MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 29, 2010

Scared Screaming Person

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:16

Yet another search term that someone used to find me. Holler? Hahah 

Apparently I lied and that hill workout I did on Tuesday? Yeah, Hill 1 is actually 26% grade! I was correct in saying that Hill 2 is 15% though.  Oops. No wonder the workout hurt so badly! Like I said in my edit yesterday, the funny thing is that the second hill is the one that hurt the most! 

Also a note on hills: I found out yesterday that a 100% grade hill is a 45* angle (not the straight up like I would intuitively think).  Thinking about it I’ve decided that the math (aka trigonometry) does, in fact, work out that way.  But I never would have intuitively realized it and this means that my 26% grade hill is actually twice as steep as I would have thought a 26% grade hill to be. And I thought it was pretty darn steep! 😛 If any of that made sense that’d be awesome because it’s hard to wrap my head about it hahah. 

A couple of people asked me how to calculate percent grade. So I’ll nerd out a bit 🙂  It’s trig and the formula for percent grade is your slope formula: rise over run 

goooooooooooooogle images (as are all images in this post)

Of course the “run” part of the equation is not the exact portion you are running (the hypotenuse is) and the more complicated equation becomes if you don’t know the “run”.  So you can use the actual distance traveled (the hypotenuse) with the equation (and feel free to use a calculator!): 

100*tan[arcsin(rise/distance you run)] 

Enjoy that math lesson? Don’t lie because of course you did. 

And I bet you’ll also enjoy the fact that my body is feeling the workout today as well.  At least I am. Sure it made the actual run today total suckage but that’s okay.  Surprisingly my legs have reacted pretty well to being hammered and beaten on those hills.  But I’m not feeling crippled.  It’s more of a tightness and lead feeling rather than OUCH. 

Doesn’t change the end result that I felt like I was running through molasses this morning. 

The Great Molasses Flood of Boston. No joke.

In all fairness I don’t think it was entirely my legs’ fault.  It was 69* and 93% humidity. 

And this was at 0500. Which means is was PITCH BLACK the entire run.  Well maybe by the end there was pre-dawn light but ugh. I know most of you know what I’m talking about. 

So I’m sure my legs LOVED that as well.  Especially since I couldn’t see the path I was running on.  The areas that are tree covered made me really unsure of where I was stepping.  Luckily I came out unscathed 🙂 

I can go either way with loving or hating 0500 and so can my runs.  Either  I just GO without thinking or my legs don’t want to wake up.  Secretly I think it’s more love with that wake up because, oddly enough, I feel like a real adult.  Like I have to get up this early because I have to be at work on time. 

But my legs did feel sloooooooooooooooow.  In fact I checked my watch at a place where I knew how far I’d run, saw the time and then didn’t look at my watch for the rest of the run.  Because it was THAT slow.  I’d have loved to have turned off the watch completely but, hey, at the end of the day I’m a numbers junkie and my log book and stats would not have liked that. Suffice it to say I haven’t yet looked at the overall time because I want it to sting less if I look at it later! 

I can say that it was between 6 and 7 miles.  Maybe close to 8 if I’m being overly pessimistic right now on the pace.  I doubt it though.  I’d say a solid 6.5.  Once I saw how slow I was and knew that I wasn’t going to care about pace (at least in terms of seeing the time during the run) I kind of wandered a bit on my route. 

Very unlike me. 

A recovery run itself isn’t really like me either.  If you remember, after both my recent half and 5, none of the runs were slow or short enough to be classified as recovery.  Damn you hills 😉

I’ll wrap up there.  It’s been a long day at work already.  I’ve been in meetings from 0800 until abut 1330.  So the time has flown by but I’ve gotten nothing accomplished that I wanted to.  So what am I doing? Finishing a post then heading to DD.  Because it’s a coffee day! And I’ll be walking down gang street to do so. Wish me luck! 


  1. My eyes started to cross over at the math… lol, just kidding! 🙂

    Sorry about the slow run. But hey, as people always tell me, a run is a run is a run is a run… You still got out there!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — September 29, 2010 @ 15:24

  2. coffee day!!!

    that math made my brain hurt! lol. i used to run SO SLOW in the mornings, like wayyy slower than any other run. my body has gotten more used to it, but when its really dark i definitely slow down.

    Comment by aron — September 29, 2010 @ 15:27

  3. I actually had already refeshed my trig memory from your earlier post. It reminded me there are too many ways to calculate an answer when the real answer is, those hill were just d@*# hard!!

    Comment by shelly — September 29, 2010 @ 15:40

  4. I wish I could figure out what the % grade is of the hills that I run. I understand the math (kinda), but I still can’t figure it out!

    Comment by Kim — September 29, 2010 @ 15:52

    • It’s just a plug-and-chug with the equation I gave you — you just need a calculator 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 18:45

  5. Haha, remember to avoid throwin’ the Blood handsign around and your trek to DD should go smoothly. I’m too dumb at math to understand a single thing you said but I enjoy the fact that you calculate your hill grade % — you really are a numerophile. Mad props.

    Comment by sweatykid — September 29, 2010 @ 16:08

  6. I have a headache just from looking at that.

    Comment by Matt — September 29, 2010 @ 16:14

  7. Your body is probably just saying something like “whoa girl, we’ve had a ton of great workouts lately. I’m a little tired” ! And good lord with the math – thank god dieticians don’t have to be whizzes in it 🙂

    Comment by Kelly — September 29, 2010 @ 16:35

  8. I guess somebody’s gotta know how to calculate grade…better you than me! Yay for coffee!

    Comment by Marcia — September 29, 2010 @ 16:48

  9. As someone who can understand numbers more than words, my eyes were instantly drawn to the graph! I just realized I probably won’t succeed (too lazy to that word, sorry if it’s spelled incorrectly) as a writer in that case, right?

    Comment by Ameena — September 29, 2010 @ 18:15

    • You could always write a math book 😉 And as long as you don’t change the way you write (funny and witty and honest!) you will always have a fan in me 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 18:47

  10. Graph…slope…what!? Math makes my head throb. I’m calling upon YOU if I ever need to calculate grade. I don’t think I’m capable. 🙂

    Comment by shelby — September 29, 2010 @ 20:23

  11. Best way to find grade:
    For those of us who are too lazy to do the math. 😀

    Comment by Flo — September 29, 2010 @ 20:40

    • Where were you yesterday when I was trying to find a simple way to explan?! But you still need to do math because you need horizontal distance and any mapping device is going to give you the hypotenuse and not horizontal.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 20:45

  12. oh my goodness, i don’t even want to try and remember trig! 🙂 mabes you need a head lamp on those dark runs?! i’m so uncoordinated that i would definitely sprain something. have you tried the blueberry DD coffee yet?!

    Comment by emily — September 29, 2010 @ 20:41

    • GAH. No I forgot! I go so infrequently to actually buy coffee that I think I’ll never remember. Sad face!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 20:46

  13. Hills! I am terrible at them. Maybe your long legs help you out? I use my trigonometric eyes to figure out what is steep and what is not-steep, and when I should stop sprinting and bag it. In any case, hills beat me up a lot more than I expect them to, so I’m not surprised you’re feeling the workout. They are clutch for strength, though! Every running coach in the history of the world who prescribes hills can’t be wrong.

    Comment by sarah — September 29, 2010 @ 20:55

  14. i can’t get over your incline!!!!!!!!!! bamf 🙂 sooo your word. i can’t think of that word and not think of you. also- a real molasses flood? in boston no less?! AWESOME. why did i not know this.

    Comment by Lacey — September 29, 2010 @ 21:08

  15. uhhh. yeahhh. math and i, we are not friends. this is how i calculate slope: trace route in mapmyrun, click “show elevation”, read chart.

    Comment by lindsay — September 29, 2010 @ 22:06

  16. You know you had a good workout when your legs force a recovery day. I think I run slower when I have to go that early.

    Comment by Jess — September 29, 2010 @ 22:31

  17. Oh wow! It’s been so long since I did trig!! I love that picture at the end, I have a similar mug which says ‘Drink coffee, do stupid things faster with more energy’

    Comment by Laura — September 30, 2010 @ 05:29

  18. Umm I love the math problem, but that’s cause I am a nerd! I was actually cooler down here in the FL this morning then up where you are, crazy!!!!!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 30, 2010 @ 08:39

  19. You described it perfectly about morning runs – I love getting up at 5am to run because I HAVE to be at work at 7am and I HAVE responsibility so in order to fit it all in, I need to be up early and run! Now that I have been doing it for a year, its a routine and its hard for me to sleep in and come into work later. (even though my work is flexible and you just need to be in during the core hours of 9-3. So anyway! Great job on the mornings run girl! I am living vicariously through you for the week since I haven’t been running in the mornings or running at all I should say!

    Comment by J — September 30, 2010 @ 09:55

  20. […] didn’t realize that so few of you were math nerds like me! Hope I didn’t bore you too much with my math-y post yesterday! […]

    Pingback by Make It A Hurricane Before I Go Insane « MarathonMaiden's Blog — September 30, 2010 @ 14:43

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