Sarah OUaL here again with another edition of “Evolution of a Fan Girl”, where we attempt to make sense of this bizarre world of professional running to normal folks like you and me. Today’s peer lesson is on Speed Conceptualization.

Despite the fact that most everyone understands the act of running, I myself still have an issue really relating to the speed at which these anomalies of nature perform at. I remember in Houston at the Marathon Olympic Trials watching the lead pack of men blaze by and saying, “I bet if I stood at mile 26 I could maybe almost BARELY keep up with them for the last .2 miles.”

It was intended to be an exaggerated joke,  like why wouldn’t a fit, former college athlete be able to sprint less than a lap on the track at the pace these guys ran for two hours at? Ridiculous, right?

Turns out? It’s a good thing no one challenged my claim. Meb Keflezighi, the men’s winner, ran an average of 4:55 minute/miles for the race, equal to a 73 second 400m.

I most definitely cannot run around a track in 73 seconds.

sidenote : Asics had a cool project where they set up a video wall of Ryan Hall running marathon pace, challenging onlookers to keep up with him for 60ft. Video HERE.

To comprehend the inhumane speeds from last week’s USA Track Nationals a little better I thought I’d conduct a few experiments of my own…


Shalane photo cred Oiselle’s FB

Shalane Flanagan – 31:43.29 10k (5:06/mi = :19s/100m)
Sarah – :17s, one single 100m sprint

speedrelations longdistgif.gif

Yup, I can sprint 100 meters slightly faster than the speed at which Shalane runs 10,000 meters. It’s pretty impressive, I know. Thinking about getting an agent. Suppose I need to thank the slight tailwind for aiding my completely atrophied fast-twitch muscles to this marginal (moral) victory.

Call me, OTC Elite.

speedrelations middist.jpg

@FastK8 photo cred Oiselle G+

Kate Grace – 2:00.10, 4th place in the 800m final
Sarah – 1:46.7, making my dentist proud twice daily

speedrelations middist clock.jpg

It’s true I spend less time at night brushing my teeth than it takes (Effing) Fast Kate to run two laps around the track, but probably only because I do wall sits while I brush and I like to hurry through that business before I break a sweat and have to re-shower before bed.

And for further reference, Kate’s pace = a 15 second 100m.

speedrelations sprint.jpg

blocks source

You’d think sprinting 100 meters myself would offer a little insight into this one. WRONG. For some reason “nearly twice as fast as you just about killed yourself running” doesn’t really offer much insight. Incomprehensible is the best word that comes to mind. So I thought about driving in my car (23mph) or finding an equally speedy animal (grizzly bear) to try and wrap my brain around it, but eventually came up with a match up I hope resonates with a few of you.

Winning 100m – 9.75 (men), 10.85 (women)
Sarah Nuun chug – 15.25 and a little finish line belch for glamor points

speedrelations sprint chug nuun.jpg

Full coverage of this event including post-race interview available HERE. Flotrack Pro not required.

And finally, here are some gifs of Kristina, Margot, and I realizing just how high the steeple barriers are, immediately awarding 100+ bonus badass points to all steeplechasers out there and thanking our lucky stars nobody wound up breaking a leg or face planting. And that the water pit covers didn’t collapse.

That would’ve been embarrassing.




Prelim Races not Advancing to Final:

  • 62s closing lap for steepler Evan Jager vs. Sarah blowdrying her hair that’s half as long as his
  • Jenny Simpson’s 15:33 5k vs. Sarah showering (including leg-shave)
  • Winning Hammer Throw (248ft 5in) vs. how long you can drive on the 405 fwy without having to slam on your brakes

Hopefully this adds a little perspective to these phenomenal athletes’ performances the next time you’re watching a meet. Live chug races during the sprints, anyone?

Tune in to Evolution of a Fan Girl every other week for more insight into the world of pro running and whether or not I decided to pursue my newfound potential at the Steeplechase. (after I investigate my “accidents at the track” insurance coverage…)

Sarah, Once Upon a Lime

July 03, 2013 — sarah

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