Is this not the best race picture you’ve ever seen?
I’m still in Mexico, enjoying food, friends, laughter, and leisure, but the Bay to Breakers race photos just came out and I wanted to share them and a recap with you, since I never really gave you an update after the race over a week ago.
If you’ve been following along the whole time, you know, that photo above perfectly summarizes our experience from start to finish. Jim, smiling and happy: Everything is gonna be fine. Me, worried and nervous: Oh crap. What have we gotten ourselves into?!
Our faces say it all.
I ran track in high school. The summer before my senior year of college, I hiked Half Dome in Yosemite. But since then, I haven’t done anything remarkably athletic.
Having had two lung surgeries in the early 2000’s due to a congenital protein deficiency, I had resigned any enthusiasm for exercise and figured my strength could be in pastry eating instead. You know, when something hurts – you often avoid it and find something better to do. (Like how I decide to watch Catastrophe instead of flossing.)
Fitness was one of the things that fell to the wayside because I let it. I knew there would be a time when I might pick it up again, but I wasn’t interested for a good while. Having kids helped defer my interest, especially when it came to the time commitment. Workout or sleep? Workout or see my kid tonight? Workout or have time with my husband? Easy choices for me at the time. I mean…
When you have small children you get by the best you can with the knowledge from others and hope in your heart that easier days are ahead. It’s temporary, this shortest longest time in your life. And they were right. That drowning feeling slowly eases up as you get better at swimming with bricks on your shoulders. It doesn’t get easier, but you get better at it. And soon enough, I reached a point where I was able to make some space for exercise. For a while there, I just wasn’t ready.
I previously wrote about how Jim and I signed up for Bay to Breakers on a bit of a whim, although it had always been something I wanted to do. The race gave me a deadline and a winning argument to any excuse I had to not go for a run. Sadly, I know I wouldn’t have done it for myself – without the race day deadline to keep me on task.
So, we made it. We ran it. My lungs, as it turned out were fine. My knees, however, started to yell at me around mile 6 and I had to walk for a bit. Jesus gave me a high five. Hillary threw me a peace sign. My favorite costume by far was Dottie Henson and Jimmy Dugan from A League of Their Own. Jim couldn’t get enough of the group of running tacos that would just yell, “TACOS!” as they passed by. We saw a total of 7 naked dudes; one with a viking hat, one had a t-shirt and backpack but no pants, the rest just jiggling down the road in their sneakers andnothingelse.
I don’t know that I’m a “race” person, although I could be a Bay to Breakers person. If I never run another race again in my life — fine. But it’s wonderful to have proven to myself that I could if I wanted to…maybe…if there are costumes involved.