Saturday, August 21, 2010

How I learned to count

I ran 9 miles today.

I learned a long time ago that something public speakers do to calm their nerves is multiplication tables. I had the devil of a time learning my multiplication tables (MT from here on out because I don't want to keep typing that) in elementary school. In fact, I didn't learn them until I was in my 20s. I just couldn't get them memorized.

Public speaking may give me butterflies, but it's something I enjoy. I then read an article about how doing math stimulates the analytical side of the brain. Well, shoot. That's my favorite part of the brain! The study found that when people are in highly emotional situations, doing their MT can keep them calm.

I have used my MT to keep from crying during movies and funerals for years now. Yes, it works even for funerals! I have also found simple counting to help in medical situations, like pokey tests, anesthesia (which makes me very nervous) and even during my Lasik surgery until the actual panic attack took over. At that point, I don't think I could have counted to three in order.

So this morning, I got up early and got ready for my run. But then I fiddled with this and then I fiddled with that. I knew I was nervous and prolonging my start. So I gripped myself by the shoulders and I gave myself the glad eye. "Girl. Let's go!"

I had read (this is akin to 'I have a theory' for people who know me in real life) that Jeff Galloway's gig is about getting people to run-walk-run and he swears there is no loss of fitness, 20 seconds loss of time only (I didn't do the math - ha! Get it? I can count, but... oh forget it) and less chance of injury. That sounded good.

I also read that your long, slow, distance run should be both long and slow. Well, go figure that! I slowed down to a 12-minute mile pace by my best estimate and I ran three minutes, walked one minute. I do feel remarkably better this morning compared to last Saturday morning. I also, and this is important because the grandkids are here, do not feel like I must go back to sleep.

What does this have to do with my MT? Absolutely nothing. But I did count my steps for about 4 of today's miles. Over and over again, I counted and looked at my watch. I learned to feel what I was doing and pace myself up the hill, down the hill, around the didn't matter. By mile 6, I knew what it felt like and that's when I realized I was feeling the pace.

That felt good, but counting felt better to my brain. It gave me moments of laughter, too. Like the time I went 68, 69, 90. When I run or walk long distances, my brain gets a little foggy. I just shook it off, laughed and corrected myself.

I have a lot to do today, including a trip to see European vacation photos at a friend's house after supper in Pella. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Plus? I need to shower and make the world a better place.

A shout out to my aunt. I was named for her and she's great (not just due to the name). She got laid off from a company where she has worked since she was a teenager. That was pretty shocking. But on Monday, she starts a new job.

So Aunt Karen, you rock! Plus, clearly an omen for good things: Your first day on the new job is my birthday.

Could it be any better than that?


Rose said...

I love your counting...68, 69, that akin to teaching your kids to count to 100 by teaching them 1, 2, 3, skip a few, 99, 100?

Actually, I didn't know that about multiplication tables, and now that I typed that no wonder you resorted to MT...I would have too had I thought of it.

Rambling Woods said...

I sing the alphabet song to myself until pure panic sets I am going to try the times tables.. I am not a math person, but I think I can remember most of them...LOL ....hugs...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good wishes. Definitely hope that it being your birthday is a sign of good things. I've pretty much been in hiding for the day - I am so nervous. Yep was a teenager when I started there - in fact you were 3. Now what does that do to your mind? A few prayers my way to help me make it thru the day without getting ill would be nice. Enjoy YOUR BIRTHDAY.
Love, Aunt Karen

A piece of news said...

Rose: I never knew about skip a few, 99, 100. Does that count for certain exercises? :)

Michelle: I'm not a math person, either. But this works so well I'm pretty good at it now.

Aunt Karen: prayers are winging their way upward for you. You'll have a great day, but nerve-wracking, I'm sure.

A piece of news said...

I was three? You aren't that much older than me! OH MY GOSH.