Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Precious

So, a large part of my annual compensation is not salary, but my annual bonus.  Which gets paid the last week in February.

I'm pretty good about socking it into savings, but I usually allow myself an indulgence, a splurge.

And, as it turns out, this is the same week that my Garmin 310xt took a turn for the worse.

To give some background, the Garmin 310xt is a watch/GPS/heart rate monitor aimed at triathletes (not me) but which also works well for runners that spend a lot of time pool-running (me).  It's waterproof, and lets one program in workouts with vibrating alerts -- meaning that I can do my classic pool-running "track workout" of 3:00 on/1:00 off by simply programing it to vibrate at the end of each 3 minute and 1 minute segment.

I loved my Garmin 310xt.  At least the first one.  It was my faithful companion through last winter's pool-running extravaganza, and never did me wrong.  So much did I love it that I overlooked the truly ugly grey and orange color scheme, as well as the bulkiness of it on my wrist.

And then the screen cracked, and some water got in, and it was gone.  Garmin sent me a replacement under warranty, but 310xt v.2.0 never lived up to the record of its predecessor.  It forgot to vibrate, froze for no reason, failed to charge, and regularly decided that my latest workout was actually performed back in early 2007 - consigning the data to the far recesses of the watch's memory.
The 910xt is a bit smaller and cheaper than this car

And then I noted fogging under the screen, a sure sign that it was on its last legs.  And then I got my bonus.

And I splurged.  On the new Bugatti Veyron of Garmins. 

The 910xt.

You can read DC Rainmaker's review here if you want to know the full details about it, but basically it's jampacked with features I'll never ever need or use.   I have absolutely no idea what a biking power meter is; and I really don't care/don't wanna know what my SWOLF (swimming efficiency score) is.

So why get it?  I am emphatically NOT a triathlete.  There is no allure to me in taking one fairly cheap sport that I have some ability in and combining it with two other sports that are more expensive and that I have no ability in.  Plus I can't imagine doing a transition in less than 20 minutes, given how much time it takes me just to get ready to run now.

And yet I shelled out for the triathlete superwatch, with a list price of $400 (I paid a bit less, due to running store discounts, etc). 

Easy.  It has all the same features that I relied upon in the 310xt - 20 hours battery life, vibrating alerts, totally waterproof.   It also appears to be designed to be slightly more durable than the 310xt - stronger strap (mine broke 3 times on the old) and a recessed screen that hopefully will be less likely to crack.  And it's a bit smaller, so a better fit on my tiny wrist.

The one addition that I do use is the swim autolap function -- though the GPS doesn't work inside, Garmin's figured out a way to calculate when you complete a length of the pool.  As I understand it, there's an accelerometer in the watch that figures out when you stop moving your arms for a minute, and concludes that you've hit one end of the pool and are turning.   Tried it this morning, and wow it worked well.  At least in counting laps automatically (it confused my freestyle from breast stroke, but that's probably more me than it).
Yes - I swim 25 yards in between 31-33 seconds. 
I don't swim for fitness, but for relaxation and recovery (plus lung conditioning).
And I'm also a LOUSY swimmer.  This is all with the pull buoy, so I'm even slower normally.
The lap counter DOESN'T work when pool-running, but that's fine - there's no real point to counting laps when pool-running anyway.

And... the final point in its favor?  What finally pushed me over the edge?  Easy.


Sometimes, when no one's bothering me, I just look at it.  Alone, in my basement. 

And no. I will not share.


  1. It's really beautiful and I am very envious! You are the perfect pair! :)

  2. Oh, this is amazing! Look at it alone in the basement. Hahahha.


  4. "There is no allure to me in taking one fairly cheap sport that I have some ability in and combining it with two other sports that are more expensive and that I have no ability in."

    See, this is contrary to the triathlete's motto: why excel in one sport when you can be mediocre in three?