Thursday, June 14, 2007

Taking A Risk

Throughout my life, I have not been what I would consider a risk taker. Just about every stock I purchased has gone down, so I don't buy individual stocks any longer. I've been at the same company for 17 years. Because of my body size, I had always shied away from physical risk in the things that I've done. For example, when planning a summer vacation, hiking, boating and that sort of thing were never in the plans.

This morning I registered for the Annapolis Ten Mile Run . This in and of itself is not a risk. I completed the Delaware 10 mile race in May. I'm not concerned about the distance. I've been thinking about this as a training run for the Philly Distance Run in September. So why the hedge? This one is different.

This paragraph is what scares me:

  • RULES: All participants must maintain at least a 12 minute per mile pace. Participants unable to do so by the 8 mile mark will be advised they are no longer official participants and will be required to either board transportation or move to the sidewalk and obey all pedestrian traffic rules. Those individuals that continue will cease being official participants and will not receive an official finisher’s time or finisher’s premium. This rule will be STRICTLY ENFORCED.

This is a risk.

I have consistently broken 12 minutes on the treadmill, but not outside of my basement. This will require a reduction of 22 minutes, 2:12 per mile, off of my Delaware pace. That's a huge bridge to gap.

This doesn't even take into account the hilly nature of the course, which looks more akin to the teeth inside a sharks mouth than a nice, flat road to run. Here, there is risk.

Add to this hilly course, the weather factor. 8 am temperature in late August could easily be 80+. Let's not forget humidity, which often exceeds 80%. Here, too, there is risk.

If I don't meet the deadline, what happens then? Nothing really. I don't get a medal. I don't get the shirt. More of a concern is a moral defeat. Not finishing something that I've started. Forget the fact that 2 hours is an arbitrary number, not finishing scares the hell out of me!

So, I will train. I will run. I will be there on time and I'll do the best that I can. I will learn from the experience. That is all that I can do. That is all anyoune could do.



Kim Herring said...

All you can do is "your best" and if that doesn't meet their deadline that doesn't mean that you can't finish the race on your own.

I volunteered at an Ironman event last year and I saw what determination really was. There was a participant who was not going to finish the bike in time to even start the run. He removed his timing chip gave it to the official who was trying to pull him off of the course and he finished the race on his own with no aid stations. Now, that's deteremination.

I know you can do it!!!! Keep up the good work!

J~Mom said...

Just give it your all. You can do it, just train at that pace (or better) and then when race day comes it will pay off. We are cheering for you!

Pat said...

The last thing you want to do is run a race with a goal that's not achievable. You'll go out too fast and bonk around mile 5. Then you'll end up walking with a bad attitude way too much and eventually end up being told you have to get off the course. If the 2 hour mark is real close to your pace, you could go out with the attitude that you'll see how far you can get before they ask you to stop. If your pace is 10 or 20 seconds too slow, I think the excitement of race day will help you make up the difference. If your pace is 1 or 2 minutes too slow, I think it's a recipe for disaster.

Someone said in Runner's World, "Too much physical stress, to much psychological tension, too many goals unmet are the reasons why runners become ex-runners"

Good luck with training. You never know in October 12 minute miles might be a piece of cake.


I see our Dbacks and Orioles are playing each other this weekend. Should be a fun series to watch.

Anonymous said...

I know Pat has been one of your strongest supporters but I must disagree with him this time. You took a huge risk when you set a 200# weight loss goal. You took an even greater one when you went public barely halfway through.

Most runners will tell you that they can usually do better times on race day, whether it's adrenaline, pacing yourself with others, the fact that "this one counts", whatever.

In any event, achieving a goal means little if it's too easy. Go for it!

bigmike600 said...

Wow. Great job on the weight loss. I got to you from Pats running blog. I can share in your accomplishments as I tipped the scales at 400 pounds at my heaviest and through diet and exercise I am down to 230. Check out my blog at and see my before and after pictures. I started out exactly like you with a treadmill and a dream of one day losing the weight. I have yet to run anything timed over a 10K but have done other multisport stuff. Amazing accomplishment and I have a feeling you are not done yet. You can keep a 12 min mile pace. Especially if you have done it on a treadmill. Running outside is easier and usually at least half a minute per mile faster. Good Luck and you now have another regular reader in me.