Tales of a Slow Paced Runner

I doubt the accuracy of the distance estimate for the track at my fitness center.

It’s possible I’m slower outdoors than indoors. Maybe the Earth’s yellow sun saps my energy and weakens my muscles. Possible, but not likely. I’ve always felt energized by its cancer giving rays.

“I don’t have all day,” says the electronic Runkeeper voice in my earbuds. “Start running whenever.”

I am running, and she does have all day.

The weather has been beautiful these past two Sundays. I’ve been able to take my weekly long run outdoors. This means nine or ten miles of slogging around Silver Lake against the wind all the way around and somehow uphill the entire way.

So I guess maybe that’s slowing me down a little.

Maybe it’s my GPS. Inaccuracies could account for a bad distance estimate. Maybe I’m really going a lot farther than a mile each time my electronic voice chimes in to tell me that I’m way slow.

“Way slow,” she says. “Seriously. Pick it up a little.”

Inside, on the track, I was getting somewhere around ten minutes per mile. I’d start out faster and end up slightly slower, but that was about the average. Three weeks in a row I did six miles in under an hour. I am amazingly proud of that number. It’s the fastest I’ve ever wrongfully believed myself to be.

But it’s not fast.

It’s possible that the inaccuracy comes from the fact that I use lane 3 instead of 4 on the indoor track. The actual nine laps to a mile estimate is probably measuring that outside lane, but I don’t think it would be polite to force the gray-bearded old men and overweight youngsters to blast past me on the right. After all, they’re better runners than I am, so they ought to be using the lane labeled “Run” while I chug away in “Jog”.

Eleven minutes a mile is about my average outside. That’s significantly slower, but still just barely fast enough to make my goal of two and a half hours for a half marathon. I still have a month and a half to train, so maybe I can get my ridiculously long legs to move just a bit faster.

“Don’t count on it.”

Thanks, Runkeeper. You’re not helping.

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