Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My Garmin Bitch-Fest

I realize this is nothing - NOTHING - in the grand scheme of things, but when it happened last year, on top of everything else, I was crushed.  It's taken me a while to stop being upset and bitter because again - it's really nothing to get that upset about

Backstory is, I've used a Garmin watch to track my running for almost ten years now.  I bought my first Garmin with birthday money, after having run for nearly a year.  I loved being able to track my distance during my run and I loved uploading the data to Garmin Connect afterward to see my pace.  Having never been a sportsperson until I started running at age 46, it was a big deal for me to see my stats.  I felt so official, like I was finally an athlete.  Here's my first upload:
Back then you couldn't name your runs but I went back and added the title once that became possible.
Garmin always shows a picture of the device used for the run - this behemoth was my first Garmin.  It wrapped halfway around my wrist but boy howdy was it cool!

Later on Garmin Connect became more interactive and showed even more stats, especially if you had a fancy Garmin.  About six years ago I upgraded to a smaller, sleeker Garmin and I've used it ever since.  I love both of my Garmins, and I'm not bagging on Garmin.  But I am going to rail on the Garmin Connect program, and while it sounds stupid and that I'm being a baby bitch about it, this was my first foray into athlete-hood, and they what they did was really crummy.

You'll recall that last year was spent in massive pain, right?  I may have mentioned it a time or two thousand.  I couldn't run.  I could barely walk.  I hurt so bad because of my herniated disc.  Everything athletic was taken from me; I literally went from running and exercising to doing nothing in a matter of two days - Tuesday, April 9th I ran two miles and worked out that afternoon, and Thursday, April 11th I couldn't make it down our driveway to begin my run. 

I was still on Garmin connect, of course, and one day I happened to see that a friend had gotten a badge, which is something they started doing several years ago.  They were cute and fun to get, which appealed to this medal-loving runner...earn a badge for running a certain distance?  Yes please!  Earn a badge for running on Thanksgiving?  Why thank you, I will do that!  Well, the thing is, you can only earn certain badges once.  For example, if you ran a 5K, you'd get a badge, but that would be it; you wouldn't amass a bunch of 5K badges.  So I saw that my friend earned a distance badge, which caught my eye because I knew she'd already run that distance previously; I had the same badge.  Or so I thought.  Something made me go check my badges and I realized that some were missing.  Where was my 10K badge?  Where was my half marathon badge??
See all my badges - aren't they fun?  Buuttttt, why does it show that I've only run one mile and a 5K?  

This made me really upset, probably more so than it would someone who was still able to run, because at the time, with the herniated disc being so bad, I was looking at never being able to run again.  And I wanted those badges!  I did some online sleuthing and discovered that Garmin made an update to their badge program and wiped out all of the badges, including the distance badges, so everyone would be motivated to earn them again.  What the heck??  I lost my half marathon badge; can you imagine a once-and-done marathoner to lose their marathon badge? 

I went on to check my stats page, and it got worse:
10K?  Gone.  Half marathon?  Gone.  It's like I never did one.

Logically I know that this did not take away the fact that I have, indeed, run 11 half marathons.  And the races are still in my total activity listing on Garmin Connect.  But the fact that they were erased, and that I realized they were erased while I was hurting so badly along with the uncertainty of any future with running?  That crushed me.  And OK I'm still bitter enough that while I want to earn their badges, I don't care how I get them.  Which is why I have their newest badge, the one you could only earn on February 29th - Leap Day.  Want to know how I got it?  I wore my Garmin while helping Allie cook dinner.  Yep.  Now, I knew there would be a badge for that day and intended to go for a short walk to earn it, but we got busy and the day was almost over before I remembered, so a short kitchen session did the trick.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I've managed to move (mostly) beyond the injustice that Garmin Connect did to me with their badge removal.  Don't mess with my badges; I may never earn another half marathon one but as Bob is my witness (Rugrats quote), I'll earn every random badge I can!


  1. How did your data get erased? That is so odd! I use Garmin Connect, but I have never gotten badges. Huh.

    As an aside, I've only been using a Garmin for about 6 years! I always ran with a Timex Ironman watch. Then I drank the koolade...

    1. I think you haven't noticed your data changes because you haven't had a big break in running? And I bet you have badges, you just haven't noticed the icon to click on them...go see! You may have some fun ones!

  2. That seems very weird that they would remove your half-marathons. Just wrong!

  3. As you know I am never aware of the badges but i just checked and yep, I got the Leap Day one lol! Good for you - you get those badges by hook or by crook. Screw Garmin and their dumb updates!

  4. "I have, indeed, run 11 half marathons." YOU HAVE RUN 11 HALF MARATHONS. Badges or no, you have run 11 half marathons. 11. F*ck...that's a lot of half marathons! Like Helen said, screw Garmin and their dumb updates. You ran 11 half marathons.

  5. Gah, this is so dumb!!! (Them, not you!) You earned those! They shouldn't go away when they decide to tweak something! :(

    Some of my records kept "disappearing" like yours did, and this must be why! I stopped re-adding them.

  6. I don't use any gadgets but that does seem dumb that they would take the badges away.


Comments are now moderated to prevent spammers from leaving, well, spam - but rest assured that as soon as I read a real comment, I will publish it. So please, comment away, even though the blog is officially closed. Thanks!