I was excited. Really excited. I had wanted a GPS watch for quite a while. But now that I am a cross country coach with miles of trails at my fingertips, I want to be able to send the kids out on runs of known length. So, on the way home from an appointment I stopped in at a local sporting goods store to look at their selection of devices. I had no intention of buying since I was confident I could get a better internet deal. I wandered the store and found nothing. A simple question to a sales associate, however, sent me to a disheveled sales table.
"I think there was one of those green Garmin 'thingees' in here somewhere," she said as we began rifling through the disorganized bins. I found bits and pieces of a cheap tin camping cook set, fishing lures and countless other items, most sans their original packaging. But suddenly, I spotted it: the allusive green Garmin Forerunner 405. I tried to control my excitement, my pulse quickening with anticipation. I began to search in earnest for all the components, the instruction book lighting the way as to what I was looking for. Little by little, I placed each found piece in a ziplock bag labeled with a price tag of $349.00. Too rich for my blood. However, for the trouble of a successful search and find mission and some wrangling with the manager, I walked out of the store with the watch, books, heart rate monitor and all the adapters, chargers and USB sticks for $175 even. Thank you, Lord!
Now, I just have to figure out how to use this modern piece of technology. The touch-tone bezel is new to me; simple taps of the finger on the watch replace cumbersome buttons. It can record heart rate, courses, elevation gains and losses, speed, mileage, GPS position, and can even guide you back to where you started. It interfaces with your computer and creates lovely charts and graphs. You can set it for interval workouts, repeats, and hill work torture tests. The possibilities are endless.
Last night I strapped it on and headed out the door. I tapped the bezel and pushed one of the two buttons as I remembered the booklet to instruct. However, without my glasses, I had a hard time reading the watch face as I sauntered along. It was only upon my return that I saw that the battery went dead somewhere along the way. I'll have to get used to an eight-hour battery life and plan better. Nevertheless, with great anticipation, the watch and computer had a successful conversation once I snapped on the charger. I was amazed.
There, right before my eyes, was a graph of my run. One line showed the ups and downs (but mostly ups) of my heart rate. Hum. No wonder it felt so hard. Another line on the graph showed my pace. Ugh. Not very impressive. I'll chalk it up to the heat, humidity and too much meatloaf for dinner. A click on an icon pulled up a chart of the average pace, heart rate, feet of elevation gain and loss and a myriad of other parameters, even the calories spent. (Yes! I can have a snack!) And, it even showed a map of my route, that is, the route before the battery went dead. Pretty cool.
When I wear this watch, I can't cheat. It knows when I go fast, slow, or in between. It even flashes "Off course" if I leave a pre-determined path. It records the thub-dub of every heart beat and knows every second spent in motion or stopped dead in my tracks. Scary. At least when you think about it.
Oh dear. How often do I forget that my every heart beat, my every step, the thoughts and intentions of my mind and my actions, big and small, are all within the purview of my heavenly Father? There is no escape; there is no battery to go dead. I have a feeling that if I really understood that, my everyday behavior might be different.