Garmin Dead

My beloved running companion, my precious Garmin 405 has finally had it’s last run. I’ve known this day has been coming for a while but I’ve been running with it as long as possible. It’s *possible* that it might be able to record the entirety of Hospital Hill… but 1:45 really seems to be the absolute limit. Back in October running the Kansas City Full Marathon, on a completely full charge it lasted 1:44 / 12 miles. That was a little disappointing since that was my marathon PR and I really like having a nice record of all of those on the Garmin connect.

Even though I’ve run 40 activities since then, I think its finally time. Yesterday I went out with the Garmin at 99% charge. I went on a route that I frequently run which is exactly 6.85 miles. It’s a great route that I love to try to beat my previous bests on. Since March of 2009 I’ve run it 17 times anywhere from 1:02 to 0:53. A couple of weeks ago I ran the route and had a pretty great run. I thought I’d PRed it for sure… nope. Missed it by 20 seconds. Still a great run. Yesterday I left the house feeling pretty good and was running strong from the start… I thought I’d go for a good time on the ol 6.85 miler. Well I did have a strong run. I really strode it out at times and was clocking the miles in great splits. Then — oh no!

With about a mile left I got a low battery warning… another half mile, another low battery warning. I was talking to the Garmin saying comon’ you can do it! Just half a mile more! It was giving me even more incentive to finish strongly. My old 53:50 PR (7:52/mi) would die today. But no, next time I looked down the Garmin was staring at me blankly. My Garmin had finally died.

Oh I finished just fine and I’m sure it was a training PR for me on that route. Continuing with my pace would have been a stellar 51:49 (7:34/mi).

So now I’ve got to decide to do… new watch? Repair? I looked at all the options:

Garmin Forerunner 10 – $129 great price… simple, fun, easy, new (latest model). Only maybe slightly simplistic with a couple of features.

Garmin 410 – $199 – A strong contender… I nearly bought this. Just like the 405 but with some cool features… you can actually power it off! (wow!) Quicker satellite acquisition / more accurate reception.

Garmin 610 $349 – The new multicolor one is cool. I was real tempted with this one. I’m sure its like the 410 but even better. Just a little pricey.

Garmin 910XT – $399 – An intriguing choice… Although I haven’t done any triathlons… I’d like to possibly. I’ve done some experimenting with Duathlons and have worn my Garmin out a few times biking. Other nice feature would be the super extended battery… remember I’m training for a 50k and that would really come in handy … My 405 in its best days only made it just over 4 hours which couldn’t quite finish a 20 mile trail run for me. It’s expensive though… and HUGE!

Garmin Repair 405 – $79 with them being just down the street in Olathe this was pretty tempting too… and the responsible / frugal thing to do. After all, my 405 does everything I want really and for the most part I’m 95% satisfied with it. Just hate to spend $80 when for just a little more could get a brand new watch.

In the end I chose none of the above. I’m sending my current watch to a guy in California I found on ebay who for $40 is supposedly going to re-fit my existing watch with a new battery which is capable of lasting 8-10 hours in training mode. Now THAT would be awesome! For that 50k I’ve got coming up in July it just may be able to do the job! (6-7 hours I think).

Of course this all depends if the repair works out ok, but hopefully it will … he seems to have LOTS of satisfied customers! I will report back when I receive my “new” watch back. Until then… maybe I’ll run a few times sans GPS! Old school!

Happy Running and Training!

(Posts about Beer are forthcoming I promise!)

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