Mama K (CD5K), Training (read: Practicing), Where I'm at now...

Number Madness

One of my best friends (I’ll call her K ) was looking for suggestions on what she should wear on her 55 degree run today. She posted this question in the Women’s Running Community group on Facebook where there are thousands of wonderfully encouraging, helpful, and inspiring ladies.  She received a lot of good advice and wound up wearing shorts and a short sleeve shirt on her 8.7 mile run… 8.7…she posted her thank yous and reported briefly about the successful 8.7 mile training run; she is preparing for the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia on May 4th.  All that aside, the number 8.7 struck a nerve, which is absolutely ridiculous because numbers shouldn’t have the power to make people mad.  Well, that number must have irked another fellow runner because she posted a comment asking why K didn’t just do .3 more miles to make it an even 9?   I was thinking THE SAME THING!  K responded with a laugh (I could hear it through the iPad) and said that she was at her in-laws and didn’t know the roads well and she wanted to do between 8-9 miles so 8.7 fit the bill.  I couldn’t believe that my annoyance meter was even triggered, but it was! I never imagined I would become such a rigid adult.  I had to type something….  I tossed out to internet land that I would’ve seen that number and run up and down the sidewalk in front of the house staring at my watch like a goon to make sure I completed an even 9.  I then realized that I absolutely hate odd numbers for running, which I also admitted to the group. I finished 7 today (on the treadmill – applause accepted) and when I was got off, I felt… unfinished.  I should have done 8.  I can only live with even numbers in running which I think is why I partly love the 10K distance – 6.2 is perfect.  Except….except the number 5. I am completely satisfied with a 5 mile run.


Apparently not. WHEW!  I happily found out that I’m not the only anal-retentive runner. A few more ladies posted about how they went out and did things like run 2.8 miles in the morning and then had to go out and do 5.2 later to make it an even 8 for the day. One woman set out to run 2.62 in honor of Boston and accidentally did 2.63 which frustrated her so much that she had to just scratch 2.62 and make it an even 3.  As it turns out, Mama D is especially weird because she really ONLY likes numbers that are divisible by 3….which would drive me crazy unless they were also divisible by 4… 12, 24, 48 and so on.  When Mama D’s race bib numbers are divisible by three she sees it as an extra stroke of good luck and her day becomes magic. I’m starting to think we’re all a little crazy.

All of this just goes to show that you learn things about yourself when you start running.  When you spend hours and hours alone with yourself, your quirks begin to surface.  And when they do, you have to figure out what to do with them because they’re a part of the journey too!


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Please share your quirks, superstitions, and/or oddities in the comments section! Let your freak flag fly!



2 thoughts on “Number Madness”

  1. I’m right there with you! It drives me absolutely nuts to do any training runs that don’t end up being a whole number. When someone asks me how far I ran, the worst is having to reply, “Just under…” That makes me feel inadequate! Oh, and even worse than that is when I stop the treadmill and realize that I stopped it at 4.99 instead of 5.0. No!!!! 🙂


    1. Nooooooo, the .99 is the worst! I agree! My problem on the treadmill is that I stare at the numbers the whole time. My eyes frantically dart from incline to pace to distance to elapsed time like they are going to change without my doing…more crazy.


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