WARNING: There will be naughty words; they will be in the FISHMO portion of this entry. Where that will end up being, I do not know, but you’ve been warned!
Beach to Beacon. Beach to mother effing Beacon. (That’s not where it gets naughty, BTW) . . . or should I say BTB? Haaayyyyooooooo. So, Beach to Beacon is kind of a big deal. (I stole some info. from one of the utmost reliable interweb resources (Wikipedia), and it’s below should you want to read about it).
The Beach to Beacon 10K is a 10-kilometer (6.2 mi) road running event that takes place along the coastline of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It begins at Crescent Beach State Park and ends at the Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park.
Starting out as mainly a local event, athletes from all over the U.S. and various parts of the world now participate in the annual event, including some world-class distance runners, including Olympic Marathon Silver medalists Catherine Ndereba and Meb Keflezighi, as well as Chicago Marathon winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot. It was founded by U.S. women’s marathon runner Joan Benoit Samuelson, who in 1984, won the first ever women’s Olympic marathon. 1998 was the first year that the event was held and over 3000 runners participated in the race. The event was sponsored by then People’s Heritage Bank, which changed parent companies. Now the event is formally known as the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10k.
Beach to Beacon now draws approximately 6,000 runners from all across the nation. Actually, runners from all around the world travel to Maine for this race. I could be wrong, but I am fairly certain that 2018’s event sold out in approximately 45 minutes. 45 minutes to sell 4,000ish spots! (Cape Elizabeth residents are permitted to register the day before B2B opens for all, and some of the 6,000ish spots are saved for a lottery). You’re lucky! You know why you’re lucky? Because you kinda sorta know someone who got a spot. Yeah, ME!
So, B2B, according to their official website, is in 3 days, 15 hours, and 5 minutes at the time of this writing (13:06hrs on 07/31/2018). I am filled with various feels . . .
First, I am proud. I am proud because I am trying something completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. I’ve run a 10K before but not one so official. I have to travel to a congested, touristy area that I have never been to before, and the crowd alone will be enough to send my anxiety into overdrive. 6,000+ runners, oodles volunteers, and gaggles of spectators. That’s a lot of people, and at about an ounce of anxiety per person, yeah, that’s quite a bit of anxiousness all bottled up inside of me.
Second, I’m nervous. It is going to be humid as humid can be on Saturday, and I am one who struggles with heat and especially humidity. I was (somewhat) accepting of this weather factoid until the comfort of my personal hydration system was ripped from my tightly clenched phalanges. I have no doubt that there are water stations along the 10K, but the fact remains that one of my comforts has been taken from me and is now null and void.
Third, I’m self-doubtful. From my perspective, I see 5,999 badass runners, and then there’s me. This is just my self-doubt kicking in, and as we know from many, many entries back, these are thoughts I entertain before any event that I do, big or small.
Fourth, I’m (already) tired. In order to be at one of the shuttle bus stations by 0600hrs, I need to leave my house by 0400hrs. To leave by 0400hrs, I need to wake up between 0230 and 0300hrs. However, this is the present-time Amy who isn’t all hopped up on the day-of excitement and adrenaline. I know when my alarm trills bright (or lack thereof) and early on Saturday, I will wake up without much effort – I always do.
Lastly, I’m determined! When the self-doubt creeps in, when the threat of heat stroke enters my brain, when I feel pre-tired, I simply do one thing to combat it all . . . I remember.
I remember all of the years that I felt:
- not ready
- not good enough
- too slow
- too big
- too scared
- too nervous
- too anxious
Most of all, I remember how I felt last year, at this time, when I watched the news and saw all of the runners at the start line. I remember watching the piece about the twenty-three year old runner who collapsed, due to heat stroke, right before the finish line and another runner picked him up and helped him finish. I remember how disappointed I was in myself that I didn’t even . . . TRY.
So, despite how unprepared I feel right now, how hot, sweaty, sore, and tired I will be, I am going to try. Doing just that puts me leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at, mentally and physically, in August of 2017. I have already given myself permission to walk a few steps if / as I need to. I’m not in it the win it; honestly, I never do an event with the intent to place. I have very, very basic goals:
- just don’t die (JDD)
- just finish
- think FISHMO
Ahh, the FISHMO . . .
The FISHMO state of mind:
Fuck it! Shit happens, move on.
And as long as I simply try . . . it doesn’t get much more FISHMO than that.