Caution: Curves Ahead
On a Tangent
If you’re a runner and you read running magazines or training books then you’ve probably heard about running the tangent. Race courses are measured on the tangent. What is a tangent? Wikipedia states “the tangent line is going in the same direction as the curve, and in this sense it is the best straight-line approximation to the curve at that point”.
What? Let’s look to the USATF for a better explanation. Their Course Measurement and Certification Procedures Manual helps by explaining:
“A race course is defined by the shortest possible route that a runner could take and not be disqualified. A given runner might not follow the shortest possible route, just as a runner on a track may be forced to run further to pass another runner. The actual path of any given runner is irrelevant. The shortest possible route is a reasonably well-defined and unambiguous route that ensures all runners will run at least the stated race distance.”
That means if you aren’t running the measured distance of the race course then you’re running further than you planned. I know that on October 10th, I don’t want to run any further than I have to. Every second will count and I’ll need to run as close to 26.2 miles as possible.
Off on a Tangent
If you’re not a runner you’ve probably been on a different type of tangent. The free dictionary defines going off on a tangent as “t
I have a little trouble staying focused. Just ask my husband. My mind is full of a thousand thoughts at any given moment. I love it when he asks me what I’m thinking about. My answer goes something like this:
“We need to go to the store and get tomatoes for tonight’s dinner… I really need more yoga in my life… the other day at work so and so was talking about heart rate training so I was thinking I should use my heart rate monitor while training, but then I thought about how I hate running accessories so maybe that’s not a good idea… but I need to take the clothes out of the washer… I thought maybe we could have soup for lunch? Why what were you thinking?”
His answer “that I want to go to Gray’s Papaya.”
You get the idea. I’m like this in too many areas of my life. I’m constantly moving from one idea to the next. I need to think about my main subject, stay focused and make sure that all paths lead to the finish line.
Do you have trouble staying focused on your main subject? What causes you to go off on a tangent?