Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Good thing I didn't go into astrophysics

One important survival strategy during the marathon last Saturday was counting down. After the first half of the race, I started calculating how many kilometres I had left. It was very rewarding psychologically, because with each kilometre I ran, the less I had left. Compare that with counting upwards, that is how many kilometres I had accumulated in my tired legs. Had I done that, the (imagined) weight of 34, 35, 40 km would have crushed me.

I was also very optimistic. I've never been that good at maths, despite my fond, most likely false, memories of kicking ass at solving algebra equations when I was in high school. When I subtracted how many kilometres I had run from the total, I was left with a slightly wrong answer. Example: 29 km run meant I had 12 left. Was my miscalculation an unconscious effort to make the distance seem shorter, or was I too tired to count properly? Or do I simply suck at maths?

You can imagine my disappointment when I redid the calculation at 30 km and came up with the same – this time correct - answer.

Undeterred, I continued using my terrible maths skills. I tried to calculate my finishing time, a task even more complicated than subtraction. I had to take my average speed and multiply that with the amount of kilometres left, and then add that to my time so far. Advanced mathematics, suitable only for the likes of Einstein. The results were as encouraging as with my subtraction calculations. I could finish the marathon in under 4 hours 15 minutes! Then I would count again and suddenly it was hopeless to even try and get a sub 4.30. My adrenaline fuelled mind was spinning so fast, its neurons were short fusing. Then I picked up speed and managed to finish in under 4 hours and 15 minutes anyway.

Kids, always do your maths homework. You never know when you might need it.

In other news, I went for a morning run that was just delicious. No ache anywhere in my body, except for my thigh muscle. It was almost dawn when I left home, and a full moon was creeping down towards the horizon. Magic.

1 comment:

  1. Härligt att du redan kommit ut på jogg igen! Gott betyg till förberedelserna tänker jag!

    Och vilken bild! Vilken morgon! Vilken dag! Jag tog mitt nya korsband på en tur runt kvarteret. She liked it! :)