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The Activation of Energy: A first minute blog

Friday, April 22, 2011

In chemical reactions, there is what is known as the "energy of activation." That is the excess of energy it takes to get the reaction started. The energy of activation is more than the energy required for the reaction to continue. Frequently, after getting over the initial hump the reaction will actually produce energy. But it has to get over that hump first.

Why the hell am I talking about chemical reactions? Because KATEINMICHIGAN gave us the challenge of writing about the hardest minute of a workout. I always think about the energy of activation when I start a run because that's what that first minute feels like for me.

When I first start, my body resists. My muscles feel so tight and move so slow and body says "why, why, why, let's go back to the couch!" But I know, if I can just get through that first minute or two, things start to feel like they are going downhill. And downhill, when it comes to running, is a good thing.

I have had so many runs that started with me telling myself that I only had to go 10 minutes then I could stop only to continue on for many times that amount because once I got over that initial hump, I felt great.

There are things that can lower the energy of activation. They can make it a much easier hump to get over. They're called catalysts. In chemistry, a prime example is an enzyme that helps do the work. In running, there are also catalysts. Things that make you burst out of the starting gates. My catalysts are:

A beautiful day after several crappy ones
Some new running apparel or gadget
A race!
A new and interesting path

Most days unfortunately don't have a catalyst and I have to trudge over that hump. It never gets easier but it helps to know what's on the other side.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You have aspired to a new level of awesomeness here at RFML - You're the SEXY GEEK!!!! I'm quite inspired, really motivated, and ... even a little turned on!! You go girl - keep rocking that brain - and the bod!!!! xoxoxoxoxox
    2413 days ago
    The first minute for nerds!! I LOVE it! I think I just had a flashback to college chemistry. Now I have a headache emoticon

    I love the graph. Awesome!
    2424 days ago
  • YARAC211
    Scary is definitely one word used to describe me.

    2424 days ago
    Eau Mah GAH! I love it! I love the graph. I love the sciencey-smartgirl talk. LURVE.

    It's an EXCELLENT description. Excellent. Energy of activation. That is .... kinda mind-blowing that it's a real thing.

    I heart smart girls. And people who can use GRAPHS. You must be scary in person. (in a totally awesome way)

    DAYUM girl. I am frickikn' impressed.

    Also, apparently I'm using LOTS of ALLCAPS this morning. SORRY!


    2424 days ago
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