The secrets of the GPS Watch (and why Matt turns and runs the opposite way at a particular point near their house)

Green indicates downhill section

Bec got Matt a GPS watch for Christmas so he could see how far and how fast he was going on his regular semi-regular afternoon jog. It was linked up to a fancy Nike computer program which used Google Maps to show you where you’d gone. Matt thought it was pretty neat and was excitedly showing Bec his favourite routes around the neighbourhood

Matt: See how it puts a marker every thousand metres? You can see on the map exactly where all the waypoints are, because of the GPS.

Bec: Very interesting.

Matt: And look, see here, I ran REALLY fast here. That’s, like, Commonwealth Games pace.

Bec: That’s where the long downhill bit is, isn’t it?

Matt: Yes, well. Sort of.

Bec: Very impressive.

Matt: It’s harder than it looks. It’s quite steep on that bit.

Bec: Why do you always turn around at this point on the map? It’s not any neat kind of waypoint, it’s, like 1.35km from the house. That seems like a strange point to turn around. You only ever run to there and then you turn around and run back in the opposite direction. Quite quickly from the look of things.

Matt: No reason.

Bec: You never do anything for no reason.

Matt: If I turn around there I can run back past the house in the other direction and do a 5km or 6km loop thing.

Bec: It’s where the big dogs are, isn’t it.

Matt: What dogs?

Bec: The two Ridgebacks you always comment on when we drive past. You turn around and run quickly in the opposite direction at that point because you’re scared of the dogs.

Matt: Nope.

Bec: Yes.

Matt: They’re scary.

Bec: They’re just dogs.

Matt: They look vicious.

Bec: Why don’t you just stop in and meet them on the way home from work one day. You’ll see there’s nothing to be scared of.

Matt: OK. Maybe.

Two weeks later, Matt and Bec are in the car driving home from work…

Bec: Nearly home.

Matt: Nearly home.

Bec: Hey look, that place with the dogs you’re scared of, the owners are in the driveway unloading some horses, why don’t we pull over and talk to them. Feign it as if you want to be sure that when you run past, you won’t upset the dogs or start them barking and annoy the neighbourhood. Then you won’t look like such a wuss.

Matt: OK.

*They pull up in the driveway*

Matt: Hi, how are you? We just live down the road and thought we’d say hello.

Neighbour: Hello.

Matt: Nice horses. We love your horses. We always drive past and say to ourselves ‘what lovely horses’.

Neighbour: *Seven minute lecture on the breed of horses, the current issues he is having with the horse association breeders network thing, the attitude of the government to horses, a list of pros and cons of his two particular types of horse floats, advice on riding his particular breed of horses in both competition and non-competition settings and a summary of the benefits of feeding Hi-Mix 1100 or Hi-Mix 900, depending on whether you’re looking for tick-resistance or coat lustre*

Matt: OK, well, that’s lovely. So, your dogs, are they friendly?

Neighbour: Oh yes, very friendly.

Matt: So if we’re running past or anything, we won’t upset them.

Neighbour: Ooh, I wouldn’t do that.

Matt: Oh, no, I wouldn’t upset them on purpose.

Neighbour: No, I wouldn’t run past.

Matt: Oh.

Neighbour: Well, if you do, and they come out barking, just keep running.

Matt: OK.

Neighbour: They usually only give chase to the top of the hill there though.

Matt: That’s about a kilometre away.

Neighbour: Yes, I suppose, about that. They’re not likely to bite you though.

Matt: Not likely?

Neighbour: Not unless you look like you’re trying to run away.

Matt: So what about walking past?

Neighbour: Oh, you’ll be fine if you’re walking. Just don’t walk too slow. They don’t like people walking too past too slowly, we had them trained as guard dogs so they get a bit touchy about people walking past and checking the place out. We had some issues with a real estate agent once.

Matt: So a brisk walk then?

Neighbour: I’d probably jog, but not too slowly.

Matt: What about bike-riding past?

Neighbour: Ooh, I wouldn’t.

Matt: I see.

Neighbour: Yes, postman had a run-in with them last year. They don’t like bikes. Punctured one of the motorcycle tyres.

Matt: The postman did?

Neighbour: No, Ruby did, got her teeth right in there.

Matt: I see.

Back at home five minutes later…

Bec: So are you going for a run tonight?

Matt: Did you keep the receipt for the watch?


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