Thursday, July 02, 2015

To the Nines

According to Wikipedia, to the nines means "to perfection", "to the highest degree" or to dress "buoyantly and high class". The phrase is of Scottish origin, and was also used in a Robert Burns poem in 1800. I had always thought that it was only related to dress, but evidently not.

Nine is the new eight. That’s in terms of minutes per mile. The vast right-wing majority of my running miles had, up until only a few years ago, been at near eight minute pace. Nowadays, if I can get down to sub-9 pace, I call it a good run. And there aren’t all that many good runs.

Nine is the new ten. This time, it’s in terms of miles run on my mid-week, medium-long runs. Oh, I can still do ten once in a while, but I often find myself running out of time and having to cut the run short by a mile or so. This is at least partially due to running those miles at such a slow pace.

Nine miles per day was, in fact, my average mileage for the entire year for several of my “good” years. No longer. In this case, Eight is the new nine.

I could go on about how I dress to the nines for some of my runs – especially those that involve other runners – but I’ll spare you.

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