(I need a Physicist!) + Hot Chocolate + What I learned this week = lasagna and apple pie?

I can not believe that today is Friday! I know it is annoyingly cliche’ but this year is going by so fast! It seems like I get into bed on Sunday nights, and then I wake up and it is the next Saturday morning. I really am starting to think that time is accelerating. I am not getting even a tenth of the stuff done at work as well as at home that I would like to. I’d seriously like to sit down with a theoretical (or applied) physicist and talk this out. Do you know of any?

Tomorrow is the Hot Chocolate 15k, and the course is all downtown surface streets, and there are going to be about a billion people running, and so it will be chaos (thank you, “A” corral!), but I am excited, and right when I get home from the race, my MOMMA will be here for almost a whole week!

Wow, that was a long sentence.

This will be my third consecutive year running this race, and each time I have been really disappointed in my performance. In 2009 I finished in 1:13.06 and in the photos I look like I am suffering from kidney stones, or something (very pretty). In 2010 I finished in 1:14.10 and looked like this:

***exhale*** (also, was I even running?)

In looking over my most recent races (and there haven’t been many in the last year), and based on how well the last 3 weeks of training have gone (OK,  not much success in the weight room, but my mileage looks nice on a graph), I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t expect to comfortably break 1:10.00 tomorrow. That said, I still want to be very careful not to get injured in the next 163 days (until the Boston Marathon). So although I am not planning to race outright, I will be annoyed if I don’t average 7:45’s (per mile) at most.

Even with the poor quality of my personal efforts at the Hot Chocolate, it is a nice race, and people are really into it, which is an atmosphere I find enticing.

I have absolutely no idea who this man is. And I don't recall that we said a single word to each other.

While I run tomorrow I will be thinking about my momma, and all the lasagna, apple pie, and laughter this next week will bring. (there will also be burgers, beer, movies, sewing, puppy grooming, the Swedish museum, yoga, and shopping). I will also be thinking about all the people running the New York City Marathon this Sunday. Some bloggers I have been following for the past year will be running. Eliza and Tom, go get em!!!


I for one, think that looks like a ridiculous amount of people. I honestly do not know how I would run a marathon with that many people in such close proximity, I only have 2 ankles to possibly sprain, and there are 5 bridges in that race. With a crowd like that, how do you avoid running an extra 5 miles as you try to avoid running into other runners.

Which actually brings me to,

What I learn this week:Often, the HOW is more important that the WHY.

In school I was taught to avoid asking questions that started with “why”. For example:  “why do you think this happens” is considered a bad question to ask because it leads a person to assign mentalistic, superstitious, and assumptive reasons to events/behaviors/phenomena and so on. Being a rebel, I often DO ask “why” questions when I interview the staff and family members of the individuals I work with. I do so because that is sometimes my only way of getting a sense of how they are perceiving the situation, and how much they are willing to get further involved.

Rather than ask why, behavior analysts are trained to ask HOW questions. This includes, what does something look like, sound like, how loud, how long (you know, measurable things). We are trained to find out what happens before, during, and after.  This process of investigation is what leads us to be able to understand how the environment dictates behaviors, and then, ultimately we can help to predict and control those behaviors in a way that better serves the needs of the individual.

So, in terms of my work, and my field at large, I totally already understood that HOW trumps WHY.

Then, this week, what with a huge marathon approaching, the internet has been awash with people discussing why they run. I tried on three separate occasions to post responses to such discussions, and found myself at a total loss.

I have no f-ing clue why I run. I do know HOW I run.

I set goals, I make plans, I collect data, I change my plans based on that data, I flood my environment with things that have to do with running, and I celebrate meeting my goals.

Somewhere in that list of HOW, I am certain lies the WHY.

For me, it doesn’t matter why I run, only that I do.



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