Tuesday, September 22, 2009

seconds do count

originally posted at Run Around For Write Around Portland on Sunday 9/20

This morning I participated in the Komen Race for the Cure. A small group of friends and I decided to do the Women's 5k Untimed Run.

Remember, me, the walker? And I just said I did the run? What we really did is that, out of the 7 of us, 2 were going to run, 3 of us are in training for the half-marathon, and the other 2 were planning to walk.

It was a brilliant plan and it worked. We started near the back of that event's pack - with the slower runners (over 10-minute miles). Our original plan was to to all run across the start line and then the walkers to slow to our walking pace (either training or regular walking) after a block or two.

Luckily, the start was so slow that everyone except those in the very front were fast walking across the start once you got there. Even the smaller pack of runners were starting out walking due to the number of participants.

So - the deal with the few seconds is this. I kept up a pretty good pace, although I know that one of the two I was walking with was slowing her pace for us. After we did the up and over the bridge, loop up on Naito to make it the full 10k and then headed back for the finish line, I saw the timer coming into view.

I was pretty bummed when I got close enough to see the numbers and not just the red glow on a black rectangle. I could see that I was going to cross that finish line at about 49 minutes and that was slower than my recent times of similar length. I computed the numbers in my head. Bummer. Too slow.

Without going into the convoluted math I do in my head (round here and approximate there to make it easy to compute) - the actual numbers came out better when I had a calculator. It's funny - because I keep forgetting that knocking off .1 or .2 of a mile to make it easier to divide, or ignoring the true seconds and rounding up - it all works against me when I'm looking at pace.

What went as a disappointing approximately 17-minute miles to an acceptable actual calculation of 15.2-minute miles showed me that, yet again, seconds do count.

The little pieces of time, the actual measurements, each step, counts.

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