Cockroach effect

Damn, I really need to upgrade. I need to tag for real. Bah. This weekend I'll be heading to the colo. Enough whining.

Of course, upgrading means I'll have to go through and retag all my posts. Sigh.

I read about a study done years ago with cockroaches and competitiveness. In the study, the speed of a single cockroach's walk from one end of a chute/corridor/walkway to the other. After the times were recorded, two cockroaches were placed in the chute and were again timed.

The second time the cockroaches were timed, they were much faster. The introduction of another caused both to speed up, presumably in competition.

The cockroach effect is very much a person effect, too. And not in just, say, sports. Cars driving on the freeway will speed up when another car is going to pass (on the right or the left, actually), people will move more quickly to reach a line more quickly than another person walking to the line, joggers will run faster if there's an audience, small things like that.

Tonight, in a true example of a cockroach effect, I ran the neighborhood loop in 19:31, including a stop for a twisted ankle and two slowdowns to figure out what was going on.

Of course, not dragging Annie the whole way might have helped my time.

Kris went for the run with me tonight, offering to drag, er, walk, er, trot Annie along the way. After about a quarter mile, he asked, "Is this your normal pace?" I hemmed and hawwed, then admitted, that no, he was being my cockroach, pushing me along faster.

Considering I ran the loop on today's snack of champions (two slices of butter pound cake) 6 minutes faster than just a week ago, I'm happy my fitness is coming back. The stretches and strength training are helping my legs considerably.