Opportunist: how will you use your minutes?


Opportunist: a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans

I have to admit, in general I don’t consider myself to be an opportunist, except, perhaps, when it comes to training plans. I like to experiment, which means while certain elements of my half marathon training remain the same, I’d be bored if I did the same plan every single time.

I’m always looking for that holy grail — the plan that will help me capture that elusive running unicorn — you know, the 20 minute PR? I keep doing the work, but I often feel as though I am spinning my wheels and not advancing (I’m picturing the ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off here).

I don’t need to get “fast”, whatever that might mean. While an Age Group award would be nice, I’m not gonna lie, I can live without that, too. But I’d like to move up from the Back of the Pack to the middle.

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed.
–Paul Coelho

By the time you read this, I will (hopefully) have completed state #11 (and my thirteenth half marathon). I can’t control the weather, I can’t control how well stocked the aid stations will be, I can’t control how much the race director lied (just how big is that hill in the middle, anyway?).

About the only thing I can be opportunistic about with this half is trying to draft off another runner if it’s windy. Otherwise, it all comes down to my training (which went well, despite the circumstances) and

I did complete my half marathon. The hills were far worse than I anticipated (1000+ ft elevation gain, anyone?). While there was a slight breeze, no need to draft (not to mention finishing BOTP style means no one near enough to draft off of towards the end!).

One thing I know for sure
I’m not much of an opportunist. I like to plan, and I like to be guided by a plan. Signing up for the Best Damn Race in NOLA was rather opportunisitc, though: I was taking advantage of the lower price dangled as a carrot, but it was done rather on a whim, than with a plan.

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

Are you a planner, or more of an opportunist?

Ever found yourself being an opportunist during a race?

Do you think being an opportunist can be a good thing?

21 thoughts on “Opportunist: how will you use your minutes?

  1. I think I am a bit of both. Definitely a planner, but sometimes you just have to take things as they come! Like the fact that after having dinner with my running friends last night, I may or may not have signed up for a 10K NEXT weekend, LOL! I figure I can walk part of it, but the opportunity to MOVE was there so I took it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drafting on another runner – that’s a good one! I started out doing just that with Joseph the flag guy that I talked about in my Ragnar DC recap (part 4). After about a half mile I decided that was in poor form and passed him so he could draft off me for a while. He was carrying a huge American flag after all…

    Thanks for linking up, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can only think of one time I was really an opportunist and that was my PR half day. My training had not gone that well, but I had done enough…so when it was perfect weather race morning I decided to push myself and run a pace I had been able to sustain the entire time I trained. Luckily, it worked out, but if it had not I still would have been happier trying to capitalize off perfect race weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Probably more of an opportunist. I start at the front of the pack, hoping that t he fast runners will drag me along.

    I register for races and then decide if I can go and even have time to train for them.

    I rarely plan my runs or paces. I just hope to get faster. So far so good.

    I have no idea how to get that 20 min PR. It may or may not just happen.

    You do the work so what else can you do? There’s nothing wrong with BOTP. You seem to enjoy your races. There are runners slower than you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pretty close BOTP this time – less than 400 runners. I do enjoy my races but I’m sure I’d enjoy the s bit more from the middle. 😊

      I bet running with Alyssa & Barbara & your training group is helping you!


  5. I think I’m both a planner and opportunist. As much as I like to have a plan, I also like being spontaneous and just going with the moment (of course, that depends on the circumstances). You should be proud of yourself for what YOU accomplish….even if you’re towards the back of the pack, you are working just as hard as the faster folks…and you’re going at it longer. Hello? Endurance!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, I’m not sure about the endurance thing. Looking at those pace calculators, I’m pretty much right on the money through a 10k but way off in a half.

      I’ll never be fast, but one reason I’d like to be faster so I could actually run with people!


  6. I think I am both…bc I have def signed up for races last min on a whim and ran them without the best results…i totally suffer from FOMO! But lately I am listening to my body, taking more rest days, and trying not to overplan…who am I?? I am so glad your race went ok!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Running with others is hard to schedule when you work. Alyssa and Barbara are so flexible as to time and place. That helps. And we just run. No intervals or pace goals.

    Liked by 1 person

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