Running on Borrowed Time

my watch
My watch, I think

My Garmin Forerunner 405 died. Well, not exactly. I might be happier if it was dead. Instead it charges overnight, but then within 30 minutes of a run it shows me a low battery message. Other times it creepily scrolls through screens that I never otherwise see. Then it teased me by acting right for a few days only to become possessed again.

My Garmin and I have a history. I bought it right before a trip to Hawaii, wanting to keep track of my miles. And now I know that it is exactly 10.73 miles round trip from my hotel room to Diamondhead and back. My watch also accompanied me to Chile when I ran near the Andes Mountains and through random streets. I love my virtual partner and race against her religiously.  Having traveled with me to such exotic locales, you can understand why I was so upset when my Garmin dumped me in South Carolina.

I needed help and fast. On a friend’s advice, I first went to Batteries Plus, where I was told it would be an easy fix–that is, until the guy there opened my watch. The 405 has a sealed battery that’s hard wired in, meaning only an authorized dealer can replace it.

part of my journey

I didn’t want to wait, so I considered buying a new watch. Something different. Sportier. My brother has the 305, but it’s much too big for my wrist. My sister has the 10, in pink. Someone showed me the 210, the 610 and even one by Nike. I had the great idea to get the Nike watch from an outlet store thinking surely the watch would be cheaper. Wrong, it was the same exact price as in the running stores, so I did not buy it.

Someone suggested I run without a watch until mine came back repaired. That would work in South Carolina, but not in Savannah. Then I remembered that my running sole-mate Yvonne had a stash of Garmins. So I asked to borrow her 405, which works even better than mine did. It’s the same model so of course it looks and feels similar, but hers even has a similar scratch on the bezel ring. OI am missing my virtual partner, but now at least I have something to help me keep track of the time, how far I am running, and how fast.

As I run with her watch  I am aware that I am taking it along different routes. If her watch could talk it would be able to tell us how similar and how different our running journeys are. And now that our sweat is mixed on the watchband, I wonder what her watch would say about me. Would it say that I did not hydrate enough, that my touches on the bezel are softer, do I press the buttons harder, do I talk too much, or eat too many cupcakes and not enough lean protein?  Do I run slower than she at the same distance? Maybe it would say I really do need to get back into the yoga studio to work on my hip flexors and that I really do not look that cute in my sports bra?

double watches
twin watches

It might congratulate me on running in the rain, getting my miles in after a late night, the fact that I am over 50 and fabulous. Or maybe it just whispers to me to keep taking one step at a time and to not concentrate so much on my pace just yet.

All of this invoked by borrowing a watch.  Perhaps it’s just my conscience speaking to me, but this watch has allowed my self-doubt and insecurities to creep into my runs, with a sprinkling of encouragement.

I am handling Yvonne’s watch it with the utmost care and will return it as soon as I get mine back. I guess I’d better send it off soon. All of this is a bit too much to ponder during an early morning run.

I eat miles for breakfast, or occasionally for a snack later in the day. Self proclaimed 50+ and fabulous poster child, US Army vet, college professor, avid runner, yoga enthusiast, guest columnist, and I've used Olay since I was 17 so they should use me in at least one of their ads!

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