Thursday, July 4, 2013

35th Annual Melon Run - July 4th, 2013

Before I get to my race report, I have to tell you about the super awesome thing I did before the race:  I got to sing the National Anthem before the race!!  OMG! Let’s back up…

I follow Florida Track Club on Facebook (they are the local running club, plus the club putting on the Melon Run), and the day before the race, Meredith posted that she needed someone to sing.  There were a few joking posts like “if you want your ears to bleed, I’ll do it!”  I thought about it for an hour or so, checking back to see if someone had the guts to volunteer, and after seeing that no one did, I DID.  I got no response after a few hours, so I emailed Meredith to let her know that if no one else had volunteered via email, I would do it. She emailed me back about an hour before I left work saying that I got the gig.

GASP! What the hell did I just do? I haven’t sung in public in years! Not even karaoke… 

Okay, breathe…. 

First thing I did was get the lyrics and put them in my iPod as a ‘note’. That way, I would have them, JUST IN CASE.

Second thing I did, was sing it over and over on the way home. I got the timing and key down, was pretty confident on those big notes, and I felt pretty good.

Once home, I told the family, then proceeded to go into Race Prep Mode. New playlist, take a shower, paint my nails, etc, before going to bed early. J had to work at 7, so I had to take him before heading to the park.

I woke up around 6 and had a bowl of Special K Oats & Honey, then got dressed. Tried to chill, but wasn’t all that successful.

After dropping The Hubby off at work, I headed to the park and ended up getting a pretty good spot (since I was so early).  I went and picked up my packet (was in the wrong line at first), and headed back to the car for the obligatory Bling Shots.

Tech Tee - Designed by a local (contest winner) - The colors are great!

This is my number! See the Posse peeking out from behind?
Soon it was about 20 minutes before the race, so I double-puffed, pinned on my bib, loaded my SparklePockets and headed back to the Start line, where I needed to find Meredith so that I could sing. Along the way, I got a drink of water and turned on the iPod to the ‘note’. Just in case.

Gettin' crowded here... And all these people are going to be staring at me soon
Dudes in skirts win every single time! 
She had ribbons all the way down her back! A lot more 'Murica than my little garland in my hair!
Meredith sent me to Scott, who asked if I wanted the mic or the bullhorn. I can’t imagine singing into a bullhorn, so I opted for the mic.

Man I forgot how heavy these were…


Scott introduced me, and I was on.

Man! Only a few notes in and I remembered how much I love to sing in public!  The National Anthem is a very hard song to sing, much less sing a capella, much less a capella AND with one days’ notice, and I have to say that I kicked ass. I cracked on “land of the free”, but I finished strong with “home of the brave”.  I want to do this again next year!!

Thanks, Race Pace Photos for capturing the Double Chin of Freedom!
I had a volunteer record me singing, and if your ears can stand it, I’ve included it at the bottom of this post.

After that, it was time to line up at the start line and take off!

The view from the back
 Luckily, I’ve raced this route before, so I am familiar with the pitfalls and I can go at my own pace. I forgot to start my Garmin (as usual), and it took longer to find satellites, and the Nike got paused somehow, so I have no real record of my time, other than my “official” finish time, which sucks. I like having that info from Garmin.  Oh well.

You go ahead and tire yourself out on that hill, I'll be back here walking!
I ran at the beginning when the gun went off, but quickly slowed to a walk since I knew that it would soon turn into a long uphill.  This of course put me in the back of the pack. As usual. I’m fine with that. I’m not trying to win. Just trying to be better than I was last year.

Mile 1 came quickly (seemingly a LOT quicker than last year), and it was soon time to turn onto the boardwalk, which was slippery from the rain. 

How did this happen so fast? And why is this jackwagon running in cargo shorts?
Blurry photo, but you can get an idea of how pretty (and wet) the boardwalk section is
I walked that section, then made up some time in the neighborhood (passing Mile 2) before turning onto 16th Avenue. 

Blessed by the sun at Mile 2
16th Avenue has the second Hill of Doom (the first Hill of Doom is on 8th Avenue). I knew it was coming, so I prepared for it, and kept my pace all the way to the top. At the top of the hill is when we turned back towards the park and the finish line. 

This is NOT the 2nd Hill of Doom, but you can see how hilly the road is in general
I was able to maintain my intervals and I plowed through the finish line at 47:28 (official time).  I destroyed my previous time by over TWO minutes!  I can’t wait to demolish that next year!

The awesome Merideth handing out finisher bracelets for the kids' Mile Fun Run
More Double-Chins of Freedom - and I'm airborne, too!
I wandered over to the various tents set up, to see if they had any fun swag (I grabbed a t-shirt from the UF tent) and ended up getting a chair massage. Heavenly!  I always love getting these just for the reaction of the masseuse. They are always so surprised at how tense I am and I just giggle. I’m a mess people, just rub. J

After my awesome rubdown, and a quick finish line photo, I grabbed some cookies and some Gatorade (screw bananas!) and wandered over to see the awards. 

I look like a hot neon rainbow mess! It all matched in person, I promise!
There is no bling for this race – all age-group winners get watermelons, presented to them by the Watermelon Queen.  (I think I’d rather have some sort of bling…) I ran into another Princess Posse Member, April, and we chatted for a bit. She and I are both shy introverts, so there wasn’t a lot of chatting! 

Like, I'm the Watermelon Queen, Y'all!
Finally, as I’m getting ready to get out of here, I remember that Merideth said that, for singing that morning, I too would get a watermelon! I got my gift (it’s HUGE) and began the trek back to the car. I think it was more tiring to carry the thing to the car than it was to actually run the race!

It is HUGE!
I don’t like to eat watermelon (evil funky texture), but I love the FLAVOR of watermelon, so I’m going to try to make sorbet, or just puree it until I can figure out what to do with it!

So hot and sweaty – time to go HOME!

Oh, and if you stuck with me this long, here is my rendition of the National Anthem.