Showing posts with label decision. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decision. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Angels, devils and blogger buddies

Today's run (treadmill): 5.25 miles

I looked outside this morning and saw that the wind was blowing hard and puddles were forming on the roads. The rain was moderate, but I was concerned that if I went outside to run, I could get caught in a downpour. I weighed the pros and cons of that situation and decided to take the drier path. A few minutes later, the rain intensified and I felt a little better about my choice.

Wet, wind and fog this morning
Even though I knew it was going to be a soggy day, I wanted to keep an open mind about getting outside. The reason for this came from two blogger buddies whose opinions I greatly value. In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the rain would probably put me back on the treadmill today. TPP commented that I should face up to it and do at least four miles on the machine. SIOR suggested that the three of us do our runs in the rain. I'm not sure if she meant that as an esprit de corps-type exercise or because misery loves company.

I thought about the image of an angel and devil on my shoulder, with TPP saying, "it doesn't matter if you use the treadmill, just get in the extra miles" while SIOR counters, "don't be a wimp, run outside in the rain." I'm not naming the angel and devil in this scenario.

I ended up on the treadmill and covered 5.25 miles, according to the machine's display. As much as I disparage the treadmill (I think treadmill bashing annoys my wife, who has no issues running daily on the machine) I'll admit that it wasn't too bad today. It may have had to do with my mindset, knowing I'd be covering at least five miles. Unlike my usual treadmill experience where I'm ready to explode from boredom by the three mile mark, I passed through that point feeling good that 2/3 of the workout had been completed.

I'm pleased to have completed my longest run of 2014 and I don't feel too guilty about avoiding the wet and windy conditions. Tomorrow promises to be a better day, with a high of 43° and sunny skies. That will be perfect weather for my first outside run since New Year's Day. If the ground is dry, I might even consider a run on the trails.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Net present value of running the Ho Ho Ho 5K

$5 compounded over five days, carry the one...
When I studied economics in college, the concept of time value of money was often discussed. In a nutshell, it's the idea that money available today is worth more than the same amount of money in the future. In consumer terms, the longer you hold your cash, the more you can grow its worth. So what does this have to do with running?

Next Saturday is the Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5K run that is held in Bethpage. I ran it last year and had fun. I almost broke 26 minutes and enjoyed seeing competitors dressed up as reindeer, elves and Santas. I've had this race on my schedule all year, but in the last month, I've decided to take a break from competing until 2013. Now I'm considering it again but I'm still not convinced that I want to do it.

This brings me back to the time value of money. If I signed up today, it would cost me $20 and that would be that. However, if I waited until the day of the race and then decided to run, it would cost me $25. So the price of indecision would be $5. Although five bucks isn't much to save, it can still buy you a couple of slices of pizza at Mario's.

But here's the thing. If I spend $20 to save five, and then decide on Saturday that I don't want to race, I'm out four times the amount I'd "saved." For that reason (and the fact that my wife may have already told me that we have plans for Saturday), I'll bite the bullet and take the $5 hit on race day. That seems to be the most economically sound strategy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Keeping my socks clean this year

As I was running the trails at Bethpage on Sunday, I thought about the Dirty Sock 10K and the effort required to run that course. Next to the half marathon, Dirty Sock is the toughest race I do each year. This is mostly because it's 6.2 miles of changing terrain, run on the hottest and most humid day of the summer.

I figured that I'd spend next weekend preparing for the race and possibly running the course to re-familiarize myself with the route. When I got home from yesterday's run I asked my wife what was on the schedule for next weekend and she said, "Well you have your race on Sunday." For some reason I thought the race was happening in two weeks. I decided on the spot that I'm just not prepared to run it.

It's fun to follow a tradition like running Dirty Sock every year, as I do with the Marcie Mazzola run, the New Hyde Park 8K and Cow Harbor, among other races. But I'm not feeling the need to run it and I'd rather focus on Cow Harbor that happens a month from now. I'll miss the experience of running the Dirty Sock, but I'm sure of my decision. I can always head to Babylon one of these weekends and run the course on my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

12 steps to changing your mind

Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

My sleep was interrupted last night by a phone call from one of my daughter's friends. I had trouble falling asleep after that. My sleep schedule is already tight and, with my early rise time, I often wonder if I get enough rest. I finally did get back to sleep, but woke up a few more times throughout the night. Before I knew it, I needed to get up for the day.

In the minute it took me to get out of bed and make my way downstairs, I thought through the various options I had for my workout. Skipping my run altogether was my leading thought as I stood at the top of the stairs. But by the time I reached the foyer below, I had reconsidered that decision.

It was hot and humid at 3:45 AM and I was very tired, but I felt I needed to compromise. I would run, but instead of gearing up and going outside, I'd do my workout on the treadmill. I figured I could better throttle my speed and pick things up as I went along.

I had no guilt starting at 5.5 MPH because it's generally advised to run slower paces as humidity rises. I notched up my speed every two minutes and, after 15 minutes, turned on the treadmill's fans that cooled my sweat covered body. I eventually got to full speed for the last five minutes and stepped off the machine feeling like I had a great workout.

Despite being tired and unready to run when I got up, I managed to get myself in gear (literally) and ended up happier for it. My walk downstairs changed my mindset. 12 steps made all the difference.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My running buddy's race day nightmare

Today's run (street): 5.25 miles

Two years ago I was near the end of my recovery from a serious bout of pneumonia. It was so severe that I was forced to spend a week in the hospital. This was an awful experience, but it could have been far worse. I'm still thankful to my friends, family and work colleagues who supported me through that long ordeal. As sick as I was, I never felt it was a life and death situation. Now let me tell you about my friend Dave.

Through this blog, I have connected with a number of great people, some of whom I've been fortunate enough to meet for a run or two. Dave and I both live on Long Island and we've got together to run a number of times. Dave is a strong runner, with an enviable ability to increase his speed as he went along on longer runs. In races, Dave would usually cross the finish line a couple of minutes before I did. But on long runs at Bethpage, our conversation helped us settle into a mutually agreeable pace.

The last time I saw Dave was at the Dirty Sock 10K last August. We both did well on that challenging course through the woods. Afterward, we talked about doing a Cow Harbor practice run in a few weeks, but we didn't get around to doing that. In fact I hadn't heard from Dave until I got a note from him this weekend. He wrote to tell me that he'd suffered a heart attack during a ten mile race last weekend.

I was completely shocked by this news. This is a guy who runs and bikes and lives a very active life. But on this race day morning, Dave discovered that he had an undetected blockage that brought him down at mile six. In those situations, the severity of the problem may not be obvious. There's only a small window of time to recognize the difference between electrolyte depletion and a life-threatening event. Thankfully Dave had the presence of mind to flag down a race volunteer and request an EMT.

Even after the EMT's arrived, Dave's troubles continued. He endured quite a bit as they worked on him in the ambulance before arriving at the closest hospital, where the ER doctors struggled to stabilize his condition. They smartly sent him to a another hospital that was better equipped to handle the situation. It was there that they discovered the blockages and got his vitals back to normal. Amazingly, he was released after a couple of days.

I'm thrilled that Dave came through this so well and he's taking steps to correct his issues. He's a strong, fit guy and I know he'll get through this fine. I can only imagine how fast he's going to be when his heart is back to full working order. Even if that's the case, I'm sure Dave will graciously run at my pace when we return to Bethpage for another long run.

blogger templates | Webtalks