Speed = Distance/Time

Generally, when I run, I blend with nature. The sun is shining, the clouds are peeking out delicately, the birds are flying. Now, you zoom the camera lens earthward and you find me prodding along down below, but with the spirits keeping the old birds company in the sky. That is me running.

Unfortunately, all the birds seem to have migrated for the Winter as I see none. But that could also be because with the start of Winter, I have been hibernating longer, and by the time I am legging it to work, there are no minutes to spare hobnobbing with birds and definitely not birds with soaring spirits. The spirit on these occasions stays with me, firmly routed on the ground. Terra Firma.

To cut a long story short, after a considerably long time I went to a gym to run today. I hadn’t noticed the way those treadmills psyched me before, but they do! There I am running along minding my own business and looking at the blinking displays on the treadmill occasionally. To the left is the time going (denoted on the x-axis in my mind, hence marked with x)

x:54 x:55 x:56 x:57 x:58 x:59

And to the right is the distance (y axis) going not nearly as fast, but close

y.56    y.57     y.58

The tongue is hanging out and I am watching the competing scales race against each other. Every second seems precious now, and I rashly increase the pace to a number that is making my heart pound. Just for a little while, I assure myself. And then…Sorry, but I have to put this thrilling narrative on hold for just a moment.

I don’t know whether you have ever been at the receiving end of a boomerang before.  I haven’t, but I am pretty sure that this is how it must have felt. You are looking keenly for the wretched object to keep going, and what does it do? Come right back at you! NOT doing what you are expecting it to do in other words. Now, back to the t.narrative.

Just as I am eagerly expecting both the axes to turn to x+1 and y+1, the time turns x+1 alright, but the distance just turns y.60. What the? I mean, why couldn’t it have been the other way around. When one is sweating it out and looking definitely like a warm bath and a cozy bed would do, why would the World thrust upon me the fact that a minute has only 60 seconds, while 0.9+0.1 miles make a mile, not 0.59+0.01?!

I complained bitterly, and even swore loudly at the treadmill. But treadmills don’t distinguish between people pounding on them or kicking at them, do they? They just go on cheating people by showing 60 seconds to a minute and 0.9+0.1 miles to a mile. That’s why, when once calculates my speed today, it is far from impressive. The standards are unfair.

Speed = Distance/Time! Humph and Humph again!

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5 thoughts on “Speed = Distance/Time”

  1. It is painful to watch the mile count move so slowly.
    My peeve was with the circular lap indicator. It shows so many dots to finally reach .25 miles 😦

    But, on a good & rare day. I don’t care about it at all.

    And if I manage first 10 minutes without too much of complaints, then it is all good for me…

  2. Saumya excellent one. That reminds me of my first set of interval training on the treadmill (aug 2007). So the deal was to run fully out for 1/4 mile and then run very slowly for 1/4 mile and keep doing this till you hit 3 miles. My full out pace at that time was 7:30sec/mile and easy pace was 10:00/mile. Towards 2.5 miles, my eyes are glued to the distance readout… and when it reached the last quarter mile. I would be like sadsack (if you have read the cartoon), hunched forward head hanging low, shoulder down, knees scraping the ground. 🙂

  3. Good one Saumya… My most frustrating experience came in when I did my first long run in treadmill… I wanted to run for 100 minutes (well, that treadmill counted minutes instead of shifting to the hour notation)… I was all set… First day, I hit about 60 or 70 minutes and I wanted to pause for my water break… Instead of pressing pause, I hit the clear and there went by goal… The next time, I made sure that I don’t stop, not even for a water break… I was at minute 99, feeling all elated to look at the 100 min and it went 0 min since that machine can only had a 2 digit display….I was completely pissed…:)

    By the way, I noticed that the snow from your SF picture trickles all the way down throughout the blog… Initially, I thought it was just me, and then, I noticed the picture with snow falling at the top of the page…

    1. That must really have been frustrating. 2 digit display! Yes, it was snowing in SF yesterday, so I got my blog to snow – isn’t it cool?

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