DC Rainmaker Reviews Stuff

April 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

I was listening to the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast and was fascinated by an interview they did with DC Rainmaker (Ray).  Ray is a tri-athlete who does some super in-depth reviews of techie gadgets for athletes.

He gets the product and then uses it during his training and racing until he really knows it.  Only after getting intimate with a device will he write a review.  So the information is good and not just taken from press releases.  Ray now receives items from the companies but he returns them after the review and purchases his own for his use to maintain his independence.

For example, his review on the Garmin Forerunner 405 was almost 3,700 words and included 31 pictures!  He pointed out the same weakness I found–the bezel is gimmicky at best (downright awful in the rain) and the software is a disgrace, thank goodness for Sport Tracks.

If you’re in the market for some endurance-related gadgets, and you know you are, I can’t recommend enough that you check out DC Rainmaker.

First Run

January 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well looks like nothing is going to be easy this year.

Cruddy weather-single digit temps, with strong winds made for inhospitable conditions.  Combined with poor footing, I didn’t look forward to going out today.

But, after putting of the running until 3 in the afternoon, I found out my GPS watch (Garmin 405, which I love) had crashed.  Despite having a nearly full charge, I could not get any readings on the screen.  The weird thing is that the watch appeared to be responding to button pushes–the normal beeps when hitting the start and stop buttons and the back light worked normal.  The Google Machine led me to instructions on how to reboot the watch, but without resolving the problem.

Now I realize how addicted I am to the damn thing.

I finally drudged my way through 3 miles in 26:44.  And I had to figure out by hand that I had averaged 8:55 per mile.  Uggghh!  Turns out I can get a new one at Best Buy but I’m feeling like a bum for being so dependent on the darn thing.

I had hoped to do a 10-miler this weekend but now, sans watch, not sure what I am going to do.

SportTracks

July 27, 2010 § 3 Comments

As I am busy not running, thought I would squeak in a bit about my most important training partner. My Garmin 405.
I’ve been running with various technologies for awhile–use to carry a Garmin eTrex in my hand close to 10 years ago. I held off on buying a GPS watch until they looked like, well not a GPS watch. Got one as soon as they first came out.

I love it now and more than once I’ve panicked and wondered if I should bother running when I’ve forgotten it at home.

But it wasn’t always like that largely because the software that comes with it is awful. It downloaded the data, plotted it on a crude map, and displayed the splits, etc. But just poor, very poor software. There is an online option that I never quite figured out. You would think with all the time & effort put into the watch, that a little effort would have been made on the software.

But, alas, all was not lost. Zone Five Software put out a great application that integrates with the Garmin 405 and other GPS devices called SportTracks. I’ve used it for over a year and a half and it really has been the saving grace for me and my use of my Garmin watch. It has all the features I want, it allows for plug-ins, and, to top it off, is free. Although I see a new version is coming out next month but as long as it is as functional as the current version, I would be happy to pay just $30 for it.

Well, I’ve taken two off days & leg is feeling pretty good, think I’ll test it in just over 12 hours from now.

Peace.

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