Today was the day to beat the Green Monster!!! Okay, so maybe "beat" is a strong word. I was going to give it a good talking to, then let it walk all over me, like a wimpy parent with a wayward teenager. But, hey, let's go!!!
Already running late, I was up and out of bed by 5:30. I snarfed down some Cheerios for breakfast, got dressed and woke up the family.
Still late, we didn't get in the car until 6:30 (I wanted to be gone by 6). We loaded up, cranked the car and ...
Say what now?
I have a dead battery. Two hours before the biggest 15k in the country is about to start and I have a dead battery!
I headed back in to the house, ripped my AAA card out of my wallet and got those suckers dispatched asap. I was told someone would be there within the next 1/2 hour. While I can say that I was very courteous to the operator at AAA, I was livid inside. I know it's not their fault I have a dead battery, and I know it's not their fault that it will take 30 minutes to get to me (which, in fairness, is a SHORT time window for AAA). I was just mad at the universe for throwing this at me, today of all days!
I threw on my fuzzy pink bathrobe (over my running clothes) and stood outside, waiting for the tow truck, so pissed I could cry. Hubby waited outside with me, trying to get me to calm down by giving me big hugs. Honestly, (and he knows this), I didn't want the damn hugs to begin with - I wanted to rant and rave and pace and bitch. But, the hugs began to work and I began to calm down.
Our AAA guy showed up I think within 20 minutes, jumped us and we were ready to go. I threw my robe back in the house and we floored it towards Jax. The Garmin says that our arrival time is now 8:30am. The race STARTS at 8:30am and I still need to get my packet.
Driving backroads to I-10, I began to wonder if I should even GO, if I was going to be so late... But I kept going. This girl is not a quitter, even if the race is to GET to the race.
Traffic, luckily, was really easy, until we got about 1/4 mile from the exit to the Stadium. I used the full stop to change my sneakers in the car (I drive in flip flops). In hindsight, perhaps I could have used that AAA time to put on my sneakers at home. I also grabbed the Ziploc bag I use to hold my race stuff (Garmin, fuel, lip balm, armband, etc).
|We're close, I can see Lot W|
We were directed to park in lot XX, which is about as far away as you can be.
|We parked in "XX," had to pick up my packet at the Fairgrounds (near "R"), THEN had to get down to Gator Bowl Blvd!!!|
Halfway to the expo, I realized I forgot my Nathan water bottle, so I got the PoweAde from my post-race bag. It'll have to do.
|All these goodies... would have been so nice to HAVE THEM during the race!|
At this point, the 3rd wave (MY wave) had already taken off, so I hollered over my shoulder that I was gonna haul ass to the start line and headed towards the Walker Wave - last year it was by the baseball field ("P" on that map up there).
They weren't there this year. They were back at the ACTUAL start line, in the opposite direction I was headed, with a huge retention pond between me and the start line. With some choice words, I ran my ass that way. There were a bunch of barricades in the way, so I just climed over one of 'em. The announcer said the final (FINAL!!) wave would take off in about 60 seconds.
I found a hole to slip through to get to the actual start line. Whew!!!!! I'm officially in the starter chute. Start the Garmin! Start the Nike!! Start the RACE, I MADE IT!!!! With LITERALLY seconds to spare.
I saw the family past the start line and I gave them hugs (which I normally do before going to the starting line, but well...) and said "I climbed a barricade and now my crotch hurts!" I also got some high fives, and off I went.
And I went still angry. I was angry at the car. I was angry that I missed my wave. I was angry to be stuck in the walker wave. After last year, I swore that I'd be faster and not be back here ever again, and yet... here I am. Grrr. I really let the past 3 hours of bullshit get to me, and I was angry a lot of the race.
About a 1/2 mile in to the race, I gulped some warm (ick) PowerAde, then reached for my lip balm... Shit, that's in the Nathan. Which is in the car. Okay, I'll use my lube tube... oh wait... that's in the Kiddo's pocket. Jesus, shoot me now!!!
|Obligatory Maxwell House Factory shot - it smells great when I take off, but never when I come back.|
|Mile 1 Sign (That's Gun Time, not chip time, thankfully!)|
|Is Jacksonville ever NOT under construction?|
|Runner DOWN! But well attended to.|
|Doesn't look so bad from down here|
|Yeah, you can't get me to stop. Only under the threat of death am I stopping this time!!|
|Soon... Aw, who'm I kidding? Eventually...|
|Okay, I'll stop for a Foot Selfie|
|I'm pretty sure she was in front of me the whole race, too|
|Yay, only 7.9 miles to go...|
|At least they play loud enough to compensate for being so far away|
|Mile 3 - almost 1/3 of the way done|
After the 5k mat, you turn on to a road that runs right by the river. It's always pretty, and one of the best spectator spots, too.
|5k Split Mat|
|Hey, check it out! It's my finger!|
|"Don't wipe your sweat... don't wipe your sweat... save the Vaseline!"|
|Most folk are patient|
|It's the Beer and Sausage House!|
|Look at all that sausage! It's a regular sausage-fest!|
|I only had one bite; it was really gross|
I made it to Mile 5, and I'm officially halfway done with this race. I'm not pissed any more, but I think at this point, all the fun was gone. I was doing it, but I wasn't enjoying it.
|Am I on the "wrong side of the tracks" NOW, or after I cross?|
|"Rockstar," "Trashcan," not much difference|
|It's like a thong made out of sweat. I felt realllllllly bad for her|
|Why you sittin', gurl?|
|I'm with you, Woo Hoo Girl|
|Yay, Mile 7!|
|It's a bridge. I'm gonna cross it. Let's go.|
I took a selfie to see how many people were still behind me instead.
|That vaseline does wonders for my stylin' look|
|So much worse than the blue one (Sweat Thong is lookin' strong!)|
|So close, but close your mouth, you look like a fish!|
|Yay, Mile 8! I can see the stadium from here!|
|If you zoom in really close, you get a great shot of back fat|
I did it! I made it to the top of the bridge, and as I said - it's all downhill from here. I used the decline to put some pep in my step - I wanted to finish strong.
|Slow walkers give runners weird looks when we try to pick up some downhill speed|
Mile 9 is right at the end of the exit ramp, but because of the way the finish line is laid out, the last .3 mile seemed SO long - we had to basically walk all the way around the stadium!!
|Mile 9, oh my God, make it stop!|
|YOU LOOK FAST, bitch. I got no FAST left in me for the cameras!|
My official time was 2:44:30. Not too bad! I guess Pissed + Running = Fast?
We headed back to the expo to trade in my shirt for a 2X (a 3X was just a tad too big for me) and took some finisher photos at the "I Beat the Green Monster" background (perk of being this damn slow? No lines for photo ops).
|Yes, I DO have hair; you just can't see it.|
|The shirt is pink this year|
Results - http://www.gate-riverrun.com/grr15overallres.htm
I officially beat 498 people (even though it really did feel like I was pulling in the rear this time). I finished 14.403rd out of 14,901.
My split times were okay, but not spectacular. 5k time – 51:38; 10k time – 1:45:17.
|Official Finisher Medal photo|
I took advantage of the REAL bathrooms at the expo as well, and changed into some clean clothes.We headed to lunch at Arby's and, as we'd planned earlier, headed to WDW to spend the remainder of the day at Typhoon Lagoon.
|Entrance of Typhoon Lagoon|
|Left or Right?|
|Damn, check out those beach babes!|