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The following quote is from the NYTimes.

So I signed up for every and any race that anyone suggested to me. My nagging injury — and slow pace — limited my weekday training. But I knew that if I plunked down $50 for a race, there was no way I wouldn’t be at the starting line.

Could someone explain to me what the author means when she writes, "But I knew that if I plunked down $50 for a race, there was no way I wouldn’t be at the starting line."

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plunk/plonk down - To throw or place heavily –  StackUnderblow Aug 24 '11 at 2:55
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I'm intrigued by this question's title. Can it really be that OP doesn't understand that part of the sentence? I'd have thought more people would be foxed by the word "plunked", as specifically highlighted by @StackUnderblow. –  FumbleFingers Aug 24 '11 at 3:38
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@FumbleFingers: Unfortunately, I am terrible at making sense of a string of words. I looked up the word plunked before I posted. RGW1976 definitely cleared up the meaning of the sentence for me. –  Jon Aug 24 '11 at 3:45
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oic. Yeah, it is quite a long sentence with several slightly odd parts, so I can understand how it all piles up and you're not sure exactly which part would unlock the whole meaning for you. "Plunked" is especially odd here, because it always means "place down heavily", even though in some constructions you don't explicitly say "down". But she could just as well have said "put up $50", and in my opinion that would actually be more likely in this context. English can be tricky! :) –  FumbleFingers Aug 24 '11 at 3:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

She is saying that if she spent $50 to be in a race, not even her injury would keep her from participating in it.

There was no way that she was going to miss the race—she would be at the starting line when the race started.

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But I knew that if I plunked down $50 for a race, there was no way I wouldn’t be at the starting line.

The point the author is really trying to make is this: Compelling herself to register for races on a regular basis kept her motivated to train and compete. This is significant because she had a nagging injury and ordinarily might take time off or just quit running altogether. The thought of letting hard-earned money go to waste was potent enough to keep her going through injury while staying in racing form.

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