I purchased a Omron HR-100C Heart Rate Monitor.
It has the chest strap that sends your heart rate info to the watch, so you can constantly monitor your pulse, and you can set your target range with alerts and all that stuff.
This model was pretty cheap ($34.99 Amazon), so I was not expecting too much.
When I run I have a running app going that tracks my distance and speed and location info (http://www.endomondo.com), and also listen to the radio using the iHeartRadio app. I listen using Bluetooth headphones. So there's a lot going on with my phone, and lately my phone has not been performing well. From time to time the phone locks up, or the running app stops, or radio stops.
Well now I've added another thing to the mix. At the moment, the heart rate monitor has nothing to do with the phone, except that it is also sending info via Bluetooth, so there's two streams going on right next to each other. I'm not sure if this is the problem, but about a mile into my inaugural run with the Omron unit, the phone locked up and all apps stopped.
But, the Omron seemed to keep going. I usually run 3 miles, and I run very slow. The monitor says I was usually around 150, and hit 160 on some hills, and the final hill had me up to 165. I don't know what to make of any of that info, except that now I have a general baseline.
My knees is really bothering me, so I might not run until next week, but I'm looking forward to taking it out again. I just hope I can get the phone to work with it.