Today I attempted to cross item #103 off of my Not-So-Bucket-List list.
And what item would that be? you ask. It would be the ever elusive:
Run 5km in under 22 minutes.
If memory serves me correctly, this was on my original list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.
Anyway, as I was saying – I attempted to cross this item off the list today. And if not for a really dumb mental calculation while I was running, I would have done it.
But why am I doing mental math while I’m running? Well, I don’t just jump on the treadmill or go out for a run starting at full speed. I warm my body up for a few minutes to get the feel of things, and figure out what type of run I might be likely to have. Today was no different. I spent a few minutes feeling out the run. My verdict – today was a good day for running. Of course, spending time warming up and figuring out my run means I have to perform some mental calculations in order to make sure I hit my goal.
Regardless, I sort of had a feeling today was going to be a do or die type of day. I got onto the treadmill with the thought – item #103, you are going down.
My run started off feeling great; the IT band wasn’t bugging me, I felt rested, loose, and strong. Everything looked perfect, so I jumped on the treadmill at a brisk 7 miles per hour (approximately 11.25 km per hour), upping it to 8 miles per hour before the first mile ended. To break the 22 minute barrier, I’d have to have an average pace of ~8.48 miles per hour (or 13.64 km per hour, or 4 minutes 24 seconds per km). That meant that whatever time I ran at 7 or 8 miles per hour would have to be made up for afterwards. Meaning I’d have to run faster than 8.48 miles per hour on average in the minutes after my warm up.
No problem, I thought.
After the first mile was behind me, I upped my speed to ensure that I would finish the next 2 miles in under 14 minutes. In my head, it all made sense. I kept increasing my speed and things seemed to make perfect mathematical sense. I should have no problem hitting the appropriate distance in 22 minutes. In fact, my last calculation suggested I’d hit 5 km with about 16 seconds to spare. Awesome!
However, that’s where I went wrong. Somehow, I carried my digits incorrectly, or maybe I multiplied wrong, or perhaps I *gasp* carried the wrong remainder. Or worse still, maybe I attempted to look the gods of math in the face by dividing by 0. I have no idea. All I know is that the results were devastating. Especially to a math nerd who loves numbers and all number-y things. The point is, I screwed up and if I were paying attention, this post would be so very different.
What was the end result? Well, I managed to run 3.105 miles in 22 minutes. What is this in the world of metric measures? Great question, glad you asked. The almighty Google tells me that 3.105 miles is equal to 4.99701312 km.
Four. Decimal. Nine. Nine. Seven. Zero. One. Three. One. Two. Freaking. Kilometers.
Do you see why I’m disappointed? I was less than 3 metres (9 ft 9.6 inches) from my goal. And I know I could have made that if I had just realized how close I was. I mean, what’s 3 metres when one is running 5000 of them? NOTHING. That’s what they are. Abso-freaking-lutely nothing.
So what have I learned from this? What is the moral of my story? Plain and simple: I shouldn’t do math on the treadmill. Ha! Wait. That’s not right. The moral is that I should actually try to improve my mental math while sprinting. That, and keep trying. Because item #103 – I’m currently breathing down your neck and you are about to go down. Oh, you are so going down. W00t!