Happiness Wins - Part One

It all started Thursday night when my saintly husband surprised me with a sought after bib in the Beach to Beacon 10k and volunteered to hold down the fort on Saturday morning while I ran.

"But I haven't been training!" I said, grinning ear to ear, adrenalin already pumping. "And what about Amy? I don't want to just leave her!" But already I was assuring myself that I'd be back by 9:30, 10:00 a.m. tops. And I knew Amy (my friend and former colleague visiting for the weekend) would want me to go for it.

And go for it, I did, along with nearly 6,000 other runners. I knew it would be crowded and crazy, but really I had NO. IDEA. The field never thinned out. I weaved and dodged and huffed for 6.2 miles.

But the crazy didn't really dial it up until after the race, when 6,000 runners tried to get on one of maybe six shuttle buses. Kate and Ryan and I seized an opportunity to hop aboard a bus going only halfway back to where we had parked. Because if we hadn't, we might still be at Fort Williams waiting for a ride.

But the thing about only making it halfway is that we had to run nearly three more miles to get back to the car. So you might say it was the day of the 10k turned 14k. Nothing like an unexpected 4 kilometers to put you in a jolly mood.

So now it's a bit past 11 a.m., and I am FREAKING. OUT. Because (a) I've abandoned my family and my guest for the entire morning, (b) it's going to be the busiest beach day of the summer and they are waiting for me to come home so we can go to the beach, and (c) my legs? they don't feel so good.

Of course we were delighted to return to the car and find an exit line the length of a yet another 10K. The only positive was that at least I could call the man to let him know what was going on. But when I called and found out they were all "ready for the beach" and "just waiting on" me, I resumed FREAKING. OUT.

I told Kate I wished I could be one of those people who didn't make plans, who deferred to the day to evolve. But me? Me and the flow don't mesh, and ain't no way I'm going with it. I've tried, really I have. But the flow is just so ridiculously unpredictable. And I just can't have that, you know?

So. I took deep breaths. And I tried to be thankful that it was a great race. And that Amy and Larry would totally understand. And that we were all happy and healthy.

When I finally arrived home, Larry (did I mention he's a saint?) had fed the children and adorned them in proper beach attire. He retreated to try to get some work done, and I headed out to the beach with Amy and the kids.

We went to the smallest, least known beach in our town. And there was a line potentially a couple hours long just to park. And even if we'd had the patience, I knew there was only so long a swim diaper could be trusted.

So what could we do? (Freaking out! Freaking out!) The kids were expecting a fun afternoon. I wanted to show off a bit of Maine to my friend. And the beach was clearly not an option.

It was time to make peace with the flow.
(to be continued...click here for Part Two)

picture by cara

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