Sunday, October 29, 2006

Re-measuring the Course

It wasn't as easy as I thought to re-measure the 3-mile course that I use for my daily walks, but I finally got through it. I put a steel measuring tape on the ground and checked the distance for one revolution of the bicycle wheel. Then I went out on the course and counted wheel rotations. On my first try I lost count a couple of times--probably because I was self-conscious I might look like the village idiot pushing a rusty bicycle around and counting to 754 and one quarter for each mile. I tried again after dark with one of Rosie's knitting counters.

If I measured it correctly this time, I wasn't too far off to begin with. In a way that was a disappointment because I thought that I was walking a longer course and that's why my time wasn't as good as the weekend long walks. As it turns out I have been walking a slightly shorter course all this time. It wasn't too big a discrepancy, about 30 yards. My first mile was about 50 yards short. The second mile, when adjusting for that 50 yard deficit in the first mile, was pretty much accurate. The last mile turned out to be about 20 yards longer than a mile. That explains why my mile pace kept getting slower all this time on those daily 3-mile walks.

Now I have new, hopefully more accurate, mile markers, but it looks like it will be even more difficult to hit a 12 minute per mile average because I've got to go a little further.

All in all, it was a rather disappointing Sunday. I started the day ready to do a long slow 26.2 miles. My nephew and I thought it would be great to go the marathon distance, at least that's what we wanted to do Saturday afternoon. However, he went out with a friend that night and came home with doubts about going the distance. Oh, well, I was willing to settle for a good 8-miles, but when he got up Sunday, even after the extra hour due to the time change, he wasn't feeling like doing even that, in fact he hasn't run for a couple of weeks now but doesn't want to see a doctor about his sore shins. That, and other things that kept piling up--Rosie's friend that slept in, my heel that was still patched up and a slight knee pain from yesterday's fast 800 meter repeats--and I finally threw in the towel. I ended up giving Rosie a short racewalking lesson. I only timed one mile of the lesson, 17 minutes. My heart rate didn't get close to any aerobic benefit zone but Rosie was huffing and puffing by the end of the workout. Now Rosie wants to spend more time walking with me so she can loose some weight and get fit. I guess I did the right thing by putting the family first today.

Now that we are on Standard Time, it won't be dark for my early morning walks--at least that's something to look forward to.