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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run Race Report

Due to Hubby's new work schedule, he decided not to join us for this race - the Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run.  Unlike many races, this was an evening race; it started at 6pm. 

The Kiddo came again this year, to conquer the 1 Mile Fun Run. I was going all in on the 5-Miler again.

We stopped at the Circle K for some road snacks and caffeine for me (I don't think I even ate the cookies), and the trip to Jax Beach was pretty uneventful. 

All runners prep with gas-station cookies!
Beautiful Partly Cloudy Florida Sky

I was smart enough to put in the address of the 7-Eleven (close to the beach) so we didn't have to drive around again to find it. As we were coming into town, I happened to look down at the thermometer in the car...

Yes, it's actually 103º (and yes, my dashboard is dusty!!!)
I think we're in for a HOT race today. (It topped out at 99º today).

We got a spot right near the 7-Eleven (three years in a row!), geared up and headed to packet pickup. The vibe of the area was completely different this year - since there were only two of us, and both women, we got a lot more "hey, how you doin'?" from the local beach bums.  Flattering, but annoying. 

We got our bibs and tracking chips, then headed down to the beach.

This is maybe a 1/3rd of all the runners
The Kiddo™ - toting the BEST water bottle ever! (Polar)
You betta werk

We split up after our pre-race photos; the Kiddo didn't take off until after we did, so she was sidelined for now. 

I got a shoe selfie while we waited for the race to begin.   Then I got my Garmin and tech ready.

C'Mon, Get Happy SparkleSkirt
Hanging out in the middle of the pack
Those are Warrior brand bluetooth earbuds - Big Lots, $15!
Soon, we began to storm the beach, and I could tell that there would be no PRs at this race. It was hot, it was thick and it was almost painful to run in. I was getting passed left and right.

I didn't keep up with them like I did last year
It seemed to take forever to get to Mile 1, and I was truly regretting doing this race again. I questioned it last year, but the Kiddo really wanted to do it again, so what's a gal to do? 

Yay. Mile 1. Am I done?
I was passed by the front runner between Mile 1 and Mile 2 (about 23 minutes in).

Go, Speedy, Go!

I think this photo is supposed to be Mile 2, but by this point, I was giving no fucks, so it could just be a water stop.

Could be Mile 2, Could be Water Stop, who knows?

Also, it was very windy, which can be a godsend on a race, but it was a HOT, WET wind that blew right in my face.

I made it to the turn-around and started to head back. 

Whoa, where did she come from?

There were still people behind me, so at this point, I knew I wasn't last.

Look, people!

By the time I got to Mile 3, my stomach was hurting (which has happened EVERY year I've done this). It's like major bloating or gas. Really uncomfortable, and renders me unable to run (because of the jostling). 

Mile 3?  I think so... Why is the sign so far over?

I wasn't feeling much better at Mile 4 either. Still bloated. Really hot, really ready to just be done.

There's a sign up there somewhere
I saw this sign and I truly wanted to punch it.  Go for what? See how quickly I can pass out at this sign?  See if I can throw up higher than the sign? 

How about YOU go for it and I sit on this damn beach and die?

Oh thank you Jesus, I see the finish line!


My official time was 1:34:33.  I beat a big whopping FOUR people (I think three of them were in that photo up earlier in the blog) and I came in last in my age group (F35-39).  Definitely not my best race.

Somehow I had enough energy to get a great pro photo though... and I think it's my first "flying" shot!

I got my medal and a bottle of water and immediately looked for somewhere to sit down. My heart was beating a million miles a minute and I felt like I was going to pass out.  Last year was bad - I got Heat Exhaustion. I'm pretty sure this year, I went all the way to Heat Stroke. The kiddo was there with me, and we just traded race stories back and forth for a few minutes until I was feeling well enough to walk back up to the pavilion. 

Smaller medal this year

At the pavilion, we got in line for our free Tijuana Flats tacos, chips and salsa.  I was feeling good for about 5 minutes, then I wanted to pass out again.  We got our food and took it over to a corner of the grass where it wasn't super-crowded and I just laid out on my back while the Kiddo ate her taco and chips. 

See all the people behind the tents? That's the line for tacos!
I laid there for about 10 minutes, then I tried to eat my taco, but there was no way that was gonna happen.

I got up and walked over to one of the trash barrels and kind of leaned on it. Then I bent over it. Then I hugged it. Then I, .... well, I think you can guess.

See that trash can behind Yellow Shirt Man? Yeah, I puked in that (these people just posed with it)

It was mostly water, so it didn't hurt, but I did it for a long time!  At one point - God help me if I ever find this guy - at one point, while I was actively vomiting, a guy (or gal) came by and threw a half-drunk cup of beer in the trash can, inches from my face!  Like, seriously, if you saw a fat chick hovering over a trash can puking, wouldn't you a) have the decency to NOT throw anything away in that can, and b) ask that person if they were okay? Yeah, this guy did neither. 

Once I was done with that and I was up to walking, we headed back to the car. We changed our clothes in the 7-Eleven bathroom, grabbed some snacks (I think I only got a soda, for the bubbles) and just came home. I obviously wasn't up to grabbing food anywhere, and the Kiddo had already put away two tacos (she ate mine), chips and salsa. 

I'll say it again... I really don't think I'll do this race again. At least, not until I'm in better running condition!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dryer? Or Hotter?

So, about two months ago, we had a crazy storm here in Central FL, and it blew a huge tree limb down out of a large oak tree in our yard - it came down like a rocket. landing point-side down (rather than longways) on our roof, ripping open a cantaloupe-sized hole in our two-year old roof.  As you can imagine, I was pissed as hell.  And because it was weather-related, the roof warranty didn't cover it.

The cost to repair it was $450, but I was able to sell some of my Disney volunteer tickets to a coworker of mine, so there was no out-of-pocket cost to us (no, I didn't go through my homeowner's insurance; the deductible is $1000).

Anyway, I'd forgotten about that issue.

I came home from work today and hubby mentioned to me that the dryer wasn't working.  It wouldn't turn on no matter what you did.  I wasn't surprised; it was 16 years old (we've had it since our first Grown Up Married Family apartment way back in 2000).  So, he and I hopped in the car and went to my favoritest place in the world - Home Depot!

We looked at all the different models and we knew that we wanted a step up from what we had now, but nothing so fancy as the dryers that match HE washers, or something that has a lot of bells and whistles to break (no steaming, nothing like that). We vacillated between a GE and a Samsung. Both were within $5 of each other, both had the same features, give or take. We ended up with the GE, which cost about $550 after you throw in the YOU MUST BUY IT dryer cord and delivery.

Feeling like grown-ups (yeah, we're in our 30s and 40s, that doesn't make us grown ups!), we grabbed dinner from Subway then headed home.

As I walked into the house, I noticed that it was a bit warm.  (It is August...)  I stood in front of the dining room AC vent (which is the easiest to feel) and, yeah, the AC was blowing warm air.  Okay, we've had issues like this before. Maybe the lines outside have frozen?  Nope. Maybe we need to reset the circuit breaker? Nope. Maybe there's a clog in the drain line? Nope (though that wouldn't affect the temperature...)  I was out of ideas. We opened the windows and left the AC on as "fan" all night because otherwise it would be 90º in there at midnight, but since we have a window unit in our room (old house, bad duct work), we told the kiddo that she was more than welcome to bunk down on the floor if it got to hot in her room.

On Friday, while I was at work, hubby called a few HVAC guys to come out and check on our problem.  AirDucks Heating and Air took one look at our external system and said that we might as well just replace our whole system.  Whatever brand our system is - they don't even MAKE it anymore, so parts would be impossible to find. Both the compressor and the capacitor were shot.  And while it would only cost about $1000 to fix both (gah, only???), there was no guarantee that it would keep the unit running for any length of time. 

After the left, hubby called me to relay the news. I was pissed and stressed, as you could imagine.  I asked him to call Bertie Heating & Air to have them check it out too.

Bertie checked it and we got basically the same answer. So, it looks like we're gonna have to drop some cash on a new HVAC system.  Okay.  Deep breath. 

When I got home, Bertie was still there and he was able to give me estimates.  A 15Seer was $4000. A 16Seer with Variable Speed was $5000 and a 18Seer was $6500. We decided to go with the 16Seer because it would bring value to the house when we were ready to sell it.  There were other costs associated, of course, and we were looking at about $6000 to replace the HVAC.

Okay, so where's the money gonna come from?  Bertie doesn't self-finance, but they partner with two different local credit unions (one of which I'm a member of).  My credit, however, is horrendous.  Their preferred lender was the other credit union, so I tried them first (the flyer I was given said something like 2.9% interest personal loan!).  Well, I didn't qualify for that, nor any type of unsecured personal loan, but they could give me an 8.9% 5-year loan if I put up my paid-off car as collateral!!! Yeah, no thank you.

Could I get a loan from my retirement account? Nope, Florida Retirement Systems doesn't do loans.  Okay.  That secured loan is looking to be my only option...

But wait!  What about hubby's retirement account? I'd hate to cash it out (we had to do that for the roof, and the tax bite was terrible), but we can't live in Florida with no AC.  We got so lucky - his retirement account allows for loans!  We won't have to cash out the whole account, which means there won't be a tax hit from that, and since we'll have to pay it back, we won't get dinged at tax time, either, because it's not seen as income!  And on top of that, the interest rate is only 4%! And, even better, the loan repayment can come right out of his paycheck, so it's like I'm not even going to feel it! Oh, hallelujah, I'm gonna get a new AC!

So, the Bertie guy was able to come to my office on Friday, where I signed the paperwork to get this whole thing started, and he said that he'd bring by a portable AC (one of those rolling ones with the vent that sticks out of the window) to the house by the end of the day so we don't fry!  This is awesome! 

Now, to survive the weekend... The Weather Channel says it's ONLY supposed to go up to the low 80s on Saturday and Sunday (though it's hot as hell right now...)  I thank God for small favors!