Pre-marathon nerves and a letter to my watch

Phil – My Garmin Forerunner 405
Phil - My Garmin Forerunner 405

Dear Phil (a.k.a Garmin 405),

We need to talk. For months we’ve been getting closer – and you have so many of the characteristics I cherish (in a watch).

You listen to me and my heart. You understand me. You communicate so well. All I have to do is look at you, and there you are – giving me feedback, letting me know where we’re at and how far we’ve been. I appreciate it all so much.

But lately you’ve been a jerk. A real jerk.

Here’s the situation. You never complain when I have to get up early for my pre-work runs. You never fail me on my long runs on the weekend. You are super on target most of the time. But then – then (!!) RACE DAY arrives. I assume, perhaps foolishly, that you will stick with me through the race as you have in my training runs. That doesn’t happen. You quit on me, Phil. And that makes me angry.

Do you have performance anxiety? Everyone gets nervous on race day, Phil. But you’re a Garmin 405 – the most sophisticated GPS/Heartrate Monitor on the market. You are the best and brightest watch out there – and yet you fail me.

No, no. I’m not going to argue with you. Just listen.

The Evidence:

Lacamas Lake 4 Miler: Our first race together. I admit it was my fault. I forgot to start you. I was unfamiliar with your buttons and scroll screen and my hands were cold. I’m sorry. My mistake, but it put us off to a rocky start.

Gresham Jazz 1/2 Marathon: You quit on me after 1.4 miles. WTF, Phil?!! Where were you? One minute you were giving me my pace and heart rate, and the next minute you became a blank, quiet screen. So not cool.

Lithia Loop Trail Marathon: Mile 1, you were fine. I was fine. Mile two. You were cool. I was cool. Mile 3… I look down and you’re frozen, still showing me the data from 2.7 miles… again, what happened Phil? Where were you? Why always on race day?

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe it’s user error and I’m pressing weird buttons or, I am forgetting to charge you like you should. Maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s me.

Regardless, the California International Marathon is only 2 days away. Yes. Sunday. And so we need … I need to figure out a game plan. I can’t be worried about you during the race. I can’t be constantly checking to see if you’re on and with me.

Phil, what am I going to do with you? Either shape up, and do your part, or I’ll be using my backup watch to monitor my splits. I’d like for you to be there, but until you work out your performance issues, I’m afraid you’re going to have to sit this one out.

What can I say – you’re a jerk and I’m a superstitious runner.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in California International Marathon and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Pre-marathon nerves and a letter to my watch

  1. Edward says:

    I coveted the 405 for a long time, but somebody I trust at my local running store warned me against getting one, saying that they were buggy. I’m sorry that you seem to have a buggy one. It’d really piss me off if my watch did me this way.

  2. Betsy says:

    Heather, you’re going to do great! Phil, I’m not so sure about.

    –Betsy (and Paula, a Garmin 205)

  3. Ana-Maria says:

    Hi Heather,
    Good luck with the marathon. I say, if Phil is not behaving, just ditch him for a Garmin 205 – unexpensive and sooo reliable even on top of a mountain trail…

  4. Emily says:

    Hilarious! I literally laughed out loud. I have the same issues with my Nike+ ipod thing on RLR (really long run) days. Best of luck to you and Phil in the marathon!

  5. aron says:

    GOOD LUCK!!!! I hope Phil cooperates sunday… that sounds SO frustrating!

  6. Marc says:

    My regular watch has been crapping out on me lately. I really wanted a Garmin, but it seems hit or miss with those. 😦
    Good luck in your race!!

  7. Nat says:

    Rule #1 — always charge Phil. But overall I find the 405 buggy tap vs. touch makes me a bit insane. But I find the sattelite reception is much much better.

    Good luck to you and to Phil.

  8. pinkcowgirl says:

    OMG!!!!!! LMAO that was too funny. 🙂 Good job on the half but Phil…man GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Jennifer says:

    OMG! I am laughing out loud at your post! 🙂 I’m not a runner, but I am a writer and that was some good writing!! Oh, and congrats on finishing your race with an excellent time. That’s awesome!

  10. kevin says:

    While awaiting your cim race report, i read this post and must say, it is the funniest, most creative thing ive ever read about a gps watch.

  11. Laura says:

    My Garmin likes the tactic of working just fine during the race, but having no data to upload when I hook it up to my computer.

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