“The runner’s greatest asset, apart from essential fitness of body, is a cool and calculating brain allied to confidence and courage.” — Franz Stampfl, running coach and author
So I ran Bay 2 Breakers this morning for the first time ever. [At this point, I think I can almost officially cross off every local SF running event, saying that I’ve competed in it at least once.] All bragging aside, today’s race was freakin’ discouraging. A quick recap of today’s events:
- First up, I attended the M. Ward show in Oakland last night at the illustrious Fox Theatre. I drove and chauffered 3 other people, putting me home around midnight, putting me in bed by 12:30am.
- Waking up a bit bleary-eyed at 6AM, I contemplated skipping the race altogether, several times over [at least 3x when hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock and at least 2x when gearing up to leave the house]
- Was physically out of the house by 7am, waiting patiently for the N Judah along with several other eager B2B participants. Upon attempting to board a surrogate N [aka a regular MUNI bus disguised as a B2B shuttle bus], I was straight up denied entrance when I showed my MUNI pass. The driver told me that my fare was $7. I said, “this is BUNK!” and got off the bus.
- Walking home to get some cash money, I contemplated skipping out on the race yet again. But then I told myself, You better shut your mouth, Katie and run that race that you signed up for and committed yourself to, goddamnit. [My inner voice can be a bully at times.]
- Grabbing extra dough, I left the house again only to board the back of the bus without paying fare [whoopsies!], making my whole jaunt home to grab cash in the first place an activity done in vain. Whatever.
- Riding the bus was a bit of a nightmare. People all over the place, stopping at every street corner, loading, dropping off, loading again. Oh, and did I mention that we were now officially running late? No? Awesome.
- Unassuming, all of us passengers on the good ‘ole bus got dropped off at the CalTrain Depot — which, was NOT the intersection we needed to be at in order to be at the start line on time. No no… the start line was officially 1.2miles away. And so I ran to the start line…..
- Picture tons and tons of drunkish and half naked people everywhere. Folks in costumes, folks not in costume [ahem, yours truly included]. Oh, and today marks the blessed day when I actually got to see a particular sexual toy/object in the flesh [literally!]. No, Roland was not present to model said sexual toy/object. Yes, I am now frightened, though no longer naive.
- Okay, so we’re running, we finally cross the start line, which registers the chip that’s laced into my left trainer. I’m battling myself, incessantly trying to get out of the wolf pack and into the wide open space where I can break away and hit my stride. This, of course, never happens. For the duration of the race, I am continually bobbing and weaving and it blows. Novice runners everywhere [one of the things I hate dealing with most in this world on race day], and of course I’m now completely parched.
- We hit Hayes Hill and I’m thinking that it’s not so bad, though my pace has slowed down significantly. Once we hit the crest of the hill, it’s all gravy from there. This is also where I pick up a 1.5 liter Crystal Geyser water bottle and proceed to carry this mo fo with me for the duration of the race, sipping on it every so often when I feel the need to quench my thirst.
- Did I mention that I’m not wearing any sunscreen? And that I opted out of wearing my hat? Oh, and that I’m sporting a wife beater with my shoulders and chest exposed? Yep. Not very smart for an Irish girl who burns easily when left unprotected in the sun.
- So we’re now in the park and I’ve already seen about 10 naked men, 3 Octo Moms, 12 Green Men, a gaggle of wizards on the sidelines, several women in bikinis and tutus and loads of half naked adorable coeds. At this point I’m so ready for this damn race to be over with because I quickly did the calculations in my head and concluded that I’ve already run the entire length of the course.
- Mile 5 is the first mile marker I recall seeing and now that we’re in the thick of the park, I’m feeling confident and have finally gotten my stride. Oh, I almost forgot that when taking a goo packet about a mile back, I didn’t tear it open at the optimal tearing place, which required that I exert all this extra effort to suck the sh*z out of my packet. When it finally went down, though, it tasted mighty fine.
- I can feel the wind of Ocean Beach on me as we pass mile 6 and am getting amped that we’re getting closer and closer to the finish line. Also, my iPod playlist is hitting every sweet spot, serving as great motivation to keep me fueled throughout the run. Yessssss.
- Now we’ve passed mile 7 and I’m pissed. The race organizers confused the hell out of the participants with a psuedo finish line balloon archway, making everyone slow down and mentally prepare to think that we’ve finished. Oh, no, effers.. we still have about a 1/2 mile to go. Awesome. Thanks.
- I’ve just crossed the finish line in what I think is around 1:17. =\ I keep walking and walking and walking, waiting to see some snacks. I’m really craving a banana at this point and would kill for a slice of a Clif Bar or something satiating. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They gave us more water, but remember, I’m still carrying that 1.5 liter water bottle under my arm, so no water for Katie, thankyouverymuch.
- And now we’re walking home…. the 2.45miles from the finish line in the blazing heat + sun.
That’s it, boys and girls. Bay 2 Breakers 2009, Katie Carroll Edition. Not sure if I’ll run this bad boy again, but if I do, I’ll be sure to get to the start at an earlier time so that I may get ahead of the wolf pack which inevitably slowed me down.
And now it’s nap time…..