Sunday, 21 April 2013


I’m guessing not many of my readers are familiar with the concept of time dilation.  I’m especially sure seeing as my number of readers is zero according to the stats that Google kindly provide.  Anyhow - if anyone ever does read this, they may not be familiar with the concept of time dilation.  Put simply, time moves at different speeds depending on gravity and velocity.  A real example for this is the fact that astronauts on board the International Space Station age slightly slower than those of us on Earth (it’s fractions of a second but it is true; you can demonstrate the phenomenon using highly accurate atomic clocks).  This is because they’re in a region of low gravity.  Similarly, the faster you go, the slower time passes.  This is a staple of many science fiction books where they often talk about time debt - if you travel to a distant site in the galaxy, lets say 100 light years away, at just shy of the speed of light then it will take just over 100 years for you to get there according to an observer on Earth.  However, because time passes more slowly for you while you are traveling at that speed, it’ll only take you say 60 years (I don’t know the precise calculation).  If you then return, a total of 120 years will have passed for you but it’ll be 200 years later on Earth.  Another example of the bizarre world of relativity.  And I haven’t even mentioned quantum!

There is a reason for all this geekiness.  I can only surmise that when I run I must run at speeds approaching the speed of light.  My training routines are often split running and walking, for example run for 4 minutes, walk for 1, repeated 6 times.  That 1 minute walking zooms by whilst the 4 minutes take forever - time definitely passes more slowly when you are running on a treadmill.  The thing beeps every minute and the mental discipline required not to look at the clock until it beeps is phenomenal.  When you eventually give in and look, because surely you just didn’t hear the beep or the machine is malfunctioning, you find that actually only 38 seconds have elapsed.  Time dilation*.

In other news, I had the first barbecue of the year yesterday - I think it was a roaring success (I'm not entirely certain due to the intervention of Patron Tequila).  If you're really lucky I may post my ribs recipe in a future blog.  The weight does seem to be starting to drop off - I've clocked below 130kg for the first time in about 2 years and running feels easier - I managed a whole 10 minutes the other day without dying.  The London Marathon took place this morning - at one point the elite runners were running 4.45m miles.  Madness.

So, at the end of week seven
3 miles covered
Sweaty but stronger
Bottomed out at 128.6kg - woo hoo!
Highlight of the week: Rediscovering A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran is the greatest record of all time.

*Incidentally the actual difference between my running speed and the speed of light is so close to the speed of light as makes no difference**.

**The speed of light is 1,079,252,850,000,000,000kph.  My treadmill only goes to 15.

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