Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Climbed a Barricade and Now My Crotch Hurts! Gate River Run Race Report 2015

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
While sitting in traffic, heading towards a parking spot, we heard the Elite's gun go off. Yep, the race has started, and I'm still sitting in traffic.

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!!!
I began hauling ass towards the Expo while shoving the tiny Ruby Lube tube that was in my pocket (that I didn't think I needed now that I was dressed) to the Kiddo.

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!
I half ran/half walked to the expo, got my bib and my shirt in record time. They only had 3x size shirts left, but I'm totally fine with that at this point.

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.
I made it to Mile 1 and if there were course photographers here, I think the photos would have been pretty funny. I look pissed and bitchy pretty much all the time (thanks, Resting Bitch Face), but I was PISSED right now, and I'm sure it showed on my face.

Mile 1 Sign (That's Gun Time, not chip time, thankfully!)
We passed some construction and saw that there was a runner down, being attended to by one of the volunteer policemen. I'm not sure what happened, I think she tripped.
Is Jacksonville ever NOT under construction?

Runner DOWN! But well attended to.
Right after Mile 1, we headed up the Main Street bridge, which I like because I'm not tired yet, and I can enjoy the cool grating in the middle of the brige. 

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 got passed by this chick, and I thought taking a pic of it was appropriate today.

I'm pretty sure she was in front of me the whole race, too
I made to Mile 2, and my mouth was killing me. My lips dry out easily when I run because I'm a mouth-breather.  Not having any lip balm was a fate worse than death for me.  I try to be really honest on my blog, so here's some gross honesty - every few minutes I was trying to scrape some Ruby Lube from my shoulders (under my bra straps) to put on my mouth. #1 - Yeah, it's gross. #2 - it didn't work very well.

Yay, only 7.9 miles to go...
We passed a cool band and then headed towards Mile 3. A lot of people deviate from the course here, because there are potties right past the band area.  I kept on going.

At least they play loud enough to compensate for being so far away
Mile 3 - almost 1/3 of the way done
After Mile 3, you pass over the 5k timing mat. If you've signed up for race alerts, your spectators (in this case, Hubby) will get a text message with your split time.  They can use that to estimate what your finish time will be, so they know when to see you at the finish line.

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
Mile 4 goes into some nice neighborhoods, and shady ones at that.

Hey, check it out! It's my finger!
A HUGE shout out to the Med Tent at this part of the course - while they didn't have any lip balm of any sort, they gave me some lines of Vaseline for my lips! You have NO idea how hard it was to run 5 more miles with this on my hand...

"Don't wipe your sweat... don't wipe your sweat... save the Vaseline!"
As always, when you leave this neighborhood, there is an assload of traffic, backed up for a good mile or so.  Most people are in good spirits, but some are jackwads. 

Most folk are patient
We headed back in to more neighborhoods, and I knew we were getting into the Party Neighborhood. You'll see anything from orange slices to ice pops to sausages to any and every type of liquor you can imagine. (Though, if you're slow you'll see orange peels, ice pop wrappers, discarded forks and empty cups.) I was looking for the beer and sausage house.

It's the Beer and Sausage House!
I did it, I got some sausage this time!! (Last year, I only got a hot dog).

Look at all that sausage! It's a regular sausage-fest!
Aww man - the sausage is not tasty.

I only had one bite; it was really gross
Oh well.  Now I know for the future - skip the sausage.  

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?
The Carol King fan club was back this year.  Sorry folks, BB King is a rock star. Not Carol King.
"Rockstar," "Trashcan," not much difference
This part of the race takes you down Atlantic Blvd, which is hot and there is usually a lot of traffic on the right. For the poor lady in the khaki shorts, it must've been REALLY hot.
It's like a thong made out of sweat. I felt realllllllly bad for her
We made it to Mile 6!

Why you sittin', gurl?
And with crossing the 10k mat, we are officially 2/3 of the way done!
I'm with you, Woo Hoo Girl
I don't think anything was fun at this point. I was super-sweaty, super-tired and still just in a general funk. I kept on trudging along, all the way to Mile 7. 

Yay, Mile 7! 
There is this little bridge that crosses over the river, before you get to the Green Monster. I love to stop here for a "Soon!" photo.  Usually I take a selfie with it, but I gave no shits. 

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
Alright, bitch (talking to myself). Get your sparkly ass up that hill to that bridge. Once you do that, it's all downhill. Literally.

So much worse than the blue one (Sweat Thong is lookin' strong!)
So close, but close your mouth, you look like a fish!
Mile 8, almost at the apex of the bridge. 

Yay, Mile 8! I can see the stadium from here!
Wow, what the hell is that? The photo doesn't do it justice, but it's a chick wearing panties, a huge purple tutu. knee socks and a sparkly bra (think Madonna in her Vogue period).  It was just really bad.

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!
I really wanted to run it in, but I had absolutely nothing left in the tank by this point. I just walked quickly, and crossed the finish line. 

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 -

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. 

After about 15 minutes of driving, though, I started doing the math in my head, and it made no sense to drive almost 3 hours to get somewhere that would only be open for 2 hours after we got there. 

We decided to go to TL on Sunday, so we detoured through Green Cove Springs and headed home.  I spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out on the couch, and just went to bed early.

Entrance of Typhoon Lagoon

Left or Right?
Damn, check out those beach babes!

Location: Jacksonville FL
Host: Gate Petroleum (Gas stations)
Race Fee: $40
Packet Pickup: Empty! (But I was so late!!!)  Paid the extra $5 for Out of Town Pickup
Parking: Ample parking, even when coming in so late.
Support: Excellent!  Thank you to the First Aid ladies for the Vaseline! There was sausage!
After Party: We didn't stay for the party.