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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Metrics Smetrics

In the U.S., unless you participate in a sport like running, cycling or swimming, you talk and think in miles. Yes, we are probably the only country in the world that hasn’t switched to the metric system. And chances are we probably never will (except for in running, cycling and swimming). We are that stubborn.  Wait, I take that back, I think some screwdrivers are measured in metrics, as are pencil leads. ANYWAY, when talking with my non-running friends and family, they don’t give a dang whether I say 30 kilometers or 30 miles. To them, 30 KILOMETERS IS 30 MILES – and that’s that. I used to correct my friends, “No, it was 50 kilometers, NOT 50 miles.” But that did no good.  “I can’t believe you ran 50 miles!!!”

When I tell someone I ran 50 kilometers, they will forever think that I ran 50 miles. In fact, just this past weekend, we had a little party for my son’s birthday. My sister-in-law, who is a runner and understands distance in kilometers, asked me about the Calico race (a 30k). I told her about it, trying to make the stories as humorous as possible. I got some good laughs. Others in the room (including my husband, who is a bright man) went on about the fact that I ran 30 MILES. I did not correct them. Why? Because I have finally realized why my non-running family and friends refuse to acknowledge the kilometer in my running distances – it is due to the fact that 30k (or approximately 19 miles) is the same as 30 miles to a non-runner. They are not stupid. To them, it’s merely, “19 . . . 30, what’s the difference?  Both are hard as hell.”  And they are right. Smile

This morning I ran 13.23 trail miles (or 21.29 km).  The weather was cool.  The skies were blue.  I ran a negative spit, but as you can see from the profile below, I ran lots of downhill for the second half.  Still, I found it quite difficult to keep my pace up for the second half.  During the final mile, I found my trail friend A-Rod heading out for the trails.  He told me he pretty much got hood-winked (my words) into running the LA Marathon.  His mouth dropped when I told him what I was training for.  “It will be by the grace of God if I finish,” I said.  “Way to go, Sista,” he said, we high-fived (slapped each other’s hands) and were off our separate ways.  I arrived to my car fatigued, but not a zombie, and stretched for a long ten minutes before heading home. 

The Run:

My ritual pose at Meadows Trail:

The mountains in the distance that I will attempt to conquer in a 50 mile increment (in a little more than a month away):

Climbing Mentally Sensitive:

Heading toward Top of the World:

Descending into Wood Canyon:

Running Big Loop Aliso clockwise 2-13-2013, Elevation - Distance


  1. You know I love this post! And you were so impressed with my miles...:) At least I'm lucky because the kilometers look so impressive.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed this post Johann! I couldn't help think of you when I wrote it. I am still impressed with your "miles" though they are kilometers. Great running!!