walking the trails, traveling through my brain

I’d wanted to walk with the Eastside Runners this morning.  Meeting them would have been pretty difficult though.  The Metro Trip Planner said I would have to take a bus into Seattle, then to Lynnwood, and then south to the trailhead.  The trip would have taken about two hours.  So I turned to Plan B, which was to walk down to the breakfast place (Larry’s Market in Redmond).

It was a good walk – right around seven and a half miles, quite a bit of it on trails.  I went through Bridle Trails State Park, then headed down the Bridlecrest Trail to Marymoor Park.  Then I veered off through the dog park, following a route I’d done with ESR folks before.  It was a nice morning, although very cold.

There was a small group at breakfast.  Most of the folks have headed to Victoria this weekend for the Royal Victoria Marathon

Physically, I’m feeling very good about my conditioning.  I’ve walked just over 30 miles in the past seven days.  That’s about as far as I’d run some weeks, and it involved spending over 500 minutes out plodding along (as opposed to perhaps 300 to run the same distance).  I updated my 2008 training calendar (linked from our family website) today to reflect things since the bike accident.  If you’re interested, I have a bunch of stuff linked from my running page too (race reports, and other miscellaneous stuff).

Cognitively I’ve felt pretty good.  I’ve been doing crossword puzzles, playing Scrabble, and doing just fine on tests for logic and concentration in Speech Therapy.  The difference I feel since the accident is huge.

The area I have some concerns about is short-term memory.  In testing, I’ve scored in the normal range, but lower overall than I’d like.  Truth be told, I’m not sure how well I would have done on these tests prior to the accident, but I probably would have scored higher.  So this is something I worked on a bit while walking.

I played the ‘picnic game’ by myself.  This is where one declares an alphabetized list of stuff they’d bring on a picnic.  We’ve played this with the kids a bunch in the car.  So as I plodded down the Bridlecrest Trail, I ran through my list (alligator, bbq, dishwasher, elephant, falafel, … ).  Upon completion, I tried going backwards.  Then I took a short break and skipped over every other item, forwards and backwards.  All in all, no complaints.  It’s fair to say that I was a bit slower coming up with the words, but I did not have trouble remembering them (ahem – until now when I couldn’t recall my ‘b’ item – but I’ve had nearly four hours to forget).

The thing about cognitive testing is that there’s no way to know what my baseline was prior to the accident.  It’s easy to get a bit tangled up about the results.  Ideally you use them as an indicator of things you can work on.  Perhaps I should run through these exercises prior to Speech Therapy – it’d be interesting to see whether or not it helps.  While I do sense more difficulty in retrieving information, I think much of this is stuff I can find adaptive solutions to.

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