Monday, October 31, 2005

excuse me, while i diss the sky

Okay, I can't really complain about the sky, because my new wristband GPS seems to work just fine. But, I had talked myself into believing that The Standard Loop that I was running was 6 miles, and maybe even 6.2 miles, meaning I was doing my own private 10K each time I ran it. According to the GPS though, it's only 5.8 miles. The GPS also punctured any delusions I might have been harboring about my running pace, although that is harder to pin down exactly because of the stops and starts necessitated by the various stoplights on my route.

Exactly how I will continue with the delusion that I am adequately preparing for a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 24 days by running 5.8 miles is beyond me. Especially when, for a variety of reasons, I took three out of the last four days off running. (The only one of those days I'm not going to apologize for is Saturday, when it was snowing here, and a catastrophic laundry failure left me without anything dry to wear on my head.)

Anyway, I was just musing today in my office about how remarkable it is that there are people out there who are so naive about the way that numbers get produced in the world that they could utter something like "numbers don't lie" (or, even more incredibly, "statistics don't lie") with no sense of irony. Numbers that come from a gizmo on your wrist that is linked to satellites in the sky, on the other hand--those numbers do confront a person with the chilly obduracy of truth.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't argue with you about the statistics. I tell 92% of my students 3/4 of the time that 54% of statistics are just made up, and another 27% are inappropriately interpreted.

chris said...

glad i don't have gps. 5.8 is a fine distance to train for 13.1, since raceday adrenaline is a bracing elixir. IMHO, resting the knee is a bigger deal than mileage. if it feels better in the next two weeks, you might try a slow 9 or 10 (take your time, stop for bakery) just for confidence. then "taper" by not doing much for the week or ten days before the race. of course, as a wise professor once told me at the wizversity, "not all advice is good advice." have fun!

Katy said...

He's right, Jeremy. You are going to be fine. If you were following Hal Higdon, you would know this week you only have to run 5 miles, 3 miles, 5 miles, and 6 miles. Clearly, you are up to that. And for the next 2 weeks it's the same pattern only on the weekend you run 9 or 10 miles. The week after that is the race. You can totally do this.

Anonymous said...

Put that gadget away, guy. Get a friend to tail you in a car with a well-equipped odometer. We MUST get an accurate count here.

Anonymous said...

Does your GPS ever lose signal while you're out? This can happen sometimes if you go under an overpass or are somehow sufficiently blocked from the satellite. This sometimes causes false readings.

jeremy said...

Thanks Chris and Katy, I hope the advice about the bracing elixir proves correct in my case. Elixirs for others often turn out to be paralysis potions for me.

As for the odometer advice, I could do that myself with a car for the part of the standard loop that can be traversed by car, but I'm not sure if the part I run around Kendall Square is. And part of my run through the Harvard Campus definitely isn't, but I'm not sure how far that is.

Anonymous said...

Ah! So you DO have a car now!

jeremy said...

No, I said this wrong. I would have to borrow a car.