Race #17 Overcoming Disappointment at the jetBlue Long Beach Half Marathon
Feelings are an inconvenience. I didn't feel like finding parking. I didn't feel like walking. Just not at all in the mood to walk 13.1 miles.
In retrospect, I know when my mood shifted. It was after picking up my bib at the Expo the day before. When you hit your third race in the jetBlue Half Marathon you are bestowed Beach Bum Club membership.
Upon registration I was informed I was special, eligible for Beach Bum Club membership. I love being special. What would I get for my prestigious inclusion? I fantasized getting a special greeting area with fanciful samples of something or other. Certainly, a special post-race space with sanctified water, banana pieces dipped in chocolate and fruit slices in the shape of flowers or simple animals. Membership has its privileges.
As I fast-walk through the Expo in search of the special door, I can't find it. I ask one of the lovely and helpful volunteers. "Over there. In the back corner." I see it and make a B-line straight over.
Just as I would expect, there are only a few people there. Funny, though. All I see are a few tables with a couple volunteers engaged in quiet conversation. There are no mimosas in sight. Another wonderful volunteer asks for my bib number and confirms that I belong. She directs me to two chatting young ladies.
"Ah, what size are you? We are kinda out of some sizes."
"What size do you have?"
Turns out the largest size they have is medium. I require a large and take the thin medium no-frills Caribbean blue t-shirt. I walk over to a slightly older volunteer sitting by herself near the entrance to the fenced in Beach Bum Club area.
"Are there any other perks besides the t-shirt."
"No." She adds a note of shouldn't you be grateful to, "You get a free t-shirt."
I walked off thinking, "Not even a negotiated $1 off a post-race beer?" I expected something special. Joining the Beach Bum Club had zero to do with my third registration. I wasn't looking for it until I told was a member.
The loss of something I didn't expect or care about, something I built up from a mountain of self-glorifying expectation, created a disappointed that carried over until the following morning. I even arrived late to the race.
By mile 12 I got over it. The jetBlue Long Beach Half Marathon was my very first half. In three short years it is seventeenth overall half. Smiles all around. The only feeling I have at the end of the race is satisfaction.