This old world
keeps spinning round
It’s a wonder tall trees
ain’t layin’ down
There comes a time.
— The Prophet Neil Young
I’m putting on my togs. Yes, I run in togs. Don’t judge.
It’s my first day off from work since Rocky, it’s in the low 70s and my legs feel pretty good, so I’m heading out to run. Just a three-miler, so I’ve got only shorts, shoes, hat and watch.
Except the watch isn’t here. And then I remember.
I still haven’t unpacked from the weekend, so it’s sitting in Mo’s car at work. What to do?
I’ve got a backup Timex that I never really bonded with. I no longer have the patience to deal with their buttons, and it’s opposite the Garmin. I can’t find Mo’s 110, and it’s always dead anyhow. Then it hits me. I’ll just run without a watch.
I’ve been running with a watch since back in the days that Casios were wind-up watches. I’ve always been a slave of that little hundredth-second whirling by, taunting me to go a little faster. But as I get older and slower and older and slower still, I increasingly think it would be nice to go out without worrying. Joe, the guy who runs Rocky, admonished a guy recently that maybe he should just go out and run for fun. Leave the watch at home, don’t worry about time. Have fun. So that’s it. I’m going to run without a stinkin’ watch.
It’s silly anyhow. I’m running the 1.5 mile loop, so I know the distance. I’m running a metronome 13:44 pace these days. So I have no use for the watch other than as my little Linus blanket that comes along on every run. Until today.
I arrive at the bayfront and get out of the car. I stand at the crack in the sidewalk that doubles as the start-finish line. I wait.
This is the part where I normally wait for the silly watch to find the satellites (they’re up there, dummy!). And the part where I hit the start button, watching the first few seconds click by before easing into first gear. But today I don’t. I’m running without a watch.
I can do this.
And I did it!!!!!!!!! It wasn’t bad at all.
Because as I stood on the sidewalk getting ready to start, I totally panicked. I broke down and downloaded the runkeeper app onto the iPhone. Hit start. Some lady yelled at me every five minutes about my pace and said bad things about my mama.
At the end, I hit stop. Three miles. 13:44 pace. What a surprise.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yeah, there’s probably an app for that.
Sigh. I miss that wind-up Casio …