Saturday, January 27, 2007

Social science and running therapy

Yesterday wrapped up one of the more frustrating weeks I've had at work in a long time. Pressure from all sides to give definitive answers on ideas that franky are not developed. Trying to manage projects without the authority to actually manage anything. I was pretty much ready to quit and start up a business selling other people's crap on eBay, or walking dogs (even in this freezing weather).

Perhaps it is connected to the recent pseudo-scientific study revealing this week to be the worst of the 52 in a year, with Monday the 24th standing out as the worst day. How do I know it to be true? It's simple math:

Worst day of the year = 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA

The key to the above formula is as follows:
W: Weather
D: Debt
d: Money due in January pay
T: Time since Christmas
Q: Time since failed quit attempt
M: General motivational levels
NA: The need to take action

There are several flaws in the formula, including the assumptions that one celebrates Christmas, one overspends on holiday shopping, and one creates some sort of resolution each New Year. In fact, I would imagine that Christmas actually causes more stress, given all the family obligations. And all that annoying holiday advertising... That said, I think I'd move T to the numerator, counting the time since Xmas as a positive operator.

Others agree with me that there are some flaws to be found here. Reading through some of the comments on the article linked above, there are some gems. My personal favorite: "Rubbish - I was born on this day and I light up everyone's life."

One of the things saving me this week was the simple act of running. Not only did it warm me up as the mercury dropped (and dropped, and dropped again...), but it also just helped to stop my mind from spinning out of control.

I tried to stay outside as much as I could, although yesterday I gave in and hit the indoor treadmill. To make that a little less boring, I started playing with the settings every 1/2 mile or so. Incline change here, speed change there... Definitely made it a bit more interesting. Here's the breakdown, according to my Nike+ thingy:

It's been a pretty good week for miles, and technically I could still add to this week's count if I was so inspired. Sitting here in my pajamas, however, I am not sure that will happen. The miles from last night helped to keep me on top of a little running challenge I'm part of. I post it here because it is shocking to me that I could be in first place. Yes, that is my dorky comment on the right...

I'm in two other challenges at the moment. Participants are from who knows where, and the top four people just blow the rest of us out of the water in terms of miles. While I clock in just over 200 miles, the top folks are closer to 850. How can that be real? Still, I'm happy that I'm closing in on the top 50.

While it's fun running with strangers, I sure wouldn't mind if some folks I actually know would get hooked into this. Or maybe we can create something outside of the Nike+ gadget. A little healthy competition amongst friends? Winner picks the restaurant? Anyone in?

Ending this post is a little piece of news I just got last night. I think I am going to a small house party next Saturday to meet Hillary Clinton. Ah, the benefits of living in Manchester, NH during presidential campaigns. I already had to turn down the opportunity to meet Barack Obama (which I'm still sad about). What should I talk to her about?

1 comment:

Mindy said...

I'm in for the running thing....I just need to get the Nike+ and nano. I'm saving my allowance though.... Do you know if I can adapt it to different running shoes? (Sorry Nike...)