Repeat after me, “Gadgets are good. Gadgets are good.” Well, I guess I should clarify by saying that gadgets are good when not in the hands of someone who is not going to think when using the gadget. The only thing limiting the number of gadgets I have is my budget. I have to save and justify purchases of gadgets. That may be part of the reason I love them. Anyway, this is how a gadget got me in trouble today. So it is actually a story about how a guy who misuses a gadget can get into trouble.
I run with an iRiver T10 mp3 player and listen primarily to podcasts. I also have a Garmin Forerunner 301 for tracking progress and heart rate. Today, like many other, I went out at lunch to go on a quick run. A quick run normally consists of running through the streets near my office, trying to work a convenience store into the route if I need some Gatorade. A huge advantage of having a Garmin is that I can run any route and know at the end of the run how far I have gone and how fast I did it. If I see a big dog or a wreck up ahead, I just turn down a side street and still get a great work-out without losing the ability to know how far I ran.
The plan for today was to run for 30-45 minutes at a nice and easy pace. I started out slowly and felt really good. About 20 minutes into the run, I realized that I was thirsty and wasn’t quite sure where I was. Another great feature of the Garmin is the “Back to Start” in the map mode that points the way back home. I could have used this, but I didn’t pass a store on the route I had taken. I didn’t want to go back that way. I saw a road name that I thought was familiar. That’s where the trouble began. When I finally “found” myself, I was much farther from work than I thought I would be.
I knew of a store about a mile down the road. The problem with the store was that it was a mile farther away from the office than I already was. I had already been on the road and on the move for a little over thirty minutes. Despite wanting to only run for about 30-45 minutes, I was about to run away from my starting point by another mile. I was really feeling thirsty so I went for the store. I bought some Berry Rain Gatorade, ripped it open and started to ponder the route back home.
I could easily track back using the Garmin and make it home with no issues. Unfortunately, the Gatorade gave me a boost and I started thinking, “I know where I am now. I don’t need to use the map.” That was another mistake. My run ended up lasting 1:47:02 and covered 9.28 miles for an average pace of 11:30.
So what’s the point? Pay attention to what you are doing and where you are going when you run and don’t count on gadgets to do things they were never intended to do. One day, we’ll be wearing the equivalent of the TomTom navigation system, but until that day, we must work with what we have.