Last February I was eMailing with a buddy about a race I came in last in. I wasn't embarrassed that I was last, or even upset, I finished what I started see: ""Start as you mean to go on". I was actually embarrassed to hold up the awards ceremony! I mean really, the folks that came in first had to wait around nearly an hour before yours truly crossed the finish line!! He and my father pointed out that the race results clearly showed three people only finished one lap of the two lap race, so I wasn't last, huh. I remember crossing that finish line and knowing I was the last person out of those woods and even when I said, I'm last, I heard oh you aren't last. I assured them I was. My buddy, being the engineer he is, pulled up the race results and did a statistical analysis on them. I love engineers. He replied with this:
“Congratulations on the race. Great job! I took the
results and ran them though a statistical analysis. Your time was only 2.35
standard deviations below the average. In statistical speak anything within
+/-3 std deviations is considered “normal”. So you were absolutely in the same
class as the rest of the runners – math does not lie.”
Holy cow Math does not lie! What a genius!
That phrase “Math does not lie.” Runs through my head when I’m
racing/running. Because I have not become smart enough to figure the splits to meet my goal ahead of time and write them on the back of my bib to peek at during the race. I have to do the math in my head. Which, in retrospect, probably isn't a bad thing because I suck at doing math in my head. Ask my hubb who
nearly goes crazy when I’m trying to figure out a 15% tip. He looks at my
puzzled face and says, "Hon, you are a numbers person why is this so difficult?" I
freeze, I panic, I have no idea. Finally, after years of this dance, he said move the
decimal point over two places, remember that number and then cut that number in
half and add the two numbers. Holy cow, that is 15%. What a genius!
For my first Marathon our team coach gave us some tips and tricks for when
the going gets tough. Count backwards from 100, the amount of concentration you
have to have is amazing and you forget that your body hurts you forget that you
are tired you are just trying to remember 99, 98, 98, 90, oh wait I messed up 100, 99,98,97,96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 91 wow I’m on a roll, oh I like that shirt,
wow bright shiny object. Oh shit what number was I on? Hey wait aren't there
dunkin donut holes coming up at mile 24, what mile is this 15, hmmm how long
will it be till I get to mile 24, lets see 24 minus 15 is 10, no wait it is 9.
My pace is 10:45 so crap that is a lot of math to do. Let’s round up to 11 and
hmmm. Before I knew it a mile or two have gone by and I was feeling like running. What
I love those “What a genius!”
moment, someone making something easier or maybe just a little less painful.
And that is what I thought about on my 'recovery run' this morning, Despite the sharp stabbing pain in my left hip I went out, figured maybe 3 miles at most, just down to the beach and back. After dropping my badge at the guard shack and chatting with the guard, he commented the St. Pat 5K shirt was a cool shirt. I headed out with a right hand turn, bag the beach, let's explore a bit and try a new route. 50 minutes and 4.4 miles later I was back at the guard shack retrieving my badge feeling refreshed and sans hip pain.
Beth, thankful for all the geniuses in her life