Running quote of the week

“It’s an honor to hit the wall… If you hit the wall you know you gave it everything.” – Lauren Fleshman

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Running Watchpocalypse on the Bethpage trail

Somewhere on that path sits half a Garmin.
Today's run (Bethpage bike trail): 5 miles (estimate)
Yesterday's run (track): 3.5 miles

On November 18, 2008, I published my first post on Emerging Runner. Today, almost eight years later, I'm publishing post number 2,100. I've covered many subjects over that time, and my tag cloud on the left lists well over a thousand of them. This blog has definitely accomplished my initial objective, serving as my training journal and an outlet for communicating with the running community. Writing 2,100 posts took a lot of time and effort, but it's been worth every minute. If it wasn't for this blog I wouldn't have met my Runsketeer buddies who I both adore and admire. Don't tell them though. It would only go to their heads.

Running is a simple thing, but it has its nuance. One aspect that fascinates and frustrates me in equal measure is the technology we use to gather running data. I've been through three Garmins over the past eight years and most of that experience has been good. My original Garmin, an FR 50, served me well until I accidentally destroyed it while replacing its battery. I replaced it with an FR 60 that improved on the 50 and has a far better battery replacement system.

About a year after buying the FR 60, I broke down and bought my first GPS watch, a Forerunner 210. It was big step up from the 60. I liked it a lot, despite occasional issues capturing a signal and the need to replace the data cradle after a while. Recently, the loop that secures the strap broke so I took the intact loop off my retired FR 60 to replace it. Soon after that, the FR 210's strap broke off making the watch unwearable. I returned the loop to the FR 60 and resumed wearing that watch on my wrist as a stopwatch while I secured the FR 210 to my SPIbelt using a keyring loop. That worked fine until today.

Yesterday's run - the FR 210's last map
Yesterday, I went to the local track to get in 14 laps before the sun came up. I had to be somewhere at 8:00 AM, so that was the best way to get in my miles. I ran well and have really taken to the NB Zante 2's that did great on the track. It was a typical track experience with the usual personas walking, running, sprinting and one guy who was throwing a medicine ball around.

This morning I headed to the Bethpage bike trail. My plan was to run about five miles, which I think I did. I'm not sure, because the god of watches decided to mess with both my Garmins today. My run started fine and I was in a great mood. The clouds hid the sun, but not the humidity. I made my way south from Haypath Rd and ran through Bethpage Park almost to the Parkview Court crossing. There were lots of walkers and it looked like a large group had come out together because many were wearing tees that said, "Move It." Early in my run, when I was halfway up a short steep section of the path, a runner coming north shouted, "I hear that hill is pretty steep today." I laughed because it was true.

I ran well despite the humidity and was about a half a mile to endpoint when I reached down to my side to look at the FR 210 and see how much distance I'd covered. There was nothing to grab and I discovered that my Garmin had fallen off the SPIbelt. It was probably sitting on the side of the path somewhere. I doubled back about a quarter mile, but was unable to find it. I was upset, but I've been planning to replace it since using it that way was fairly awkward.

Without a GPS map of my run, I figured I'd look at Gmaps when I got home and use the time from my FR 60 to calculate my pace. Annoyed, I ran the final half mile and about a hundred feet from the finish, my FR60 started to beep and the display blinked, "Scale Not Found" and then "Scanning." I couldn't turn off the message or get back to the timer (or turn that off for that matter). The watch would not respond to the buttons when I pressed them.

So in the space of five minutes, I went from having two functional running watches to none. When I got home I removed and replaced the FR 60's battery. That got it working, but I lost all the data from today's run. Before I could declare even partial victory, the watch started flashing "Scale Not Found" again.

It's time for a new watch, so my search begins in earnest. I doubt I'll have a replacement in time for next weekend. Until then, I'll rely on Gmaps and my $15 stop watch to capture my distance and pace. That should give me something to write for my 2,101st post.

6 comments:

  1. I know Garmin will be coming out with new watches soon so I have seen some of the older high end ones cheap. I saw the 620 for 86 bucks!! Sold out where that was but I a, sure you can find sales other places. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks RoC. I see that Garmin just came out with a new budget GPS model with built in HRM (FR 35). It's $120 less than the FR 235 that I've been considering, so maybe I'll bite.

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  2. If your GPS did not log your run, it didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the longest time I actually felt that. Now I know it's about the experience, not the data.
      Who am I kidding? It's about the map. It's always about the map.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. 2,100 seems to be an impressive number, but I've got way more laughs than that from the Runsketeers.

      Delete

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