Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I made a crossword

Well looks like my Achilles still hurts a bit. I did my first pool run yesterday but it won't be my last. Going to take some more time. I never should have gone on that morning run on that faithful day two weeks ago. Sigh. Straw that broke the camel's back, etc.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Why only write about running?

Is there some unspoken rule that when you start a blog you are expected to write about a single subject? I have no issue with that sort of dedication, but when the possibilities of topics could be endless it feels self-limiting to pigeonhole yourself by default. It's a personal bias, but I see enough overspecialization in academia as it is. Having said that, grad students tend to be the ones you find most hyper-focused; I feel well-rounded professors should be writing blogs too. So it goes.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

McGill Team Challenge

I spent most of Saturday volunteering for the 17th McGill Team Challenge. This race lies at the midpoint of every Canadian's indoor track season. Six weeks out from CIS and it's time to show your stuff.  The meet was very well run, events started as scheduled, and it looked as though there were enough volunteers to keep things going smoothly. Help came in part from us members of Montreal Endurance, also decked out in our fresh team logo for some free advertising/good PR. My job was to check in athletes before the requisite hour prior to their events. Given the noisy environment it wasn't an ideal job for someone with APD. To me most names sounded the same, especially in French "Did you say LeDuc or Medoc?" Nothing worse than repeating your name while stressed for your race.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Running injuries

Well yesterday was a complete fail. I stepped outside at 6:30pm, planning to meet with people at the McGill indoor at 7 only to realize my achilles tendon still hurts when I run. So that was a no-go. Oh well, guess more rest is necessary. Might switch back to pool running. I still don't have anywhere near the soreness of pain from the last time I did this, also it's a different part of my tendon. I tend not to repeat the exact same injury twice. Maybe that's a good thing. A better thing would be to avoid injury. Smart, but not smart enough.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Indoor races and airports

My defense date might be February 15th. That's getting close. Nerves are starting to fray. Always anticipation is the worst form of fear. I don't think there's really anything else to it.

I will be running a practice indoors this evening at the McGill 200m track. It's a nice one, but very crowded due to lack of perimeter around the track. No idea what they were thinking when they designed it; never seen another track like it (it's admittedly better than the track at Carleton U, shaped like a rectangle so unusable for competition).

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Done another run

About 30 minutes into my run, about halfway though, I was worried that my achilles was getting worse, not better. It hurt a little in start, but I vowed to keep this run super easy. And I really do mean easy. No getting excited and picking up the pace. From now on my mission is to run my easy stuff as if I were walking. In other words there should be no effort whatsoever. The nice thing about that is somehow the body knows what you're up to and helps you along. Like a happy horse that you just gave some slack to. Suddenly the whole body is on board, and your hips start to swing a little and you land a bit more on your toes.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Why I'm writing this blog

I figured if I waited until inspiration hit me for every post I'd never have consistent entries. I was on hiatus for a while mostly because I doubted the reason for writing this thing at all. I'm not married to the idea of running any more than I'm married to chemistry or movies. I tried to make this a blog about running, then realized that's a red herring, as naturally no-one can spend ten paragraphs writing about their awesome workout.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Fractal geometry of running

I'm almost done reading Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan (second edition). The main focus of the book is on "Black Swan" events, which are unexpected events that are both under-represented and therefore ignored in many models of the economy/finance/statistics, etc. It sounds even as I write this sentence silly that someone would need to pointing out extreme events are rare but important. But the point is more subtle having to do with how we perceive low odds of 1 in 10,000 (happens once a decade) the same as really low odds of 1 in 10,000,000,000 (happens once an eon). For instance although a human population's height and weight are Gaussian (the chances of meeting an 8ft tall person is closer to the latter value), if incomes were distributed in a Gaussian manner then the odds of a Warren Buffet existing would be the same as a 14 ft. person. Rather incomes are scaleable; as incomes increase the fraction of comparatively richer people remains the same. This leads to his point that we spend most of our lives in a Madelbrotian universe more than a Gaussian one.