Monday, November 24, 2008

If A Garmin Falls In The Forest

...and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Or will it make a sound even if there is someone there who should hear it?

Answer: No.

Don't worry, this story ends well, unlike the sad debacle that was the Michigan-Ohio State game. Or at least the UM-OSU game ended well for some people who will remain nameless THOUGH YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

I decided I needed a change of scenery for my long run Saturday so I drove up to the Lakelands Trail State Park in Stockbridge. It was a brilliant, frigid late fall morning; the temperature was around 25 degrees. The trail was covered with snow, but I had a pair of YakTrax so I was not worried about slipping. I wanted to do at least 10 miles if not 12 on this lovely straight, level, out-and-back path. My iPod was freshly charged and beefed up with some new tunes and I set out at a nice casual pace. My fingers promptly froze and then thawed out around mile 2.

Around mile 3 I felt the familiar twinges of the beast in my gut and knew that sooner or later I was going to have to pull over. Fortunately the trail passes through rural farmland and woods so I was assured of privacy (and of course there was no one else out there on the trail with me-- only crazy people go running when it's that cold). I peeked at Garmy at 3.74 miles and just after mile 4 I took my leave to the side of the trail. I battled briefly with some groping thorn bushes that wanted to do away with my earband and sank their teeth into my nice New Balance NBx top-- goddammit let GO, fuckers!-- and took care of Business. I was back on the trail and feeling much better when I looked down at my wrist because something about it felt odd, sort of light and airy, and suddenly my good mood vanished, vaporized like my breath in the cold air, because Garmy was no longer on my arm.


I screeched to a halt and turned around. Wild thoughts blew through my head: It can't be that far away, because I just looked at it at 3.74 miles, and I know that wasn't that far back, I took my pit stop just after mile 4, it has to be close by, OH PLEASE LET IT BE CLOSE BY OH MY GOD! I ran back the way I came, eyes frantically scanning back and forth across the trail. I knew its black band would stand out against the white snow. I thought: I wonder if it fell on the ground when I was going to the bathroom? Those bushes were pretty grabby, maybe one got a hold of it in just the right place and popped it off my wrist. I began looking for the spot where I had stopped. Everything looked the same: tangled bare twigs, lumpy snow. Would I be able to find it? I stopped again. I knew I had gone too far. I turrned around. There. There it was. The place where I had stopped. And LO AND BEHOLD, THERE WAS GARMY LYING IN THE SNOW. I thrashed through the bushes and snatched it up. It was still faithfully whirring along (my pace was now 17:30/mile) and I brushed the clumps of snow from its face and wrapped it around my wrist so tightly it hurt. Oh, Garmy, I almost lost you!

For the remainder of my run (I ended up doing 12 miles-- 12 agonizingly slow, ankle-bending, knee-twisting miles over the very uneven trail, uneven because horse hooves have ripped it to shreds and the cloaking snow cover lay just so in all the cavities) I remained extra-conscious of its presence, sneaking peeks at it constantly, swinging my arm farther out so I could see its red case out of the corner of my eye.

Strange coincidence of the day: as I was listening to the Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal" I came across a trail of blood spanning the path; I suspected a wounded deer had crossed there. It's firearm deer hunting season in Michigan and I wasn't surprised to find this. The bright red blood stood out alarmingly against the snow. There is a line in "White Winter Hymnal" that says "turn the white snow red as strawberries in summertime." How freakishly weird that just as I heard it, I came across the blood trail, yes, red as strawberries against the white snow.

Speaking of snow, it's snowing here. Again.

Oh, and this is my 200th post. Yippee!


RazZDoodle said...

whew! Close one!

Only in a running blog can you comfortably talk about Business in the bushes and no one really bats an eye.

Nitmos said...

Scary. this could never happen to me though. being a stat geek, I'm staring at my Garmin everty 15 seconds it seems. If mine fell off, it'd be no more than 4 steps behind me.

BeachRunner said...

Yay. I love happy endings.

gilrunningaround said...

Whew! I'm glad you found Garmy!

Were you wearing your hunter orange when you were running? You have to be careful in MI, people will shoot at anything!

joyRuN said...

Oh thank goodness you found Garmy!!!

dirtdawg50k said...

I left my loveable red garmy on top of my car @ Kensington only to get up 96 and have to turn around to find it laying on the road with nick and scratches...but it still works...What would you do if you lost it for real?

Anonymous said...

We have such strange attachments to our Garmins. I'd left mine at home one weekend away and felt guilty running without it, as if I'd betrayed it or something.

Nicole said...

I can't believe how much snow you have written about in the last week or so! We have NOTHING over here. Yes, we did get a dusting one morning last week, but it was gone the next day and barely enough to see on the grass. Yesterday I heard about snow all around us and all we got was cold rain. Not that I am complaining. I could go for the rest of my life and never see snow again. I hate, hate, hate the winter and the cold. Gah.

Viper said...

You'd be better off without that hunk of junk.

Thanks for the link in the previous post. Sorry about your luck. For once, I actually rooted for a winning team.

Jess said...

So glad you were able to find Garmy!