Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Metric System

It shouldn't still flummox me after all these years. And yet...

Kilometers I thought I had down. For one thing the math to go from kilometers to miles is pretty easy. Also I drive my scooter in km/h about as fast as I drove my car in mph (30-50) so somehow I can intuitively grasp speed. Distance is OK.

Then I started trying to run 400 or 800 m intervals on a bike path that is marked every 1/10 km (ie 100 meters, for all you Americans). This involved figuring out my goal 10k time, what that would be per mile, then per kilometer, then per .1 kilometer, then multiplying that by 4 or 8. That took up about 5 minutes of warm-up. Then I checked my watch and figured out that my warm-up pace was fast enough to run like a 42-minutes 10k which is crazy fast! Then I realized time isn't metric and there aren't 100 seconds in a minute. Then I had to redo my times for my 400m and 800m intervals.

It was a long warm-up.

Celcius doesn't work out so well for me either. I've finally figured that 23-24 is a good temperature to set the air conditioner on but to figure out if a temperature is hot or cold, I have to convert to fahrenheit. I can do it in my head but it takes me like 2 minutes.

Centimeters and millimeters are a total wash. When they announce rainfall totals I have to really apply my brain power to understand if it's a lot or not. Meters I kind of understand from the pool. Also they're like yards. And liters are like quarts!

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