Saturday, September 7, 2013

Run for Haven 5k Race Report

Today was my first “away game,” so to speak. It was in Orange Park, about 100 miles from where I live.  I woke up around 6 and picked out my clothes, then plopped onto the couch to eat Multigrain Cheerios and drink some OJ. I was out of the house by 6:30 and decided to let the Garmin navigate me.

If you live in or around Gainesville, you KNOW about the town of Waldo. Hell, if you live anywhere in Florida, you know about Waldo. Waldo is a huge speed-trap. The speed drops from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35 to 25 (I think) within a mile. Cops are stationed pretty much every day to catch speeders. If you go over the speed limit by 1mph, they bust you. It’s how the city pays their bills. They are pretty much proud of it. So, needless to say, I hate having to drive through Waldo.

Luckily, my Garmin found a way to circumnavigate Waldo road. It sent me down County Road 235 which goes pretty much all the way to Starke!  I didn't realize where I was until I was driving down 301, keeping a wary eye out for the signs, when I realized that I’d already passed Waldo and was coming up on Starke. It was very confusing.  It was also a VERY relaxing drive. I don’t think there is anything more peaceful and beautiful than a 2-lane rural road at sunrise.

It was cool, misty and smelled like cows - how rural areas SHOULD be!
I got to the Orange Park Kennel Club by 8:15 (who know they had a dog track? Not me!) and picked up my packet then headed back to the car for the swag photos. 

Cotton tee, nothing fancy
$22 "Cash" at Complete Nutrition and a pencil - I think I'll get more use out of the pencil.
$2 off coupon for TCBY - I really wanted to use it, but forgot that I had it!
As it got closer to the start time, I double-puffed, loaded my SparklePockets and headed toward the start line. There was a local Zumba instructor getting everyone warmed up, and I almost jumped in (even though I’ve never Zumba’ed before in my life), but my self-consciousness got the better of me. WTH, Me?!? – none of these people know you and will never see you again. You are already in a freakin’ sparkly skirt, just Zumba already!  Ugh…

Vibrams Gal there was REALLY into it!
Anyway, we all soon lined up at the start line and took off towards the St. John’s River (I think it was that). Basically, we were going to do 1.55 miles up and 1.55 miles back along River Road, which parallels the beautiful waterway. With the sun just up, spangling on the water, it was beautiful! 

On the way to the start line
Gorgeous! There were boat docks across the street from each house!
I fell to the back quite quickly, as usual, but I was fine. There were lots of other walkers. The road was all ours. We walked past nice homes and what looked to be a retirement home as well, by Mile 1. 

Mile 1 already?
 By Mile 2, I was sweating and I was glad to see a water stop – I grabbed a cup and dumped it on me! Felt so good!

This photo shows how we could either run on the road or the little trail - both had great view of the water
As I got to Mile 3, I realized that I was cutting REALLY close to PRing!  I gave it everything I had and crossed the finish line at 48:08 (official time).  

Mile 3 - so close!
Was this a PR????  Sadly, no – I did the Fallen Heroes at 47:11.  But SO CLOSE!!! 

I put on my medal and got my Finish Line photo taken, then headed out. 

You'll notice - no leg sleeves this time. I regretted that decision badly.
Not a bad medal for a small, local race. It matches my skirt!
First stop was a local mall so that I could change clothes. JCPenney always has restrooms close to outside doors, so I snuck in, changed, returned my sweaty clothes to the car, then headed back in to shop a bit. I didn't find anything I wanted…mostly because I REALLY had to potty. I decided to head to the restroom at the Food Court so I could see if there was anything I wanted to eat, or if I wanted to go to a different location (like The Loop, or something local).  I could’ve sworn that the mall’s website had listed Chik-fil-a as an option, but after leaving the restroom and walking around the food court, I couldn't find it and I ended up at Sbarro’s (I haven’t been to a Sbarro’s in decades!)  I got a slice with breadsticks for way too much money (seriously, like EIGHT bucks!) and sat to eat it. It was good. It wasn't as good as I was hoping. I should’ve gone to The Loop. Hell, I should’ve gone anywhere else. Oh well. It’s carbs, it filled me up and gave me energy to make the drive home.

Of course, after throwing my trash away and leaving the food court, turning to finish walking the mall, I found the damn Chik-fil-a…. Grrrr.

Other than stopping at the Post Office IN THE MALL (how cool and helpful!), there was nothing else I wanted to check out, so I ended up heading home.

God Bless the USA and God Bless my Soldiers!
I like “away games” – it gives me a reason to go somewhere that doesn’t involve shopping or eating. I definitely want to do this one again next year. It’s cheap, you get cute bling, and it’s a pretty peaceful run. 

And they have redneck briefcases...

The photo doesn't do it justice - these were like XXXL or something. Eww.