Sunday, November 16, 2008

The start of my Richmond Marathon experience: Mis-adventures with my Garmin

Garmen 405 at the start...notice the upper runner is already 1/2 bar ahead of me. But also notice I have not even gotten over the starting line

My garmen at the science museum about 1 mile into the race. You can notice the "competitor" at the top is now out of the screen (I told you it cheats!)

I had a great time at the Richmond Marathon yesterday. It was a perfect running day in my world (warm). Although the weather was predicted to be a high of 65-69 with torrential rain and thunder/lightening, the weather that occurred was mid-70's, sunny at points and a bit windy. During my run there was no rain and thank goodness no thunder/lightening.
As with my last several marathons I ran into many friends along the way. I guess approaching my 50th marathon I now know a alot of compulsive marathoners!

Getting ready for the marathon was pretty easy. We stayed the night at my father-in-laws which is about 25 minutes from the starting line. Also, I no longer have to spend extensive amounts of time and effort gliding my feet (thanks to Drymax socks!), so all I really have to do is put in my contacts and glide my potential chafing hot spots (along any seams, around my waist where my fanny pack sits, at the edges of my sports bra and seamless underpants...). In reality getting my contacts in is more traumatic and time consuming then gliding. I have astigmatism so my contacts have alot of "body" (they are not flimsy like my husbands) and it is better if the bottom of my contacts are at the bottom of my eyes (otherwise my vision is really blurry and it takes a long time for decent vision to occur), so I have to be fairly precise how I insert them and I have to hold my eye open REALLY wide. Each time I put in my contacts I feel like a battle has occurred because my eye really wants to close. It's almost as bad as getting a pill in a cat!

After Tristan dropped me off near the start, I wandered slowly to the start line. Even though I had just used the potty before leaving the house, I had to make a porta potty pit stop. On line I saw my friend Lauri in a different line. We chatted as we eached moved forward. I got to the front of the line and went into the porta potty but it had no toilet paper. I have standards, and this was not acceptable (well at least at the beginning of races I have standards!). After 4 attempts at finding one with toilet paper, I finally found one. After I finished my business, I meandered over to the start line. I brough my new Garmen 405 to see how it worked and tried to set it up just to determine my pace. I had some problems and could not figure out what to do (perhaps this was a function of not reading the directions!) Lauri spotted me and wandered over. I explained my dilemma and she could offer no words of wisdom. We continued our chat about upcoming races, how we were feeling and just caught up. I tried to figure out my watch but was unable to do so. I think she found it pretty humorous that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but geniunely wanted to use my watch/GPS to document my progress during the race. I was getting pretty frustrated (stupid thing kept beeping at me taunting me with it's unwillingness to just start at the beginning of my race and stop at the end and tell me my pace along the way). At some point my watch seemed to suggest it would keep track of my run for 3 miles. THREE miles...this was a marathon I yelled at my watch (as if it cared!). My Garmin hates me (seriously I know it does). It has created an "avatar/competitor" who keeps ahead of me and now it will only let me run 3 miles...aargh!!

The starting gun goes off and we start moving forward. How am I supposed to know what is going on during this race. My trusty Timex would not be giving me this grief. With it all I do is hit the start, the stop and if I want to see the actual time during the race, press the lower right button. Garmen and I are now having a battle of the wills because it will do none of this. And my timex is in the car with Tristan. The other competitors are moving forward, so Lauri and I wander towards the start line. I mumble about my continued difficulties with my watch/GPS. She laughs. I cross the start line and plan to hit the start/stop button. But no...Garmin had started before we got across the start line (see above picture). I am telling you, my Garmen totally cheats! Not only does my competitor runner (who I can't decide what name to use..I'm currently oscillating between Jamie and Cindy because both my friend Jamie and my sister Cindy are so much faster then I). Oh, then I take a moment to take a picture and my guy (the lower one on the watch screen) leans over and bends down. My garmin "runner girl" is so lazy! In fact within 1 mile, my competitor disappears off the screen.

After crossing the start line I still have a dilemma. My watch thinks I am doing a 3 mile training run! I am not. But no matter how many times I tap my watch, it does not get it. I try tapping it harder. This does not work. I look around for someone who has a Garmin 405, but see no one. I see a few runners with 305's and decide they might have some advice. Well, I chat with this lady Amanda who looks like she know's what she is doing (she appears to be coaching some runners and is talking about the importance of walk breaks). I ask her about her 305, but it sounds like her watch is more idiot proof then mine. Although she does mention in the training mode, if you hit menu you can change distance. This is a step in the right direction. I do these steps but can only move the tens digit. 13 miles, 23 miles, 33 miles. Okay, I will run 33 miles (really I will run 26 miles then bail from the run). But at least my watch will not abruptly stop at mile 3. Okay, watch issues resolved, now it's time to run this race.

1 comment:

CTmarathoner said...

Tammy --I would love a Garmin!!!
Sounds like you are having fun with it. You lucked out with the 70 degree weather. It poured up here!!
Should be alittle colder for JFK...
I plan to bring my camera along for the ride also at JFK, so hope to find you at the start!!!!!!!