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Timing’s everything. Checkout these two pics of my run in the Boulder Half Marathon. You might have to click on them to see this, but both feet are off the ground in each shot. It’s the same spot, the one with gloves is 2 miles out and the one without gloves is with 2 miles left. So same lucky cameraman I assume. The first pic has me stunned as I am running uphill, and considering I’m running so slow the odds of that photographer catching two shots of me airborne are unreal. The dude has some incredible timing.

See the chic a step behind me at the finish in the 3rd pic? I put on a small surge at the end. I looked up her results from her bib number 1655. Her name is Caolan MacMahon. Turns out she is in the same age division as me – for women of course – but the really amazing thing is she ran only 3 seconds slower than me. I finished 241st overall, Caolan finished 242nd. Sort of rare to finish so close to someone who ran essentially the same pace, considering you both could have started anywhere apart from one another in the pack. We must have started standing fairly close to one another. I spent a full minute in a port-a-potty at mile 4, and ran the second half of the race 4 minutes faster than the first; she ran the second half 1.5 minutes faster than her first half. We even registered at nearly the same time as our bib numbers are only 4 digits off. Weird timing.

I ran my first track workout of the season today. Technically, my first track workout in about 25 years. I ran 6 quarters, which is to say I ran 6 loops around the track at 75% full speed and maintained a controlled rest interval in between. I used a 1 loop jog as my rest interval, and recorded the pace of that along with the quarters themselves.

1 mile warm up

Q1: 1:43 rest 2:15

Q2 1:59 rest 2:20

Q3 1:43 rest 2:29

Q4 1:44 rest 2:26

Q5 1:42 rest 2:26

Q6 1:40 rest 1 mile cool down

Maybe I’ll post another blog on some of the granular details of those splits after I’ve analyzed them. Just getting them published for now before I reset the stopwatch app on my iPhone. Or better yet, to any coaches reading this, feel free to comment. I don’t normally time myself. I don’t wear a watch, not even in road race events. I used to have such a good feel for my pace that I didn’t need to. I’ve lost that inner timer though and I’m using timing now as a tool to relearn my experience. After a quick look at the splits, I find the timing interesting for several reasons. My splits are oddly even for both the quarters and the rest intervals. That’s not surprising on the rest, I’m jogging around the track at a standard pace. It is surprising that my quarters are so even considering I’ve forgotten how to run interval workouts. Then, notice that the 2nd quarter is the most off from the others. If I recall, this is not unusual even for experienced runners. It must be a norm. Although I think more in-shape athletes tend to run the second quarter as their fastest rather than their slowest. That’s because the first quarter serves as a warm-up of sorts. And then they, as you, settle into a pattern. Synchronous timing.

Timing is everywhere. It’s timing when they tell you your baby will be on the waiting list to receive a new heart for 4 to 6 months – and that’s how long it takes for another one year old baby boy to make his little heart available to Lil L. It’s timing when Susan comes home a day early from the week of work in Austin for a date night – courtesy the grandparents – and that puts her in bed with her husband when they receive the call at 2am letting them know the heart is being flown to Hobby International. It’s timing when Lil L’s sad heart varies wildly in rhythm, and his new heart – after it’s been disconnected from the machines and is organically part of the living Lil L – beats solid, steady and even. God’s timing.