Finding Sanity in the Madness

Exploring Social Media

Future Experiment with RRR April 23, 2011

Filed under: Random,Sports — karch10k @ 4:07 pm
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Last weekend, I took part in a race I have done for the past 2 years called the River to River Relay (RRR). In this race, a team of 8 runners join up together and run a relay from one side of Illinois (Mississippi River) to the other (Ohio River). This is an 80 mile race, and each runner covers around 10 miles each throughout the day (I covered 10.7 miles). Each runner has 3 seperate legs of the race to run. So Runner #1 will start the race, hand off the baton to the Runner #2 at the exchange zone, Runner #2 runs his leg, hands off to Runner #3, and  so on. While the runners are racing across the state, the guys NOT running at that moment on the team are riding in a van from exchange zone to exchange zone to keep ahead and have the next runner out and ready for when the next guy comes in to hand off. It is a frenzy of flying down country roads, jumping out of the van to cheer on the guy coming in, and to also cheer on the guy who is taking the baton next. Getting back in the van, and heading to the next exchange zone (all while cursing and taunting the current runner when the van passes them back) so we can do it all over again! The process of going from Runner 1-8 happens 3 times, so you race 3 times throughout the day of a distance around 3 miles. This race, for the lack of a better term is EPICLY awesome. There is plenty of downtime between races to recover, eat something and relax while you cheer on your other teammates, which is where I think I will be when I try out my “experiment” next year.

During the race, and especially during down time, people are sitting in vans and many of them are on the phone (texting, etc, etc). I think next year I want to try to advertise a Twitter hashtag to use by runners and officials during the race. This race provides a unique opportunity where people can use something like Twitter during the race to trash talk, give updates on the course, express feelings, and probably just be silly. I can imagine me tweeting about how we are catching the team ahead of us, maybe warning racers behind us of a fallen tree over the road, or even of hostile dogs to watch out for. People could see this, and be ready for it. I think it would be extremely interesting to test something like this out and see how much response I could get from people. The only thing I worry about is cell service. Many times throughout the race, I didn’t have cell service since we were in the middle of nowhere half the time.

To get something like this off the ground, the easiest thing to do would be to push the RRR officials to endorse the hashtag and advertise it. Maybe have it on the registration site or something. Tell the teams at the team meeting the night before the race, maybe. This is something I will have to think more about, but I hope that next year, I can make this happen!

Also, if you are wondering about the picture: Yes, that is an Optimus Prime piñata. We bought it ($20, but SO worth it!) at Wal-Mart and he was our mascot. You would not believe how many comments we had on that thing!


Staying Focused, Being Oblivious to Weather Change April 11, 2011

Filed under: Random — karch10k @ 4:20 pm
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This weekend has been a bit rough for me, but I can begin to see the light at the end of tunnel for this semester. It is nice to be able to put everything into perspective, know what I need to get done within a certain time frame, and focus on them one by one. I spent the better part of this entire weekend (which so happened to be the nicest weather we have had this year) in the West Lafayette Library across the road from Einstein Bagels. The place is nice, the tables are big, and the atmosphere is conducive to getting a lot of work done.

Saturday and Sunday mornings, my friend and I meet to go for a run. Typically somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour of running, and normally around 7:00 mile pace (this probably means little to you unless you run). We cover anywhere between 6 and 9 miles on said run, take a stroll through the trail at the Celery Bog, and sometimes take a loop around the cross country course. Saturday morning, it was nasty outside. It rained on us the entire run, and was just not very enjoyable (running enjoyable? crazy!). We finished our run, headed back to our respective homes, got cleaned up, and met back at the library. Now, at this point, it is still nasty outside, and even raining. We walk into the library with jeans, long sleeves and coats on. It was somewhere in the mid 40s when we ran, and is probably in the 50s now. About 5 hours later, we walk out of the library, once again tired, and crashing from the coffee wearing off. To my surprise, people are walking all over, shorts, tank tops, sandals, it is 75 degrees outside. I have a full regalia of fall/early spring attire on. What happened out here!?

During this time of year, everyone is stressed, everyone is short on time, and everyone really wants to just go outside and forget about all the work. My duration in the library this weekend helped me more than any trip outside would at this point. Getting a LOT of work done right now makes the stress disappear quicker than escapism, because escapism is similar to how alcoholics deal with issues. Sure, by going and doing something fun, you can postpone the stress and dread, but it all comes back to you after the fun is over. I am attempting to keep my head above water and make the final push to finish off the semester, and also attempting to do it with more dedication than in semesters past.

To finish up, I want to post an image. I was looking around online with some of my favorite links and places to go in between work periods. I found a comic that works perfectly for my experience with the weather this morning as well as Knoy 374 (where I hold office hours, will refer to it henceforth as “the dungeon”). The comic is taken from Ph.D Comics and is awesome. Enjoy!