B2B, A Procrastinator’s Nightmare

Downtown San Francisco, before the race…and so it begins!

Okay, so I’m back from B2B, and have allowed myself just enough slacking/indulgence/down time/Twilight obsession to feel finally rested after the trip (including a luxurious sleep until 8:45AM today…ahhhh). I needed both a mental and physical break from the run, because the stress of preparing (when I knew full well I wasn’t really going to be prepared) was so exhausting that I think I was more tired after the race from the mental release of the task than from the 7.5-mile run itself. This was my second Bay to Breakers, and for the second year in a row I let the perceived enormity of the run build and build and build and build…to the point where I couldn’t bear the thought of training for it. Even one measly mile felt like it was going to be too difficult (what a wuss), because what good was one mile going to do me when I had to run seven? This kind of logical fallacy is exactly why I continue to procrastinate on even the smallest of tasks: because the perfectionist in me feels like it’s not enough to do something halfway. As a result, I usually get so stressed about having to do something perfectly that I slack and put off training/wrapping/reporting/mailing/buying/calling/whatever it is for so long that I end up doing the task halfway anyway. It’s a vicious cycle.
Unpreparedness aside (for the record, I did run before the race – just not as much as I should have), it was a still a GREAT day. My older bro and I got up early on Sunday morning and caught the ferry from Tiburon to the Embarcadero, where the madness and mayhem of the race was already in full swing (a purple-clad girl dressed as a bunch of grapes walked by us on the ferry, and my bro turned to me and said, “Bet the rest of the Fruit of the Loom crowd is wandering around here somewhere!”) with costumes, stretching “serious” racers, raging drunkenness (a few people were being escorted out of the chutes before the race even began), nakedness and an amazing crowd filling the streets of downtown San Francisco literally as far as the eye could see. There’s no real way to determine when the race actually begins, because the crowd is so thick…even as you cross the “start” line, it’s all you can do to push your way through the crowd and actually begin running. Will led the way in a crazy game of duck-and-dodge, zig-zag racing for the first couple of miles – we sprinted around costumes (giving the naked racers a wide berth), strollers, street signs and garbage cans, weaving in and out of the crowd in order to get ahead where the running would be clearer.

“Salmon” swimming upstream – a B2B tradition.

Then, we hit Hayes St. hill.

The masses at Hayes St. hill.

I harbor a measure of resentment against Hayes, which kicked my ass last year. However, my procrastination (read above) left me unprepared to retaliate this year, and it kicked my ass once again. I would make a terrible superhero, if after my nemesis basically destroyed me once I went back for more without even the measliest of weapons to defend myself. In any case, while Will was dancing circles around me I was laboring up the hill, doing everything in my power to keep my legs running but so slowly that I was basically walking at one point. Finally I succumbed and trudged to the top. This was the point at which I realized that: a) I need to do more hill runs, and b) I can’t let my 12-years-my-senior brother shame me this way in the future. In any case, Will ditched me at the top (same deal as last year) while I took a short rest…and then made myself keep going. And, as always happens with me, riiiiiiight at about 3.5 – 4 miles in, I really hit my stride, and jogged along easily for the rest of the race until I hit the 7-mile mark, where I picked up the pace and fully sprinted down the chute to the finish line.

After a quick beer at Footstock (easily the best part of the race!) we headed back to meet the fam for some pool time in Tiburon, splashing around with the kiddos and a couple delicious margaritas. Sundays really just don’t get no better’n that.

All in all, a great weekend, because it’s not about the race as much as the time with family. I had really quality time with all four nieces and nephews, as well as my sister (whom I could spend 2 hours on the phone with and it still wouldn’t be enough), my brother- and sister-in-law, and of course my brother.

And now that the race is over, I actually feel more inclined to go to the gym, because there’s no immediate pressure to work toward a goal. Funny how that works. But, I am going to keep working on a consistent regimen when it comes to the running, because I’ll be back next year…in better shape than ever.

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