Thursday, April 19, 2012

To be or not to be- Clydesdale edition.

Ok so I know I've mentioned approximately 2000 times lately that I'm training for my 2nd half marathon on May 20. I'm following Hal Higdon's program and next week my scheduled long run is 10 miles. I've been trying to be consistent with the days that I do my long runs so that can be evenly spaced out- but sometimes things happens and things don't go the way I plan (gasp). So as I was browsing my local race site a few weeks ago I noticed a race that I haven't done before (I try and do most, if not all, of the local races around there. There's usually 1- maybe 2- a month). Anyway, this one is going on his 27th consecutive year and I must not have seen it advertised last year. Oh well. I noticed that they offered three different runs- 2 mile, 5 mile and 10 mile, as well as a 2 mile and 5 mile walk. I got really excited when I saw that there was a 10 mile option because I think its going to be really good to practice for my half which is only 3 weeks later. I want to see if I can keep my anticipated pace during an actual race (I always run faster and get tired much quicker than when training on my own). I immediately clicked the "Sign me up!" button at the bottom of page which took me to the registration form.'s where I have an issue. After filling everything out, at the very bottom where you select your age can also select to be in the Clydesdale division. In case you are like me and have never heard of such a thing, let me draw you a picture. Basically a Clydesdale participant is a runner who is a "heavyweight"- Women 160+ pounds and Men 200+ pounds. And apparently this isn't a new thing because a simple google search brought up quite a few results on the same topic. There are even special awards being given to the heavyweight runners. Here's the description, taken right from the site:

SPECIAL AWARDS: Participant goody bags for Kids Events. 2-Mile, 5-Mile, and 10-Mile Run events, the optional Clydesdale for females 160+ lbs. and males 200+ lbs. finishing first in this special division - Clydesdale award winner may win age division too!

And here's the option to enter as a Clydesdale on the registration form. I know its small- but they also require that if you sign up, you enter your weight.

10-Mile RUN, 6:45 AM
15-19 (5) 30-39 (5) 50-59 (5) 20-29 (5) 40-49 (5) 60-OV (5) Clydesdale (1) - Must enter weight: _________
Females 160+ lbs;Mmales 200+lbs MUST mark age division too!

Ok, now where do I begin?

First of all...I have lost nearly 80 pounds in the past 18 months. Its been a fairly slow progress for me but I am proud of where I am today and finally have self confidence and feel comfortable in my own skin. Even after losing all that weight- I still qualify to be in the Clydesdale group by just a few pounds. I have about 30 more pounds until I'm at my goal weight, but I am committed to my new healthy lifestyle and am not 100% concerned with the number on the scale as much as I am about my health and fitness. Sorry- tangent.

Alright- so heres the deal. Do I sign up for the Clydesdale category or sign up as a regular runner??? I'm on the fence. I've contacted the race director to ask specifics but haven't heard back from him yet. On one side- I can see how its nice to offer this option because it's kind of cool that they would honor/award runners who carry a few more pounds- because it really is harder to run carrying extra weight. Its nice to have the option not to just compete against ultra athletes without an ounce of bodyfat. On the other side- how rude!!! I mean- will I have a different bib, signaling that I'm one of "those" fatty runners?! Will I be called up on stage (obviously, if I won) and have my weight read aloud as they hand me my medal? What business is it of theirs how much I weigh? If I won in the Clydesdale category, I think I might feel like I got second best- like I'm not worthy of the award. Kind of like when you feel bad for the kid at the party who can't win any games, so you just give him a prize anyway. 

I'm torn- I really am. I need YOUR advice. The deadline to sign up (for the early registration fee) is tomorrow. Nothing like waiting til the last minute, right?! But I've seriously been thinking about this for almost 2 weeks and I can't decide what to do. I'm running the race no matter what- I just need thoughts and suggestions about what you would do. Please please please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! 

In case you want to see the entire registration form, you can do so my clicking on this link: 2012 Shinzen Run & Walk

Thanks Friends! 


  1. I was wondering where you lived. I was raised in Wasco and moved to Bakersfield my Junior year of H.S. anyhow I got this off another blog I read and thought of you...

    If you find that you have to talk yourself into something, it is usually a bad decision. Good decisions usually feel right without much second-guessing.

    Take two pieces of paper and write down your options on each. Put them in a hat, close your eyes, and pick one. If you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you know that is the wrong decision to make!

  2. Hey~ thanks for the comment :) I live in Madera, which is about 30 minutes north of Fresno. I'm in Fresno practically everyday though! We've been through Bakersfield a lot- mostly driving down south :)

    Good advice about the decision making. I shouldn't feel bad about it either way so I'm going to try the two pieces of paper!

  3. I would do the Clydsdale division!! In my mind, it's an added honor! You have achieved what all of the others achieved (finishing) but with added weight! The fact that you have already lost so much just makes it that much more awesome. I seriously don't see it as insulting. I think it's a great way to honor those who are busting their butts to achieve fitness!