29 January 2010

Go the Distance: numerical motivation

I'm not an official member of US Masters but they still kindly let me use their Go the Distance spreadsheet to keep track of my yardage, err mileage. And I'll be damned but it is motivating. Every morning that I don't want to swim, I think what that will do to my daily average and my yearly projection. I think how many extra yards I'll have to swim to make up for it. And I get up, curse the very existence of Speedo, and make my way to the pool.

So, in the interest of full disclosure, my goal for 2010 is 150 miles and I'm on pace for just over 190. So far I've swam 15.28 miles. And here is what was running through my head this morning as I approached my eleven hundredth yard, "if I swim 100 more yards, that increases my projected total 1200 yards or about 0.7 miles." And those extra 100 yards seemed like a small price to pay for that benefit. So I swam a 100 yards more than my lazy ass wanted to.

Another thing they do is publish daily results. That's less motivating because it amazes me that the guy at the top of my age group has swam over 40 miles more than I have already (note: there is something wrong with him). But, there is hope, I'm going to try to keep at 50% of the great Rob D who is winning his age bracket by a healthy 4 miles. Since he blogs and tweets like there is no tomorrow, I can see any time he puts in one of his patented 10,000 yard days and swim an extra couple hundred every day that week to try to catch up.

All told, this is better motivation than trying to catch up to Chopstick's times because I believe that is impossible. So I'll just keep going the distance and try to tack on an extra hundred whenever I think of my spreadsheet.


  1. now I'm going to have to swim further just to make your life harder :)

  2. I knew I shouldn't have given up the secret formula.