9 – other upgrades


When I sold off my m4/3 kit, I made enough to also afford the purchase of the Garmin Vivoactive smartwatch.

For a year now, I’ve been rocking two pieces of wrist candy on a daily basis: my Casio G-Shock watch and my Fitbit, both of which I’d alternate for my Forerunner 310xt when I went for a run (when I trained for the OC Half, this was about 4-5 times a week).

The downside of this arrangement is that I needed to keep track of two different applications to monitor my activity. At some point, I just gave up on wearing my Fitbit during runs and I would just manually enter the run from the Forerunner into the Fitbit app. This then got too old, so I just stopped manually tying them both together.

Now, with the Vivoactive, I got rid of my Fitbit (I gave both of the Fitbits to my parents) and I’m selling the watch on eBay…which makes me sad because it’s a good watch and I used my United Mileage to get it…I think of all the pain and freaking inconvenience of flying United and the watch was my reminder of never flying United again. Save for a trip to the UK with my boss last year – which was only made tolerable by my tagging along with him to the lounges for free drinks and food before each flight – I’ve been pretty good with staying away from United Airlines.

Anyway, the Vivoactive gets me integrated activity, sleep, and run tracking in one device, which ultimately simplifies my life.

The e-paper display is really nice and it’s always on. I charged it to 100% when I got the watch, went on two 5-mile runs which used GPS, and the battery is still above 50%. I also have notifications enabled and remote music control – which is about all the ‘smart’ functionality I need. I’ve changed the watch face on a daily basis, but I keep going back to a simple one that shows simple icons for status, a big easily readable digital time display, and the date. I just swipe over one screen if I want to see my steps and I swipe to another screen if I want to see how many notifications I have. I don’t really need to see all of it on one screen.

A lot of people at work have an Android watch or an Apple watch and it’s just a slab of black on their wrist…and they’re still charging every day. I always know the time and my step count and still get all notifications, and I’ll probably only need to charge once a week…and I have built-in GPS.

The picture above shows my first Forerunner 205, my Forerunner 310xt, and the Vivoactive (yes, I’m well integrated into the Garmin ecosystem).

I’m selling the 310xt on eBay right now, along with the GSC 10 bike speed and cadence sensor (I don’t need these statistics for my rides anymore). The Forerunner 205 has been loaned out to coworkers for their run training – it’s currently being used by a coworker who is training for the Portland half marathon.

Anyway, I’m currently training for an annual 6-mile fun run in July. I PR’ed last year with 7:30/mile. Right now, I’m down to an average 7:20/mile for 5 miles, but 2.5 mile split is downhill…I basically average 7:00/mile for the first half and average 7:55/mile for the second half. On alternate days, I’ve been lifting weights (upper body workout with about eighty 50-pound squats in addition) – I’m hoping to build more overall muscle and core strength, which should help with my endurance.


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