Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Have You Ever Lost Something On A Run?

Since I finished the Prairie Fire Marathon last month, I've been in a bit of a running funk, and that has led to a blogging funk.  Since I don't just like to write about my latest 5 mile recovery run, I've been at a loss for a topic that might be a little more interesting than watching mildew accumulate in the shower.  That all changed a week ago Saturday when my stupid-ass went out for my morning run packing my cellphone and got back home not packing my cellphone.  Now I have something to write about that's about as interesting as listening to Kim Kardashian talk about morals.

On Saturdays, I usually head out my front door to do my long runs consisting of a combination of 5, 7, or 9 mile loops, out in the country on little 2 lane highways or dirt roads.  Because I'm out for so long, I'll wear a fuel belt and bring along some water, gels, and whatever else my intuition tells me I can't do without.  Sometimes, like Saturday, that includes bringing my cell phone.  After all, who doesn't like texting their BFF while attempting 8 minute miles into a headwind?

After mile four I looked down and noticed the wide open space in my belt's pouch where my phone hangs out.  I started to panic.  That phone isn't just my personal phone, but my work's too.  I told myself there was a possibility that I forgot to insert said phone in said pouch before heading out, so I decided to wait till I got home to chalk that weekend up to being ruined.  In a foreshadowing of things to come, about a mile and a half from getting home, the battery in my Garmin went out to lunch.

I mentioned my running funk above, and this was not helping.  By the time I finished my 7 miles, my body was telling it had enough for the day.  I was still not 100% recovered from the marathon, and I probably overdid a workout leading up to the weekend.  I was starting to feel some twinges in my knee like I was coming down with Runner's Knee.  Oh well, because after not being able to find the phone at home or by retracing my route in the car (and not having a bicycle), I knew I had to go back out on foot to find it.

As I feared, I got to mile 4 using a walk/jog combination without seeing any sign of it.  So, I turned back around to retrace my steps again without any luck.  In case you're keeping score, my 7 miles has now turned into 15 - 16 miles, and I have retraced my footsteps 4 times.  I was pretty much dejected at this point.  My legs and knees were pissed at me, and I was hungry from all the calories I burned.

Back home, I had pretty much given up, but it dawned on me the bluetooth on my phone was turned on and I might be able to locate it with another bluetooth device.  It was a brilliant idea that has worked for others, but (spoiler alert) it didn't have a chance to work this time.  While my wife and I were out looking for the bluetooth signal (Search and Rescue Mission Retrace #5): I was driving, she was scanning, and our 3 kids were in the back seat bored as hell, trying to understand what their parent's were doing driving along the highway at 5 mph.  About a half mile from home my wife said she got a feeling to look across the street, and there it was.

As it turned out, the reason it took so long to find was my cell didn't just land on the gravel shoulder, but as it was falling out of it's pouch, the 35 mph crosswind blew it back onto the highway where an untold number of vehicles drove over it until it wound up on the opposite side of the road.  By the time we got to it, the Ziploc bag I placed it in was tore up, the battery and battery cover were scattered, the battery was ruined, and the touch screen was toast.

Well, I went ahead and included a picture below, although it's hard to make out much detail.

So, consider this a public service announcement to all my running peers out there.  Secure you stuff, or you might end up running an extra 10k or half marathon.  Lucky for me, the phone's SIM chip was intact and I placed it in a borrowed phone from a buddy so I was only off the grid for the weekend.