Saturday, September 1, 2012

Never ending thirst for technology


RUNNING – my new hobby – this after PSP, airsoft, photography and tarantulas. i am a new runner, just finished one 5km fun run by RSC just 2 months or so. will be having my 2nd 5km at the Rexona Men run on Sept 23, then my first 10km at the Adidas KOTR on Sept 30. planning to join the Men’s Health Urbanathlon on October 14.
my inclination to gadgets and technology keeps me on wanting to infuse it with whatever i do. although my first bought gadget related tonrunning is just a plain casio lap timer watch – cheap buy at ebay. with it i tracked run-walk intervals and improved from there (i couldve just ran and stopped when im tired but hey, thats just not technical, hehe!)
when i got my tempo and improved my cardio, i traded my old car stereo for an ipod nano 6th gen. of course i upgraded it to the latest 1.20 version to incorporate the Nike+ software. it really was a useful gadget as it measured length of my run (needed a bit if callibration though), pace and kept track of my runs without me logging it manually. Nike+ site also was cool enough to show me some trends and kept me wanting to go the extra km or pace.
but the issue of having to use my belt pouch even on a morning short run to carry the nano is becoming a nuissance. also, putting it out to check my run data and putting it back gets in the way of running.
so i decided to get a single gadget that has the best of both gadgets i had – a gps watch. as the techy person that i am, ofbcourse i wouldnt just get any gps watch. i need to know about them gps watches and how they will fit my needs – measure my run distance, give me my pace, and my average times. the first brand i know is Garmin – they have the widest range of running watches from the basic to monstrous-sized FR310s.
i chose the garmin FR410. it has the basic features i need plus a good set of features that automates improving my runs like the virtual race partner that will show you if you’re lagging behind or feeding him dust. this plus the heart rate monitor and uploading of data plus the garmin software.
however, the cost implication of the FR410 prevents me from actually buying. i had to dispose of my airsoft stuff and a few spiders to raise funds – i did get to raise funds  but i bought a new set of lens while i was browsing pipho, hehe!  it was a good buy though.

this is when i got to check out an alternative brand, the soleus 1.0. it has the basic features i need – thats it though, just the basics. i dont get to have the virtual race and pc transfer or the heart rate monitor, but hr, price difference was really huge!
i got a good deal for a bnew condish Soleus 1.0 gps watch online this Thursday. i can say that this perhaps is one of the best buys i have ever made!
so i got to use it today, i haven’t run for at least 5 days as work was too much, an out of town day-trip and an unusual bad stomach.
GPS reception, as stated in most technical reviews took atmost 2 minutes. its the first time to acquire a signal in our place, so ill have to check again on my next run if it will be the same. although i wasnt bothered that much as i did my warm up while waiting for a signal. it did manage to get connected before i finish my stretches.
on the run i was amazed at how it works! i didnt get a hard time reading the numbers, i guess all the reviews i made prior to buying made me familiar with it.
i managed to run 8km under 54 minutes. prior run was 10km at 1:14. i guess i lagged a bit, probably due to the bad stomach or maybe because of the constant glancing at the watch, haha! reviewing the stats also was a breeze, and since there’s no transfer of data allowed, i logged it in my playbook’s excel log sheet. i also signed up at dailymile.com. i guess ill just log my stats there for me to get a better view of how im progressing.
overall, the soleus 1.0 is a good techy-beginner-runner’s tool. doesn’t cost too much, but still packs the tech you need to satisfy your stat needs. now go and run!

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