Jogging, Productivity, and Dragons
I jogged after work today, which I have not done very much of. There's a residential neighborhood behind the bank that I like to jog around the block of a few times, because it's not quite as hilly as my own neighborhood. "Around the block" is just shy of 3/4ths of a mile. One of the residents pulled up alongside me as I was jogging and asked where I'd been. "I haven't seen you in a year or two and you used to be around all the time. I was a little worried." "I've been biking instead, and I use a different route for that." He introduced himself: "I'm Mike. I've been living in this neighborhood for 62 years." I wonder what it's like sometimes, to have stayed in one place for so long. I suppose he wonders what it's like to have lived in so many different places.
I am a master of the super-slow jog. When I jog at all, I have been trying to jog not-quite-so-slowly. Today I clocked each mile as I passed the mile mark (with a phone app) and walked for a minute or two between miles.
First mile. Time: 13:34. Speed: 4.4 mph. That's ... pretty slow, and that's me actually trying to jog somewhat quickly.
Second mile. Time: 16:30. Speed: 3.6 mph. The sad part about this is that I was still making an effort to jog a little faster than usual.
Third mile. Time: 17.25. Speed: 3.4 mph. This is where I had given up on doing anything besides "don't collapse to a walk".
If I don't go biking tomorrow evening, I may go for a long walk and clock that. I have the feeling that my default jogging speed is very close to my default walking speed. 9.9 It is, however, much more tiring to jog than walk. Jogging: SO INEFFICIENT. Except the point is to get exercise, and it's more efficient at ... wearing me out? OK then.
Anyway, I think that when I am trying to jog quickly, I use up all of my oomph (which is not a whole lot of oomph anyway) in about the first half mile and it degrades very quickly from there. I am not sure what the optimal approach to improving speed is. It probably involves actually being able to see how fast I am jogging as I'm doing it.
My phone app estimates "calories burned" whenever I'm tracking my workouts. Its estimate for an hour of my typical slow-motion jog -- which leaves me exhausted afterwards, forcing myself to finish on sheer will alone, and my legs aching the next day -- is about 460 calories. Its estimate for an hour of my typical bike ride -- which leaves me feeling "Eh, I could keep going for another hour, but it's late and I'm kind of bored now" -- is about 500 calories. I am pretty sure the phone app's numbers do not reflect what my body is actually doing.
FlightRising.com, the silly dragon-breeding game I started playing in July, has been down since last Saturday night and is going to still be down through this Sunday at the least.
When I was a little kid and misbehaved, my parents would ground me and not let me watch TV for a specified period of time; typically a week. All this week, my inner child has been feeling this way about FR being unavailable. Like I'm being punished. "But MoooOOOM, I want to play with my draGONS!" "You should've thought of that before you failed English." "AWWWWW MOOoooOOOM." I have no explanation for why the silly dragon-breeding game has managed to evoke such obsession from me, but I wish it hadn't.
The main upside to this is that all other activities are almost equally uninteresting to me now. "I might as well bike for 10 miles. I can't play with dragons anyway." "I guess I'll cook a new batch of spaghetti sauce up. It'll take 30 minutes, but whatever." "Suppose I'll write some more of that novel now. Nothing better to do." "Might as well write a pointless rambly entry about exercise and dragons. What else am I gonna do?"
But the inner child that feels like she's being punished does not realize that it isn't going to stop just because she's been good. She keeps thinking "Maybe as a reward for exercise I can play with dragons?" and "Maybe now that I'm done with work I can play with dragons?" and "Maybe now that my buffer is up I can -- " you get the idea. I wish she'd quit it. NO DRAGONS. THERE ARE NO DRAGONS FOR YOU NOW OR EVER. STOP WHINING ABOUT THE STUPID DRAGONS!
Inner child: [starts to cry]
Oh look, I'm sorry, don't do that. There'll be dragons again someday, I'm sure. I didn't mean it. Look, Micah drew some adorable dragon pictures! And Bard posted more dragon story! Doesn't that make you feel better?
Inner child: [sniffles] "A little. Can I play with my dragons now?"