I have a part time gig working at a pizza place where we make our own dough. With each batch of dough we need 3 gallons of water at a specified temperature. I suppose the math part of me comes out and I look at the water going in the bucket as the independent variable and the overall temperature of the water in the bucket as the dependent variable. If the water in the bucket is 84 degrees and the water going in is 92 degrees then eventually the overall temperature of the water in the bucket will go up.
My current efforts as tracked on Nike+ are like the independent variables in my personal running equation and where I end up ranking in various runs is like my dependent variables. Basically, where I’m ranking in my runs is kind of cold but I’m working to add HOT water to the mix to bring up my rankings temperature 🙂
A picture taken from my Nike+ website page might help better illustrate the hot water going in.
Since the miles I’m putting in are more than the Community average, I conclude I’m putting in water that’s hotter than what’s already in my running bucket. To see what temperature the water is in my bucket then I only need to look at my ranking in a previous run. Below are my results from last Saturday’s (3/14/15) St Patrick’s Day Parade Run.
Overall, we see I came in 6,784 out of 7,551 runners. If we divide those two numbers we can obtain my percentage ranking or 89.8% which is to say I did better than about 10% of the runners participating in that particular race. So, the water in my running bucket is a bit on the cool side.
To be honest, this is still an improvement over last year. I was entering my half marathons into a running log on halffanatics.com and when I looked at the specifics of my runs last year via athlinks.com most all of my percentages were in the 90’s, sometimes as high as 98% or 99% which means I only did better than 1 or 2% of the other runners in those particular races.
The size of the runs has a lot to do with how I’ll place overall. With bigger runs, you get a lot more people doing the runs just for fun and who don’t specifically train to get better at running. In the Nashville, Country Music Marathon last year, for example, there were 19,149 people who did the 1/2 marathon distance and I came in 16,842 or at the 88% mark. But, in smaller runs where you get mainly hard core runners such as last year’s Washington, MO run there were only 120 runners and I was 99%.
The overall running goal I came up with in my head last year was to eventually work my way up into the top 50%
hmmmm… reality has a way of keeping us humble. Looking at my next to last place finish for last year’s Washington, MO run I noticed that was also a 5 Mile run and nearly 2 minutes faster than what I got this year. But, to be fair, that MO run was in August of last year which was well into the running season and during a month where I had knocked out 100+ miles in training. It’s really amazing how much effort and time needs to be put in to make improvements with running, at least for me anyway.
Last year at this time I still had zero miles in the books and my first run didn’t occur until March 26th. Currently, I have 52.5 miles logged over 18 runs this year.
Since I broached the topic of humility, I’ll share one more picture. When I registered for this years Macklind Mile, I saw, for the first time, pictures from last years event and while scrolling came upon the following picture.
I’m the lumbering guy in the yellow shirt and blue shorts up to the right who’s trying to stay alive and is hoping he doesn’t have a heart attack upon completing the run. She’s kind of joyful looking and it’s probably no different to her than just being outside and playing. Sort of like the running is so natural to kids and, i guess, used to be for us too. Now-a-days …running is so rare that we document and log the events using GPS and apps on our phone – blog about them, share the accomplishments on facebook or Instagram. How different it was back then, when we were kids.