Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dr. NH Jones 5k Race Report - My Fastest AND Most Expensive!



This was a last minute choice for a race. It was the inaugural race, so I didn't know anything about it, but it was quasi-local (45 minutes away), had bling and was cheap, and was in December, to round out my Year of Races.  

The description of the race mentioned "wear your silly socks" and since it was only a few weeks until Christmas, I decided to do a bit more than just socks.  I pinned some red Christmas tree garland to my silver Sparkle Athletic skirt and wore a green shirt, as well as some cute hair accessories (more on that in a moment).  

Clover wanted to help me with my skirt
Race morning, I overslept. I know that I set my iPod alarm for 5:20, but either it didn't go off (I forget to turn up the volume sometimes), or I slept through it (I think it was this).  I rolled out of bed at 5:45 and began to get ready. Then I realized that I'd forgotten to pin my skirt to my skirt!  So before getting some food in me, I fixed that problem.  Then I shoved down some breakfast, did my hair and got dressed, and was finally out the door by 6:15.  Ocala is 45 minutes away... I must have averaged 85 the entire time I was on the Interstate!

My Garmin told me that I should get off at exit 352, but I took exit 358 because it looked faster.

It wasn't.  Sigh.   My lead foot kept pressing down, and every few minutes I had to vocally tell myself to slow down.  Then the needle would creep back up to 60, and I'd slow down again. 

During one of these periods, what should I see, but red and blue lights... Yup, I got busted by Florida Highway Patrol on Baseline Road. One mile from the park I was looking for. 

Now, I'm not a girly girl in any sense, but I was so frustrated that by the time the police officer got to my window I was practically in tears.  He asked if I was okay, and I said that I was very frustrated and thought that I was lost, because I couldn't find the Baseline Trail head park.  He kind of smiled and pointed in it's general direction and said "it's about a mile that way."  Jerk. 

He told me that he "had" to give me a ticket (no, actually you don't - you could've given me a warning), but that he would report a slower speed so that I don't get a huge fine. 

Yep, a selfie with cop lights.  I'm so ghetto
$131 speeding ticket later, I was on my way again to the Trailhead, just a short mile away, and it was 7:43.  I missed my turn and had to pull a U'ie, which sucked 5 more minutes from me. Luckily, even though the parking lot was jam-packed, someone left a GREAT spot and I snuck into it with minutes to spare. 

I picked up my packet, which turned out to be the wrong packet, so I had to return it and get mine.  Finally I could pin my bib and get ready to go.  I raced back to my car to throw the bag in the trunk, then hauled ass back to the park.  I didn't know that the start line was about 500 yards away, so I had to really go fast to catch up with the rest of the crowd!

What a bunch of boring runners!  Not even a lot of green or red!
Luckily, I made it, and I could chill for a moment to start my Garmin and take a breath.  I looked around and saw that there certainly weren't a lot of silly socks to be seen!  I only saw a handful of tutus!  

Besides me, she was the most festive
I was certainly feeling foolish in my garland skirt and curly bow hair.
  
Curly bows that are normally used for wrapping presents! They looked AWESOME!
Oh well - If I can't win, I might as well look cute!

We took off, and I separated from the pack pretty quickly. I was doing 2/1 intervals, which worked for me in St. Augustine last month. 

After about 8 minutes, the winner passed us, headed towards the finish line.    

By Mile 1, there were only a few people in front of me that I could actually see. 



Mile 1
But when there was no one in front of me was when the trail was really beautiful. Why can't Gainesville have more awesome trails like this?

Would be a better photo if I wasn't running and had a real camera with me
I made it to Mile 2, way behind a lot of people. I think at this point, I was pretty sure that I was last. Oh well. It was a gorgeous morning with a bite to the air. Enjoy it!

Mile 2
Around Mile 3, a few gals came in behind me, so I knew I wasn't last. One of them said to me that "I'd been running this whole time" (I hadn't) - I "better run it in!"  So, once I could see the finish line, I did.

Wow, you really outdid yourselves there
And, well, I don't know what happened - if it was the intervals, or the weather, or the awesome hairstyle - but I PRd this race!!!  My fastest 5k ever, at 47:07!!!

Here you can see a crappy pose, but more importantly the skirt - it's pinned on top of a SparkleSkirt
I'm so happy!  I'm also super-tired! I was a very stressful morning. Hey, maybe that's what got me my PR - I was pissed for like half this race....

After getting my finish line photo, I checked out the area.  There were urns filled with hot chocolate and coffee, as well as candy canes and bottled water.  I grabbed some (no coffee for me) and walked a bit.

Hot Chocolate and Candy Canes - very good things!
Results were posted, and I'm proud to say that at least 4 people came in after me. 

I even beat two women in my age group!
I also admired my cute little medal.  I would assume (hope) that one of elementary school kids designed the medal. 

Awww, it's cute!
There was also a 1-Mile Fun Run for all the kids, of which there were a LOT!  I think the entire school came out for this race! After the fun run, they gave out awards and raffle prizes. I won nothing but a PR, so I headed back to my car.

A LOT of kids.
I got a cool sling bag at Packet Pickup this morning. It's a really good bag; some sling bags truly suck, but this one balances well with the front pocket. 

Nice sling bag
And this is the event shirt. Basic white tee, but they had XXL, which I love to get, because I can wear them as sloppy shirts around the house. 

Again, I hope that the kids designed this!
As I normally do with out of town races, I stopped at the local mall and changed my clothes at JCPenney, and did some shopping (I ended up splurging on some new undies this time, oooooh), and grabbed some lunch before heading home.

My favorite way to refuel
Location: Ocala, FL
Host: Dr. N H Jones Elementary School
Race Fee: $20 + $2.25 Sign-Up fee
Packet Pickup: Hectic – was given wrong packet at first
Parking: Lot was full when I got there, was able to score a good spot when someone left
Support: I believe there was only one water stop
After Party: Hot chocolate, candy canes, coffee, lots of raffles
Would I do it again? If I was in need of a December race, yes. But probably not. It was boring.