Sunday, March 29, 2009

Product Review: Garmin Forerunner 405



Retail Price: $349.99

The Good: I really having nothing good to say about this watch other than it does tell time.

The Bad: I was fired up when this was launched as I was looking for a new training watch and liked the 305 but wanted something smaller and that didn't look like a computer.

The 405 disappointed in so many ways, let me try to list them:

1. It takes forever to locate satellites; and when you are standing outside in freezing temperatures waiting for it to just allow you to start the stop watch is ridiculous.

2. The touch bezel is crap; it doesn't work with gloves on; it doesn't work with sweaty wet fingers; but; will work when your wet sleeve touches it.

3. It gives terrible pace read outs. I was running intervals and looked down to check my pace and it read 13:34 min/mi...boy am I really slow. There is no way to use this to accurately gauge pacing.

The Consensus: I'm back to my Polar which is much more reliable.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Reading, Racing and Weck

I'm doing a lot of reading these days...everyday I read the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Business Daily and many other blogs that come through my RSS feed; I am making my way through Atlas Shrugged (this has been a few months in progress, but one of the best books I've ever read); I read Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company and few other magazines. I read a majority of these items on my Kindle (one of the greatest pieces of technology around) and love being able to have all of this information at my fingertips.
I read a very interesting article in the March 30th issue of Fortune:
Layoffs cost more than you think
Cutting jobs may seem the fastest, easiest way to manage in a recession. But it's really one of the most expensive.

The article goes through 5 ways layoffs are more costly in the long run:
  1. Brand Equity Costs
  2. Leadership Costs
  3. Morale Costs
  4. Wall Street Costs
  5. Rehiring Costs

So while companies think they are saving money now, they are creating weaker work environments and marginalizing their brands, services and value. It will be interesting to follow and see what some of the companies that cut so many workers do when the economy turns around and if they can keep up with those who invested in people and a strong foundation. My guess is two thing will happen:

1. New brands/service leaders will emerge and take market share from the cost dumping companies, and those companies will drive their industries and shape the future of consumption.

2. The companies who dumped people to cut expenses will over-spend trying to regain top talent, creating micro bubbles; those bubbles will quickly burst because recent history will show that in the face of difficulty, they sacrificed the foundation of a company to get by.

Ok, on to the fun stuff...I was back on the bike racing laps in Central Park this past weekend. While I did not win, I did not crash and had a good time while getting in some good speed and intensity training. As always, I took a few flyers off the front of the pack and almost got one solo effort to stick, but I was caught and hung in the field until a group of three got away and no one felt the need to chase. So, I kept blasting off the front to try and bridge and/or get the pack to close the gap catch the break. There was little motivation to catch the break and they made it to the end (just barely).I am off to try my hand at some racing in a different venue this weekend when I head to our home upstate and race Saturday in an event just down the hill. Then it is off to New Orleans for the New Orleans Ironman 70.3 next week; it will be an interesting test and I hope to hammer the bike and survive the run...great strategy eh?

Finally, It's Monday and I'm chilling with Weck. We are 4 1/2 months and one curious dude...nap time is over!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Life is what happens when you are not looking

It is amazing how I can sort of just disappear into this world of my own to reemerge wondering where the time went. It is not a bad thing at all, actually it means I'm relaxed and living in the moment.
I was commenting to my wife the other evening that since being laid off this is the first time I've noticed that I've stopped grinding my teeth, waking up in the middle of the night worrying a deadline and the lack of tension in my shoulders and neck. Don't get me wrong, I'm still stressed - a 4 1/2 month old son, no job, bad economy, family obligations, etc..., but it is a different kind of stress. I am actually using the stress that comes from being "head of household" and advancing my life to the next level to motivate me.
I've come to realize it doesn't matter what my job is, because I've worked for some great companies and people as well as running my own company; the job stress is a beast no matter the situation, and in some ways I miss it...
So, what am I doing now? Well, it is a lot of networking and trying to stay on people's radar for when things come around and companies actually start hiring and stop cutting (I've presented at a few conferences and had a ton of great meetings); A lot of time training...AH HA, the great stress reducer!!!... A lot of time with Weck; I find every reason not to leave the house or take him with with me these days as he is growing and becoming his own little person.

It is a crazy world out there and we all are feeling the pain. My advice is to grab what's near and dear to your heart, hold it close and enjoy that one heart beat; also, find an outlet...might it be running or biking or just walking through a park, get out, enjoy some sun shine and soak in the warmth and vitamin D.

Congratulations go out to my friend Christian Vande Velde:I'm hoping to strike a similar pose in one of my local races soon! CONGRATS VdV!!!
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