Not the best excuse for skipping a run

Now where did I leave that phone?

After many months of intensive work, I brought a big project to a close yesterday. This involved me and my team giving a long presentation to our client in the city. Due to the timing, I didn’t get a chance to run, but I did put in a lot of miles on foot. My victorious day was undercut when, on the train ride home, I realized that I’d left my phone somewhere in midtown. When I got home, I was thrilled to see an email from a friend saying she had my phone.

I had an important meeting in the city this morning but I’d planned to do a workout before I left. The missing phone complicated my schedule and I ended up skipping my run so I could catch an earlier train. I needed to get to my friend’s office to pick it up before my first meeting. The walking that was required for me to get everywhere I needed to go around the city provided a quasi workout. It was certainly not the same as a run, but I covered a lot of miles.

The end result was another good day for business and a joyful reunion with my phone (try to get through a day in NYC without phone, email or text capabilities). The downside is that all the walking I did yesterday and today really roughed up and blistered the bottom of my feet. I’m hoping that the rain holds off tomorrow so I can get outside for a run. I’m counting on a pair of good wool running socks and the cushioning of my Saucony Virratas to get me through tomorrow’s return to the road. As for my phone, it hasn’t left my side.

My $4 running phone decision

Tonight’s dish: wet phone over rice

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

After my pool screw up on Sunday, I got a tweet from a colleague, who suggested that I place my nearly drowned cellphone in rice. My daughter said that her teacher had done that and successfully restored her smartphone after an accidental bath. I figured, what the heck, I’ll try it. I placed the phone in a small container and covered it with brown rice.

Last night I removed the phone from its rice bed and replaced the battery, but it didn’t power up. That wasn’t a big surprise. I expected that the lithium ion battery would have fully discharged after being held under water for a time. I plugged the phone into its charger and the Verizon screen came right up. I thought I might have lucked out, but immediately after the welcoming message, the screen said, “Use genuine battery. Power Off.”

To be fair, the battery is genuine

Now I must decide whether to invest in a new battery in hopes of bringing this phone back to life. It looks like I can buy one for about $4 online (plus tax and shipping) but I’m not sure it’s even worth doing that. There are still some drops of water trapped under the lens of the TFT that may interfere with the display. Also, the battery cover no longer stays in place and would need to be secured using a rubber band or something similar.

I’ll make my way to the Verizon store at some point to get a new “running” phone. I ran without a phone this morning but felt okay about that, since I didn’t stray too far from my home. Ironically, I looked to take off my SPIbelt when I got back, but realized I hadn’t needed to wear it. I wish I’d remembered it as well last Sunday.

Involuntary phone slaughter

How not to clean your phone

Today’s run (street): 5.25 miles

I thought my story for today’s run would be how I covered 5.25 miles at a pace that handily beat my expectations. But it turned out that the real surprise was discovering I was still wearing my SPIbelt when I jumped into the pool following that run. I had carefully removed my Garmin and Road ID before hitting the water, but I’d forgotten about the SPIbelt and the contents within.

SPIbelt – definitely not waterproof

The great thing about the SPIbelt is that you literally forget that you have it on. I’ve discovered a number of times that I was still wearing it, even after returning my other running gear to storage. While in the pool, I’d re-checked the pockets of my running pants, thinking I might have forgotten to remove something. It occurred to me (too late) that I was still wearing my SPIbelt that contained my LG VX8300 “running” phone.

I noticed that my phone was vibrating in the SPIbelt pouch when I brought it to the surface. I’m not sure why it was vibrating, but I knew it wasn’t good. I tossed the belt and phone on the deck and finished my swim.

I’ve kept that phone for almost eight years, using it primarily as a backup to my smartphone. It’s been great to carry on runs because it’s compact and light. I hope Verizon offers a similar model because I don’t think this phone is coming back.

Hours after I pulled it out of the water, the phone is still not working. I’ll give it a day to dry out and I’ll try it again to see if it comes back to life. In the meantime, I’m happy that I was able to get out for a decent run on such a hot and humid morning. It may have cost me my phone, but perhaps it’s time for a change. I did learn an important lesson that I won’t soon forget: Look before you leap!