Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Running is like science OR Why I need an iPhone

I have started running again. Friday was my fourth run in the last 1.5 weeks. Which is the most consistent I have been with running since I was 7 months pregnant. Yes I ran while pregnant. I made it to 7 months, at which point I could no longer run uphill, and since I live on the top of a hill..well duh, I had to quit. Inspired by all you crazy running moms / bloggers, I started up. Plus if I really want to have that second child, I better get in shape (as in get some strength and stamina) before we start trying.
Anyways back to the point. So Friday, I enter into the trails near campus and start off at my usual pace. It was raining, but I was in trails and enjoying the feels of puddles, mud under foot. I was jumping over branches and being one with nature. However, I had never ran in these trails before and I wasn't sure they do a full circle back to where I started (and where my car was parked). At about the 20 minute mark of my "30 minute" run, I started to wonder if I should turn around and back track to my starting point. I usually have a good sense of direction and was pretty sure that the trail I was on had turned back toward my start point. It is at this point, when I kept going forward that I realized science and running are alot alike.
What the fuck is she talking about you ask? Well, the night before I had read Ambivalent Academics post on when to walk away from a project. Every week / month/year that she worked on it, made it that much harder to say 'fuck it' because that much more time had been invested. And that is how a run works.
When you don't know exactly where you will end up, when do you just say fuck it and turn around to run back the way you came? If you are aiming for a 30 minute run, do you turn back at 15 min? 20 min? 25 min mark? Every minute longer you forward is an extra minute you'll have to run back, so what do you do? These are the thoughts that went through my mind as I ran through puddles, jumped over creeks, and tried not to trip on the tree roots crossing my trails. Do you know what I learned on Friday?
It is best to turn around 20 minutes into your '30 minute' run. Otherwise you may end up on the other side of campus at the 35 minute mark. If this happens to you, it is best to follow the road back to campus otherwise you may end up 30 minutes outside of campus at the 65 minute mark of your 30 minute run. Just saying. Oh and it is a good idea to run with your bus pass, so that if you end up 30 minutes outside of campus after running 65 minutes for the first time 2+ years, you can jump onto a bus to take you back, instead of having to walk back (because you can.not.run.) in the pissing cold rain.

Surprisingly, only my shins were done. I went for a run today and did not get lost. yeah me.


Ambivalent Academic said...

Great post SM!! I have sooooo been there. And yes, running and science are exactly alike in this respoect.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Oh noes! What a nightmare! This is not helping... I'm glad you made it back to the warm and dry!

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

That is very true. It's hard to figure out when to say "enough." I hope that you're warm and dry now!

EcoGeoFemme said...

Disaster! Glad you made it back without being too sore.

So, um, do you need the strength and stamina for the trying to get pregnant part or the being pregnant part? :)

ScientistMother said...

AA - thanks AA, I was thinking about you the entire time past 30 minutes.

Cath - It was a nightmare. I was ready to cry when I finally got back onto 16th, only to find I was way past campus

Amanda - yes I am dry and warm. I was too tired to go into lab that day (I was only supposed to be there for the morning), so I came home and took a nice, long, hot bath

EGF - working out seems to be getting into the way of the trying part, since I am now way too tired and my muscles are way way too tired to do anything but sleep! :))

ScienceMama said...

I've been there... both in running and science!

ScienceGirl said...

Oh no! I totally need an iPhone for the next time I get lost too. Even better if it worked for science. Glad you recovered from your extra long run quickly!