|The old me motivates the new me!|
Get the full picture by revisiting Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Remember to just have fun out there!
Mary & I weren’t running a race every weekend but we were signing up for one at least once a month. We did the Tilden and Presidio in April and now it was May. Every May an enormous sea of humanity gathers in downtown San Francisco to run one of the oldest races in the United States, The Bay to Breakers 12k. If you haven’t heard of this race it is the Mardi Gras of road running. 90% of the entrants are not there to set a record best but rather party their ass off. Prize money is offered to the winners of the race so really good runners from all around come to claim it but in all honesty very few people (except me) pay any attention to that part of the race. They also offer some sort of prize at a costume contest so more than half of the 50,000 “runners” show up in what could loosely be called a costume. Quite a few people show up wearing only their race bib. Don’t get too excited. It’s mostly men past their prime and way out of shape and that’s an image that you don’t want stuck in your head. A few attractive women here and there could be spotted wearing some form of lingerie but most costumes were just fun and creative. That’s the category Mary and I fell into, sort of. 2011 was the 100 year anniversary of the Bay to Breakers. It was going to be monumental.
|Bay to Breakers 2011|
We attended the runner’s expo the day before and that was a new experience for sure. It made race day excitement and fun become race weekend excitement and fun. We were downing electrolyte drinks all day and carbo loading at dinner that night. We were developing a race morning routine and we were totally pumped to be toeing the line at the 100th year anniversary of the wildest race on the planet. When the tortillas started to fly through the air and several thousand flour discs rained down in the streets we knew the race was starting.
When I hit that starting gate I was gone. Chase, Bern and Mary, without her giant afro wig that she lost in the parking garage, whooped and hollered and blended in with the crowd of cheerful joggers. They were enjoying themselves and so was I. I rocketed up the infamous Hayes Street Hill and felt awesome at the top turning around and seeing literally an ocean of people stretching out behind me for as far as I could see. The sidewalks were even jammed with spectators in costumes drinking and cheering us on. The houses that lined the streets were one house party after another. People hung out of windows while musicians and bands on the sidewalks competed with Djs and stereos in houses. It was electric but I wasn’t stopping to smell the roses. I paid little to no attention to that which was going on around me. I crested that hill and kept on hauling ass. I was on pace to complete what to me was a massive distance at my goal 10 minute pace. We had only run 8 miles one time previously. It was the weekend prior to this and before that 6 miles was the furthest we had gone. We were just getting comfortable with completing 6 miles let alone pushing for a 10 minute pace and here I was doing just that. Hopefully I could keep it up for the entire 12k. I gave that race everything I had even down to a gut wrenching sprint that lasted almost a half mile at the finish line. I crossed the line in 1:13:00, which is 9:44 per mile. I was a no holds barred, bad ass, ass kicker who was there to kick some ass and I did. I was elated. I loved that post race feeling of trying your guts out and making it happen. I was addicted to it like an alcoholic on a bender and I drank in that runners high while I scanned the horizon for my wife and friends amongst the 1000’s.
Their happiness showed me that you don’t have to race every race to have a good time. In 2012 I could probably crush my time and beam with pride for measurably improving but that’s just one side of having a great run and I do that all the time. For Bay 2 Breakers I want to be a part of the party and see what all the others are raving about. I can’t wait to not “race” this race in 2012. Running for fun can be as satisfying as a new PR. Always pushing for longer runs or faster times can lead to burn out.
Part 4 COMING SOON!!!