Monday, November 04, 2013

One million one thousand lengths of the pool

Today I swam one million one thousand lengths of the pool in forty five minutes. 


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.   really?
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.   sure!
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One million one thousand is (1,001,000) and 1001000 (base 2) is equal to 72 (base 10).

Now, sticking with base 10; the pool is 25 yards long.

So the total yards in my swim is 72*25 = 1,800 yards.

Which when converted is 1.02273 miles or 1.64592 kilometers.

Also, when you look at the bottom of the pool you see a stripe of tiles of a different color that marks the middle of each lane.  

This stripe of tiles is six tiles wide. If, as you swim, you use base two to count the number of lengths of the pool you have swum you get a pattern like the one below with 'O' being a white tile and 'X' being a color tile.

. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 
. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 
. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 
. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 
. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 
. . . O O O O X X X X X X O O O ... 

To do this mentally you think of the binary numbers overlaying the color tiles in the stripe down the middle of the lane and you get the pattern below:

000001 - (1 length ) -  25 yds
000010 - (2 lengths) -  50 yds
000011 - (3 lengths) -  75 yds
000100 - (4 lengths) - 100 yds 
000101 - (5 lengths) - 125 yds
000110 - (6 lengths) - 150 yds
000111 - (7 lengths) - 175 yds 
001000 - (8 lengths) - 200 yds

And I think of my swim in 200 yard increments because I swim at a pace that takes 5 minutes to go 200 yards.  So I swim one thousand (base-2) lengths of the pool in five minutes.

At the end of 40 minutes (8*5) or (8*200) or 1600 yards I run out of color tiles and mentally turn the adjacent white tile into a '1' getting 1000000 (1,000,000 base 2) lengths of the pool.  And I know I have only 200 yards to go or 1,000 (base 2) lengths to go.

When I ride my bicycle I now track my distance in metric (kilometers) because it seems longer.  And now when I swim I'll be tracking my distance in binary laps of the pool.  Plus it gives me something to think about while I swim.