I had to laugh when another mother runner on Facebook said she looks at the sky when she was waiting for her Garmin to hook in a satellite. Like she could give a satellite a disapproving face, as I often give my kids, and it would fall in line.
So Garmins might require a little patience on cloudy days or when you're running, say, in lower Manhattan, but once they're locked it, those babies track pace, distance, time, calories burned and a slew of other numbers that you can slice, dice, be proud of, get disgusted at (only 350 calories for that bun-burner of an effort?) and otherwise analyze.
But maybe Garmins don't do enough. I'm thinking those engineers in Kansas City might need some bigger tasks. For instance, I wouldn't mind seeing:
- A square that, pre-run, accurately predicts how your run will go. It would say one of the following: mind-blowing; great; normal; crappy; go back to bed. I'd probably still run even if I crappy comes up, but at least then I'd know to expect it. I would go back to bed, though, if instructed to do so. I'm a play-by-the-rules kind of girl.
- Similarly, a square that you could look at during your run that lets you know how the rest of the miles are going to go: raise a glass!; will get better; riding a plateau; hang on for dear life.
- Another square--yes, I'm making this imaginary Garmin the size of a laptop--that tells you, as you approach home, how things are going there: tantrums; TV time; whining; quiet play time; begging for snacks. I'd then adjust my route—or outdoor stretching—accordingly.
- An inner chip that would sync up with my music, if I'm listening to it, to give me a boost when my pace or motivation sags. It would clearly know not to repeat songs.
- A light function that would be synced with your intestines. Green light=you're fine; venture far from home. Yellow=stay within 2 miles of home. Red=you better be within 40 steps of your front door.
So you're probably not surprised to find out that we've got a Garmin Forerunner 210 to give away today. (Whee! Maybe we need a feature that cheers you on as well?) While this $250 beauty can't predict the future, it does log a run mighty well. Stats include heart rate (strap included), average pace, time run and calories burned; it can be set up for interval work as well. In addition, it's definitely not a laptop on your wrist; it's engineered for the dainty, delicate wrists of us mother runners.
What do you have to do to enter, you ask? In the comments below, give us some function—could be fun, could be functional—you wish Garmin would integrate into their units. How many grilled cheeses you've burned? How much you're going to kill the upcoming hill? A beacon that would let you know if women running by you could be potential BRF's? A ringtone instead of the you've-run-a-mile beep?
[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States. It begins on 3/28/12 and ends on 4/4/12; the winner will be chosen through random.org and announced on 4/5/12 . The prize is worth $250. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.