Sunday, September 7, 2014

Garmins, Coaches, Young People, Poodles, and Half Marathons.

My Garmin died. You may think this is not a true tragedy. I would have to agree. Yet consider this:
1) Garmins are made of plastic and probably will NEVER leave the landfills.
2) I have only had it for about 3 years.
3) If I continue running with Garmins till I die, which could be tomorrow but let's just say it is 40 years, that is approximately 13 more Garmins I will go through.
4) The Earth is doomed.

I ran yesterday with Map My Run. OK, this is actually a pretty cool app. It lets you choose your music from your list (I chose shuffle from all of my music, which led to a pretty crazy mix of Bach, Beyonce and John Coltrane). Then you hit start workout, and you just run and every mile this flight-attendant voice comes on, politely pausing the bebop or English Suite or whatever and tells you your mileage, overall pace and split for the last mile. Bitchin'.

It does not (yet) talk to Strava though. I really like Strava! All my friends use Strava! It is not real if I do not post it to Strava!

Yesterday, I went out to run, to see where my body was at. I am signed up for the local fall marathon. I have not, however, put in enough miles to give it its due respect. Yesterday was a test run, and my body said "Yeah, so, not going to happen." I mean I can run 26 miles. But not with gusto, and I want to run with gusto. So, as the song goes, If you haven't got a marathon, a half marathon will do. If you haven't got a half marathon, God bless you.

There is an amazing athlete who gives me some coaching. She is like a God(dess). She was kind enough, when I informed her of my decision to go half instead of full, to say I was wise to listen to my body or something like that. Also, I think she said something about kicking some ass at the half. Gulp.

Coaches are key, if they are the right ones. Mean words, discouragement and abuse do not a good coach make. But someone who can see a flicker of fire within you, and blow on it and add just the right amount of kindling to turn it into a full on roar? That is priceless.

Several weeks ago, on a run with my eldest child, I spoke out loud my uncertainty. I said I am not actually sure I am a runner anymore. My body just does not seem to respond like it used to. In a couple of short weeks I turn 45, and maybe I am just done as a competitive runner. My child, who really is no longer a child, turned to me with these words. "Don't stop." And something along the lines of wanting to be as fit as I am when she is my age. I think the word inspiration might have come up in this particular conversation. I held back my tears.

And then there is my dog. He is not super fast (except when the pit bull was chasing him a couple of weeks ago: man, was he fast then). But he LOVES running. When we go for a walk, he looks at me quizzically, as if to say "What is this? Why do you move so slowly? Are you somehow damaged or lame?" The best is the beach. Off leash, he stretches his limbs and we run. For the first 2 miles, he is ahead or by my side. After that, he falls behind, but his tracks are neatly aligned with mine, evidenced in the sand which tells you where you were and what your gait is and what size shoe you wear. Do not commit a crime, then walk through sand.

He falls behind, but he is so content, running at his own pace for 6 or 8 miles, on the beach, with the spy-hopping seals and the flocks of chase-worthy birds and the smell of sea salt and fish and rotting seaweed.

As much as I love the Earth, I will get another Garmin.
As much as I doubt the fire within, I will listen to my Coach.
As much as I mourn my lost youth, I do appreciate the word of a kind young woman.
As much as I hate the way my dog smells after a beach run, I will continue to take him along and revel in his joy.

Thirteen point one: kiss my (almost) 45 year patooty.


  1. You are such a good writer on a marvelous journey. Love the dog's response to "walking."

  2. My Garmin lost its sense of direction (and its ability to be recharged). But the landfill is not its final resting place; instead, it now lies in repose in my cabinet of dead electronics. I am sure that someday they will rise and become useful again. Why else would I keep them?

  3. Have you tried a soft reset of your Garmin? It saved mine a few weeks ago.

    I love your blog. :)