Welps, the good news: 2/3 of my Beach to Beacon goals, I nailed. The bad news: one of my goals, I completely and utterly and epically failed at. Considering I’m writing this, or in your case, since you’re reading what I’ve written recently, I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve figured out ONE of my nailed goals. I rocked the JDD (just don’t die). I did not die. Ta-da! I also finished! Ta-da-da! However, my FISHMO . . . it needs some serious work!
So, for those of you readers out there who are not familiar with my goals for the Beach to Beacon, or who are not familiar with B2B, clicky . . . HERE. <~~~ This is a journey to my original post pertaining to this particular race, as well as what I hoped to accomplish.
As of Saturday, I didn’t know if I loved the Beach to Beacon enough to do it again. The fact that I didn’t fall absolutely in love with it, that is more disappointing to me than my finish time (1hr, 16min, BTW). However, I do think I will try to get a spot again, once registration opens in March of 2019. My lackluster opinion is mainly due to the humidity, the obnoxious football team I was in pace with (their high school will be getting a letter from me), the fact that I was dead on my feet tired, and probably most importantly, I forgot my AirPods.
However, before I discuss my negative experiences and outlooks in more detail, I must admit that the positive aspects of B2B far outweigh any unfavorable facets. In fact, the not-so-great “things” I have to write about are entirely out of control of the event, its organizers, and its sponsors. Frankly, B2B has the potential to be an absolute shitshow with approximately 7,000 runners, 2,000 volunteers, and thousands of spectators; the probability of chaos is at threat level midnight. I was in shock and awe at just how smoothly the event ran, from bib pick up to the day-of itself. Beach to Beacon is a well-oiled machine and the epitome of what a professional (“real”) race should be.
My best friend, Callie, and I are opposites in many ways. One such way: Callie prefers running with her own thoughts and never listens to music while she is running. Me? I NEED music. I just . . . do. I cannot stand to hear my labored breathing, and I do not like being inside my own head because it’s not a nice place to be (only when running, mind you). With music, I can lose myself – I don’t think about each footfall on the pavement, I don’t think about what distance lies ahead, nor what distance lies behind me, I don’t think about how hard it is, what hurts, or that I’m growing ever more exhausted, and I can also block others’ poor behaviors out (e.g. HS football team). So, when I forgot my AirPods on Saturday, it was calamitous. The lack of music impacted my performance greatly because I just could not get out of my own way, by way of my thoughts and attitude. This sucks. It’s so humid. My calves are cramped. My feet hurt. My lungs are burning. Why did I do this? I should just walk because it doesn’t matter. I suck. I’m not good enough. I didn’t train enough. Everyone’s better than me. This is never going to be over. These thoughts were absolutely detrimental to a good outcome, a performance that I could claim to be proud of.
With that being said, I’m still proud of myself because . . . I did it: I didn’t die, and I finished. For me, these events are about far more than just the running and the physical demand upon my body. These events test me to the fullest extent because I’m also forced to confront the anxiety I face regarding large crowds, trying new things, and driving in unfamiliar places. I am also in a position where it’s inconvenient to be the shy, quiet, and socially awkward one . . . SO, I talk with people I do not know, I’m in front of (a lot of) cameras, I’m being watched, so on and so forth; I deal with it, as best as I can, as much as I do not enjoy it.
Will I do the B2B again? Now that this year’s is over, and I’m letting go of my pocket full of disappointments in myself (just because I am proud of myself for doing it, that doesn’t mean I cannot also be disappointed), I think I may attempt to get a spot in 2019’s Beach to Beacon. Here’s why: I want to try, really try . . .
My first ever 10K time was 1hr, 17min. My second 10K time was 1hr, 16min. I did both with no music and quickly succumbed to my negative, self-deprecating thought processes. I know that I can better myself, push myself harder, and thus, perform better. . . . but I need to stop being afraid to try, to really try; my fear continues to hold me back. You see, if I don’t perform as well as I’d like to because I didn’t try my hardest, that’s a much easier pill to swallow than the horse pill packed with the knowledge that I didn’t perform well . . . when I tried my absolute best. I legitimately forgot my AirPods this past weekend so I do not think I engaged in subconscious self-sabotage, but this event woke me up, made me realize that though I have come a long way, I have some fear and doubt I continue to carry with me.
It is über difficult to secure a Beach to Beacon spot, especially in consecutive years. Let’s hope I’m just as lucky in 2019 as I was in 2018 . . . I have a lot to prove to myself.
So, B2B, according to their official website, is in 360 days . . . 18 hours . . . 36 minutes at the time of this writing (09:29hrs on 08/07/2018).