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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Electronic Gadgets

I am often amazed at how many electronic gadgets I carry along with me. Twenty years ago, I probably would have carried none. Today, without even giving it a second thought, I was carrying six; seven if you count the transponder embedded onto my new Chase Blink credit card (inside my wallet). All of this I had with me while I was doing my long run.

My inventory included a Polar 625x (foot pod, watch, HR transmitter), Treo 650, USB Keyfob and remote alarm transmitter. The gadgets plus my water bottle and gel flask contributed to a very heavy feeling while I was running. I had the water bottle secured by a special running pouch and the rest of the stuff was in the back pockets of my Hammer Gel winter jacket. To keep it all from bouncing around, I tucked the pockets and water bottle underneath the waist band of my running tights. It made my ass appear to be the size of a baboon’s.

The course I took today was a new one. I didn’t have much time to run, so I made part of my route be the way to my mother-in-law’s house. I told my wife I would meet her and the children there for lunch, after which we would go to my wife’s aunt’s house in New Jersey. I asked my wife to take my laptop with her. I would have carried it with me, but that was one electronic gadget I thought would be too heavy to run with.

Unfortunately, my laptop was somehow left behind. When I discovered this fact, I was apoplectic. I needed this device with me. I had so much stuff I NEEDED to do with it that I wasn’t sure I could function. It was like someone took the air away from me and I found myself gasping for breath. How was I supposed to upload my HR information to my computer for careful analysis of my run? I began to hyperventilate and tried to calm down.

Sure, some of the things I needed to do could be done on the computer at my wife’s aunt’s house. But I preferred my own computer, just as I also prefer my own toilet to that of a public restroom’s. My computer is a safe haven. It has everything I could possibly need. My computer bag even carries special comfort food and headache medicine. Now I am like a blind man thrown into an unfamiliar location and told to make himself at home.

I’ll have to log my workout the old fashioned way. That is, scroll through the file information on my watch and manually enter it into my training log. Yuck, what a pain in the ass. Fortunately, though, I’ve had a couple of beers and I am nice and calm now. I am even starting to feel hungry again. Maybe the world won’t end. I still want my own computer back.

For the record, I ran 11 miles in 1:44:59 with a HR of 136/150. A bit short on the distance, but I had to get to my in-laws to watch my kids open presents.


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