Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Garmin 610 is Reverse Charging?

You're barely 9 months to be going bonkers on me Garmin 610. Better shape up or I'll ship you out.

Okay, let me back up...I woke up this morning pumped up and ready to run my tempo workout.  I was so excited because my legs were fresh (imagine three days worth of no running) and I was super stoke to see what I could do.

I got my breakfast, toast, a fried egg with ketchup and super strong Keurig coffee. Yummy! I was caffeinated to the gills. I took my time putting on my gear. When everything was set, my last item was  my Garmin 610.  I picked it up from the charger and was so disappointed to see it with a blank screen.  It  had no charge for whatever reason.

WTF? I had it plugged in all night.  I was so bummed.  This couldn't be happening today.   This was an important workout. Even more important is the race I have this weekend. More panic--OMG, I couldn't race without my Garmin.  I was so pathetic.  I need to know my splits, my pace and my distance.  I can't run without it. Look at me.  What have I done to myself?  I've become completely reliant on this beast on my wrist.

I hunted down my old Timex Ironman watch.
I fumbled over all the buttons. Sad to say I am no longer used to the buttons. I had to re-learn the reset and start/stop buttons.  That was so annoying pushing the wrong one in the middle of a lap. To find out that you've reset when you meant to stop it. Aargh! I don't want to run with this watch. I made a call to Garmin.

I waited on the phone for 7 minutes, my cell phone minutes ticking away. I don't usually mind  being on hold but I don't have unlimited minutes, so actually I do mind. Very much.  Finally, "Sean" get's on.  I explained to him that my watch has been  chirping on and off when on the charging cable for weeks. I didn't think anything was wrong.  This morning, it cycled through blank screen then the Garmin logo screen, then back to the blank screen.  I told him that it had 85% charge after I plugged it back on the wall socket.  Then I pulled it off thinking it might just need a little spark of electricity to jar its memories and thinking 85% is enough to go on an 1.5 hour run. But as soon as I put it on my wrist, it gave me a beep with the message "Low Battery" then went blank, completely.   Then I thought, okay then my run will be a little delayed, I can't go now so I will wait another half hour and see if it will act okay.  I plugged it back.  Half hour later, I checked and it read  58% charge. 

Is this normal, Sean?


So what do we do now?

Master RESET.

I was so glad I downloaded all my data before I called.  Otherwise the master reset would have deleted everything.  He asked me to hold down all three buttons at the same time until I heard an audible beep.  After the beep I had to let go the top two buttons and hold down just the bottom button until the second beep.  I had to try twice, it was tricky letting the two buttons go and hold down just the last.  The Garmin logo came up and I had to re-enter my user info starting with the language. Then I was told to plug it back in and pay attention to the charge--it should increase.  If it does, leave it on until 100%.  Even if it does not increase "Sean" said the watch will know to start back up.  Thanks Sean from Garmin!

Good news, the battery indicator had  slowly been creeping up from 43% to 58%.  So I was relieved that my watch is not broken and I didn't have to think about packing it up for repair or service in the most crucial weeks of my training for this marathon. The thought of training without a watch in the most important weeks of training gave me a scare.

So for those of you who have this reverse-charging Garmin problem scare don't panic yet  Just do a master reset and all will be well.  But before you do the master reset, make sure you save you data in your computer first.

Further, Sean confirmed that  If you see “reverse charging” on your device, it means only that the fuel gauge in your device has lost its calibration. "When gauge state becomes higher than the actual charge of the battery, it will decrease as it recalibrates toward the correct value. If you see this occur, the correct response is to simply let your device continue charging. This issue is most prevalent if your device has automatically shut down due to a low battery."

Well that's my morning so far.  It looks like it will be around lunchtime before I can do my run.  Time to dig in the fridge for leftovers...

Yeay! Showing 69%--it's looking promising!

Happy running!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 4th Race - 2013 Semana Nautica 15K Run

This was the second year in a row that I've competed this July 4th event. Both times, I was intimidated by the sheer number of elite runners who flock to this race. You know what I'm talking about, right?  The professionals with glorious tans, cut arms, muscular legs and ripped abs?   I asked myself, what am I doing here? I am at home with mid-packers and walkers.  Anyway, since this race is a USATF sanctioned race, it draws many elite participants both locally and from out of town. (The men's winner finished in a blazing 48 minutes and change and the women's winner in 56 minutes.)  This year was a good turnout of about 274 participants. For one thing people come to race this because  the course is fantastic. It is somewhat rolling, but not too bad. Two, as was last year, the weather was perfect in the low 60s. It was a little humid but with the breeze and cloud cover the whole time, we couldn't ask for anything better.

I invited my running buddy, Heidi, along to this race.  It was  either this race or a local 5K. The draw to this one was the 15K "tempo-ish" distance and the much cooler temperature. The 5K is fast and fast but we would be running in the heat; not an ideal combination. So we decided to run the 15K.

We left San Luis Obispo about 5:45 am. we got to San Marcos High School to register with about 45 minutes to spare. We picked up our bibs and ran about 0.85 miles as a warm up to the actual staging area. There were no porta-potties at the start so we had to make sure we did our business at the high school.  It was no biggie.  It looked like a smaller crowd of 300 runners compared to last year. The race promptly started at 8 am with participants donning their best July 4th attire--tops and bottoms in red white and blue with stars and stripes. It was a festive atmosphere.

Since it was a smaller event, there was no chip timing.  I had to remember not to stay too far back like I did last year.  This time, it took me 2 seconds to cross the start line.  The course for Semana Nautica 15K has somewhat of a keyhole course, which begins at El Camino School, cuts through the Goleta neighborhoods around Kellogg School and finishes on Turnpike road at San Marcos High School. There was a significant incline on Cathedral Hill. Since you had pass through it twice, you get to look forward to it coming back. This last hill was between mile 5 and 6 and this was where I decided to take my one walk break and chomp on my peanut butter sandwich. 

Let's back up a bit. My purpose for this race was to run it like a tempo. At the same time, I wanted to practice drinking using the aid stations where I would pinch the top of the cup and maintain somewhat of a fast pace while gulping as much as I can. I've never really gotten a chance to practice this skill which is very important for a marathon. While drinking I was still running and I had 3 good practice shots at it.  I still carried an 8 oz fluid flask just in case I got thirsty where there's no aid station. It turned out I never needed it.  I got hungry after the 5th mile. I decided that on the last hill was where I would walk and eat the smashed sandwich stuffed in my back shirt pocket. This was where I wasted 30 seconds to eat and drink.  Funny thing is when you're trying to catch your breath after a hard effort up the hill, at the same time, chewing and drinking takes a tremendous amount of skill.  I was only able to swallow one bite and had to go, because 20-something year old blondie in red shirt I passed earlier, had caught up to me and passed me.  I threw the sandwich in my back pocket and just like that, break time was over.

Once we entered the bike path, blondie put a 10-second gap between us.  Then, what happened in Ojai Marathon, happened here again: I lost focus on my pacing. I wasn't tired, my mind just wandered for a bit. Before I snapped out of it, the gap had increased to 30 seconds. that was it, I was not able to catch up again. I thought I could try and increase my pace to catch up but, I was afraid that I may be risking muscle cramping. I mean I had no cramping at that moment, but running fast might hasten it to come.  As long as I can keep focus now and still keep her in my sights I could still stay on pace.  I felt pretty good after the bite of sandwich. I was able to hold on to my pace and I was not suffering, meaning, my breathing was under control and I was not panting. There was no feeling of leg cramping sneaking up on me.  Around this area last year is when and where the wheels fell off.  I slowed down dramatically.  I was happy not to see any 9's from my Garmin these last 2 miles.  I felt great knowing the finish was not too far.  As soon as we got off the bike path, I knew the finish was around the corner.  I made an effort to reel in two more people in front of me.

The most memorable one is the lady in a white ruffled running skirt. We had one sharp U-turn to the finish.  I was in full sprint trying to go under 1:19.   This lady asked where the finish was. Really, you don't see the cones and the clock ahead? I was not sure if she was directing the question to me or to the guy navigating the runners. I certainly wasn't in the condition to answer her question as I was running in full sprint. She realized that I was going to pass her so she picked it up. It was clear she didn't want me to pass her because she began sprinting too. Stride for stride I matched her. I couldn't gain a step on her nor she me.
...can I take one more pass?

finishing at the same time: 1:19:05

It was fun racing with her even for just 100m. I felt  like a kid. We ended up finishing together at 1:19:05.   Even though I missed going under 1:19 by six seconds,  I have no complaints.  Having shaved off 3 minutes and 53 seconds from my results last year, I gained a new 15K personal best and a course record. It couldn't have gone any better than that.  Icing on the cake was coming in 4th place in my age group category.  Heidi also did wonderful finishing 6th in our age group.
Heidi at mile 1.5

There were plenty of food at the finish:  Gatorade, water, muffins, oranges, bananas and Clif bars galore. Semana Nautica has a nice finisher technical shirts, but I opted out, since it knocked off $5 from my entry fee. It's a quick drive from San Luis Obispo to Goleta. It took us no more than hour and half via I-154 (Cachuma Lake Pass).  I'm thinking this might become an annual tradition. I'm looking forward to next year already and, maybe even bringing in an SLDC team.

Happy Running!