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Garmin Forerunner 305

Black, silver and red. Oddly angular with metal clasps, rubber band and an LCD screen. Pounding out few or many miles with the Garmin 305 is practical, it is what I use when I am not using my phone. Which is nice in some ways. I know this watch will be much more accurate. It gives me deeper data then I get from my phone app but there is more to it than that. Pressing actual tactile buttons is nice. Carrying it along on my wrist means it is always out, like a friendly companion along for the ride. Through highs and lows, over grass, dirt, rocks, roots and creaky logs or whatever happens to be in the path. Steps turn to miles.

 

Breathing, sweating, pausing, only for a second, I look down at my wrist, 0:50:32 duration, 6.32 miles. I look up toward overcast skies, six and some change miles left to get back to the car. I can spare another 6 seconds to grab a cliff bar. I’m off. Perhaps the best moments are the times I don't think about the watch at all, when I forget that I am even wearing it. I feel more free, more alive, less plugged-in. The hills come into view and bends in the trail wobble back and forth under foot. I plant another step, lean forward, shorten my stride and slowly grind up the switchbacks of the hill. Occasionally I hear a slight notification upon reaching another mile, “was that 8 or 9?” Doesn’t matter, I just enjoy the moment and the need not to do or be anything else but a man running.

 

I have never cared to use the heart rate monitor strap. Not only does it seem awkward and uncomfortable but I have found that I prefer to just listen. I listen to my breath. I listen to my heart, I listen to the feet crackling a small twig and the brush of a scrub oak tree against my arm. I listen to the wee birds chirp and the song of the wind rushing through the arms and leaves of the trees. I have found headphones to be an annoyance, a hindrance and just too tiresome. Near the end of the run I take one more glance at my digital companion just to be sure that technology is accounting for my physical reality, yes im almost there.

 

As I return to the car my pace slows and I hit ‘Stop’. I walk and do a nice short stretch glancing down at my average pace, 8:55, not bad. Unfortunately the technological aspect is both a convenience and a major frustration. Back at home, I plug-in the 305 into the computer. Attempting to upload the file has been a crutch in an otherwise smooth and enjoyable experience. Honestly this frustration has caused me to opt for using my phone app more often then my watch since it is a seamless upload process. A bit sad really.

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