Why People Who Are Bad At Math Shouldn't Run

I just returned from a 5 mile tempo run. No, wait. That's untrue for two reasons.

  1.  I've been back for well over an hour but have been eating Haagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet in the hopes that concentrated, flavored, frozen sugar water would cheer me up from a dismal run. But it sounds more hardcore if I insinuate I came in dripping from a run and sat straight down at the computer to write about it.
  2. I cheated and only did four miles of the 5 mile run.

I've been wondering--between gulps of sorbet--why I cheated. I've decided it's because I'm bad at math.

My scheduled run today was a one mile warm-up and then five miles at a 7:50 pace. I did the first half-mile at about an 8:30 pace and ended up with an 8 minute-per-mile pace at the end of the warm-up mile. 

Not good. First of all, that's way too fast a warm-up pace for me. I should be closer to an 8:50. Second, as I grew tired in the tempo portion of my run, I began to rationalizing using that first fast mile as part of my tempo. But, hmm. That 8-minute pace would drag down my 7:50 average. Or would it? Yes, the overall 8-minute pace would drag down the average but wouldn't I have to have been running a 7:30 pace the second half of that warm-up mile for the total pace to average out at 8 minutes? Which means I could cut at least a half-mile of the tempo portion and NOT be considered a big fat cheater. PLUS, that 7:30 pace would mean I'm ahead of tempo. And so I don't overdo it, I should probably just give myself an extra half-mile, since I went out so fast and all. And I'll walk a really long cool-down to make up for it. Okay, going to throw up now. 

That's pretty much my inner dialogue. At some point in there, I was assigning the value of "x" to hill gradients and trying to divide wind resistance by the value of Pi. The bottom line is that people who are bad at math shouldn't run. It's way to easy for us to start rationalizing short cuts based on faulty math theory... or poor addition skills. 

I've got a 20 mile run this weekend. I better bring my calculator.