I ran the Bay to Breakers today. It was my fourth year in a row. Got up at 5:20 AM so I could drive to Daly City and take BART to the starting line.
As a “pledge runner”, I got a starting position near the front of the pack, and started quickly. For training, I mostly run a 3.85 mile loop, completely flat. The race is 12K (7.45 miles), and has a big hill between mile two and three. So it’s no surprise that I started out fast and got tired after the first half.
This means that for the last two thirds of the race, I am a slowpoke laggard getting passed left and right. I was constantly at the back of whatever pack I was affiliated with. Everyone passed me: a guy pushing a baby carriage; women — even tiny girls (I would find a burst of energy when this happened, and try to keep up, generally to no avail); guys dressed as Spider Man and Little Bo Peep. It was humiliating.
Yet, I did better than I ever have by nearly three minutes. My official time is 53:10, and I was ranked 365th. Hooray! And I felt like I ran FAST… hit the first mile marker in about 6:05, which is very good for me. My stomach was cramped all day, like it sometimes does when I run too hard. So I don’t feel like I could have asked for much more. It’s the malady that proves the effort.
Yesterday was the last day of a cruise on the Norwegian Pearl with my brother and sister-in-law(ish gal). It was a lot of fun, although I did stay up too late pretty much every night. What does it mean when you come home from a vacation and need to sleep? Not to mention a weird, dizzy feeling. Inner ear overcompensation?
On Thursday night, there was a talent show, similar to the one on the Norwegian Dream last year. Just like last year, I came in second, again by one point, this time to a kid who did hip hop dancing. I did not really see his performance (I was out of the room for most of it). I do distinctly remember walking into the room while he was doing his thing and thinking to myself “If I lose to him, I am going to kill myself.” (So far, I have not followed through… I think maybe I was just kidding.)
There were two comics, but I was fifth and he ninth, so I was the first comic the audience saw, and I had to warm them up. But they were willing, and I did some tried and true material with a couple fairly new things and one new venue-specific joke (about all the hand disinfecting machines around). All in all, it was a good set. Every joke worked – some better than others, but there were no duds. Five solid minutes.
Even though I did not win, I had a great set. If you’re going to take a cruise and do some comedy, Norwegian is the one to do.