Rookie Rule #11
Earlier this week, Maggie waxed poetic about the dangers of running math. And she’s absolutely right. One thing she failed to mentioned, however, is that bad running math can seriously screw you over the during the long haul of a marathon or half marathon.
Take my husband, for example. In his first marathon, he thought he had about two minutes to spare to achieve his goal of breaking four hours. However, when he got his official results, he realized that bad running math had left him with a final time of 4:00:52. Ouch.
It’s easy to see how it can happen. You’re a few minutes (if not more) behind the race clock, and you’re trying to divide miles and calculate pace and then somewhere after mile 10, your brain explodes and numbers go buh-bye.
The solution? Pace tattoos. Not only will they prevent bad running math, but they’ll also help you ‘stick’ to your pace (Ba-dum-CHING!) if you don’t have a group to run with. Most all races offer these wonderful tools that break down every mile split for marathon finishing times from three to six hours. And, they’re free of charge. Score! (You also can get ‘em online.)
If you’re running a half marathon, simply cut the tat in half before you stick it on your arm, and you’ve got your own, personalized pace tat. It’s as easy as that. For easy reference, I recommend putting it on the inside of the arm on which you wear your watch.
The beauty of temporary tattoos is that they stay on through all the sweat, pain and tears of a race (and they can stick around for a day or two afterward, if you’d like a badge of honor). So, as you go to your fall race expos, make sure to make a pit-stop at the tattoo booth.
One cautionary note: Sometimes, races don’t go as planned, and you’ve got to rethink your goals. It happens, and that’s life. However, if you have a pace tattoo, it can serve as a constant reminder that you’re not going to hit your original goal. If this happens to you, let it go. Don’t let a temporary tattoo ruin your life. You’re finishing a marathon, and that, my Bad Angel friend, is still rather amazing. — Aidz