Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jef does his best Einstein

One staple of science fiction is time travel, and I don't get it. Doing something in a different location of the time-space continuum than it was originally scheduled is one of my specialties, although when I do it the term more commonly used is "procrastination," or perhaps "poor planning." When I get to name it, I prefer the word "flexibility."

I'm doing it now, writing Thursday's blog on Saturday morning, an insignificant shift when you consider the human race has been around anywhere from hundreds of thousands of years* to a couple of months†. Far from procrastination, this benefits you, the reader, in that instead reading a short piece of crap I hammered out when I had no time, you get to read something longer and closer to mediocre.

We athletes-with-real-jobs types time-shift a lot, too. The same Thursday I was not putting out a blog entry, I was also too busy to do my scheduled 10-mile run. But I did, barely, have time to squeeze in the 6-miler scheduled for Friday, so I swapped. Of course, bending the time-space continuum is not without consequence. It's like lying - you do it once, you have to keep doing it a while to cover for the original alteration.

Today the schedule calls for a 14-mile run, and even at the prescribed easy pace, I'm not likely to get the full benefit if I don't allow myself a day to adapt to yesterday's 10, even at that run's prescribed easy pace (man, I hate the early stages of a training program). So today it will be another easy 6, and the 14 tomorrow, and then Monday we're back to another easy 6 anyway, so I'll resume the originally planned schedule from there.

It works out well anyway. I need to go shoe shopping (this happens a lot in the runner's time-space-financial continuum), and even here in the land of plenty with regard to running specialty shops (Hanson's and Running Fit are among the best in the country and I love them), my go-to running store remains Playmakers, an hour or so away (and named, just this week, THE best running store in the country). Many of my Lansing running friends are running tomorrow morning near the store, so I'll run with them, have a coffee with them, then go visit some other friends and buy some shoes. And more than shoes, because I'm not always the one who gets to mess with time and space.

As I type this, my ears are ringing with the buzz of the clearly dying Garmin on the desk next to me. The Garmin is the GPS device that I wear to see that I'm going the proper distance at the proper pace and heartbeat/effort, and then load it onto my Internet-based training log so that my coach can see I'm not getting carried away. It's a wonderful tool, with more features than anybody needs but lacking the one that everybody would like, i.e., longevity. So until I can spend even more at Playmakers, I'll have to gauge my distance and pace the way the ancients‡ did: with a 100-lap Timex wrist/stopwatch and Google Maps. If I waited until after Christmas, the price might go down. But a man can only shift time so much.

* According to science or at least Wikipedia
† According to some religion somewhere
‡ According to teen-agers


La Professora said...

On the other hand, there is evidence that the time shift can benefit you during the holiday season: the syndicate is (re)running your excellent holiday strip.

BD said...

I’m judging from comments in Frazz over the past couple of winters that you do not time shift your training program based on the weather forecast. That being said, 14 miles tomorrow sounds challenging for the weather conditions moving into your area. I live about 180 miles down I-75 from Detroit and we don’t usually get to run in this kind of weather for another month. So enjoy, sounds like you will be earning your coffee, time with friends and new shoes. Let us know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

If you wait until after Christmas, you might not need to go buy one At All.

(Hint to all guys, December is the WRONG MONTH to buy yourself toys. Leave some on the xmas list for the people who love you to have a chance of getting you something you really love and need!)

Lynne the Lurker said...

Can a man have too many obsessions? You are giving it your best shot! After all, you are writing TWO Frazz strips at the moment as well as getting into this running schedule.

Perfectionist? Too hard on yourself? Could be...

noel said...

You need to Facebook or blog that the second strip is up on