Today was the Never Quit Beach Fest, and while I was super excited about it before…that excitement died quickly to a deep seeded fear of “what the hell did I get myself into” when I realized that it was stormy, rainy, windy, and the water looked ugly and mean. I was seriously freaking out, but I didn’t let any of that show till I was crawling out of the water to Kat practically in tears looking like a drowned rat.
I do have to admit that despite all that, I proved to myself just how strong of a girl I really am.
When we got to the beach it was drizzly, windy and just ugly. I was plowing through everything because I had a job to do and I was bound and determined to do it. I took one look at the water and swallowed hard. It churned and the waves were high and they pounded the sand something fierce. Brian, Heather and I went to where we could lay our surfboards down and started to get ready. We put our numbers on and I broke out our sharpies and started to mark us up with our numbers. When we were done with that, we went to get our chips. The Trident people had to pick up their chips day of.
It was a little bit of mass chaos, but I think part of that was also the weather being insane and making people cranky. (myself and Heather included)
I ran into Kat while I was there she was doing the Trident as well, and left with Brian to set her stuff up) and then I into Charlie and Alex who were running the 5ks. Just as they arrived the skies opened up. Cold, sharp raindrops too. No me gusta.
Thanks to the insane weather, they canceled the swim portion of the Trident. (oh, DARN!!!) and instead made us run in the water, ankle deep, to the pier and back.
They waited for the weather to chill and then did opening ceremony stuff. The Trident runners were supposed to get a 5 minute head start, but since we were running late thanks to the rain, it didn’t happen. Instead, we all started at the same time. Brian, Kat, and Kat’s husband Charlie took off ahead of me. I wanted to take it easy, plus my shoes were all sloshy and whatnot because of the rain. Heather caught up with me and I turned to her and said that if she ran with me the first 5k, I’d let her push it the second 5k. (We were going to reverse that…) and she kept me going, ignoring my calf pains and my lack of ability to breath properly and my shivering.
When I crossed the line, they had bottles of water out for us to grab (thank God) and I grabbed one and went on. I tore off my shoes and socks and then carried my water bottle through half of the run in the water. At this point, I felt okay…but I was eyeing that water with trepidation. When I crossed the second mats, I took off toward where the boards were set up, but it was hard to get to because everyone was standing around and the red carpet where the women went to get their necklaces was in the way too. When I got up there, I couldn’t find Heather, who had my board ready for me. Richard was yelling at me to “come on, hurry up!” and that made me smirk.
So I finally found Heather and carried the board out to the water. And I sucked at it. Or better yet, the water was so rough and choppy and the waves were so big, that I should have given up. I wiped out so many times, thrown under waves and into the water, got hit in the head with the board so many times, I just…I knew going in that the water was too rough for me, but I had to try. After about 45 minutes, the lifeguards told us to turn around. Disheartened, I did. Kat and Heather were calling out to me from the sand, and thank God Kat came out to get me because I was done. I felt like I had just been in a washing machine, I was that beat up. I told Kat I still wanted the necklace and she said that people were getting them and to run to the finish. So I did. One of the event staff said go for it, so I did.
And I got my turquoise shell necklace with a pearl.
But I didn’t have time to waste. I went and grabbed my shoes, then went and grabbed my bag and got my stuff together to run the second 5k that was supposed to start at 9AM. I was shaking, and tired and barely thinking straight. I couldn’t get my shoes on either, so I just tore a shoelace out of one of them, slipped the timing chip onto it, and then tied it around my ankle. Then I grabbed saftey pins and attached my other number and went. I walked almost the entire first mile, still feeling the effects of the washing machine ocean, but once I got some water into me, I found my mojo and ran pretty much all of the rest of it. Barefoot. Ouch…
After I finished that race, and got my second bright coral shell necklace with a pearl, we headed out. More rain was coming and Brian wanted to get out before it got bad. We went home and showered then went and grabbed pizza. I feel beaten up, both literally and figuratively. I’m exhausted and ache all over. But it was pretty worth it, even if I didn’t do what I wanted. Why? Because I didn’t panic in the water no matter how much I wanted to. I finished and didn’t die. I proved to myself just how strong I am, even if it’s not strong enough to battle washing machine like waters in the ocean.
I call it a win, and I’m sure I will get my head to agree with that later. Right now, it’s still seeing this as a semi-failure. Next year, however…I’m sticking to what I know: Running. I’l do the Trident relay and run it, or just run the 5k. I can’t do the ocean stuff again…I’ve been traumatized! 🙂
Here’s some pictures from the event that either I or a friend grabbed. It was storming so I didn’t get many…