Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stop Drop and Run 5k Race Report

Today is my first (Non-Disney) race that is not in my town.  Ooooh, I get to travel!

 I set my alarm for 5:15 and I was up by 5:30ish (I do love a good 7-minute snooze or two!)

I decided to do a protein shake and just drink it in the car. I was dressed and out the door by six. I drank my “Ovalpro” (2 scoops of Ovaltine, 1 scoop flavorless protein powder and milk) and Powerade while driving. It was a pretty uneventful drive – a few spits of rain, but nothing major.  The interstate was pretty quiet this time of day and I made good time.

Light rain, but nothing crazy
I got to the Deluca YMCA around 6:50 and got a good parking spot (it was in a grass lot, so I was worried about mud, but all was fine).

I headed up to pick up my packet, and we were given a LifeSouth reusable grocery bag with our packets. I was able to grab a bunch of goodies before heading back to my car.  

Bib and reusable grocery bag

Note to self - ask for a LARGE next year - XXL was wayyyy too big!
Awesome goodies - can coozies, granola, Post-Its, pens, lanyard, bottle opener and ... what is that white thing?

Opening the white thing reveals a travel manicure case with scissors, trimmers, etc - way cool!
My contact lens was bothering me and I was hoping that I could take it out, rinse it with the eyedrops in my purse and put it back in. I wasn’t that lucky.  I sat in my car for almost a half-hour, rinsing the lens, putting it back in, only to take it right back out because it was still irritating me. I ended up putting my lens in the cap of my PowerAde bottle, and filling it with rewetting drops. 

Yes, I put my contact lens in there. It was either that or run the race with it in my mouth!
 After filling my pockets (iPod, camera, water, etc) I got out and walked around the “Expo” for a bit to warm up, hit the potties, and grabbed a few goodies and took them back to the car before heading over to the start line.

Soon we were off and I remembered to start my interval timer AND the Garmin! Win!!!

I never got a course map beforehand, so both literally and figuratively, this was a blind run for me.

Mile 1 came quickly, and there was a guy giving out our split times! I thought that that was great, because I don’t’ usually check my watch when I hit mile markers. I think my split was 13:30 or so. I was happy with it.

Mile 1 and the long slow incline - can you tell from this photo?
From Mile 1 to Mile 1.75 or so, it was nothing but a long, shallow incline. It just kept going and it was discouraging because I wanted to run, but the hill and the heat said NO WAY!  

Looking back at the hill I was climbing
I kept chugging up the hill and by Mile 1.9, we turned off that road and into a neighborhood, where the only water stop was. I gratefully took some water, thanked my volunteers and made it to Mile 2, where there was this guy, also giving out split times. I don’t remember what this one was.

Thank you, Splitman!
At this point, I am as usual, near the back of the pack, and I end up pacing a group that has a stroller with a bum wheel and a fireman in full jump gear. I’d pass him, he’d pass me… you know the drill.  But every time he passed me, I would get a whiff of fire, like a fireplace or wildfire, and I’d try to figure out who was burning, or who had their grill going this early. It wasn't until the 5th or 6th time he passed me that I went DUH - *he* smells like fire!

I'll never complain about heat again! (Who'm I kidding - yes I will!)
Around Mile 2.75 or so, there was a very nice guy in the neighborhood who had turned on his harp sprinkler (you know, the kind that goes back and forth like a fan?) and we all got to run through it, and it was very welcome! It was getting way hot today (It’s June in FL, of course it’s hot!)

By this point, I could hear the announcer from the YMCA, so I knew that I was close and I began my run toward the finish line. 

I like that they put out a Mile 3 sign, even though the end is right there (OCD, I know)
The finish line was great and I came in at 49.24! 

Yes, I have hairy arms...
I was given a COLD bottle of water (Silver Springs, of course – they are 5 miles away!) and a yellow carnation.  

Frosty cold, like manna from heaven - the best bottled water in town!
I chugged that water, then slipped around and switched out my carnation for a purple one (so much better than yellow…)

It looks pink next to my skirt!
I wandered around to cool down, got another bottle of water and a quarter of a bagel.  I grabbed a few more goodies from the “expo” (fruit gummies and a few hand sanitizers) and ended up talking to some women for 10 minutes about the awesomeness of Sparkle Skirts!

Official (edited) Finish Line Photo
Soon, I headed towards some bleachers that were set up and I ran into a good friend of mine, Betty and her hubby (whose name escapes me at the moment). We chatted until the Awards started, then we all cheered and clapped for the firemen, the benefactors of the race, and all of the Top 3 winners. Betty came in 3rd for her age group, too!

(1st) A Member of the Gainesville Galloway Group     (2nd) Elizabeth Hanselmann - Leader of GGG     (3rd) Betty! 
Once the awards were over and the chitchat was done, I headed to the car. I needed to find somewhere to change clothes, and decided that JCP at the Paddock Mall was perfect – I knew that the restrooms were right off the side entrance (near the curtains), so I could slip in and out without being noticed too much.  

I plugged in my iPod when I started the car and this is the first song that came on - I rolled down the windows and cranked it up!
I headed that way, driving with one contact in, keeping an eye on my little PowerAde lid, hoping that it wouldn't spill before I got to JCP.

Um, no - but my Car Tumbleweed could really use a bath....
Once at JCP, I encountered two old ladies in the parking lot who were looking at me like I was a clown – I was wearing a SparkleSkirt, compression sleeves, a big purple headband and braids. Probably pretty silly-looking in The Real World!  They gave me weird looks as I passed them and headed into the restroom. 

In the restroom, first order of business was to change, of course, then to put in my contact. I stuffed my race clothes into my bag (I was using my PHM mesh bag, so that the race stuff could breathe) and walked back to my car. I tossed in my stuff, then went BACK into JCP to window shop (I ran into the Old Ladies again, and they were thoroughly confused to see me in regular clothes!) I ended up with a new shirt, and then walked around the rest of the mall (pit-stopping at the potty again…) and tried to decide on lunch. Part of me wanted Chik-Fil-A, but the fat girl in my wanted Golden Corral, which was right down the street.

Fat girl won.  I ended up getting the lunch buffet with water for $9 (not a bad price), and I proceeded to stuff my face, as usual, until I was so full I waddled out of there.  Ugh, so not worth it….

After lunch, it was back to Gainesville to do my Wal-Mart/Publix shopping, then I headed home. I was getting a headache……

Would I do this race again? Oh, yeah! I love my firefighters, no matter what town they serve. The course was pretty easy (though, I’ll have to remind myself about that hill) and everyone was very friendly and encouraging.  Definitely want to do it again next year.

Photo Courtesy of The Calder Family