eat, move, think, feel


May 4, 2011

To Bay to Breakers Or Not To Bay to Breakers? That is the ?

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.


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)


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.

The Binge That Wasn’t

Kleenex by Nele en Jan
Kleenex, a photo by Nele en Jan on Flickr.

I thought for sure I was headed for some sort of binge today. I could feel a intense vibrating inside my body, which in years past was almost a precursor to a mindless snarfing down of any edible thing in my path. Today was the funeral of a friend and colleague of mine, who died last week. But I’ve been numb for a week, numb and busy and somehow not really able to comprehend that her death (unexpected and tragic) was true.

This morning as I prepared to go to the service, I knew that I was going to have to face what I had tried to avoid all week. And as I said, I could feel this vibration inside me, this out of control shaking that in the past could only be calmed with food. This feeling that I could fly apart into a thousand pieces if I didn’t somehow anesthetize myself.

I was nervous. But also somewhat resigned. It was going to happen. A voice inside me didn’t care. It was ready. I went into the service feeling defeated, but also a sense of “Whatever it takes to get through this.”

Soon after I got there one of my dearest friends came and sat next to me. I could feel myself starting to fall apart. Seeing all the people who loved and cared for this person. Someone came up to me and said, “You have to keep it together for all the rest of us.” I think I literally squeaked, “ME?” and then shook my head like, oh no, I’m not taking that job. Because I have been keeping it together all week – in meetings, on the phone, in the office, at my work. And I knew today that it was all going to come down.

As I listened to my friend’s family members- her brother and sister and dear friends, and our mutual boss and friend – speak about her, I could feel myself slowly “leaking.” The tears were dripping down. And then finally one of my camp counselors got up to speak and I just freaking LOST IT. I sobbed totally out of control.

It was a beautiful, wrenching, excruciating and incredible service. And when it was over and I got up to go to the catered luncheon, I knew that I was not going to binge out. That vibrating feeling? Had been totally calmed after I had my good cry.

It was one of those moments.

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