Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Susi The Guinea Pig...

Yup, that's me behind all that gear! I gotta say, what an experience!
As mentioned yesterday I was asked by my friend Lisa if I'd like to participate in a running experiment for a running shoe company. As I'm always up for an adventure I said 'Sure!'.
Actually I was flattered that she asked me as I'm just your 'Average Jill' runner. Not that you needed to be a speedy gonzales for this experiment, you just had to be able to run a half marathon distance. Yup, I could do that! In fact I'm running a half marathon this coming Sunday, haha.
Today was the first of the tests where I'd be all hooked up. As you can see in the one picture I had many electrodes hooked up to my right leg. These would measure how my muscles were firing. I also had reflective dots on me so the many sensors that surrounded the treadmill would record my movements. You can see the red light from the sensor in the other picture. Oh, and if I didn't have enough gadgets attached to me I also had an oxygen mask on. Too bad it wasn't pumping oxygen IN to me. haha.
Getting all hooked up was quite the process. I give full credits to Lisa for knowing all the many places to stick the little cables and dots! I had to laugh at a couple moments as the electrodes had snaps that she had to push on...well my legs aren't solid muscle (YET!) so the little snaps would just goosh right in, haha. Then there was the time when she was attaching things to my hamstrings, I'm quite a ticklish person and it was everything I had in me not to squirm and jump. I did giggle but managed for once in my life NOT TO SNORT! It's a friggin miracle, I know!
While all of this was going on I was silently praying my stomach would hold out. Once again I was having issues. I didn't want to let Lisa down though so I sucked it up and went for the testing. After all, I have run through these feelings many of times, and could do it again....especially in the name of science!
I wasn't sure how I was going to run with all this gear on, but for the most part it didn't get in the way. I did have one of the little balls fly off, thankfully I didn't step on it, haha. As I was going through all this I couldn't help but feel like a real athlete. In fact I kinda felt like Michael Jordan...albeit shorter, whiter, more girly,and without the vertical, haha. Why? Cause I've seen him all dolled up with these wee dots so he could be taped going for a jump shot. I think they do this with athletes for use in video games???

Anyhoo, the time had come - the Ironman Canada 2007 DVD was loaded into the computer so I could watch while running, all machines were working and the treadmill was started! Muscle monitoring? Check! Heartrate? Check! Wee reflective dot recording? Check! Now all I had to do was run!

So run I did.

I've been told that it's amusing to know my thoughts as I go through certain here is what I was thinking....

"Hmm, this isn't too bad. Damn, Keiren Doe looks hot in a wetsuit! Look at his quads! Oh, I wonder if they can see my heart rate just increased looking at him?? haha. Come on tummy, hold on! If you ignore the pain it will go away. Hey, where'd that cute dude go in the other lab? Not that it matters cause I look sooo attractive with all this gear on, tee hee. Good thing I went pee before I got on here. There's Angie on the DVD!!!!! Go Team Tri Life! Man, what a day. I can't believe I was actually a part of that race. I hope I don't get all choked up or something, I won't be able to breath. AAAAGGH. Itchy nose....can't reach with mask on! Do not think itchy, do NOT think itchy! I wonder how long I've been going? Can you imagine if I trip? Hopefully the cables will let go as I fly off the back. Yipes! Ow, shooting pain through guts. Dammit! Okay, focus on tv. Hellooooo Keiren....I love Keiren's dreadlocks! Holy crap look how he rides up that hill? Go Lisa Bentley Go! Man, I SO hope my stomach does not drop out of me...cause there is NO WAY I can get off this treadmill quickly and that would just be soooo icky! It is a treadmill afterall...ew. Bahahaha. Ok, laughter is good medicine. Ow, I think the freezing in my arm is wearing off...starting to feel stitches. I wonder what I look like on the computers running on this thing? Oh! There goes a ball. I wonder if that just flicked right off the back of the treadmill, that would be funny to see. I wonder how long I've been on here? Likely only two minutes longer since the last time I thought that, haha."

I should point out that Lisa had to ask me a question about whether or not my mind was quiet while doing the test....Riiiiiiight. My little mind gerbil never stops!!

As it took a bit to get all hooked up I didn't run for the hour I thought I would. It ended up being about 25 minutes. Lisa also knew my guts were killing me so perhaps she stopped it early for that too. She did say she had good data, phew! If not, I'd be happy to go in again. In fact I will be going back in in a couple of weeks to run with the 'special' sneakers on to see if there is any change in how I run etc etc.

I am very thankful to be part of this experiment. I mean, how many people get the opportunity to be involved in something like this??? It was SOOOO cool! I look forward to the next time!


  1. I just love your internal monologues. Your photos look like something out of an SF movie. The only thing missing from your post was a detailed description of H.V.E.M while wearing the mask. I can just imagine!