Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mowing By The Numbers

Those of you who really know me and I suppose the ones who suffer through reading all my stats in this blog, realize that I am a numbers kind of guy. It seems I can't survive with out relating my life to some type of statistic.

My running blog is full of all kinds of related and many seemingly unrelated comparisons between running miles and living life. For instance, bike riding compared to running is about a 1 to 3 ratio and swimming is just the opposite at 3 to 1.

I have calculated that my morning workout lasting about 20 minutes and working up a semi sweat is equivalent to about a mile of easy running. Last night as I semi jogged behind the lawn mower for about an hour, I found myself trying to convert my yard work into mileage so I can post it in my running log.

Not that I want to embellish my total miles so much as to have an accurate account of what types of physical activities I am doing when I run that fantastic unbelievable race ....you know the one I mean, the perfect storm.....when everything falls into perfect alignment..even the stars.

I have had more than one such experience in the past but because I didn't have decent running records at the time, I do not know what the key element was, so I am unable to duplicate the results.

For instance, I ran my first and fastest 1/2 marathon (7:26 mile pace)while only running an average of 13 miles per week and no long runs beyond 6 miles. The next year (2003) I trained harder (16 miles a week, longest run of 8 miles)and ran my fastest 5K at 20:18 (6:34 pace) and a month before that my fastest 10K at 44:03 (7:06 pace).

So....what was so different a few years ago compared to now where I struggle to break 8 minute pace in a 10K. I run more miles but that should help me not hold me back. I have to assume that there were different things I was doing then to keep in shape that I am not doing now....perhaps I rode the bike more or swam harder or worked on the core more.

I find myself looking for that key that helped me perform so well, that one special thing I did then and have forgotten about. Is it possible that I am running too much, working out too hard and wearing down my body to the point that I can't perform at my best during a race?

Perhaps I should consider trading my push mower in for an easier tool.....maybe a John Deer motorcycle mower like the picture? Now I do have a riding mower I use for my larger front lawn, but this one is really cool.

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