Sunday, 27 March 2011

Numbers

My tired legs groaned when they realised they were about to go for a short run. Curiously, my foot was quiet. It didn't seem to suffer after yesterday's long run. I slipped my VFFs on and jogged for 2,22 km.

Or did I? Maybe the real distance was much shorter? Or longer? Does it matter?

I'll be the first to admit that I have a fixation with numbers when it comes to running. I like my kilometres to add up to an even number. I like to make sure that I've run a certain distance. 10 kilometres is great. 10,02 is better, to allow some margin for error. Coming home and finding out that I've ”only” run 9,99 is a catastrophe. My dormant OCD takes over. I feel unaccomplished, a failure, and it takes enormous amounts of strength to not go out and run 10 metres just to get an even number.

Free mixed numbers texture for layersphoto © 2008 D. Sharon Pruitt (TAKING A BREAK FROM FLICKR) | more info (via: Wylio)

Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit. But this was a discussion that came up with at least two of my running buddies on yesterday's run. We talked about how two different brands of GPS watches can show different distances. Which one is correct? Not to mention the huge deviation from my mobile phone: I ran a whole extra kilometre yesterday, if you believe Endomondo. Someone had forgotten to start his watch again after a short pause, and ran a couple of kilometres before realising it. Did these kilometres happen? If you don't have evidence for it, how can you prove that you've really run the distance? If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

He did, by the way. I saw him.

Most people who run need to have some sort of indication of the distance and time they've covered, whether they measure it with a normal clock and using an online map tool or a pre-measured round, or use super advanced GPS watches. As long as you always use the same method, the same measuring tool, it's a great way to see if you're making progress. In the case of the VFFs, it helps me to make sure I don't do too much too soon. Not everyone is as fixated as I am with even numbers, but I know I'm not the only one. Is it healthy? Probably not. But sometimes we all get a bit of OCD about our passions.

2 comments:

  1. Jepp, jag var ute i morse, medan solen fortfarande var framme :)

    ReplyDelete