Sunday, February 27, 2011


Today, I looked up the word 'stupid' in the dictionary.

Okay . . . I KNOW I'm not 'the sharpest knife in the drawer!'  But what the heck?? 

After my initial reaction of total denial and now that I've had some time to think about it some, the answer is becoming just a little more clear.  I still don't know how the dictionary people figured it out.  But I believe they are probably right.  But how did they figure it out?  How could they possibly know?

I'm guessing that they used the ample public domain information out there about me to just make an educated guess!  Here are some facts I bet they considered . . .
  • I'm a runner - Running without cause, in and of itself, suggests mental issues and lack of clear, focused thinking . . . isn't that a symptom of stupidity?  Most runners try to 'sell' their stupidity as them just being 'crazy.'  And that may be true to an extent.  But there is definitely 'stupidity' in the mix!  Let's just be honest folks . . . runners are stupid.
  • I've run marathons -  Just running one marathon probably doesn't make someone appear much more stupid then just being a runner.  I mean, there is something to be said for trying something new and different.  But running a second marathon is highly suspect.  Any more  . . . and that is just plain stupid.  If you had any sense at all you would realize a marathon hurts.  Don't do it again!  So continuing to run them clearly starts to cluster one into the 'stupid' group.  And I've definitely run more than two marathons!
  • I've run further than a marathon - Okay folks.  Why would anyone run even one step past 26.2 miles?  If a marathon is stupid, any further is . . . just . . .  well . . . really STUPID!
  • I've tried and failed to run 100 miles - Come on . . . who wants to run 100 miles?  "Who was chasing you dude, and what were they driving!!"  Reasonable people get tired just driving 100 miles.  There is a perfectly good reason why I failed.  It was too far.  Simple.
  • So, after failing miserably at my first attempt to run 100 miles, I've decided to try it again . . . AND I actually PAID $150 for the opportunity to run the Umstead 100 starting April 2nd! Why would anyone PAY  MONEY to be publicly humiliated?  You got it . . . its just plain STUPID!  And it's no real surprise that the race day is the closest Saturday to April 1st . . . that's right . . . April Fool's Day!
  • About four weeks ago I tried to run the Uwharrie 40 mile trail race.  You guessed it!  I couldn't finish a 40 miler.  So what makes me think for even a minute I just might be able to finish a 100?  Stupid.
  • And what is the 'prize' if you successfully complete the full 100 miles? - A frickin' belt buckle.  No . . . the belt isn't even included!  And would I ever actually wear the buckle?  What do you think?  It would just look stupid!  (So . . . maybe I would actually wear it?  Hummmm?)
  • And can you imagine how much pain is associated with this effort?  Why would anyone CHOOSE to do this? To make a conscious decision to pay hard earned money for pain like this . . . stupid! 
  • Some of the better runners (I said 'better.'  Not 'smarter' . . . just 'better!') will run 100 miles in less then 24 hours!  Then, their pain stops.  But for me, if (and that is a humongous 'IF') I am physically able to tolerate both the pain and the sleep deprivation for the full 30 hours before the race cutoff . . .  I just MIGHT be able to get as far as 75 miles!  That is a stretch goal.  There is no way possible that I could cover the full distance in 30 hours, short of some sort of miraculous, heavenly intervention!  Or maybe it time stopped and I could keep going for a few hours!  So, let's face it, its totally stupid to start when you KNOW you can't finish.  It's like skydiving without a parachute.  You know full well what the outcome will be, so why do it? Just stupid!
  • To continue the stupidity, I'm even going so far as to make a detailed plan of how I'm going to try to accomplish this 100 mile run (a plan doomed to failure before the ink is dry!).  I went to the site to start my planning.  Thought I would see what my pace would need to be.  Here is what said . . .

Even thinks you shouldn't run more then 10 hours!

Now . . . some of you 'Pollyannas' out there will try to say some stupid, encouraging and supportive things (I know they will be stupid because the only people that would want to encourage me in something like this just HAVE to be a runners . . . and we know 'Runners are Stupid!'  (We've already determined that.)  You'll say things like:
  • "You can do it!" or "You've got this!" -  (These are normal 'calls of support' used by good runners on out-and-back sections when passing someone well behind them that they are pretty sure is in serious trouble and likely won't be able to finish.)
  • "Any 'DNF' (Did Not Finish) is better then a 'DNS' (Did Not Start)."  or, 
  • "At least you gave it your best effort! . . . you tried!" or,
  • "You just had a bad day . . . " or,
  • "Just go out slow and pace yourself . . . all you have to average is 3.3 miles each hour . . . that's only an 18 minute per mile pace.  That's easy!"  or,
  • "The secret is to just keep relentlessly moving forward!" or,
  • Other so called 'positive' comments.

    But likely no one will be totally honest and say things that I really need to hear like:
    • "What the heck were you thinking?"
    • "Did you even think you stood a chance?"
    • "You're so frickin' slow you're lucky to have finished 3 laps in the 30 hour time limit!"
    • "You need to find something you can actually DO!"
    • "Just walk away from the $150 . . . it's a sunk cost anyway."
    • "Save 'face' and just say you're injured."
    • "Claim some mysterious illness and say your doctor won't allow you to even start!"
    Well readers . . . (or reader) . . . if you are stupid enough to actually return to this blog, you are likely to be reading more and more about the Umstead 100 over the next several weeks.   It's consuming almost all of my idle thoughts and I'm actually trying to convince myself I have a small chance to actually finish within the 30 hour time limit!



      1. stupid is as stupid does...just go get er done Frank!!

      2. YEAHHH for stupid!! Anthony and I will be at Aid Station 2—we won't let you stay there, stupid!

      3. I'll be thinking of you as I treck around Umstead on Saturday running just the mere marathon. I'm sure you will have much more fun in a month. Ultra runners are the bestest people! Good luck.

      4. Frank, when you get there you will be inspired by all the people that come and run Umstead. Like I said - we will take excellent care of you. And just keep saying to yourself, if Ben Dillon can do it, I can do it..

      5. Would the usual statements of encouragement be more meaningful if we edited them as such?

        "You got this, stupid!"
        "You can do it, stupid!"
        "At least you tried, stupid!"


      6. And look at all the stupid people you've made runners out of (like me)!

        Maybe you're actually a genius with stupid tendencies. :o)

      7. From one stupid runner/person to another, you can do this Frank. I imagine other people thought the Wright brothers stupid, but look what they did. Running a mountain 100 might be something that you can't do within normal race limits, but you can run 100 miles at Umstead. The race officials and volunteers at Umstead look at things differently. They are there to help you and get you through this thing. You have the desire or you would not have registered and paid that hard earned money, so keep telling yourself that you are going to get through this thing. Not just 50 miles, but the whole 100.

      8. @Rick - words from a RUNNER who ran a tough, mountain 100 miler one weekend. Then, the following weekend ran a 50k trail race and had a PR!!!

        Do you actually think for a minute I would believe a single word out of your lips??? I DON'T THINK SO! :-)

      9. @Rick - I see you had race #57 in the Mount Mitchell Challenge . . . and survived! Awesome! But just imagine how well you would have done with a number like '11' or maybe '44'!!

      10. Yes, you should believe me. I might be out there just a little bit, but I know you can get through Umstead. I know you will give it all you have. As far as race numbers, you could certainly be correct, but my big issue with numbers is I like to have a number that I can remember easily. When I come into an aid station, I like to be able to call out my number. Hopefully I remember it as my mind begins to get foggy later in a run. I hate 3 digit numbers as it takes too much of my limited brain power to remember it. Keep working on those long runs and walks and you will get through Umstead. By the way, #11 and # 44 are certainly easier to remember than #57.

      11. This post was a crack up, Frank!!! .."All you have to do is average 3.3. miles and hour. That's an 18 minute mile pace." Wow, does that one hit home:))

        Maybe you and I should have a virtual "race" to finish our first 100:))

      12. Frank: Wrong frame of mind. Your goal is to see how many cheeseburger halves you can eat, how many times you can get passed by Serge (or Jonathan Savage, or whoever), how many times you can pee on a loop - ANYTHING but the mileage. That way lies doom.......take it from me, I'm not quite as old, stupid, and slow as you but I ain't no slouch either.... :)


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      Littleton, North Carolina
      World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.