Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Celebrating Veterans Day with a hike up Sugarloaf Mountain and a new Garmin Forerunner 405 with Heart Rate Monitor!

Gilligan at Sugarloaf Mountain (behind him is Frederick MD)

Tammy and Gilligan at one of the overlooks at Sugarloaf Mountain
Gilligan at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (with the Monacacy River and Potomac River in the background)

Gilligan taking a moment to enjoy "Green Park", a small local park that is about 300 meters from our townhouse

Gillligan enjoying the fall folliage at Green Park (he is so cute, isn't he?)

Today my husband and I had the day off. The one benefit of being a federal employee is the 10 Federal holidays off each year. This includes Veterans Day.

Because it was a beautiful day (about 50 degrees and sunny), Tristan and I decided to go for a short-moderate length hike. We packed up Gilligan and headed for our hike. Although I had run up and down Sugarloaf numerous times this spring and summer, I had not hiked Sugarloaf since last spring (having seen Tristan's pictures of rattlesnakes on the top of Sugarloaf I elect not to go there during rattlesnake season).

Our hike was about 4 miles long and lasted about 2 hours. Gilligan grudgingly came along (although he was better than a hike a few weeks ago when it was warmer). He tended to stay about 50 feet behind us. I assume he was hoping we would impulsively turn around and go back to the car or thinks somehow if he hangs back long enough we will go get the car and pick him up mid-hike.

After our hike was over we came home and Tristan headed ot Old Rag for a post hike mountain climb (I think he is training for next summers 6 day expedition up Mt Rainier). While Tristan was hiking, I went for a short jog. My primary purpose of my jog was to get to my local running store, Fleet Feet Gaithersburg. A few weeks ago they ordered a Garmen 405 Heart Rate Monitor. I have about $1000 in a flexible spending account (FSA) that I need to spend by March 15th because it is a use or lose account (in reality based on a negative experience last year, I want to meet the Dec. 31rst pseudo-deadline). Because of the heart rate monitor component, I can get re-imbursed from this account. Last year Tristan got a polar altimeter with a heart rate monitor from Fleet Feet which he has found useful. My Garmen 405 only cost $350, so I still have to get some other items, I'm thinking a new pair of glasses or two as well as stocking up on over-the-counter drugs I use and tend to give away during races (pepto, ibuprofen, tums, etc.)

I jogged home using my new Garmin Forerunner. Overall, I liked it (I learned what I thought was a 1 mile trip from our house to the running store is 1.97 miles...wow I am really bad at guessing distances!) But, unfortunately I hit the start button while I was still chatting with my friends at Fleet Feet. Thus, when I started jogging home, the "pacer" on the watch was well ahead of me. The runner kept taunting me that I was 0.9 miles behind and 9:26 minutes behind the pacer. My pacer clearly cheated!!!

After getting back home I took Gilligan for a small walk. I took some pictures of him with the fall folliage. In the spirit of full transparency most of my pictures of him include him upside down goofing around. But I think the pictures you see above highlight the few times when Gilligan was behaving and looking serious:-) I guess it's a tough job to be a Bernese Mountain Dog!


Jerry said...

Were you able to successfully claim your Garmin 405 (with heart rate monitor) from your 2008 healthcare flexible spending account? I'm thinking of gettin the 305 as I have a few hundred dollars to use up but am worried of getting the item rejected by the plan administrator.

Runner Tammy said...

Hi Jerry,

I was successful at getting this Garmen re-imbursed. My store, Fleet Feet Gaithersburg gave me all sorts of reciepts and documentation. One of the reciepts included specifically the phrase "Heart Rate Monitor". I suspect this was sufficient for the OTC option for medical equipment.

Good luck!