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To Bay to Breakers Or Not To Bay to Breakers? That is the ? May 4, 2011

Filed under: running,struggle — Susan @ 11:11 am

I’ve dreamed of running in the wacky, huge, only-in-San Francisco Bay to Breakers race ever since I moved here in 1982. And then for many years that dream receded into “Yeah, just like I’ll win the lottery”! unachievable fantasyland. But in recent years it’s seemed do-able. So this year I was very very excited to register for the 100th (!!!) Bay to Breakers race.

I registered MONTHS ago.

Then my workplace scheduled its annual weekend spa retreat (seriously!!) on the SAME weekend. Yeah, one of the greatest perks of this job is the annual (paid) retreat to this very nice hot and cold springs spa. It’s NICE. Everyone goes and just has a great weekend. This was very disappointing, but the plan was that I would go up to the spa on Friday afternoon, then leave on Saturday evening so I could be home, get ready and race on Sunday morning.

This was my plan until just this week when I began realizing that B2B is no 5k. It’s a 12k – over 7 miles – and I have NOT TRAINED. And there is very little time for me to do so between now and then.

Ack.

So, these are my options as I see them:

1. I can stick to Plan A, go to the race, and do the best I can, which could end up being running, walking, or doing a combo of the two. (most likely scenario)

OR

2. I could just scrap it and stay with my family in Calistoga the whole weekend for some much needed soaking and R & R. Ahhhhhh.

This decision is compounded by the fact that even though there will be hundreds of thousands of people, I am virtually doing this race alone. I know two people who are doing it, but we haven’t like formed a caterpillar or made up wacky customs or even made plans to meet up. I asked a ton of people to do it with me, but nobody else signed up. :-( One of the funnest parts of B2B is doing it with a bunch of friends who all dress up (or run naked, heh) and that just won’t be my experience this year.

SO. What should I do? Part of me is/was so excited for this race, but I so freaking hate being unprepared.

What should I dooooooooo??????????????

————————————UPDATE —————————————————————

This process has been so interesting! Yes, the unofficial poll of comments here and on FB say that “spa!” is winning. So a few days ago, I decided I’d pass my race bib to my friend @Pubsgal. THEN I realized I had opted out of the mail-in race packet option, and I had to go to the race Expo to pick up my number.

Well. THAT changed everything. Because as in “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” and one thing leads to another, I know myself. I know that if I attend that expo, I am sure as heck want to do that race. The energy and buzz inside an expo is so exhilarating and it just gets me so pumped for a race. I love race expos! I think I went to the Las Vegas one like THREE TIMES before the half marathon.

I also realized, if I go to the spa Friday afternoon, I can really have 24 full hours of R & R. It’s like having my cake and eating it too!

So yesterday I thought I better go out and see if I can do the distance. I decided I’d try and do the 7 miles and see how it felt. After the first half mile of WALKING, my ankle was feeling truly jankety and unstable and I had funny little shooting pains. And I thought, “that’s it. NO RACE.” I felt sad but also that it was a clear answer.

Wait a minute. One of my “running” songs came on my iPod and I gingerly starting running a bit. The pain went away. For real.

My miles 2-5 were GREAT feeling. And then of course I was like, yeah! Bring it on! I’m doing Bay to Breakers!

I had to end my run at 6.1 miles because Juniorette was finishing up her own (rowing) race at that moment and I wanted to be there at HER finish line. So I stopped. But was feeling just fine.

So… as of right now…. it’s on, baby.

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17 Responses to “To Bay to Breakers Or Not To Bay to Breakers? That is the ?”

  1. Kyra Says:

    B2B will still be there next year. The spa trip sounds divine. ;)

  2. Sue Dickman Says:

    Honestly, I think you should skip it this year. It doesn’t sound like your heart is there, and it also sounds like you need the spa weekend more, especially as you’re stressed about not having trained. B2B isn’t going anywhere–doing it another year is no failure on your part. Sometimes the timing just doesn’t work, despite our best intentions.

  3. Ericka Says:

    I agree! Skip it this year. Soak, enjoy, and look forward to next year!

  4. Deb Roby Says:

    Do it! I did it alone a few years ago (walking the entire way).. and it was a high I carried with me for the next few months. Run when you can, walk when you can’t… (like up Hayes Hill).. and use this to propel a whole new level of training…

  5. berkeleygal Says:

    I vote for the spa. You can train for longer races and do some later in the yr. Next yr. you can be ready for B2B in body and spirit. Ahhhhh, Calistoga – and you know there are great hikes right there. Here’s an option: Climb up Mt. St. Helena with you family Sunday morning to get a different kind of great work-out.

  6. Phoebe Says:

    I agree that B2B will be there next year. With the economy and who knows what — the spa weekend may not be. Immerse yourself in the spa (literally and figuratively) and do your own 5-12K thing-ey the next weekend.

  7. merri Says:

    If it were me, I’d do the spa. But this is if it were you. Hmm. Well even if you havent trained, isnt one of the main things about b2b the SF-ness of it, with the costumes and all that? So you could just walk and be wacky. BUT since you say you don’t have a costume or a group of people, then that would be the one reason that maybe you should just do it next year, and plan better. Every year I see the people coming back from this thing, all in fun costumes and totally drunk, it seems like it’s more of an event than a race. Ive never been b/c its way too early in the morning for me, & I don’t really drink. But costumes are fun. And then there’s a spa this year..for free…so I think if I were you, I’d skip it and just do the spa as well. But don’t you love that SF has such random weird events like this? I do!

  8. june E. Says:

    Skip it this year and Spa like crazy. Then, start training for next year and sign up with friends. (I’m sure you can find your own wacky people in time!) Win Win.

  9. Mel_Edwards Says:

    You say this has been a dream for years…and it is a big anniversary. Yes, it will be there next year, and next year you could have trained more, but the big question is, will you be sitting at the spa wishing you were at the race? I can’t imagine the SF-vibe of the race making someone with your verve wish you were at a spa instead. If you stick to the plan, do a bit of both, will you feel like you short changed yourself? Only you can answer these questions. Go where your heart leads you, ’cause let me tell you, if I were doing the Warrior Dash (which I’m registered to do in August) alone, I’d still have a freakin’ great time — even if I come in dead last and walk it more than run it — and that event’s vibe can’t be duplicated or replaced with a great massage.

  10. Katie Says:

    That’s a tough one. I don’t have any words of wisdom, but if you decide on the race, please know I’ll be happy to go to the spa in your place. It’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make. Ya know.

  11. Bethlin Says:

    My vote is to do the race. I struggled, alone and untrained through our town’s iconic race and don’t regret a thing. That memory can keep you going through rough training or give you the good stories to convince people to do it with you next year. Or hell, you could meet a great crew of slow runners who are trying to find someone who will be the butt end of the catepillar next year.

    And really, I don’t usually regret the things that I’ve actually done, I regret the things I haven’t done.

  12. Adrienne Says:

    Which will you regret more? Life’s too short for “I wish I would have”.

  13. berkeleyscot Says:

    It was just the other day you were regretting that your weekend was gone and there was no more weekend left. You’d been at a Women Athlete event.
    You need a weekend with yourself.
    Since you haven’t trained, you’ll do yourself in.
    God knows I wrecked myself last weekend and that’s because I stayed up all night to watch the wedding and I didn’t get back to myself for days. I was jet lagged from my own arm-chair.
    You were in Paris and London. That would take me a month to get over.
    Relax. Enjoy the spa -
    If you run the BtoB next year, I’ll be there to watch you and applaud at the finish line.
    Margaret

  14. Miz Says:

    Im not the one to ask as these days Id vote for the R and R.
    other times in my life—that would not have been my vote :)

  15. Very interesting replies actually! The votes for the spa are winning I believe! Gosh… I wish I wogged more… On a totally selfish note, are there others we could do together? I think it would be fun- fun- fun! We could start together – we could tweet to eachother – we could listen to the same music – and you could beat me! cuz that’s the kind of friend I am ;)

  16. patricia Says:

    I say Be a Strawberry at Bay To Breakers and walk it! Something tells me this is going to eat at your conscience (esp now that you did a trial walk/run yesterday) if you go to the spa and didn’t set out to accomplish this twenty year-plus dream, and on the 100th anniversary. Go Susan Go!

  17. Pubsgal Says:

    (glances around) Who, me? ;-) That’s so sweet of you! But I’m glad you found a good balance between the R&R and the race! Go, Susan!!!


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