satellites load and my heart rate show up on the little screen and then, as I started my warm-up walk, my pace. It was really quite cool, all that information. Unfortunately, it was kind of hard to tell what the data was without my reading glasses.

I had hoped that having the Garmin would inspire me to run, or at least jog-walk, more often, but so far not too much. Two nights ago I went out for 2 miles, though. As I had suspected, I was still slow. But at least now I know how slow I am, exactly, and what kind of heart rates I'm generating.

This morning I decided to get heart-rate savvy on the bike, and got all geared up. Went outside, turned on the wrist unit... damn, battery low. I waited for a while, but apparently "battery low" is a synonym for "not gonna work, sucka." Yeah, bitch, my battery is low too.

At least the Garmin doesn't tell me I'm obese every time I finish a workout, like my old Polar used to do when I would scroll through the workout data: HR average, calories burned, time, Body Mass Index (OBESE! OBESE! OBESE!), etc. So that's a plus.

One of these days my brother and I are going to clone both partitions of my hard drive onto an external drive, install a nice big 500GB drive into my MacBook, and update both my Mac and Windows OS. Then I really will be the Data Queen.

Stay tuned for charts and graphs.


  1. I'm getting a MacBookPro i7 at work!

    I love all the data I get from my Garmin. I don't really do much with it, but I love that it's there.

  2. I want a Garmin.....just can't justify it right now.

  3. I did the same thing and bought the garmin 305 when they came out with the 405 so the price of the old one went down dramatically. A lot of the workout websites support "Garmin Communicator Plugin" ( and map my run/ride/tri are two that I know of) you might be able to get away with the plug-in so that you can upload and read your data until you do the other upgrades.

  4. Ooh, thanks, shebaduhkitty. I'll check that out.

  5. Beginner triathlete lets you upload but I think you have to have a paid membership to do it :(. You are my hero, Jayne!