Saturday, May 27, 2017

I Got Three Twist Ties and a Paper Clip - Where it's at!

So I had to officially say Goodbye to my Garmin watch just as my summer running tour was getting started. It was an older version, one that used the umbilical cord to upload stats to my laptop. It was a used device passed onto me by my brother and I had utilized it religiously. Even when it began to wear out, I found ways to keep it intact and track my miles. Unfortunately, my MacGyver-like fixes and patchwork could only go so far.


Super glue, three twist ties,
a piece of the torn band
and a paper clip.
After a few weeks of repairs, it became too much to endure. The super glue, three twist ties, paper clip and random piece of the former watch band that made up the missing portion of the watch, had to go. I contacted Garmin with the following email, partly as a joke and mostly because I was proud of my watch repair ingenuity and wanted to share it:

Hello Gurus of the Garmin...

Below you will see some recent pics of my Garmin Watch band (older, but not ancient. Though, it does utilize the umbilical cord in order to upload and thinks Bluetooth is a Harry Potter character), it is slowly disappearing like Marty McFly before his future dad clocks the crap out of Biff and makes out with his future mom - ooohh yeeaahh. It doesn't help that I use it - essentially - every day. These pics are from May 17th.

Since then...I've had to also utilize the assistance of paper clips and binder clips, along with the sandwich bag twist ties you see here, in order to ensure it stays upon my wrist and doesn't go the way of Betamax.

As much as I would hate to run without the watch (not that I'm working on a sub 2 hour marathon, but I am a stats geek and I'm approaching 42 which means running at the level I'm at now will not last much longer - Damn You Father Time!), I would like to eventually run without the band further eroding or having the watch face surgically embedded into my forearm - alas, my state employ health insurance is good...just not that innovative - and I wouldn't trust Trump Care as much as I would having a rabid wolverine as a house pet.


The MacGyverd Garmin and departed pieces
So my inquiry is - how can I get said watch band fixed, replaced, fused, transformed or magically evolve into a slightly more technologically savvy running device? I'm all ears...and glasses...and thinning hair...and single...and...oh..um, I mean...Thank you for your most gracious time and Run On Friends.

Sincerely,

Craig S.

I wasn't expecting jack squat, but was curious to see if I would get some sort of humorous response.

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Surprisingly, the folks at Garmin relayed to me it would be possible to replace the somewhat ancient and crumbling Forerunner 110 with an intact device of the same caliber. All I had to do was box up the sad allotment of pieces  of my former watch, minus the knickknacks used to keep it together, and send it to them. Though, this would take anywhere from 10 to 14 days.

In the meantime, I was annoyed I wouldn't be able keep track of my miles (500 + since December 2016), splits and speed - which aren't super important, but I'm a stats geek so the withdrawal potential started to creep in. Instead of returning it right away, I decided to wait till after Saturday's New Moon Quarter Marathon in Delaware (Memorial Day weekend) and possibly the 2017 HOKA ONE ONE Columbus 10K (Columbus' oldest road race) the following weekend - that's if my piece part repair job(s) hold up.

The thought of having to go some time without it was a little depressing, I think we both shed a tear when it really hit home - or was it simply sweat I wiped off the watch face? The world may never know.

New Moon Half and Quarter Marathon race route
Saturday late afternoon arrives and the quarter marathon is whispering my name. I'm joined by some of my The Buck Fifty 150 Mile Relay teammates - Susan, Patricia (both running the 1/4), Gary, Tom & Kevin (all running the half). It was pushing 80 degrees with 60% humidity, but it had rained a ton the night before and was cloudy for most of the day, then the sun came out blazing at 6pm: our start time.

At the gun, I'm cruisin' with a group of four or five who are going faster than I prefer but I wanted to feed off of them for as long as I could. The first mile felt good, despite being a 5:45 clip. I was definitely going to slow down, but this was good. At mile two the speedsters are drifting off in the distance and I'm decent, being constantly cheered on by groups of onlookers at every corner and driveway. Mile three was similar, off by just a second or two from the previous time check.

And then the humidity and thick post rain atmosphere hit me hard. Suddenly, I felt worn out and my legs couldn't find a grove. Usually, one can eventually find a gear to stick with - not so much on this day. Mile four was a minute slower than the previous and all I could do was keep moving and suppress my inner demons from making it worse. The next 2 1/2 miles were labored. Staring at the ground ahead of me with the course in my peripheral was my way to focus on finding the finish line. I couldn't even make the casual attempt to try to stay with any of those who made their way past me.

I finished in the daylight, but the scene as I was
leaving was quite picturesque.
I didn't want to cruise control to the finish, but I had to and avoided looking at my watch since disappointment had already sunk in. Rounding the corner to the finish with a huge crowd pulling me in, I dragged my worn out legs to the end and stopped my watch. Then, without hesitation or thought, grabbed three glasses of water off of the table next to me with my right hand and in one fell swoop, dumped them over my head. A quick gasp at first, then just like that it was refreshing. Still slowing moving forward, I'm handed my finisher's medal and grab another glass of water - this one actually made it to my mouth.

New Moon Quarter Marathon
Finisher's Medal
I get my souvenir New Moon Half & Quarter Marathon cup and head straight to the beer cart. Its filled with a Shock Top Shandy and I down half of it quickly. Not the greatest beer in the world, but it hit the spot right then. I then see a table offering chocolate milk - well, why not?

So I'm shuffling around like a zombie with a shandy in one hand and a glass of chocolate milk in the other. The band in the block party area starts playing I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, I don't pay much attention, but this elderly woman - who cutting a rug in her own little world - reaches for my elbow as I pass by and gives me the "hey, you look bored, wanna dance?" look. On the road to recovery, with my beer & milk and drenched shirt keeping me cool, I join her. Just she and I, in front of the band and hundreds of runners and party goers. I wasn't so much dancing, but rather slowly gyrating in a way that onlookers could make sense of what I was doing. As our song came to an end, I jokingly say to her, "You know, I'm single." She follows with, "So am I." We chuckle and I move on to the food tent to grab a cheeseburger and various other snacks.

That's about the time I finally glanced at my watch: 6.66 miles in 47:18, a 7:13 pace. Not awful, but a good four to five minutes off of where I was hoping to be. Officially, I was 9th out of 392 quarter marathoners. The course was slightly more hilly than where I train typically, but not so much that it would have played a key role. The humidity knocked me down.




Restoration Brew Worx, highly
recommend. Tell Frank I said, "Hi".
My teammates make their way in, some doing about what they expected (or hoped) and others (like me) not so much. A learning experience it was, but I will be back next year - I'm simply not happy the New Moon got the best of me. And, that too, its hard to not like a race where the start/finish line are directly in front of Restoration Brew Worx, BOOM!

Our group slowly departs, but before leaving - Gary, Kevin and I make a quick stop at Barley Hopsters to grab just one more beer. I have a Wolf's Ridge Driftwood Session IPA and we step just outside on the patio to relax and watch the sun disappear and crescent moon slowly rise.

That's when I reminded Kevin about the hat he wore when he arrived. He decided he didn't want to wear it during the race and didn't want to carry it, but had no where to put it. As we waited to enter the race corral, upon our urging, Kevin shoved it into some flowers in a planter in front of Barely Hopsters and stuck a rock in front of where he put it with the hopes that maybe it would still be there when he returned (if he remember to get it).

Kevin's eyes lit up, "That's right!" He wandered over to the planter, working his way through bystanders, stuck his hand into the arrangement and pulled out his fluorescent hat - it lives! He then headed out, leaving Gary and I to finish our beers and talk of future races, possibly next weekend's HOKA ONE ONE Columbus 10K. Once finished, I make the slow stroll north on Sandusky Street on the humid May evening toward my car watching passing head lights, street lamp glare and glowing store fronts dance off of race course reflectors.

Wolf's Ridge Driftwood Session IPA - Tasty stuff
Summer Runnin' is now two weeks old with race number one in the books and the unknown awaits. Here's to the miles, sweat, fun, heat, people to meet, beers to drink and sweltering streets we hope to endure in the coming months...

Moon is high, shining down on the flowers
You and I while away the hours
Walk me down the sweltering street
I want to feel the city's summer heat

They're gonna play those old records till dawn
Let the music go on and on and on
It's too hot to sleep anyway
So we might as well stay

It's getting late, they're closing their doors
Let's go upstairs and dance some more
The words left unsaid can be told in time
You've gone to my head like sweet moonshine

 Let's play those old records till dawn
   Let the music go on and on and on
It's too hot to sleep anyway

So you might as well stay

                                                                        Eilen Jewell - Too Hot To sleep


Runnin' Summer 2017 Tour:



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