Saturday, March 25, 2006

Yay gadgets!

Last year when I was articling I barely made enough money to get by. I'm a pro at the "just past its best" section of the grocery store and for months I bought only what I absolutely needed. The only splurges that whole year were a pair of running shoes and a suit I needed for work.

This year, things are better financially - I have a job that pays pretty well and I've actually been able to save for the wedding and stuff. Mortgage payments are cheaper than rent.

I really wanted to take clinics at the running room last year but money and the time to do it both got in the way. I would have had to get downtown and get out of work at a decent hour, both of which would've been hurdles for me.

Now, I have a job with pretty decent hours (and by those I mean pretty amazing hours compared to most lawyers) and am no longer afraid that buying the regular produce (ie not the stuff that's starting to go bad) will wreck my budget. It's a good feeling.

Other than the couch and chair I bought, there really haven't been any big splurges on my part. It's all been things we really needed for the house.

I have to say I've always been a gadget kid, especially when it came to sports. When I was 12 going on 13 my parents got me my first 10 speed bike. Growing up with my dad being big into cycling I wanted to be good at it and wanted to get a little computer that would tell me how far I'd gone, how fast I was going and how long it had taken me (incidentally having a dad who was into cycling also meant seeing lotsa dudes walking around in cycling shorts at our house when I was little which is a whole other story entirely).

I saved up all the loonies I could and paid the $22.99 (all in change, I'm sure the cashier loved me) it cost at Canadian Tire and installed it on my first "real" bike. I biked more than 1000km that summer and to this day remember the exact spot where the sporty little yellow odometer's digits turned to 1000km. I felt like I'd won the Tour de France and raced home to brag to everyone.

I'm more than twice as old as I was then but the gadget vibe is still strong. This week I bought a Garmin Forerunner 301. For the uninitiated this gadget is a heart rate monitor and GPS (oooh!) system that tells you how far you've gone, and what route you take, and your heart rate and speed, download it all to your computer, and about a gagillion other features I have yet to figure out. It has yet to make me breakfast, but I'm guessing that's about the only thing it can't do.

Figuring this sucker out has not been a cake walk. First, getting a satellite signal (wherein I stand outside by the road, holding the little watch part to the sky like a complete moron) was hard, but eventually got one. Then, installing the software on my computer so it'd recognize the unit was an experience that nearly led me throwing the new gadget and my laptop out an upstairs window. Luckily Dave came to the rescue and everything is working as it should.
Yesterday was the first day I had it all up and running and so I crudely put in some information in it, leashed up the dogs, and took it out. All was going great until I realized that spending my lunch with the gadget to the sky meant I had only eaten a bowl of cereal in the morning, 4 triscuits, some light frulano cheese, an apple, and an orange all day and it was now 5:30pm. This meant that 3k into my run I started to bonk and ended up walking with the dogs the rest of the route.

Hopefully after a glass of milk and a banana this morning I'll be good to go and figure out how the sucker works. If only there weren't wet snowflakes falling I'd be so much more motivated to go!

[UPDATE: I went 6.67km this morning in 46 minutes, burning 496 calories with an average heart rate of 164... can't wait to run in NICE weather!]

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