Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A new watch

Yesterday: 7.8 mile tempo run over hills, 7:55 pace
Today: 6.1 mile recovery, 8:30 pace

Yesterday I had a pretty successful tempo hill run.  As you can see above, my pace for the entire 7.8 miles was under 8 minutes per mile, which is definitely fast for me.  This is my half-marathon pace.  My original plan for yesterday was a track workout.  Here is what happened.  Alarm goes off at 6am.  I wake up and realize my throat feels slightly scratchy and the glands seem swollen.  I drink some water, but it doesn't help.  I also feel tired.  Because I am tired I come up with lots of reasons to go back to bed.  I then realize that doing a track workout (my least favorite of all workouts, because I hate running in circles) with a sore throat is going to suck.  I decide the best course of action is two-fold: (1) Skip the morning workout and get a little more rest and (2) Later in the day re-evaluate my condition, and if I'm feeling good, do a tempo hill run after work.  A few hours later, my throat felt fine, and I determined I was not sick and thus running would not harm me.  I therefore did my run in the evening after work, the only downside being that it was slightly warmer than I prefer.  You may ask why I didn't just do an evening track workout.  The answer is that track workouts require the most discipline on my behalf to complete, and my resolve to run is much weaker later in the day.  Tomorrow I will do the track workout.  I can't back down because I've declared it on the internets.  Done.

Timex 1440 watch
So the main topic of this post is that I got a new watch.  Not a fancy one, a $15 one!  As you may know, I posted recently about the gear I run in, which includes a Nike sports watch.  Said sports watch is about 5 years old.  Recently, the all important 'reset' button has stopped functioning.  No matter what I do, it doesn't work.  Furthermore, the battery was replaced a mere 5 months ago, so its not the battery.  Without the reset button, I was unable to reset the Chrono display to zero.  While this is slightly annoying, I used my superior math skills and simply subtracted the old from the new time to figure out the length of my runs.  The tipping point, however, came this past Sunday with daylight savings.  See, the reset button is also essential to change the display time, and while I love my digital watch for running, I love it more for day to day use.  I always like to know what time it is, and having a watch that is one hour fast is very annoying.  The problem is when you forget that the watch is one hour fast!  I dealt with it for Sunday and Monday, and Monday evening I got a new Target.

See the idea of buying a fancy sports watch is enticing, especially the GPS watches.  But, they are all a significant investment, over $100.  Before I make that kind of a purchase, I want to consider my options and make an informed decision.  However, my watch needs couldn't wait that long, so the easiest thing to do was to make a minimal investment ($15) and buy a functional but basic Timex 1440 watch.  So far, I really like it! However, I would love to hear everyone else's reviews and suggestions for watches because more than likely I will be upgrading in the near future.

In other, ChemE, exciting news, I will be attending a conference in Shanghai, China in May!  I found out this morning that an abstract I submitted for a biotechnology conference was accepted.  This will be my first time traveling to China and first time presenting at a conference :)


  1. Great news on the conference in Shanghai! That'll be exciting (I've been as close as Hong Kong, but haven't yet gotten into the mainland.) As far as watches, being a techno Geek I run with a Timex Ironman iControl on my right wrist (which I use to control my iPod Nano and to manually do splits at mile markers) and my Garmin Forerunner 405 (which though accurate within the limits of technology typically measures 0.3 miles long over a marathon's distance, so I don't trust its average pace calculation when a P.R. might be at stake). As a less expensive alternative ($30) a small Nike+ accelerometer attached to your shoe laces wirelessly connects to your iPod Nano Gen. 4 to give you audio feedback of your pace and distance, then synchronizes via iTunes to your Nike account. It works well and its accuracy isn't bad (i.e. +/- 5%) provided you calibrate it first.

  2. Oops, never mind, you'd need a 5G Nano to have the built-in Nike+ support.

  3. I have a Garmin 205 GPS watch, that I love love love love. The danger with GPS watches is that, once you've run with them, you can never go back... but it is wonderful--bulky, but I got used to that, reliable signal, easy to use and easy to read display. Highly recommended.