Happy Birthday – Garmin 405

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Training
Tags: ,

This morning, like most, I went through my usual “run-day” rituals.

I brushed my teeth, washed my face and hopped onto the bathroom scale to register my “pre-run weight”.  I do this in the summer to make sure I know exactly how much water weight I lose during the course of my run.  This helps me make certain I drink enough water and Gatorade to replenish my system when I get back. 

4 lbs. today or four 16 ounce drinks in just over 42 minutes of running. 


I applied my body glide, climbed into my “runderwear”, running shorts, calf sleeve, running socks and shoes.

I laid down in the family room to stretch my back and legs, did some standing calf stretches and got my iPod ready to rock.

Lastly I slipped on my GPS who celebrates its 2nd birthday today.

My Garmin 405.

We have definitely had some times together me and my Garmin.  For those of you who have an intellectual curiosity about all of this “running stuff”, but are not a runner yourself, a runner’s GPS plays a big role in our running lives.

We might complain about it struggling to find a satellite signal in a new location or synching up on a cloudy day.  We might look at it with great disdain if we forgot to charge it and it won’t power up for our run.  We might even threaten to retire it and “get another one” if it acts strangely and needs the occasional reboot.

But rest assured, we have a personal attachment to our GPS.

It functions very different from a traditional GPS which shows you where you are going.

A runner’s GPS tells us where we have been. 

For a runner, that is what our sport is all about.  When we are moving our eyes are firmly fixed ahead.  Looking toward the next hill or the next mile marker. 

Once we stop moving however, we immediately shift to analyzing all of the strides “that were” so to speak.  We want to know how far we traveled, how fast we got there and to what elevation our legs carried us. 

Nowadays, the technology is truly remarkable.  After each run I view each individual mile independently.  I can see how high the elevation changes were, analyze my fastest pace vs. my slowest as well as look at my average.  I can see how many calories I burned and how that run compares to other efforts over the same course.

All of that data is transferred wirelessly from my Garmin 405 to my computer while I am taking my post run shower.  It is waiting there for me when I return with my breakfast and start my day.  I have to admit, I take my Garmin for granted on most days.  I only pay close attention if something is not working properly – which to be honest has been very rare with this particular friend of mine.

But today, on our two-year anniversary of training together, I thought I would take a look back on the last 24 months to see just how far we have traveled.

Since August 24, 2008 when we went on our first run together we have covered some serious ground.

3,098.50 miles to be precise.

We have run for 387 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds.

We have climbed 333,937 feet of hills.

Over that time we have burned 331,539 calories.

We have raced quite a bit as well finishing 3 marathons, one half-marathon, one 10K, six 5K’s and a one mile race.

We have trained in Canada and Mexico as well as 15 states here in the US covering:  Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

We have essentially traveled across the widest portion of the United States from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and are now heading back for another try.  That is a lot of time to spend with something that you don’t really think of very often.

So Happy Birthday Garmin 405.  I might not say it very often, but thank you.  We’ve been through a lot together.  I hope you’re up for another tough year of training.

We have quite a bit more ground to cover as we continue to kick cancer’s ass 26.2 miles at a time.

  1. Jodi Higgins says:

    I love it! Happy birthday to your Garmin Joe! I ended up getting the 110 at the Chicago RNR 1/2 back in August. I absolutely love that thing! It was there and committed today during my tempo run as planned per Coach RG (running God) ;). It was a great tempo run at 5 AM! Have a good one!!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Good for you Jodi on your Tempo Run today! Saw your splits over on your FB page – next week you will be amazed how “even” you’ll be – it’s tough to manage that excitement level when you start a new training plan for sure.

      Take good care and best with those hill repeats on Thursday, I’ll be out there fighting the hills as well here in Austin! J

  2. Happy Birthday Garmin! We love our 305 but have never hooked it up to the computer…it’s amazing what we can get from just scrolling through the data on the watch. I think I need to introduce my computer and “Mile-za Minnelli” so I can figure out my elevation gain on those booty-kicking hill repeats. I echo Jodi, thanks for all the guidance Coach RG!

    • joerunfordom says:

      AJ – Absolutely – you will be crushing those repeats in no time. So excited for you guys and can’t wait to see/hear the results come race day. I think you guys would really like the upload to the computer – very cool and it is nice to be able to “date-range” search to look at similar workouts from the past …. great training tool!

      Take good care, J

      • Hey Joe, I just had to add that R and I decided it was time for me to invest in a Garmin all my own since we’re doing more of our training runs separately due to new work schedules. I had an Amazon gift card for my graduation and put it towards a 305…our Garmins share a birthday. Getting ready to geek out over all my data…you’ll have to tell me what to do with the HR monitor.

      • joerunfordom says:

        Congrats AJ! You are going to love your 305! Very cool that our GPS have that same birthday – Mine is a little older, but I’ll try not to tease him about it. Pretty sensitive when it comes to that stuff. Aaah, that heart rate monitor. That is a topic all to itself. Heart Rate training is really valuable, but man, can it be frustrating to stay in the right “zones” during your workouts. Play around with it for awhile and let’s hook up in a week or two. Lots of good data to determine where your thresholds are and what pace you should be training at. Congrats again!

  3. You’re absolutely right about us cursing their quirks, but I was just thinking this morning what an essential tool my 405 is. I’m a metrics kind of guy and, while I appreciate the occasional “naked” run, I think most runs have a purpose, and the 405 keeps me focused on that purpose. I can also say that the thing can take a licking and keep on ticking (wait, did another watch company use that)? I took a hard fall back in February and the watch is banged up, but it doesn’t impact the performance.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Greg! Thanks so much for the visit. I too enjoy those Naked Wednesdays – as it gets me very dialed in to pace and effort, but I do miss having the “data” from those workouts.

      I’ve only taken two tumbles with my 405 – but both times it never missed a beat. Great watch. Best to you from Austin, J

  4. Brian Cass says:

    When I first started blossoming into a runner eight months ago I would look at 405 and dream about putting 405 on my wrist, thinking we’d look great together. As a newer runner though intimidation got the better of me and I convinced myself 405 was out of my league. 305 however, despite being a bit overweight and not quite as pretty, still seemed like a real catch. 305 also seemed to have a great “personality” with just as much to offer a runner like me. I worked up the courage to make 305 part of my running life and today we are inseparable! I still catch myself noticing 405 from time to time, but always make sure 305 doesn’t catch me as I am sure 305 would be jealous. I’ve tried to embrace the “naked run” but just can’t seem to get out the door without 305 convincing me I need the company and I’d have to agree. We make quite the team!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Brian – your improvement as a runner over the last 6-8 months has been truly remarkable and is a great testament to how hard you have been working at it. That 305 is a great training tool and the information you are getting from it post run is so helpful when you are training and trying to get stronger, faster etc.

      Down the road I think the “naked” runs will find you, moreso than you finding them. You will wake up one morning and say to yourself, “I just feel like going for a run today” – and not worry about “training”. When that happesn, you’re ready. It’s a great way to find that inner runner again, the one that was out there just because you loved it – and not the one who is “training all the time”.

      Keep doing what you are doing Brian – I’m looking forward to seeing you with that finishers medal around your neck at the Austin Marathon this year. Best, J

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