Monday, February 26, 2018

GASParilla Distance Classic (Pt 1 - Expo and Hotel)

Okay, so for those of you who read my Celebration Half Marathon race report, you know that I kind of had an epiphany about my marriage: 
I have taken Hubby for granted. For far too long. Married people get in a rut, I think, and it's really hard to see the rut, much less dig yourself out from it. I saw the rut this weekend. NakedTime helped me see it. I need more NakedTime with him, to just talk, and share, and feel him next to me. The change I see in myself, and how I feel towards him, is amazing. When two people love each other - but don't express it - it can be devastating to physical feelings, and you become complacent.  
I am resolute in making sure that the feelings I'm feeling right now don't end. How do I keep this alive? How to I avoid that rut? I don't know yet... but I sure am looking forward to finding out!
Once we got home, and I reflected again on how happy I was to have seen the rut, I tried to think of a great way to show it. The Kiddo wasn't going to go to Gasparilla with us - she'd much prefer to stay home without her annoying parents - so I knew I had free reign to really do anything. I devised a plan to hit the gym at least 3 days a week, so that I was really high on that Body Positivity Meter. When I feel good about myself, I feel better about... well... you know! Don't worry - I'm not going to go all porny on you, but this will be a more R-rated version than any other report I've ever done (all 3 days).

I'm not there yet, but I'm on the right track

I was up around 8 and hopped in the shower, then Twittered on the couch with some juice until it was time to pack and leave, around 10:45. We grabbed Arby's for lunch and ate it on the road. 

We parked again at the Amalie arena (total cost $3.20 for 2 hours). We headed into the expo, got all the way to the bib pickup then realized I didn't know my number! (This right here told me where my brain was...). We went back out to the Info Booth, got my number, then went back to packet pickup and got my bib. Then, over to shirts. Ironically - the 5k shirt this year was purple... the color I really wanted! The teal and orange are very pretty though, and the challenge jacket is cool, too. 

15k, 8k Shirts, and Challenge Jacket
I made sure the shirts fit this time, although I usually have good luck with Leslie Jordan shirts (I go 3x with these so they are roomy, and good for the gym).

There wasn't a whole lot to look at at the Expo. I got some Cabot cheese samples, a cool sweat rag from the Publix booth and a few cute spectator signs from Tampa Bay Times.

Random "swag"

On the way out, I hit the ladies' room to put the GASParilla Plan in motion. I was getting really psyched for this weekend's festivities. Oh, and the race, too.

Super-clean hair, light makeup, I'm ready to go!
We made it back to the car without being hit by the trolley, and grabbed some snackage at WaWa (right across the street from the hotel!). We'll probably be pretty hungry and thirsty later.  (Spoiler Alert: We were)

We checked in at Country Inn & Suites and got a really good room, right by the elevator, and the stairs down to the first floor. King size bed with a separate sitting area and sleeping area. I took care of my Logical Side first, unpacking, getting my race gear together and whatnot.

Once that was done, I got the weekend started.  On many occasions in our lives together, he's asked for nudes. I've never been really into it; always ashamed at my body, or feeling prudish, like doing that is somehow slutty or "not what good girls do." We've done a few over the years, but probably only once since the kiddo was born (last century!). I would always tell him, "when I lose 10 pounds," or "when I weigh less than 175." So, I really wanted to do this for him. And for me, too; hence, kicking ass at the gym, looking pretty, wearing makeup. And because I'm always in my own head, I'd researched ways to pose, how to hide fat, fun angles, stuff like that...

Dammit, Bobby
He wasn't expecting me to offer photos, so he was surprised when I presented him with an SD card. I gave him a sexy little speech about my giving him this if he gives me mine, and gives it to me good.

We had fun, and the process reminded me just how bad he is at taking photos! Eventually, it was my turn, and well, he did, in fact, make it good.

Get you a nice guy

Reluctantly, hours later, we put on some pants and wandered back over to Wawa for some dinner. As you can imagine, we were starving. After dinner, there was a little more fun, but I had to wake up early, so we fell asleep around 11.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sexytime is better than PR Time - Celebration Half-Marathon Race Report

Oh, what a weekend this turned out to be!!  I have to give you some prologue, though...

After volunteering at WDW Marathon Weekend (yeah, where I gave the family shit for wanting to back out, for fear of getting sick working a water station), I got sick.

It wasn't bad enough to take time off of work, but I was miserable for a few days.

I felt okay enough to do the Best Damn Race that weekend, but I backslid a little bit. I took it easy that afternoon, and the day after.

In my case, it was Sunday spent with David Venable on QVC
Unfortunately, Hubby got sick the next day, the 14th. We thought at first, he just caught my Disney cold, but after a day or so, he wasn't getting better. It wasn't just a Man-Cold™. It was the FLU.

I know I don't talk about him a lot, but it probably won't come as a surprise - he's not a big Doctor kind of guy, so there was no flu shot for him this past fall (I did have one, and boy was I glad!).

He was miserable for a week. He was puking, he couldn't eat, he could hardly drink anything, and for a day or so, I gave him all sorts of shit... but it got kind of serious.

From the 14th until maybe the 17th, he wasn't able to keep anything down besides water, but even water was iffy. I was able to get him to drink Powerade, and that carried him for a while. I tried just about every different substance in the house - crackers, Jell-O, soup - but, amazingly, the one thing that kept his energy up? Honey Stingers. The little gummies that I use for running (and that he bought for me as a Christmas present) were tolerable. He probably ran though about a dozen of those bags, as well as all of my Powerade. (So, see, honey - you can hate my running habit all you want; it saved your life!)

Anyway,  he thought he was okay to go back to work around the 21st, but he only made it about 4 hours before he called me to come get him. He was back in bed, or curled up on the couch, until the 25th.

I love him, but... men are so whiny!
On the 26th - the Friday before we left for Celebration - I had a fever of 100.5ยบ. Oh, HELL, no. By dinner time, though, it had gone back down to normal, so I don't know what that was all about... 

So, onward with the story!

The Kiddo decided to stay home, so it was only me and Hubby again (not that I was complaining). I slept in until 8, feeling a little better than I did yesterday. My fever was completely gone. I took a long, hot, shower, then vegged out on the couch with my phone and OJ, before packing up and leaving. We hit up Circle K for soda, and a nearby McDonald's for lunch.

The drive was easy, and we got to the expo by 2:30. I got my bib, then headed over to get my tee. The lady in the front called out "2XL" and the lady in the back brought me over two XL shirts.They fixed it, but I didn't know until later that they had given me a MEN'S XL shirt, not a WOMEN'S XXL shirt. I hope I can exchange it tomorrow after the race!

We debated going straight to Disney, but ended up going to the hotel, thinking that if we got there early, we'd get a better room. We made a Wawa pit-stop, checked in, and headed to our room.

We had some lovely Adult Time, and then some Skin-to-Skin Cuddle Time (it's not sexual, but kind of like how babies bond with their mom when they lay on skin... it's like that). We just had some seriously stupid conversations for a few hours, laying in bed next to each other.

Yeah they do!
Eventually, though, we put on some pants. I got my running stuff all laid out and ready to go for the morning, but I couldn't find my run camera. I checked every single bag, but I couldn't find it. Sigh... I guess I'll have to use my phone.

We headed off to the Magic Kingdom, assuming we'd just grab some dinner there.

Slightly out of focus, not bad, though
We took a spin on the PeopleMover and then found a good spot for the Once Upon a Time castle projection show.

Paging Mr. Morrow... Mr. Tom Morrow
We were on the Crystal Palace side of the street, though
With a really good view!
Okay, so since I wasn't planning on shooting fireworks, I didn't have my tripod, so out of the 300 photos I took, maybe 10% of them were good. Here's a few.

Life is the bubbles!
Frickin' Lasers!
Fire! Fire!
Since we'd gotten a pretty good spot, we decided to just stay where we were for Happily Ever After, the fireworks show. It was so crowded I couldn't sit down, so I kind of just leaned left to right on my feet.

Again, no tripod, but I got a few good ones.
If the fireworks were clearer, this would be an AWESOME shot!
Gah, put your phone down!
Almost got it...
You can't expect a demigod to beat a decapod (look it up)
See the light as it shines on sea? It's blinding!
I love photos with random children in it, it's cute! (The iPad ruins it, though!)
Hey, this one's pretty good!
We realized, once the show was over, we never did get dinner! We ended up leaving via the Crystal Palace back exit. They had some of the Main Street Vehicles out on display, but after I took a few photos, they yelled at me for taking photos...

Why you put out stuff to take photos of, if you won't let me take photos of it?
We got lucky, and walked right on to the ferry. We decided to go to the 2nd level because I wanted to be near the back, and it was already crowded on the 1st level. I love looking back at the Magic Kingdom, especially when it's all lit up at night. (And a little snuggle time on the boat wasn't bad either!)

Get in, losers! We're going to the TTC!
Good night, my lovely!
We sat in the parking lot, trying to decide what we wanted for dinner, and eventually settled on sandwiches. Hubby really likes the "gas station triangle sandwich" that you can buy from the Walmart deli area, so we popped over to the one on US-192 near the hotel. I didn't see anything I wanted, and the hot deli bar had already closed for the night. Against better judgement, I picked up a microwaveable calzone. Yeah... microwave calzone...

Back at the hotel, I got all my race stuff prepped and taped my feet (lesson learned after doing this at night, twice, and ending up with shitty tape... tape in the morning!). 

I heated up the calzone, and... oh, yeah. It was bad. So much worse than I even imagined a microwave calzone could be. The bread was okay; very spongy when hot, turning rock hard as it cooled. But inside, there was no sauce or anything to distract from the massive amounts of GREASE being released by both the pepperoni and the mozzarella. I managed three bites before giving up and throwing it in the trash.
I'm sparing you the inside... it was spongy and greasy... bleck!
I ended up having some of Hubby's Doritos, a Nature Valley granola bar and half a bottle of Pepsi. Pre-race dinner of champions right there... 

And to make matters worse, the bed was TERRIBLE! I think I was awake more than I was asleep. 

Sunday morning, the alarm was set for 4, but I think I finally rolled out of bed around 4:45. My tummy, as usual, was not happy with being awake this early. I got dressed and woke up Hubby, still with a sour stomach. 

We were able to check out via phone, so we didn't have to go to the front desk, which was nice. We popped in to McDonald's to get some orange juice (yeah, I spent over $2 on orange juice... my frugal heart didn't take it so well, but my tummy was a little better). 

We parked, as we always do, at Celebration School, and I continued to drink my OJ as well as suck down my citrus Clif Gel (the OJ made the taste pretty much disappear... good to remember). 

I geared up and headed to the start line, along with about 2,500 of my closest friends, and had about 5 minutes to spare before we all took off. 

Let's do this!
I get by with a little help from my friends
Unfortunately (both for me and for you), I hadn't found my camera that morning, so we're stuck with some really terrible cell phone shots.  I really wish I knew where the hell my camera was!
I knew this race was gonna be hard (I've been having a lot of breathing issues over the past few months, and recovering from a gnarly cold a few weeks ago didn't help at all), so I decided to walk the first mile.  Sadly, this meant that I was pretty close to the back before even going 5,280 feet.
Here I go!
"Good Luck Runners! You Made It Too Far, Don't Quit Now"
I was happy to see that they put out signage this year, near the country club, to tell runners which side of the road to be on. In years past, we never really knew.
Stay to the left!
I made it to Mile 1.
My cell phone takes terrible photos
Okay, and here is where I met the face of rage for this race. These four girls (we're going to call them "Green Girls" from now on) were walking in front of me, talking loudly, walking four across, generally being obnoxious, and making disparaging comments about other runners, and bragging about how this race isn't hard and people who have a hard time are losers. Yeah, I'm gonna have to beat them. Oh, and cross the finish line before them, too.
I love anyone in a T-Rex costume!
I saw Hubby at Mile 2, got myself a sweaty kiss then went down the road.

Only 11.1 to go! Ugh...
At this point, I took my first goo - my fuel plan, as always, is Goos and Chews. There was no water stop yet, and I didn't want to throw this on the ground, so I ended up carrying this sticky little guy for almost a mile.

I get enough Goos from races that I hardly ever have to buy any!
I skipped going potty and cranked up the run intervals, hit the turn around and headed back towards the main drag.

Yay! I didn't fuck up and cut the course!
Even their water stops are kept nice and clean.
I passed Mile 3, and was back on the wider road. Hubby and I met up again, and we walked together until we got to the light that goes to Publix.

10.1 to go!
I get younger (and fatter), while he gets older... how does that work?
Mile 4 was right around the corner from where he left. I did some Chews this time. I also took a hit from the inhaler.

You can't hide from me, Mile 4 sign!
Honey Stingers are the best!
And for some more TMI... I put in a panty liner this morning because I was spotting (recent Mirena IUD convert here!). However, sadly, this liner was not nearly as, well, care free as I was hoping. Luckily, it's usually pretty quiet here behind the Celebration Hotel (no people around), so I stuck my hand down my pants to try to fix my panties.
And I'm usually a crip because of it!
Unfortunately, the adjustment didn't work very well, so I popped into the Pottie of Doom to try to fix it.
I caught up to the Green Girls at Mile 5, and it looked like they were drinking - or more specifically, drunk - and being supplied with booze by friends on the course.
Mile 5, still behind them
There was a lot of booze here
Doing it 5 times in a row is a huge deal!
I missed the Mile 6 sign, probably because I was again hating on the Green Girls. I remember passing the 10k split, because the Green Girls thought it would be funny to leap over the mat; one of them said if you leapt over it, they couldn't get your split time (um.... I think she's wrong).  I'm pretty sure I took another Clif Gel from the fuel table, and ate the Salted Carmel one I brought with me (it was nasty).
I passed the Mile 7 sign, and I was happy to be more than halfway through.  I'm still feeling pretty good, but I know I've slowed down.

Mile 7, they're still up there
I mean, really, I was passed by a chick in flip flops, for God's sake!

She was just out for a leisurely stroll
I was hoping for another pottie before getting on the boardwalk, but there were none. Okay... Plan B... At the entrance to the boardwalk area, I grabbed one of the pooper bags (for dogs). I'm gonna take care of this damn pantyliner once and for all! As soon as I can do it and not be seen.

Step 1 - get a bag
I was passed by the Marathon front-runner way before Mile 8, so I know I'm slower than in the past.

Yeah, I think he passed me around 8.1 miles
Ah, a beautiful, empty boardwalk! Just gonna stick my hand down my pants here for a minute, don't mind me!

If any birds saw me, I apologize for my lack of girlyness
Ahhhhhh, so much better! Girls, you know what I'm talking about!

I am now, um, care free free
I had to carry around that poopie bag for a while, but I was able to eventually throw it away. After I threw it away, I ate the other half of my Chews.

Dammit, I missed the Mile 8 sign too... My wireless earbuds died after Mile 8, so I swapped out for a wired pair. Gotta say that they lasted pretty well for a $15 pair from Big Lots!

Time to switch to old-school buds (aren't my nails pretty!)
And here we are at Mile 9, The Motherfucker Mile. Get it, girl.

Mile 9 - get this, bitch!
Oh, wow, that's a really shitty 15k split. I have slowed WAY down! Of course, it's because I don't think I've run a single interval since Mile 5... crap.

Official split time 2:55:22 - so bad!
I made it! I survived the Motherfucker Mile! And as you can see, the Green Girls are still in front of me. I haven't beat them yet...

Sticking out my (gross looking) tongue to celebrate the Motherfucker Mile™
I did another Goo at Mile 10, this time a Honey Stinger (I'm so on point with the fuel this time around, yay for me!). I'm tired, but I'm not ready to cuss the sky... yet...

I rounded the first "lake" and got cheered on my the local volunteers.

I've done this race 4 other times, but I can never remember how many total "lakes" - I think this is 1 of 3.
Yay! Cheer on the slow folks!
Okay, Mile 11.  My body is done. I'm done. I really don't want to keep going. It's getting hot - it's JANUARY, man! - and I'm just done.

I didn't even TRY to frame this shot...
Boo, thumbs down, I'm ready to quit!
I got passed by a lady much larger than me, and I was honestly so happy for her! You go girl!

Good job, Savannah Fire woman! You are inspirational! (And probably chafing).
Okay, Mile 12... I can do this! I'm gonna go around the pond/lake thing, then go around THE LAKE and then I'm gonna be DONE!!

I got this! I got this! Don't trip!
And here it is, THE LAKE!  You see the Bohemian Hotel, then as you walk around the lake, you can begin to see Water Street and all the crowds, and you can hear the crowds, the announcers, it's all so awesome. I get choked up every single time I do this race. This time was no different, but I was kind of able to catch the ugly face this time!

I'm close! I'm gonna do it!
I'm not gonna cry this time, I'm NOT! (Narrator: She did.)
I've made it around the entire lake, I've run past the stinky potties at the starting line, and I've got only one more corner to take! I tucked my headphones into my bra. I put my phone in my pocket. I tucked my water bottle into the small of my back. I was ready.

Catching my breath before I RUN around the corner like an action star
As soon as I passed the Mile 13 sign, the cheers hit my ears, and I ran around the corner. With the first step, my left ankle yelled at me, so I ran along the chute saying step..."Ow!" step... "Ow!"

But I made it!! I finished my fifth Town of Celebration Half-Marathon and my 13th half-marathon overall.

Success! 13th Half Marathon, and 5th Celebration Half Marathon!
My time was horrendous - officially it was 4:13:49 (pace 19:23). My 10k split was 1:53:27; my 15k split was 2:55:22. I was 209th out of 215 F40-44, 1196th out of 1230 females, and 1808th out of 1847 total runners, which means I only beat 39 people... That's not very awesome at all.

Oh, and the Green Girls? They came in between 4:30 and 4:46... Guess it was hard? Oh, and jumping the splits? Yeah, that doesn't work...

I got my medal and a bottle of water, then wandered off to find Hubby. He had Glympse problems, and didn't get to the line to see me come in. He was a little bummed, but it was okay. I grabbed a soda and we found a table so that I could chill out for a few minutes (and I could put on my flip flops).

I picked up my food card, then exchanged my shirt for a Woman's XXL. I didn't pick up a lot of food, but I did get a virgin Mimosa, a BBQ Chicken Slider and some New England Clam Chowdah.

The shirt is soft as hell (it's Raw Threads again)
Slider was meh, chowdah was amazing!

We wobbled back to the car, and we drove over to the Celebration Publix so that I could change clothes. I picked up some Pringles and a 12oz Diet Coke (in the fancy new can) for the Tinkle Tax.
Ooh, it's fancy
In previous years, we've gone to Beaches and Cream for lunch (okay, giant goblets of ice cream), but I wanted to try out Trail's End Buffeteria for brunch

I really wasn't impressed...  It's still mostly breakfast stuff, which is what I like the best. Of course, that didn't stop me from having at least 2 plates!

bacon, tater tots, cheese, capricola, eggs, meat eggs, pulled pork (from Eggs Benedict)
mac & cheese, taters & gravy
bacon, pizza, sausage, chicken wing, doughnut holes
The breakfast foods were good, as always, but the non-breakfast stuff was boring. Hubby got some of the turkey from the carving station, and it was tasty, but not tasty enough that I wanted to get some for myself. Soda was included, so I filled myself with caffeine and sugar!

When the bill came, I was bummed... this was $25 a person! Breakfast (at least the last time we paid attention to the bill) was $15.99... I think we'll stick with a 10:30am breakfast from now on. All the same yummy breakfast foods, $10 less!

We brought our MagicBands with us, just in case we decided to wander over the water to the Magic Kingdom, but it began raining as we walked out, so we passed. 

I definitely got my steps in, and it's not even noon yet
Between the rain and the feet, I wasn't feelin' it (I know, shocker, right?!)

We stocked up on gas and junk food at WaWa then hit the interstate. Around Ocala, traffic got really bad. Then the RAIN got really bad - it took almost 2.5 hours to get home!  I had to slow it way down to around 45, it was so bad.

The rain let up when we got home, so Hubby and the Kiddo unpacked the car while I chilled out on the couch. I was able to keep it together until about 6, but gave up and headed to bed. I unpacked all of our stuff and put it away, and oh look....

Found my damn camera. In my purse. Where it had been all weekend.

2018 Hide & Seek Champion
I peeled the KT tape off my feet, peeled off my clothes and got in bed. Hubby joined me by 7 - he was way sleepy too!

There's a lesson to be learned from this weekend for me... if you care, feel free to read on...

I have taken Hubby for granted. For far too long. Married people get in a rut, I think, and it's really hard to see the rut, much less dig yourself out from it. I saw the rut this weekend. NakedTime helped me see it. I need more NakedTime with him, to just talk, and share, and feel him next to me. The change I see in myself, and how I feel towards him, is amazing. When two people love each other - but don't express it - it can be devastating to physical feelings, and you become complacent. 

I am resolute in making sure that the feelings I'm feeling right now don't end. How do I keep this alive? How to I avoid that rut? I don't know yet... but I sure am looking forward to finding out!