Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Running Induced Disabilities (R.I.D.s)

If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

I read a blog yesterday by Tall Mom on the Run (THIS ONE) that pointed out the fact that when you run, even the simplest thought tasks become difficult.  Tall Mom (Mel) had gone out on a run that ended up being a different distance than she had planned on, so it came down to some simple math to figure out how far they had gone and how far they needed to go.  In the end, she took a guess and went with it.  haha  I would have done the same!  I had my very own experience this morning with this sort of ordeal.

I like to consider myself a fairly smart person.  

I'm certainly not the most intuitive and I can't read people if my life depended on it, but I loved math from an early age, I've always been an inquisitive person, I love thought experiments / puzzles, and I have a Masters degree in Biomedical Science.  I figure something in there has to count for something, right?  Apparently that all goes out the window when I start running!

There is a street down the road from my apartment complex that is my one mile mark.  If I'm only up for a short run, I'll go to that road and back.  Or sometimes when I run down the other side of the road for my long runs, I'll decide before getting back if I want to add another two miles on - it's nice having a preset path for that given distance.  Anyways, I was running this morning on a detour from my normal path.  Lately I've been going up to the mile mark, part way back, and then detouring on Reservior Rd, cutting across on Groveland Terrace, down Eagle St., and then back home on Fenn Rd.  Today I decided to do that in somewhat the reverse order to mix it up.  I was going to go up Eagle and instead of cutting across on Groveland, I'll take Eagle and swing all the way around the detour for some extra mileage.  Easy, right?  NOT!

I started up Eagle and everything was fine.  Eagle turns into Kimberley and I knew that if I just stuck to the left, it would eventually turn back to Reservior.  Kimberley then turned into Cherry Hill and I figured I was maybe 1.5 miles in.  My shins were bothering me and I started debating whether I should turn left when I hit the end of Reservior and go up to my mile mark before heading home or turn right and just head home.  My mind told me I should go left, but my body was pulling for right.  Either way, I kept running down Cherry Hill, kept running, kept running...  

"Where the heck is Reservior?  I didn't pass it did I?  Maybe I read the map wrong."  I never have a fear of getting lost because I'm really good at back tracking, but I did start questioning this route.  Then I started going downhill which means I was getting close to the main road, but I should only be doing that if I'm back on Reservior.  "Did Cherry Hill turn into Reservior without crossing an intersection?"  I wouldn't put it past CT - their street naming system seems a little spastic at best.  Then I saw a street light and I knew I was definitely coming back to the main road. "Oh well.  I'll check the street signs next time around.  Should I go left or right?!"

Then I noticed that none of the houses looked familiar.  I had run up Reservior a few times before and this looked different.  I get closer to the street light...  "Wait a second, this isn't the Reservior intersection!  Where the heck am I?"  I get to the end of Cherry Hill and where am I?  Low and behold I popped out RIGHT AT my mile marker.  Remember the marker I said that's one mile down the road from my complex?, the marker is Cherry Hill Rd

I don't know how many times I thought the words "Cherry Hill Road" while I was running (a lot), but it was quite entertaining to realize that not once did I put two and two together to realize it was my mile marker road.  hahaha  Mel, you're not the only one that has a R.I.D. (Running Induced Disability).
As a scientist, it's interesting to see how different faculties are depressed while others are heightened during various activities.  My common sense certainly goes out the window!  Though, some people would tell me that my common sense is already gone once I decide to go running in 5 degree Fahrenheit weather.  haha

1.  Have you ever noticed a R.I.D. (running induced disability) in yourself?
I kept track of pace well on my half marathon, but can't make arbitrary connections.

2.  Is there a temperature at which it's too cold to go outside and run for you?
I've been outside running down to -1 degree Farenheit thus far.  I get stopped more by wind, rain, snow, and ice than temperature.

3.  Do you have a 'go to' remedy for shin splints?
I limit my distance, focus strongly on striking flat, take rest days, use ice and heat packs, cross train, stretch, and even take pain relievers as a last resort and thus far I still end up with them.  I'd appreciate any additional thoughts.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 


Stephanie said...

You are a beast to be out there in those temps! Hah! I do run in the winter but its usually based on road conditions and not so much temperature. I'm pretty crappy at keeping pace. I'm hoping training with my garmin over the summer will help that out a bit!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

Trust me, I would much prefer something between 50 and 65 if it was up to me. I just simply prefer outdoor running to the torture of a treadmill and bear the cold as needed.

I'd say I can guess my pace typically within 10-15s most days. I spent a lot of time trying to get the FEEL of various paces because I prefer an older, non-technologically based system (though I have no real reason to prefer other than I think it's good to be able to).

I'm positive your Garmin (or even a watch with a timer) will really help with your pacing.

Fat for a Triathlete said...

I am a mechanical engineer and have a masters in business and I can't count past 10 while I am running.
I can't make any claims about navigation though, I am, after all... female!

5 Miles Past Empty said...

I pretty much suffer from R.I.D. all the time, not just while running. But I can't do math either and I have been with Mel on long runs when we try to figure out the math together...BAD BAD BAD. =) I also can't think straight toward the end of long runs (20+ miles). Complete sentences go by the way side!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I was out on a short run today and attempted to calculate my pace in my head; twenty seven divided by four. All I got to was it was somewhere under seven minutes and I gave up. Funny how that focus gets lost so easily.

Maybe we could add a mental focus side to our training. We could carry notecards of simple math problems or puzzles and test ourselves every couple miles. I'd love to actually put a number and graph to how running affects our intelligence.

I could have totally used that in high school as a scientific explanation as to why I don't run. Now it just sounds like fun!