Baby’s First Garmin

I BOUGHT A GARMIN. After spending weeks trying to decide which model would most perfectly and fantastically change my life, on Sunday I just picked one and ordered it. I got the Forerunner 630 and so far I like it!

Here it is on my wrist, complete with nice little stats from this morning’s run.


Here are a couple more views to give you the full experience:


When reading the reviews about the 630, it seemed like the main complaint was the backlight: its dimness and the fact that it didn’t stay on. I thought this wouldn’t be much of a problem for me (and as of this writing, it isn’t) but I still hesitated because it didn’t seem PERFECT.

Of course, no running watch is PERFECT. I don’t think it’s possible to make a perfect product that zero people will complain about. Except for, maybe, Beyoncé. But even she’s not immune to criticism. If Beyoncé gets complaints, I guess I can’t be too concerned about a few one-star Amazon reviews for a running watch.

The only things I really wanted in a running watch were GPS functionality and something that could inform me when I went below a certain pace. And something to track laps. Stuff like stride and vertical oscillation were a bonus. Music controls? Great. Heart rate monitor? Eh. I didn’t need a watch that was made for tracking golf and triathlons – those would just be filled with functions I didn’t need. I didn’t care if it was made out of titanium or diamonds or moon rocks. I wanted it to be round.

So I didn’t need the Rolls Royce, but at the same time I wanted something better than a, uh… Pinto? Is that a bad car? I think so. Yes. Better than a Pinto. The Forerunner 630 felt right.

I opened the package last night, and although the instructions said it would come partially charged, that was a BIG LIE. It was dead. So I figured I’d charge it overnight and set it up the next morning. I set my alarm for 20 minutes earlier than normal, went to bed, and woke up at 4 fucking 40 in the morning.

It took a little longer than I’d planned to get it registered, connected to Bluetooth/wifi/my phone/mapmyrun/myfitnesspal. I had to input my personal data, figure out how the menus worked, blabbity blah. The date/time setup was confusing at first – it was totally wrong and I hadn’t realized you had to be outdoors and connected to a satellite signal in order for it to update automatically. But even after manually fixing the time and going outside, the time changed to something else so I had to go back inside then out again, fake start another run, and then it was fixed. A minor but more time-consuming step than I would’ve liked, but there are worse things in life.

As I’m writing this, my watch just buzzed and the word “Move!” popped up, and like, bitch I’m on the train right now. I hope that doesn’t happen all the time. Maybe there’s a way to turn that off. Move! Like, I KNOW. Don’t NAG ME. Ugh, my watch is already a husband I complain about to my book club and dream of leaving if only I had the money so maybe I’ll just start my own Etsy shop making handmade necklaces and pendants and get the hell out of this town one of these days with my own little house closer to my mother.

ANYWAY. I was short on time this morning so I did a quick 3 miles at an easy pace. This was the first cold morning of the season – about 43 degrees out. I have to admit, I overdressed. I dressed for like, 33 degrees. I probably didn’t need the outer layer and hat. Gloves, yes. I like gloves.

Although I don’t plan on continuing to use mapmyrun to directly track my runs (the Garmin will update that app automatically), I decided to do a little experiment and use BOTH mapmyrun AND Garmin to track my run this morning. I wanted to see how different the routes might be, knowing the Garmin would most likely be more accurate.

AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. The phone GPS went CRAZY. Like, it had a mental breakdown. When it said I completed my first mile in 3 minutes, I just laughed. According to mapmyrun, all my mile splits were like, 2 or 3 minutes. Even the fastest human on Earth can’t do that. I knew the route was going to look insane. And sure enough, here’s a comparison.

Mapmyrun (phone GPS) on the left. Garmin on the right.

mapmyrun vs garmin routes

HOW INSANE IS THAT? But I realized what may have happened. Apologies in advance for this highly technical and scientific explanation, but I think the Garmin wifi thingy messed with the iPhone wifi thingy and it got all out of whack and stuff.

Needless to say, I am done using mapmyrun to directly track my routes. It’s Garmin from here on out, baby.

And you know what? I like that the back light is dim. I don’t need the world seeing my texts and emails as they pop up on my wrist.

I wanted to write about how the No Chocolate Challenge is going but I’ll save that for another post. But so far, so good. I have not eaten chocolate. Although I have had five Twizzlers.

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