One of my favorite teachers at Oak Hill High School was Mr. Larry Coleman. I had him for two or three classes, I don't exactly remember but one of them was economics and it was in his class that I learned one the greatest rules to life that I apply in just about every major decision making process, without fail.
"With risk comes reward."
There ya have it... play it safe and you might get ahead, marginally... Go for broke and you may end up just that, flast-assed busted... safety and a comfortable profit is usually found somewhere in the middle.
I bring this up because as of today, in regards to my bid for a solid Leadman finish, I have decided to take a big risk. I now have confirmation from the Leadville Race directors that my entry for the 50 mile run has now been changed to the 50 mile MTB race.
I have run this race 2x in the past and have done okay. A few months ago I would have never considered racing it on a bike. With my upswing in confidence these past few weeks the MTB race became more and more appealing. But here is the deal... I could play it safe and we can all pretty much guarantee that I could do well enough in the run. And given my performances on the bike the past few weeks it is pretty safe to say that I can ride that 50 mile course in Leadville on a regular day. But can I race it?
Can I actually be in that race and not wreck or not get a nasty mechanical that puts me out of the series? These are the risks... and while overall not the most daunting challenges, it is still all new to me and a touch scary and exciting. Okay, a lot exciting.
The rewards? I am on the bike for about five to six hours instead of running for ten or so. My racing that weekend is done on Saturday then. I can be pretty much recovered and back to training come Monday or Tuesday no problem.
If all goes well...
Do I feel like I am pussing out by doing the ride and not the run? No. Do I feel like I am doing less than by not doing BOTH races that weekend? No. The old me might have but my view today is that when I finish Leadman and I am standing in the gym with that finisher's trophy, my standing whatever it may be will not be affected by which event in particular I do, only my performance in that event. So in short, no. And to be honest, by taking on the MTB which will probably be my second MTB race in my entire life, with all of the unknowns, my lack of experience and the series of risks... in a way is almost the more courageous of the moves. I am excited to say the least.
So... this is what I have to look forward to. I hope that I can be close to the front and not sitting around so much on top of the hill. I intend to race the Trek in this one.