Challenge,  Fun Stuff

A Really Stupid Thing to Do

I Made the 13 Miles…

Last fall, with great plans to keep dropping the weight which went by the way because of a bunch of great excuses, I had signed up for a half marathon today in the outskirts of Las Vegas. (Half Marathon is 13.1 miles… About 27,000 of my steps)

But since the weight loss had failed completely over the winter and I have actually gained almost ten pounds since the heady days of sending in that application, I wasn’t going to do it. And also since I had not run one step in over three weeks and even had a bunch of days I didn’t hit my 10,000 step goal, I wasn’t going to do it.

Sensible, right?

You all know where this is heading…

Last night at 10 pm, without help of booze or drugs, I decided I would go do the half marathon anyhow.

Got up at 5 am and at 7:15 am I actually ran across the starting line.

I can only claim old age and a life-long desire to be frighteningly more stupid than any one human should be allowed to be.

And what was worse, unlike the 13 miles on the last half marathon I did in Vegas in November, this one was all in the foothills. Exactly 12 feet of the course was actually flat. The course crossed the freeway at the half mile mark and then just over 4 miles later finally got to one of the top points of the race course. All uphill and into the wind and if we had gone any higher we would have been climbing red rocks. (I walked the entire hill with a guy 52 and a woman 55. Both were stunned when I told them I was 68. At the top of the hill they soon left me in the dust.)

Upshot is that I crossed the finish line, thirty-six minutes faster than I had done the one in November when I was injured.

I got a medal at the end for finishing. I expected the medal to read “World’s Stupidest Human.”  I would have earned that one.

But I did finish. Now to work on getting in shape and actually losing the weight.

Sort of backwards, I must admit.


  • Dorothy Grant

    And yet, for all that it may have been impulsively conceived and ill-planned, one step in front of the other and you got it done! There you go, proving the power of a streak, and of just keeping at it – in writing, in blogging, and in marathons.


  • Maree

    I wouldn’t consider it stupid. If you pushed yourself to the point of injury, yeah that would be stupid. But if you’re just sore today, then I’d say it’s more stubborn than stupid.

    And stubborn is good right? It’s what makes you take on challenges you’re bound to fail at, but in the effort you achieve more that you ever would have without failing. You’re always encouraging us to fail like that.

    For me personally if I only ran races I was well prepared for, I’d never run a race at all.

    Btw, I’m really hoping there will still be a spot for me in The Great Challenge by the time I get the money together. So I can continue failing up.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Maree,

      And yup, no worries on the challenge at the moment. The first prompt is up and first video on the novel challenge, but you can start at any time. No worries at the moment that it will fill, although you never really know of these things. But still room right now.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Congratulations! Sometimes just finishing is a huge deal. Did you feel any of that elevated altitude as you were climbing? That must’ve sucked…wind 😉 As for routines, from all the items on my schedule, exercise is the first thing to go on my end. Too hot, too cold, too rainy, too busy. I’m happy to do it once I’m doing it, but… I get stuck doing other things, sigh. I feel your pain. (Yes even your 1/2 pain. I had been severely under-trained for a triathlon once.) We persevere.

  • Dave Hendrickson

    When people want to belittle our efforts, they say we’re stubborn and stupid.

    When instead their choice is to praise those same efforts, they say we show great tenacity and perseverance.

    You, my friend, showed great tenacity and perseverance!