Wednesday, May 14, 2008

For many people running is a meditative experience. It clears their mind. Others use the time to wrestle with mental issues, perhaps a thorny relationship issue or maybe a problem at work.

Those people are freaks.

Have you ever gone running? It's exhausting! And painful! Trying to solve mental problems while running is like trying to perform calculus while being stabbed in the eye. I suppose it's possible, but doesn't it seem likely that you'd get distracted by the blood spurting out of your retina?

Actually I do perform some simple calculations while I run. At any point during one of my runs I can tell you, with reasonable accuracy, how many miles I've run and how many miles I've got left. I'm constantly calculating and recalculating what percentage of my run is behind me. I guess this is analogous to informing the stabber, "My eyeball is only 62% demolished! 38 to go!"

My current favorite game to play while running is a little bit of excitement I call: Guess How Many Seconds Have Elapsed Since I Last Looked At My Watch. I can say with a great deal of certainty that this is pretty much the most fun I can have while pounding out the miles. Sometimes I let 8 or 9 seconds go by before guessing, other times as much as 90 seconds will elapse before I breathlessly (literally) check my watch to see how good my guess is.

The real fun comes in when I then calculate what percent I'm off by. Then, over the course of the run, I average out those percentages. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Typically my guesses are off by around 14%. Awesome!

Honest to god, this is the most fun thing I can think of while running.

8 comments:

yajeev said...

mike...
i play the same games-counting times, miles, calculating speeds, percentage of trip elapsed, percentage remaining, etc.... but while i'm driving. when i'm running (which is rare), the only thoughts i manage to maintain are "breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out".

Lola said...

People do this... for fun??

Avery Gray said...

I can't perform calculus when my eyeball's NOT being stabbed.

Mike said...

Yajeev, great minds...

Lola, depends on what the "this" means in your question. If it refers, to running, GOD NO! When did I ever say that running is fun? If "this", however, refers to percentage calculations, then, HELL YES!

Avery, then try it when your eyeball is being stabbed.

dolface said...

One of my favorites is to pick some arbitrary point in the distance, thrn guess how many seconds it will take me to get there.

Wheeeeeee!

Mike said...

Dolface, I know that game! Meanwhile, last night track was closed, so we did a fartlek workout in GGP. Coach specified a series of intervals to run/recover for each level. Unfortunately, I forgot my watch, so when it came time to "recover jog" for 2 minutes or "run at 5K pace for 6 minutes" I just guessed.

I finished my 46 minute run in just over 40 minutes. Efficient!

carey said...

don't you calculate what your ass looks like from behind when you're running?

Mike said...

Carey, I'm pretty sure it's just a speedy blur.