The Everyman: What Time Is It?

A watch is the most important tool in a runner's inventory. Photo:

You all know how it is with runners and watches: We all need one. OK, maybe most of us need one.

Two weekends ago during a triathlon, I had a minor watch malfunction.

As I exited the water and glanced at my watch to check my time, the screen was fading out. By the time I reached the transition area a few seconds later, the thing was toast.

The screen was blank and there was this obnoxious beeping emanating from it. I plucked the wounded timekeeper off my wrist, tossed it next to my discarded swim cap, and moved on to the bike.

Just over an hour later when I finished the bike course and headed out for a 10K run, I began to miss my watch — however cheap it is — dearly. I had no idea what time it was or how long I’d been racing up until this point.

“What’s the race time?” I asked a volunteer as I ran out of transition.

He relayed the time to me and I kept running.

But you all know how it is with runners and watches: We all need one. OK, maybe most of us need one. Even many of the best marathoners in the world wear a watch during races. The only function I use on mine is the timer, which is, uh, kind of important. How am I supposed to know how I’m doing and if I’m hitting my time goals?

RELATED: Should You Ditch Your GPS Watch?

My run was a bit slower than I had hoped for during the race, and part of the reason was because I didn’t have a watch. If I had known where I stood, I would have pushed harder on the second loop.

My “A” race for the season, a half-Ironman, is this weekend. I’m currently scrambling to find a watch that suits my needs.

Last week I talked about how I run without music. I enjoy running outside and hearing the sound of my footfalls interact with the sounds around me. And since I live in the country surrounded by farms and vineyards, it’s usually a pleasant experience.

But my “naked” running style (no, not that kind of naked) ends there. I need to have a watch.

What about you?

And by the way, what time is it?

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