In '06 I got the Garmin Forerunner 205 because I wanted to reward myself for finishing my first marathon and I was vastly disappointed by the nike+ having a 10% overestimation of the marathon distance. (28.8, not 26.2)
My second marathon (Trail, '07) made me decide to get the 305 because I wanted heart rate data. There are two points in a marathon when I have no freaking clue about how I'm doing- the beginning of the race and about mile 20 onward. I can't run by feel because at start I'm too excited, and at the end because I'm too out of it. Having that objective data on my wrist helps.
It's been three years, and though the 305 has been with me through thick and through thin, traveling with me across the country and eventually racking up about five to six *thousand* miles, and now it's time has come. Sadly, it no longer easilly connects to my computer, and there appears to be a opening in the housing. During my last run in the rain (Saturday) I saw water inside the watch face. It still works, and it still charges, but I wonder how long it'll take for the moisture to do bad things to the electronic guts inside.
So, I need a replacement. Enter in...
the Garmin Forerunner 310!
Believe me, it is a thing of beauty. The thing I've liked about all my garmin electronics is that in it's truest form, it's a tool that makes life easier. There is a learning curve, but once I've set it I can rely on it to do exactly what I tell it, letting me focus on getting the other stuff done. I can pour over the details of lap splits and heart rate and transition times later- right now it lets me focus on the *now*.
The 310 is a solid push forward over the 305- battery lifespan is significantly greater, it has a wireless connection to my computer, and more possible screens to play with. It has vibrating alerts (which will be nice when I'm trying to do cadence work in a group environment) and (last but not least) it's waterproof to 50 meters!
I have some thoughts about what I'm going to do will all this functionality. But for right now, I just want to get to Martian in one piece. After that... well. We'll see what we can see. :)