Sunday, August 17, 2008


I just spent an inordinate amount of time calculating how much of a head start I could have on the Olympic women marathon runners, and still be certain they would beat me. Obviously there are a lot of variables, but I allowed myself an optimistic 9-minute pace (why not be generous to myself), and after a lot of number crunching, I figured 10 miles. I could have a 10-mile head start and still be beaten by at least the first 23 runners. If not more.

My point is not really that they're fast and I'm slow—we know that. I'm simply marveling that I am willing to spend a good ten minutes laboring over pen, paper, and calculator (yes it took ten minutes even with a calculator), just to illustrate exactly how slow I am. Even when I give myself an extremely generous potential pace. And round off.

Here's some more math.

Almost-a-15K plus almost-a-10K equals... a 15-mile long run this morning!

I ran nine miles from my house to my parents' (coincidentally, nine miles door to door), then another six miles on the beach (with a short break in between to change shoes, grab another water bottle, eat a Creamsicle, and exchange greetings with my parents).

Then I walked another half mile up and down the beach to round out the complete 25K (I'm a little obsessive that way).

Then another Creamsicle. Possibly the best post-run treat ever.


MizFit said...

I marveled at the entire race.

and theres no CHANCE Im running a marathon so I skipped the mathheadstart thang :)


Running Knitter said...

That's so funny that you did all that math. :)

Great job on your long run!

sblase78 said...

Runner Girl,

You and I have a lot in common. I spend a lot of time crunching a lot of numbers when it comes to running. So much so I have created a sports bottle with a slide rule type device that will calculate the average person’s splits for most size runs. These bottles should be on the market by the beginning of next week. When I’m out on my long runs I think a about things like how fast Olympic runners are and how they easily cut my marathon time in half. While watching Ryan Hall’s videos on You Tube I realized how talented that guy really is. WOW. If you would like a free shirt just email me your size and info and choose black or white.

Laura said...

Math is how I keep myself busy on my long runs :) I'm constantly calculating when I will finish, how much I need to pick up the pace to finish at a specified time, etc. Keeps me from getting bored!