Pretty insignificant to most, I’m sure. On Sunday morning past it may have been the time it took to boil an egg, take a dog for a walk, or crawl back under the covers just as the rain teemed down outside. Whatever.
For me, it was something else entirely.
It was pretty much the difference in time from my first 10k in May of 01:07:04 and my time for Sunday’s Bupa Great Edinburgh Run of 57:39.
I’d spent part of Friday night lamenting to some younger, far fitter and frankly wiser company about how I had written off all chances of busting the hour mark as I accepted another drink.
They were great in their pep talks, but later hungover and resigned to the fact on the Saturday, I sought solace in old school chums and folk music without a care in the world for the following day.
My mum still lives in Edinburgh and I spent a pretty sleepless night in my old room, restless and listening to the insidious rain battering down outside with only my iPod for company.
By morning I wondered what I was doing even thinking about running in that weather. What was the point?
After a breakfast of scrambled eggs followed by leftover pasta I clambered aboard a bus in my running shorts, drawing the strangest of looks from all other passengers wrapped up against the elements.
The driver even asked: “Are you sure mate?” by way of almost encouragement, an areyoumadmate? Grin on his face.
Making my way towards the start I soon passed through the Grassmarket which was to form part of the route, rivers of water skirting down its ancient streets, event stewards huddle in doorways an alcoves for some cover.
Fair to say I was soaked by the time I got to Holyrood Park. My Asics trainers were squelching, my shorts were clinging to my legs, I couldn’t really feel my hands anymore.
But there was a real sense of occasion the closer you got. You realised that no, you weren’t on your own. You were in a club. The crazy o’clock club, perhaps, but the vibe was all around.
I made a pit stop. I bought a pair of gloves, hat and a new long sleeved running top from Run For It – I hate cold and know it.
This was an essential last minute spend and no mistake – even if it was tragically Hibs colours. But it meant I had some kind of barrier to the elements.
I bumped into an old work colleagues, someone I developed a huge liking and respect for ridiculously quickly despite the short time we were at the same company, which was great having Tweeted messages in advance.
Iain was missing, that was odd. We’ve done so much together this year I kept looking round expecting him to be there. But then, as he pointed out, I owed him a Glasgow to Edinburgh cycle – so now were even.
For those who have never done this, it’s strange, but magnificent.
There is a sensational group spirit in the build up, people there for all different reasons be it the fun runners, those raising cash for charity, the serious athletes with the thousand yard stare.
Music blares out from the massive PA systems erected in the Royal Park and lining parts of the route throughout, most notably waking the Meadows up from its usual Sunday slumber, as TV cameras capture the moment.
Pipers were on hand at every 1k, the skirl of the instrument there to inspire runners who weren’t deafening themselves listening to iPods or MP3 players.
It’s an impressive, nay, magnificent logistical triumph the way it all comes together from the tented village, the drop off area right down to the microchip collection point at the end before you grab your medals.
But it’s how you do in the race that’s the most important, at least to the runner.
And I hadn’t got off to a good start.
Two kilometers in and I was struggling. I was already a good minute over time if I’d any hope of getting near the hour mark and was on course to regress on my first 10k, not show any sign of improvement.
Like some idiot I started speaking to myself, scolding myself if truth be told, angry that I was letting not just myself down but all those who had donated money to my chosen charity or been so supportive.
I don’t know where it came from, but at that point I ran the fastest kilometer of my life, sub five minutes.
There followed times of 05:10, 04:45, 05:11 …
Between five and seven kilometers I was really feeling it. The legs were growing a bit tired and heaving, I was breathing heavier than I should be, my mind was off its game as I lost focus.
But again the voice from the route tracker in my ear told me I was still ahead of time and, as I cleared the Meadows, came the dawning realization that if I could keep up the pace, if I could dig in, than I’d surely break the hour mark.
An admittedly quite ridiculous confession. I began to well up at the thought of it, the prospect of not failing as I’d been convinced I would, but achieving a sub hour finishing time.
It was only a fleeting emotion and I feel embarrassed even sharing the millisecond that it took, but it helped kick in that extra effort as I began to pass more and more runners, hurtle down hills and strain back up them again.
Edinburgh is truly dazzling at the best of times, but being able to freely bomb down The Mound, along Princes Street Gardens and down the Royal Mile is a special experience in itself.
And that moment when you are sprinting, yes, sprinting past the Scottish Parliament knowing the finishing line is just around the corner is made electric by the huge crowds urging you on, clapping enthusiastically.
Arthur’s Seat in all it’s glory stands tall before you are you cross the line, on Sunday its top shrouded in mist adding to the sense of occasion.
One of the volunteers handed me a bag with my medal, t-shirt and energy snacks and I headed towards the tents to pick up my bag and who was waiting but Iain, there to take an obligatory photo.
With my dodgy hat, smug smile and mud spattered legs I must have looked a right sight. Frankly, I didn’t care. I’d done it.
Now I’m entertaining the notion of trying for a half marathon next year if I can get the time to put in the extra effort and raining.
But the next adventure starts this weekend. For the next eight Sunday’s I’ll be doing my very best to learn to swim.
It was one of my key targets at the start of the year and I’ve left it late. I’ll soon find out if there’s enough time to make it or not now.