A few months back, I wrote a post called, To the Nines. It's mostly about how nine-minute pace has sort of become a new standard as a pretty good training pace for me. It's probably about some other stuff too, but as with a lot of my posts, all-in-all, it's kind of hard to figure out what the heck it's really saying. Along that same vein, here's another post about nines, but this time from another angle. I think this other angle may be in the sixth or seventh dimension. Further such analysis is left to the discretion of the reader.
I am finishing my ten-mile park run and turn into the office parking lot when I spot Dave Gajewski getting out of his car. I jog over to him and stop my Garmin. As we're talking, I glance at the watch and see that I've run precisely 9.99 miles. Almost without thinking, I am about to reach down and start the thing again in order to run another 0.01 miles over towards the building. But wait! I have to consciously stop myself, almost in the fashion of Dr. Strangelove.
For almost no reason whatsoever, I decide that today I am stopping at 9.99 miles, and that is the way this particular run will go down. To ensure that the event has a witness to verify its authenticity, I show Dave my watch. "Look: 9.99 miles, and I'm stopping right here. I'm not going to run any further. This is it. No more. Not a single step. I could, but I won't. No sir." I may have rambled on for even a few additional sentences. It's a good thing to have a witness.
I've had my Garmin for nearly a year now, and it's amazing how it's changed my mileage mindset. BG (that's Before Garmin), I would only record miles rounded to whole numbers. 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon races were problems, since they aren't whole amounts of miles. If I was doing a Half-Marathon for example, I would need to jog 0.9 or 1.9 miles as a warmup. 0.8, 1.8, or any amount with a 0.8 attachment would work for a 10K or Marathon.
How did I know how many miles I'd run? If I could, I'd use www.gmap-pedometer.com, my car's odometer or any other known way of measuring the distance. Tracks always work. If nothing else could apply, I would estimate my pace and extrapolate the distance from that.
How accurate were those methods? Not too awful. Most of the time. By and large. For the most part. Of course if there was any doubt, the benefit of that doubt would be me. In other words, there may have been just a little bit of rounding up.
All this comes to mind as I finish my Saturday long run with Larry and Christine Orwin. My total for the day is 19.71 miles, giving me 59.69 for the week.
Does it bother me that I could have fairly easily bumped those totals up to 20 for the day and 60 for the week? Not one bit. Nope, I'm fine with the numbers as they are. It's fine to have nines in the distance totals instead of zeros.
Who needs zeros anyway? Nines are fine. Really.
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