Thursday, August 13, 2009

Timing is Everything


In life, as in running, timing is everything.

Running is about timing. Whether it is the length in minutes of a tempo, the time of an interval or pace per minute of a long run, we are obsessed with time. When I tell people I am a runner they always ask me how fast I can run 10 km. Time is of the essence.

Timing has a global impact on training and racing beyond the time on the watch at the end of a tough run. Timing is more ethereal when trying to peak for a certain time, on a certain day, for a certain very important race. The correct timing of the last hard week of mileage or the last long hard workout before a taper can mean the difference between a personal best workout versus personal best race. It is the precise timing of a peak performance that requires years of knowledge and an intimate understanding of one's own body. The last year I ran at the University of New Brunswick I had the race of my life at our Atlantic University Sport Championships after a more then challenging fall season. I placed 5th and was named an Atlantic University Sport All star. Two weeks later, on the same cross country course, I ran a couple minutes slower and placed around 50th in the CIS. My peak was timed to AUS, not CIS. Timing was everything and the missed timing resulted in one of the most devastating races I have run.

Timing in life is equally important. Some people are born with perfect timing. From the way they enter a room to the people they meet, the jokes they tell or the opportunities they obtain, they are syncopated with the timing of the universe. Just as I have missed my taper a few times and peaked a weekend later, alone, on the track, I have less then stellar timing in life. My timing with regards to men and love has also been dismal at best.

If I had a quarter for every guy I thought was hot, flirted with and got along well with, only to find out he was straight, I would be able to afford a Melriche's Coffee and Solly's Cinnamon Bun. If I had a quarter for each of those 'straight' guys who came out after moving away (or me moving away) I would still be able to afford the coffee and bun. Bad timing? As I mentioned in my previous blog, I also have a penchant for men who are in relationships/recently broke up/moving away. Very bad timing.

When I miss the timing of my taper and run a sub optimal race I review the workouts leading up to the race, compare to previous tapers, then change the taper leading into the next big race. After the next race I again look at the taper and the outcome. If it is better I may tweak the training again but mostly stay with the same plan. At this point in my running life I have a taper that works quite well and enables me the opportunity to stand at the start line feeling confident and ready to race hard. At this point in my love life I continue to have fucked up timing with men. How to improve timing with this one when I cannot control the love lives of others? Are things just meant to not be?

To be honest, I have no answer. Obviously I have to change something, but what?

Tonight was the usual Thursday night workout in the Park. I can feel the training starting to catch up with me and I am getting tired, really tired. Tonight we ran 2 times a mile and 1/8ths loop with full recovery. I ran alright, even splits for the two laps. I was around 5 seconds slower then usual. The workout was like any other tired workout. I was working hard but not really going fast. I was breathing heavy but as soon as I stopped both intervals I caught my breath within seconds. I was limited tonight by the fatigue in my legs rather then the ability of my heart to pump oxygen rich blood to my muscles. These workouts are somewhat disappointing as it seems like I did not work that hard. I am tired yet there was not a full effort. Hopefully tomorrow's day off and massage will provide some recovery before my workout on Saturday.

Happy Training!

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