This past week I was reminded of the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie“. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s a cause and effect story that begins with a mouse receiving a cookie which makes him ask for a glass of milk. Then he asks for something else once he receives the milk. Spoiler alert – the book ends with the mouse requesting a cookie. There is a similar book called “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”.
I want to add another book called “If You Buy a Husband a Garmin Watch”. Jason decided recently that he wanted to take up running more rather than lifting. We bought him a much needed pair of new running shoes. He then began researching Garmin watches as we currently have one, a Garmin 10 I believe, and it can be tedious to share because we don’t always run the same pace. He settled on the Garmin Forerunner 45 and we bought it at the local running store last Thursday as an early birthday present.
His first running watch of his own led him to wanting to test it out the next morning. We decided to run a quick mile out and back in the alley behind our house. He pulled ahead of me before the turn around point. I turned around, crossed a street and spotted a first on a run – a skunk scurrying across the alley. I slowed and watched it. It noticed me and came to a complete stop and began to raise its rear. I came to an abrupt halt. The skunk lowered its rear and proceeded across the alley in between two bushes. I cautiously began walking and kept my eye on the bushes. The skunk turned around and stared at me. At that point I decided I wasn’t taking any chances, so I backtracked to the intersection and proceeded up to Main St to run a block before heading back to the alley.
Jason’s first run with his Garmin watch then prompted him to sign up for his first trail race, the Sasquatch Preservation Trail Run. That day at work he received an email that his company was a sponsor of the race and had a few complimentary entries. He forwarded me the email and asked me some questions (I had to clarify that “trail race” did not indicate simply a run on the rail trail) and then signed himself up for the 10k. While I haven’t actually signed up yet, I agreed to trying the 5k and my dad said he wanted to join us and run the 10k.
Years ago dad and I regularly ran a race called “Partners in the Park” that was the closest to a trail run I’ve ever completed. It utilized well groomed, frequently used trails at Rocky Ridge County Park. While there were some rocks to tackle, it was nothing like the typical trail run descriptions I’ve heard from other running friends. The description of the Sasquatch noted that all runners would cross the Codorus Creek near the end and joked that “If you finish and you’re not wet and dirty, you’re disqualified”. For anyone who knows me I am NOT a fan of being wet while running and I loathe mud. I am also rather clumsy despite having been a hurdler and have been known to walk into things and trip up steps. Needless to say this should prove to be an interesting experience.
Due to signing up for the trail race I advised Jason that he would need to get in some hillier runs. Yesterday morning dad joined us for my 6 mile loop that included tackling Blymire hill. It was Jason’s first time ever running that course and that hill, and my first time running it since my hamstring injury. He did very well and actually ran smart, pacing himself at the start so he would have energy for the hill. I was very proud of him. I felt my hamstring twinge a bit in the last half mile of the run which I attribute to running hills for the first time again.
Having completed a successful hillier long run, Jason is now set on us completing a speed workout this Thursday. I told him of one I completed earlier in the year, a warmup followed by a .1 mile partially uphill sprint with a walk recovery repeated 10x followed by a cooldown. It will be his first speed workout and my first since the injury.
The Garmin watch seems have been a near $200 well spent given how much Jason is using it and enjoying it. He’s already trying to convince me to buy one. The watch has certainly kicked off plenty of firsts and we’ll see how many more arise as he progresses into being a more regular runner.
Do you have a Garmin watch? Have you ever encountered wildlife on a run that made you change course?