Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Swear It Was 3 Miles

I think it is funny how skewed our memories can be from childhood. I will have arguments with my brother or parents about details that we remember differently. Like how I KNOW my brother used to have friends over and check to see if I wet my pants right in front of them. I may have been only four, but that’ s mean. And, none of his business. And, maybe it wasn’t pee.

I don’t know if you saw the article a couple of months ago about how today’s kids apparently “run a mile a minute and a half slower than children three decades ago.” This is supposedly due to children being more sedentary these days.  Ugh. That is a whole ‘nother blog post.

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I mentioned this article to my 12 year old daughter. She asked how fast I could run a mile when I was her age.  Uhh…obviously it was a 3:30 minute mile, my child!

I actually told her I have no clue because I was never in track or cross country and I never ran except when I played flashlight tag. In fact, in my entire life I have never run a timed mile (not to say I haven’t done 1600s, but I never just went out and ran a mile as fast as I could and made that my “mile time”). She’s like, “That’s weird mom. I thought you were a runner.”

This discussion led to me telling her that while I didn’t run, but I was really active. I went on to lecture about how I can’t believe how she complains about riding her bike or walking (downhill!) a mile to school. I told her, “You would not BELIEVE how far I walked to middle school every stinking day. It was at least 3 miles one way.” And, I was totally serious about this.

That’s when I got the idea to do a “mapmyrun” mileage check of the actual route I used to walk to school, back in Columbia, Maryland. I wanted to for once and for all prove to my kids how easy they have it.

The results? I’m embarrassed.

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How is that even possible? I swear it took me 3 hours to walk to school each way. Maybe I walked a 3 hour mile?  I guess it falls into that category of the parent who tells their kid, “I had to run 9 miles to school in 7 feet of snow carrying a pre-schooler on my back and with no pants on.” Our memories get so warped over time!

A similar memory warp happened to me the last time I visited my childhood home. I SWEAR the boulder/rock in our backyard was at least six feet high. It took me years to be able to climb to the top of it. I kid you not, when I visited my old backyard, I found a medium-sized rock not even 2 feet high. I KNOW it shrunk. Do you think it’s because I was so little that the rock looked so big? NO! It’s because whoever lives there now obviously had the rock replaced with one a third of the size, but otherwise looks the same!

Now it’s your turn.

Do you have a distorted memory from childhood? I also used to think the hills I skateboarded down were HUGE. In reality, not so big.

Take the map my run challenge if you remember your walk/bike ride to school. Was it as far as you thought?

Do you think your kid can run a mile faster than you could at their age? I have no clue. But I could do a back handspring better. Or climb a tree.

SUAR

45 comments:

  1. Every time my kids go swimming in the summer I'm inclined to make them spaghetti for dinner when they get home. One of my fondest memories if childhood is going swimming at the public pool all day eating Chico-sticks and Fun Dip then coming home at 6pm absolutely starving and my mom would have the most delicious hot spaghetti waiting for us. Apparently NOT. When I ran this find memory past my mom a few years ago she claimed she only made spaghetti on summer swim days maybe once or twice. Either her memory is better than mine or I was way hungrier on those two days than I realized :-0

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  2. The huge playground slide that terrified me so bad in Kindergarten that it took me until 3rd or 4th grade to try it again. It was at least 50ft tall. ;)

    Only .67 miles. I was sure it was closer to a mile. It really was/is uphill both ways though, and neither my parents nor my friend Deadria's parents would drive us to/from school when it snowed. So I can say I walked school in the snow uphill both ways. We did have shoes though, even if we are from Arkansas. ;)

    I couldn't run a full mile when I was my kids' ages. I was 25 and in basic training when I finally managed a mile - a barely qualifying 2 miles. lol

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  3. Mine turns out to be 1.5 miles with a hill each way - depending in what friends I walked with & it was ND so bonus points for snow :) It's actually now my, "I have to go do a short little run to restore my sanity" while visiting my parents route.

    My son can most definitely run a faster mile then I could, I dreaded the mile run in school - swimmer, not a runner until early 30's.

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  4. Love it! I did walk to school both ways in the snow (I lived in Maine), but it was just over a mile. I do remember our backyard at the house we lived at from ages 0-5 being much bigger than it is in reality. I felt like I could run around it forever!

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  5. Like EB, I grew up in Maine, and often walked to and from school in the snow. Everyone brought their snow pants and ski jackets to school so we could play outside during recess, if you didn't have both, you had to stay inside, and that was the worst.

    I hated running, so I used every excuse I could to get out of it. I was one of the slowest people in class every year. I know I could outrun my childhood self today. Its part of what makes me proud of myself as I've grown as a person :)

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  6. Just mapped my high school and it was 1.3 miles each way. My daughters is 1 mile and always complains when she has to walk.....so I'm glad to know now that mine was longer! I was terrible at sports in high school, I was lazy and overweight. So my daughter could probably totally kick my butt at a mile race. Today would be a different story. :-)

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  7. I had the same thing happen with a stump - I could have sworn it was at least 15 feet (i could never climb it!) but I found out with only 3 feet max??

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  8. I grew up in rural Illinois. First one on the school bus in the morning and last one off after school. As a kid, a big thing for us was to "ride our bikes to town". To get penny candy from Ben Franklin, of course. The mileage? About 3 miles. It seemed so far!

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  9. I just mapped my walk to elementary school. .4 miles. Not even half a mile?!?!? It seemed to take FOREVER back then! Maybe they moved the roads since I grew up...

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  10. Now I'm curious. I walked to and from school and I swear it was at least 3 miles too. I gotta check my data before I brag anymore.

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  11. HaHa - that 3 miles or 0.87mile cracks me up!!!
    All I know is my 12 year old is impressed that I can still run a faster mile time than anyone (boy or girl) at our high school - Whoop!!! Any time my boys are impressed I feel like I have done my mothering job!!!

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  12. My walk to school was only .6 but that's if I cut through the golf course. Otherwise it was double that. I had to choose between the longer route or dodging golf balls. Those old guys never waited for me to get through!

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  13. I have carried a memory of a bicycle crash for decades. Our family of 6 (minus Mom) rode together often. We had to take an underpass. I remember crashing there when I was about 10. We drove past it a couple years ago and I was so surprised at how small it was! Especially since I've become a mountain biker!

    We only lived about a block or two from school in California, so I know could never tell the uphill both ways in the snow story!

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  14. I figured my walk was about 2 km, but it was only 1.4km each way to my elementary school. So we didn't even earn that beer we drank when we got home. (We were in 6th grade, and we only had a few sips, and it only happened once. Lol)

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  15. I'm adopted, and I remember secretly digging through the documents my parents had regarding my past history and finding a picture of my biological mom. She was freckled and auburn headed and looked so sweet. I treasured that photo.

    Until about 15 years later when I found out from my mom that the picture was actually a volunteer at the adoption agency...

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  16. LOL I can't remember a whole lot from my childhood (except that I thought it suxd) but I did think it was a mile to each of the two schools (jr high and hs) turns out it's only .9 to the jr high and 1.39 to the high school

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  17. I do the same thing! Malagasy said .85 mile!!! What??

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  18. I used to live across from a HUGE field, it was several blocks long and we would go play "in the field". We would cross this super busy street and find the pipe (it was a curved pipe, kind of random, that was like a super curved balance beam, nice and wide) and we'd try and walk across it but it was incredibly difficult because of how long it was. It required great skill.

    Yeah. Not that long. Just about three feet. Pretty much you could just...walk on it.

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  19. I also never did a timed mile (that I can remember) as a kid. Visiting my old elementary school years later was shocking to me! The HUGE hallways were miniature. I was sure someone had shrunk the school!!

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  20. I was always the last one to complete The Mile in school. If you couldn't complete it in under 20 minutes you had to run it again - The Run of Shame. I had to do it twice every.single.year. My kids are definitely all faster than I was then, even my 4-year-old. That's what makes my being a runner now so much sweeter.

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  21. “I had to run 9 miles to school in 7 feet of snow carrying a pre-schooler on my back and with no pants on.”

    I think preschoolers should wear pants...

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  22. We were always timed on the mile. I really had to work hard to get it in under the required time so that I didn't have to be in with the fat kids who had to walk for the whole class if you didn't make it in on time.

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  23. .55 miles to my elementary school?!?! THAT IS TOTAL BS!!! I would've bet one of my kids that it was at least a mile!
    Distorted memory? Not off the top of my head.
    Are my kids faster than I was? Heck yeah! I was usually building a fort somewhere and hibernating inside of it with a good book. Almost failed PE in high school because of running. I know that my family still hasn't gotten used to the fact that I decided to become a runner in my 40's :-)

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  24. I was never allowed to walk or ride my bike to school because my Mother was extremely worried that we’d be hit by a car. I was however, allowed to walk to my Grandmas house down the street which I had always been told was a mile. I mapped it and guess what, it was only .25. How embarrassing. So basically, I walked a half mile total and it took me hours. Gah, I sucked.

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  25. This is so funny. I thought for sure my walk would be much shorter than I remember it, when I MapQuested it. I always thought it was a mile. It's 2.20. From my folks' house in Devil's Thumb in South Boulder to Fairview High. Downhill on the way there, uphill on the way home. God I hated that school.

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  26. I didn't run when I was young (except down the vault runway) so I don't know if my kiddo can run faster or not, but my kid runs. That's all I care about.

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  27. The rock in your backyard definitely got smaller.

    It's called erosion.

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  28. My niece runs a miles every year on her birthday. She's been doing it since she was 22 months old. (first mile took her 28:28) Then when she was 5 years old, she clocked a 10:30 mile...I decided it was time to step up my training:)

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  29. I lived far enough away from school that we had a bus (1.20 miles). In early fall and again in the spring we would beg to be able to walk home instead of riding the bus. There was a huge hill on the way home and its still huge and I still dislike running up it.

    In elementary school there was a mandatory mile race called the Wellsville Mile for all the 4th and 5th graders each May. All of the elementary schools in the area would meet for the race.The Wellsville Mile was a pretty big deal. We spent all spring training for it, we'd run every day. We'd follow a training plan and our teachers would take our times after each run. There was a traveling trophy for the winning school and some extra prizes. My school won the race 20 years in a row. On race day, we didn't have class. We got to be outside, and eat treats after our heat (they divided us into heats by mile time, grade and gender) and play games. We all wore our school's race t-shirts for that year and it was just a bunch of fun. I never won anything or placed well, by my fastest mile time was 8:51.

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  30. You are so funny! I'm not sure if my memory distorts over time. I guess it probably does. I'm sure the distortion is partly related to when you are little things look bigger and longer...I read the same article, but I'm skeptical. How did they collect such data, and how accurate was it? I did run in high school. And my fastest 5K time of 19:40 was fast enough to land me as the number one runner on the team. That would only get me 5th or 6th on the team now. My high school team has only gotten faster over the last decade. The same is true of my college team. Now my teams aren't enough of a sample space to make any sort of statistical argument with, but I don't remember that article citing any data...

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    1. From the Huffington Post: The findings -- which have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and thus should be regarded as preliminary -- are based on data from 50 studies on cardiovascular endurance. The studies were published between 1964 and 2010, and included data from 25 million 9-to-17-year-olds around the world.

      I'm sure you could find more specifics on the data on Google.

      I think that in all competitive sports we might see that athletes have gotten faster, etc, but the study is focusing more on kids in general, not those who are specifically training in a certain sport. Over all, the study found that kids are more sedentary and less fit.

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  31. We did cross country when it was too frozen to play hockey. The cross country course was MILES. It tool at least an hour to run. Well, maybe 45 mins to run but an hour to walk because I DID NOT RUN. I hated running. I was fat. I was short sighted. I couldn't throw, catch or hit a ball and I abhorred PE.

    In my 30s I started running and ran the cross country course when I was back visiting my parents. I was surprised to learn, as a new runner and not fast runner that it was, actually, only 2 miles. I ran it, and then wondered where else I should go because I had a half hour pink slip away from the kids!

    The first time I ran anywhere near half a mile I was 19 and drunk. The first mile I ran I was in my 30s and training for an endurance canoe race. Last year I ran over 1000km and as I turn 40 this year I know I am faster and fitter than ever before. It feels good!

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  32. I definitely remember things from being a kid much different than they were. A few years ago I moved back in with my parents in between apartment leases and did my runs where I used to ride my bike all the time growing up. Those GIGANTIC OMG I NEED TO WALK MY BIKE UP THIS HILL really were speedbumps to run up. Made me laugh to think about.

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  33. That makes me laugh. I know that I have a few distorted memories. By the way, I just looked up my first elementary school...holy updated! That is crazy!
    My kid can definately climb trees better than I ever did, but I got him on running, and I think I always will. He is not much of a runner.

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  34. When I was back home (also Maryland, but not the confusing streets of Columbia) I was planning a running route to try to get 6 miles. I thought I could run down to my middle school, which had to be at least 2 miles, a lap around the huge 2 mile lake, and back. Easy 6. Wrong. That route ended up being about 3.5 miles.

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  35. I did the same thing -- I swore I walked at least 3 miles to and from school. I map-my-run'd it and it was 0.8 miles. WTF? Thanks for bursting that bubble, Ms SUAR.

    BTW -- I think you're such a badass. I think of you EVERY. SINGLE. time I want to quit/walk/go home with a shorter route. No pressure, just keep being you and rockin' it. I heart you.

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    1. I LOVE to hear that you don't wuss out and take the shorter route!!!

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  36. Maybe I'm too young because I never rode a bike or walked to school, lol. However, I would agree with beign able to climb a tree better!

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  37. OK, I just did the MapMyRun challenge and walked 1.05 miles each way to and from school every day. To school was downhill, home was uphill - but at that age I don't think I really even noticed.

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  38. Did the challenge, was slightly less than .5 miles. Not what I was expecting at all. It was up a hill both ways though, that has not changed. If my kids walk it's more than that, yet it seems about the same to what I walked myself.

    My girls could definitely not run faster than I did as a child. My sons, close to about what I ran at that age. It holds up even now. My older son can keep pace with me and give me a run for my money. Other son is closely catching up. Soon they'll leave me in the dust, which will make me quite proud :)

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  39. This post cracked me up because my siblings and I all have distorted memories from childhood. One thing we all agree on is that we have one brother who STILL thinks the dreams he had as a kid were real: scalded by boiling hot, hot dog water; power outage that led to our whole town having a pizza party. He has an imagination! The town I grew up in had a 20 ft. Tree we used to climb... Until I went back as an adult, it shrunk to 9 ft.

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  40. Yup...less than a mile. Darn!

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  41. Things appear enormously big back when we were smaller. When I was growing up as a teenager, I remember standing next to my sister thinking how she shrunk a lot and how college must have been extremely hard for her to cause her height to drastically decrease. It is funny to look back and realize how things were. I agree, today's generation leads a sedentary life. The apparent culprit is technology. Almost everyone has been too dependent to technology and most kids are engaged in games in their gadgets than in actual outdoor games. I have read an article once about how your life is reduced by a year or more from unhealthy daily routines such as watching tv and playing computer games several hours everyday. It is fun to stay out in the sun and explore and most importantly, it is a lot healthier.

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