Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I Broke Two Hours in the Marathon!

To the best of my recollection, I once ran a marathon in just under two hours!   I believe it was something like one hour and fifty-something.  High “ones”, anyhow.  At least, that’s what I told my relatives at a recent family gathering.  They were incredibly impressed.  Even more so when I explained that I was suffering from severe adolescent acne at the time.

But then a friend of mine reminded me that it was closer to three hours – more than three hours in fact, but who’s counting? – and that no one has ever beaten two hours in the marathon.  He might be right.  It was several years ago and who can remember personal marathon times?  Heck, name me one single runner that can rattle off a PR marathon time right off the top of their head?  It’s obscure knowledge that no one really memorizes, let’s be honest.

That’s why I don’t really understand the hubbub over congressman Paul Ryan’s, the budget numbers guy,  recent slip up that he had run a sub three hour marathon time only to find out that, in fact, it was over four hours.  I once told a prospective employer that I had a GPA over 4.0 (when it was actually just under 3.0) and they never batted an eye.  And why should they?  4 - 3 = 1 and 1 is the least amount you can be on the whole numbers scale besides zero.  One is adjacent to zero.  And adjacent to zero (ATZ) is de facto zero in my book.  Inconsequential, really. 

If people are going to run around and fact check all our self posted PR times, then I’ll need to do some serious blogger editing.  Not much…maybe adding back a 1 to the tens place of my listed 5k and half marathon times…maybe a 1 to the hour column of my marathon PR.  But nothing more than a small, one digit bump to one of those places.  Just a minor ATZ adjustment.  Inconsequential, really.

So whether I tell you I ran a sub-two hour marathon or sub-three hour marathon (or sub-four hour marathon, which is only a mere two ATZ’s removed from ‘true zero’), what’s the difference?  The point is, I’m incredibly fast if a bit imperfect at math.  Don’t judge Mr. Ryan and I if we don’t get our numbers exactly right.  Focus on the awesome finish times instead!  Being terrific at math is not a requirement to run a marathon.  It just helps with the self reported finish time.  Let’s leave the ‘perfectly reported race times’ to the Nerdilators with their abacuses and protractors.  Beer!  Beer!   Beer!  

Don’t be a numbers nerd.

So, let me tell you about this wonderful 117 mile* long run I completed this Sunday along the gorgeous Leelanau Trail…

Happy trails.

* +1 ATZ, hundreds place, implied
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UPDATE:  Thanks to Lindsay for providing the hilarious link that follows.  According to the new Paul Ryan Time Calculator, my current marathon PR of 3:12:19 converts (ATZ) to a much more pleasing 2:19:24.  I am now only 15:46 away from setting a new world marathon record!!

Calculate your new PR time and enjoy!  (For those with a limited sense of humor, (a) why are you here? and (b) here's a different link to enjoy.)

13 comments:

Tammy said...

At last, I can subtract a 1 from the tens column of my age. It's just a minor ATZ adjustment, too.

Viper said...

Look if you're going to be a stickler about my track record, then maybe you should realize that A) I never ran track, and B) where's your birth certificate?

lindsay said...

actually all pr's need to be adjusted per Ryan's new bill. you can see you new, adjusted time here: www.paulryantimecalculator.com. :)

Ironman By Thirty said...

Gorgeous weekend to be up in Leelanau. Let's not ruin it with politics.

Jill said...

If I told my family I ran an hour fifty something marathon, like yourself, they'd all look at me and ask if it was a good time or not. I can rattle off any number and my family wouldn't have a clue...so lie away I say.

Char said...

I was watching the news the other day and the reporter stated that a lung transplant recipient had run a marathon just 7 weeks after surgery. It turned out that the marathon was 10k long. Next time I do a marathon I'm going to choose the 10k option.

Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

I think lying about your time at a race called Grandma's just ices the cake! Paul Ryan is a slow old person hater, apparently.

Jeff and Cali said...

if only I'd know. about that calculator before I had told everyone at work about last weekend's half marathon...they would be kissing the ground I walked on.

Chris said...

At this rate, I'll soon be able to say that I ran 5k in -10:00. I'll be saving time by running, sweet!

Deb said...

That calculator is awesome - I'm now at 2:41:52, which clearly rounds down to 2:00:59.

drea @twomotivate.com said...

Hmm can we do an inversion on my bank account according to his logic? I bet there isn't a runner out there that hasn't gotten caught in a numbers fib or a place fib or even a race fib...usually it's like, "yeah I ran a 3:30" and in fact it was 3:31:58. Etc Etc Etc. Or yeah, I won, when you actually got second but only by a tiny bit and both broke the course record so one might really feel like they are a winner! I mean, Nitmos I'm pretty sure that you are going to run 2:30 in NYC this year! I'd bet a 3 on that 2 for shizzle. Or I mean, WHO WOULD DO THAT? Dumb ass!

Natalie ~ This Chick Will Run said...

Ha! Love this snark! :)

Rachel said...

Awesome! Using this method means I can ride 100 miles on my bike in two hours! I'm amazing!