I am many things in this world; “gambler” ain’t high on the list. When work whisks me to Sin City, I daily risk my life running on the Strip but rarely risk cash in the casinos. Still, even non-gambling me got revved up the other day when my coach told me that athletically speaking I have a wad of “house money” waiting to be wagered.
I’ve hung out in Vegas enough to know that when a gambler is said to be “playing with house money”, it means she has won a time or two and can now belly up to the blackjack table with her winnings. Like living off interest without ever touching principal, losing house money doesn’t qualify as soul-crushing (unless, of course, you headed to Vegas with a single borrowed Jackson and multiple creditors.)
On Tuesday Tim stopped me mid-set to give me his “house money” pep talk as it applies to my should-I-run-the-Chicago-Marathon-dilemma. [For the record, the set was 4x(4×25 with ankle band/150 swim); in other words, I was giddy to get some coach-OK’d wall time, though I did feel goofy treading water with that dreaded torture device tangled in my toes.]
Here was the gist (if not the actual words) of The Talk:
So, CJ, a nice little stash has accrued and compounded as you’ve for whatever reason followed the sadomasochistic training plan I’ve inflicted upon you. You’ve sweated and sworn your way through fast 50s, time trials and even my latest attempt to kill you, 2×2 miles at tempo chased down with a mile at race pace. You can save that cash—but for what? This winter’s snow shoveling? Or you could go have some fun, see what happens. Bottom line: The foot is healing and you’ve only two more tris to go before this season closes. What say you?
“I really want to run Chicago. Plantar fascia notwithstanding, I still really want to run all five World Majors.”
So there you go. That’s my Final Answer to The Chicago Question. Next month I’m gonna take my house money on Flight 451, Boston to O’Hare. I’ll toss it into the wind, see what happens. New York, you’re on notice for 2012 and then, Good Lord willing, I’ll hit London and Berlin before my 45th birthday rolls around. 🙂
Now, I don’t want ya’ll to think I asked your opinion for nothing. On the contrary, I collected each and every response (they came in via blog, email, Facebook and even voice mail) and, naturally, popped them into a spreadsheet. In the words of Richard Dawson, SURVEY SAYS:
58%: Tough call/Dunno
21%: Yes (actually, 14% was “hell, yes!” and 7% was a more moderate “yes”)
21%: No (the split was eerily the same: 14% “hell, no”, 7% a “why would you?” type of no)
Not really decisive, huh?
So this will be an interesting experiment. Unlike Boston, I won’t bother to invest in and rotate three pairs of Sauconys as I won’t get in anything resembling “traditional” marathon training; my tri-heavy season with races most weekends has already prevented the weekly LSD build up (again, that’s Long Slow Distance—not Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). But my coach assures me that that’s part of the house money concept: all that tri training counts and I need not follow the same plan that got me to Boylston Street. Will I be able to BQ? I’ll still have it as my goal (I need to run 8:35s to reach my 3:45 BQ time) but I won’t freak out if my house money fails to cover that tab in full.
I guess I’m just doin’ my part to keep the world an interesting (note I did not say “sane”) place to live. Now ya’ll go do your part, too, ya hear? 🙂