I ordered the Garmin 405 (water resistant version) last night:
I wanted the green one, but I was considerate and ordered the black one in case my husband wants to borrow it. I told myself I'd think about it a few days. In that time frame I did a lot research, and discovered that the reviews are decidedly mixed on EVERY model of Garmin. I asked some running friends, and quite a few use this model, and like it (I will certainly be locking the bezel on runs). But this one was definitely the most wallet-friendly at $137. So I ordered one that was "Used-Like New" from Amazon, so if for some reason I don't like it or it doesn't work well for me, I can return it no problem. It also comes with a warranty. It looks as if it was just returned and repackaged, no big deal to me. I also have seen there are LOT of Garmin 305's on eBay, so if this one doesn't work, I'll probably go to that option. That one seems to get the best reviews, but that sucker is BIG and I have child-sized wrists (like 5.5" circumference).
I decided to order mostly out of frustration. My iPhone GPS app does some great things, and I will still use it for most of my runs, but the accuracy of all the apps leaves a lot to be desired. At the Country Music Half, my distance was off my almost a quarter mile. I have to wonder if is has to do with having a lot of people in one place trying to use the same cell signals. Neither mine or my husband's data would work at all at the finisher's village.
Yesterday I set out for a standard run, and about a 1/2 mile from my house, I hear my robot man voice come over my earbuds to tell me I'd just run 1 mile in 3:59. Yeah, um, I wish! And then I'd had enough, and decided that I needed something that provided some consistent accuracy, along with being able to *accurately* tell me my CURRENT pace. I went out WAY too fast in my last race and didn't know until it was too late and the damage was done. I also read a lot of running blogs these days, and it seems that every fast, strong runner out there uses a Garmin. I finally admitted to myself that it was probably an important element to training to get faster.
So it arrives in 2 days and I am like a kid in a candy store. I LOVE gadgets! I am also looking forward to using it when I visit my parents later this month - they live in a very rural area where there is no cell reception or GPS reception.
I also want to become less dependent on running with music - I know it's not inherently safe. (Although I gotta admit, Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" totally helped me run to the finish in Nashville) I need to understand what a certain pace 'feels' like and be able to maintain it. So I really looking forward to this new chapter in my running journey!
Do you guys use a GPS watch, and if so what brand/model? Do you love it? Do you run with music?