By The Numbers

Thursday was my first five mile run.

Okay…calling it a run isn’t necessarily accurate. More like a run/walk. It was also my first indoor run thanks to SnowPacalyspe 2011.

I decided to run at the TREC (Turf Recreation Excercise Center). Yes…Purdue’s recreation center is under construction. When the renovations are complete, it will be fantabulous, but for now, there is the TREC.

I planned to run on the TREC’s indoor track which is 1/9 mile. However, reality quickly set in as I watched college-aged kids buzz around the track at lightning speed. I settled for the treadmill.

Not that I need to say this but running on the treadmill is incredibly boring…especially when someone forgets their iPod. Instead, I found myself counting numbers to pass the time. You’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about so let me explain – or at least try to explain.

I love numbers. I remember numbers. I fixate on numbers. Numbers like me too. But sometimes numbers cloud my mind and get in the way. For example, I count how many strides I take per minute. Or I count how many times I take 8 strides over the course of a mile. As I run – or walk – I continue to make up new ways to count just to pass the time.

I really should not have forgotten my iPod.

Before it got better, it got worse. I started setting goals with numbers. My obsession with even numbers made this a bit difficult.

Goal 1 – Run 2 minutes at 5.2 mph – or – until I feel like I’m going to keel over. However, if I felt like I was going to keel over before 2 minutes, I’d set a new goal of a certain distance…and it would have to be even, of course.

Goal 2 – Run at 4.8 mph until a random student runs around the track 4 times. (The treadmills are on the inside of the indoor track.) Problem is that student disappeared somewhere between lap 3 and 4.

Goal 3 – S**t…if I’m going to run 5 miles, I better at least burn 500 calories. Crank up the speed.

Goal 4 – Ignore all these damn skinny college girls. I was that skinny too when I was their age.

In the end, it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to run 5 miles at an average speed of 4.2 mph and I burned a lot of damn calories. I may be as slow as molasses but I feel accomplished.

Have a few minutes? Okay, have four minutes? Take a virtual tour of Purdue’s new recreation center:

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