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Look out Boston! Here I come!

Last weekend we met all ages, shapes and experience levels at the marathon.   One of theFast_runner  best things about our sport is it really doesn't discriminate.  Anyone can join if they are willing.  You run your own race - you race against yourself.   Lost in my thoughts, I tried to think of other sports that we as generous and open as running.   There were quite a few, but I got stuck on the sport of golf.   Why?  Because I realized that there is one thing that golf offers that the sport of running could really use - a handicap!

Only a slow runner like me would come up with such an absurd idea like a running handicap.  But it is Friday and there is no reason to be too serious.  So, go ahead, try out my little running handicap calculator and find out what your new running pace would be:

Start with your average pace per mile for your most favorite race/run distance.  (You can see this won't be too scientific...)   Better grab your trusty calculator!


  • :10 seconds per mile for each child and pet that lives in your home and borrows some of that extra energy that you normally could apply to running 
  • :05 seconds extra per child if you are a female and delivered any of those children - that's just a gift from me to you
  • :10 seconds for each of the 10 pounds that you are waiting to spontaneously combust and disappear from your body forever
  • :20 seconds for all your good intentions to run more consistently, stretch, stretch train more, actually run all the miles in your training plan - but rarely all this happens because family, work or personal obligations seem to always be at the top of the list
  • :10 seconds if you live in an everchanging climate and 9 months of the year find it too cold, too hot, too snowy/icy, rainy
  • :05 seconds if you regularly read this or other running blogs and sacrifice some of your free time to supporting/encouraging other runners (awwww - that is so nice!)
  • :05 seconds for every year after the age of 16 that it took you to realize that running was really "your sport" and you had the painful task of learning it as a grown adult set in their ways
  • (and for my husband and all other law enforcement...) 1:15 if running with 26 pound gun belt and a 5 pound vest

What's it add up to?   I just shaved 2:20 minutes off my mile!  For me, starting with my trusty 10 minute mile pace - I would now be 7:40 minute/mile runner!  Can you believe it?  I love it!  I am a running machine!  Well, if only for a moment.   

Bill It probably won't qualify me for Boston - but in the meantime I can enjoy some thoughtful and wonderful souviners from Boston!  (MarathonDude)Bill sent us some of his favorite souvenirs from his Boston Marathon as a way to say thanks for our support of runners. (That's him and his family on the left - I borrowed it from his blog!) You know the saying, if you can't be an athlete - be an athletic supporter.  :}  It's a role I am happy to play.   Bill - thanks for thinking of me and Tom and sharing some of your prized possessions. It means alot coming from you as I know you are a fabulous athlete and supporter!

Happy Friday!

Photo of fast runner by WallMic


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Wow, Amy! I just cut 15 minutes off my marathon time this morning thanks to you, who woulda thought it would be so easy?!

Maggie Mae

In a world of "calculate your ideal weight" and "calculate how much money you need to retire" and "calculate how many calories you SHOULD be taking in" and "calculate how long it will take you to pay back this loan at X%", this is definitely a calculator working FOR me!!! I love it--thanks!


Great post, Amy! Hurry, please file your calculater with the folks at Boston Athletic Association and notify them a whole lot a BRFs will be converging on Boston soon. With your handicapping method, we'll take over Beantown in a platoon of BRFs!


Wow, I'm respectable now :D :D (it was the years past 15 that really gave me the boost!)

Everyone knows where that quote comes from right? It's a classic.

"If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter."


this was hysterical!!!


Heck yeah I love this handicapping business, we need to implement it hehe.


SWEET!! I just went from middle of the pack to world class! ...even without the aid of childbirth or a gun belt!

I think it would be HILARIOUS to come up with a few more of these and then make a relay race series out of it. Everybody comes up with an average based on 5 timed runs. Then you get your handicap score added in based on being over or under an average speed. The faster the high handicap people run, the more they help. The faster runners have to really fly to do much good, but they can hurt more if they miss their times. JUST LIKE BOWLING! ..hmm. ...oh... this could be fun... heh!


Love the idea!


I just finished a fabulous 4 mile run, which by my car dashboard clock showed 41 minutes, but by these standards it only took me a measly 31 minutes and some change. Not only am I fast, but now I won't be late.

Bob (and the rest) - let me know what I forgot - this handicapping business is a complex one and I am sure there are more variables.

Nancy - The Grease soundtrack has been going through my head since I typed that - I even lugged some of the songs with me this morning.


Nice! I see a PR in my future. :)



bill carter

Great post Amy. I love the Running Equalizer and it makes perfect sense to me.

I am glad that you guys got the stuff I sent and I really wanted you to have it. I wanted you and Tom to know that what you are doing means a lot to me. It is people like you and Tom, who are great ambassadors for running, that give running such a great reputation.

Even if you never do run Boston (they would be LUCKY to have you Amy, and I hope to see Tom there next year), I know you deserve to be. I hope that in some small way I can give you a little bit of my Boston and what it meant to me. The purity of running combined with the unforgiving nature of the marathon is what makes it great. I agree that it is not the winning (noone who runs 26 ever loses in my book), but the experience of participation.
So, if you have the chance sometime.. put on the bracelet and the gloves (I promise I never wore them), close your eyes and experience those first heady downhills in Hopkinton. Hear the screams as you pass Wellesley College. Make the turn past the Newton firehouse. Climb Heartbreak hill as the crowd pulls you along, and finally cross that line on Boylston St. You just finished your first Boston Marathon. Congratulations!

Thanks again from all of us runners.

Runnin' Ragged

Finally a way another benefit to having all those kids other than on tax forms! ;) I love it!


hahaha... been a very rough day missy.I needed that... Thank you.


So that puts me with the Elite group!! I could use some a sponsorship...any brand would do as long as I get new running apparel, shoes, race travel expenses, etc, etc!!


Nat - you are welcome - hope this is the start of the weekend!

Ohhh Bella - I hadn't even thought about the possibilities of sponsorship. I really need to think of some more handicap options so I can get my mile time to a 4:00 minute pace.

The Laminator

Thanks Amy. I was feeling slow 15 minutes ago...now I feel super fast!


"Amy's handicap" is just what we needed. Bless you!

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