Now, Think of a Number


You know, I am a planner. Sue me.

I have an excel file that is getting heavy, where I plan my running schedule every week, and where I log my runs, cross training, shoe KMs/Mileage, etc.   I’m not sure how smart it is of me to admit all this.


A few weeks before the Adidas Marathonya 10K, I made a few calculations on what would be a good, challenging (for sure!), but (hopefully?) realistic time for me to run. I based this number on my training, as well as on previous races’ results (see the best race predictor from Running for Fitness, a great site with tons of useful calculators and information).


Final number I decided on was 45:00, or even better 44:59.

Then I thought of different ways to run to get to the final result.
I could run evenly, that would mean a pace of 04:30 Min/KM (07:15 Min/Mile).
I could run negative splits if things went really wrong (please don’t let that happen to me!).
Or I could run positive splits, saving as much as possible of my strength for the 2nd half of the race.

In the end this is what I hoped for:

Split Plan

I played with the numbers for a bit, to make them round and easy (in KM) so I could easily remember them during the race.

I thought about those numbers in the days before the race, the final time I was dreaming about, those 10 splits of 1 KM each I had to run through, trying to make them stick to my head, so I could do my best to make them happen.

I knew there was no guarantee that I’d be able to run those paces, but it was worth trying. And I was hoping that racing for the first time with my Garmin would be of help, at least I would know where I was, time wise and pace wise.

My biggest fear was somehow repeating my first 10K, where I went off way too fast and completely out of my capabilities and crashed halfway.  So I knew that to avoid that I had to stick to the paces I had planned, not let myself run faster no matter what or how good I was feeling, and hopefully not run slower either.

Look at that, so close to the plan.


It surprises me how I managed to run how I had hoped for.
How that number, 45:00, that was just an educated guesstimate, and a time I had never run before in my life (not even close), was so close to my final time. The power of the mind. The positive side to having a plan, to following through.

And I am proud of myself.


We all hope for a particular race result, no matter how fast or slow that number seems to others.
For us, it means making an effort, trying our best.
But we know it’s doable.
We know we can make it happen.

Let your mind be your guide, let your legs do the work, and you will get there.





13 thoughts on “Now, Think of a Number”

    1. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in this excel/data collecting thing. My husband looks at me weird when I get home from a run and go straight to the computer to update my data.. 🙂

  1. I sometimes suspect on the most dreary, wet & windy of days the only reason I run is the collection of data for analysis and monitoring. But I like the run once it’s done.

    1. That’s how I feel about easy runs.. gotta do them, gotta add those paces/times/KMs to my file. I do somewhat enjoy them, but I like it better when I’m done with them.

  2. You are not alone! A lot of my job is in data / research, so if i can spreadsheet something to understand it better, I’ll do it. I’ve got an excel file that dates back to ’08 containing five years of distance / pace data, shoe info, statistical models for predicting various things, & a bunch of calculators I built from scratch. I have definitely made spreadsheet a verb. 🙂

You read what I think, now let me read what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s