Technology Breakdown

I wasn’t supposed to go to parkrun yesterday, but when the Resource Centre said I could change my shift from a 7am start to an 11am start, it was an opportunity not to be missed, and off to Mile End in the continuing gales I went.  It probably wasn’t the best of ideas as I had already run three times in the last five days and I am supposed to be a) limiting myself to 2-3 times a week b) tapering for Landmarks, and I was certainly overdue a rest day (which I am having belatedly right now).

Calamity ensued.

With five minutes to go, I discovered that the new podcast app that I had put on my Garmin had buggered the whole thing up and made my music vanish!  Obviously I couldn’t run without music and turn into one of those patronising twats who relish the sounds of nature and friendly conversation (or in yesterday’s case, the sound of the howling wind and not being able to make out a word over it) so I had the bright idea of firing up Spotify on my phone instead.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing leggings with a proper pocket, only with a small zipless pouch on the inside, so I wedged the phone between that and my pants and did up the drawstring extra tight and prayed it wouldn’t end up down my leg.

Please take a break from the calamity to enjoy some daffodils in Mile End park.

I had only just got this going when the Run Director said go, so I hastily fired up “race a previous activity” on the Garmin and tried to beat my last time at Mile End.  I don’t know if I did something wrong because I was flapping about the music, but the watch kept insisting I was ahead of my last run, but I certainly didn’t feel faster and when I checked my pace I found I was actually behind.  But the watch kept insisting I was ahead.  Between fiddling with it and being battered with omnidirectional winds I nearly flew off the Green Bridge and blew all the way to Hackney Marshes.  (I wonder if anyone has ever managed to be at the start line of one parkrun and reach the finish line of another before the tailwalker?)  I gave up on racing the previous activity (let’s face it, I wasn’t going to win anyway) and concentrated on enjoying my run (and staying upright).  Unfortunately at this point Spotify decided it wanted to start playing some godawful ethereal ballad at me.  I have no idea why it thinks I like godawful ethereal ballads when all I listen to is banging industrial, synthpop and 80s.  I had to dig the phone out of my pants to make it stop, and then of course I couldn’t get it back in again so I had to run the second lap with my phone in my hand.

I finished in 36:55 (a minute slower than last time) and quite frankly I am surprised it wasn’t worse!  I went back to retrieve my belongings but because I’d been preoccupied with my phone I clearly hadn’t put them away safely and my Cow Cowl had blown away and landed in the mud.  (It is currently in the washing machine).


At least after causing all that trouble my Garmin had the good grace to say my run was “productive” and not fine me a VO2 max point.  I think it realises it is skating on thin ice.

This post reads like the best advert for running without technology ever!

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