How my Garmin insults me, even after a marathon PR

A few weeks ago, I ran the Marine Corp Marathon, with a PR best in that race. Sounds great right? My trusty new Garmin watch didn’t think so. It even called me lazy. Here’s the story.

Unlike Greg, I’m not really a gadget junky. I’ll consider myself old school when it comes to Triathlon gear. For the last 12+ years, all I have used to track my training effort was a paper schedule from my coach complete with checkmarks and shading – although now I’m using TrainingPeaks (which is a whole other blog), — a stop watch and a heart rate monitor.  Although, to be honest, I stopped using my HRM after my first ironman race. Yes, I’m old school.

So, when my trusty 10-year old Timex broke, I figured it was time to upgrade.  With Greg as my guide, I bought the Garmin Forerunner 15, which has 8 hours of battery life while in GPS tracking mode, HR monitor tracking, and a bunch of other data capabilities; it’s not the top of the line but seemed like plenty of data horsepower to bring me in to the 21st century.  It works pretty well and doesn’t take a ridiculously long time to pick up the GPS. All in all. It’s pretty good.

Until it insults me. After long workouts, it flashes one ridiculous word at me: “Move”

It’s most recent offense (yes, there have been several) came after I my PR at the MCM.  I decided to use the GPS feature to help me pace and execute my run/walk strategy. (Yes, it took me 9 marathons to embrace the strategy, but it works. That’s yet another blog. Thank you again coach!!)  I put the GPS on first thing in the morning, and it tracked my complete set of steps that morning – before the race, going through security, during the 26.2 miles, and again after the race when we walked through DC to find a cab. 66,000+ steps in all that day.

When I got home, I recharged the battery and when I went to put the watch back on it flashed the horrid word… the one that implied that I sat on the sofa all day eating only beige food. It simply said “Move.”

Seriously? I had logged nearly 30 miles that day and it still called me lazy. If anything, I should have been grandfathered in for the next several days!

So, while I appreciate the watch for what it does well – act as a timer and track your miles – it’s not so good at motivation. I’ll leave that to my coach, who has a much gentler and accurate way of encouraging activity.

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Monique McDonough
About the author

Now a 5-time Ironman finisher, Monique is starting to think that, perhaps, she might actually be an athlete. Triathlons were supposed to be a hobby to alleviate the anxiety of turning 30, but more than a decade later, and after a 5-year hiatus to start a family, she’s hooked again.

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