Wacky Wednesday

I love living in Canada. Not only do we have the joy of running in four true seasons a year, through everything from heat and humidity to high winds and snowstorms, we have the metric system.

As a runner, the metric system is great for building your confidence. For example, when I write “I ran in -10c,” many readers miss the C and think I’m really tough; honestly, that’s 14F (which, to me, seems quite warm). Today, I’m excited about our 5C weather and am ready to pull out the capris for the second day in a row. That’s right, 5C is not that cold; it’s 41F.

Distance units are another measure which can be manipulated to make you seem superhuman. A marathon is 26.2 miles, or 42.2 kilometres. The kilometre unit makes a marathon seem longer – one of the reasons I prefer to see mile markers at races instead of kilometre ones.

Last weekend, I posted my long run on Daily Mile in kilometres – only because that’s what my buddy used to measure the course. According to his Garmin, I ran 27.4 kilometres at a 4:53 pace. Within minutes, I got a message from my friend, Kelly, who claimed I was “wickedly fast”. I was tempted to say nothing and let her believe that I could run a sub-5 minute mile for over two hours, but I fessed up. “No, Kelly,” that’s the metric system.

In my dreams – or in the metric system – I run like a Kenyan.

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10 comments

  1. Hey man, you're a Kenyan to me 🙂 (And aren't we all Kenyans in our dreams anyhow?..lol) Looking fwd to your lead up to the marathon – can't wait to see ya finish.

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  2. Hey I know that Kelly! That wasn't my first metric boof either. I'm coaching a Canadian athlete & so I have to convert all her workouts to km & paces to min/km. Just a couple weeks before I commented that to you, I put together her March schedule & gave her some of her first speed workouts. As I sat there working out her training plan, I thought to myself “Man, how am I going to convert 800meters & 400meters to metric?” Um….DUH!! I was thoroughly excited when it dawned on me a few seconds later that the speed workouts I wrote would mean the same to me as they did to her. No conversion necessary!

    Why is it that we Americans run some of our training runs, mainly the longer ones, in miles but then switch over to the metric system for speed workouts and many of our races anyway?

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