The light at the end of one tunnel may just be lighting another tunnel.
This was the case for the past couple of days. You see sandwiched into an already busy stretch of days was the beginning of a new challenge. Sunday was the 101st Bay To Breakers. It was my first time running the event, my first event since November, and my first event en route to running a half in the fall.
Before getting to Sunday morning there was work to be done. Friday morning was my first final exam of the semester. A 7:15am tip, was none too pleasing. Adding to this, it wasn’t just any final, it was perhaps the last math final I’ll take for some time, which means it was hard.
Following the early morning’s assessment, I headed out to San Francisco to retrieve my bib, timing chip and goodies before the race on Sunday. My Girl With Glasses, who made me a delicious breakfast to eat on BART, and I headed to The City. This was the first real Expo I’ve been to. I already enjoy receiving the the free, yet useful swag you recieve for being a participant.
We had some delicious iced coffee courtesy of Blue Bottle as we strolled and we headed back home. Work, then it was time to head back out to The City, although this time I was driving, for HD’s BDay Celebration. Got snazzy in the men’s room before heading out and meeting The Vegas Gang at Noble. The club was lot’s of fun. Dancing, laughing, and enjoying it all.
Going to clubs though, means late nights. And staying over means early mornings. Such was had and I was off to the gym to get one last workout in before the race. It consisted of doing a few of my favorite lifts and dropping the weight, while increasing the amount and speed of my reps. This is usually my Saturday routine. My other Saturday routine is working the afternoon closing shift at the Playa. Luckily I rarely stay late and tonight was no different.
Thanks to technology I made most of my playlist for the run at work. To me having the right songs in your ear can be essential. I usually go for rap music with harder beats. ‘BayToBreakers’ featured some tracks I’m currently bumping by the likes of Rick Ross, The Throne, A$ap Rocky, 2Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, along with a couple handpicked selections from Lady: MonkeyWrench by the soon to be seen Foo Fighters, and that dammed catchy Call Me Maybe song. Playlist making cut down on the time it took to gather my things. I packed all the gear I’d need for the morning and called it a night.
For the second time in three days, I woke up early because I had to, not because I wanted to. Sunday morning called for 4:30am in order to make it to the rendezvous point in time for yet another train out to San Francisco with Lady. She too was running the race, albeit illegally. On the train I ate my usual morning breakfast snack, consisting of a whole wheat toast, natural peanut butter (in this case it was almond butter) and a preserve spread. Just enough to get some energy, yet not too much to slow me down.It was chilly, I was tired, but myexcitement, and nerves for that matter, began to kick in. We got off the train, hit the portos quickly, which word to the wise reek before running events, and got our tortilla tossing selves onto the course.
The Bay To Breakers is a 12k race through the streets of the great, San Francisco. Starting at Embarcadero and ending on The Great Highway, this race features great scenery, naked people, early-morning house parties, and one tough-ass hill. I love every second of it. I didn’t see any mile markers until Mile 5. This bothered me while running, but I’ve since realized it helped me. By not knowing exactly where along the course I was, I just kept a solid pace and was concerned with how long I’d been running. The perviously longest run I’d been on was 6 miles, maybe three weeks prior. I knew I had this 7.46 in me this morning, but the final stretch went on longer than expected.
I wear a Nike SportBand while I run (when I remember to wear it), primarily to track my distance. I am trying not to be too concerned with my time, as I am not an avid runner, just yet. My official time for The Breakers race was an 1:10:19, which is a 9:26 minute per mile average. I’ll take it. I think it’s important to not make time your primary inspiration. I just wanted to finish, without stopping, and that mission was accomplished, save for a quick porta-potty stop along the route.
Now usually when I run I eat something beneficial afterwards. Since we were out in The City on a gorgeous day, we decided to eat something delicious. After a roadside costume change, we headed for the Slow Club, where our post-race food and drinks were good. A burger and bloody maria (sub tequila for vodka, tasty) for me, and some turkey hash with mimosas for her.
With a alcohol/accomplishment buzz and full bellies, we headed towards Hayes Valley, to check out one of my favorite stores, UNDFTD, and peruse the small shops. More walking, a couple beers, and of course more Blue Bottle, and before we knew it the day and our energy were running out.
A great day, considering who I was with, what we had handled so early, and of course because I wore a new pair of shoes for the first time.
This race was the beginning of my official training for the half-marathon in October. I am now going to shift my focus on running a bit more and have acquired a training schedule to follow along. What schedule am I using and how am I preparing to handle it? Well you’ll just have to wait until my next post.
Until then, handle it, and always,