Monday: I enjoyed 4 easy miles in the rain. Immediately after the run, my Garmin took a nosedive and went into a loop of shutting off and restarting. I put up with it for a little while and then got on the Google machine for some troubleshooting which quickly turned into shopping. More about that in a minute.
Tuesday: Easy 5 miler. I took a chance on the Garmin holding up and it came through for me. Strength in the evening.
Thursday: first run with the new Garmin! Easy 5 miler and then strength at night.
Friday: just an easy 4 miler, but it was by far the best run I've had all year. My body moved effortlessly.
Saturday: stands out as the best long run I've had in quite a while. 9 miles done and dusted. Don't get me wrong, I was ready to be done BUT I was also able to sprint for the last tenth of a mile. The other notable is that I recovered pretty quickly.
More running! Hills are in the forecast, and my long runs will be getting longer. I'm excited/nervous.
New Garmin Who Dis?
Here is my history of Garmin ownership. "Big Red" came into my life in 2013. At the time I was in grad school and on a tight budget, but when I came across a used, quite old F305 for $80, I decided to treat myself.
Pros: I basically paid nothing for it and it still works to this day. I keep it as a backup and my stepsons occasionally use it.
Cons: It's old. It can be flaky about charging, and the USB communication is shot (unclear if the fault is Big Red or Windows 10).
My second Garmin was the F35.
Pros: It's a lotta watch for just under $100. It doesn't do everything that higher end Garmins do, but it does a lot. IMO it's the best looking Garmin I've ever had, and IMO the low contrast display is easier to read than the higher end watches. This is kind of a random feature to shout out, but the silent alarm on the F35 is much better than the one on my old FitBit and the one on the F235. It is by far the quietest, almost completely silent so that it only wakes me up and not my husband.
Cons: the only reason that I moved on was that the preset workouts were too limited for the training that I was doing. I gave it to my husband, and it's still going strong. I suspect that it will have a life span similar to Big Red.
Garmin #3 was the F235.
Pros: It does a few more things than the F35, most notably programmable workouts. It has more features than the F35, but none of the annoying features (specifically it doesn't tell you if you're "unproductive".)
Cons: well, apart from the fact that it died this week, not many. It was a refurb, so I didn't have a lot of cash in it. The "silent" alarm was kinda loud.
And that brings us to present day. Garmin #4 is the Fenix 6S Pro.
When I was Garmin shopping, you won't be surprised that my first move was toward the budget end of things. I'm very comfortable with refurbished electronics, but I didn't see any steals to be had. Whatever I got, the price tag was going to be north of $200. I've been hearing a lot of good things about Coros as well, but the price tags looked similar.
The next phase was analysis paralysis.
The next phase was a very timely work interruption. It's raise and bonus season at work and my numbers came in. I knew the numbers were going to be good and they were very good. A treat was in order. I remembered that Hungry Runner Girl had gotten a very fancy Garmin a while ago...um yes Garmins can be expensive but holy yikes! This thing cost more than my (refurbished) phone. Not an option.
And after a bit of back and forth, I decided that the fancy Garmin was totally an option. It has features that I will most likely never use, and it's clearly way more of a watch than I am a runner. Like I said, whatever watch I chose was going to have a decent price tag and this was just one of those times where I felt like going toward the higher end of the range. Basically I wanted a nice thing, so I got one.
I can't do a nice pat pro and con list based on a few days of ownership, but at this point I can say that there are things that I like and things that I don't like.
- What I like: there is something that's "nicer" and "higher end" than my previous Garmins. It feels more responsive and more accurate, and yes that's a very subjective thing to say. One specific example is that the other Garmins that I've had always showed less elevation than Strava did for my runs. The three runs that I've done so far with the Fenix match Strava's numbers.
- Tons of features = more complicated and there's a learning curve.
- Tons of features = out of the box with everything turned on the battery performance is less than both the F35 and the F235 which was a surprise and now I see that Janae mentioned that in her review. I can improve the battery life by turning off the extra bells and whistles, which defeats the purpose of having the extra bells and whistles.
Stay tuned on this one. I'm going to try it out for a few weeks and then decide whether to keep it or return it. I can see this going either way.
Your turn: what's the nicest "thing" that you've gotten for running/fitness?