A Running Partner upgrade – A new Garmin 220‏! Guest post

I have had a number of Garmin GPS watches and consider them an essential part of my training. Knowing where I’ve been, how far I went and what speed and elevation I achieved gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It also pushes me to go further, faster and do more hills than I ever would have without it.

Currently I am using my fourth model the forerunner 220. I have also had the forerunner 110, 205, and 210 models each of which worked very well. I feel like none of them really compare to the ease of use, looks and lightness of the new 220 model though.


The 210 was my previous model and it weighed in at 52 grams whereas the 220 weighs only 40.7 grams… “Big deal,” you may say. “A difference of only 11.3 grams is hardly noticeable.” If you are a distance runner though think of it this way, when you are 20 km’s into your long run and you go from an asphalt surface to a concrete surface the difference is huge!! The same can be said about the weight of these two watches, I notice an incredible difference. Just the way the watch sits on your wrist and the flexibility of the band is a huge improvement as well.

I like the fact that the touch bezel is gone as well. For every action you want do, a button must be pressed so you are less likely to switch screens or have some other mishap.

Many of the other functions are very similar to previous Forerunners. Navigating the screens I found to be very easy.  In fact, from getting it out of the box, setting it up and being ready to go for my first run, it only took about 10 minutes.  My favorite improvement is the Bluetooth connectivity. Once you download the Garmin connect app to your phone you get some very cool new abilities.  For example, when using it for the first time on a long run (with Jackie), we returned to the house to recover, she went over to her computer to upload her run and see the results on Strava only to find mine already there! (note from Jackie: Like I wasn’t already jealous enough…) When you get close to your phone it automatically uploads it! That is the coolest feature, I was able to start looking at different parts of my run immediately, even without access to a computer.

I also like the addition of the accelerometer which calculates your cadence and can track distance when GPS is unavailable. Another improvement that I like is the addition of vibration alert. Normally I run listening to music and I had a difficult time hearing the tones or alerts from the watch. Now I don’t have to hear it.  I can feel it.

If you are a new runner or someone who has been doing it for a while if you don’t have a GPS watch I would highly recommend it especially the Forerunner 220. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with it. Do I rely on it too much? Probably…. Is that going to change? Never!



Tyler and his old Garmin (and his wife)

The Outrunningblog Crew love their Garmins!

jackiewatch cathyjackiewatch maxwatch


21k and some Wild Turkeys

That was wild turkeys, not Wild Turkey. 😉


I managed to talk myself, kilometer by kilometer through my 21k today. Again by the time I was done I couldn’t run another step, but I’m that much closer to 30k. Starting to feel a little less like I won’t make it. Although, when I reached 15k today I got a little mopey when I realized that was only halfway through the race distance.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here. A day that makes me think that summer actually might come after all. It was about 3C while I was running and so sunny that I got a tan. (forgot my sunscreen) Around 5k into my run, I saw a few wild turkeys in a green space by my house – that’s a little rare. Look really hard, they’re there.


I also took a picture of how I looked when I finished today – I felt horrible. I’m not showing you the picture.  I want to do one more long run, a 25k, before the Around the Bay 30k.  I had planned to do it this coming Saturday, but Mandy has pointed out to me that I have run a lot over the last few days and I need some recovery time. So I am taking her advice and I will attempt my 25k on Tuesday. I am also going to try and fit in a little cross-training on Piratebobcat’s advice. I often forget about how important that is.

One of the things that keep me going through a long run is thinking about the delicious burger I’m going to have when I’m done. What’s your favorite post run treat?


– Jackie-

BRRRR – Chilly spring morning running


Well, I had planned to do my 20k training run this morning – and it didn’t quite turn out as planned. It got up to a high of 2C today (so nice to have temps above freezing finally!), so I mistakenly thought that early this morning it would already be nice, you know, maybe a nice -8 or so. It ended up being -18C when I woke up, and still -18C when I started my run around 6:45. It was a beautiful morning, but almost immediately I knew that my running tights weren’t going to keep me warm enough – you’d think living in Canada that I’d have a proper pair of winter running tights by now. I kept going until it was clear my legs were not going to warm up, and at 7k (and still -17C) I made it back home and decided tomorrow will be my 20k day.


I was aiming for visibility when I got dressed this morning – so I wore all the bright runner colors. 🙂

I broke out my pink Mizuno Wave Rider 9s for their maiden voyage. Can’t wait for dry sidewalks, they’re coming, I can feel it. Even though it was so cold, it was soooo nice to be out on such a beautiful sunny morning and see the sun coming up. Yay for spring mornings – even if they are -18C.

Did you have a beautiful running morning where you were?

– Jackie –

I Can’t Run Without My Garmin anymore!


I decided today would be a good day for a long run. I’ve only gotten up to 11k since recovering from a calf injury and I have a 30k Around the Bay Road Race at the end of March, I’ve got to get my butt in gear.

Well, it was a blah day and even though it was a fairly mild -8C instead of the miserable cold we’ve been having, I couldn’t get excited about running today. This cold weather is making me angry deep down inside. Being cold makes me angry, going outside makes me angry, the weather forecast makes me angry, I hate my coats, I hate my boots…I’m just done with this weather. Unfortunately the weather doesn’t seem to be done. I am going to do my best to enjoy every moment of this summer. Every moment.

Well, I started my run anyway, but at 3.7k my Garmin beeped that my battery life was low and at 3.8k it died. I’ve been having a little trouble with it saying it’s at 100% all the time. Hopefully now that it’s run all the way out it will work again. Anyhow, the only reason I kept on running at all was because I was about 1.5k from home and I couldn’t just quit where I was. But when my Garmin died, so did my desire to finish my long run. I’m sure if I wasn’t so worried about my training I’d have finished my run … oh who am I kidding, I’m addicted to my Garmin. I have to see my run. I have to see the map, my elevation, my pace. I’ll try again tomorrow. (And maybe take my old Garmin as a backup. ;D)

At least I got another great boot camp class in last night, and I feel much better after it than I did last week. This morning I was able to brush my teeth and feed myself without assistance. Imagine getting the food on the fork and then bringing your face down towards the fork…that was me last weekend.

Hopefully the week gets better from here.

Question: What running gear have you found you can’t live without?


– Jackie –

I’ve Got My Tight Pants On

You know, I’ve just always felt more comfortable having my butt camouflaged in black compression tights. I love all those funky bright tights, but I usually feel more comfortable in black. However, maybe because running marathons over the last couple of years has given me a new appreciation of my butt, (if it’s gotten me through a marathon, I shouldn’t be so worried about what it looks like, right?), my black tights are now nestled beside red, bright blue and pink pairs of running tights.

This post is about my red tights… and what I do when in my red tights ever since I saw the above video.


(My red Lululemon pants)

On a day when I am feeling especially fit, I’ll put on my red Lululemon pants and start humming the song. If my kids are lucky enough to be nearby, they are treated to the song being accompanied by me in my red pants and running shoes doing my version of Will’s dance.

Thankfully I have no pictures or video of this. 😉

I usually hear “Mom, no” or “Nobody is talking about your red pants!” But, my red pants (and that video) always make me leave for a run in a great mood.

Do you have any running gear that brings a smile to your face?

– Jackie – Jackie

Becoming “Sporty”

This post has kind of been triggered by a blog Mandy and I have been reading since we started blogging. I enjoy reading the posts on Unsporty Women Can Run and I love when she takes me on a virtual run through Tasmania. It’s especially nice to see her beautiful warm, sunny pictures on days when I’m running through ice and snow covered streets.

Seeing “unsporty” in print got me thinking. I’ve always considered myself to be “unsporty”. Although I’ve always been naturally fit, I’ve never been naturally athletic. In fact, I still have nightmares about standing at bat while playing baseball missing one pitch after another. The last time I played soccer on the beach I kicked the sand so hard, instead of the ball, that I broke a toe. I’m also so uncoordinated that I’ve been known to walk into a closet door when trying to make a dramatic exit after being right in an argument. Yeah – try to recover from that!

Now, in the past, I’ve often had years go by without a pair of running shoes in the house. I’ve been the one to hold up everyone when we were going for a walk because I was struggling to find something appropriate to wear on a trail. When I started running and decided I was going to keep running, I still didn’t get “the gear” thing and I was sure I would never be one of the people who spent a fortune on a pair of tights. Not that gear makes someone a runner, but it’s how my transformation started. I gradually went from a running shoe free closet in shades of black and gray to devoting a whole section to my brightly (happy) colored running gear. (don’t get me started on my Garmin)


I still regularly trip up stairs and can’t play sports that require coordination – and my running buddies know better than to point at something when we’re running because there is a very real chance that I will run sideways and take both of us down in seconds. I also mentally track calories on a long run and fantasize about the huge bacon, cheese and onion ring covered burger that I will eat when I’m done. But, somewhere along the line I went from mocking “healthnuts” to being the one who brings their running gear everywhere and gets up early on vacation to get a run in. Somehow, without even realizing it … I’ve become a sporty chick. 🙂

Oh, and I think Unsporty Woman might actually be sporty too. 😉

– Jackie –Jackie

Running links I liked this week…

The inspiration Pic:

I love this because I started running to lose weight, but the more I run the stronger I feel. Now I run to stay strong and to push myself to see what I can accomplish next.

The gear:
Lululemon Base Runner Long sleeve

I’m loving the Base Runner long sleeve running top by Lululemon. I have this one in the blue stripe (got it on right now). It’s so soft and comfortable, a great layering piece and so cute! (check out the little ruffle details and thumb holes – you must have thumbholes)

The Race Link:

5 Peaks Trail Running Series

This is a goal for me someday. Registration just opened for this great series. I like the idea of mixing up my 10k and half marathons with some challenging trail races.

The healthy recipe:
Fudge Black Bean Brownies recipe

Okay – it’s always good to have a good gluten free recipe for when you have company with gluten issues. She says these don’t taste healthy – I’m skeptical, but I’m going to give this recipe a try this week. (I hope it turns out better than my Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese…)

The not-so-healthy recipe:
Crab Mac n Cheese recipe

Because that’s also why I run. (And because there is no Quinoa in it 😉 )

And finally – a good idea to try: (my feet need some attention)

Five ways to show your feet some love!